By Alan Hartnett – 15th May 2020 Laois enterprises urged to apply to Restart Grant for Small Business Facebook Pinterest Twitter Twitter Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date “It is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers.“The grants will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000. Facebook “I am acutely aware of the difficulties facing small businesses in across the constituency during these challenging times.“The Restart Grant is designed to help these businesses get back on their feet. The grant can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety.“Small businesses, whether it be the local hairdresser, café or clothes shop, are absolutely vital to the social fabric of our towns and villages throughout counties Laois & Offaly.“In response to the very significant economic challenges posed by Covid-19, the Government has moved swiftly to introduce a range of measures to support enterprises of all sizes.“These measures have included supports for wage costs, liquidity supports and the deferral or waiver of payments.“The Restart Grant will further help to support activity and employment across Laois & Offaly.”Applications for the Restart Grant can be made online to local authorities from Friday 22nd May.Processing of applications and payment of the Restart Grant will depend on the initial surge of applications but, as far as is feasible, will be prioritised according to scheduled re-opening dates in the national Roadmap.This direct grant support is part of the wider €12bn package of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.SEE ALSO – EXPLAINED: What changes will happen on May 18 as Ireland moves into Phase 1 of Coronavirus roadmap WhatsApp Pinterest Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role TAGSCharlie Flanagan Previous articleEXPLAINED: What changes will happen on May 18 as Ireland moves into Phase 1 of Coronavirus roadmapNext articleBREAKING: 16 more Coronavirus deaths as Finance Minister says ‘no decision’ made on extension Covid-19 payment Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. News Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has urged small and micro businesses across Laois and Offaly to apply for the new €250m Restart Grant, which will give direct grant aid to help them with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.Details of the grant were confirmed by Enterprise Minister Heather Humphries at the briefing which announced Ireland was moving into Phase 1 of the Roadmap to reopening the country.Minister Flanagan said: “The Grant will be available to businesses with a turnover of less than €5m and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover out to 30th June 2020. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Electric Picnic Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Electric Picnic Home News Laois enterprises urged to apply to Restart Grant for Small Business News
BLAINE, Minn. – About 30 minutes after his tournament record-setting 60 concluded Saturday, Paul Goydos completed a media session and looked at a 3M Championship scoreboard. Up by one shot, he was not confident he’d be there at day’s end, predicting Kenny Perry – who had six holes to play – would be ahead by three shots. Not quite. Perry made just one birdie down the stretch at the TPC Twin Cities to shoot his second straight 65, leaving him tied at 130 with Goydos and Gene Sauers heading into Sunday’s final round. Sauers shot an 8-under 64. ”It’s funny, you can shoot a pair of 65s, be 14-under and they’re catching you,” Perry said. Goydos, who shot 59 at the PGA’s 2010 John Deere Classic, was 7-under through 12 holes, before birdies at 15, 16 and 17 and an eagle on the par-5 18th. ”It was just one of those weird days,” he said. ”The whole key to that round was to stay completely out of your own way and let whatever happens, happen. I did a pretty good job of that.” Scott Dunlap (63) and Brandt Jobe (64) were one shot behind; Steve Stricker (63) and Marco Dawson (66) were two back. Mike Goodes, a co-leader with Perry after round one, shot 68 and was one of seven players trailing by three shots. ”Anybody as far as four back can win this golf tournament,” said Perry, who won this event in 2014 and 2015. ”I’m going to have to figure out a way to go out there and shoot another 65 and see where that stacks up. It’s going to be a birdie-fest. . There’s going to be a lot going on out there tomorrow.” With little wind on a roomy course that received 1.15 inches of rain Thursday leading to soft greens that still play fast, 66 of 77 players bested par, with an all-time tour-record 56 shooting in the 60s. The day’s scoring average of 67.88 is also the lowest in tour Goydos knew a good round was possible after needing three shots to get on the first green, but one-putting for a par. He needed one putt on 16 greens and two on the others. In comparing his two lowest rounds, Goydos believes he hit the ball better seven years ago, but did not putt as well. ”I started out making 10-footers for birdies, then 12-footers, then pretty soon I’m making 20-footers. I just kept getting farther away from the hole,” he said. ”Normally, it’s the other way, you start getting more confidence as you start getting closer to the hole down the stretch when you shoot a really good one. I went the other way, started hitting it farther away and still making it.” The winning score at the 3M Championship has been at least 15-under for 10 straight years. The tournament record is 25-under by David Frost in 2010. ”You know there’s going to be good scores, and there’s a bunch of good scores,” said Stricker, who got just one practice round before the tournament. ”It didn’t seem like this course was a gimme where every hole you’re going to birdie kind of attitude.’
The scandal is a wake-up call to Relotius’ editors back home — and everyone else.In Relotius’ case, another, a more insidious dynamic may have been at work — the unarticulated expectations of editors as they send off their reporters, and their anticipation the reported piece that comes back will confirm what they already know to be true.Among Relotius’ most celebrated articles were his pieces on Donald Trump’s America. They paint a picture of the country Europeans love to despise.“In This Small Town” — a 7,300-word story about Fergus Falls, where “people pray for Donald Trump on Sundays,” confirmed what we all “know.” It was a tableau of “red-neck” America — a gun-toting, intolerant, anti-immigrant and irrationally religious nation.The fact-checking work of two Fergus Falls citizens revealed this to be a fabrication. Not only does Relotius’ starring character, city administrator Andrew Bremseth, not carry a Beretta 9mm to work, he doesn’t even own one. Neither does the town have a sign that reads “Mexicans stay out.”The offices of Der Spiegel in Hamburg, Germany | Morris MacMatzen/Getty ImagesRelotius’ report was about perpetuating “an ugly and exaggerated stereotype,” the residents concluded, unsurprisingly. “We are either backward, living in the past and have our heads up our asses, or we are like dumb endearing animals that just need a little attention in order to keep us from eating the rest of the world alive.” For Spiegel, which prides itself on having the best fact-checking department in the business, this is Armageddon.To salvage its honor, it has launched a top-to-bottom investigation of the publication, ruthlessly trying to answer the Big Question that tortured the Times and U.S.A. Today as well: How could this have happened — and to us, the best of the best?Why did the system set up to corroborate every fact and assertion fail to stop the fake artist?The issue transcends continents and publications. As Juan Moreno, the colleague who first raised suspicions about Relotius’ work, put it in a video interview on Spiegel Online: “People are people, and journalists are people.” Basically, what we tend to forget is that journalists are human beings driven by vanity, pride, and greed for fame and advancement.This may well be true, but then the question becomes: Why did the system set up to corroborate every fact and assertion, every quote and statistic, fail to expose and stop the fake artist?Relotius was a most brilliant counterfeiter: His pieces are full of minute detail so specific, so precise, as to appear necessarily authentic. And why doubt a celebrated reporter who describes a small-town street corner as if it were etched into his photographic memory? “He could not have made it up,” his fact-checker may have surmised. “It is so perfect, you feel as if you are standing there yourself.” Too bad Google Earth can do that for you from 5,000 miles away as the all-seeing camera captures the flowerpot on the stoop.Relotius holds the Reemtsma Liberty Award aloft in Berlin last year | Eventpress/Golejewski EPA-EFELike Jayson Blair, Relotius was a wunderkind of journalism. He won Germany’s Reporterpreis, a coveted annual award, four times. Why would you insult this giant by pestering him with picayune questions? Only small-minded tax officials running through an audit would probe and poke.Fact-checkers are humans, too, and so they will not insult the dignity and authority of the greats by doubting their words.Something similar happened in 1983 — when, in perhaps the biggest, most memorable scandal of them all, German magazine Stern published the “diaries’ of Adolf Hitler.These 63 volumes — which the magazine trumpeted would turn our view of Nazi history on its head — were fiction from beginning to end, the product of a forger who pocketed millions from the publication.How did it happen? The famed British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper certified the authenticity of the forged diaries — and the ennobling verdict clinched the case, silencing the last doubters and convincing Stern to go ahead. The scandal is a wake-up call to Relotius’ editors back home — and everyone else. It’s unfortunately all too easy to fall into the same trap they did. Why check carefully if this is what we have always known and what confirms our beliefs? People are people, and journalists are people — with their unarticulated prejudices and stereotypes.We need these scandals, embarrassing and awful as they are. They teach journalists that their first responsibility is to facts and the truth. Whatever your politics, some stories are just too good to be true.Josef Joffe serves on the editorial council of German newspaper Die Zeit in Hamburg. He is also a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Also On POLITICO The Democracy Fix Fact-checkers seek out grain of truth in Turkey’s fake-news onslaught By Zia Weise EU to ask Facebook, Twitter, Google for monthly ‘fake news’ reports By Laurens Cerulus HAMBURG — Fake news wasn’t invented by the Russians.The New York Times had Jayson Blair, who faked dozens of articles and interviews over the years. U.S.A. Today had Jack Kelley, who made up sensational stories about events he had not witnessed and places he had not seen. In both cases, the editors were forced to resign.Now, it’s Der Spiegel’s turn. The fabled German news magazine’s award-winning reporter Claas Relotius, 33, a legend in his time, replaced facts with fantasy. He quoted people he had not interviewed. He described streets and buildings he had seen on Google Earth only. Painted in exquisite detail, the scenes were nothing more than figments of his imagination.
Hamlin’s effort to rally back came up short after un-lapping himself under green with the advantage of fresh tires, finishing 10th to claim fourth in the final standings for the 2019 season while his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch drove off to win his second title.“I don’t think I could have done a better job,” Hamlin said. “I don’t think I could have ‑‑ I didn’t leave anything out there. So, for the first half of the race we just weren’t fast enough, we weren’t handling very good, and all of a sudden it went nighttime and we took off, and suddenly I perked up and got a little more and was thinking that we’ve got a chance.”RELATED: Busch wins second title at Miami | Hamlin’s career highlightsFor crew chief Chris Gabehart, it was an aggressive play late in the race that just didn’t work out.“That was a tough scenario there with what we were trying to pull off,” Gabehart said. “It’s uncharted territory a little bit for how our cars are built. … We just didn’t execute that play, and I wish I could have it back and not be so greedy there because I don’t know we needed it anyway.”“What we tried to pull off here is trying to win Homestead and let the emotion of the moment get the best of us of trying to do it,” he added. “We just got too aggressive. Plain and simple. That’s on me.”Both Hamlin and Gabehart admitted that they didn’t have the speed throughout the first two stages to compete with Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick, boxing them into making a bold adjustment. But once dusk settled over South Florida, the 11 car came to life before it spewing water out at temperatures of 300+ degrees.“We were awful, I mean awful for two straight stages,” Gabehart said. “Then Denny Hamlin got on the radio and said we are not done.”While they didn’t win the big trophy, the move is what Gabehart feels championship-caliber teams have to do sometimes. Taking a risk just doesn’t always work out.“A race team is not going to be this good because they don’t live by the fire,” Gabehart said. “You have got to dance with the fire to beat these guys and that’s what this race team does. But the problem with dancing with it is every now and then you get burned.”Gabehart was also quick to place the blame on himself, not the team for a piece of tape that turned into travesty.“This is pro sports,” Gabehart said. “Winners want the ball and they take the shots and sometimes they miss it. My team is full of winners and they want the ball. That don’t mean they are going to execute every time they want the ball. … I am the leader of this race team, I called an aggressive play and they tried to execute it because that’s what they do.”Despite the heartbreak, Hamlin isn’t going to let the defeat eat away at him going into the offseason after winning six races in his first season, optimistic for what the future holds with what he was able to accomplish with a new leader atop the pit box.“It’s not like I’m going to go through the offseason upset or sad,” Hamlin said. “It’s like, I’m looking forward to having the momentum that we took through this year with a first‑year crew chief, and we’re going to win a lot, like a lot next year. I just think that we’ll have another opportunity. There’s no question.” HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Denny Hamlin was on the verge of giving the other Championship 4 drivers a late-race run for their money Sunday night at Miami. Then it was taken away by tape.With 45 laps remaining in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Hamlin was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop after the No. 11 Toyota began to overheat due to an aggressive application of tape on the grille.“I was gonna blow up,” Hamlin said on pit road after the race. “I had to make the right call. Try to un-lap ourselves and try to get a caution … drop a miracle. It stinks but also we had a great year.”