JANUARY 20TH, 2018 WARREN KORFF INDIANA -News Director for 44News in Evansville, IN.Indiana U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly was one of only 5 Democrats in the Senate to cross party lines and vote in favor of a bill to keep the government running. On the other side of the aisle, Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul were two of only 5 Republicans to vote against it. The bill failed on a 50-49 vote late Friday, which essentially shuts down the U.S. Government.Earlier Friday the House voted in favor of the bill. All members of the House from the Southwestern Indiana, Southeastern Illinois, and Western Kentucky voted in favor of it.Failure to pass bill cuts off funding to various agencies, but Congressmen and Senators will be paid during the shutdown.Donnelly says he will donate all of his take home pay during the shutdown to a charities in Indiana. At this point he has not said what charities those might be, but during the 2013 shutdown Donnelly donated his pay to 10 different food banks around the state.Warren KorffNews Director for 44News in Evansville, IN.More Posts – Website FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Mario’s, located at 1510 Bay Avenue in Ocean City, offers families a great place for a tasty Italian meal, while dining outdoors. (Photo courtesy the Baltz family) By MADDY VITALESome things in life are too good to change, too good to be altered, best just to stay the same.That is the case with Mario’s Pizzeria. It is under new ownership by Mary and Jonathan Baltz, of Upper Township, and Mary’s father, Michael Sannuti, of Ocean City. But it continues with the same old traditions.Mary has a wealth of experience in the restaurant business. She has worked at Mario’s since she was 15. Now 30, she has spent years learning from the former owners what it takes to create and grow a successful business.Brothers Ernesto and Joe Cannuscio sold the business to Mary, Jonathan and Sannuti this June.“People in Ocean City don’t like change. We love the longtime customers and want them to know that,” Mary said. “Everyone in Ocean City has been very supportive of us with all that is going on.”“They love the old owners. We want them to know that all of the same staff is here,” Mary added. “Ernesto still works here, too.”Cook James Lancomb, 33, has been making pizzas at Mario’s for 11 years.Other than some updates, a splash of new paint on the exterior and some additions to the menu, the family is pleased to continue to offer the same great food and service that vacationers and residents in Ocean City have come to love through the years from the restaurant.Located at the corner of 15th Street and Bay Avenue, Mario’s Pizzeria has been a popular fixture that has kept patrons coming back since it opened in 1977.“A lot of people who I served when I was 16 still come to Mario’s,” Mary said.“Vacationers even come in every year. They make it a tradition,” added Jonathan Baltz, who grew up and went to school in Ocean City.Customers have an array of specialty pies and fresh toppings to choose from, and an assortment of salads and appetizers.Delicious tomato pies, the tasty margherita pizza to a Sicilian pie that is something to feast on, it is a pizza-lover’s paradise. Homemade minestrone soup and rice pudding are also staples for the loyal customers.Jonathan described the margherita pizza, “It’s amazing.”And for those who relish the entrees, they won’t go away hungry after sampling the eggplant rollatini or chicken parm and even Mike Sannuti’s homemade meatballs.Mary Baltz are her father, Michael Sannuti, are excited to work together to continue Mario’s success.The menu, which is reasonably priced, is packed. There is even an extensive vegan menu with an assortment of plant-based entrees to choose from. The menu was created by Ernesto Cannuscio before the sale of Mario’s, and Mary and her family continue the popular vegan addition.Like at other restaurants, the COVID-19 pandemic has closed the inside dining service. But Mario’s remained open and expanded the outdoor dining. In addition, delivery and curbside pickup have kept the owners very busy. They are in the process of revamping the website so that customers could do online ordering, which will be offered soon, Mary pointed out.“We have it down to a science. People drive up and give their number and we run out their orders,” Mary noted.Mary said that the community has been very supportive of the restaurant, especially during the pandemic, when some people suggested it might not be the best time to buy a restaurant.But Mary, Jonathan and Michael knew otherwise.“We worked it out,” Mary said. “My dad was a big part of helping us and the customers have been so supportive and happy we are still the same Mario’s.”Mario’s is open Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and on Sundays at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call (609) 398-0490 or visit Mario’s on Facebook. Jonathan and Mary Baltz. (Photo courtesy the Baltz family)
Houston-based Vaalco Energy has begun workover operations to restore production to two wells currently shut-in on the Avouma platform offshore Gabon.Vaalco said on Tuesday that the workover operations on the platform began on May 17, 2018.The company added that the work on the platform entailed replacing electric submersible pumps (ESPs) on the Avouma 2-H and South Tchibala 1-HB wells.The ESP on the Avouma 2-H well failed in November 2017 and the well was temporarily shut-in. Vaalco also experienced an ESP failure in a different well on the same platform, South Tchibala 1-HB, on December 24, 2017, resulting in that well also being temporarily shut-in.According to Vaalco, net production of approximately 750 net barrels of oil per day (bopd) may be restored if both workovers are successful.Cary Bounds, Vaalco CEO, said: “[…] our workover operations to restore production from two shut-in wells on the Avouma platform have commenced. We are hopeful that modifications to the design of the downhole ESP equipment, improvements in the installation procedures and upgrades to the surface control systems on the platform will result in improved operational reliability.“With the additional 750 net bopd of production that these wells could bring back online if the workover operations are successful, coupled with higher Brent pricing, we will continue to enhance our ability to generate cash in 2018.”Vaalco also said that its subsidiary paid off the outstanding balance on its amended term loan agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).On March 31, 2018, debt, net of deferred financing costs, totaled $7 million. The total payoff amount for the principal and accrued interest since March 31 was approximately $7.2 million.Vaalco now has no debt on the balance sheet for the first time since June 30, 2014. The company said that it saved over $0.3 million in interest over the next year.“We are realizing significant cash flow generation due to the strong improvement in Brent oil prices with no hedges currently in place. This is allowing us to eliminate all of our outstanding debt and strengthen our balance sheet. We are improving our financial position in anticipation of a development drilling campaign on our offshore Gabon asset in 2019,” Bounds said.