The Defense Department has obligated $55.7 million for civilian water and wastewater improvement projects related to the realignment of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D) said this week.The funds were authorized in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill and are part of a $106.4 million appropriation for public infrastructure projects approved by Congress. Language Bordallo added to this year’s defense policy bill would authorize the remaining funds.About 5,000 Marines and 1,300 dependents will be moving from Okinawa to Guam.The funding released this week will cover four projects, reported Pacific Daily News:final planning, design and construction to refurbish the sewer line in Northern Guam which supports Andersen Air Force Base and the new Marine Corps Base ($30.6 million);improvements to the northern district wastewater treatment plant ($21 million);final planning, design, and construction to improve the monitoring system for Guam’s northern aquifer ($3.7 million); andanalyses for the water and wastewater projects by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ($350,000).The new Marine base is expected to produce about 1.2 million gallons of wastewater per day.“These projects are critical to supporting upgrades and improvements to Guam’s civilian water and wastewater system, and they further demonstrate the progress we are making to move forward with the Marine realignment,” Bordallo said. “I will continue to build on the progress that we have made to ensure that the realignment moves forward and is mutually beneficial to our civilian and defense community.” Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Meghan Markle and Prince HarryGetty ImagesHas Queen Elizabeth disowned and booted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royal family as she cannot take any more defiance from the couple?This was the cover story on this week’s National Enquirer. The magazine has also claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been banished to Malta.The supermarket tabloid has claimed that due to their behaviour, disregard for protocol and the ongoing tension with Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Queen decided to keep them away from the Buckingham Palace. The outlet has maintained that they were the only magazine to know about the Majesty’s decision.Apparently, both Meghan and Harry “got the shock of their lives” when they learned about the Queen’s decision. A palace insider has revealed to the tabloid paper that both Prince William and Kate Middleton agree with the Queen’s decision of throwing them out.Sources have revealed to the paper that after hearing the news, Meghan was so angry that “she threw her ring at Harry.” The media outlet further correlates the above quote by pointing it out how Meghan’s diamond engagement ring was not on her finger during her recent visit to London’s Canada House. Citing this, the source concluded that the couple are “headed for the rocks.”The article goes on to state how Prince William and Prince Harry have vowed to never speak again and even Prince Charles, it claimed, scolded his youngest son and booted him saying, “You’re not a part of the family anymore.”However, Gossip Cop has ridiculed the above story and put forward several instances which go on to prove that nothing of that sort has ever happened in the royal family. Recently, at the Commonwealth Day service inside Westminster Abbey, both Harry and William were seen chatting with each other, it said. Even Kate Middleton greeted the Duchess of Sussex with a kiss on the cheek, added the report, debunking the gossip.What will happen in the coming few weeks is that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be moving out of Kensington Palace to stay at Frogmore residence. There is no more to it, assert reports.
Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public RadioAlmost half of the students who attend Valentine ISD transferred in from nearby districts. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /00:00 It’s early yet in the 2019 state legislative session, but lawmakers have already named school finance reform as a top priority at the Texas Capitol this go-round.Cities and suburbs can dominate the conversation when it comes to policymaking, but this story brings us to a tiny West Texas town — population 130. There’s no gas station, and you have to drive 30 miles to find a grocery store, but there is a school. And somehow, year after year, it outperforms the state in academics.Junior high gym class is a good place to start if you want to understand why the students at Valentine ISD earn high marks every year.A group of kids huddle up at the edge of the basketball court, watching a classmate gear up to take a free throw. The stakes are higher than normal — if she misses, everyone has to run sprints.“If you don’t make it, we’re not friends anymore!” one student yells.She sinks the shot, to cheers of, “looks like we’re staying friends!” And then, “Well…we probably would have stayed friends anyways.”7th grader Claudia Figueroa agrees. “It’s, like, such a small school community type thing,” she says. “You can’t stay mad at anyone for very long.”Figueroa has two other classmates in her grade at Valentine ISD — Ed and Fabiola. “The days when someone is gone, you can tell,” she says. “At first, me and Fabiola are like, ‘Yes! We don’t have Ed today.’ And later when it’s all quiet, we’re like, ‘Where’s Ed?’”Students in Valentine spend all of their time together. It’s the first secret ingredient making the school so successful: everyone gets along, because they have to. History teacher and coach Rebekah Oñate is thankful for that, because it means she doesn’t have to spend time policing classroom behavior. She can just focus on the job.Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public RadioRebekah Oñate is the youngest teacher at Valentine ISD. Most of her colleagues are old enough to retire.“I’ve always admired my teachers,” Oñate says. “They were such a big part of my life in school. And my coaches even more so.”Oñate’s the youngest teacher at Valentine ISD, fresh out of college in El Paso, where she studied criminal justice and political science. She says Valentine is a great place to learn the ins and outs of teaching, but she’s still adjusting to small town life.“I miss the constant hum of traffic, or lights…stuff like that. I don’t like to leave the house at night. It is extremely dark and I am a scaredy cat,” she says.Valentine is really isolated. There’s no gas station, no stores. The school’s the heartbeat of the community. To get a Coke in town, you go to the vending machine in the schoolyard.But being in the middle of nowhere actually works to the school’s advantage in some ways. Currently, Valentine ISD has 39 students, and 10 teachers. That can mean teachers are responsible for curricula across many grade levels, but Superintendent Debbie Engle says the high student-teacher ratio is another reason the students do so well at school. Especially when it comes to state tests.“Every time, you know, I’m tickled to death when our scores come out and I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I hope we can do that again next year,’” says Engle. “Because I understand how little it would take to flip it.”The flipside is, if just a couple of kids do poorly on their STAAR tests, the district’s scores will come down. If the school falls out of the Texas Education Agency’s good graces, Engle worries they would be a prime target for consolidation with a neighboring district.Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio39 students attend Valentine ISD, from 1st through 12th grade. The district has no juniors or kindergarteners.But for now, the kids are doing well. The district earned the equivalent of an A in the TEA’s new A-F grading system in 2018, among 39 other single-district campuses in Texas.“I’ve had people say that Valentine is the best private education public funds can buy,” says Engle.Almost half of Valentine ISD’s students actually transferred in from nearby districts, where Engle says they weren’t getting along with the other kids, or weren’t getting close enough instruction.Valentine native Angelica Urias moved back to town recently from Pecos, in part so her daughter could attend the school.“When we came back her teacher was Mrs. Porras. And she was my kindergarten teacher,” says Urias. “So the confidence there was a relief — not having to worry about bullying, or anything like that. It was awesome.”That’s the third thing Valentine has going for it. With the exception of Coach Oñate, the school has a veteran teaching staff. Even if they haven’t been in Valentine the whole time, most of the teachers have decades of experience.Including Irma Porras. She’s been in the business for 32 years. “I always thought I’d be teaching until I was 80,” she says. “I’m really going to miss these kids.”Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public RadioSecond and third graders in Irma Porras’s class at Valentine ISD cap a Friday afternoon watching Charlotte’s Web.While her first and second graders watch Charlotte’s Web, she discloses that she’ll be retiring at the end of the year. She’s getting older, and she wants to spend more time with family in El Paso.“For better or for worse, we can all be replaced. I’m not irreplaceable,” she says, laughing.But Porras may be more valuable than she realizes. According to Superintendent Engle, 80% of Valentine ISD’s teachers are old enough to retire. She says a handful of them are what she calls “retire re-hires,” former educators who come out of retirement to teach again.Engle worries about future recruitment. Valentine can’t pay as well as surrounding districts, and it takes a certain kind of person to live in the middle of nowhere.But so far, she says, she’s been lucky.This piece was originally published on http://marfapublicradio.org/ Listen
Explore further © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Nature Ecology & Evolution Credit: CC0 Public Domain A team of researchers from Germany, Peru, the U.K. and Spain has sequenced a large number of potato varieties to learn more about the history of the modern European potato. In their paper published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the group describes their study of the history of the potato and what they found. More information: Rafal M. Gutaker et al. The origins and adaptation of European potatoes reconstructed from historical genomes, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0921-3 Citation: Genome study reveals history of European potato (2019, June 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-genome-reveals-history-european-potato.html Discovery of genetic mechanism allowing potato cultivation in northern latitudes This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Prior research has shown that the potato was introduced to Europe in the 1600s—the first-known plantings were in Spain. The history of the potato in Europe after introduction has not been well studied, however, until now. In this new effort, the researchers sequenced several varieties of potato to learn more about how the modern European potato came to exist.Prior study had shown that the potatoes that first made their way to Europe came from somewhere in the Andes mountains, near the equator. Because of the difference in day length, this suggests that some adaptation must have occurred to allow the potato to survive in Europe. Also, potato plants that grow in the Andes are able to produce potatoes all year long, whereas in Europe, potatoes grow in the spring, summer and fall, and are harvested before winter. To learn more about the genetic adaptions the plants underwent, the researchers obtained 88 samples of modern potatoes and specimens saved during the years 1660 to 1896. All of the samples were then sequenced.The researchers found that the potatoes in Europe were originally nearly identical to those in the Andes. But over time, genetic changes crept in—a variant of the gene CDF1 appeared, for example, a change that allowed the potato to adapt to the European summer. Potatoes native to Chile have a similar adaptation, which quite naturally led to questions about whether potatoes from that region might have been imported. Further testing showed differences in the variants indicating that they developed independently.The researchers also found evidence of other changes that occurred to European potatoes in the mid-1800s. They suspect this occurred as farmers began breeding them with South American varieties to combat the blight that led to the potato famine. They also found signs of interbreeding during the 20th century as farmers once again tried to make their crops more resistant to diseases.
Kolkata: The students going to the residential schools under Sarba Siksha Mission will be made aware of animal welfare.There are 25 residential schools under the mission. The decision was taken following a meeting between Kartick Manna, president of Sarba Siksha Mission and representatives of Love and care for Animals, an NGO working in the field of animal welfare. The duration of the awareness course will be for two years.The students will be made aware about the animal welfare laws and there will be interactive sessions and Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedslide shows.Quiz competitions will be held on the matter that will be shown.Awareness classes have already been held in some state-run schools in South and North 24-Parganas and Kolkata.People working on animal welfare said because of sustained programmes, attacks on stray dogs in Kolkata have gone down.Earlier, many people used to sprinkle boiled water on them and used to tie crackers to their tails and set them on fire. Frightened stray dogs used to run away and many of them got killed.Susmita Roy a spokesman for Love and Care for Animals said the students show great interest in the awareness classes. “If they are trained in school days they will develop love for the pets and stray animals,” she said adding “this is very important at a time when deserting pets, particularly when they grow old, has reached an alarming level in the country and alsoin Kolkata.”
Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Listen Now If you want your business to take off and scale, you need to embrace data from day one. Scratch that: Don’t merely embrace data. Put a ring on it and shout a resounding, “I do!”Here’s why: As the landscape grows increasingly more data-centric, it’s better to become data-savvy from the get-go. Think about it: The fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach might work early on because of your great instincts; but what happens when you have to train a sales team? Can you systematically give team members the instincts or judgment that you’ve spent decades honing? That might work in some cases, but it isn’t exactly repeatable or consistent from person-to-person. Simply put, it’s not an effective long-term strategy.Ultimately, at some point, you’ll need to create a systematic approach to marketing and sales. Would you rather do that right at the beginning of your business so you can grow seamlessly, or would you rather try it later on, when your overhead is higher, and you’re already juggling 20 different priorities? The answer should be pretty clear.One strong solution: a predictive analytics system that actually works. It’s data-driven and based on a number of factors, so there’s a consistent, repeatable way for your business to identify the best leads to pursue. That’s where predictive marketing technologies come in, and can shave years off your development curve. Here’s how the process looks.1. Start with what you know — intent.Has a customer been to your website? Has he or she clicked on an email marketing campaign? Start with the information you know, and make sure you use it. Too many companies have tons of great information kicking around on some CRM software that they aren’t using properly. Instead, use all of that information with the intention of creating a score for a lead — a single number that makes it easier than looking up all the information separately.YouEarnedIt, a peer-to-peer employee engagement company, offers a vast library of educational content. That content doesn’t simply exist to inform an audience; it also informs them.Using HubSpot, YouEarnedIt’s marketing team is able to track visitors from their origination point to the website, building individual profiles of the ebooks, whitepapers, webinars and blog posts they interact with. This system allows the sales team to form a unique understanding of each lead’s intent through specific areas and topics of interest, as well as the lead’s company profile, in one streamlined system. That in turn lends itself to a more effective and informed sales approach.Related: 4 Marketing Analytics Tools That Are Shaping the Industry2. Sprinkle in a little bit of what you don’t know: predictive analytics.Depending on whom you’re working with, you could even end up with data beyond where you started. Take Mintigo as an example. When scoring leads, that company also relies on big data of its own — meaning, financials — to understand how much a business is spending on Google AdWords, staff, hiring, etc. This kind of data will allow your company to dial things in that much more tightly, and fill in the gaps in your own approach.Bombora is a B2B data analytics company that pulls from a cooperative of partners, including news and commerce sites, and provides data related to a potential lead’s company size and revenue, functional area, industry, professional group and seniority. Advertisers and agencies are then armed with data from outside of their owned channels that is predictive of purchase and paints a clearer path to their specific needs and intentions.Related: What My Nocturnal Toddler Can Teach Us About the ‘Internet of Things’3. Target accounts and score the leads with account-based marketing (ABM).ABM is where the magic happens, and this is why it’s incredibly important to find out how your leads are being scored. Many software packages have a closed system, meaning it inputs data and churns out lead scores.While this is certainly better than nothing, it’s not ultimately what you want.What data is behind the selection of accounts for ABM and lead-scoring models? You want to know how accounts are being selected, and leads are being scored, to make sure that the system actually works. By knowing the why behind the machine-learning models, you can target your segments, content, campaigns and even conversations with prospects to increase effectiveness and customer satisfaction.This is the part where you can input all those instincts and wisdom and experience you’ve gained. Weigh key factors more strongly so you can get your team the best possible information to succeed. Think of it as copying your decision-making skills onto a computer so that your team can access those skills whenever they want without having to knock on your door to ask your opinion.Many of the skills needed to get an idea off the ground aren’t the same as those needed to scale a business from infancy to maturity.Related: Don’t Make These 3 Technology MistakesSo, in the end, you might have a great idea. You might be a fantastic marketer or salesperson by yourself. But, as you begin to add people to your team, you need to have systems in place that help your people think and work as effectively as if you were doing it yourself.That’s where a data strategy comes into play, and it’s really only one of a thousand ways to systematize your business to succeed, so you can spend time working on your business and not in it. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. September 7, 2016 How Success Happens 5 min read
Tags: #SB, autonomous, Comms and Tech, Idea, Jacobsen, SBs 995-998, self-driving cars Categories: Featured news,News Reps. Jacobsen and Iden key advocates for autonomous vehicle technologyThe Michigan House of Representatives approved legislation today authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan public roads.House Communications and Technology Committee Chair Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford, and Vice-Chair Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo, heard testimony on Senate Bills 995-998 in Lansing earlier this fall in support of this measure.“Our society is rapidly evolving with new technology every day,” Rep. Jacobsen said. “Michigan is the automotive capital of the world and right now we have the opportunity to capitalize on that reputation and play a fundamental role in life-changing, life-saving, and energy efficient means of modern transportation through self-driving cars.“The passage of this legislation will allow Michigan to remain competitive with other car-friendly states, and it is my duty as a lawmaker to ensure Michigan is outperforming the country in job opportunities to foster economic growth.”Rep. Iden stated: “Not only can the autonomous vehicle industry bring additional jobs and tax revenue to Michigan, self-driving cars have the potential to greatly reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in automobiles. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), human error is the cause of 94 percent of car crashes.“This comes down to public safety,” Rep. Iden continued. “By replacing human drivers with autonomous operating technology we can greatly reduce the number of fatal accidents, which is a win-win for us all.“The operation of self-driving vehicles on state public roadways will aid in Michigan’s economic expansion, improve safety on roadways and offer additional means of transportation to elderly and disabled people.”SBs 995-998 will head back to the Senate for a concurrence vote and if passed, will head to the governor’s desk for approval.###### 10Nov House approves self-driving vehicle legislation