Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
San Marco Properties
Charles Parish
Underwoods
Claude Nolan
Geer Services, Inc.
Apr 102013
 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — On average, families in the United States throw away 20 pounds of food each month, an amount worth approximately $2,000 annually for a family of four.

John Floros, the dean of the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, found in a new study that in the United States, nearly four out of every 10 pounds of food produced annually is tossed in the trash. That figure includes food thrown away by members of households, restaurants, supermarkets, and other food-service providers.

Floros, who presented his study at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, included uneaten and spoiled food, as well as food thrown away after being prepared.

According to scientists, food decomposition releases methane gas into the air. Methane gas is a significantly more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and fosters global warming.

Floros’ study comes to the conclusion that a reduction in food waste could solve global challenges by “providing more food to a growing population, reducing greenhouse gases, and reducing the amount of freshwater needed to grow crops.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Dec 122012
 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(YUMA, Ariz.) — Drug smugglers continue to show creativity in inventing new ways of getting drugs across the U.S. border from Mexico.

Border Patrol agents say they believe a pneumatic cannon was used to launch dozens of containers of marijuana over the border and 500 feet into Arizona on Friday.  Eighty-five pounds of marijuana — tucked into soup cans and then inserted into larger sealed containers — were found in a field near the Colorado River in San Luis, Ariz.

After searching the surrounding area, agents spotted the carbon dioxide tank used to power the cannon that propelled the containers into U.S. territory.  The smugglers launched the drug-filled projectiles from a position in a brushy area immediately south of the border fence.  According to authorities, an accomplice was probably supposed to collect the containers but did not show up in time.

The contraband was discovered by a concerned citizen in a plowed field just northwest of San Luis before the U.S counterpart could collect it.  After the Border Patrol was notified and searched the field, Mexican authorities also inspected their side of the border, but no arrests have been made.

“Because of our progress in targeting and obstructing movement, they can no longer just walk across the border,” Linwood Estes, a Border Patrol Agent in Yuma, Ariz., told ABC News.  “The more and more successful we are, the more and more unique they become in trying to get the drugs across.”

Around two pounds of marijuana were packed into each soup can.  The contraband had an estimated value of $42,500 and is scheduled for destruction.

While this specific technique is new to the Yuma area, Mexican pot smugglers have a track record of innovative tactics to sneak their drugs across the border.

In October, two creative bandits attempted to drive a car over the border fence by using a makeshift ramp just 20 miles west of Yuma.  When the SUV became stuck on the fence, the men fled the scene before Border Patrol officers arrived.

In 2011, National Guard surveillance video caught drug smugglers using a medieval-style catapult to launch bales of marijuana across the border near Naco, Ariz.  Mexican officials recovered the catapult after it was abandoned, and said the device was capable of launching packages weighing two kilograms.

Underground tunnels and ultra light aircraft have also been used in the past year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Nov 202012
 

State Department photo/ Public Domain(WASHINGTON) — As news reports emerged Tuesday of a ceasefire or truce to end the crisis in Gaza, American officials made it a point not to use either of those terms.

Instead, U.S. officials were talking about “de-escalating” the violence in Gaza as a step toward a long-term resolution.

Briefing White House reporters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes repeatedly said “de-escalation” was the goal for ending the violence in Gaza and Israel.

When asked if he was avoiding using the term “ceasefire,” Rhodes said, “No, I mean, there are many ways that you can achieve the goal of a de-escalation.” He added, “Our bottom line is, is an end to rocket fire. We’re open to any number of ideas for achieving that goal. We’ve discussed any number of ideas for accomplishing that goal. But it’s going to have to begin with a reduction of tensions and space created for the situation to calm. ”

At the State Department briefing earlier in the day, spokesperson Victoria Nuland was also using “de-escalation.”

Nuland was asked several times why she was using that term instead of “ceasefire” or “truce.”  She indicated it was because the State Department did not want to get into characterizing acceptable terminology.  “I’m not going to characterize X is acceptable, Y is not acceptable. That’s a subject for negotiation,” she said.

Furthermore, she said, “because the parties are talking, we’re going to be part of that, and we’re not going to negotiate it here from the podium. We’re not going to characterize it here from the podium.”

The message she did want to get across was that “any de-escalation is a step forward.”

Of the long-term aims of Secretary of State Clinton’s last-minute mission to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Cairo, Nuland said you “obviously start with a de-escalation of this conflict.”  From there, “we have to see an end to the rocket fire on Israel. We have to see a restoration of calm in Gaza. And the hope is that if we can get through those stages, that will create space for the addressing of broader issues, but I don’t want to prejudge. This is obviously ongoing and live diplomacy.”

Before her meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Clinton too avoided using the term “ceasefire.”

After describing America’s commitment to Israel’s security as “rock-solid and unwavering,” Clinton said, “That is why we believe it is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza.”

Clinton said that the rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza “must end and a broader calm restored.”  She added that the focus was on “a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security and legitimate aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Nov 132012
 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Living up to its crowdsourcing promise, the White House says it will review online petitions from states that say they want to secede from the United States.

In the days since President Obama was re-elected, visitors to the WhiteHouse.gov site “We the People” have submitted a wave of petitions calling on Obama to allow 36 states to peacefully secede from the United States.

As a practice, the White House says it will review and respond to petitions that obtain more than 25,000 signatures. Three secession petitions, from Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, have passed that threshold. Texas leads all petitions, with 82,799 online signatures, which the White House confirms through email.

And the White House said it would follow this procedure now.

“Every petition that crosses the threshold is reviewed and receives a response,” a White House official said when asked about the secession petitions. “As a rule, we don’t comment on the substance of those responses until we’ve issued them to the petitioners.”

That said, the White House has been known to dodge. While it sometimes responds in several hundred words written by the relevant policy officials, others (such as  this one) amount to explanations of why the White House can’t or won’t comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Jul 312012
 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As India recovers from a blackout that left the world’s second-largest country — and more than 600 million residents — in the dark, a ripple of uncertainty moved through the Federal Regulatory Commission’s command center today in the U.S. The Indian crisis had some people asking about the vulnerability of America’s grid.

“What people really want to know today is, can something like India happen here? So if there is an outage or some problem in the Northeast, can it actually spread all the way to California,” John Wellinghoff, the commission’s chairman, told ABC News. “It’s very, very unlikely that ultimately would happen.”

Wellinghoff said that first, the grid was divided in the middle of the nation. Engineers said that it also was monitored more closely than ever. The grid is checked for line surges 30 times a second.

Since the Northeast blackout in 2003 — the largest in the U.S., which affected 55 million –16,000 miles of new transmission lines have been added to the grid.

And even though some lines in the Northeast are more than 70 years old, Wellinghoff said that the chances of a blackout like India’s were very low.

“Yes, we have old infrastructure in many places but we are upgrading that infrastructure,” he said. “I think we’ll be moving toward a much more modern grid and we’re doing that as rapidly as possible.”

Richard Clarke, a former national security adviser and ABC News consultant, however, said that today’s biggest domestic terrorism fear was a cyberattack on the grid.

“The U.S. power grid is extremely vulnerable to cyberattack,” Clarke said. “The government is aware of that. Recently the government held a White House level cyber-exercise in which the scenario was a cyberterrorist attack that took down the power grid.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio