Professor receives $4.3 million award from NSF

first_imgProfessor of physics Mitchell Wayne, a member of the High Energy Physics group, received a $4.3 million award from the National Science Foundation to fund work at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, according to a press release.The funding will support the Phase I upgrade of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the laboratory, the press release said.“The basic theme of our research is to try to understand what the fundamental building blocks of the universe are, and how they combine to make up the things that we see,” Michael Hildreth, also a professor of physics and member of the High Energy Physics group, said. “CMS is a specific project at CERN running at the Large Hadron Collider. CMS is a large particle detector that observes proton-proton collisions at the LHC.”The LHC is a circular accelerator with a 16-mile circumference that collides beams of protons at extremely high energies, Wayne said. The CMS detector is an apparatus, made up of several sub-detectors, that precisely measures the particles a high-energy proton collision creates.“Our goal in particle physics is to study the structure of matter and the basic forces that govern how matter behaves, at the most fundamental level,” he said. “One of the ways we do this is by measuring the products of the collisions of particles, like protons, at very high energies.  The higher the energy, the deeper we can probe into the nature of matter. Higher energy also gives us more ability to create and discovery new particles that can only be created in our experiments.”The High Energy Physics group works with graduate students and other scientists from around the world to analyze and manage data collected at CERN, Wayne said. With the grant, they will now become involved with upgrading the CMS detector at CERN.“A significant part of the $4.3 million will be used to purchase new photo-detectors, called Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPM) for part of the CMS detector known as the Hadronic Calorimeter, or HCAL,” Wayne said. “These are a new technology that will perform much better than the photo-detectors currently in place at CMS.“The testing and installation of these devices, about 16,000 in total, will take place at CERN. Here at Notre Dame we will be fabricating several hundred optical decoder units, or ODUs.  These use fiber optics to bring signals of light created in the HCAL to the new photo-detectors.”Many American universities and laboratories are working together on the upgrade, Wayne said, but only eight U.S. universities received their funding from the National Science Foundation, after writing a “cooperative agreement” proposal. The eight schools received a total of $11.5 million, but Notre Dame received the largest part of it, at $4.3 million, Wayne said.“[The award] enables Notre Dame to play a leading role in the upgrade project, which is great for the visibility of Notre Dame as a leading research university,” he said. “The work we are doing is really key for a successful upgrade of the CMS experiment, so our efforts are recognized by collaborators from around the world.”The award will also be used to support the salaries of the High Energy Physics group’s engineers and technicians, Wayne said.“The past few years have been a difficult time for research funding in the U.S. … so it is especially gratifying to get this significant award for our research,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the support from the NSF and we are also thankful for all the help provided by Notre Dame’s Office of Research and the College of Science in getting this award.”Tags: CERN, High Energy Physics Group, National Science Foundationlast_img read more

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Governor’s workers’ comp panel to meet this month

first_img January 1, 2003 Regular News Governor’s workers’ comp panel to meet this month Governor’s workers’ comp panel to meet this monthcenter_img As it moves to wrap up its business and make recommendations later this month, a special gubernatorial commission on workers’ compensation heard calls for drastic changes in the compensation system and the way cases are heard.At meetings in October, November, and December, the Governor’s Commission on Workers’ Compensation Reform heard from representatives of a insurance coalition seeking reform, and from a commission member who would give doctors more authority to determine injury cause and treatment.The commission was scheduled to meet again in early January before holding a final meeting in Tallahassee on January 21, according to Rafael Gonzalez, past chair of the Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Section who is monitoring the commission’s activities.At the October meeting, representatives of the insurance coalition outlined their goals, Gonzalez said. Tom Koval, vice president of FCCI Insurance Group, said that included eliminating hourly attorneys’ fees for handling claims and maintaining the current statutory contingency fee schedule. Eliminating the hourly fees would create an incentive for plaintiff’s attorneys to settle rather than litigate claims, he said.The coalition also favors creating a special panel to hear appeals from judges of compensation claims, Koval said. Appeals from that appellate panel would go to the district court of appeal with venue jurisdiction in the case. Currently appeals from judges of compensation claims go directly to the First District Court of Appeal.Mary Ann Stiles, another member of the coalition and general counsel for Associated Industries of Florida, said a top goal is to reduce the number of permanent and total disability claims while increasing impairment benefits. That would be accomplished, she said, by striking the provision that grants permanent total disability based on the disability criteria used by the federal Social Security disability program.The November and December meetings, Gonzalez said, focused on a proposal by commission member Jerry Fogel, who is also a consultant to the Department of Insurance. Representatives of the department also spoke, endorsing Fogel’s plan.He proposed a “Fair Care” system, saying more than minor modification is needed to the present program and laws. Fogel said Fair Care, after determining an accident was work-related, would focus on getting prompt care and returning the employee to work. Compensation would be based on actual functional loss rather that impairment ratings, and doctors would have more control over treatment.Under the proposal, Fogel said a uniform statewide treatment criteria would be used, and a three-member doctor panel would review any appeals from the treating doctor’s recommendations.Rulings from that panel could be appealed to judges of compensation claims, although the panel decision would carry the presumption of being right. Judges’ decisions could be appealed to a special workers’ comp appeals panel, similar to the coalition plan, and then to the DCA with venue jurisdiction.Representatives of DOI explained that the medical panel would handle medical issues while a separate administrative panel would review claims involving average weekly wages, penalties, interests, payment of medical bills, and the like.last_img read more

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The battle for new credit union charters

first_img 34SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Robert McGarvey A blogger and speaker, Robert McGarvey is a longtime journalist who has covered credit unions extensively, notably for Credit Union Times as well as the New York Times and TheStreet, … Web: www.mcgarvey.net Details When there are no startups in an industry, the question has to be raised: is the sector dying?Here’s the worrisome question about the credit union movement: is the comparative lack of new charters a sign that the movement is floundering?  Proof of the difficulty is that since 2008, per NCUA data, just 28 new credit unions were chartered. “That is as close to zero as you can get,” said Paul Stull, CEO of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico.In the years since, eight of the group vanished, either through merger, liquidation, or charter cancellation.The inescapable reality: it isn’t easy to get a new credit union going.But that does not mean it is impossible. It also doesn’t mean people aren’t out there, struggling to launch new credit unions—below we’ll look at two such efforts.First, however, why is it so hard to charter a new credit union? The NCUA’s Federal Credit Union Charter Application Guide is a dense 114 pages. There’s even a 28-page NCUA document on the costs involved in a new charter. Don’t ignore that costs guide. A few years ago, Thad Moore, a longtime Self-Help Credit Union leader and a participant in a number of chartering efforts, told me that in many instances capital is the biggest hurdle. “It’s gotten harder,” Moore told me.NCUA gives the daunting math: “The actual amount necessary [for a charter] will not be able to be fully determined until completion of the pro-forma financial statements and plans for operating independently. However, if you wish to estimate the amount of funding required, we suggest using, at a minimum, the lesser of $300,000 or $100,000 per $1 million in projected assets during the first five years of PFCU’s operation. For example, if you expect the PFCU to grow to $5 million in assets by the end of year five, the organizers should obtain, pre-charter, at least $500,000 in commitments for start-up donated capital.”  It’s not easy to raise that kind of capital for a start up that likely will take years to reach its goal.That’s a big reason why many would-be credit unions—nobody knows exactly how many—wave the white flag of surrender before they get a charter.And yet the intrepid keep trying.Up in Maine, Maine Harvest—a would-be credit union that I first reported on a couple years ago—continues to make steady progress. In mid-March, the Portland Press Herald declared it “a big step closer” to a charter. Maine Harvest, which is intended to serve businesses involved in Maine’s food economy, nonetheless remains $1 million shy of the amount it probably needs to open. But it has now gathered support from many luminaries, including a grand-daughter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.A key driver for this credit union charter attempt is the need for access to capital by Maine’s small business food producers—blueberry farmers, fishermen, and the rest of the local food producers. No established financial players are tripping over themselves to make these loans, but Maine Harvest believes the loans are good business and good for Maine.Scott Budde, slated to become CEO of Maine Harvest when it gets its charter, recently said, “We are still at it but with significant progress.”Note: a key is Maine Harvest fills a real need that nobody else wants to fill. It’s not alone.In north Minneapolis, a different kind of credit union is coming together, with the hope of winning a charter by 2019. That’s where members of a group called Blexit are working to create a black focused credit union in a neighborhood that activist Me’Lea Connelly told KARE TV is a bank desert. The City Pages newspaper reported that this would be MInnesota’s first black union.Connelly told City Pages: “We have communities that are underserved and also taken advantage of by the most predatory businesses in our state. Regular banks don’t give them chances.”Credit unions aimed specifically at low-income communities have access to grant monies earmarked for that purpose, and Connelly has pursued that funding.A campaign on Facebook also has won a strong response, Connelly told City Pages.Bottomline: both Maine Harvest and Blexit are fledgling credit unions driven forward by people who passionately believe in the need and the mission, and they also believe that credit unions are the only real way to provide the resources the target membership needs.But isn’t that exactly how and why the first credit unions took root? Their founders saw a need, and they also saw nobody else wanted to fill it. And so they did.In New Mexico, Stull said: “Many have forgotten why credit unions exist. They exist to help people, not to serve people with the lowest possible risk.”His point: across large chunks of America, a lot of people are very much in need of the kind of financial services a credit union is intended to provide.At least some look to be in line to be served—farmers in Maine and the underbanked in north Minneapolis.And that’s good news for the credit union movement.last_img read more

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Do deposits and donuts mix? How shared retail space lowers costs and brings in business

first_imgDo deposits and donuts mix? They do for CBC Federal Credit Union, which recently opened a unique shared retail space in partnership with Dunkin’. As branches downsize and competition for retail space heats up, these types of partnerships are becoming an attractive option for financial institutions.When it comes to downsizing, many institutions find themselves sitting on more space than they need, while others struggle to find ideal locations in competitive markets. Shared retail space can be a solution to both of the problems. If your organization owns the property, leasing excess space can bring in revenue. If you’re looking for a new location, partnerships can open up more opportunities.Either way, the right partner will bring in a significant amount of foot traffic and introduce you and your brand to a large portion of the population who may not have considered a credit union or community bank. Let’s take a look at the CBC FCU case study and see how it worked out for them.CBC’s branch space in Camarillo, California was 4,700 square feet, about twice the size needed to operate effectively in the market.  CBC had inhabited the space for 25 years and wanted to find a creative way to update it, while also maximizing use of the real estate and increasing branch foot traffic. Their partnership with Dunkin’ on a shared space concept not only offers patrons donuts and coffee, but also exposure to the credit union and convenient access to their services. Keep in mind that only 28% of non-members are likely to join a credit union, but that number jumps to 75% if they’ve been introduced to one. The two organizations are leveraging the overlap in their targeted demographics and offering complimentary services that will drive foot traffic for both, and CBC gets rental income that offsets branch operational costs.This strategy isn’t right for every branch, but it’s worth taking a second look at your network and properties with shared retail spaces in mind. Do you have any branches that you’re downsizing in a location you’d like to keep? Do you have branches where more foot traffic would help achieve your goals? Is there a property in one of your markets that check every box, but the footprint is just too big? Those problems might just be opportunities.And as always, don’t forget that the Momentum team has your back. Feel free to reach out and discuss any issues you’re facing. We’re here to help! 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michael Downs Michael Downs is the Vice President of Client Solutions at Momentum, a strategic design-build partner that takes a people centric approach to helping credit unions across the nation thrive. Web: www.momentumbuilds.com Detailslast_img read more

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Jokowi calls for ‘social distancing’ to stem virus spread

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on all Indonesians to practice what epidemiologists call social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country.“Under the current conditions, it’s time for us to work from home, study from home and worship at home,” Jokowi said at a press conference at Bogor Palace in West Java on Sunday. “It’s time for us to work together, to help each other, to unite and cooperate. We want this to be a community movement, so that the COVID-19 problem can be addressed to the fullest.”As of Sunday afternoon, Indonesia has announced 117 confirmed COVID-19 cases, five of which have ended deadly. Regional heads in a number of areas – including Jakarta, Banten and West Java – have decided to temporarily close schools and public areas in an effort to contain the coronavirus. Jokowi said he would leave the decision whether or not to declare a state of emergency up to the respective regional head.“As a large country and an archipelago, the spread of COVID-19 varies from region to region,” he said.” Therefore, I ask all governors, regents and mayors to continue to monitor their respective regions and consult with medical experts and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency [BNPB] to determine the emergency level in their regions.”He added that the government guaranteed it had enough stocks of staple goods to meet everyone’s needs.“We have also prepared economic incentives, as has been announced by the Coordinating Economic Minister, so that the business world can carry on as usual,” he said.Jokowi said that while Transportation Minister Budi Karya had tested positive for the virus, the rest of the Cabinet would continue to work hard to address the effects of the pandemic.“I ask all the people of Indonesia to stay calm, not to panic, to stay productive and to be more alert, so that we can slow down and stop the spread of COVID-19,” he said. (kmt)Topics : read more

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Olympic flame passed to Fukushima during low-key ceremony

first_imgTokyo 2020 organizers left the Olympic flame in the hands of Fukushima Prefecture on Wednesday where it will be on display in a lantern for the next month after the Games were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.The handover took place at a subdued ceremony at the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima, which was originally set to be the starting point of the torch relay.Only Tokyo 2020 COO Yukihiko Nunomura made the trip north from the organizing committee. The flame will stay on display in the J-Village until April 30 before being moved to Tokyo. Organizers have not yet decided where in the Japanese capital it will be displayed.The International Olympic Committee and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world last week by agreeing to push back the Games because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Tokyo Olympics will now run from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.The J-Village was chosen as the starting point of the 121-day torch relay, originally due to start on March 26, because it is a symbol of Japan’s reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.The facility was used as a base to launch recovery efforts along the devastated coastline and has only recently been resurrected to its former glory as a performance center for Japan’s elite young soccer players.  Topics :center_img “This is a (symbol of) hope for the world to celebrate the best of human beings through Tokyo 2020 after we overcome the serious coronavirus,” said Nunomura to start the ceremony.He then handed the Olympic flame to Makoto Noji from the Fukushima government.”I strongly believe that the Olympic flame departure from the J-Village next year will be a strong message that we can overcome whatever difficulty,” said Noji.“[It is a] symbol of hope – after we overcome this coronavirus disease we are now facing, with the people, not only from Japan, but from all over the world.”last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Announces 60 New Jobs through Expansion of York Group Facility in York

first_img Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that The York Group, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of funeral caskets and related products, will expand operations at their York County facility by consolidating an out-of-state site into its site in Pennsylvania – a move that will create 60 new, full-time jobs.“Today I’m thrilled to announce that Pennsylvania has secured another strong manufacturing expansion project,” said Governor Wolf. “The York Group’s decision to consolidate operations from outside the commonwealth to York County instead of its location in Canada is a true testament to the company’s commitment to the region.”The York Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Matthews International Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, will expand operations at its existing facility located at 2880 Blackbridge Road, Manchester Township, making facility renovations and purchasing new equipment. The company has committed to investing at least $6 million in the project and to create 60 new, full-time jobs over the next three years while retaining 276 existing positions.“Matthews is proud of our over 165 year history in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our 85-year heritage of building caskets in York, Pennsylvania. We are pleased to expand our operations at this long-standing facility, which is an important part of our manufacturing network. The York plant employs a strong, local workforce who make the highest quality caskets in the funeral industry, and we look forward to continuing our manufacturing tradition in York for years to come,” said Steven D. Gackenbach, group president for Matthews Memorialization.The York Group received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development that includes a $100,000 Pennsylvania First program grant, $120,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs, and $27,000 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training.The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania in collaboration with the York County Economic Alliance (YCEA).“The York Group could have expanded its operations anywhere, but we are thrilled that the company will be doing so in York County,” said Loren Kroh, YCEA interim president and CEO. “We welcome the projected 60 jobs to be added to the company’s existing York County workforce. As York County’s chamber and economic development corporation, the York County Economic Alliance looks forward to working with the company during and beyond this expansion.”Matthews International Corporation is a provider of memorialization products and industrial automation solutions, employing more than 1,261 people in Pennsylvania and more than 10,000 people worldwide.For more information on Matthews International, visit matw.com. Interested applicants should apply onsite at the Manchester Township location.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED visit dced.pa.gov.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Announces 60 New Jobs through Expansion of York Group Facility in Yorkcenter_img August 25, 2016last_img read more

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Sanctuary in Kelso for sale

first_img27 Shetland Drv, KelsoTHIS Kelso four-bedroom house doesn’t just offer a semirural lifestyle, it also comes with its very own turtle named Turtle.Turtle, who is as big as a dinner plate, lives in one of the fish ponds alongside hundreds of goldfish.Owner Wilma Beasley said Turtle came as a package deal with the house.“We’ve got fish ponds so Turtle lives in there with all the fish,” she said. “Turtle can go with the house as long as he gets looked after because he can’t just get released into a creek. We would have to take him with us if the new owners didn’t want him.”27 Shetland Drv has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, six-car spaces and is on 4457sq m block of land in a quiet pocket of Kelso. 27 Shetland Drv, KelsoThe main bedroom has an ensuite and is tucked away from the rest of the bedrooms.The kitchen has stone bench tops, plenty of storage, a gas cook top and high end appliances.There is a shed that can fit a car, boat, truck or caravan.The house is powered by a 5kW solar system while the gardens are irrigated through the use of a bore.Smith and Elliott principal Sally Elliott is selling the property and said it would make a great family home.“The whole property has been beautifully maintained and it’s an extremely comfortable, user friendly four-bedroom home,” she said.“It has front and rear outdoor living so you can sit on either veranda and watch the storms roll in. 27 Shetland Drv, KelsoMrs Beasley said the property had been a peaceful sanctuary for her and her family.“I love that feeling of living in the country but being close to everything and you have complete privacy in that house,” she said.“I love music and I can have it on as loud as I want without bothering anyone but we’re still only 15 minutes away from the hospital and the army barracks.“I also love the spaciousness of the house and the fact we have water year around and our place is always green because we have a bore.”Mrs Beasley said they had completely renovated the house.“Every fitting in there is only a few years old,” she said.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“We did a complete rebuild from the inside out and it feels like a brand new house.” Entry to the property is through a solar-powered gate and the house is framed by landscaped gardens, green lawn and an in-ground swimming pool.center_img 27 Shetland Drv, Kelso“It’s fully airconditioned and is all on one level so it’s fully accessible and it’s also a great place to live for kids.“You walk in and you instantly feel at home.“It’s like you’re a million miles away but you’re actually really close to everything.”last_img read more

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Wärtsilä to build bioLNG facility in Asker

first_imgImage courtesy of WärtsiläFinnish technology group Wärtsilä has been given the notice to proceed for a liquid biogas (bioLNG) plant to be built in Asker, Norway.The contract for the plant was awarded in April 2018 by VEAS, a Norwegian wastewater treatment and biogas producing company, and the notice to proceed was signed in December 2018, Wärtsilä said in its statement.The new facility will comprise a biogas upgrading and liquefaction plant. It will enable VEAS to produce biogas creating an alternative to fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions.The new bioLNG plant will be incorporated together with the company’s existing biogas plant. The total bioLNG production capacity will be 20 tons per day.The scope of supply for the bioLNG plant includes upgrading of the biogas, hot water production, liquefaction, storage and truck loading capability.Wärtsilä is delivering the system on a fast-track basis, and the on-site installation is scheduled to be completed within a 14-month time-frame. The plant is expected to become in commercial operation during 2020.last_img read more

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US warns of continued progression of Chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean

first_imgHealthLifestyleNewsRegional US warns of continued progression of Chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean by: – November 10, 2014 ATLANTA (CMC) – The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that the chikungunya outbreak in Caribbean and Central and South American countries continues to spread with no sign of slowing down.According to the CDC “the painful mosquito-borne disease will likely continue to infect travellers to the region during the rest of this year and beyond”.The outbreak, which began last December, has caused an estimated 795,000 chikungunya cases in 37 countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere as of the end of October, CDC said in its latest update.It said more than 1,600 travellers returning to the United States with chikungunya have been reported as of November 4.Before this outbreak, CDC said an average of 28 travellers with chikungunya returned to the United States each year.CDC estimates that about 9 million people travel between the United States and Caribbean each year.“During fall and winter, people in the United States might not be thinking about mosquitoes as a risk for diseases. So those who will be visiting the Caribbean or Central or South America should be aware of the risk of chikungunya in these areas this fall and winter and remember their insect repellent and other tips for staying safe,” it said in a statement.Dr Roger S. Nasci, chief of CDC’s Arboviral Diseases Branch, said the beginning of fall means that mosquito problems in the continental United States will be decreasing.“However, travellers to areas where the chikungunya outbreak continues are at risk of becoming infected,” he cautioned. “It is important that travellers understand these risks and take appropriate actions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes,”The CDC said preventing mosquito bites is the best way to avoid chikungunya and other mosquito-borne illnesses, adding that the mosquitoes that spread chikungunya bite mostly during the daytime.CDC has advised travellers in high-risk groups to discuss their travel plans with their health care provider before leaving. Tweet Share Sharing is caring!center_img 253 Views   no discussions Share Sharelast_img read more

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