Equipment & technology SES to Launch Dedicated Satellite for Governmental Use View post tag: launch Back to overview,Home naval-today SES to Launch Dedicated Satellite for Governmental Use Share this article View post tag: Governmental View post tag: SES View post tag: Dedicated View post tag: Maritime View post tag: use January 15, 2015 SES announced on January 13th that it plans to launch a dedicated satellite for governmental use in partnership with the Luxembourg Government in late 2017.A Luxembourg-based company jointly held by SES and the Luxembourg Government is planned to own and operate the new spacecraft. The Luxembourg Government and SES would each invest EUR 50 million into the new company, which, at the same time, would receive a EUR 125 million bank loan from a consortium of Luxembourg banks to finance the satellite’s procurement and launch. This investment has been foreseen within SES’s existing capital expenditure projections. The spacecraft would be positioned in the European arc, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The capacity of the new satellite would satisfy Luxembourg’s requirements for satellite communications in military frequencies. Capacity would also be made available to governmental and institutional customers for defence and governmental applications. The multi-mission satellite will use dedicated military frequencies (known as X-band and military Ka-band), providing high-powered and fully steerable spot beams to support multiple operations. “This new, ambitious public-private partnership demonstrates the importance of Luxembourg in the international space sector and the close and successful ties between SES and Luxembourg. SES fully acknowledges the importance of the Luxembourg Government’s participation in this future enterprise,” said Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO of SES. “As a commercial satellite operator, SES is ideally positioned to deliver its know-how to this new venture, serving a large range of future governmental and institutional customers, creating significant entrepreneurial value and return for these customers and for the Grand-Duchy.” “Emerging from the national space sector, this project is not only an important contribution of Luxembourg to European defence, but it further supports the government’s economic diversification policy in a key technology sector”, said Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Minister of Economy.Press Release View post tag: News by topic View post tag: satellite
Students at several Oxford colleges have been left fuming at the state of fire alarms.Malfunctioning fire alarms in Oriel, Balliol and Worcester have been going off at all times of day and night and students are angry that college authorities seem slow to act. The situation has led to students ignoring the alarms because they are set off so often.It is thought that the fire alarm in Worcester’s Mitchell building is being set off by spiders living in the loft. Students claim they have to regularly go up to wipe the cobwebs away. The alarm is not always loud enough to wake students up, posing a serious threat to safety. Additionally, the porters of the building have no way of knowing when the alarm has sounded. Students have to visit the lodge in person to report the alarm, raising questions about whether the fire service would be called in time in the event of a real emergency.Tom Hosking, who lives in the Mitchell Building commented, “It’s getting ridiculous. We have to go and fetch a porter each time it goes off, which has been quite a few nights in the past week. One guy didn’t even wake up last time and he was more sober than a judge at the time. It’s actually pretty dangerous because if there was a real fire I don’t think anyone would treat it seriously anymore. And, it’s very irritating.”There are reports that at Balliol alarms in one staircase went off 5 times in one night, and have been going off throughout the term. They are only now being repaired.In Oriel, students complain that alarms in several staircases are so sensitive that they are being set off by steam from the showers. They have gone off more than 20 times this term, sometimes ringing for up to half an hour.An Oriel student living in the affected area said, “It’s a nightmare – especially in some staircases, where the alarms don’t switch off with the rest, so we get stuck with it ringing for ages. A lot of finalists live in the staircases worst affected, it’s really disruptive to our work. It isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous – I know several people who just ignore the alarm now. We could face a total disaster if we had a real fire. We’ve heard little to nothing from college about it, so we don’t really know what, if anything, is being done about it.”It is a legal requirement for college accommodation to have well-maintained fire detection systems.
Peaches and Mike Lukens have organized the community Christmas dinner since 1989. By TIM KELLYPeaches Lukens remembers the second Ocean City Community Dinner she organized with her husband Mike.The year was 1990, and the couple’s idea to provide a free dinner for those who had nowhere else to go had been a big success. There was just one slight problem: The person who pledged to donate the turkeys was nowhere to be found, and it was just three days before Dec. 25.With no other alternative in mind, Mike and Peaches headed to the supermarket to buy the frozen birds in mass quantities.“The person at checkout asked if we were having a big party,” Peaches recalled. “We explained the situation and someone said, ‘I’ll buy two of those turkeys.’ Then another said, ‘I’ll buy one.’ We left there with more donated turkeys than the number we planned to buy.”It’s been that way and then some at the annual event. Mike Lukens said he could write a book and still not capture all the kindnesses he has witnessed while working the event, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this Christmas.“God provides,” is the way Peaches put it.Volunteers John Quinn, of Ocean City, and his wife Marty, alongside him, serve up Christmas dinner at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in 2018.From its origins feeding 125 people at the old Youth Center building, the event has grown to regularly feeding full Christmas dinners to more than 600 and possibly more than 1,000. Turkey and ham dinners with all the trimmings, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, beverages and desserts, it’s all there, free, just for showing up.The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 501 E. Eighth Street.People young and old, rich and poor, mostly from Ocean City but also from outside local borders, are expected to attend. A small army of volunteers keeps the food lines moving and the fun going.“This isn’t a dinner for the homeless, although we have certainly helped many people in need over the years,” said Jennifer Bowman, who has worked side-by-side with Peaches and Mike Lukens ever since the event moved to St. Peter’s more than 20 years ago.“Many people in Ocean City have families elsewhere and they can’t travel to be with them. Not everyone has a family dinner they can go to,” Bowman added.This year also marks the end of an era: Mike and Peaches Lukens, the event creators and organizers, will be stepping down from that role.The couple has relocated to Cape May, and found it too difficult to accomplish the myriad of details from such a distance.“I really wish we could keep going, but a lot of the things we do just can’t be accomplished as well over the phone,” Mike Lukens said.Peaches Lukens with daughter Halley Martinez and her sons, Max, 6, and Charlie, 2, work together to fill up the candy table in 2018.If it seems like the end of an era, that’s because in one sense it is. For those who have been involved with the community dinner, however, there is faith in the event’s future, albeit somewhat uncertain at present.Bowman, who handles much of the marketing side of the event, says the needs of the community dinner have expanded along with the number of people served and the number of volunteers who help stage it.“We have a large facility, but we are still a church kitchen. We aren’t a commercial food service facility,” she said of St. Peter’s.Consequently, she said, the event benefits from people who donate already-cooked turkeys and meals, as well as food items.Mike Lukens said his neighbor donates a large quantity of mashed potatoes and Mike himself makes the cole slaw.“Fifteen gallons worth,” he said, laughing.Mike Lukens, right, thanks a man for donating two cooked turkeys in 2018.Ocean City Councilman Keith Hartzell has donated beverages to the event for years, Bowman said.During Thursday’s City Council meeting, Hartzell spoke of the importance of the community dinner, noting that it attracts people of all faiths and underscores Ocean City’s reputation as a family-friendly town.“It encapsulates us as a family town,” he said. “Nothing says it better than St. Pete’s.”There is also something called the “Miracle Room,” where donated clothing, toiletries and toys are distributed to families in need.“We don’t even know where a lot of these donated items come from,” Mike Lukens said. “They just show up here.”Volunteers are most needed for cleanup after dinner is over, Bowman pointed out.“Turkey is a messy meal,” she said. “We always need folks to help with things like picking up, mopping the floors, breaking down tables and chairs. Every year that gets a little more difficult. It’s a long day.”The dining room at St. Peter’s is packed for the holiday meal.Of course, as in most large-scale operations, attention must be paid to the bottom line in order to keep things moving.“Money always helps,” Bowman said, adding that she hopes the event can find a financial angel in town.“It really amounts to about a $4,000 meal,” she said. “That’s really not (a large amount of money) for all the good this event creates in peoples’ lives. It would be great if one of the larger businesses in town would step up, or perhaps the city could become more (financially) involved.”She mentioned builders, developers, banks and realtors as likely prospects.“It would be great if one of the larger caterers got involved and took over the food preparation aspect as well as some of the food itself,” Bowman said.She also said the organizers would consider placing a sponsor’s name on the event in exchange for a multi-year commitment or a large enough donation. It would be great, she said, if organizers didn’t have to scramble each year to finance the dinner.“What we need to see now is what we saw when Superstorm Sandy hit. We need the community,” St. Peter’s Pastor Larry Oksten said. “We need people to rise up and change someone’s life by saying, ‘Yes, I can do that.’ This is what makes Ocean City such a special place.”Bowman invited interested potential sponsors, benefactors and volunteers to call her at (609) 425-1474 or contact her at the church.St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Eighth Street and Central Avenue, will host the event, as it has for more than 20 years.Meanwhile, this year’s event looks to be coming together, Bowman said, and the theme should be to recognize and celebrate Mike and Peaches for the tradition they’ve created.“They are people with big hearts and they had a really good idea,” Bowman said. “It’s their baby.”Looking back on their three decades of helping give folks a brighter Christmas, Peaches said she learned another valuable lesson.“People aren’t always sure how they can help others over the holidays. We’ve given them a way to do that,” she said. “One thing I’ve learned is that while some people are in need of help, others have a strong need to help.”
Costa Coffee, the Whitbread-owned chain, saw its first-half underlying profit increase by 20.5% to £52.4m, it revealed today.Unveiling its results for the six months to 28 August, the company said Costa’s sales during the period had also increased by 15.6% and like-for-likes were up 6.1%.It said LFL growth had been driven by a transaction increase of 5%.In a statement, Costa said: “This investment in organic growth, innovation, our teams and our stores has enabled us to increase our share of the UK coffee market and to build market-leading customer preference for our brand. The coffee shop brand preference survey (as conducted by YouGov) rates Costa as the clear number one.”The coffee chain opened 85 net new stores in the first half, taking its total number of stores to 1,840 and added it was on track to achieve more than 2,200 stores by 2018.System sales at its franchise stores grew by 5.1%, at a constant currency, during the first half of the year.ExcitingCommenting on international growth, Costa added: “China remains an exciting profit growth opportunity and we have a total of 335 stores, delivering mid-single-digit like-for-like sales growth. We are making good progress with the profitability of our like-for-like estate in China, which gives us the confidence to continue to invest in new store openings, to build the critical infrastructure and to invest in the management capabilities and resources required for future profit growth.“Following a period of geographic extension into new provinces, our current focus is to build scale in the cities where we are already present and we expect to open around 40 net new stores this year.”Overall Whitbread saw its total group revenue increase by 13% to £1.2bn.
Deep in the midst of their 2016 Summer Tour and in support of their new album Gold Under The Glow, tropical Afropop-rockers The Hip Abduction, hailing from Saint Petersburg, Florida, played to a capacity crowd at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton on Friday night. The Hip Abduction drew an all-age ranging crowd from across the state of Florida and served up a delightful assortment of originals from the band’s three albums, while also mixing in well-placed covers, including Bob Marley & The Wailers‘ “Could You Be Loved”, Paul Simon‘s “Obvious Child” and culminating the evening in a raucous encore featuring Marvin Gaye‘s “Sexual Healing” out of their original “Holiday”.Thanks to our friends at CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS for providing full concert coverage.Currently on rotation on SiriusXM Jam_On, the Hip Abduction closed their hour-long first set with their hit, “Come Alive”:A new EDM-esque instrumental jam, “Sinte”, segued into Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” highlighted the dance filled second set:And finally, the band closed out the night with their original “Holiday” and concluded with Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”:Full show video via CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS:Full show audio via CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS:If you haven’t already, catch these fellows on the road in a city near you!The Hip Abduction @ The Funky Biscuit 8/5/16:Set I: Intro / Before We Lose Our Mind. Intro / Sun King. Light It Up. Intro / Children Of The Sun. Live It Right. Crazy. La Resaca. Thunderclatter. Come Alive.Set II: Stand Up For Love. Driving For The Sun. Sinte. Could You Be Loved. Obvious Child. Holiday. Sexual Healing.[Photo by Jonny Scoblionko]
A team of applied physicists from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Princeton, and Brandeis has demonstrated the formation of semipermeable vesicles from inorganic clay.The research, published online this week in the journal Soft Matter, shows that clay vesicles provide an ideal container for the compartmentalization of complex organic molecules.The authors say the discovery opens the possibility that primitive cells may have formed inside inorganic clay microcompartments.“A lot of work, dating back several decades, explores the role of air bubbles in concentrating molecules and nanoparticles to allow interesting chemistry to occur,” says lead author Anand Bala Subramaniam, a doctoral candidate at SEAS.The new research demonstrates that an air bubble covered in clay can easily transform into a water-filled clay vesicle, creating a safe compartment with pores that allow important molecules to enter but not leave.“Clay-armored bubbles” form naturally when platelike particles of montmorillonite collect on the outer surface of air bubbles under water.When the clay bubbles come into contact with simple organic liquids such as ethanol and methanol, which have a lower surface tension than water, the liquid wets the overlapping plates. As the inner surface of the clay shell becomes wet, the disturbed air bubble inside dissolves.The resulting clay vesicle is a strong, spherical shell that creates a physical boundary between the water inside and the water outside. The translucent, cell-like vesicles are resilient enough to protect their contents in an aquatic environment such as the ocean.Microscopic pores in the vesicle walls create a semi-permeable membrane that allows chemical building blocks to enter the “cell,” while preventing larger structures from leaving.Scientists have studied montmorillonite, an abundant clay, for hundreds of years, and the mineral is known to serve as a chemical catalyst, encouraging lipids to form membranes and single nucleotides to join into strands of RNA.Because liposomes and RNA would have been essential precursors to primordial life, Subramaniam and his co-authors suggest that the pores in the clay vesicles could do double duty as both selective entry points and catalytic sites.“The conclusion here is that small fatty acid molecules go in and self-assemble into larger structures, and then they can’t come out,” says principal investigator Howard A. Stone, the Dixon Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton, and a former Harvard faculty member. “If there is a benefit to being protected in a clay vesicle, this is a natural way to favor and select for molecules that can self-organize.”Future research will explore the physical interactions between the platelike clay particles, and between the liquids and the clay. The researchers are also interested in seeing whether these clay vesicles can, indeed, be found in the natural environment today.“Whether clay vesicles played a significant role in the origins of life is of course unknown,” says Subramaniam, “but the fact that they are so robust, along with the well-known catalytic properties of clay, suggests that they may have had some part to play.”Subramaniam and Stone’s co-authors include Jiandi Wan of Princeton University and Arvind Gopinath of Brandeis University.The research was funded by the Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and supported by the Harvard Center for Brain Science imaging facility.
Muhammad Yunus built a multibillion-dollar bank — and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 — on a simple idea: Poverty need not be permanent.“All human beings are entrepreneurs, with no exceptions whatsoever,” he told an audience of hundreds at Harvard Business School (HBS) on April 19. Given the right tools, he reasoned, most people have the innate skills to lift themselves out of poverty. Since establishing the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, Yunus has seen his theory borne out: Millions have benefited from the bank’s small, interest-free loans.The same entrepreneurial spirit that Yunus recognized in impoverished villages can also, he argued, be applied to the broader problems of poverty and disease.“Human creativity has no limit,” he said. “It’s only a question of how we apply it.”The talk, hosted by the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative, the HBS Healthcare Initiative, and the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), was one of several appearances scheduled for the microfinance rock star during his Harvard visit. Earlier that day, Yunus lunched at the i-lab with student finalists for the President’s Challenge in social entrepreneurship, met with a group of faculty in the Social Enterprise Initiative at HBS, and sat in on a session of Sociology 159, known as the SE Lab, for Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory.As a professor at Chittagong University in the 1970s, Yunus didn’t question the “elegant” laws of economics he taught his students. But when Bangladesh was hit with famine, his theories suddenly seemed inadequate.“You feel like an empty shell. You feel totally useless,” he said. “But certainly as a human being I have the capacity to stand by another human being and be useful to that person, even for a day.”He began helping poor villagers, and soon discovered that among other resources, they also lacked credit. Banks were unwilling to lend small sums and doubted the villagers’ ability or commitment to repay.“I couldn’t believe people have to suffer so much for so little money,” he said.Yunus made his first loan of $27 to a group of 42 women in Jobra in 1976. Within several years, his operation had become so large that Yunus, who had been organizing the loans through a local bank, decided to launch Grameen Bank.His strategy? “I look at the banks,” he said. “Then I do the opposite.” Grameen’s loans are granted overwhelmingly to poor people, to women, and to villagers. Even more unusual, he added, is that 97 percent of the bank’s shares are owned by those borrowers.“Conventional banks are owned by rich people,” he said. “We reversed that, too.”Yunus was forced out of his post as managing director of Grameen last year — a controversial move that has not been fully explained. He quickly (if obliquely) dismissed criticisms that microfinance, the field he pioneered, would become another vehicle for exploiting the world’s poor.“The idea of owning anything, making money out of anything, never entered my mind,” he said.Yunus detailed ventures beyond microlending that he hopes will improve the quality of life for Bangladeshis. These “social businesses” include a cheap yogurt that could be sold door-to-door to combat child malnutrition, inexpensive solar-power systems that now provide electricity to nearly 1 million Bangladeshi homes, and a partnership with Adidas to manufacture comfortable shoes for less than one euro ($1.48 U.S.) per pair.“This is a new kind of business: a business to solve problems,” he said. Students of market capitalism, he told his HBS audience, are too often pushed in a “money-making direction” rather than a “problem-solving direction.” The pursuit of profits “is important, but it’s not the only thing human beings are capable of.”Today’s young, socially minded entrepreneurs — well-represented in the HBS audience — live in a time when the distance between the possible and the impossible is shrinking, Yunus said. It’s important to envision a world without poverty, and to imagine how we might create that world, he added. Just as we once relied on science fiction to inspire and guide us toward a possible technological future, we must now dream up tomorrow’s social innovations.“It’s important we write social fictions,” he said, because “fiction becomes reality very soon.”
By Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaAfter a yearlong national search, Dean J. Scott Angle announced Monday, Oct. 29 that Robert Shulstad will be the new associate dean for research for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Shulstad has served as interim associate dean for research for the past 18 months following the resignation of Jerry Cherry in 2006. He has been on the CAES faculty for 20 years as head of the agricultural and applied economics department, director of the office of environmental sciences and assistant dean for research.Before coming to Georgia, Shulstad was a researcher and teacher at the University of Arkansas, specializing in issues at the interface of production agriculture and the environment. He also served as the head of the agricultural economics and rural sociology department.“During his interim appointment, Dr. Shulstad led our research program to unparalleled success,” Angle said in his announcement. “Despite budget reductions during the early part of this decade leading to declining faculty numbers, over the past two years, research productivity has come roaring back to the point where CAES led all colleges in research funding, one of the most important parameters used to evaluate colleges. I look forward to even greater success under Dr. Shulstad’s permanent leadership of our research program.”Shulstad holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate of agricultural and natural resource economics from Oregon State University. He and his wife Carol live in Greene County and have two sons and six grandchildren.“I am both humbled and proud to be selected as a permanent member of the CAES leadership team,” Shulstad said. “The faculty and staff of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have demonstrated their dedication and professional excellence in making the college among the very best in the nation.” Besides the associate dean’s responsibilities, Shulstad will also be associate director of Georgia’s agricultural experiment stations. The college has agricultural and environmental research programs at UGA’s campuses in Athens, Griffin and Tifton and at seven research-and-education centers across the state.Georgia agricultural experiment stations are home to some of the world’s leading experts in food safety and technology, plant and animal genetics and breeding, agricultural technology, water use efficiency, water quality improvement, biofuels production, land use planning, marketing and agricultural policy.Researchers at AES facilities focus on making the U.S. food supply safer and longer-lasting; breeding plants that use less water, require less pesticides and are more resistant to disease; monitoring greenhouse gases and other pollutants; creating leaner cuts of meat through alternative livestock diets; and creating new and useful products from crop by-products.For over 100 years, Georgia agricultural experiment station researchers have worked as the research and development system for U.S agriculture, keeping agricultural production strong, environmental quality high and families healthy and viable.“With the strong support of our stakeholders, the university, the state and our congressional delegation, we have been able to create a firm foundation which has been leveraged by our faculty and staff into truly excellent programs to meet the needs of our clientele,” Shulstad said. “We have a great team led by Dean Angle to provide fully integrated programs in teaching, research and extension.”
Champlain Valley Exposition to Host January Business After HoursESSEX JUNCTION — If you are looking for a fun evening and some great silent auction bargains from local businesses and merchants, plan on attending the Ambassadors Silent Auction and Taste of the Chamber on Thursday, Jan. 25 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Champlain Valley Exposition (CVE).Champlain Valley Exposition, a non-profit organization, is home to many of Vermonts biggest events, including the annual Champlain Valley Fair, Rock Maple Snocross Racing, Vermont Flower Show, Everything Equine (named a Top Ten 2007 Vermont Chamber event), the Vermont Balloon and Music Festival, Spring and Fall Essex Crafts, Vermont Quilt Festival, NSRA Street Rods and the Champlain Valley Antiques Festival to name just a few of more than 100 special events.All these events help us fulfill our mission as a non-profit organization to encourage and support education, agriculture, commerce and entertainment, said CVE General Manager David F. Grimm, CFE.The Robert E. Miller Expo Centre, located on the 130-acre site, is the largest events complex in northern New England. The Expo Centre offers 81,000 sq. ft of clear-span exhibit space designed for maximum flexibility and is completely air-conditioned for year-round use.The professional staff and event management team at the Exposition provide turn-key services for consumer and trade shows, banquets, conventions, meetings, weddings, concerts and conferences. A 14,000 sq. ft connector building between Expo South and North has offices, conference rooms, concession space, a prep kitchen and additional dressing and rest rooms. Wireless internet service is also available at the Expo Centre and on the grounds of the Exposition during special events.The Expo Centre project was completed in January 2006 by REM Development Company, Williston, Robert E. Miller president.The 2007 Champlain Valley Fair, held at the Exposition Aug. 25- Sept. 3, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association (ABA) list. Inclusion in the Top 100 list indicates that Vermonts largest annual event offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, said ABA.The Fair also received the 2006 John Deere Agricultural Awards of Excellence Sweepstakes Award from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions for best overall exhibits and agricultural events in the nation. The attractiveness of the Champlain Valley Fair as a dont-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction, said Peter J. Pantuso, ABAs president and CEO. The honor gives Vermont, the Lake Champlain region and the Champlain Valley Fair an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners and travel professionals. According to studies recently completed by researchers at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motor coach group can leave from $5,000 to more than $13,000 in a local destinations economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.With the addition of new electrical and water service throughout the Exposition grounds, the ability to host large recreational vehicle and motor home rallies grew dramatically in 2006.CVE was the site of the Newmar Kountry Klub International Rally in Fall 2006 with more than 900 RVs on site. It was also the host of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America International Rally in July 2006 which brought more than 9,000 visitors to the Champlain Valley region and Vermont for nearly a week. The resulting regional economic activity CVE events encourages is substantial approximately $80 million per year, Expo officials say.The combination of modern facilities, convenient location near Burlington International Airport and access to major state and interstate highways makes CVE an attractive destination for regional and national organizations like the N.E. Forest Products Expo, Vermont Grocers Association, Green Mountain Alpacas and Green Mountain Dog Show. Champlain Valley Expositions experienced sales and marketing team are ready to help you grow your events in 2007 and beyond.· For information on holding your special events or meeting at the Exposition, contact Tom Oddy, director of special events at (802) 878-5545 [email protected](link sends e-mail).· To learn how your business can benefit as a sponsor of an event, contact Chris Ashby, director of sales and marketing at (802) 8787-5545 or [email protected](link sends e-mail).· A complete calendar of events is available at www.cvfair.com(link is external)
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The brutal murders of four males, including three teenagers, found in a wooded area in Central Islip April 12 represents the largest mass slaying on Long Island since the so-called “Medford Massacre” on Father’s Day six years ago.Suffolk County police Wednesday night discovered four mangled bodies—one 16 year old, two 18 year olds and one 20 year old—in the woods adjacent to the Central Islip Recreation Center on Clayton Street. The brutal way the four young men died is “consistent” with the modus operandi of the extremely violent MS-13 gang, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said.The apparent gang slayings came six months after six victims of gang violence were found dead in a span of five weeks in Brentwood. Two of those victims—best friends Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16—were apparently together when they were killed.Sini confirmed that the male victims in the latest incident were all killed together, though it’s unclear how they were connected. The last time that number of people were murdered simultaneously on Long Island was allegedly in June 2011, when David Laffer, a former solider and a drug addict, gunned down four people during a robbery at a drug store in Medford. Laffer and his wife, Melinda Brady, each pleaded guilty. Laffer is serving consecutive life sentences, and his wife was sentenced to 25 years in prison for her role in the robbery and driving the getaway car.The disturbing slaughter at Haven Drugs pharmacy rocked the region, prompting an outpouring of support for the victims’ families.When Laffer walked into the pharmacy, he intended to rob the store for prescription painkillers to feed his addiction, prosecutors said at the time. In the process, he fatally shot the pharmacist, a 17-year-old clerk, and two shoppers who tragically walked in on the holdup.Killed in the hydrocodone massacre were 45-year-old pharmacist Raymond Ferguson of Centereach, and his 17-year-old assistant, Jennifer Mejia of Each Patchogue. Laffer then turned his gun on 33-year-old Jaime Taccetta, a mother of two and bride-to-be from Farmingville, and 71-year-old Byron Sheffield of Medford, who was picking up medication for his wife of nearly 50 years.Underscoring the heartache of the victims’ families, Taccetta’s grandmother told the court in November 2011: “There will be no Christmas this year…because David Laffer and Melinda Brady needed drugs.”Now, six years later, families of the victims of violence in Central Islip have to cope with burying their loved ones and making sense of their brutal murder.Since the Medford pharmacy slayings, there have been occasions in which four or more people have died in the same event, but those cases involved vehicle crashes. A shooting in Wyandanch in June 2015 claimed three lives.Between 2011 and 2015, 115 homicides occurred in Nassau County and 136 in Suffolk County, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice.To help solve the Central Islip park slayings, the Suffolk Police have offered a $25,000 “fast cash reward” for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. They ask people to call 800-220-TIPS; all calls will remain confidential, police say.