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Vermont wins $50.5 million for passenger rail

first_imgUS Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) today hailed a major announcement that Vermont will receive $50 million for major rail improvements along Amtrak’s Vermonter line. The funding will help pay for construction of track, roadbed and bridge improvements along 190 miles of railroad used by Amtrak Vermonter service between St. Albans, Vt., and Springfield, Mass., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The upgrade will reduce trip times and improve reliability.President Obama and Vice President Biden are to announce the grants Thursday in Orlando, Fla.  They are part of $8 billion in high-speed-rail awards made nationwide under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. More than $55 billion in applications were submitted for the $8 billion available under the recovery bill that Congress passed last year.   Leahy said, “This is the biggest single investment in passenger rail improvements we have had in Vermont since Amtrak was created, and it’s just the ticket for a shorter and smoother ride on the Vermonter.  Amtrak brings direct and indirect commerce to our state, as well as giving Vermonters more travel options.  This is an investment in our future and a vote of confidence in this rail line.”  Sanders said, “This is great news. It will create much-need jobs for Vermont now, provide a long-term boost for our economic future, and help Vermont become energy efficient as we strengthen our public transportation. I thank President Obama and the Department of Transportation for understanding Vermont’s important role in the northeastern United States transportation network.”Welch said, “Our state’s rail system formed the foundation upon which modern-day Vermont was built. Today’s announcement signals that rail will be at the heart not only of Vermont’s past, but of its future as well. “Passengers and businesses alike will reap the benefits of high-speed rail in the years ahead. Most importantly, it will provide an enormous and immediate economic boost, creating jobs throughout Vermont.”“Improving Vermont’s intercity passenger rail service has long been one of my top rail priorities,” Governor Douglas said. “Shortening the travel time between Vermont and major destinations like New York City and Washington D.C. will not only benefit our economy, but expanding this type of public transportation is one of the best measures we can take to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”The $51 million grant will fund track and bridge upgrades along a rail line owned and operated by the New England Central Railroad, and will result in a 30 minute travel time savings for passengers using Amtrak’s Vermonter service between St. Albans and Springfield, Massachusetts. The Vermonter has continuing service from Springfield, Mass onto Washington, D.C., passing through Connecticut and New York City.  Should these other states also receive stimulus money for their plans to improve track speeds, the time it takes to travel by rail between Vermont and Washington D.C. will be reduced by about 80 minutes.The grant money will be put to work immediately, with track and bridge improvements slated to begin in the spring with the start of Vermont’s construction season. To comply with the terms of the grant, Vermont has two years to complete all improvements.Another $500,000 was awarded for planning studies for a proposed rerouting of Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express service between Rutland and New York. The proposed rerouting will introduce service to communities that now lack intercity passenger rail service. Communities along the existing route would continue to be serviced by intercity passenger rail service.The White House also announced that Massachusetts will receive $70 million for additional rail upgrades that will provide a shorter and more direct route for the Vermonter between Springfield and East Northfield, Mass., and improve rail access to densely populated areas along the Connecticut River. The upgrades will allow trains to travel up to 59 mph – and even 79 mph in some sections – cutting valuable time off the route between St. Albans and Washington, D.C.   Source: Vermont’s congressional delegation. Governor Douglas’ office. 1.28.2010.last_img read more

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Advertising Update

first_img January 1, 2003 Advertising Updates Advertising UpdateRecent Decisions of The Board of Governors on Advertising At the committee’s recent meetings it made the following decisions on appeals from staff decisions on lawyer advertising:1. Statements Creating Unjustified ExpectationsRule 4-7.2(b)(1)(B) prohibits any statement in lawyer advertising that “contains any reference to past successes or results obtained or is otherwise likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve except as allowed in the rule regulating information about a lawyer’s services provided upon request.”The committee determined that the following language creates unjustified expectations about the results the lawyer can achieve in violation of Rule 4-7.2(b)(1)(B):• In this time of need, call someone you can trust.• Champions for the injured.2. Misleading LanguageThe committee determined that the following language was false, misleading, deceptive or unfair in violation of Rule 4-7.2(b)(1)(A):• When requesting a public defender, be aware, those services are not for free. You will be assessed a fee at the conclusion of your case.The committee determined that Florida statutes do not require attorneys’ fees to be assessed in all cases.Additionally, the committee determined that the following language is a prohibited statement that cannot be factually substantiated in violation of Rule 4-7.2(b)(2)(D):• Given the size of our firm and the amount of cases we can handle, we are able to charge you fees that are drastically lower than those of our competition.3. NewslettersRule 4-7.4(b), et seq., sets forth requirements for direct mail communications with prospective clients with whom the attorney has no family or prior professional relationship.The committee determined that a newsletter mailed to attorneys and certified public accountants must be filed for review and must comply with the requirements of the direct mail communication rule, Rule 4-7.4. The committee commented that Rule 4-7.4(b)(1) requires all written communications mailed directly or indirectly to a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment to comply with the direct mail requirements. Therefore, because the newsletter is mailed to accountants who are potential referral sources, the direct mail rule applies.4. Targeted Direct Mail CommunicationsEvery direct mail advertisement “prompted by a specific occurrence” must disclose how the lawyer obtained the recipient’s name and address. Rule 4-7.4(b)(2)(J). The purpose is to inform the recipient how much information the lawyer has about the matter. Comment to Rule 4-7.4.The committee determined that the following language does not sufficiently disclose how the filer obtained the recipients’ names and addresses as required by Rule 4-7.4(b)(2)(J):• Your name was obtained from a list of arrested persons published daily by the county in which you have been charged.The committee determined that the filer must specify the particular county by name.5. Prohibited Visual Images, GenerallyRule 4-7.2(c)(1) provides: “All illustrations used in advertisements shall present information that is directly related and objectively relevant to a viewer’s possible need for legal services in a specific type of matter. Such illustrations shall be still pictures or drawings and shall contain no features that are likely to deceive, mislead, or confuse the viewer.”The standing committee determined that a photograph of a lighthouse is not relevant to the viewer’s possible need for legal services and therefore is prohibited by Rule 4-7.2 (c)(1).However, the committee determined that the following illustrations are permissible under Rule 4-7.2(c)(1) because they are directly relevant to the prospective client’s need for legal services:• a photograph of a man looking at documents;• a photograph of a man in an automobile; and• a photograph of eyeglasses on a desk.6. Prohibited Images in Television AdvertisementsWith regard to television advertisements, Rule 4-7.5(b) limits visual images that may appear in such advertisements to “the advertising lawyer in front of a background consisting of a single solid color, a set of law books in an unadorned bookcase, or the lawyer’s own office (with no other office personnel shown).”Construing this rule, the committee found that the following are prohibited visual images:• an image of the American flag and the outside of the attorney’s office building;• green and white moving grid-like graphics;• an image of the attorney holding up a previously approved telephone book advertisement in the television advertisement; and• illustrations of the attorney’s certifications from The Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy.However, the committee found that the following visual images in television commercials were not in violation of Rule 4-7.5(b):• law books without an attorney being shown; and• an office window without an attorney being shown.If you have any questions regarding lawyer advertising, call the Ethics Hotline at (800) 235-8619 and we will be happy to assist you. You may also review the advertising rules and sample advertisements on the Bar’s Website at www.flabar.org. The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar considers appeals from opinions of the Standing Committee on Advertising. The Board’s decisions on advertising issues at its most recent meeting are as follows:1. Direct MailThe Board of Governors upheld the Standing Committee on Advertising regarding the placement of the sentence “If you have already retained counsel for this matter, please disregard this correspondence.” Rule 4-7.4(b)(2)(G) requires this statement to be the first sentence in a direct mail communication. The Board determined that placing it on the innermost panel of a quadrifold brochure does not meet the requirement of Rule 4-7.4(b)(2)(G).2. ExemptionsThe board affirmed the standing committee’s opinion regarding a Yellow Pages advertisement. The board determined that the advertisement was not exempt from the filing requirement because it contained the following language:“Justice is not to be taken by storm. She is to be wooed by slow advances.” — Justice Cardozo.”3. Unjustified ExpectationsThe board reversed the Standing Committee on Advertising, determining that the lawyer referral service’s name of TOTAL HELP does not create unjustified expectations, in violation of Rule 4-7.2(b)(3).4. Fee-splitting with NonlawyersFinally, in response to a request for guidance from the standing committee, the Board concluded that it is impermissible to advertise that the lawyer or law firm will donate a percentage of its fees to charity because the conduct constitutes an improper division of fees with a nonlawyer, prohibited by Rule 4-5.4(a).Recent Decisions of The Standing Committee on Advertising Advertising Updatelast_img read more

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How to leverage your agile leadership team amid a crisis

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,TJ Wyman TJ Wyman serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Retail Officer for Coastal Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C. and is responsible for Retail Sales & Service, Credit & Debit … Web: https://www.coastal24.com Details The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11. But even before March 11, credit unions everywhere had already started planning communications to employees and members about plans to work remotely, keeping safe social distances and continuing business operations on a scale that has never been required before.It’s important to remember that while you can’t prepare for every nuance, you can engage a leadership team that is agile and can adapt and leverage existing services and technology for a smoother process once disaster strikes. The coronavirus presented unique challenges especially for credit unions, but most of what we’ll cover in this article can be applied when the next crisis inevitably strikes. At Coastal Credit Union, our leadership team quickly realized that we needed to implement alternative ways of working for both our employees and members. Here, we’ll explain how we did it and why. How We Adapted to the Crisis Internally The key to managing through a crisis is to act quickly as a collective team and having a plan that allows for the flexibility to adapt to specific needs. Any delays can create a sense of anxiety and confusion among employees. It is also critical to remember that you want to avoid working in departmental silos because if your employees are not on the same page with the plan of action, you will hit many unnecessary roadblocks along the way. It is critical that your senior leadership team instills a heightened sense of teamwork during these moments. One of our first priorities when coronavirus started to trickle into our communities was to keep our members and employees as safe as possible. Very early on, we implemented social distancing in our branches and offices and increased our buildings’ cleaning schedules. The next step was to close our branch lobbies to member traffic and offer drive-up teller service only. We also quickly transitioned 460 employees to work remotely. To help cover additional personal expenses related to working remotely, we implemented a $50 per pay period non-taxable stipend. This reimbursement covers extra cell phone or home data usage under stay-at-home orders. We will continue to provide this benefit to employees until we’ve returned to our normal ways of working. We have also enabled our employees to use their company Cisco WebEx login to communicate with friends and family outside of work hours to stay in touch virtually. Our leadership team demonstrated a commitment to our employees and decided that every Coastal employee would be paid for their normal working hours, even if they are self-quarantined and unable to work. The team also pledged to provide at least four weeks of notice should there be any change to this internal plan. In general, our leadership team has been in constant communication with our employees and internal updates are being shared on a near daily basis. Finally, knowing that most stores were in short supply of some essential products, we provided all employees with a supply of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and re-useable cloth face masks to help reduce the need to check store inventory and ultimately put themselves at risk and to provide a small dose of peace of mind.How We Adapted to the Crisis Externally Similar to internal crisis management, it’s also crucial to communicate to your external audiences in a timely manner to limit confusion or anxiety. When the spread of coronavirus began, we knew we had to act quickly to ensure members had the right information from us at the right time. We had to think critically as a team to determine what features, offers, and services we could adjust to accommodate members’ needs during this crisis as we knew many people in our state had been recently laid off or furloughed. In a fast-moving situation like a virus, having a central resource where the latest information is compiled helps ease fears. That’s why one of our first priorities was to set up a COVID-19 landing page for our members to communicate what we were doing – and going to do – to support them during this time. We also wanted to be sure we were leveraging and overcommunicating the benefits of the technology we had already invested in, such as our Personal Teller Machines (PTMs), which enable two-way video teller conversations connecting our members with centralized tellers. This technology safely and efficiently provides a better user experience for both members and employees. Between 2009 and 2011 we converted all of our branches to PTMs. Today, we currently have 94 PTMs located at 24 branches. The biggest benefit of PTMs for members is convenience. We offer 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. teller service, 7 days a week, so members can get fast service at a time that suits their schedule. In addition, they provide members with the accuracy and speed of a machine, and the knowledge and personal touch of real person. Because of our PTMs, we have been able to offer more teller service hours than any other financial institution in our market. By having centralized tellers, they have access to more resources than traditional tellers, and we can staff for overall demand, instead of location by location. PTMs also empowered us to nearly double our hours of service with 40% less staff than traditional teller setups. During COVID-19, having our PTM systems allowed us to be able to close branch lobbies while experiencing no reduction in the teller services that were available to members.To give our members immediate financial relief due to COVID-19, we are offering a feature called Skip-A-Pay on all eligible loans. With Skip-A-Pay, members have the ability to postpone their monthly payments for three months with no late fees and without impacting their credit score (interest will continue to accrue). Members are easily accessing this feature via our online and mobile banking portals. As another way to offer immediate financial relief to members, we reminded them about our Member Assistance Program (MAP) as a resource for those who have been affected by the impact of COVID-19. This includes loan modifications and Emergency Relief Loans.Additionally, we suspended loan, credit card and mortgage late fees, and lowered NSF fees to a penny. Within our digital banking tools, we offer mobile check deposit and we adjusted the number of checks and dollar amount per check that can be deposited after hearing feedback from members. While our weekly dollar limits remain, these modifications were put in place to remove some of the hurdles members have been facing. During times of crisis it is of utmost importance to listen to the feedback you are receiving from members and to respond with action whenever possible. We are also supporting the nonprofits in the communities we serve. That’s why we earmarked nearly $700,000 in grants from the Coastal Credit Union Foundation for COVID-19 relief efforts. Being involved in and giving back to the communities we serve always resonates with our members and we typically see very high engagement on our social media content and announcements about our contributions.In conclusion, while the coronavirus pandemic has been a unique challenge, it is imperative for credit unions to have a crisis task force or leadership committee in place before an emergency strikes. If you put the right team together now, you will be prepared to tackle anything that comes your way in the future.last_img read more

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FDA clears some spinach as E coli cases grow to 175

first_img Health officials are awaiting test results to determine if two patients who died of known or suspected E coli infections last week, an elderly Maryland woman and a 2-year-old Idaho boy, have the strain linked to the outbreak. The 175 cases reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) represent an increase of 9 since Sep 22. Ninety-three people (53%) were hospitalized, and 28 suffered the serious kidney condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the CDC said. The number of states stayed the same today at 25, as did the number of deaths: one confirmed and two suspected. The CDC said last week that people who experience diarrhea after eating fresh spinach or salad blends containing fresh spinach should contact their healthcare provider and ask to have a stool sample tested for E coli O157:H7. The CDC said that cooking spinach at 160ºF for 15 seconds will kill E coli O157:H7, but consumers need to make sure all parts of the spinach reach that temperature, particularly if they cook it in a frying pan. “Consumers are advised not to purchase or consume fresh spinach if they cannot verify that it was grown in areas other than the three California counties implicated in the outbreak,” the FDA said. Other produce grown in the three counties is not implicated in the outbreak, nor is frozen or canned spinach. Sep 25 CDC statementhttp://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2006/september/updates/092506.htm The FDA said two more companies voluntarily recalled their products: Triple B Corp., doing business as S.T. Produce, of Seattle, Wash., and Pacific Coast Fruit Co. of Portland, Ore. Triple B’s recall involves its fresh spinach salad products with a use-by date between Aug 22 and Sep 20, because they have may have contained spinach supplied by Natural Selections Foods, a major spinach supplier that was the first to recall its products. Triple B products were distributed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. See also: A second bag of E coli–contaminated spinach has been identified, this time by Utah health officials, according to a press release yesterday from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The contaminated spinach was the same brand and type as the contaminated bag found last week in New Mexico: Dole baby spinach. Both bags had a use-by date of Aug 30. The FDA is now indicating it is safe to eat fresh spinach that was not grown in the three counties implicated in the outbreak. In tracing tainted spinach, the FDA said last week it had narrowed its investigation to farms in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Clara counties, all in the greater Salinas Valley. The E coli case count has grown steadily since the FDA issued its initial spinach advisory on Sep 14, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that 50 patients in eight states had been diagnosed with E coli infections and that fresh or raw spinach was the food most of them had in common. Sep 24 FDA press releasehttp://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2006/ucm109580.htm Products from Pacific Coast Fruit Co. also may have contained spinach supplied by Natural Selections Foods. Their recall involves salad products with a use-by date on or before Sep 20 and pizza products with a use-by date of Sep 14. The products were distributed in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Sep 25, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The case count in a national outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to fresh spinach rose to 175 today, but federal officials signaled that it’s safe to eat spinach from places other than three counties in California’s Salinas Valley. Last week produce industry representatives met with federal and state health officials to determine how to safely get fresh spinach from uninvolved areas back on the market. One option they discussed was adding region-of-origin labels to products that contain fresh spinach.last_img read more

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Town needs affordable housing for seniors

first_imgRotterdam is a nice place to live. Its residents are mostly folks that are getting older or families. I’ve lived here all my life. All around, new apartments are going up — most of them for “seniors” or those “over 55.” That’s great, but most senior citizens can’t afford them. Although some can, let’s focus on the masses who can’t. We live on a very limited income and usually are alone. You really expect a senior to afford $1,200 and up for an apartment? Where do the food, prescriptions and other daily living necessities come in? We worked hard all our lives. Why can’t contractors find it in good conscience to think of the elderly? We are quiet, no parties, no police. We just want to be able to call someplace our home and live our lives there. How about building new apartments for the seniors in Rotterdam that are affordable? Really affordable. Most of us have had to sell our homes or give them up. This would be so wonderful for those that need a place to live.Karen EpliteRotterdam More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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World food prices fall sharply in March because of coronavirus, oil slump: UN

first_imgTopics : The dairy price index dropped 3%, driven by declining quotations and slowing global import demand for skim and whole milk powders, while the meat index fell by 0.6%.The cereal price index fell 1.9%, with rice prices bucking the downward trend, rising for the third month running, buoyed by stockpiling spurred by concerns over the pandemic and reports that Vietnam might introduce export bans.FAO said Vietnam had since downplayed the reports.While FAO lifted its forecast for 2019 world cereal production, its estimate for 2020 wheat production remained unchanged at 763 million tons, close to last year’s record level.”[This] coupled with ample inventories, will help shield food markets from turmoil during the coronavirus storm,” FAO predicted. FAO also slightly increased its forecast for cereal production, predicting a crop totaling some 2.721 billion tons in 2019, up from a previous forecast of 2.719 billion and some 2.4% higher than the 2018 crop.FAO’s sugar price index posted the biggest fall, down 19.1% from the previous month. The drop was triggered by a reduction in consumption linked to the virus lockdowns seen in many countries, and lower demand from ethanol producers due to the recent dive in crude oil prices, the Rome-based agency said.The vegetable oil price index slumped 12%, pushed down by sliding palm oil prices which was linked to a plunge in crude mineral oil prices and growing uncertainty over the impact of coronavirus on the market.”Oil prices have fallen by more than half during the past month, which catalyzes a large downward impact on biofuels, which are an important source of demand in the markets for sugar and vegetable oils,” said FAO analyst Peter Thoenes.center_img World food prices fell sharply in March, hit by a drop in demand tied to the coronavirus pandemic and a plunge in global oil prices, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 172.2 points last month, down 4.3% on February.”The price drops are largely driven by demand factors, not supply, and the demand factors are influenced by ever-more deteriorating economic prospects,” said FAO Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian.last_img read more

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Drug ‘pusher’ nabbed

first_imgILOILO City – A suspected drug peddlerwas nabbed in a sting operation at a public market in City Proper. Bitoon was caught after he sold a sachetof the illegal drugs to an undercover officer for P700 around 6:30 a.m. on Feb.21, it added. Three sachets of suspected shabu wereseized from Raymundo Bitoon of Barangay San Juan, Molo district, a policereport showed.center_img The suspect was detained and chargedwith violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Actof 2002./PNlast_img

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Heavenly Clonmel ride for Dempsey

first_img Press Association David Kelly’s mare took up the running off the home turn and although put under pressure by the Good As Gold after the last, she kept on well to record a winning margin of a length and three-quarters. After finishing second on his last two starts, The Grey Guy gained a deserved success in the Comeragh Handicap Hurdle. The Brian O’Keefe-trained gelding led the into the home straight but the writing looked to be on wall as Fiddlers Way travelled menacingly in behind. However, Robert Tyner’s runner appeared to not quite see out the trip tackling three miles for the first time and the winner held on by half a length. There was drama in the Slievenamon Beginners Chase, which went the way of 15-8 favourite Leighinmohr. Horse No Name blazed a trail and after being joined by the winner turning for home, the pair battled it out on the run in. The result was still in the balance when Paul Nolan’s inmate fell at the last fence, leaving Andrew Lynch to coast home a distance clear of Dawerann on the 15-8 favourite. Sizinguptheamazon (4-1) upset the well-backed Augustin when galloping two and three-quarter lengths clear of the 4-7 favourite in the closing Ardfinnan Flat Race. The claimer has been firing in the winners of late and got a fine tune out of the Keith Watson-trained gelding, who was scoring for only the second time in 29 outings. The 11-year-old was challenged by De Benno and He Rock’s late on, but pulled out some more to win by two and a half lengths from the latter. 2-1 favourite Coolaghknock Glebe fell four out. Watson’s son Marshall said, “That was overdue and no horse in Irish racing deserved it more! “He’ll run in the Ulster National next and stays very well.” Dempsey said, “He got into a great rhythm and jumped from fence to fence. He gave me a great spin. He’s happy bowling along in front and was winging fences. It’s been a great few weeks for me.” Kilford produced a gutsy front-running display to open her NH account in the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Maiden Hurdle. The nine-year-old was quickly at the head of affairs under Harley Dunne and showed a good attitude when challenged by Perfect Woman to pull four and a half lengths clear of the 2-1 favourite. Westerner Point (2-1fav) was popular with the punters ahead of the Lisronagh Maiden Hurdle and didn’t disappoint his supporters as he beat Frankie Ballou by a length and a half. Curragh Na Gold built on some promising efforts in maiden company when justifying 3-1 favouritism in the Carrick-On-Suir Mares Handicap Hurdle. Luke Dempsey continued his excellent run of form with a fine front-running ride on Heavenly Brook (7-1) in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase at Clonmel.last_img read more

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USC professor named 2010 Eminent Scientist

first_imgA USC professor has been recognized by the International Research Promotion Council for his work with cancer and the human papillomavirus.W. Martin Kast, who teaches molecular microbiology, obstetrics and immunology at the Keck School of Medicine, won the Millennium Golden International Award and was named the 2010 Eminent Scientist of the Year and North American Immunologist of the Year.Man of the year – Professor Martin Kast receives the Eminent Scientist of the Year award for his research in human papillomavirus. – Dieuwertje Kast | Daily Trojan“From my undergraduate through now, I have always had interest in and worked on projects having to do with antiviral immunity,” Kast said.  “In the future I plan to translate our laboratory findings into clinical trials and perform these trials with a team of physicians on the medical campus.”Knowledge about HPV can be used in researching other cancers as well, he said, such as prostate cancer and melanoma. Hopefully, Kast added, the publicity of his award will result in more opportunities for his work.“The award shows that the international research community is appreciative of the work that I am doing in this area and sees the potential of treating woman with this deadly disease in underdeveloped countries,” Kast said. “This will also bring very positive publicity which might lead to funding agencies and more grants to help the research efforts.”More than 500,000 women worldwide are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but according to Kast, cervical cancer is completely preventable in developed countries through vaccination.Underdeveloped countries, however, are not able to afford this vaccine, often resulting in death for women with cervical cancer. Kast’s research is aimed at assisting women after they are diagnosed.“Therapeutic vaccines work after the fact that you have a virus or cancer and it tries to manipulate your body and stimulate the immune system so it can fight the infection,” Kast said.  “My research is helpful in giving treatment to cervical cancer after it has infected the body.”Some of Kast’s research focuses on learning how HPV enters the immune system, gets into the cells and escapes from the system, and how to reverse the escape.Kast’s 11-member research team has also contributed greatly to this project, he said.“They physically carry out the experiments and intellectually attend meetings and develop new ideas to see if they can be used in our research,” Kast said.Diane Da Silva, a senior research associate who has worked with Kast for 12 years, said he is very passionate about his work and research.“What is great about Dr. Kast is that he injects his enthusiasm he has for the research into his staff, and gives us independence to develop new ideas and test our hypothesis,” Da Silva said.  “He really cares for all of his students and team members and wants all of us to do our very best and succeed as independent scientists.”Lisa Yan, a second-year graduate student studying genetic, molecular and cellular biology, said Kast’s mentorship has been invaluable during her time in his lab.“There are often times when Dr. Kast would question me until I am speechless, allowing me to realize how much more I have to learn to become an expert in this field,” she said. “His comments and intellectual input into my research has opened my eyes to different aspects of my work. This contribution is priceless.”last_img read more

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NU, Kafka too much for UW

first_imgWideout Andrew Brewer caught six passes and two touchdowns from Mike Kafka in NU\’s 33-31 win.[/media-credit]EVANSTON, Ill. — Whenever Wisconsin arrives at Ryan Field, a place where the Badgers have not won since 1999, it’s a bit like stepping into an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”No matter how well either of the teams involved had been playing before the game, things never seem to go according to plan, with unexpected outcomes being the norm. What makes things even stranger is the sheer amount of red in Northwestern’s small stadium.That’s how things went Saturday, especially for the defense, as the newly unranked Badgers came out on the wrong end of a 33-31 result, which weakened any UW bid for the Capital One or Outback Bowls on New Years Day.“The game we played today is not Wisconsin football,” defensive end J.J. Watt said. “It’s not the way we’ve been playing all year. We really came out in the second half and tried to correct our mistakes, but it was too little too late for us.”Wisconsin’s defense struggled throughout the day, just a week after it had limited Michigan to only 265 yards of total offense and just 71 rushing yards when the Wolverines had been averaging 208 yards per game on the ground.One part of the Wildcats’ success on offense may have actually had to do with an NU coach on the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz. After having coached the Wisconsin defense until he was fired in 2007, Northwestern had a good idea of the usual tendencies of the Badgers’ ‘D.’“They see that defense everyday with coach Hank here,” safety Jay Valai said. “But regardless of what they knew, we’ve got to play more technically sound than what we did.”The Badgers also credited a lot of the knowledge of the Wildcats’ defense to the sheer intelligence of their personnel, since they are students at Northwestern University.UW’s defensive leaders tried to change things up as the game progressed, but it did not seem to matter, as NU continued to call out and adjust to the Badgers’ coverage, whether they actually knew it or not.“We had to make some adjustments and change our verbiage up,” safety Chris Maragos said. “You’re battling a team like Northwestern and they’re guys that aren’t flashy, but they’re in the right spot. They’re smart guys … and they executed well.”The results were not pretty, as the Wisconsin defense had what linebacker Jaevery McFadden referred to as their worst half of the season in the first half of Saturday’s game. In that first half, UW gave up nearly 300 total yards of offense and 27 points as the Badgers headed to the locker room down 27-14.They battled back in the second half, though, holding the Wildcats to just six points in the final 30 minutes of play. Still, they gave up 33 points — the most they have all season — and allowed Northwestern to pick up 437 yards of total offense, including a majority of that coming through an aerial attack led by Mike Kafka that UW just could not seem to stop.One of NU’s best plays that worked all day was what Bielema calls a “bender route” as they find the hole between the linebacker and safety over the middle for a big gain.“[It] was a big play for them,” Bielema said. “Anytime you can get so many yards without any time coming off the clock and they’re able to line back up and do it again, you could definitely see that our defensive guys were on their heels.”Kafka finished 26-of-40 on the day for 326 yards and two touchdowns while only being sacked once in the game. He also did not turn the ball over for the Wildcats.Perhaps the biggest throw of the day, though, came on a trick play. After Kafka got the ball to Zeke Markshausen on a lateral, the 5-foot-11 wide receiver found fellow receiver Sidney Stewart alone downfield for the 38-yard touchdown, which put the Wildcats up 24-14 midway through the second quarter.“On the deep ball, when they did the double pass, I wasn’t expecting the double pass at all,” cornerback Devin Smith said. “I played over the top until I saw the quarterback threw it out. I thought [Markshausen] was taking off to try to run and make a play, but he stepped back and threw it.”last_img read more