Massimiliano Allegri admits the only way Juventus can raise the standard after winning numerous Italian League titles is by ending their Champions League hoodoo.The Bianconeri Coach and some of Juve stars opened up about their ambitions for the current campaign.“The team is doing very well and the history of Juve speaks clear: in the last seven years, there have been seven Serie A titles and two Champions League Finals,” Allegri told Football Italia.“Maintaining that level is increasingly difficult. If we want to raise the bar, even more, there’s only one thing to do: win the Champions League.”Lukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“There is a strong contender that we will certainly find at the end of the Champions League and that’s Barcelona,” continued Allegri.“We must be ready. From March onwards, it’s a different tournament where we also need a bit of luck, no injuries and everyone in good shape.“The Champions League is made up of incidents and moments, so we must be both smart and fortunate. Serie A remains the number one target and that is more like a cycling race decided over many stages. Then there’s the Coppa Italia.”
WASHINGTON — A modest, bipartisan budget pact designed to keep Washington from lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis and to ease the harshest effects of automatic budget cuts is on the brink of passing the Senate Wednesday despite increasing political heat over a proposal to curb the growth of the pensions claimed by working age military retirees.The Senate is on track to clear the bill for President Barack Obama’s signature after a 67-33 vote Tuesday in which it easily hurdled a filibuster threshold.The measure would restore $45 billion, half the amount scheduled to be automatically cut from the 2014 operating budgets of the Pentagon and some domestic agencies, lifting them above $1 trillion. An additional $18 billion for 2015 would provide enough relief to essentially freeze spending at those levels for the year.The bill advanced with the help of 12 Republicans, several of whom promised to oppose the measure in Wednesday’s final vote because it fails to take on the nation’s most pressing fiscal challenges. It would barely dent deficits that are predicted to lessen in the short term but grow larger by the end of the decade and into the next.One provision, cutting the inflation increases of pensions for military retirees under the age of 62, was proving to be especially unpopular. Members of the military are eligible to retire after 20 years at half pay. The provision was included in the bill at the direction of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Vikarabad: District Collector Ayesha Masrat Khanam suggested both police and regional transport departments work jointly to reduce the road accidents in the district. A meeting on road safety was held here at conference hall on Wednesday.Speaking on the occasion, the Collector said encourage two-wheeler raiders to wear helmets. Impose fines on those who violate the rule, she added. She also said an awareness campaign should be held during the meetings of women self-help groups, so that the women could encourage their men to wear helmets. Also Read – School students take out rallies seeking justice for Harshini in Mahbubnagar Advertise With Us She directed concerned authorities to regulate the traffic wherever is necessary. The Collector emphasised about creating awareness on safe driving. She instructed the authorities to lay roads for smooth riding and arrange speed breakers to control the speed. SP Narayana said people should not consume alcohol publicly by parking vehicles in front of the wine shops. The owners of the shops be alerted on this issue. Additional SP R Bhaskar, RTO Dr Vani, DM&HO Sudhakar, EE (PR) Manohar Rao, municipal commissioner Bhogeshwarlu, DCSO Padmaja and others were present.
About 25 immigrant mothers and their children caught coming across the Texas-Mexico border are released at the McAllen bus station wearing ankle monitors on June 22, 2018.If Texas ever really played counterpoint to national political trends, it’s not doing it now. On many issues, the state is behaving a lot like the rest of the country, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.Start on the Mexican border. Texas Republicans running for president have sometimes had difficulty explaining their border policies to voters in places like Iowa and New Hampshire. It happened in some measure to George W. Bush and, famously, to Rick Perry: Remember that “I don’t think you have a heart” line about U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants during a 2012 presidential debate?That might’ve been a good answer at home, but it didn’t play on the road.That was six years ago. The latest UT/TT Poll shows Texas Republicans breaking pretty much the same way Republicans elsewhere broke on the immigration story of the moment. As they have for years, more than half of the self-identified Republicans among the state’s registered voters listed “immigration” and “border security” as the top two problems facing the state.But the Republican consensus splintered over separating children from parents who illegally enter the U.S. – with about a third opposed to the policy. Instead of that being the kind of local reaction you might expect along the biggest part of the U.S.-Mexico border, it turned out to be just the local version of a national break among Republican voters so significant that the president reversed his political position with an executive order.Texas Democrats were predictably and overwhelmingly opposed to the administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy on the border. Overall, more Texas Republicans approved of the separation than otherwise (46 percent to 35 percent), but the gender gap was unnerving in an election year: Republican women oppose separations, 37 percent to 42 percent, while Republican men support them, 56 percent to 30 percent.Texans are more like the country in liberal ways, too. Texas Democrats used to be more like Texas Republicans on the death penalty, but now they’re more like national Democrats — an unusual change of direction on what had been a pretty stable issue in terms of public opinion. In this year’s poll, 85 percent of Republicans favor the death penalty for violent crimes, compared with 88 percent in a February 2015 UT/TT Poll. That’s an insignificant change, but look at the Democrats, who dropped from 61 percent support then to 46 percent support now.Both parties are loosening their resistance to legal marijuana. More than half of Texas registered voters now say it should be legalized. Republicans in Texas added a decriminalization plank to their platform this year, saying the penalty for small amounts ought to be more akin to a traffic violation than a bank robbery: more tickets, fewer incarcerations.More often, the poll provided evidence that politics in Texas is just as dispiritingly polarized as it is in the rest of the country.The Texas Republicans whose two favorites in the last presidential race faltered (Cruz and Perry) are now unreservedly in President Donald Trump’s corner. Not by a little, but by a lot: 87 percent of them approve of the job Trump is doing, including 55 percent who strongly approve.Democrats are just as emphatic, in the opposite direction: 84 percent disapprove, including 75 percent who disapprove strongly.That political polarity shows up in national polls, and it was all over the Texas responses.Texas Republicans are so with Trump that they’re against the nation’s top law enforcement agency: 45 percent of Texas Republicans have a negative opinion of the FBI, while 27 percent have a positive opinion. Democrats were 62 percent positive and just 11 percent negative.They’re so bound to the party that they’re ignoring the results of Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian tampering with the 2016 elections. On one hand, 58 percent of voters said they’ve heard a lot about the investigations. But 81 percent of Republicans believe that the purpose of the inquiries is to discredit the president, and 78 percent said Mueller hasn’t uncovered any crimes.He has obtained 17 indictments and 5 convictions. Wouldn’t you know that if you’d been following this closely?They’re so in sync with the president that they reach for their noses when you ask these football-crazy conservatives about the NFL — an organization he condemned after players began protests against police shootings by sitting out or kneeling during the national anthem. Only 14 percent of Republicans have a favorable impression of the league, while 65 percent have an unfavorable one. Democrats are lukewarm on this one —38 percent favorable and 28 percent unfavorable — but they’re more positive than not.You know politics has soured when it comes between Texans and football.The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of themhere. Share
Charter Communications agreed to a settlement valued at $174.2 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging the U.S.’s second-biggest cable operator defrauded broadband customers by failing to deliver promised internet speeds.According to the terms of the settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office, Charter will pay $62.5 million in direct refunds to 700,000 active broadband subscribers in New York, who will each receive between $75 and $150. In addition, Charter has agreed to offer free streaming services and HBO and Showtime premium channels with a retail value of over $100 million to approximately 2.2 million active subscribers in the state.The New York Attorney General’s Office said it’s believed to be the biggest-ever payout to consumers by an internet service provider in U.S. history. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety “This settlement should serve as a wake-up call to any company serving New York consumers: fulfill your promises, or pay the price,” New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood said in announcing the settlement Tuesday.The agreement settles the NY Attorney General’s 2017 lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, alleging Charter failed to deliver the internet speed or reliability it had promised subscribers in several respects. The fraud allegations covered services initially operated by Time Warner Cable, which was acquired by Charter in 2016.According to the complaint, Charter (and Time Warner Cable before it) leased “deficient modems and wireless routers” to subscribers that didn’t deliver the internet speeds they had paid for. The operator also did not maintain enough network capacity to reliably deliver advertised speeds to subscribers, and Charter engaged “in hardball tactics with Netflix and other popular third-party content providers” that resulted in degraded streaming video quality.In a statement, Charter said: “We are pleased to have reached a settlement with the Attorney General on the issue of certain Time Warner Cable advertising practices in New York prior to our merger, and to have put this litigation behind us. Charter has made, and continues to make, substantial investments enhancing internet service across the state of New York since our 2016 merger, as acknowledged by the Attorney General in this settlement. We look forward to continue providing the best TV, internet, voice and mobile products to our customers, and to bringing broadband to more homes and businesses across the state.”Under the settlement, Charter’s Spectrum Internet subscribers in New York will have a choice of either three free months of HBO or six free months of Showtime. All other active Charter internet subscribers will receive a free month of Charter’s Spectrum TV Choice streaming service, which lets customers access broadcast TV stations and a choice of 10 pay-TV networks, along with one free month of Showtime.In addition, Charter is required to implement a series of “marketing and business reforms,” according to the New York AG, including the requirement to describe internet speeds as “wired” and to “substantiate them through regular speed testing.”
Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Ten tourists were injured when a tire blew on the passenger van they were in heading to Holbox.The accident occurred around 10:30 p.m. along the El Tintal-Playa del Carmen highway at kilometer 41 of the 44-kilometer-long road. A passenger van carrying a load of visitors bound for Holbox ended up in the brush after one of its tires burst.The moment the tire gave way, reports say the driver of the unit lost control. The van left the highway and skilled for nearly 20 meters before finally coming to a stop in the brush.Passing motorists stopped to help those inside the van while others called Emergency 911.Police, medical personnel and ambulances arrived. All 10 passengers received injuries and were transported to hospital. Only one person was reported to have multiple injuries. There were no fatalities in the accident.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
King Goodwill Zwelithini is opening the doors of his palace in Nongoma for the first time for the celebration of Deepavali as a way of fostering social cohesion.The event will be held on October 7 in conjunction with the Sivananda World Peace Foundation, which is run by businessman Ishwar Ramlutchman, whom the king regards as a son. He described the event as being a historic moment.King Zwelithini said in a statement “during Diwali, there is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere and this brings about unity”.The event will take place at the uSutu Royal Palace on October 7 from 2pm to 6pm and will include cultural items from the Hindu and Zulu communities. The programme will end with a fireworks display.Traditional Indian vegetarian food and snacks will be prepared, such as breyani and samoosas. Strictly no meat dishes.A free bus has been arranged to depart from AK’s parking lot at 9am and return after the show on October 7.The following organisations are requested to send five delegates each to be a part of the celebrations at the king’s palace: WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Arya Samaj, Hindu Thirukootam and Shree Ganaser Temple, The Ramakrishna Centre, Sanathan Dharma Sabha (SDS), Sri Prabhu Hanuman Mandir, Shri Siva Soobramoniar Temple, Young Hindu Cultural Service Society (YHCSS), Ladysmith Association For The Aged (LAFTA), Ladysmith SAI Centre and the Hare Krishna Centre.Also read: Happy Diwali to all celebratingAlso read: Young and old at Diwali celebrationsRegistration for the celebrations is to be done at Peter’s Photos, with Mrs Ritha Singh, during office hours. They can be contacted on 0366310708The closing date for registration is October 4. For more information, Sunny Dhanooklal can be contacted on 0834555503Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!
News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems Example of full-dose, 10 percent low-dose and algorithm-enhanced low-dose. Image courtesy of Enhao Gong, Ph.D.November 27, 2018 — Researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the dose of a contrast agent that may be left behind in the body after magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams, according to a new study. The study was presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Nov. 25-30 in Chicago.Gadolinium is a heavy metal used in contrast material that enhances images on MRI. Recent studies have found that trace amounts of the metal remain in the bodies of people who have undergone exams with certain types of gadolinium. The effects of this deposition are not known, but radiologists are working proactively to optimize patient safety while preserving the important information that gadolinium-enhanced MRI scans provide.“There is concrete evidence that gadolinium deposits in the brain and body,” said study lead author Enhao Gong, Ph.D., researcher at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. “While the implications of this are unclear, mitigating potential patient risks while maximizing the clinical value of the MRI exams is imperative.”Gong and colleagues at Stanford have been studying deep learning as a way to achieve this goal. Deep learning is a sophisticated artificial intelligence technique that teaches computers by examples. Through use of models called convolutional neural networks, the computer can not only recognize images but also find subtle distinctions among the imaging data that a human observer might not be capable of discerning.To train the deep learning algorithm, the researchers used MR images from 200 patients who had received contrast-enhanced MRI exams for a variety of indications. They collected three sets of images for each patient:Pre-contrast scans, done prior to contrast administration and referred to as the zero-dose scans;Low-dose scans, acquired after 10 percent of the standard gadolinium dose administration; andFull-dose scans, acquired after 100 percent dose administration.The algorithm learned to approximate the full-dose scans from the zero-dose and low-dose images. Neuroradiologists then evaluated the images for contrast enhancement and overall quality.Results showed that the image quality was not significantly different between the low-dose, algorithm-enhanced MR images and the full-dose, contrast-enhanced MR images. The initial results also demonstrated the potential for creating the equivalent of full-dose, contrast-enhanced MR images without any contrast agent use.These findings suggest the method’s potential for dramatically reducing gadolinium dose without sacrificing diagnostic quality, according to Gong.“Low-dose gadolinium images yield significant untapped clinically useful information that is accessible now by using deep learning and AI,” he said.Now that the researchers have shown that the method is technically possible, they want to study it further in the clinical setting, where Gong believes it will ultimately find a home.Future research will include evaluation of the algorithm across a broader range of MRI scanners and with different types of contrast agents.“We’re not trying to replace existing imaging technology,” Gong said. “We’re trying to improve it and generate more value from the existing information while looking out for the safety of our patients.”Gong received an RSNA “Trainee Research Prize – Resident” award for his research.For more information: www.rsna.orgRelated Gadolinium ContentThe Debate Over Gadolinium MRI Contrast ToxicityVIDEO: How Serious is MRI Gadolinium Retention in the Brain and Body?VIDEO: Big Concerns Remain for MRI Gadolinium Contrast Safety at RSNA 2017Radiology Has Failed to Properly Assess or Track MRI Gadolinium Contrast SafetyFDA Committee Votes to Expand Warning Labels on Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more Technology | Interventional Radiology | August 16, 2019 Profound Medical Receives U.S. FDA 510(k) Clearance for Tulsa-Pro Profound Medical Corp. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more News | Pediatric Imaging | August 14, 2019 Ultrasound Guidance Improves First-attempt Success in IV Access in Children August 14, 2019 – Children’s veins read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al. News | Contrast Media | November 27, 2018 Artificial Intelligence May Help Reduce Gadolinium Dose in MRI Study results demonstrate potential for creating equivalent of full-dose, contrast-enhanced MR images without any contrast agent use News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s… read more Related Content Technology | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 Shimadzu Medical Systems Receives FDA 510(k) for FluoroSpeed X1 RF System Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, a subsidiary of Shimadzu Corp., announced they have received U.S. Food and Drug… read more
Vietjet founder ranks 55 on Forbes world’s 100 most powerful womenVietjet founder ranks 55 on Forbes world’s 100 most powerful womenLess than a decade ago, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao was little known to the world, let alone in her country, Vietnam. However, now at 47, she has been listed at number 55 in the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list by Forbes.No stranger to Forbes’ highly revered lists, she also ranked 62 in the same list last year and with a current net worth of USD 1.94 billion, she is also Vietnam’s first woman billionaire (being one of the only two billionaires in the country) and Southeast Asia’s first woman billionaire to be named on this year’s World’s Self-Made Women Billionaires list.Popularly recognised for her immense success over the last few years in the aviation industry, a sector typically dominated by men, she earlier this year took public Vietjet – her budget airline which she launched just six years ago, disrupting the local industry previously dominated by Vietnam’s national carrier.In a short period of time, she was able to almost single-handedly covert a relatively non-existent industry in Vietnam into a thriving low-cost carrier now taking Asia and the world by storm.With a vision of becoming a favourite multinational airline, Vietjet continuously dedicates itself to spur the future of air travel by breathing a breath of fresh air into the industry to support foray into new international markets.Indeed, Madam Thao’s brilliance and expertise has placed Vietjet Air in a good position within the market. Today, Vietjet is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, and a force to be reckoned with in the international aviation industry. Currently operating 73 routes across the Southeast Asian region, the airline’s fleet of more than 45 aircraft runs over 350 flights every day.The airline’s turnover, too, has never been better. In the first six months of 2017 alone, the company earned more than USD 721.7 million in total revenue, while pocketing USD 78.8 million in net profit – up a whopping 45 percent from the same period last year. By June 30, Vietjet’s total assets reached over USD 1.08 billion and equity of USD 321.2 million, an annual increase of 49.6 percent and 11.9 percent respectively – an inspiring testament of a visionary leader, well deserving of her place in Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list.This year’s list, ranked by dollars controlled, impact, spheres of influence and media presence — boasts 23 newcomers, a record for the Forbes Power Women list, with new women stepping in to power in politics, technology, business and media.Topping the list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who retains the top spot for the seventh consecutive year and Melinda Gates (#3), co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Meanwhile, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (# 4) and GM CEO Mary Barra (#5) complete the top five on the list.Other notable women on the list include Ivanka Trump (#19), Oprah Winfrey (#21), Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (#26), Beyonce Knowles (#50), Hillary Clinton (#65), Taylor Swift (#85) and J.K. Rowling (#88).“It is truly an honour to be on this highly heralded list. However, while it’s truly humbling to be listed among other notable women around the world, my main focus remains on Vietjet and the brand and its expansion. Indeed, I am truly fortunate to be working with such a great team. I owe my success to them, and together, we hope to chart new skies moving forward into 2018,” says Madam Thao.Some of Vietjet’s more immediate plans for expansion moving into 2018 include opening six new routes in this fourth quarter, increasing the total new routes by 19 for the year 2017.Source = Vietjet
Freddie Mac Homeownership Rate 2016-10-12 ScottMorgan1 October 12, 2016 742 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News The national homeownership rate has been dropping for more than a decade, and the future is not looking much brighter for some housing insiders. The U.S. Census puts the national homeownership rate at about 63 percent, half a percent lower than it was last year and the lowest point since the Census Bureau began tracking the data in 1965. And according to Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Studies and Urban Institute, homeownership rates below 60 percent are not out of the question.But Freddie Mac’s October Insight report posits that such projections are overly grim and “ignore potential macroeconomic influences that might arise that are likely to have a significant impact on the homeownership rate.”First, Freddie Mac reported, the future of housing finance has yet to be sorted out. The GSEs are in their eighth year of conservatorship, which is “a tenure that was not foreseen by anyone when they entered conservatorship in September 2008.” Second, Millennials are at the age at which people tend to marry, start families, and buy homes, and they may do it at a faster pace than previous generations. Third, “the factors accounting for the lower homeownership rates of non-white demographic groups may be overcome,” Freddie Mac reported.Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac, put the uncertainty of crystal-ball projections this way: “Twenty years in the future, today’s Millennial 35-year-olds will not act exactly like today’s Baby Boomer 55-year-olds. Or perhaps they will. And this is where experts from the Joint Center on Housing Studies and the Urban Institute begin to part ways in their projections of the homeownership rate.”Applying “some fancy arithmetic to current conditions,” Becketti said, does not incorporate future macroeconomic disruptions, significant policy changes, or shifts in social attitudes in their calculations.”In either case, we believe their projections may be overly pessimistic,” he said. “The income and education gaps that are responsible for some of the differences may be narrowed or eliminated as the U.S. becomes a ‘majority minority’ country. And as these types of potential home buyers comprise a larger and larger share of the population, it will become increasingly expensive to overlook them.”Profit-oriented financial institutions, he said, will be motivated to find better ways to serve these populations. The Homeownership Outlook is Bleak—Or is It? Share
Categories: News 04Feb Gov. signs Nesbitt bill naming local highway after Trooper Rick L. Johnson State Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, and Gov. Rick Snyder hold a signed copy of Nesbitt’s bill naming a portion of I-94 in Van Buren County in honor of fallen Michigan State Police Trooper Rick L. Johnson, who was killed in the line of duty in 2000. Also pictured are family, friends and colleagues of Trooper Johnson.A local portion of I-94 now bears the name of fallen Michigan State Police Trooper Rick. L. Johnson, after Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill authored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt naming the highway in his honor. Johnson was killed in the line of duty in 2000.House Bill 4923 names a portion of the interstate in Van Buren County as the “Trooper Rick L. Johnson Memorial Freeway.” The measure earned unanimous support in the state House and Senate last December. It is now Public Act 436 of 2014.Nesbitt was joined in Lansing on Tuesday by members of Trooper Johnson’s family, who gathered to see the governor sign the bill. The family also was recognized on the House floor during last year’s legislative session.“Trooper Johnson made the ultimate sacrifice while doing his job,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “There is nothing we can do to repay what he gave in order to keep us safe, but at least by recognizing him this way, we can make sure his life is not forgotten in our Southwest Michigan communities.”Johnson, who was 35 at the time of his death, had stopped a vehicle on westbound I-94 on May 6, 2000, for a mechanical violation. While returning to his patrol vehicle, a third vehicle left the highway and crashed into the patrol car, pinning Johnson between the cars. He was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, where he later died. The day before the accident, Trooper Johnson had talked down a suicidal individual from a highway overpass within a few miles of site of the accident that claimed his life.
19Jan Children’s home founder joins Rep. Allor for governor’s State of the State address Frank Dimercurio, founder and director of Chosen Ranch in Alcona County, today joined state Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, on the Michigan House floor to listen to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2017 State of the State speech.The governor uses the speech to announce his agenda for the coming year.Each state representative is allowed to invite one guest to the House floor for the address. Categories: Allor News,Allor Photos
Categories: Garcia News,News State Representative Daniela R. García of Holland voted this week in support to advance a package of Senate bills that will reform the Michigan’s corrections system and help reduce costs to Michigan taxpayers.“Michigan is spending $2 billion annually for our corrections system as a whole and an average of $35,000 per prisoner. The time is now to look at measures that provide savings without sacrificing the safety of residents,” García said. “We have to implement reforms to parole programs, reduce recidivism rates, develop targeted rehabilitation programs for young offenders, reduce housing costs, and re-examine our incarceration and care of medically frail inmates.”The 20-bill Senate package, with one Senate resolution, will also improve data collection and reporting, allow for better education opportunities and training for inmates scheduled for release, give the Michigan Department of Corrections and judges more options for considering parole and probation programs, and provide added incentives for parolees.“Our prison population has shrunk over the past few years, in part because of programs that prepared inmates for re-entry into society and more practical sentencing,” Garcia said. “We now have the pieces in place to take the next step, while giving the taxpayers added financial relief.”### 10Mar Representative García supports criminal justice reform legislation
Categories: Runestad News 11Oct Rep. Runestad recognizes local scholarship semifinalists Rep. Jim Runestad today congratulated two local National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, Jack Lewis from Milford High School and Matthew Person from Lakeland High School.“I’m honored to represent such talented and dedicated young individuals in my district,” Rep. Runestad said. “Jack and Matthew should be very proud of this impressive achievement. They definitely have bright futures ahead of them.”The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships among high school students. Semifinalists are selected based on their Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) performance. Approximately 16,000 students each year qualify as semifinalists on a state-representational basis.Finalists and winners of the National Merit Scholarship will be announced early next year.
State Rep. Jason Wentworth today voted for bipartisan legislation in the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee that eliminates driver responsibility fees by October 2018, provides alternative methods by which to pay fees until then and forgives debt after elimination.Wentworth, of Clare, said he supports bringing to an end the unfair fees that were established by a previous administration in 2003 as part of a money grab to patch a hole in the state budget. He said the fees were punitive in nature and did nothing to improve the driving habits of those forced to pay them.“The 2003 law was a bad law, and I am happy to have a hand in bringing it to a common-sense conclusion that lifts this burdensome fee from the backs of people caught up in this Catch 22,” said Wentworth, who serves on the committee. “We have had people drop out of the workforce because they lost their driving privileges, while others have driven illegally to and from work just to make ends meet. Ending driver responsibility fees will give people a fresh start.”Wentworth said people who are paying the fees will be offered alternative ways to meet their obligations until the fees are eliminated and debt forgiven on Oct. 1, 2018.“The legislation allows people to participate in community service, which improves their neighborhoods,” Wentworth said. “Another means by which to fulfill obligations is to participate in workforce training, preparing them for jobs once they return to the job market.”The bills now go to the full House for consideration.##### Categories: News,Wentworth News 18Oct Rep. Wentworth votes to end driver responsibility fees Committee approves eliminating fees, forgiving debt
Categories: Hoitenga News,News 31Jul Rep. Hoitenga tours specialized Cadillac-based manufacturer Legislator: AAR’s military contracts prove demand for skilled workforceState Rep. Michele Hoitenga on Monday participated in a tour and roundtable discussion at AAR Mobility Systems of Cadillac, receiving updates on the importance of limiting regulatory red tape for the specialized manufacturer.“What AAR Mobility Systems is doing, especially with its U.S. military contracts, is crucially important for the region,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “What the administrators, managers and staff do on a daily basis is unique and requires highly skilled professionals. Northern Michigan needs more jobs like these, especially as we continue to push for more career skills training.”She also spoke with AAR Mobility Systems’ leaders on the Cadillac company’s role in building Lightweight, Multipurpose Shelters (LMS) as part of a $14 million contract for the U.S. Army. LMS is the primary platform the Army uses to house command and control equipment for tactical support in numerous environments.“The time we spent with AAR Mobility Systems was certainly eye opening and really illustrates what we can do in the state government to bring more specialized companies and jobs to our state,” Hoitenga said. “I thank the managers and staff for their time spent with us. What I learned will certainly continue to be a focus in Lansing in the future.”Rep. Hoitenga was joined during the visit by state Attorney General Bill Schuette.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJune 23, 2014; The AdvocateHow long will the BSA hold out on its regressive exclusionary policy excluding openly gay scout leaders? Two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder called it a “relic of an age of prejudice” and parts of their operation are beginning to peel off, including the Greater New York Councils, which has endorsed a comprehensive nondiscrimination policy, saying also that such a stance is “the right, moral, forward-looking policy for the BSA [to adopt] nationwide.” In league with that, the color guard for the 44th Annual NYC Pride March scheduled for this coming Sunday will be made up of contingent of openly gay and allied Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts, and volunteers. Included in that contingent is 87-year-old David Knapp, who was forced to leave scouting after 55 years when officials learned he was gay. The Brooklyn chapter of advocacy group Scouts for Equality will present the American flag while the national anthem plays at the opening ceremonies and then will lead the march.“We are grateful for this invitation from NYC Pride, and we are honored and humbled to provide this patriotic service to the LGBT community of New York,” said Stacey Sarnicola, Brooklyn chapter lead of Scouts for Equality in a statement published by GLAAD Monday. “Since 1978, the BSA has held a policy that excluded gay youth and parents. While the BSA voted last year to end the policy barring gay youth from participation, it has made no change in its membership policy regarding adults. The Greater New York Councils’ inclusive policy is what gave me permission to allow my son to join the Boy Scouts. It’s what gives us permission to march, and it gives us hope for a BSA for all in the near future.”Dave Studinsky, speaking for march organizers, warmly welcomed Scouts for Equality to the route as Color Guard. “Our 2014 theme is ‘We Have Won When We’re One,’” he said, “and this message resonates well with Scouts for Equality’s mission. From their participation in our step-off ceremony through the moment they pass the historic Stonewall Inn, may the scouts’ joint display of our nation’s colors and the rainbow flag remind us all that the LGBT movement seeks not tolerance, but acceptance as equals.”—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 27, 2015; Real Clear PoliticsThe Great Recession led to an explosion in the number of people experiencing homelessness. Many turned to relatives and friends before turning to shelters or the streets. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is responsible for defining and tracking the number of homeless people. It currently does not define people “couch surfing” or living in motels as among the homeless. New legislation proposes to expand the definition of homelessness, but without increasing resources to support a system that’s over capacity and drastically underfunded, the bill fails to address the underlying problem.Katie Jeffery’s 17th birthday present from her mom was the streets. Katie’s mother kicked her out of the house; the youth traveled from friends’ couches to cars, motels, and even a shed for the next four months as she battled to graduate from high school. Because she was never forced to live on the streets, HUD never counted her as homeless.The nation’s public schools identified over 1.2 million students as homeless last year. Eighty percent are not defined as homeless by HUD and therefore are ineligible for essential services. States with smaller populations, like Wyoming, where Katie was living, are seeing some of the biggest increases; unfortunately, they also have the fewest resources. More than half of HUD-funded emergency shelters are located in major cities.Last week, bipartisan legislation was introduced in Congress to expand the definition of homelessness. The Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2015 was introduced in the House by Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA). Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced it in the Senate. If passed, it would identify homeless families and youth without regard to where they are staying. It would also give localities more power over how to spread their limited and grossly inadequate federal resources dedicated to these critical services.The National Alliance to End Homelessness agrees that HUD’s definition of homelessness is out of date. But currently, only 14 percent of the approximately 380,000 unaccompanied youth under the age of 18 who “experience a runaway or homeless episode lasting more than one week” every year are served. For the nation’s system of shelters and other nonprofit service organizations to have the capacity to serve all of these youth, resources would need to be expanded by a factor of seven.According to the Alliance, the Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2015 would add an additional 7 million people eligible for services. Without additional funds, the organization is concerned that scarce resources will be shifted away from people living on the streets to those that have someplace to stay, however insecure.One can only hope that a more accurate number would further strengthen the argument for additional resources. But given that slightly more than one in ten homeless people are currently being served, one wonders how much larger the inadequacy would need to be for our nation to allocate the resources needed to fund these crucial programs.—Gayle NelsonShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share10TweetShareEmail10 Sharesthe trauma of sexual assault / Rebecca WilliamsApril 18, 2016; CBS NewsJust over a month after the Senate rejected a bill that would have drastically changed the prosecution procedures of military sexual assaults, an advocacy group is alleging the Pentagon knowingly misrepresented and omitted pertinent facts about the reality of sexual assault prosecution in the military. The reports have led several senators to call for a re-investigation into military procedures. Crucially, the report alleges that by incorrectly characterizing sexual assault prosecutions in the military and misleading Congress, Pentagon officials ultimately blocked reform that would have helped reduce the epidemic level of sexual assaults in the military.Protect Our Defenders (POD), a national organization dedicated to addressing rape and sexual assault in the military, released a report on Monday illustrating how the Pentagon has argued to keep prosecution of sexual assaults within the military chain of command, specifically top commanders, instead of employing a military independent agency or military prosecutors. According to the report, some officials also incorrectly proffered that civilian or military prosecutors outside the chain of command are less likely to prosecute sex offenders.“Whether you agree or disagree with the policy at issue, every Senator should be outraged, and revisit their votes” on the bill, said Col. Don Christensen, who was also a former Air Force prosecutor and is the president of POD, in a press release. The advocacy group and other activists are calling for a hearing to investigate why misinformation was used to block legislation.Current policies mandate that military commanders have the authority to decide whether the military will prosecute sexual assaults. According to many activists, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, this procedure effectively sanctions sexual assault in the military because commanders may be biased or a victim may be more hesitant to report an incident to their commander. The situation is especially precarious when the alleged attacker is a commander. According to the Department of Defense, 60 percent of victims who reported their attack faced retaliation from their peers or their commander. In these cases, one can understand why an independent agency would be appropriate. A bill challenging the current procedure was defeated in the Senate in March, in part due to reports the Pentagon has delivered to Congress in the past that prosecutions are more diligent with the current protocol concentrating power in commanders.However, as released in a report by POD and investigated by the Associated Press, while the Pentagon has pushed against reforming prosecution procedures and has instead maintained that military commanders are more insistent about prosecuting sexual assault cases than military prosecutors, there is reportedly no documented evidence to support their claim.“The facts behind the Pentagon’s claims reveal the great lengths they went to in order to distort the data to counter momentum and prevent reform,” said the report. “[The cases investigated by POD] provide no evidence to support the argument that empowering trained, independent military prosecutors to decide which cases go forward to trial would lead to fewer victims having ‘their day in court.’ In fact, the cases provide no evidence that commanders are tougher than military prosecutors in responding to cases of sexual assault, and they support calls for professional and blind justice.”In the report, POD lists several instances where officials on behalf of the Pentagon cite facts and figures to support their claim. In one instance, Senator Claire McCaskill, a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, said:In just the past two years, we found 93 cases of rape and sexual assault that prosecutors declined to prosecute, which were then referred to court-martial by commanders. That’s 93 victims who had their day in court because commanders, not prosecutors, had the ability to refer a case to court-martial.Senator McCaskill was among the officials that have diametrically opposed reforming the current procedure.After making several Freedom of Information Act requests to the Department of Defense to authenticate the claims about these 93 cases, POD found in the 81 cases made available, two-thirds were not sexual assault cases declined by a prosecutor and later prosecuted by the military. Moreover, there was not a single case where a commander insisted on a court martial after a case was declined.“The allegations in the Protect Our Defenders report and the AP article include providing inaccurate information to a congressional committee, misleading the Congress, and undermining efforts to make critical reforms to a broken system,” wrote Senator Charles Grassley and Senator Gillibrand in a letter to President Barack Obama. “Due to the very serious nature of these allegations, we request that you direct an independent investigation into this matter.”As noted by Vox, we can conjecture why the Pentagon would allegedly lie about such information: to keep the power to prosecute in their hands as long as possible. However, the March bill as it was proposed would only have affected the very top 150 commanders, not the rest of the 15,000 commanders who are not involved in the prosecution process.According to Christensen, from his experience as a military prosecutor fighting commanders to pursue cases, it’s imperative the process changes, and the recent investigation confirms so. “That’s the fight I had as a prosecutor, is getting them to not stop cases,” Christensen said in an interview with Vox. “They can also slow down the process or discourage victims from going forward, retaliation, hostile work environments—that’s one of the things we see over and over.”—Shafaq HasanShare10TweetShareEmail10 Shares
Share13Tweet2ShareEmail15 SharesBy Aztecjojo132 [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia CommonsJune 22, 2018; Boston GlobeBoston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang is stepping down this week three years into a five-year contract. This comes after a string of problems at BPS that culminated in a lawsuit over whether BPS shared information with ICE that led to a student’s deportation. Chang’s is the shortest term as Boston superintendent in 40 years, excluding interim posts.Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh said, “We need a long-term education leader with a proven record in management who can gain the confidence of the community on the strategic vision for the district.”Community members said that though Chang is very smart and devoted to BPS students, he was not able to build community relationships enough to really lead the change Boston schools needed. City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George told the Boston Globe, “He fell short of really building meaningful relationships…You can articulate a vision, but it proves to be impossible to actually effect any change because there wasn’t that relationship between him and the community.”Last November, Chang withheld an IRS report that showed student activity funds were being used to pay for teacher stipends and other non-student-activity-related items. Kenny Jervis, a district parent, “questioned whether Chang withheld the IRS findings because he was in the midst of being evaluated by the School Committee and may have also wanted to avoid an embarrassing disclosure while Walsh ran for reelection,” according to the Globe’s James Vaznis.BPS has also failed to live up to several promises made by Walsh and Chang. For instance, even though Walsh promised in 2013 to spent $1 billion renovating public schools, as of early June 2018, Chang was still convening community panels and the only new schools were charters. Despite promises in September 2017 to triple the number of schools providing free breakfast to low-income students, as of May 2018, little to no progress had been made, even as other, nearby districts like New Bedford and Brockton have improved their rates significantly.One of Chang’s more public missteps was the fuss over school starting times. Some studies, including one from the American Academy of Pediatrics, have shown that adolescents would benefit from later school start times, which more naturally match their sleep cycles, and younger children can start school earlier without the same health detriments. But Chang’s handling of the decision, which evidently involved little to no community input, almost immediately tanked the project. BPS decided to change school start times in 84 percent of its 125 schools and unveiled the decision to parents in a meeting shortly before the schedules were to be switched. Working parents whose planned daycare schedules were thrown into chaos protested vehemently. BPS parent Sarah Beaulieu wrote,I’m really dismayed at how this decision was made and communicated. Changing start times is a big decision, and not something that principals, parents, city Councilors and after school programs learn about on the same day…I have lost so much faith and confidence in BPS as a district that really embraces economic diversity and knows how to navigate tough decisions in smart ways.BPS abandoned the plan in a few weeks.Many people have acknowledged that Boston is a complicated district, with a lot of historically entrenched issues to navigate and an enormously diverse population to serve. It serves a lot of students with individual education plans, or who come from communities where most families live below the poverty line. The racial inequities among students have not improved in recent years. Tanisha Sullivan, president of the Boston chapter of the NAACP, said, “I think part of the challenge for BPS has been a lack of intentionality in developing and implementing initiatives that can help to move the needle on teacher diversity.” In March, Chang said he was working on programs to help improve racial representation.In the incident that reportedly prompted Chang’s departure, a student was involved in a confrontation that did not become physical at East Boston High. School police, however, still wrote up an incident report, which they shared with “Boston Regional Intelligence Center, a network of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that includes officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” according to Vaznis. This is after Chang and Walsh promised that all students, regardless of immigration status, would be welcomed in Boston Public Schools. It’s been widely documented that students of color, particularly male students of color, are disciplined at higher rates than white students for the same behavior. This student was held by customs for 16 months and then deported.After all the issues in the past few years, and now the controversy with ICE, Walsh and others feel BPS would be better served by someone who can connect with the community. City Councilor Lydia Edwards said she would welcome an internal candidate familiar with Boston’s particular issues and history. (Chang came from Los Angeles Unified School District, where he ran an innovation program.)It’s worth noting that despite such challenges, Massachusetts is considered the number one state in the US when it comes to K12 education. Two thirds of Massachusetts residents live in the greater Boston area, and about one tenth of the population lives in Boston proper, meaning that the district’s schools are a meaningful portion of the state’s education system. If the number one state for education in the US is saying they need more community input to their schools, perhaps that should be a nationwide conversation.—Erin RubinShare13Tweet2ShareEmail15 Shares