When it comes to choosing fruit, most people reach for the biggest piece. Titan™, a new blueberry variety bred by a University of Georgia scientist, makes that an easy task. It produces berries two to four times the size of average blueberries.“People like big strawberries and big blackberries. Now they can get big blueberries,” said Scott NeSmith, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences researcher who bred the new variety. The UGA Research Foundation has applied for a plant patent for Titan™.For commercial and homeowner useTitan™ was designed for both commercial and homeowner use. NeSmith says backyard growers will like the berry size and so will visitors at pick-your-own farms. “Common sense tells you that picking blueberries by hand takes a long time. Not with Titan™,” he said.Average blueberries are usually a little smaller than a dime. NeSmith has seen Titan™ berries grow as large as a quarter. A rabbiteye blueberry, Titan™ is well suited for growing in Georgia and produces well in USDA hardiness zones 6a through 9a. Released in 2012, Titan™ hasn’t been added to Georgia blueberry farmers’ fields yet, but it is available in limited supplies for homeowners.“Right now, most nurseries have waiting lists for Titan™ plants. That’s how popular it is,” Nesmith said. “They have more orders than they do plants.”Ask stores to stock TitanHe encourages homeowners to contact their local garden center and request the variety. “If enough people ask for it, hopefully the big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot will start carrying it,” NeSmith said.Titan™ is officially available through the following licensed nurseries: Ken James Greenhouses (www.jamesgreenhouses.com); Cornelius Farms (corneliusfarms.com/nurserydivision.html); andOregon Blueberry (www.oreblueberry.com).No matter which blueberry variety you add to your home landscape, Nesmith says to set aside the first year as a growing year for the plant. “You may see a small amount of fruit the second year, but the third year will bring a good blueberry crop,” he said.While some varieties are self-fruiting, NeSmith advises planting two or more varieties to insure good pollination and fruit set. Two additional homeowner varieties that have been recently released are Summer Sunset™ and Blue Suede®.Award-winning blueberry breederBased on the UGA campus in Griffin, Ga., NeSmith has been researching blueberries in Georgia since 1990. He was recently awarded the UGA Inventor’s Award for his research efforts that include the release of 10 new patented commercial blueberry varieties and two patented ornamental blueberry varieties. The award is presented each year by the UGA Researrch Foundation to recognize an inventor for a unique and innovative discovery that has impacted the community, state and/or world. UGA-developed blueberries are grown around the world on all continents except Antarctica. Blueberry production has surpassed peaches as the No. 1 fruit crop in Georgia. “Nationally, we may be close to number one in acres now, and we are second or third in production,” NeSmith said. Georgia farmers use about 21,749 acres for blueberry production, and the farm gate value was more than $254 million in 2011, according to the Georgia Farm Gate Value Report.For more information on how to add blueberry plants to home landscapes, visit the UGA CAES publication website at caes.uga.edu/publications.
Charlotte, N.C.— Duke Energy Foundation is accepting grant applications for programs that support K-12 education as part of its new Powerful Communities philanthropic program, which will award strategic charitable grants to nonprofit organizations to build powerful communities by bolstering education, developing the future workforce of the energy sector and conserving and protecting our environment.In 2017, Duke Energy Foundation invested more than $33 million to support communities throughout Duke Energy’s seven-state service area.“Our new Powerful Communities grant program allows us to support programs that are closely aligned with building the smarter energy future our customers want and deserve,” said Cari Boyce, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “We are excited to be a part of building stronger communities across our service territory.”Applications for the Powerful Communities: K-12 Education grant cycle will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2019. Funding will focus on programs that address the summer reading loss experienced by rising kindergartners through rising third-graders and that advance energy, engineering and environmental education. Programs that extend into out-of-school time and that serve under-represented, low-income or diverse audiences will be given preference in this grant cycle.In addition to K-12 education, Powerful Communities will also include designated grant application windows for the following grant cycles:Workforce – Workforce development programs aligned with the energy industry’s future workforce.Nature – Programs supporting water quality, quantity, conservation and access, habitat and forest restoration and conservation, and species conservation.State Strategic Impact – Priorities defined annually at the state level to respond to the unique needs of the states Duke Energy serves.Duke Energy will continue to accept ongoing applications for smaller grants that support local communities.
Bernard Ray Geisler, 69, of the West Fork community near Rexville passed away at 8:30am, Monday, July 1, 2019 at his home. He was born in the West Fork community on November 27, 1949 the son of Alva and Doris Faye Housefield Geisler. He was married to Debra Kay Pinkerton on December 22, 1970 and she survives. Other survivors include two sons Jeff (Debbie) Geisler of Madison, and Alva (Dawn) Geisler of West Fork; one daughter Jennifer Geisler of Madison; 7 grandchildren and one great-grandchild; three brothers Bobby (Aggie) Geisler of Washington, Elvan (Barb) Geisler of Rexville, and Marvin (Teresa) Geisler of East Enterprise. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers George Leslie and Roy, his nephews Larry Gene Wood and Kenny Geisler, and his niece Carolyn Geisler. Mr. Geisler was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and received the Purple Heart for wounds received on the 21st of January 1970. He was a former employee of the Muscatatuck State Developmental Training Center and was retired from the Jefferson Proving Ground where he worked as a guard. Bernard was also a farmer and enjoyed operating his bulldozer and track hoe. In his spare time he enjoyed his grandchildren, fishing, hunting, woodworking, playing cards, and visiting the local casinos. Funeral services for Bernard will be held on Saturday, July 6th at 11am at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles with Pastor Jim Scoggin officiating. Burial will be in the Ditch Cemetery on the Geisler Farm near Rexville with military graveside rites by the Versailles American Legion. Visitation will be on Friday from 6pm to 8pm. Memorials may be given to the West Fork Cemetery in care of the funeral home.
MASTERFUL PERFORMANCE—“Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr., right, connects against “Sugar” Shane Mosley during their WBA welterweight boxing match May 1, in Las Vegas. by Tim DahlbergAssociate Press Writer LAS VEGAS (AP)—Floyd Mayweather Jr. is usually content to just win a fight. This time, though, Money Mayweather wanted to earn his cash.Fighting more aggressively than usual, Mayweather overcame a near knockdown in the second round Saturday night to dominate the rest of the way and win a lopsided 12-round decision over Shane Mosley in their welterweight showdown.“I wanted to give the fans what they wanted to see, a toe-to-toe battle,” Mayweather said. “It wasn’t the same style for me but I wanted to be aggressive and I knew I could do it.” Boxing’s biggest box office draw remained undefeated in 41 fights, but not before giving his fans and his corner a scare when a right hand to the side of his head buckled his knees a minute into the second, and he had to grab Mosley to avoid going down. Mosley landed another right later in the round, but the rest of the night belonged to Mayweather.If he didn’t please everyone, it was because he couldn’t knock out Mosley. But Mayweather won every minute of every round after the second and the normally defensive-minded fighter kept after Mosley until the final bell in a masterful performance that earned him every dollar of his guaranteed $22.5 million payday.“I think we could have pressed the attack a lot earlier, and then we could have got the knockout,” Mayweather said.Fighting before a star-studded crowd that included Muhammad Ali, Mayweather never came close to dropping Mosley, but landed so many more punches that the outcome wasn’t in doubt past the middle rounds. He had an answer for everything Mosley tried to do, landing right hands to the head seemingly at will as the fight progressed.By the end of the night, Mayweather had put so many rounds in the bank that the only question was whether he would stop Mosley or be content to win a lopsided decision. Mayweather kept moving forward and continued to press the issue in a fight that wasn’t in doubt.Two ringside judges scored it 119-109 for Mayweather, while the third had it 118-110. All had him winning every round past the second.The Associated Press had Mayweather winning 117-110.Ringside punch statistics were as one-sided as the scorecards. They showed Mayweather landing 208 of 477 punches to 92 of 452 for Mosley.Mayweather made Mosley look every bit his 38 years as he landed sharp punches to his head, dominating a fighter who had vowed to turn the bout into the fight of the decade. Mosley tried his best, but couldn’t match the speed of the 33-year-old Mayweather, who grew more comfortable with each passing round.Mosley was a substitute for Manny Pacquiao, who was all but signed to meet Mayweather until a dispute over drug testing derailed the megafight. Instead, Pacquiao beat Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Dallas and is campaigning for a seat in Congress in his native Philippines.“If Manny Pacquiao can take a blood and urine test then we have a fight,” Mayweather said. “If not, no fight.”Pacquiao, who watched the fight in the Philippines, told Manilla radio station DZBB that he would agree to blood testing, but only if it is not taken within 24 days of the fight. That is basically the same stance that derailed the fight the first time around.“For me, as long as the drug test is not done close to the match, I’ll agree because if they’ll get blood from me close to the match, it will be a disadvantage for me because I’m smaller and he’s big,” Pacquiao said.Mosley almost ruined a lot of Mayweather’s best-laid plans when he landed the big right hand in the second that brought the fans at the MGM Grand Arena to their feet. They chanted “Mosley! Mosley!” as he followed Mayweather around the ring, landing another good right hand before the bell rang to end the round.“It’s a contact sport, and you’re going to get hit,” Mayweather said. “But when you get hit, you suck it up and keep on fighting. That’s what I did. I’m happy we finally had a chance to fight. This is a fight the fans have been looking forward to for a long time, and they deserve it.”Mosley’s second-round flourish was his last hurrah. Mayweather came out in the third and began landing some shots of his own, while Mosley couldn’t find his mark.“I caught him with my big right hand and I tried to move around but by that time he was too quick and I was too tight,” Mosley said. “After the right hand I thought I needed to knock him out and I needed to do it sooner than later. But I couldn’t adjust and he did.”Mosley said he thought the 15-month layoff since his last fight hurt him, as did a stiff neck. But Mayweather had a lot to do with his ineffectiveness, too, fighting his fight and refusing to allow Mosley to dictate the pace.Mosley’s corner kept imploring the fighter to throw his jab more and fight his way inside, but Mosley was content to try to load up to hurt Mayweather with a big punch that didn’t come.“You can’t wait for one big shot, you’ve got to wake up,” Mosley’s trainer told him after the seventh round.By the 10th round, Naazim Richardson was even more frantic, telling Mosley he needed a knockout.Mayweather, who earned $2,500 in his pro debut 14 years ago, was guaranteed $22.5 million but probably will end up with much more once the final pay-per-view buys are added up. Mosley was guaranteed $7 million, and also had a share in the television revenues.