A fire that destroyed the Speedibake factory in Wakefield has resulted in a £25m exceptional charge for owner Associated British Foods (ABF).The blaze, in February this year, destroyed two buildings and damaged others. After a review of options, the company announced the factory would close permanently and some products would transfer to its Bradford site.Announcing its interim results for the 24 weeks ended 29 February, ABF said exceptional charges including Speedibake and the closure of Primark stores had resulted in statutory profit before tax falling 42% to £298m. Reported revenue across ABF rose 2% to £7.6bn over the period.The company said “significant” cost reductions had been implemented by Allied Bakeries to mitigate the division losing its own-label contract to supply Tesco stores. These had included the closure of Allied’s bakery in Cardiff.ABF reported that the expected sales decline at Allied Bakeries had been offset by higher sales at George Weston Foods in Australia, AB World Foods and Silver Spoon. As a result, grocery division revenues were flat year-on-year.Overall operating profit fell slightly at ABF’s ingredients division despite a 2% increase in revenue.Sales and operating profit rose at AB Mauri, with the company reporting strong sales growth in yeast and operational efficiencies in the US.Referring to the impact of coronavirus across ABF, chief executive George Weston said he had been “humbled” by the willingness of staff to come to work “while so many of the rest of us sit this disease out safely at home”.“Our food businesses, and in particular our food factories and depots and drivers, have equally been put under intense pressure since this pandemic began, but in very different ways.“ABF businesses produce more food in the UK than any other organisation and we are significant producers of food in other countries, too. It has been essential that they all keep fully running. Indeed, during the weeks of panic-buying, they had to produce more than ever before.”Weston added that this has been done while reconfiguring factory layouts to ensure safe working for staff, and during higher than normal absence and while often being isolated from outside sources of technical support.“Our success in keeping the nation fed is testament to the robustness of the modern food chain; it is also testament to the reality that you don’t need to tell most people how to behave well, you just need to allow them to do so; and it is the finest thing I have seen in a career in business.”
FLAGSTAFF TOWNSHIP – A Eustis man was killed Tuesday evening after he unintentionally shot himself in the leg while bird hunting on a remote logging road. It is the first hunting incident of the year, according to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.MDIFW spokesperson Matt Latti said in a statement released Wednesday that the Franklin County Regional Communications Center took a call from Mark Henderson, 57 of Eustis, at 5:56 p.m. Tuesday evening. Henderson told dispatchers that he had unintentionally shot himself in the lower left leg while bird hunting on a remote logging road near the northwest shore of Flagstaff Lake in Flagstaff Township.Game wardens, Maine State Police, U.S. Border Patrol and NorthStar EMS all responded to the area and began searching logging roads for Henderson.At 7:06 p.m., Warden Kyle Hladik located Henderson near his truck. The warden began administering CPR to Henderson and loaded him into his truck. A state trooper drove the warden’s truck to meet an ambulance at the Big Eddy Road as Hladik and another trooper continued CPR. Emergency medical personnel administered care to Henderson for approximately 40 minutes before he died due to his injuries, Latti said.Wardens are investigating the incident.Latti said that Tuesday’s fatal shooting was the first hunting incident of the year; currently, open seasons including hunting for bear, deer, upland birds, waterfowl, turkeys and other species. The second week of moose season will begin next week.There are nearly 215,000 licensed hunters in Maine, Latti noted. Over the last 10 years, Maine has averaged six hunting incidents per year, with three fatal incidents over that 10-year period.
Members of the Rangeley Fire Department competing in last year’s First Responders Challenge Cup.OQUOSSOC – The Village of Oquossoc will safely celebrate summer this weekend, with the annual Oquossoc Day happening Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.An arts, crafts and antique show will take place throughout the day at the Outdoor Heritage Museum, on the corner of Routes 4 and 17. State mandated protocols will be observed including social distancing and required face masks. There will be three sanitizing stations set up at entry areas to the grounds offering free disposable gloves and hand sanitizer. Attendees are being asked to sanitize upon arrival and departure as well as wear gloves between each booth visit. For safe spacing purpose, approximately 15 vendors (half the usual number) will be set up. There will also be live music provided during the day at the Park across from Oquossoc Grocery sponsored by the Oquossoc Day Committee.The Second Annual First Responders Challenge Cup will get underway at 11 a.m. The entertaining and competitive spectacle will take place on Oquossoc Cove and is sponsored by the Outdoor Heritage Museum.Teams of three competitors, each from a local First Responder agencies, will battle it out for points towards the Oquossoc Day Challenge Cup. The Rangeley Fire Department took home the title last year and will be looking to defend it against teams from The Rangeley Police Department, Maine Warden Service and U.S. Border Patrol. The Franklin Sheriff’s Department and Maine State Police have also been invited to join the contest for 2020. Visitors are encouraged to cheer the departments on in what is said to be a guaranteed good time.
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Dave Jordan & the NIA‘s new release, No Losers Tonight, is chock full of unpretentious songs that don’t try and be anything but honest. There are some tracks that will get toes tapping and boots scooting, as well as a few heartfelt ballads that truly hit home. Choruses that were born to be sung along with thanks to clean, clear production and an undeniably exuberant feeling. Other tunes that were meant to reflect the more introspective moments in life resonate just as powerfully. It’s obvious to anyone listening that this is not a band using their skills for crass commercialism…they simply want to make music that moves the heart and body.Songs like disc opener “Southern Girl” and the title track “No Losers Tonight” are perfect examples of the straight ahead sound this outfit can lay down when they so choose. Rocking guitars, crisp drums and a driving lyrical presence out front, loud and proud. An undercurrent of smoldering organs and rhythm guitar licks open up “Smoke” and give Jordan a chance to focus his energy on the task at hand, telling tales of the difficulty of life and love. With his name out front, this is clearly Jordan’s showcase and though he freely shares the foreground with his backing band he holds court with unshakable confidence that is musically refreshing.There are a few numbers, like “Come A Little Closer” that bring the tempo down to an intimate whisper between two lovers entwined in a dance. The song benefits greatly form the strains of the band’s New Orleans roots showing in the strains of accordian and ragtime jazz time signatures. “Pontchartrain” takes things even lower and slower…showing some impressive blues guitar licks as it meanders along like the waves on the lake the song is named after. It is impressive to see a band feel comfortable enough to take the idea of a ten minute song into their collective hearts and make it so listeners feel sad when it ends. Utilizing folkier instruments for the more introspective pieces creates a rapport with listeners that benefits immensely from the rockier early tunes by simple contrast.The album’s closing tracks take a turn for the melancholy with “Baby I’m Gone” and especially “Dreams So Real” show Jordan at a seeming musical impasse, not sure which direction to take at a crossroads. The blues vibe on “Dreams” is powerful, almost oppressive…as if it was the very clouds during a storm. a clever use of piano bursts against lush bowed notes adds texture to the storm. As they show on No Losers Tonight, Dave Jordan and his band are capable of doing many thing well. It will be interesting to watch this band and see which of their many muses the chose to follow.
The Ween dates keep rolling in! The beloved group has just announced a brand new three-night run, appearing at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY over Thanksgiving weekend, from November 25-27. As The Cap Theatre officially re-opened four years ago, during Ween’s hiatus, this will mark the band’s first-ever performances at the storied venue.Dean Ween, however, recently performed at The Cap as part of a double billing with The Claypool Lennon Delirium. Fans will remember his epic appearance during an encore jam on “Southbound Pachyderm,” with the insane talents of Dean Ween, Sean Lennon, and Les Claypool joining forces for a remarkable psychedelic odyssey. Watch that Capitol Theatre highlight, here.Tickets for the Thanksgiving Ween run will be available by a lottery request system until this Wednesday, and tickets officially go on sale this Friday, September 16th. You can find details in the band’s Facebook post, embedded below.
A few weeks ago, Spotify announced that they surpassed 40 million subscribers; this growth rate doubles over the streaming service’s rival Apple Music. While SoundCloud recently launched a paid subscription service, they haven’t made enough profit to sustain their once-free music streams. Now, it seems as though Spotify is currently seeking to formally acquire SoundCloud, according to The Financial Times. The plot continues to thicken, as the streaming wars ensue.SoundCloud has been in financial trouble for some time now, losing upwards of $70 million over the last two years, according to a report from February. Earlier this summer, the company considered selling their online streaming service for $1 billion. The report made it clear that, while the company had “adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future,” SoundCloud was heavily reliant on “further capital investment” to continue operating in 2015.Now, we see another potential – for the Spotify giants to step in and take over SoundCloud. If they were to successfully do so, the company would acquire all 200 million SC users. This would be an interesting turn of events, as both companies started in October of 2008. The details remain unclear of how the transition would navigate paid subscriptions versus free memberships, but Spotify’s acquisition of SoundCloud would be an undeniable win for Spotify.Let’s see how this one pans out…[H/T CoS]
Last summer, Vulfpeck had the pleasure of making their debut at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. Today, they’ve announced a big return to the venue, this time supporting the Trey Anastasio Band! It’s a double billing guaranteed to make any jam fan’s jaw drop.Trey Anastasio has been very quiet with his solo project in 2016. After releasing Paper Wheels and supporting it with a string of shows at the end of 2015, the band has only performed a twice in 2016. This headlining set at Red Rocks may be the signal of more TAB in 2017, or it could just be a one-off performance at a world-class venue. Either way, we’re certainly excited at the prospect of seeing the Trey Anastasio Band and Vulfpeck on the same night – May 31st, 2017.Vulfpeck has also announced that they will be performing at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO, one night prior to this Red Rocks show. Tickets for that show will only be available as bundles with Red Rocks, for now. Tickets will be available through a real time presale beginning Wednesday, November 16th at 10:00am MST and ending Friday, November 18st at 10:00am MST, and can be found here. The general on sale starts this Saturday, November 19th, at 10 AM MST via AXS.
The lineup for this summer at Red Rocks just keeps getting better! Today, renowned electrofunky producer Gramatik has added his name to the Morrison, CO venue’s schedule, with a major headlining performance on June 17th. Complete with his 2016 release Epigram and a brand new stage design, Gramatik is set to do 2017 right with a major blowout at Red Rocks.Not only will Gramatik be performing, but he’s bringing along a trio of acclaimed producers to keep the party grooving. Mr. Carmack, Ekali and Flamingosis will all be featured supporting performers, making for a down and dirty dance party for all of the Colorado fans. Gramatik will also be touting a new stage design inspired by Nikola Tesla, with masterful coils and a beautifully symbolic entrance into the New Year.Check out a video previewing the upcoming funky fun for Gramatik’s upcoming show, below.You can see more information on the poster below, and head to Gramatik’s website for details.
Umphrey’s McGee spent the weekend hosting the “Mitten Run,” a series of shows through the great state of Michigan. With one night in Grand Rapids and two more in Detroit, the band made themselves right at home with some fiery playing amid the cold weather. On February 3rd, the band descended upon The Fillmore Detroit, rocking the venue thoroughly for a great performance. The show culminated in a rocking two song encore, which included their classic tunes “Glory” and “Bridgeless.”Thanks to the band and to their webcast stream providers, TourGigs, we can watch a full length pro-shot video of that encore in the embedded player below. Enjoy!For extended coverage of this performance, including a gallery, setlist, full taper audio recording and more, head here.