Farmers apply emergency loans

Some country farmers apply for emergency loans. "F.N.D. farmers in the country of Cass that have suffered physical and production losses because of major flooding, serious drought, insect perils, diseases, hail and damaging wind conditions, which occurred from May 01 through November 31 and continuing, may now apply for Farm Service Agency Emergency Loans," Federal Agriculture Credit officer Joseph Blow told the Cass Country Commission on Monday.
"Adverse weather has caused the extension of the deadline to file," Blow stated. Agricultural field entrepreneurs have eight months to file the deadline by the end of October. "As a matter of principal, the standard deadline is usually long," said Blow. "But our weather has been severe enough to keep farmers away from this year's federal assistance program. We're trying to be more flexible.There are payments available to all farmers whose losses can be well documents," Blow said. A total of $5 million has been earn marked by Congress for relief to farmers. At their regular meeting on Monday, the Cass Country Commission (CCC) debated the merits of accelerating payments to farmers impacted by natural disaster. While the federal program appears no to the county, commissioners are divided over the wisdom of accepting federal money. "I appreciate his well meaning attempt to help us, but it still seems to me that federal loans should not be tied to bad weather," said commissioner Polly Tique. Farmers are prey to marry economic problems they have no more control over than the snow. What she believes is that the bottom line concerning government loans is that they should be available more generally to farmers. She noted the statistics that show fewer and fewer family farms are viable economic entities at the present time, and that's disastrous.Tired from a long day in the field, the meeting was almost too intense for commission chair Farr Moll. He responded, "I agree farmers may need federal help sometimes," he said. "We as a commission don't have the authority to designate when and where, however." He said that nearly every week he meets a farmer, whose thankful for Washington support. "We'd best let sleeping dogs lie," he emphasized, "instead of complaining about farmers and they're federal support programs, which are optional anyway. I think we ought to encourage these federal programs bringing money to the county. And if we don't like the way its handled, we can complain to our congressmen, and not at a public meeting."

Loyalty begins with service

Sean McManus meets Derek Williams, the consultant who has started an awards scheme for exceptional service. The service aims to change how we think about customer loyalty, bin the smart cards, and forgot the brochure mailings. "The most powerful asset for attracting loyal customers is exceptional service," according to Derek Williams. He has started The WOW! Awards to recognize outstanding service and and he hopes to kick start a customer loyalty revolution .
"There has been a lot of focus on loyalty cards", he says. "They have their place. but they are not sufficient to compensate for bad service. If you are already providing good service, they are a good enhancement and they deliver valuable business information. But they have a limited effect on increasing loyalty. The only way to create loyalty is to give customers the impression, 'we don't care'."
He cites statistics from Richeld's book "The Loyalty Factor" which reveal that 68% of customers move to a different suppliers because of perceived indifference. Increasing customer retention by 5% would improve revenue by between 25% and 125%. "This effect is staggering because all the fixed costs are already covered," he says.

To help highlight exceptional service, Williams has set up the WOW! Awards with Richer Sounds, founder and staff motivation consultant, Julian Richer, and strategic marketing consultant, Steve Pipe. "We're battling against a culture of bad service," William says. "We have to turn that around and reward those who are giving outstanding service. Some might be small companies or even individuals, but we have to start somewhere. The hope is that it will spread and inspire others to do the same."
Williams own company Stephens & Co and posts daily signs at the entrance to welcome customers by name, stocks a range of scents for customer use in the bathrooms, and offers a range of drinks from water to champagne. "Funnily enough our cheapest drink is the champagne," says Williams. "Because nobody's asked for it yet." The business offer's business consultancy and accountancy and has won five national awards for customer service including Commerce Magazine Excellence in Customer Service and The federation of Small Businesses Customer Care Award.

So far four WOW! Awards have been granted. The Marriott Hotel at Shipley won an award because all of the employees offered exceptional service to guest Mark Edwards over a three day stay. Cleaners would greet gusts and interrupt work to open doors for them, conference staff worked tirelessly on fixing equipment. and reception staff help track down medicine for the guest's cold. "This story is not spectacular because of any one event. It's amazing because it was so complete and consistent," says Edward.

"Everyone their took pride in their work and showed outstanding team effort. We came away from the hotel feeling 'knocked out'," says Edwards.
It is this feeling that the WOW! Awards want to recognize. "'Wow' service is service that makes the customer stop and say 'wow, that was really nice'. It makes them leave with a warm feeling about the company," says William.
"This is missing in the UK. We receive lukewarm service and are not treated how we want to be. We're hypocrites because people in business are customers themselves and they know how they want to be treated."
The first award was given to Sainsbury for the way that the store handled a mistake. A customer arrived to collect 60 bridge rolls from the bakery in time for a fortieth birthday party and was dismayed to learn that her order had not arrived as promised. The manager opened the bakery especially to bake the rolls and delivered them to the customer's house in time for the the party. Sainsbury didn't charge the customer because of their error and gave the customer an extra twenty rolls. "It makes customers more loyal to the business if something goes wrong and the company works to put it right," says Williams.
Some companies, particularly large businesses, might argue that resourcing such exceptional service is unprofitable. Williams disagrees. "Every business has a choice," he says. "Either to go out of their way to keep customers happy or to give mediocre service and risk losing customers to the competition. In most cases, all the customer wants is a pleasant smile, eye contact and the feeling that someone cares. Many companies are good at responding to complaints, but most fail to recognize the risk of losing customers before the complaint through mediocre service. Customers vote with their feet."
Williams argues that part of the problem is that staff are not trained for customer service. "Of over 2000 people that I present at seminars each and every year, only 2-3% have had any telephone training. It's crazy. We're taught to write business letters at school, but when are we taught to answer the telephone? Customer service training is regarded as soft woolly of no benefit. But managers invest in computer systems without looking at the rate of return. How does the the cost of training compare with the cost of advertising."
The WOW! Awards have set up a website to invite award nominations from the general public and to tell the stories of the winners. The site also offers free business tips for free integration into other websites that link back to the awards, so that UK businesses can show their support for exceptional service and receive free content for their site at the same time. The website is at
Microsoft have been steadily increasing investment in intellectual property, and claim to be making it more widely and cheaply available.Joe Blogs was found guilty of stealing a marrow at Plymouth Magistrate's Court yesterday.A lot of shareholders have been selling their stock; because of the chairman's resignation.Whom would you think are exhibiting at the show?Driving around a bend, his car was hit by a tree.Unemployment conditions in the south might be as bad, if not worse than, any in the north.President, Bill Clinton, said the incident is a disgrace.Bulgarian children's food is different than English'.The packed lunch is comprised of sandwiches, cheese and biscuits and coffee.To be a good subeditor, one must have patience with PC's and learn to use your eyes.The criteria for choosing financial advice should be independence, not friendliness.There are less people using public transport now than ever before.The vice chairman wrestled with a six foot man eating shark.
  • There were less applicants for the editors job than anticipated.
  • Mr Jones said his company has achieved its success in his time as chairman by combining their quality products with inventive internet marketing.
  • Their going to hate this
  • Its a quiet time for the Rolling stones, though there new album should draw attention.
  • Between you and I, Fred's work was better than Jim, who did not even try.
  • "Thanks very much", Sheila said, "I never wanted to cause trouble".
  • I am the oldest of three boys, but my brothers are already as tall as I am.
  • The companies profit was lower than planned so it has put off building a new plant in Shrewsburry.
  • Due to bad weather the bus who's driver is always happy, it has been cancelled.
  • Following the argument, he packed his bags and went even further away.
  • Tony Blair said he would try and lower inflation.
  • The newscaster inferred by his body language that troops had blocked his entry to the country.
  • The fire caused extensive damage, but the house was ensured.
  • I was surprised to hear that the party transpired twice a week.
  • Linux allows users to have greater control over their computers.
  • He avoided trouble by walking away from the gang.
  • The thief gave the police the alibi that he had been suffering from stress.
Organizing a Story
The following stories are mixed up. Put the paragraphs in the right order.
The United States has accused Iraq of more than 90 violations of the no-fly zones since mid-December. It said U.S. and British forces have retaliated by attacking more than 40 Iraqi targets.
Both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have opened their air bases to U.S. and British planes that patrol the no-fly zones.
The zones were set up by the United States, Britain and France after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to prevent the Iraqi air force from attacking rebels in the north and south.
"We, by help from God and support from the sons of our glorious Arab nation, including true and sincere nationals … in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, have the ability to attack the soldiers and means of aggression from whatever region," Iraqi television said, quoting a statement from President Saddam Hussein and senior leaders.
"Once again … we draw the attention of the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and tell them you are getting involved now in a vicious and aggressive war that the people of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have no interest in," the statement said.
The statement did not specify what type of action Iraq would take against the U.S. and British bases.
The Iraqi government said Sunday it could attack American and British bases in the Persian Gulf that are used to launch airstrikes against Iraq.
The Iraqi statement was issued following a meeting Saddam held with three senior aides. It again warned Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to distance themselves from the United States.
The statement came amid a simmering war of nerves with the United States and Britain over "no-fly" zones imposed in northern and southern Iraq. Iraq does not recognize the zones and has vowed to fire at any plane that violates its airspace.

Authorities say Manuel Febus has been married more than 11 times. But the Romeo allegedly wasn't promising eternal love, just a green card.
The New Yorker makes Elizabeth Taylor look like a novice when it comes to marriage.
The serial bridegroom, who is free on $50,000 bail, has no listed number, and his lawyer did not return calls.
In at least one case44444444eredejhereddedrehj34regr formed campus groups, Students Against Racism and the American Student Organization.
All of the 22 arrested were students. Twenty-one were taken to County Jail. Their attorney, Susan J. Kegan, said that she expected bail to be set at $500 apiece. The 22nd student, a 17-year-old high school senior, was released into his parents' custody.fhddae rally was to be held, but they would not. They shouted at each other even louder, and some of them began throwing things."
Until extra officers were called in, there were a half dozen officers watching the two groups. They were about 25 yards away.
Peterson said that the protesters were stopped midway between the fountain and Regents Hall, near the Liberal Arts Building.
He said that officers using bullhorns ordered the demonstrators to disperse.
Peterson said that the demonstrators refused.
By 1:25 p.m., the demonstration was at its worst, Peterson said. That's when most of the protesters started shouting directly at the police and began throwing things at them, Peterson added.
Officer Wilson was hit in the head about that time, Peterson said.
He said that by 1:30 p.m., most of the demonstrators began to back off. Those who did not were arrested, he added.
Peterson said that the two officers with sunglasses on horseback were used to push back the crowds. "The horses worked well," he said. "The demonstrators were not afraid to push police officers, but they couldn't push the horses."
Peterson said that the protest delayed the beginning of the afternoon session of the regents meeting. The regents stayed in the Student Union until about 2 p.m. and then returned to Regents Hall, he said.
The regents did not take action on the new requirement. They decided to study the matter more and discuss it again at their next monthly meeting, which will be held May 16 in Regents Hall.
"We will continue protesting until the regents vote to mandate faculty training," Walterson said. "We're done negotiating with them. Now it is time to cause trouble." Walterson said that there will be more rallies, not only at the next regents meeting but before then.
"We're not against rallies," Peterson said. "They can hold them all they want, as long as they get a permit from the university. But we don't want them to get out of hand. We don't want our officers hurt. They can rally, but other peaceful students also have the right to attend classes without being disrupted by shouting and violent demonstrators."
The regents refused to comment on why they took no action Friday. "Until we make our decision on faculty training, we will not discuss it," said regents president Clifford Eisel.
Brian Allen, a senior biology student and president of the American Student Organization, said his group will continue protesting, too.
"We'll do whatever it takes to keep the regents from caving into every demand that comes along," he said. "Our faculty do not need additional training in diversity. Many of our faculty aren't even from this country."
Allen was one of the students arrested and charged with assault, resisting arrest and trespassing. Thirteen of those arrested were from his group.
"The two groups never began fighting, but they kept screaming at each other as though they would begin a brawl at any second," Peterson said. "There never would have been a problem if they simply would have moved back when we asked them. Instead, both groups decided to gang up against the police."
There has been a fire in a house. The house is in Taylorsville, N.C., which is located about 50 miles west of Winston-Salem. Taylorsville is in Alexander County.
The fire’s cause was not immediately known. You got this information from Patricia Lee of the Alexander County Communications Center.
Six people were killed when the fire tore through the house. Officials saiof course. Then the EMS people carried him and her off.”