Cybersecurity: Organizations Must Remain Vigilant

ImageQuestBusinesses should not let down their guard when it comes to cybersecurity. Cybercriminals persist in sending malicious attachments, links to fraudulent websites, and scams related to Covid-19, with the intent of deceiving people into sending confidential information or into donating money to supposedly charitable causes.

Recently observed cyber attacks include phishing, wherein an email is sent by a supposedly reputable source, but it actually leads to a bogus site; the goal is to obtain valuable information such as user credentials and profit from it.

Fortunately, businesses can mitigate cybersecurity risks by implementing the following steps.

Create a cybersecurity resilience plan

Organizations need a cybersecurity plan that allows them to:

  • Disconnect systems from the internet that do not need internet connectivity to ensure secure operations.  Controls must be in place in the event that connectivity cannot be removed.
  • Plan for manual process operations should systems become unavailable.
  • Identify system and operational dependencies.
  • Immediately restore devices and services.
  • Backup critical resources, such as firmware, software, ladder logic, service contracts, product licenses, product keys, and configuration information. These resources must be stored off-network, with a duplicate copy secured in a safe location.
  • Test and validate data backups and processes should data be lost because of cybersecurity attacks. 

Simulate your plan

Businesses should have an incident response plan in place to mitigate security risks.

  • All personnel, including the management team, must have a walkthrough of this incident response plan.
  • Key decision points must be discussed. The team has to identify who has the authority to make important decisions and under what circumstances.
  • Partner with a reliable Managed IT Services provider for support. Review service contracts for emergency incident response and recovery support.

Strengthen network security

  • Remove access from networks, such as overseas IP addresses, if applicable, that do not have legitimate business reasons to communicate with the system.
  • Mitigate internet-accessible connections immediately. Best practices include:
    • Patching all internet-accessible systems.
    • Deploying modular networks to protect workstations from direct internet exposure.
    • Ensuring all communications to remote devices use a strongly encrypted VPN, which is protected by multifactor authentication. 
    • Filtering network traffic to only allow known IP addresses. Consider geo-blocking where appropriate.
    • Connecting remote workstations to network intrusion detection systems where feasible.
    • Capturing and reviewing access logs from these systems.
  • Investigate which devices are internet-accessible and connect to business, telecommunications, or wireless networks.
  • Secure all required and approved remote access points and user accounts.
    • Discourage the use of default passwords on all devices.
    • Remove, disable, or rename any default system accounts wherever possible.
    • Implement a stringent password security policy (e.g., length, complexity).
    • Require users to change passwords periodically.
    • Plan to implement two-factor authentication for all remote connections wherever possible.
  • Disable unnecessary features and services (e.g., discovery services, remote management services, remote desktop services, etc.).

Advocate for consistent systems monitoring

A vigilant monitoring program detects anomalies in the system, including many malicious cyber tactics.

  • Log and review all authorized external access connections for misuse or unusual activity.
  • Monitor for unauthorized controller change attempts.
    • Implement integrity checks of controller process logic against a known good baseline.
    • Where possible, ensure process controllers are prevented from remaining in remote program mode while in operation.
    • Lock or limit set points in control processes to reduce the consequences of unauthorized controller access.

Founded in 2007, ImageQuest LLC offers managed IT services for companies in Nashville, TN; Louisville, KY; and Bowling Green, KY. Technology solutions include consulting, infrastructure, data compliance, cybersecurity services, and regulatory IT audit assistance. For more information, contact ImageQuest at 888.979.2679.

Surviving 2020 and Looking Into 2021: Top Learnings From The McKeeman Team

McKeeman CommunicationsThe year 2020 has definitely been an unprecedented one for PR firms in Raleigh, NC and beyond. It was a year headlined by massive changes and one pivot after the other. What have we learned from this past year, and how do we leverage those learnings to successfully navigate through the opportunities and challenges of 2021? Here are some key takeaways from all of us here at McKeeman Communications.

What we learned in 2020: It’s okay to be vulnerable.

Businesses are being innovative, thinking out of the box and venturing beyond their comfort zones, doing whatever it takes to survive. Clients have learned to adapt to the current landscape, supporting local heroes when sales have been cut in half and rolling out programs that in normal situations would take months – even years – to take shape. 

These unprecedented times have given us permission to be vulnerable. We’ve learned that telling emotionally-engaging stories that resonate with audiences prompts positive action. Share stories on how COVID-19 has truly affected your business, the steps you’re taking to protect both employees and customers, and how people can show support for you and other local businesses during this time.

Virtual events are in.

Forbes earlier reported that virtual events were up by 1000%. Schools, sports, and even nonprofits have ventured into virtual hosting. Reliable technology and a short but entertaining program are keys to a successful virtual event.

Be where your market is: in social media.

A 2020 Harris Poll revealed that between 46% to 51% of adults in the US were using social media more than they were before the pandemic. They use social media to get news updates, connect with friends and family, and shop. If you still aren’t into social media yet, now is the perfect time to jump right in. Increase your chances of social media success with these steps:

  • Develop a social media calendar. Don’t just focus on selling – focus on your people, your customers, and telling your story.
  • Create compelling visual content. This could be images, graphics, or, even better, video, as it has the highest organic reach.
  • Invest in social media ads. Fewer than 5% of your followers will see your average organic post. Ads can be targeted toward relevant audiences; this helps cut through the clutter and introduces your content to an even bigger market. 

Acknowledging the pandemic, having an action plan, and following through with that plan will help ease customer fears.  

Even if no one in your company has it, or has come in contact with COVID-19, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t address its potential impact. Acknowledging that you have control over your business’ situation creates confidence for others, from your employees to your customers.

By putting together a plan focused on preventive measures against the virus, your leadership team can help gain employee trust. Ensure that this plan is shared by everyone within the organization. Your customers will likewise be thankful that an issue that feels like an elephant in the room is being confronted, addressed, and dealt with. 

Acknowledgment, taking responsible action, and following through on action plans offer the most effective way to navigate a crisis. While we can’t always see a crisis coming, we can be prepared for them, and sometimes even avoid them altogether.

Public relations strategies in 2021: What lies ahead?

Accept the fact that it’s still not business as usual.

We have, and still are, going through some really challenging times. The world around is changing by the hour. The future remains uncertain, and that’s okay. Embracing this reality allows you to meet customers and key audiences where they are. 

Now is not the time to sell. 

Traditional marketing during these times is just white noise and can be perceived as thoughtless, unsympathetic or opportunistic. Regroup and consider how your messaging will land in today’s climate. Adapt your messaging specifically for each channel you’re using.  

Be there for your customers. 

You may have a great product, a great experience, or the next big thing – but that might not be what your customers need right now. Understand what their real needs are and help them address those needs.

How you communicate in this new normal speaks volumes, now and in the future, and can set you up for success. Authentic empathy will actually strengthen your customer relationships. 

Prepare a crisis action plan.

Consider the following questions:

  • Does your company have a documented crisis/issues action plan that’s shared by all? If you don’t have one, start by meeting with your leadership team to discuss the top three to five recurring issues your organization has been facing that you’d like to address.
  • Do you have a crisis management team? Who in your company is consistently involved when a crisis or issue hits? If it’s your sole responsibility to do this, that needs to change. And fast.
  • Is your company’s mission, core values, and messaging shared by everyone on your team? It’s essential that your employees share consistent messaging and live and breathe your core values. This needs to start from the front lines.

Recognized as one of the leading PR firms in Raleigh NC, McKeeman Communications is an independent PR agency working with companies that are experiencing rapid growth or change.  We help localize and share messaging that builds awareness and trust for their brands. Visit our website to learn more.

Early Warning Signs of Dyslexia and its Practical Interventions

Currey Ingram

One of the most common learning difficulties is dyslexia, which can cause problems with reading, writing, and spelling. Unlike a learning disability, dyslexia does not affect a child’s intelligence. 

There are misconceptions about dyslexia. It has been said that dyslexia is caused by vision problems; the truth is, it is a hereditary learning difficulty. A child with a dyslexic parent has a higher probability of being dyslexic as well. Another misconception is that dyslexia can be outgrown. While there is no “cure” for dyslexia, early intervention and proper science-based instruction are crucial in helping dyslexic students become fluent and skilled readers. 

Be on the lookout for these early warning signs of dyslexia so intervention can take place as soon as possible.

Early signs of dyslexia

Children find it difficult to articulate what’s on their mind. Observe how they speak; it might take a few moments before they could express something, even if the concept is familiar to them. It might seem like a normal interaction, but when the pauses happen frequently, it could be a sign that the child is struggling to retrieve information. 

Watch out for subtle nuances. Switching words can be a red flag; a child for example would say “predator” instead of “president.” Moreover, the child has not expressed any interest in books, reading, or being read to; learning language might be overwhelming for them.

Children with dyslexia will confuse pronouns and have difficulty with learning how to rhyme since there’s a disconnect between the words and their sounds. They gravitate towards picture books even when they are in middle school and seldom choose text-heavy books.

They do not have a strong phonological awareness. When they hear a word that does not naturally conform with what they know about language, children with strong phonological awareness would stop and ask themselves, “Did I read that wrong? Did someone spell that wrong?” and try to correct the error. Dyslexic children do not have the natural ability to identify these errors.

Dyslexic students have a hard time with rapid naming tests. Students would usually learn the names of colors, letters, and numbers quickly as soon as they enter school and formal instruction begins. A child struggling with dyslexia cannot easily recall the words when they see a visual stimulus. He or she might be thinking, “I see something red, I know what it is, but I don’t know what to call it.”

Look into their handwriting. Because reading and writing rely on related underlying processes, dyslexia can manifest through the child’s writing as well. Signs include poor spelling, poor legibility, lack of a diverse vocabulary, poor idea development, and/or lack of organization.

Practical strategies that work for students with dyslexia

Keep in mind that students with dyslexia are learning to read, and not reading to learn. They have already developed a negative attitude towards reading and would rather not do it given the chance. It’s thus important to explore and use all teaching modalities possible. Pair a physical book with an audio guide, for example.

Providing structure and routine to the learning process. Knowing what happens next gives them peace of mind. Students with dyslexia lose their sense of security when they are tasked to read a book; they feel that their weaknesses are exposed for all the world to see. 

They also want to understand why things are the way they are (i.e., why a word is spelled a certain way while another word is spelled differently). 

Acknowledge and embrace their strengths. Celebrate triumphs such as a word spelled correctly or a sentence read beautifully. This makes a huge difference.

Encourage reading for pleasure. Let them read what they want to read and at their own pace.

Simultaneous oral spelling is highly recommended. Students hear the adult say the word out loud and then they repeat the word, making sure they have the correct mouth movement. They write the letters, say them out loud, feel the motor movements of their mouth, feel the movement of their hands as they write the letters, and see the word they wrote. They then read the word they wrote. Seeing all the elements come together helps students understand how words are formed.

Use a phonics phone. It’s a simple tube shaped like a telephone receiver, often made from plastic PVC pipe. This allows the students to speak quietly in one end and hear their own voice through the other, helping them identify subtle sounds they might not have heard otherwise.

Enroll them in a school that understands their needs. From the Lower School to the Upper School and Residential Life program, Currey Ingram Academy provides a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment to students in grades K-12 as they acquire the skills to excel in reading and writing. A private boarding school in Brentwood, Currey Ingram Academy understands that students learn differently; teachers use different evidence-based instructional practices and present material through individualized, structured, and multisensory approaches (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) to best meet the instructional and learning needs of each student. 

Specializing in dyslexia, private boarding school Currey Ingram Academy supports and empowers students with learning differences to achieve their fullest potential – academically and socially – within an environment that fosters holistic student development. Get in touch by calling (615) 507-3173.

View Security Cameras From Multiple Locations Through This Easy To Use Application

ICU Security

Current security camera technologies allow businesses to set up multiple cameras in different locations, which owners and managers can monitor from wherever they are, at any time, from a network-supported mobile device.

Monitoring different security cameras using different applications can be a tedious task, though. To address this, security camera providers have come up with easy-to-use applications that enable users to view and manage these security cameras from a single interface. One such application is the GeoVision’s GV Edge Recording Manager for Windows, a tool designed to manage recordings from remote GV-IP Cameras and GV-Target Cameras. It is an integrated interface from which you can access live views, enable recordings, play back videos, and view storage space without checking on each host´s web interface. The Windows Operating System makes it extremely user-friendly. 

Live view options

GV Edge Recording Manager’s live view options can be configured depending on how many security cameras users want to keep track of; you can view 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 25, 36, 49, and 64 security cameras simultaneously. Note that viewing more than 32 security cameras at one time requires a GV-USB dongle.

You can easily group security cameras you frequently view and switch from one group to the other by clicking the Favorites button. You can also expand a live view to fit the entire screen of your selected monitor and take a snapshot of all currently open cameras.

Audio options

Audio does not play by default, but this feature can be enabled with a simple right-click on the security camera you want to listen to.

Assigning recording to NAS servers

NAS servers are storage devices connected to a network that allow storage and retrieval of data from a centralized location. Through the GV Edge Recording Manager, you can have GV-IP Cameras or GV-Target Cameras record to NAS servers of your choice and also view the storage information such as the occupied space and remaining space. 

Other key features of the GV Edge Recording Manager include:

  • Display up to 32 channels for free, up to 64 channels using a GV-USB dongle
  • On-demand display for dual channels
  • Fisheye dewarping
  • PIP/PAP view
  • Manual snapshot
  • Enable and disable host recording for GV-IP Devices
  • Host storage assignment to NAS servers for compatible GV-IP Devices
  • Remote playback
  • Batch IP address assignment for GV-IP Devices
  • PTZ control
  • Two-way audio
  • Import and export of system configuration
  • View storage information (free and occupied space) for GV-IP Devices

If you’re planning to upgrade your existing security camera system, get in touch with Nashville-based ICU Security’s highly qualified team today. ICU Security only uses products that are designed to last, with the service to make it so. Request a live demonstration of their security camera systems and find a solution that meets your needs.

Established in 1999, ICU Security is a Nashville-based security camera installation company serving communities in Brentwood, Murfreesboro, and Franklin, TN. Get in touch by calling (615) 786-0912.

Asphalt Is Still The Best Paving Option For Residential Driveways. Here’s Why.

Hargrove SealcoatingIt can be said that a home is a reflection of its owners. Because of this, you always want to keep it looking as best as it can create a favorable first impression. Nice homes can have trimmed hedges, gates that aren’t rusting, and walls that have a fresh coat of paint.

Unfortunately, we often overlook the state of our driveways. If the driveway is in poor condition or made of subpar material, it diminishes the overall appeal of our homes. Hiring an asphalt paving contractor should be a priority when doing home improvements, especially if the property is up for sale. 

Let’s look at some of the paving materials available and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Stone/Gravel

We understand the appeal of gravel driveways. For one, these are very affordable; you can simply ask landscapers to drop a load of gravel on your property and rake it evenly across the surface. It drains well, too. 

However, it’s difficult to remove snow piling up without disturbing the material. Strong storms can also wash out the gravel, and it doesn’t do a great job of keeping weeds at bay. It’s not advisable to use gravel as a long-term paving material due to the upkeep involved.

Concrete

There are property owners who consider concrete as the premium residential driveway surface option since it’s expensive to install. 

On the other hand, concrete is not recommended for large surface areas and it easily becomes brittle when exposed to extreme temperature changes (i.e., cold and brutal winters) even when it’s professionally installed. While asphalt can be affected by soaring temperatures, the heat we experience isn’t as damaging to asphalt driveways the way freeze/thaw cycles can wreak havoc on concrete.

Brick

Just like concrete, brick driveways are considered premium. Individual blocks are strong, but there can be problems when they are laid out poorly and do not form a solid surface. Brick driveways are likewise prone to freeze/thaw cycles and do not prevent weeds from growing through the cracks.

Grass/Mud

If you live on a farm or in a rural area, guests can park their vehicles anywhere. This can result in mud and grass displacement. Additionally, guests may feel uncomfortable getting their vehicles or clothing dirty.

As a paving material for driveways, asphalt has several positive properties. It doesn’t get washed out, and with regular sealcoating and maintenance work, it can withstand the elements. With proper care, asphalt can look good as new for decades, which improves your property’s overall appeal.

Hargrove Sealcoating works with homeowners to complete asphalt driveway installation. Call us today to discuss asphalt paving solutions that are right for your home.

Serving Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin, Brentwood, Thompson’s Station, Lewisburg, Murfreesboro, and Nashville, Hargrove Sealcoating is an expert in asphalt paving. Call them today at 931.619.6718. One of their service advisors will be happy to assist you.

Prevent Deer From Damaging Your Property: Here’s How

Straight Shooter Game Fencing

While deer are an important part of the local ecosystem, they can cause a lot of damage to property if left unchecked. Vehicle collisions, crop and landscape damage, and suppressed forest regeneration are problems that can occur when deer congregate near manmade structures.

Here are strategies you can utilize to help mitigate deer inflicted damages.

Fencing 

High fence installation is the most effective long-term solution to prevent deer damage. Deer are capable of jumping over a 10-foot high fence, but they often choose to go under in most cases. For this reason, standard fences must be no more than 6 inches off the ground. Electric fences on the other hand must be no more than 10 to 12 inches above the ground.

Your high fence must be maintained, and any damage should be repaired immediately. Once deer have penetrated the fence, it is difficult to keep them out. Gaps and gates must be closed at all times.

The fence must be visible and should have a clear perimeter. Deer may accidentally run into fences and damage sections if they were not aware it was there.

Electric Fences

Electric fencing need not be a huge investment. Smaller properties can be protected by portable electric fences which can be installed and taken down all on the same day. Owners of larger fields who want to put up permanent electric fences can cut down on costs by investing in solar chargers.

Portable electric fences can use regular electric wire or hot tape, a wide colored tape embedded with wires. It is visible at night and generates an electric shock on contact. 

Enhance your electric fence’s effectiveness by baiting it. Adding a metal tab smeared with peanut butter will lure deer in to approach the fence. By licking the peanut butter its nose and tongue, the deer will be trained to stay away from the fence. Maintain a 30-foot distance between tabs and keep it baited for several weeks after the high fence installation. Otherwise, you may never know if deer will test the fence that shocked them or if there’s a new herd in the area. 

Above all, keep your electric fence charged at all times.

Hunting

Hunting effectively controls deer populations, which reduces the risk of damages. 

Out-of-season shooting permits are issued for properties experiencing extensive deer damage and crop losses outside the normal deer hunting season. This permit is only valid within a specific time frame as determined by a local wildlife biologist. 

Deer Management Assistance Permits (DMAPs) are issued during deer hunting season only. These permits are valid for antlerless deer and are intended to help individuals reduce future crop damage by decreasing the deer population on their property.

A site visit may be required to assess the extent of the damages. The harvested deer may either be kept or donated.

Deer Repellants

Deer have a strong sense of smell. Deer repellants emit scents that falsely alert deer to predators, which keeps them away.

Please note that repellants may not work 100 percent of the time. For best results, test them out during different times of the year and combine these with other preventive strategies.

Liquid Fence. This liquid concentrate produces an odor that repels deer. For crop applications, make sure to use a non-toxic formulation. Re-apply Liquid Fence after a downpour, as rain washes it out and reduces its potency.

Blood Meal. Made from dried animal blood, this high-nitrogen fertilizer has proven to be an effective deer deterrent. Blood meal is often used in orchards and is applied to areas that can potentially attract deer.

Human hair. The scent of human hair is believed to keep deer away. Place hair in mesh bags and hang these on trees and shrubs at the onset of spring; these bags should be no more than three feet apart and should be replaced monthly.

Soap. Wrap highly scented, tallow-based soap bars in mesh or cheesecloth and hang them within three feet of the plants you want to protect from deer.

Scare Tactics

Use scare tactics sparingly as deer can eventually get used to these. Like repellants, combine scare tactics with other measures as these can be ineffective in the long run when used on their own. Scare tactics should also be used with discretion; some might be practical for rural settings but could be a nuisance in suburban areas because of the noise they create.

Siren screamers. These emit a loud, siren-like noise that scares deer off. You can get siren screamers and the device used to fire them from your local wildlife office. 

Flagging. Deer are naturally sensitive to movement. Objects that move with the wind, such as strands of Mylar tape hung from stakes, have been used to prevent deer damage. 

Flashing and strobe lights. Lights startle deer at night when they are more likely to cause damage.

Motion-activated water sprinklers. Sensors detect movement from up to 40 feet away, which triggers a spray of water. This not only deters deer but smaller critters, too.

Straight Shooter Game Fencing works with property owners throughout the US to provide the best high fence installation, service, and fencing materials at competitive prices. Get in touch with us to know more.

Setting Your Deer Fence Height

Straight Shooter Game FencingTo many, deer are graceful and enchanting animals. It’s easy to associate deer with the great outdoors and country living. Although they have a docile reputation, deer are also capable of destroying fruits, vegetables, and flowers in cultivated areas such as a garden or farm. If you live near an area with a large deer population, you can prevent this by having professional deer fence installation done on your property.

The Basics

Deer fences and posts are usually made from plastic or metal, but wood is also an unusual choice. While metal is more durable, plastic offers more variety in terms of style and color options. Think about your property’s terrain, purpose, size, and cost implications when selecting a material to use. 

How High Should a Deer Fence Be?

The size of the deer and the kind of game that lives in your area will largely determine the height of your deer fence. A four-foot fence, for example, would be sufficient to keep out deer in the Florida Keys. In certain parts of the American Northwest, you will need a taller fence to protect your property from deer – and the occasional moose or elk.

A typical North American deer can easily clear a six-foot-high fence. An eight-foot-high one should keep even the strongest and most determined of them away from your garden, orchard, or farm. Consult with your local planning commission or check zoning regulations in your area to know all your options.

Deers are wonderful animals best observed from a respectful distance. With expert deer fence installation, you can enjoy the best of both worlds – nature’s majesty and a safe, damage-free property.

Straight Shooter Game Fencing works with property owners throughout the US to provide the best deer fence installation, service, and fencing materials at competitive prices. Get in touch with us to know more.

14 Mercedes-Benz Facts Everyone Should Know

GPO TuningWhen it comes to German luxury cars, Mercedes-Benz is a crowd favorite. The engineering, style, and drive for innovation sets Mercedes-Benz apart from the rest. 

Just when you thought you knew all there is to know about the brand, here are more Mercedes-Benz facts that will impress you.

If you have any Mercedes-Benz repair and maintenance needs, make sure you reach out to GPO Tuning for help.

  • The Mercedes-Benz logo explained

Designed by co-founder Gottlieb Daimler, the three-pointed star represents the carmaker’s dominance on air, land, and sea. 

  • The company promise

The Mercedes-Benz brand name vehicles were first produced in 1926, following the merger of Karl Benz’s and Gottlieb Daimler’s companies into the Daimler-Benz. Mercedes-Benz is committed to delivering “the best or nothing” in everything it does, and it shows; it is one of the world’s most admired companies, according to Fortune.com.

  • Mercedes-Benz has the papal seal of approval

Mercedes-Benz has been preferred by Catholic Church leaders for over 80 years. Models used by popes include the Nurburg 460 Pullman Saloon (Pope Pius XI), 600 Pullman Laudet and 300 SEL (Pope John XXIII). The name “popemobile” was first used in the 1980s to refer to the modified Mercedes-Benz G-Class used by Pope John Paul II for celebrations in St. Peter’s Square. Pope Francis’s popemobile is a modified Mercedes-Benz M Class.

  • Mercedes-Benz developed a premium bicycle range

Mercedes-Benz has a line of bicycles for two-wheel enthusiasts: the All-Mountain, which features DT Swiss suspension components, hydraulic disc brakes, and SRAM 30-speed gearing; the Fitness Bike, which has a front suspension fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and a minimalist, lightweight aluminum frame; and Trekking Bike, equipped with a dynamo-powered headlight, rear mudguard, and luggage rack. 

Mercedes-Benz recently collaborated with Argon-18 for the Mercedes-Benz Style Endurance Bike, a minimalist road bike designed in the Mercedes-Benz tradition.

  • Pop stars choose Mercedes-Benz

Proud Mercedes-Benz owners include Drake (Mercedes-Benz Maybach G650 Landaulet), Jennifer Lopez (Mercedes-Benz S Class), Beyonce (Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Supercar), Taylor Swift (Mercedes-Benz Viano), Mariah Carey (Mercedes-Benz SLK), Celine Dion (Mercedes-Benz Maybach 62), and Harry Styles (Mercedes-Benz SL Pagoda), even Janis Joplin sang “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz”

  • Yes, there’s a Mercedes-Benz plated in 18k white gold

An enigmatic billionaire from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates reportedly owns a Mercedes-Benz V-10 Quad Turbo made with white gold – valued at a whopping $2.5 million.

  • Mercedes-Benz has a self-driving truck

Known as the Actros, a fleet of these trucks traveled from Germany to Holland in 2016. The trucks are equipped with Highway Pilot Connect, a technology that allows the vehicles to communicate with each other and share road information. The trucks know when to speed up, slow down, turn, and brake.

  • It manufactures the world’s longest sedan

At 6.5 meters, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman is the world’s longest sedan to date. In comparison, the average sedan length is 4.7 meters. Mercedes-Benz pulled out all the stops and decked it out with spacious interiors, luxurious details, and exclusive color combinations.

  • Mercedes-Benz once had a car inspired by a boxfish

In the mid-90s, Mercedes-Benz designed a car inspired by nature. With the boxfish as its model, the company launched the Bionic, a concept car that symbolizes the synergy of biology, engineering, and design. 

  • The world’s first-ever car was made possible by a woman

Engineer and Mercedes-Benz co-founder Carl Benz invented the world’s first car: the Motorwagen, a three-wheeled vehicle powered by a rear-mounted single-cylinder engine. Many would be surprised to learn that his wife, Bertha Benz, financed the project.

  • Who was Mercedes?

Mercedes-Benz was partly named after the daughter of businessman Emil Jellinek, who first commissioned the first modern car, the Mercedes-Benz 35 HP. Co-founder Gottlieb Daimler believed the name brought in luck.

  • Mercedes-Benz race cars were once unpainted

The W25’s aluminum frame was left bare at some point, as it was a kilogram over the weight requirement of the 1934 Nuremberg rally. Engineers had to remove the vehicle’s paint to shed the excess weight. Mercedes F1 cars are now made with carbon fiber and are painted metallic silver as a tribute to its history.

  • A Mercedes-Benz appeared in Jurassic Park

The 1993 hit film featured a Mercedes-Benz ML 320. The car is on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

  • Mercedes-Benz was the first carmaker to mass-produce anti-lock braking systems (ABS) in 1978

Initially available in the S-class sedans, ABS allows the driver to control the steering wheel even during emergency braking.
Mercedes-Benz owners in Nashville can rely on ColorKraft Auto Refinishers (ColorKraftauto.com) for paint and bodywork, collision repair, dent repair, wheel repair, and car detailing services. Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, and BMW models are also accepted for maintenance and repair. Schedule an appointment for Mercedes Benz repair or for other German Automobiles needing repair by calling 931.901.0238. German Performance Options (GPO Tuning) is Nashville’s most trusted import repair shop. Get in touch with their service advisors by calling 615.248.9466.

Game/High Fence Regulations in the Southeastern States

                    Straight Shooter Game Fencing

High fences have been used across the country since the 1930s to manage game and game breeding. High fence installations are considered essential to a property’s security and safety. An increasing number of property owners have been engaging the services of high fence contractors through the years due to the following benefits:

  • Herd control. Deer and other game can be efficiently fenced in or out of a property. This can help to prevent disputes, theft, and potential property damages. The landowner can also use high fences to help regulate populations depending on the capacity of the land.
  • Improved scientific data gathering. Using high fences, biologists can estimate herd size, adult sex ratio, reproduction, and other parameters.
  • Prevents the incidence of vehicle collisions. High fence enclosures near public roads can lower the risk of accidents.

High fence regulations vary from state to state. Learn more below about high fence installation regulations in the Southeastern states. 

Alabama

The state of Alabama is free-wheeling when it comes to high fence properties and enclosures. There are no minimum acreage requirements or permits to be filed, but hunters are required to adhere to state hunting regulations.

Florida

There are no high fence regulations in Florida, and any resident can install a high fence around a property. The maximum height of any fence is eight feet, and it must be installed 2 to 8 inches from a property line. Any game enclosed within a high fence is considered state property.

Hunting preserves in Florida must be at least 200 acres to qualify for a license; at least 50 percent of that area should be well-vegetated and posted every 500 feet, and a preserve’s high fence must be at least 8 feet in height.

Georgia

The state of Georgia allows anyone who owns 640 acres of land to install a high fence on their property. All game within high fence properties is considered state-owned and local hunting regulations must be followed. 

Properties smaller than 640 acres must obtain a permit to erect a high fence.

Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries does not officially approve of high fences. Landowners may prevent anyone from hunting or fishing in their property. However, any captured wildlife, despite the prohibition of entry, belongs to the captor.

Mississippi

High fence property owners in Mississippi are required to obtain an annual Facility Permit, which costs $300 a year for enclosures up to 300 acres. Properties larger than 300 acres must pay a fee of $1 per acre. 

The state’s Enclosure Management Assistance Program oversees all high fence enclosures. A wildlife biologist from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will draft a management plan for the licensed enclosure and conduct inspections as needed. 

Breaches or openings in an enclosure must be reported to the MDWFP within 24 hours of discovery.  Any game that escapes from a high fence enclosure and poses a risk to public safety may be captured and/or euthanized by MDWFP representatives or by any law enforcement agency.

Virginia

With the exception of high fence enclosures registered before August 2001, all fences that impede game movement are considered illegal in the state of Virginia.

Should there be a need to build a fence between neighbors, an owner of the game or livestock has to pay for the construction, maintenance, and preservation of the fence. 

High fencing regulations are continuously evolving, and seasoned high fence contractors should be familiar with all of state and local laws. Consult with your state wildlife agency and local law enforcement officials for the latest updates.

Straight Shooter Game Fencing is a high fence contractor specializing in high-tensile game fence. We deliver the best fencing installation and maintenance services, as well as fencing materials, at competitive prices. Get in touch with us to know more.

Brentwood Private School Takes Fresh Approach To Corrective Action

Currey IngramIf you are a parent struggling to figure out why your child is not responding to your constant pleas for a behavioral change, keep reading. We recently sat down with administrators from Currey Ingram Academy, a private school located in Brentwood, Tennessee, who tell us that reframing a child’s consequences is an effective approach to teaching new behaviors. Keep reading to find out some ways this academic institution helps their students evaluate their own actions.

Q: Good morning, we want you to know we appreciate you taking time out of your day to sit with us.

Currey Ingram: It is absolutely no problem. We are happy to talk with you.

Q: We wanted to reach out to you about discipline. Many parents today struggle with how to show their children – particularly teenagers – that their actions are not acceptable. One of our readers mentioned that they have seen a huge change in their 16-year-old since enrolling them in your school. Can we talk about how your staff and teachers approach the issue of behavioral modification?

Currey Ingram: Absolutely. First, it is important to know that we believe young learners respond best to consequences as opposed to discipline. What this means is that undesirable behavior creates an effect they can relate to their original action. For example, if a student is running through the hallways, a possible disciplinarian action would be detention. A consequential action would be that they must practice how to move throughout the hallways.

Q: In other words, they have to be logical and stem directly from the situation?

Currey Ingram: Yes, you could say that. We try to take a three-step approach toward issuing consequences. The first is that they have to be known ahead of time and communicated clearly. The next is that they must be logical and natural, such as in the example above. Finally, we also prioritize reinforcing positive behaviors with positive consequences.

Q: How do you communicate the potential consequences of an action without knowing how a student might react in a particular situation?

Currey Ingram: Since we run a private school, we have a fairly predictable routine. One tactic we can employ is to let students know that we expect their full attention during a lecture, for example. We would tell them before speaking that disruptive behaviors will be met with X consequence from the teacher or staff member in charge. We also have a list of rules that our students are expected to follow, and we look at each student on an individual basis to determine what consequences might be best geared toward their needs and personality.

Q: Why is it important that consequences relate to the infraction?

Currey Ingram: Every action creates a cycle of cause and effect. Humans learn from an early age that if they do one thing that something else happens immediately after. We do not lose this instinct as we age. So now, as teenagers, our students are still learning that everything they do triggers a response. Whether you are in a public or private school, students interacting with each other have consequences. For example, Student A says something hurtful to Student B. As a result, Student B ends their friendship. This is a natural and logical consequence. It makes sense to take the same approach when working toward the goal of behavioral modifications.

Q: You asserted earlier that Currey Ingram also prioritized positive consequences. Tell us a bit about that.

Currey Ingram: Because we are a private school, we have the authority and ability to offer numerous positive outcomes in response to desired behaviors. In other words, when we see a student doing something they should do, we want them to know that we recognize their good behavior.

Q: Give us some examples of a positive reinforcement strategy.

Currey Ingram: For younger students, we might offer stickers or small toys as a tangible reward. Older students may enjoy perks, such as having a few extra minutes of video game time. Our private school campus in Brentwood also offers a boarding option, so many of our high school scholars are with us around the clock, which gives our staff an opportunity to further reinforce positive behaviors outside of school hours. All of our students – and most children in general – respond well to social rewards, which might include praise or recognition.

Q: How do you help your students learn to recognize their own positive behaviors?

Currey Ingram: That is a great question. One way we do this is by being very mindful of how we phrase verbal recognition. Instead of simply saying, “You did good work today!” we might say, “You worked very hard on your project, you must be very proud of yourself!” 

Q: So you are reframing the praise?

Currey Ingram: Absolutely. Similarly, by reframing consequences as more of a learning experience than a disciplinary action, we hope to get through to our students in a way that will be lasting and impactful.

Q: That is very interesting. Before we close, can you tell our readers a bit about your program?

Currey Ingram: Currey Ingram Academy is a private school located in Brentwood, just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Our educational facility caters to students with learning differences, such as ADHD and dyslexia. We take a comprehensive approach to helping to develop appropriate and responsible behaviors both inside and outside of the classroom. We know that each one of our students has the potential to achieve more than they give themselves credit for. By illustrating cause and effect for all behaviors, we believe that we can help these students by empowering them to take control of their actions before they happen. To learn more about Currey Ingram and how this private boarding school can help your child, visit https://www.curreyingram.org today.