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Tuesday, 04 March 2008 00:44

Daylight Saving’s Time

Daylight Savings TimeAt 2 a.m. on March 9, 2008, groggy Americans will turn their clocks forward one hour, marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. The federal law that established "daylight time" in the United States does not require any area to observe daylight saving time. But if a state chooses to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law.

Under new law established in 2007, it is observed from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, adding about a month to daylight saving time. Until April 2005, when Indiana passed a law agreeing to observe daylight saving time, the Hoosier state had its own unique and complex time system. Not only is the state split between two time zones, but until recently, only some parts of the state observed daylight saving time while the majority did not.

Months after Indiana passed the law that got it in step with the rest of the country, the federal government announced a major change in Daylight Saving Time. In Aug. 2005, Congress passed an energy bill that included extending Daylight Saving Time by about a month. As of last year, Daylight Saving Time starts the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November. More than one billion people in about 70 countries around the world observe Daylight Saving Time in some form. Set your clocks ahead one hour Sunday, March 9th.

Sunday, 17 June 2007 23:20

Latest Presidential Running Scores

In politics a poll released by USA Today/ Gallop shows that New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has regained a double-digit lead over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama two weeks after the same survey found the Democratic presidential rivals essentially tied. As for the Republicans, the poll finds that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani remains ahead, but former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson, who hasn't formally entered the race, for the first time edges into second place over Arizona Sen. John McCain. The results show a Republican race that could be roiled by Thompson, who is targeting conservatives unsatisfied with their choices in the field so far.
Monday, 14 May 2007 04:31

Postage on the Rise Again

slide24Beginning today postal rates increase, meaning  a standard 1-ounce letter will cost 41 cents to mail, that’s up 2 cents from the previous 39-cent rate for a first-class stamp. A postcard will take 26 cents to send and a large 1-ounce envelope will cost 80 cents to drop off. If your mail generally consists of first-class letters weighing an ounce or less, however, you may wish to invest in what the US Postal Service is calling the "forever" stamps. These stamps, which cost 41 cents, can be used in perpetuity without any extra postage for as long as you own them. While the forever stamp is getting quite a bit of press, the Postal Service also is introducing something called shape-based pricing. By folding the contents intended for a large 1-ounce envelope into a 1-ounce, letter-size envelope, you will save as much as 39 cents apiece. Customers who can squeeze the contents of a first-class mail package into a large envelope can save 33 cents apiece.
Sunday, 18 March 2007 23:25

Pet Food Recall Underway

slide29With a nationwide recall of millions of containers of dog and cat food underway, many pet owners called stores and veterinarians offices this weekend, all worried that the kibble in their cupboard may be deadly. Menu Foods, the Ontario-based company that produced the pet food, said Saturday it was recalling dog food sold under 46 brands and cat food sold under 37 brands including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba.

slide33slide34 Although it’s more of a nuisance than a catastrophe in the making, but older computers, PDAs and DVRs may not automatically update their times when daylight-saving comes three weeks early this year — on March 11. The date change was established by the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was passed to get Americans to cut energy consumption. The thinking is that less energy will be used toward the end of the day if the sun’s out later. For years, most of the nation has set clocks ahead on the first Sunday of April. Few computer experts think the new date will make a big difference. Consumers can prepare for the change by using a rule of thumb: If a computer or device is a bit older, it may not correct the time automatically. Any Microsoft operating system older than Windows XP may not recognize the new time change come March 11. For more information, customers can visit Older personal digital assistants or digital video recorders, for example, may not adjust and you might have to set those manually; you should consult the manufacturers of their devices for instructions.

Monday, 12 February 2007 00:42

Honeybee Colonies Dying

slide31A mysterious illness is killing tens of thousands of honeybee colonies across the country, threatening honey production, the livelihood of beekeepers and possibly crops that need bees for pollination. Researchers are scrambling to find the cause of the ailment, called Colony Collapse Disorder. Reports of unusual colony deaths have come from at least 22 states. Some affected commercial beekeepers - who often keep thousands of colonies - have reported losing more than 50 percent of their bees. A colony can have roughly 20,000 bees in the winter, and up to 60,000 in the summer. The country's bee population had already been shocked in recent years by a tiny, parasitic bug called the varroa mite, which has destroyed more than half of some beekeepers' hives and devastated most wild honeybee populations.

slide19American River Bankshares, parent company of Bank of Amador, has reported diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2006 of $0.42, a 7.7% increase from $0.39 recorded in the third quarter of 2006 and a 2.3% decrease from $0.43 for the fourth quarter of 2005. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2006 increased 5.8% to $2,407,000 from $2,275,000 during the third quarter of 2006 and decreased 6.2% from $2,567,000 for the fourth quarter of 2005. "We are pleased to finish 2006 with solid results," said David T. Taber, President and CEO of American River Bankshares. "The last two quarters have each been better than the previous and our key industry metrics are very good." He added: "The economy is strong, but the rapid increase in funding costs has made 2006 tough. As a Company, we believe that we're up to the challenge of positioning ourselves as the premier business bank in the communities we serve."    Taber states that  "Shifting our loan and deposit portfolio mix towards commercial loans and noninterest bearing deposits remains an important goal," He continued "Quarter over quarter, commercial loans are up 3%, noninterest-bearing deposits are up 4% and over the one year period, commercial loans increased 10%."

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Thursday, 04 January 2007 02:42

State Cracks Down On Uninsured Drivers

slide24The state has started to crack down on people who drive without car insurance. Now according to California Vehicle Code all insurance companies are required to report insurance status information to DMV for all private use vehicles and law enforcement and court personnel have access to DMV records to verify that your California registered vehicle is currently insured.
slide28A University of California, Merced professor will be heading a statewide study project to monitor the effects and impacts of global warming on the Sierra Nevada snow pack. Professor and Engineer Roger Bales is coordinating somewhere around 20 scientists for the project which will use ground sensors and gauges to measure snowfall and the varying rates of melting snow, which he said have become more irregular due to worldwide climate change.
slide36Amador County Public Schools, under the leadership of Superintendent Mike Carey and Board of Trustee member Pat Miller has refocused the district on the importance of vocational education. This as the number of workers to perform specialized jobs requiring skills and training, but not necessarily a college degree has grown as a need in our rapidly developing state. Miller, upon his election, made the growth of the voc ed programs locally a priority. Dr. Carey has also focused on the vocational ed pathway for students by forming the Schools Business Alliance, a local group of business owners and school officials, that looks for opportunities for kids to work in local businesses as interns of sorts, and seek educational experiences and training for their future while in still high school.