SANTA CLARITA – Spring promises warmer days and budding blooms, but beware: Unseasonable weather has awakened rattlesnakes early from their winter snooze. The local nature center has documented several sightings. “When you have strange, erratic weather patterns, you have strange, erratic emergence of animals,” said Ian Swift, director of the Placerita Canyon Nature Center and supervisor of the 350-acre park. “Things like temperature, rainfall, humidity are all these cues they respond to when it’s time to emerge.” Gauges at the nature center measured just 2inches of rainfall since July, one-tenth of the norm. Winter days when temperatures rise above the low 70s are considered warm. November tallied 10 such days; December had eight; January had five; and February had eight, said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service. Southern Pacific rattlesnakes are the species indigenous to Southern California. About 200 snakebites are reported each year statewide. This month, a sixth-grader at Leona H. Cox Elementary School in Canyon Country was bitten by a juvenile rattlesnake that found its way into a classroom. The school backs up to a rugged hillside, and staff members are reviewing animal-safety precautions with students, Principal Laura Banda said. Swift said the recent cold snap, where temperatures dipped lower than in decades, probably killed many snakes, especially babies. Snake season typically ranges from mid-March to late October. “Snakes are a natural rodent control,” Hoffman said. “They’re part of nature’s checks and balances.” Experts caution against handling rattlesnakes and urge people to call the department of animal control for removal. If you are bitten, call 911, immediately lower the area of the bite below your heart and remove any jewelry or clothing that might constrict blood flow. [email protected] (661) 257-5255 During winter, rattlers become inactive, imbedding themselves deep underground in abandoned animal burrows where the thermostat is pretty constant. Snakes are cold-blooded and unable to control their inner warmth. “Warm temperatures and extended daylight causes reptiles to become active,” said Russ Smith, general curator of reptiles at the Los Angeles Zoo. “They start crawling around looking for food, and in early spring they start looking for a mate. This month, we’ve already had 90-degree weather, and that’s gotten the little guys active.” If snakes had hands to set their ideal thermostat, they would fix it between 75 and 85degrees. Frank Hoffman, education director at the nature center, attributes the flurry of sightings before the first day of spring to warm weather and lack of rain. According to the National Weather Service, southwestern California has experienced a very warm year, in part because of strong northeast winds blowing lots of warm, dry air.
West Ham have reportedly launched an audacious bid to sign Salomon Kalou on loan.The Daily Mail say the Hammers are hopeful of agreeing a deal with Chelsea, who are said to be closing on an £8m swoop for winger Kevin de Bruyne after lodging an improved bid with Genk.The Daily Mirror say Chelsea plan to sign de Bruyne and then loan him back to Genk for the rest of the season.Zamora is a target for QPR.The Mail also say that while remaining keen on Bobby Zamora, QPR boss Mark Hughes wants the striker’s Fulham team-mate Clint Dempsey and is weighing up a move for South Africa forward Katlego Mphela, 27, of Mamelodi Sundowns.It is also claimed that Hughes wants to take R’s youth product Raheem Stirling back to Loftus Road on loan but Liverpool are not keen.Sao Paulo striker Henrique could still join QPR despite being denied a work permit, according to the South American club’s vice-president Joao Lopes.“Both parties will meet again to try to come to an agreement,” the Brazilian media quoted Lopes as saying.Anton Ferdinand plans to ignore QPR’s order to shake John Terry’s hand before Saturday’s match against Chelsea and will not acknowledge the Blues captain, according to the Mirror.Finally, The Sun claim Paris St-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti is to sign Alex from Chelsea for £4m but will wait until the summer to raid his former club for Frank Lampard.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
20 May 2013South African bank Absa has launched a multi-currency travel prepaid cash card through MasterCard, which is available in four currencies and is a first for the country and the continent.The bank will also be launching an Islamic Banking multi-currency passport soon, which is a first Sharia’h compliant and unique solution for clients travelling overseas.“Although there are other prepaid travel cards in South Africa, they can only carry one currency at a time,” Absa’s head of retail banking, Arrie Rautenbach, said in a statement last week.“The multi-currency cash passport card has the ability to allow customers to carry foreign exchange loaded with multiple currencies on one card.“When the card is used in the destination country, the system intelligently chooses the correct currency depending on the country the cardholder is in, as long as the currency is available – for example, if in the US the system will automatically debit the US dollar purse on the card,” he said.It is currently available in US and Australian dollars, British pounds and euros.“If an ATM withdrawal or point of sale transaction is made in a currency which is different to any of the available currencies on the card, or exceeds the relevant available currency balance on the card, the amount will be funded by converting the transaction amount onto the next available currency balance on the card,” he said.It also offers security features and emergency assistance if the card is lost, stolen or damaged. “It is chip and PIN enabled and it is not linked to your bank account, which means it is secure and convenient,” Rautenbach said.Customers whose cards are lost or stolen can phone a toll-free number and arrangements will be made to provide emergency cash up to the available balance on the card or courier a replacement card to the cardholder within 24 or 48 hours.“The multi-currency cash passport is convenient for frequent travellers and those who cross multiple borders on the same trip,” said global prepaid travel card management company Access Prepaid Worldwide’s managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Alan King.Access Prepaid Worldwide is part of Mastercard.“Together with Absa, not only are we first to market in South Africa with this innovative product, but it’s a first for Africa,” he said.SAinfo reporter
NEW YORK (AP) — Vladislav Namestnikov snapped a tie in the third period, and the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Saturday night to stop a six-game slide.Ryan Strome had two goals and an assist and Libor Hajek scored his first NHL goal for the Rangers, who hadn’t won since beating the Devils in their previous meeting on Feb. 23. Namestnikov also had two assists, and Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves.Damon Severson and Blake Coleman scored first-period goals for New Jersey, which has lost six in a row. Cory Schneider made 37 saves.New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) deflects the puck as New Jersey Devils’ Eric Tangradi looks for a rebound during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/ Bill Kostroun)The Devils carried a 2-1 lead into the third, but Hajek got a cross-ice pass from Strome and wristed a shot past Schneider on the glove side at 1:29.Namestnikov then made it 3-2 when he scored his 10th of the season at 13:25 off a pass from Mika Zibanejad. Strome added an empty-netter.Trailing 2-0 after the first, the Rangers controlled play for most of the second and got on the board late in the period.Kevin Shattenkirk’s shot from just inside the blue line was deflected by Strome, who scored his 12th at 18:22. The Rangers outshot the Devils 14-2 for the period, but Schneider was sharp for New Jersey.The Devils got off to a fast start.New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stops the puck during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/ Bill Kostroun)First, Severson’s shot from the right point got past Lundqvist for his 10th of the season 16:26 into the first. Then New Jersey ended its lengthy power-play drought when Coleman deflected Will Butcher’s shot for his 19th of the season at 19:49. The Devils had come up empty on their previous 25 power plays.Down, not out.The @NYRangers complete the @dunkindonuts NHL Comeback! pic.twitter.com/8YH488FjwM— NHL (@NHL) March 10, 2019NOTES: Devils F Travis Zajac reached 500 points with his first-period assist. He is the fourth player in franchise history to reach the mark. … New Jersey, which is without several forwards because of injuries, recalled forwards Eric Tangradi and Brandon Gignac from Binghamton of the AHL. … Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was scratched. … The Rangers agreed to terms with goaltender Adam Huska on an entry-level contract. He appeared in 69 games in the past three seasons with UConn. Huska was a seventh-round selection in the 2015 draft.UP NEXTDevils: Continue their six-game trip Tuesday night at Calgary.Rangers: Open four-game trip at Edmonton on Monday night.By: Simmi Buttar, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares