Gophers assistant coach punches Olympic ticket

first_imgThe junior finished fifth in Eugene, Ore., just outside the boundaries for qualifying.“Overall I would classify my experience here as a successful learning experience,” Roehrig said on her Gophersports.com blog. “I came in hoping for a top 8 finish and to score over 5800 again, which I accomplished both.”Roehrig lost out to some talented competitors however.Hyleas Fountain scored 6,667 points to claim her third-straight U.S. title while Arizona State’s Jacquelyn Johnson, who has won the NCAA heptathlon crown four years in a row, was one of the two other Olympic qualifiers.Recent Gophers graduate Ruby Radocaj also made the finals in her event, the javelin.After her first attempt in the preliminaries ran foul, Radocaj’s second throw was good enough for third in her flight and a spot in the finals.Radocaj posted a distance of 167 feet, five inches in the finals for a ninth place finish – not high enough to earn an Olympic berth.Purdue’s Kara Patterson, who won the Big Ten Championship this year, won the javelin event with a throw of 191 feet, nine inches.Junior Heather Dorniden advanced to the semifinals in the 800-meter run but finished seventh and failed to qualify for the finals.“The biggest impression I have had over the past two days is the huge number of people who have come up to our athletes and to Matt [Bingle] and me and said how impressed they are with the number of Minnesota athletes that are in the trials and how well they are doing,” Wilson blogged Monday. “Even those who run for Team Minnesota and have been transplanted here are getting praise for training in Minnesota.” Gophers assistant coach punches Olympic ticketMarks was a three-time All-American at Minnesota from 2000-2003. Brian DeutschJuly 2, 2008Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFour years ago, Shani Marks was two-tenths of a meter from making the United States Olympic team after posting a triple jump score of 13.53 meters – good enough for fourth place at the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials but not enough to punch her ticket to Athens.Last weekend at the 2008 U.S. trials, Marks didn’t settle for anything less than first.The former Gophers standout and current assistant coach landed a personal-best jump of 47 feet, 2.25 inches to take top honors in the triple jump event and become Minnesota’s first women’s track and field athlete to make the U.S. Olympic roster.“Well, it all hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” Marks said in a statement. “You know this has been the goal for five years so to actually finally get there I am overwhelmed and just really thankful and really, really excited.”Marks was the two-time defending U.S. champion in both the indoor and outdoor triple jump coming into this past weekend.After a collegiate career that saw Marks claim five Big Ten titles and three All-American honors, the Apple Valley native joined the Minnesota coaching staff as a volunteer assistant in 2004.Minnesota will actually have its three representatives participating in the Beijing games in August.Former Gophers track and cross country runner Rasa Troup will represent her home country of Lithuania and former All-American Barbora Spotakova will compete for the Czech Republic in the javelin – an event she is favored in, said Gophers assistant coach Gary Wilson.Gophers in EugeneLiz Roehrig improved her All-American score in the heptathlon to 5,819 at this weekend’s qualifier but was unable to secure a spot on the U.S. squad.last_img read more

First insights into changes to developing brain caused by gene associated with autism

first_imgEmail LinkedIn Pinterest Share Share on Twittercenter_img About one in 68 children are identified with autism spectrum disorder in the US and about one in six children had a developmental disability of some kind in 2006-2008. In the UK, 1.1% of the population may have autism, equating to around 700,000 people.Variations to the Kirrel3 gene are known to be associated with intellectual disability, autism, and Jacobsen syndrome, a rare developmental disorder that often includes intellectual disabilities. Because of this strong association, the University of Utah team investigated how changes to Kirrel3 impair brain circuits critical for memory and learning.Any cognitive task, from learning a new skill, having a conversation or driving to work requires the neurons of our brains to talk to each other. They are linked by connections called synapses that transmit these messages from one neuron to the next. Each neuron makes multiple synapses allowing it to send and receive information to many neurons within a large network.The study shows that Kirrel3 helps form part of a large synaptic structure called the mossy fibre synapse that is located in the hippocampus, a major region of the brain required for learning and memory. In developing mice that don’t have Kirrel3, the mossy fibre synapse becomes malformed, causing the hippocampus to become overactive.“Our work shows how even very small changes to synapses can alter brain function and could lead to intellectual disabilities,” says Williams.“In addition to being in the hippocampus, the gene is also expressed in other parts of the brain. It is possible that defects in those regions may also contribute to the neurodevelopmental disorders associated with Kirrel3.”Changes in the activity of synapses are thought to play an important role in the physical changes to the brain found in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Both synapses that inhibit and excite the stimulation of nerves are important to normal function and an imbalance between them can cause dysfunction. Decreased inhibition is implicated in autism spectrum disorders, whereas excess inhibition has been proposed to occur in mental retardation syndromes, such as Down’s and Rett Syndromes.The team led by Harvard Medical School propose that mutations in the proteins Neurixin, Neuroligin and CASK may have a direct impact on chemical messengers that reduce the activity of neurons.“Our results provide additional biochemical links between the genes associated with autism spectrum disorders and the inhibition of nerve cells,” says lead author Joshua Kaplan. A study led by the University of Utah School of Medicine provides new insights into how the subtle changes within cells, caused by disruptions in a gene called Kirrel3, could underlie some types of intellectual disability and autism.A second paper to be published on the same day in the journal eLife, led by Harvard Medical School, shows how three proteins regulate chemical messengers that are key to autism spectrum disorders and syndromes such as Down’s and Rett syndrome.“Understanding fundamental changes in the brain that could lead to intellectual disabilities may one day help in the development of better treatments,” says Megan Williams, lead author on the Kirrel3 study. Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Study: Subliminal influence has more longevity than researchers originally thought

first_imgShare Pinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIn Emailcenter_img Share on Facebook In the current study, research conducted two experiments to determine if subliminal messaging could affect delayed decision making. In the first experiment, researchers tested whether subliminal presentations of face–occupation pairs would influence later conscious decisions about the income of the same faces. This was assessed over delays of 15 and 25 minutes. Participants were then presented with a face and had to determine if it was high or low income. In the second experiment, researchers assessed if “new vocabulary of a foreign language is acquired subliminally affecting later lexical semantic decisions on the same foreign words” with a delay of 20 minutes. Participants then had to decide if the words on the screen were a correct or incorrect translation. Both experiments were conducted with an encoding phase (face-occupation or translated words), delay period, and then decision making (high or low income and correct or incorrect translation). The decision task given in the test phase constituted an indirect (implicit) memory test. Participants were not given any information about the nature of the study, mainly so that there would be a clear assessment of subliminal messages without the influence of consciously processing any subliminal messages.The study found that the influence of subliminal messaging appears to last longer than previously thought. In both experiments, subliminal influence extended into the delay periods. For the first experiment, subliminal messaging affected participant answers to the income of a previously seen face for both delays (15 and 20 minutes). For the second experiment, subliminal presentation influenced participants decisions about correct and incorrect translations after 20 minutes. This study demonstrated that exposure to new subliminal information is enough to influence delayed decision making, for at least as long as 25 minutes. Further research should examine the practicality of subliminal messaging, especially outside of advertising, which is well known and documented. Subliminal messaging could influence decision making up to 25 minutes after the message is presented, a study in Neuroscience of Consciousness has found.Subliminal messages have distinct impacts on people’s thoughts and behavior. Subliminal messages can change a person’s current mood, boost their motivation, and can even alter their political attitudes. It is well known that subliminal information could influence people’s decision making, like who they vote for. However, for this influence to be used in a real life situation, these messages must be stored for long-term use after a few exposures. The classic example of this is a person watching an advertisement a few times on TV, and then going to the store to buy that brand. Messages must also be stored even if they contain “complex relational information that requires semantic integration, such as ‘politician X will lower the taxes.’” These messages are only able to be integrated into a person’s decision making process because people can semantically integrate and store these pieces of information, which can then be retrieved for later use in decision making.Past studies have shown that subliminal stimulation was found to nonconsciously shape decision-making if the subliminal stimuli consisted of familiar items. For example, priming studies reported that subliminal primes provided the correct responses to related targets in a classification task. There were also noticeable biased responses in “free choice” tasks in which participants freely decided between response alternatives. These past studies have provided ample evidence that subliminal messages can be integrated unconsciously and can influence decisions and choices. However, whether subliminally presented information is stored in long-term memory to influence delayed decisions has not yet been fully researched. The current study aimed to test whether subliminal stimulus pairs would affect delayed decision making.last_img read more

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich Introduces Growth Act To Generate Workforce Opportunities

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to introduce S. 2620, the Generating Real Opportunities for Workforce Training and Hiring (GROWTH) Act. Workforce development is the top priority for the transportation construction industry. The GROWTH Act would direct the Secretary of Transportation to provide grants to encourage workforce development in the field and encourage cooperation between the Federal Highway Administration, state departments of transportation, local schools and the private sector to educate and employ the next generation of transportation construction professionals. The GROWTH Act will: SBA’s 504 Loan Program offers small businesses alternative business financing in the form of long- term, fixed rate loans used for business growth and job creation. The GROWTH Act adds “workforce development” as an additional public policy goal of the SBA’s 504 Loan Program and allows a small business to be eligible for 504 Loan assistance if it maintains a documented in-house training program of at least 12 weeks or the business has entered into a workforce development contract for the same purpose. Establish Highway Construction Workforce Development Grants “Our economy is booming and more people are employed than ever before,” Inhofe said. “However, industries in my state still struggle to find workers with the skillsets necessary to excel and grow. With the GROWTH Act, we can change that. The GROWTH Act addresses a multitude of workforce development areas, providing real, tangible opportunities for young people to choose high-paying, skilled careers. In doing this, businesses will have plenty of incentive to invest back into the workforce.” Additionally, the GROWTH Act includes language that requires DOD to expand a program that would jumpstart careers for junior military spouses by providing a scholarship that would cover certain education benefits. This legislation would expand the eligibility criteria of the program to include more spouses, and to include vocational schools, professional licensing exams and costs and supervision hours as education covered by the scholarship. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich Currently, 529 plans are tax-free accounts that can be used for college tuition and related expenses, like text books. The GROWTH Act would allow 529 Education Savings plans to be used towards educational loans at career and technical schools. It would also expand the qualified use of the plans to include transportation expenses to and from career and technical schools, a significant benefit for rural states like Oklahoma. Expand the goals of SBA’s 504 Loan Guaranty Programcenter_img “We need to do more to train our students and workers in the technical skills that employers are looking for, including the construction trades,” Heinrich said. “I’m proud to join Senator Inhofe in advancing these proposals to build a stronger workforce pipeline for high-demand, high-paying careers. I’m also pleased that this legislation includes provisions to help military spouses, who sacrifice so much to help service members, advance their careers. I will continue working to advance proposals that make our economy work better for all American families.” U.S. SENATE News: Create initiatives to encourage military spouse professional development Expand qualified use of 529 Education Savings plans “Workforce development has been a priority of mine since before coming to Congress,” Hern said. “I’ve spent the last year meeting with skilled-career employers and technical educators to learn what their needs are and how we can close the skills gap. This bill is a tremendous step towards that goal. Almost everyone I spoke with pointed to the same issues: communication between employers and educators, and awareness of technical careers for students. This bill addresses those shortcomings and puts our students on the path to stable employment and high paying jobs. Additionally, this bill will help military spouses pay for vocational schools and helps small businesses gain access to capital, two key points ensuring a strong workforce.” This bipartisan legislation will support career and technical education opportunities, consistent communication between career and technical education institutions regarding curriculum, and the importance for elementary and secondary education institutions to highlight enrollment in these professions as desirable high-skill, high wage occupations. U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives. The GROWTH Act includes two provisions specifically to promote professional development opportunities for military spouses. First, the bill extends a DOD program that reimburses spouses for the cost of obtaining a new professional license or credential after a permanent change of station. Too many spouses face extended unemployment after a relocation because of the time and resources it takes to reestablish professional licenses and this legislation would alleviate some of the barriers they face. Full text of the bill can be found HERE.last_img read more

PED Issues Memo To School Superintendents On COVID-19

first_imgNMPED News:Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus shares the following memo he and other superintendents just received from the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED).COVID-19 Briefing Call for All Superintendents and Charter School Leaders Today we anticipate that Gov. Michelle Luján Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health will issue a public health order prohibiting congregations of more than 100 people after announcing that four New Mexico residents tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed cases in the state. This order was issued out of an abundance of caution and is meant to maximize social distancing. For schools, this order will mean cancelling or rescheduling assemblies, school performances, and sporting events with anticipated attendance of more than 100 people. Complying with the order will also require schools to take all practical measures to limit crowds for activities such as lunch, while continuing to provide educational services. The Department of Health (NMDOH) also recommends suspending all volunteer activities involving high risk populations, e.g. seniors and individuals with weakened immune systems. Below are procedures for keeping students and staff healthy in the event of identified cases of COVID-19 in your school community. As there are no vaccines or pharmaceutical therapeutics currently available to treat COVID-19, prevention is key to mitigating community spread and keeping our population healthy. The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) has provided preparedness procedures schools can take and the department continues to recommend promoting good hygiene as one of the most important steps community leaders can take right now. This memo has been drafted to respond to some of our most frequently-asked questions from school leaders and to provide general policy guidance as we work with the U.S. Department of Education and local school leaders to determine how to best serve the educational needs of our students while keeping our communities healthy.Points of Contact and Reporting Processes In the event that you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your school community, please inform NMPED [505-827-1421] and the NMDOH [505-827-0006] immediately. An identified case may include a student, member of staff, or family member. Also, if any of the following are true for those individuals, call the NMDOH at (505) 827-0006: ● They have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and in the 14 days before your symptoms started, they visited China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, or were in contact with a person known to have COVID-19 ● They do not have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, but they did travel to China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea, in the last 14 days, or were in contact with a person known to have COVID-19 For additional questions regarding COVID-19, please contact the NMDOH coronavirus hotline [855-6003453]. Glossary of Terms see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html for more information: Symptoms compatible with COVID-19, for the purpose of these recommendations, include subjective or measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Self-observation means people should remain alert for subjective fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, they should take their temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed. Self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed. Active monitoring means that the state or local public health authority assumes responsibility for establishing regular communication with potentially exposed people to assess for the presence of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. For people with high-risk exposures, CDC recommends this communication occurs at least once each day. The mode of communication can be determined by the state or local public health authority and may include telephone calls or any electronic or internet-based means of communication. Cessation of Normal Operations means that the school has had to close for an extended period of time or has had to dramatically shift its service delivery model for an extended period of time. Dramatic service delivery model shifts could include moving to an all online format, closing large portions of the campus and other significant changes. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/about/transmission.html Close contact is defined as: a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case – or – b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order. Public health orders are legally enforceable directives issued under the authority of a relevant federal, state, or local entity that, when applied to a person or group, may place restrictions on the activities undertaken by that person or group, potentially including movement restrictions or a requirement for monitoring by a public health authority, for the purposes of protecting the public’s health. Federal, state, or local public health orders may be issued to enforce isolation, quarantine or conditional release. The list of quarantinable communicable diseases for which federal public health orders are authorized is defined by Executive Order and includes “severe acute respiratory syndromes.” COVID-19 meets the definition for “severe acute respiratory syndromes” as set forth in Executive Order 13295, as amended by Executive Order 13375 and 13674, and, therefore, is a federally quarantinable communicable disease. Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease. Congregate settings are crowded public places where close contact with others may occur, such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums. Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. School Closures & Make-Up Time Attendance Monitoring ● Schools should monitor attendance patterns and inform NMPED and NMDOH if they have had a significant decrease in school attendance for both students and staff, especially due to influenzalike illness. Initial Response to Positive or Presumptive Tests If a person connected with the school is exhibiting indicative symptoms, they should not be present at the school. Good hygiene practices should be used to protect all students and staff. If a person who has been at the school within the past 48 hours tests positive or has a presumptive test outcome, then the school administration should: ● Please contact the NMDOH Coronavirus Hotline at 855-600-3453 and NMPED at 505-827-1421. ● Close the school to students and all staff for 24 hours; ● After 24 hours, begin disinfecting the school and keep it closed to other staff and students for an additional 24 hours; ● Disinfect school facilities and school buses, including contractor-owned buses; ● Exclude the affected individual from attending school or school-related activities immediately and for the next 14 days and until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication; ● Notify NMPED and NMDOH to discuss the situation and make decisions about whether or not an extended closure is warranted; ● To the extent possible, allow excluded students to participate online or take home independent work. If a household member of a person connected with the school tests positive or has a presumptive test outcome, then the school administration should: ● Please contact the NMDOH Coronavirus Hotline at 855-600-3453 and NMPED at 505-827-1421. ● Close the school to students and all staff for 24 hours; ● After 24 hours, begin disinfecting the school and keep it closed to other staff and students for an additional 24 hours; ● Exclude from school and associated school activities individuals who have had close contact with an affected person immediately and for 14 days after the diagnosis of the most recent confirmed case in the household and until all household members are fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication; ● Disinfect school facilities and school buses, including contractor-owned buses; ● Advise individuals with a presumptive or positive test to take measures to self-quarantine; ● Notify NMPED and NMDOH to discuss the situation and make decisions about whether or not an extended closure is warranted; ● To the extent possible, allow excluded students to participate online or take home independent work. If a person connected with the school has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive or has a presumptive test outcome, then the school administrator should: ● Contact the NMDOH Coronavirus Hotline at 855-600-3453 and NMPED at 505-827-1421; ● Exclude individual(s) who have had close contact with an affected person from school for a minimum of 14 days and until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication; ● To the extent possible, allow excluded students to participate online or take home independent work. Procedures for Cessation of Normal Operations ● When a school is closed due to an occurrence of COVID-19 and there is evidence of community spread of the virus, then consult the NMDOH and NMPED to discuss whether or not an extended closure. ● Report to NMPED by 8:30 a.m. if they have decided to close or cease normal operations. ● Rather than extended closure, NMPED may recommend cessation of normal operations such that schools remain open for staff while students stay at home. By doing so, staff members can 1) continue to develop and deliver lessons and materials remotely to allow for continuity of teaching and learning and 2) to allow other staff members to continue to provide services and help with additional response efforts. These days will be counted as instructional days and will not need to be made up. ● When planning for cessation of normal operations, schools should make appropriate efforts to: ○ Maintain normal record keeping; ○ Offer meal programs to students; ○ Provide essential medical and social services for students; ○ Assure that students needing accommodations are considered in developing plans for closure; ○ Maintain communication with staff, students, and families in appropriate languages. ○ Cancel extracurricular group activities; ○ Encourage staff and students to practice social distancing; ○ Make Staff compensation, benefits, and leave decisions at the local level with appropriate stakeholders. ● Other considerations upon review with NMDOH: ○ If the confirmed case(s) has no epidemiological link to travel or a known case then that increases the likelihood of a closure recommendation. The local epidemiological context such as the number of cases, severity and phase of the outbreak, and identifying where most of the transmission is occurring should be considered before making the decision to close or dismiss a school(s). ○ Making the decision for extended school site closure will require evaluating the potential health benefit of reducing transmission. ○ Making the decision to close an entire school district will involve guidance from the NM Department of Health and the state epidemiologist and will be made on a case by case basis. School Re-Opening ● Consult with the NMDOH and NMPED. The decision about reopening the school will be made jointly based on local conditions in the school and community. ● It is recommended to close off areas and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html. ● Proceed with environmental cleaning and disinfection of the school, following the directions in Appendix A. Disinfect commonly used surfaces (e.g. keyboards, desks, remote controls) before each use by students and staff. ● Plan to provide help and support to students and staff who may have had family, friends, and coworkers who experienced severe illness or died from COVID-19. ● Educate staff members to encourage students to wash their hands frequently, cover their cough or sneeze into their sleeve or tissue, and avoid contact with people who are coughing or sneezing. Place “wash your hands” and “cover your cough” posters throughout the school (available on CDC website). ● Schools should expect to make-up missed days to the greatest extent possible. NMPED will work with districts and charters on a case by case basis for extenuating circumstances. APPENDIX A Cleaning & Disinfecting The following recommendations are based on CDC’s Interim Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations for US Community Facilities with Suspected/Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019: Cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected/confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the facility ● Close off areas used by ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection. ● Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (classrooms, bathrooms, common areas) used by the ill persons with a special focus on frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, countertops). How to Clean and Disinfect Surfaces ● Dirty surfaces should be cleaned using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. ● For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners as indicated for use on those surfaces. ● Disinfection: diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. ● Products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims may also be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for both hard and soft surfaces. How to Clean and Disinfect Linens, Clothing, or Other Items that go in the Laundry ● Do not shake dirty laundry to minimize dispersing virus in the air. ● Wash items as appropriate in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry completely. ● Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. ● Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts used for transporting laundry. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash. ● Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and surrounding area. Be sure to clean hands after removing gloves. ● If there is a risk of splash, goggles or face shield may be used.Communications with Families COVID-19 is causing widespread anxiety across the country and misinformation abounds. NMPED recommends frequent, transparent updates to parents and school communities that share properly vetted information from trusted sources like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the New Mexico Department of Health. NMPED has provided a sample Community Update (NMPED) and Letter to Parents (Los Alamos Public Schools) in our shared resources folder on Google Drive. Please check the date of any resources and always ensure that you are sharing the most current information. School Trips & Travel NMPED strongly discourages all student and staff travel both in-state and out-of-state. All employees, students and families who have traveled out-of-state since February 27, 2020 should call the DOH Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453. For students who are out-of-state as of March 12, 2020, please fill out this form and email it to Nancy Martira at Nancy.Martira@state.nm.us. Continuity of Meals Due to COVID-19, social distancing may be necessary to avoid spread of the virus. To address this important issue, our state requested three waivers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on March 10. We hope to get a final response by early next week, but do not yet have a confirmed notification date from USDA. The three waivers requested of USDA are 1. to provide meals via the “grab and go” method; 2. to provide shelf stable meals; and, 3. to enable School Food Authorities to serve meals in a non-congregate setting and at school sites. In addition, the PED is working in collaboration with the New Mexico School Nutrition Association (SNA) to develop plans to continue meal service to students if and when we are granted the requested USDA waivers. As soon as NMPED gets the final word from USDA, it will distribute guidance on the waiver and a vetted plan to all School Food Authorities. Special Education The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is working on formal guidance to states regarding COVID-19. If academic services are provided at any point for any length of time , those services must be provided to all students. Supports identified on a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) must be provided and districts must communicate service changes to Individualized Education Plans. The following links may be useful to provide information for your schools. The Department of Education (DOE) Coronavirus webpage: https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus The Department’s previously issued guidance related to H1N1 https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/h1n1-idea-qa.pdf Other Resources Should a school outbreak of COVID-19 necessitate resources such as recommended personal protective equipment, and should that equipment not be available to a school, a school may consider contacting the local emergency manager (county or municipal) to know what resources are available in that jurisdiction to slow or stop the spread of the outbreak. In the event that a school or district needs to adjust resource allocation to support distance learning, supplemental cleaning supplies or personal protective equipment, federal programs such as Title I (24101), Title IV Part A (24189) or IDEA-B (24106) may be available to support the needs of the school. For Title I, a school expense, such as those cited above, would need to be referenced in a school’s schoolwide plan, which can be updated as needed. For questions on Title I expenditures please contact your Title I bureau representative or Louie Torrez at 505.827.1864. For Title IV Part A, an amendment to the district or charter school Title IV Part A application would need to be made if such expenses are not already part of the Title IV Part A application. For application amendments, please contact your Title IV representative or Gregory Frostad at 505.827.1806. For IDEA-B funding to support the individualized needs of special education students during an outbreak, please contact your special education bureau representative or Deborah Dominguez-Clark at 505.827.1423. Additionally, we encourage you to check in with CDC and Department of Health Resources for the most up-to-date information on the situation. New Mexico Department of Health Coronavirus Updates Page Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus Disease Page CDC COVID-19 Framework for Mitigation CDC Guide to Keeping Workplaces Safe CDC COVID-19 Travel Updates PED Shared Google Folder for School Administratorslast_img read more

Fall in house prices slows

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

LSC announces contract extension to 14 December

first_imgThe Legal Services Commission has announced that all current ‘family only’ and ‘family with housing’ legal aid contracts will be extended until 14 December, following the Law Society’s successful judicial review of the tender process. The LSC has until 29 October to decide whether to appeal the High Court judgment which has prevented it from awarding contracts to the providers that were successful in its tender. The LSC also announced that all other civil contracts and family mediation contracts will start on 15 November. An LSC spokesman said that it was ‘possible’ the LSC would announce its decision on whether to appeal in the next few days. However, he added that the commission is considering the judgment carefully and has until 29 October to notify the court and parties of its decision. Last month Lord Justice Moses ruled that the LSC’s failure to give adequate notice of the selection criteria for its tender process was unlawful.last_img read more

Building buys a pint: Eckersley O’Callaghan

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Project Partners announces UT Freight Service as new member

first_imgUT Freight Service was established in Taiwan in 1973 and has sixteen offices in Asia, the USA and China. The company is Class A licensed and is a member of IATA and FIATA. With over 200 employees and a global network of partners, UT Freight Service offers full logistics services in air, ocean, sea-air, project cargo, integrated logistic and supply chain management.The companies offices in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and the USA have all been accepted for membership of the network.Further information about the company can be seen at www.utfreight.comlast_img read more

‘Swift’ justice to become ‘norm’ in criminal cases

first_imgDealing with criminal cases in ‘hours and days’ could become ‘the norm’ under government plans announced today. Policing and criminal justice minister Nick Herbert published a white paper detailing proposals designed to speed up cases in the criminal justice system. Extended court sittings, increased use of video technology, and single magistrates sitting in community centres or police stations are among the measures outlined. Building on responses adopted during last year’s summer riots, the government plans to trial more flexible court opening hours, including the introduction of Sunday sittings, and early morning and evening sittings. The white paper also suggests enabling local communities to deal with anti-social behaviour and low-level offending through neighbourhood justice panels in 15 areas across the country. These will use community representatives and restorative justice techniques in a bid to tackle problems early and prevent them escalating. Herbert said: ‘During last year’s riots, we saw cases that normally take weeks and months being dealt with in just hours and days. We want this to become the norm, not the exception. ‘The criminal justice system must be more transparent and accountable to the local communities it services, so we are opening up the justice system and involving communities directly in resolving problem behaviour and low-level crimes.’ Richard Atkinson, chair of the Law Society Criminal Law Committee, voiced scepticism about the proposals. He said: ‘The Society has been at the forefront of urging improvements to the criminal justice system and we published our own proposals for this last year. We would support changes where they are appropriate. For example there is potential for there to be efficiency improvements arising from the increased use of prison to court video links.  However, we are concerned by the government’s obsession with speed and its apparent belief that speed and efficiency is one and the same thing.  In particular, we question whether there is any need for weekend courts at a time when the numbers of criminal cases are declining and when these proposals will cause problems for prisons and the availability of other professionals in the system. There will be significant costs at a time the government says there is no more money, including for defence practitioners who are mostly small businesses and do not have the same flexibility as large employers, such as the Crown Prosecution Service and the court service.  ‘The fact that there has been no adequate consultation and discussion with defence practitioners about the proposals suggests that, yet again, government is ignoring the only people in the system who see cases through from start to finish.  We are keen to discuss these with government, but it is mistaken if it believes that these changes can be achieved in a way which is cost-neutral and it is disappointing that it has not taken the opportunity to look at other improvements which are likely to have a much greater effect on efficiency than a headline-grabbing initiative on court sittings.’  Max Hill QC, Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA), warned that cost-cutting must not stand in the way of justice. He said: ‘The Criminal Bar Association endorses the government’s view that the criminal courts need to become more efficient, and we welcome many of the proposals contained within this white paper, but others risk undermining justice and due process. ‘We are particularly concerned about the increased presumption that cases will be run in the Magistrates’ Courts based purely on the financial value of the case. This is a blunt instrument which may not properly reflect the severity of the offence, and demonstrates the government’s commitment to cheap justice. ‘We cautiously welcome efforts to increase transparency by allowing cameras into courtrooms for sentencing remarks. This must, however, be carefully monitored to ensure that tight judicial scrutiny is maintained and that the parties in the case are consenting. ‘Late and weekend court sittings enabled the criminal justice system to manage its vastly increased workload following the summer riots, but longer hours are not the answer to inefficiency. They place a strain on the courts and on court workers, and may lead to delays and poor outcomes.’ Meanwhile, as the government proposes extending court sittings, the Ministry of Justice’s annual report showed that HM Courts and Tribunal Service has culled its staff by more than 1,000 over the last year. Published this week, the report shows that permanent staff numbers at HMCTS fell from 20,778 to 19,655. The full details of the government’s ‘Swift and Sure Justice’ proposals, can be found on the MoJ website.last_img read more