More than 400 pool players will gather for the American CueSports Alliance 2018 ACS Texas State Championships in Port Arthur on Oct. 24–28.The public is invited to watch the tournament from 10 a.m. to midnight Wednesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive in Port Arthur. More than 40 pool tables will be set up for the tournament.There is no charge to watch the tournament. “We’re ready for the players. This is the first event of this kind to be held at the civic center as the group moves in over 40 pool tables. We know they’re here to compete, and we extend an invitation for them to unwind in Port Arthur and enjoy our scenic views and restaurants,” Port Arthur Convention & Visitors Bureau director Tammy Kotzur said.For a list of past ACS-Texas winners, visit www.acs-texas.netFor more information on Port Arthur’s hotels and attractions, visit www.visitportarthurtx.cm “ACS Texas is super excited about bringing our game to Port Arthur,” treasurer Janet Ybarra said.The first place winner will receive entry fees to the ACS Nationals in Las Vegas in May 2019. There will be doubles, singles and team events“This year, $10,000 has been added to prize money, thanks to local sponsor Reel Cajun Seafood Restaurant and Bar,” Ybarra said. “But, it’s just a game. You win some, you lose some. As long as you’re having fun… That’s what counts,” Ybarra said.Prize sponsor Tony Nguyen, owner of Reel Cajun in Port Arthur and Lumberton, is also owner of Diamond Sports Bar & Grill in Port Arthur. He said pool is now his passion.“I grew up playing it. It’s embedded in me. It’s something I love to do,” Nguyen said.Past tournaments have been staged in cities such as Fort Worth, Belton and Midland-Odessa.
Law enforcement agencies from every state are expected to participate in Operation Dry Water weekend, focusing their efforts on detecting impaired boaters and educating the public about the dangers of boating under the influence. Since the inception of the Operation Dry Water Campaign in 2009, law enforcement officers have removed 3,532 BUI operators from the nation’s waterways and made contact with over 1.3 million boaters during the annual three-day weekend.In addition to having a designated driver, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stresses the following four key points to decrease boating and water related accidents, injuries, and deaths.Wear a life jacket. 70 percent of persons who died in a boating accident would be alive today if they had worn a life jacket.Use the ignition safety switch. Commonly called a “kill switch,” the ignition safety switch will stop the engine if you fall overboard and prevent you from becoming stranded or run over by your boat.Learn how to swim.Formal lessons can help protect swimmers from drowning.Take a Boater Education course.Anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, must complete a boater education course to operate a personal watercraft or a boat with a 15 horsepower rating or more. Operating a boat with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 percent is an offense that can lead to fines, confinement in jail and the loss of a driver’s license. In 2018, game wardens issued 162 boating while intoxicated citations across the state.“A recent fatal boating accident in Chambers County that took the lives of three clearly shows the risk of boating while intoxicated,” Texas Game Warden Col. Grahame Jones, TPWD law enforcement division director, said. “We will not tolerate people placing the boating public in harm by drinking and boating. You will be arrested and charged appropriately.”Alcohol use is also the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading factor in recreational boating accidents. Where the primary cause was known, alcohol was listed as the leading factor in 19% of deaths, according to 2017 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics. AUSTIN – As boaters head out to Texas waterways for the Fourth of July holiday, Texas game wardens and thousands of law enforcement officers will be on heightened alert looking for those violating boating under the influence laws.These ramped-up efforts to crack down on impaired boaters will continue July 5-7 during the annual Operation Dry Water weekend, a nationally coordinated heightened awareness and enforcement campaign focused on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.“Boating under the influence is just as deadly as drinking and driving,” said Cody Jones, TPWD assistant commander for marine enforcement. “Every year we see dozens of boating accidents and tragedies on Texas waters that could have been avoided if the operator had refrained from drinking. We are calling on all Texans to keep our lakes safe and fun this holiday weekend and throughout the year by limiting alcohol consumption and having a designated driver at all times when boating on Texas waterways.” For more information about boating safety, laws and requirements, visit TPWD’s boating laws website.Special to The News
Vermont Business Magazine Avangrid Renewables representatives, joined by Governor Shumlin and local elected officials, broke ground on Deerfield Wind today in Searsburg in Benninigton County. Once operational, Deerfield wind will produce enough energy each year to power around 14,000 average Vermont households with clean, renewable electricity. Avangrid signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for the project with Green Mountain Power in 2015. The 30-megawatt (MW) project will include 15 Gamesa wind turbines and will be the first utility-scale project on US Forest land in the country. Avangrid Renewables was formerly known as Iberdrola Renewables.Governor Shumlin, center, with company and local officials, participates in the ceremonial groundbreakinig at the Deerfield Wind farm Monday. Courtesy photo.“I am proud that since I took office we have increased solar by eleven times and wind generation by twenty times, and that we now have over 17,000 Vermonters working in clean energy jobs,” Shumlin said. “I am also proud that we are making this progress even as we have now have the second-lowest electric rates in New England, keeping more money in Vermonters’ pockets. Today we take another step to support the clean energy economy and fight climate change by breaking ground on the Deerfield wind project. This will reduce our region’s reliance on fossil fuels and adds wind power to a part of the grid in Vermont that is ready for it and needs it.”Part of the Deerfield Wind project will be located near the existing Searsburg turbines and utilize shared roads to minimize the impact during construction.“Avangrid Renewables is pleased to partner with the US Forest Service, Green Mountain Power, and the local municipalities to bring over $80 million of renewable energy investment into Vermont,” Avangrid Renewables Executive, Tim Seck said.Deerfield Wind is expected to become operational by the end of 2017. The same developer has been working for years on building the much larger (96.6 MW) Stiles Brook Wind Project northeast of Searsburg in Windham and Grafton, which is supposed to go to voters in November.RELATED STORY: Grafton likely not ready for critical turbine vote“The Forest Service is very proud of the work that we have contributed through the planning and analysis phases of this project,” said John Sinclair, Forest Supervisor for the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. “We look forward to our continued work with Avangrid and administering implementation of the project on the ground.” The project developer says the project has consistently received local support and representatives from the local select boards were also in attendance. “This project is a welcomed renewable energy option that will be beneficial to Readsboro from a revenue standpoint of approximately $150,000 per year, and from an economic standpoint with job creation both during construction and operational and maintenance on a permanent basis,” said Rebecca Stone, Readsboro Town Official. Source: AVANGRID: 9.19.2016AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a diversified energy and utility company with more than $30 billion in assets and operations in 25 states. The company operates regulated utilities and electricity generation through two primary lines of business. Avangrid Networks includes eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.1 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables operates 6.3 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, in states across the United States. AVANGRID employs 7,000 people. The company was formed by a merger between Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corporation in 2015. IBERDROLA S.A. (Madrid: IBE), a worldwide leader in the energy industry, owns 81.5% of AVANGRID. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com(link is external). About Avangrid Renewables: Avangrid Renewables, LLC is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) and the U.S. renewable energy division of parent company IBERDROLA, S.A., an energy pioneer with the largest renewable asset base of any company in the world. Avangrid Renewables, LLC is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and has more than $10 billion of operating assets totaling more than 6,000 MW of owned and controlled wind and solar generation in 19 U.S. states. For more information, visit www.iberdrolaren.com(link is external).
Energy gel pioneer GU Energy Labs has announced three key promotions within the business: Michael Littleton is promoted to Vice President of Finance, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet to Vice President of Innovation and Lauren O’Connor to Director of Marketing.Paving the way in research and development, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, GU Energy’s resident US Olympian (Women’s Marathon, 2008 Beijing Games), will assume the role of Vice President of Innovation. Boasting a Masters in Exercise Physiology, Magdalena has already developed new gels for Rock-n-Roll Marathons, as well as a new Chocolate Peanut Butter flavour. As noted by GU, ‘Magda’ also happens to own the 5th fastest women’s marathon time in US history.A key player in leading GU through recapitalization in August 2013, Michael Littleton, who formerly served as Controller for GU Energy, will now take the reins as Vice President of Finance. Littleton is a CPA by trade and has been integral in helping the company navigate myriad new tax regulations as well as the many new topics engendered by GU’s recently-completed corporate headquarters.Additionally, former Senior Marketing Manager Lauren O’Connor has been promoted to Director of Marketing at GU. A former high level rugby player, O’Connor has already played a key role in development of new marketing ideas, strategies and tactics for GU, and will continue to shape brand marketing strategy in her new role.“We are incredibly excited about extending the responsibilities of Michael, Magdalena and Lauren on our management team,” said Tal Johnson, President and COO of GU Energy. “These individuals have been vital in the elevation, innovation and growth of our brand – we greatly look forward to their continued contributions in their new roles.”www.GUenergy.com Related
The cast from Scapino at Shawnee Mission East. Photo credit Mike Schwabauer.Elections are over and the holiday season hasn’t quite begun – this seems like a good weekend to take things a little slower.Along those lines – I know mindfulness is so 2019, but I am here for it. Presented by Celestine Muhammad, a Certified Dynamic Mindfulness Teacher and co-founder of A Peace of Yoga Kansas City, Mind Full or Mindful at the Corinth branch of the Johnson County Library tonight will explore mindfulness practices like meditation, breathing, and movement to unlock a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection.Another slow and soulful activity – star gazing at the Overland Park Arboretum. Friday night learn about Native American tribes, in particular Potawatomi Nation, that once lived in eastern Kansas. Bring your family and your flashlights and get ready to gaze at the night sky.Scapino! runs at Shawnee Mission East East tonight through Saturday. The show is described as a fun, fast-paced show with mistaken identities, tricks, chase scenes, and young love.Any aspiring opera fans out there? Friday night’s City Center Live in Lenexa is a musical and spiritual journey featuring two women who changed the world: 15-year-old Anne Frank, a Jewish girl during the Holocaust; and Mirabai, a Hindu in 16th-century India who (as legend has it) refused to throw herself on her husband’s funeral pyre and left her family to write ecstatic poetry to Krishna. Channel your inner Demi Moore Friday at Ceramics Date Night, sponsored by Johnson County Parks and Rec. Enjoy some sensory exploration with your special someone as you learn about clay together.Fall in love with nature on Saturday at the Heartland Conservation Alliance’s free, family fun event designed to explore the outdoors. Discover creeks and streams and learn about nature and glades at Camp Branch Glade Park in Stilwell. Enjoy tunes from Old Fangled, food vendors, live animals, a forest treasure hunt and a bonfire.
Mobile aps, Big Data, and new payment solutions are changing the financial services landscape.by. Walt LaskosEach day, more Americans are smitten not by Cupid’s arrow but by their smartphones.Remember that anxiety attack when you became separated from your device? A bit more dramatic than being separated from your spouse during your last business trip, right?I had a Blackberry for the longest time. Recently, I made the jump to an “Android” device—now I’ve become even more smitten.The Android operating system has exposed me to a world of apps I had never experienced. I can find an app for just about anything—turn on my TV set, make a reservation at my favorite restaurant, hail a cab, and even keep track of my vitals as I work out at the gym.So, as you can imagine, I’m thinking there must also be an app that could manage all my finances in a way that would help me optimize my savings.For the concept to work, the app would have to know and analyze my transactional behavior—my spending habits and where I shop, dine, and vacation. Gathering the data would require my approval, of course.The app should also keep tabs on the performance of my 401(k) investments, as well as the latest trends in the markets and economy that affect those investments.Consider the value this app would offer. Purchasing a car would be easier. The app would suggest how much I could afford to spend and if the time was right to make such a transaction given all my other expenses. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Email It is often claimed that people who are bilingual are better than monolinguals at learning languages. Now, the first study to examine bilingual and monolingual brains as they learn an additional language offers new evidence that supports this hypothesis, researchers say.The study, conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, suggests that early bilingualism helps with learning languages later in life.“The difference is readily seen in language learners’ brain patterns. When learning a new language, bilinguals rely more than monolinguals on the brain processes that people naturally use for their native language,” says the study’s senior researcher, Michael T. Ullman, PhD, professor of neuroscience at Georgetown. Pinterest Share LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter “We also find that bilinguals appear to learn the new language more quickly than monolinguals,” says lead author Sarah Grey, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of modern languages and literatures at Fordham University. Grey worked with Ullman and co-author Cristina Sanz, PhD, on this study for her PhD research at Georgetown. Sanz is a professor of applied linguistics at Georgetown.The 13 bilingual college students enrolled in this study grew up in the U.S. with Mandarin-speaking parents, and learned both English and Mandarin at an early age. The matched comparison group consisted of 16 monolingual college students, who spoke only English fluently.The researchers studied Mandarin-English bilinguals because both of these languages differ structurally from the new language being learned. The new language was a well-studied artificial version of a Romance language, Brocanto2, that participants learned to both speak and understand. Using an artificial language allowed the researchers to completely control the learners’ exposure to the language.The two groups were trained on Brocanto2 over the course of about a week. At both earlier and later points of training, learners’ brain patterns were examined with electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes on their scalps, while they listened to Brocanto2 sentences. This captures the natural brain-wave activity as the brain processes language.They found clear bilingual/monolingual differences. By the end of the first day of training, the bilingual brains, but not the monolingual brains, showed a specific brain-wave pattern, termed the P600. P600s are commonly found when native speakers process their language. In contrast, the monolinguals only began to exhibit P600 effects much later during learning – by the last day of training. Moreover, on the last day, the monolinguals showed an additional brain-wave pattern not usually found in native speakers of languages.“There has been a lot of debate about the value of early bilingual language education,” says Grey. “Now, with this small study, we have novel brain-based data that points towards a distinct language-learning benefit for people who grow up bilingual.”The other study co-author is psycholinguist Kara Morgan-Short, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, who also conducted her graduate work with Sanz and Ullman.
Vietnam reports H5N1 outbreak in 1,000-bird village flockAfter reporting an H5N1 avian flu outbreak in poultry 2 days ago, Vietnam reported another one yesterday, this one affecting a village flock in Ninh Thuan province in the southern part of the country, according to a report filed by animal health authorities with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).The disease struck a village flock of 1,000 birds beginning on Aug 29, sickening 220 birds and killing 20. The surviving birds were culled to contain the outbreak.Officials announced control of poultry movement, disinfection, surveillance, and other outbreak response steps. The country has reported numerous H5N1 outbreaks since December.Sep 1 OIE report WHO confirms 2 polio cases in UkraineTwo polio cases involving circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) have been confirmed in Ukraine, which has low vaccination coverage, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced yesterday in a press release.The cases involved onset of paralysis on Jun 30 and Jul 7. Both patients are from the country’s Zakarpatskaya oblast (region) in southwestern Ukraine, which borders Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. The patients are 4 years and 10 months old.Ukraine is at particular risk of cVDPV because of inadequate vaccination coverage. In 2014 only 50% of its children were fully immunized against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases, the WHO said.National health officials are planning an urgent outbreak response. Such an effort would require at least three large-scale supplemental vaccination campaigns involving oral polio vaccine within 2 weeks, as spelled out by the World Health Assembly this May, the WHO said. Two million children younger than 5 years would be targeted.”Circulating VDPVs are rare but well-documented strains of poliovirus that can emerge in some populations which are inadequately immunized,” the WHO said in the release. “A robust outbreak response can rapidly stop such events. Given substantial vaccination coverage gaps across the country and subnational surveillance deficits, the risk of further spread of this strain within the country is deemed to be high.”The agency said the risk of international spread of the disease from Ukraine is low but noted the proximity of the four other countries to the outbreak region. “The emergence of cVDPV strains underscores the importance of maintaining high levels of routine vaccination coverage,” the WHO said.Sep 1 WHO press release Seven dead in Illinois veterans home Legionella outbreakAn outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a veterans home in Illinois has sickened 39 and killed 7 of them, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said yesterday in a news release.The outbreak involves residents at the Illinois Veterans’ Home-Quincy in Adams County. The seven residents who died all had underlying medical conditions, the IDPH said. Their average age was 86, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.”We continue to work diligently with our public health and Veterans’ Affairs partners to get immediate medical care to residents or staff at the Home who are experiencing respiratory illness,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, MD, JD, in the IDPH release. “Unfortunately, we expect to see additional cases and possibly additional deaths because the incubation period for Legionnaires’ disease can be up to 2 weeks, and because patients with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of more severe illness.”The IDPH requested aid from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Aug 30, and the next day four CDC specialists arrived at the home to work with state investigators.Most Legionnaires’ disease cases can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth, such as hot water tanks and cooling towers. People contract the disease by inhaling contaminated water vapor and cannot pass the disease to others.Sep 1 IDPH news release Sep 2 AP story First World Hepatitis Summit to develop strategies, goalsThe WHO and the World Hepatitis Alliance convened the first World Hepatitis Summit today in hopes of raising awareness of the disease and eventually eliminating it, the WHO said in a news release today.Experts from 60 nations are meeting in Glasgow for 3 days in what the WHO calls the first high-level global meeting focused on hepatitis.”We know how to prevent viral hepatitis, we have a safe and effective vaccine for hepatitis B, and we now have medicines that can cure people with hepatitis C and control hepatitis B infection,” said Gottfried Hirnschall, MD, director of the WHO’s global hepatitis program. “Yet access to diagnosis and treatment is still lacking or inaccessible in many parts of the world. This summit is a wake-up call to build momentum to prevent, diagnose, treat—and eventually eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health problem.”The aim of the summit, which is designed to become an annual event, is to help countries with prevention and treatment measures. Attendees plan to declare that the elimination of viral hepatitis is possible and will urge governments to work with WHO to define and agree on global targets for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. In addition, the WHO is launching a manual at the summit for developing and assessing national plans.Policymakers and other attendees will also discuss a draft of the WHO’s Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, which sets targets for 2030, including a 90% reduction in cases, a 65% drop in deaths, and an 80% treatment goal for people who have chronic hepatitis B and C.About 400 million people globally live with viral hepatitis, the WHO said, and the disease kills an estimated 1.45 million people a year, making it a leading cause of death. Most people with chronic viral hepatitis are unaware of their infections.Sep 2 WHO news release
Vitamin D tied to lower respiratory illness rate in older patientsHigh doses of vitamin D were associated with a reduced incidence of acute respiratory illness (ARI) by 40% in elderly, long-term–care residents, according to a study today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.In the first clinical trial to study vitamin D’s impact in a nursing home population, researchers looked at 107 residents in Colorado long-term care facilities over the course of 1 year. The patients were all 60 years and older, with an average age of 84. Although ARI was the primary outcome measured, the scientists also tracked falls and fractures, hypercalcemia, and kidney stones as secondary outcomes.Fifty-five residents received high doses of vitamin D—100,000 units monthly (3,300 to 4,300 units daily)—and 52 received standard doses (400 to 1,000 units per day). Those with higher doses saw ARIs cut 40%, but those patients also fell more compared with the residents who received lower doses of vitamin D. The other secondary outcomes did not vary between the two groups.The authors of the study said the next step would be reproducing the results in a confirmatory trial and further exploring the risk of falls. But the study results are encouraging for clinicians who have little recourse over viral ARI, especially influenza and bronchitis, which are some of the leading causes of morbidity among older adult populations who live in nursing homes, they added.Nov 16 Jour Am Ger Soc studyNov 16 University of Colorado press release Burkholderia cepacia outbreak from saline syringes sickens 149 in 5 statesA multistate Burkholderia cepacia bloodstream infection outbreak linked to contaminated prefilled saline flushes has now sickened 149 people in five states, according to a Nov 9 update from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Most of the infections have occurred in patients in 58 nursing home or rehabilitation facilities. Six deaths have been reported among the patients, though it’s not clear if they were cause by B cepacia infection or other underlying health condition.The saline flush syringes, used for patients receiving intravenous fluids or antibiotics through central venous catheters, investigated as the source of the bacteria, were made by Nurse Assist, based in Haltom City, Tex. On Oct 4 the company recalled its products.Affected states are Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The CDC has urged local and state health authorities to report any B cepacia bloodstream infections in patients treated in facilities that used the products and whose symptoms began after Aug 1.B cepacia is resistant to many common antibiotics, and the same bacterium was implicated in a healthcare-related outbreak over the summer linked to the liquid stool softener docusate.Nov 9 CDC outbreak update
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