MAYVIILE – Chautauqua County officials have reported 14 new positive cases of COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,393.Both Jamestown and Fredonia have reported four new cases while Sherman reports two new cases, along with Silver Creek, Dunkirk, Clymer, and Brocton reporting one case each. 130 cases currently remain active.There are currently 12 people hospitalized in the county. To date, there have been 1,247 recoveries, and 16 deaths. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
You might blame El Ni¤o. You might blame the grocer. But, when it comes to high vegetables prices this winter, you can definitely blame it on the rain. “What you have to understand about vegetable supplies and prices is that things are seldom normal,” said Bill Mizelle, a University of Georgia agricultural economist. “Weather constantly affects planting, growing conditions and harvesting. This winter has been a ‘normal abnormal’ year,” he said. Winter vegetable supplies have been less than normal in Mexico, California and Florida because of weather problems, possibly related to El Ni¤o. “West Mexico and Florida are the primary suppliers of tomatoes,” Mizelle explained. “Planting and growing conditions were affected by unusually wet and cooler weather.” Expect tomato supplies from Mexico to remain below normal until early March. Other winter vegetables are also down. But supplies from Mexico should pick up in mid-February. December storms in Mexico brought cold air that damaged blooms. And the major growing areas had freezes on several mornings. Florida’s winter has been one of heavy rains, and more El Ni¤o-related storms are expected. “Central Florida received more than 15 inches of rain in December,” Mizelle said, “that’s twice the previous record. If more storms materialize, more winter production will be cut.” Rains could also hamper spring planting. That would keep produce in short supply even longer. “Last winter’s production was interrupted by a January freeze,” he said. “Tomato prices the last week of December were $10 per 25-pound carton — $2 higher than last year. By the last week of January, prices had dropped to $8, compared to the freeze-induced price of $14 last year.” Tomato volume to date is up slightly above last year. Southern California and Arizona had rain and cool weather slow lettuce production. “Yuma, Ariz., had twice the normal rainfall in 1997, much of which occurred with hurricane Nora in September,” Mizelle said. “Lettuce takes four to five months to mature, and two days’ planting interruption will cause a week-long void in supplies four to five months later.” Nora’s effects were felt mostly in December. Winter lettuce acreage was down for this season because of poor prices in the past three years. Shipping-point prices the last week in December were $25 for a carton of 24 heads. By the last week of January, prices declined to $4.35, about the same as last year. The volume last week was about 15 percent higher than last year’s. However, the volume to date is 5 percent lower than in 1997, Mizelle said. In Georgia, the rain isn’t disrupting harvesting, but soil preparation. “Most of our vegetables aren’t in the ground now,” said Darbie Granberry, an extension horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “But it’s been too wet to get into the field to work the soil to prepare it for planting spring crops. That can make us late planting.” One of Georgia’s most famous crops, Vidalia onions are in the ground and look pretty good, said Reid Torrance, a Tattnall County extension agent. “They can tolerate a lot of water,” he said. “I’m amazed how well they recover with just a few days of sunshine.” Onions planted late in the season, within the past month, are suffering the most. “They haven’t had a break in the weather, especially in temperature, to recover from transplant shock,” Torrance said. Many crops planted from transplants, rather than seeds, need an adjustment time to adapt from the greenhouse to the field. “They look amazingly good, for what they’ve been through,” Torrance said. The proof will be in the harvest, which beings in late April.
Expansion works ongoing along the East Coast of Demerara Public Road are progressing well, according to Head of the Works Services Group (WSG) of the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Geoffrey Vaughn.In recent interview with Guyana Times, Vaughn explained that the ongoing works are approximately 20 to 21 per cent completed to date. He noted that currently, focus is being placed on the expansion between Better Hope and Beterverwagting (BV).“The contractors are working on the expansion half of the road, as you would realise, on both sides and we’re already started putting our sub-grades and our base materials; soon you will see paving commence in terms of those works,” he stated.Construction workers at Mon Repos on SaturdayThe WSG head noted too that works are also ongoing on the drainage system, with the drains being expanded to ensure that the elevations are correct so that the roads can be drained properly and there would not be ‘ponds of water’ when the construction works are completed.Meanwhile, Vaughn went on to say that while efforts are concentrated between Better Hope and BV, works have commenced in communities such as Mon Repos and will be moving down further the East Coast.“So, as much as there’s focus on BV and Better Hope, they’ve already commenced some preliminary works on the other areas in terms of grubbing and so forth,” he said.According to the WSG head, while the sand-filling aspect of the project was completed some over three years ago, some of it would have been contaminated over time when it was left there.“So (the contractors) would have to take off some of those sandfill and refill it, which is always necessary once you have a project of that nature, because you couldn’t leave the area open once you’ve started the expansion,” he noted.The East Coast Road expansion project, which commenced late last year, has a timeline of two years.Guyana has received a US$45.3 million concessional loan from the China EXIM (Export-Import) Bank to finance the road project and that agreement was signed in January last year.Initially, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government had tried to secure financing for the road expansion project, but the money was not readily available; hence, the Administration decided to use local funds for preliminary works while it awaited the release of funds from the Chinese to complete the works.The East Coast Road Expansion Project entails a four-lane extension from Better Hope to Annandale and two-lane upgrade from Annandale to Belfield with a total length of 16,998 kilometres of roads and 33,996 kilometres of drains to be built.Apart from the road expansion, the residents were also going to benefit from the project which included improved drainage since the East Coast is usually susceptible to floods.The preliminary works for the four-lane upgrade were completed at the end of 2014. This included the widening of the roads and installation of drainage facilities. The project was divided into seven lots which were awarded to different contractors.With the China Eximbank putting up most of the finances for the road expansion, Guyana had awarded the contract to China Railway First Group for some US$42.7 million. The Chinese construction company reportedly put in the lowest bid of US$46.994 million. The PPP/C Administration had stated that it is saving some $2.8 billion by giving the contract to China Railway First Group. Upon completing the widening and improvement of the East Coast Demerara Highway, citizens travelling along the East Coast will benefit from reduced travel time and less traffic congestion.