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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: St. Louis
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 12,864

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MoDOT won't deploy noisy work-zone warning device after all

The Missouri Department of Transportation said today it has canceled its plan to roll out noisy devices to warn drivers to slow down near moving work zones in the Kansas City area.

Chris Redline, MoDOT's assistant district engineer in Kansas City, said the agency learned it will not be able to secure the two Long Range Acoustic Devices, or LRADs, from its manufacturer before the end of the lane-striping efforts this year.

The acoustic devices, which deliver a directed, audible warning to drivers approaching the lane-striping operations, would send an audible alarm measuring about 60 decibels at 600 feet. A message encouraging drivers to slow down would reach about 78 decibels, or the equivalent of a hair dryer.

Redline added that the change in plan will give MoDOT time to gather more information on the devices, which are expected to cost less than $25,000.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/traffic/along-for-the-ride/1eb772e6-c43c-57c9-9a38-577122163861.html

Gosh, I wonder if they figured out this wasn't such a good idea after all?

Grocers’-price-conundrum-charge-more-or-defray-costs

Found this article in the trade publication very interesting and very telling with regards to the state of today's economics. It describes the problem of the Retailer facing increased cost of goods with significantly more increases projected vs the basic fact of stagnation of consumer's incomes. At least in the case of the author of this article the realization that consumers simply have no means to cover increased prices has come home to roost. Interestingly enough when discussing cutting costs to offset increased cost of goods, it did not find cutting the Retailers workforce or their wages as the first place to go looking.

http://www.progressivegrocer.com/departments/technology/grocers’-price-conundrum-charge-more-or-defray-costs?cc=10

I was unable to copy & paste any of the piece, but it is an very, short one and I believe worth taking time to read the first few paragraphs.

Missouri will fire deafening 'sound cannons' at drivers to deter work zone speeding

http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/14/5613782/missouri-will-fire-lrad-sound-cannons-to-deter-work-zone-speeding

Apparently the threat of a costly ticket isn't enough to slow down drivers passing through work zones on Missouri's highways, so the state is taking extreme measures to solve the dilemma. Missouri's Department of Transportation is preparing to deploy the LRAD sound cannon — a tool (some might say "weapon") that's been used to break up mass gatherings like Occupy Wall Street — to warn motorists that they're going too fast. The device emits a targeted, deafening siren that "easily penetrates the windshield and well-insulated cab of a car, even overriding the vehicle’s engine sounds and a radio turned up loud enough to jam to tunes at highway speeds."

The state has already conducted tests with LRAD (embedded below), loading it onto the back of a truck and sending out verbal "slow vehicles ahead" warnings to nearby vehicles. But now Missouri has committed to the technology by purchasing two of the pricey devices. Transportation officials claim that they provide an unmistakable alert about slower roadwork vehicles up ahead, and insist LRAD will only be directed at speeding drivers that haven't yet moved out of work lanes. Still, critics maintain that the ear-piercing nature of the alerts presents a clear danger in and of itself.

LRAD's sirens can reach up to 153 decibels, more than enough to potentially cause hearing damage. This is technology that's been deployed in war zones, after all. Missouri's DOT reportedly insists the tool will only being used at safe levels, but it's easy to see how motorists could become disoriented and wind up in an accident. The element of surprise is an unwelcome one on the road, and that has many drivers crying foul about Missouri's plans.

It appears that they have completely lost their minds.........

Nixon Cuts $22 Million In Education Funding, Says GOP Lawmakers Forced His Hand

Because of a dispute over how much money to put in this year's supplemental budget, Gov. Jay Nixon has cut $22 million from public schools and higher education.

Nixon, a Democrat, announced Thursday that he's cutting $15.6 million from the current budget for K-12 schools, $3.2 million from community colleges, and $3.2 million from four-year institutions.

He says he asked lawmakers for $44.1 million in additional funding for education in this year's supplemental budget (HB 2014) to make up for declining revenue from lottery sales and casinos. But the Republican-led General Assembly provided only half of that amount for the current school year. The governor told reporters at the Capitol that GOP leaders have left him no choice.

"These are real cuts that will affect all Missouri students, even though there is sufficient general revenue available right now to cover the shortfall and make our schools and higher education institutions whole," Nixon said.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/nixon-cuts-22-million-education-funding-says-gop-lawmakers-forced-his-hand

Beef prices have hit their highest level in almost three decades

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/4/13/beef-prizes-reachhighestlevelsince1987.html

causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners — and relief isn't likely anytime soon.

A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Everything that is produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based industry information service. And prices will likely stay high for a couple of years, as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will receive enough rain to replenish pastures.

Meanwhile, quick trips to the grocery store could drag on a little longer as shoppers search for cuts that won't break the budgets. Patrons at one market in Lubbock seemed resigned to the high prices, but not happy.

Family Dollar to close 370 stores; Q2 sales, earnings down

Family Dollar Stores said Thursday that it would close 370 underperforming stores and slow plans for new store growth as sales and earnings plunged during the fiscal second quarter.

The Matthews, N.C.-based discounter also said it would make a "significant investment" to lower prices on 1,000 items in stores and would move to reduce costs through layoffs at corporate headquarters. The company said sales for the quarter ended March 1 declined by 6.1% to $2.7 billion, while same-store sales fell by 3.8%. Gross profits were down 6.7% to 33.2% of net sales; and net earnings decreased by 35.1% to $90.9 million. The company said a highly promotional holiday season, constrained consumer spending and poor weather affected results.


Read More: http://supermarketnews.com/retail-financial/family-dollar-close-370-stores-q2-sales-earnings-down#ixzz2yomGYciH''

Could be that there are simply too many dollar stores around diluting the market place for that sector?

Crude oil boom has tankers rumbling through Holly Hills neighborhood

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/crude-oil-boom-has-tankers-rumbling-through-holly-hills-neighborhood/article_aed9175e-f5fb-5309-a1d1-0ba9cea3ef3e.html

ST. LOUIS • Judith Studebaker knew there were railroad tracks running behind her house when she bought in the Holly Hills subdivision 16 years ago.

But until the past few years, traffic was fairly light — mostly Amtrak liners and a few freight trains just beyond her backyard fence. Later, freight cars loaded with rock and other products began rumbling past.

Beginning about two years ago, Studebaker and her Arendes Drive neighbors noticed locomotives pulling long lines of black tank cars behind their homes.

“I kept wondering,” she said, “what was in the tankers?”

2 mine workers killed in Missouri accident

Ste. Geneveieve County Coroner Leo Basler says the men were in a basket extended from a truck several feet into the air, removing loose rock from either the wall or the ceiling of the mine. Basler says loose rock hit the basket and detached it. The men fell to their death.

The accident happened about 9:45 a.m. Friday inside a lime mine operated by the Mississippi Lime Co. near Ste. Genevieve, about 60 miles south of St. Louis.

http://www.ky3.com/news/local/2-mine-workers-killed-in-missouri-accident/21048998_25442266

Mon Dieu! No More Work Email At Home For Some French Workers

rench workers already enjoy a 35-hour workweek and at least five weeks of vacation. Now, many of them won't have to check their work email after 6 p.m.

That's because of an agreement signed last week by unions and the consulting and tech industries. Under the deal, about 1 million workers will be required to switch off their work phones outside office hours — 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. The BBC reports that some emailing outside those hours will be allowed, but only in exceptional circumstances.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/10/301418591/mon-dieu-no-more-work-email-at-home-for-some-french-workers?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20140410


Americans will spend less this Easter

Americans celebrating Easter plan to spend slightly less on food, candy, gifts, apparel and other items compared to last year ($137.46 vs. $145.13), according to the National Retail Federation’s Easter Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.

Those who plan to celebrate (80.3% vs. 83% in 2013) will spend the most on groceries for a family dinner or Sunday brunch out; 85.7% will spend an average of $43.18 on a holiday meal, totaling $5 billion.

Nine in 10 celebrants (89.3%) will stock up on Easter candy, spending $2.2 billion on sweets. Families will also spend on gifts ($2.4 billion), flowers ($1.1 billion) and decorations ($1.1 billion).

Boding well for retailers is warmer weather since Easter falls on a later date than in years past, according to NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.


Read More: http://supermarketnews.com/consumer-trends/americans-will-spend-less-easter#ixzz2yTUdBaXN


This will be my Easter spending

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