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2 PNG journalists qualify for state UIL academic meet

first_imgPORT NECHES — After winning gold medals at the Regional University Interscholastic League Academic Meet, two Port Neches-Groves High School journalists will compete at the State Meet in Austin on May 26.Senior Laurel Brittain and sophomore Madison Hamby advanced to the highest level of state competition after placing first in Feature Writing and News Writing, respectively, at the Regional UIL Meet held at Magnolia High School on April 11.Brittain will be making her second appearance at the state level, while the trip will mark Hamby’s first time to compete at the University of Texas campus. Brittain competed in 2014 in the News Writing contest after placing first in that category at the regional level“I was so surprised when I heard that I won the Feature Writing contest at regional,” Brittain said. “Throughout the duration of the UIL season, I wasn’t on my A-game. Because I hadn’t done that great, I was extremely nervous when the regional competition started. It was a tough story to compose, but I have been practicing since the district meet, so I guess my hard work paid off.”Hamby said that she is very excited about the contest, but admits to being a little nervous.“Being one of the youngest students in the competition has definitely been intimidating,” she said, “but it has helped my confidence in my writing grow a lot.”With the two journalists qualifying, 2015 marks the ninth consecutive year that PN-G will have had a journalism student competing at the state meet.“I couldn’t be more proud of these two,” journalism adviser Janis Ryan said. “They worked very hard throughout the UIL competitive season, placing at every invitational meet and winning at district. We tied with the Nederland team for the district title this year, and were the second place team at the regional level.”The UIL News Writing Contest requires that students write a complete news story from a “prompt,” which provides a situation, quotes from people involved, and necessary additional information needed in order to complete the story. Students have 45 minutes to write their stories, which are then evaluated by a team of judges.Hamby said that she likes the challenge.“The News Writing contest takes a lot of critical thinking,” she said. “I am excited to see the topic for state because I have a feeling that it will be difficult. I try to go into every competition having fun and doing the best that I can.”In the Feature Writing competition, the contest resembles News Writing, in that students are given a prompt from which to write a story. But, that all changes at the state level. A guest speaker is brought in and students are given a fact/bio sheet on the individual. Students must ask questions in a press conference and procure their own quotes needed for the story. They then have one hour to write.Ryan said she believes that both Brittain and Hamby are up for the challenge.“There’s a lot more pressure at state for Laurel because you really have to be on your toes and get your own quotes from the press conference,” Ryan said. “My students write self-generated feature stories all the time, so it’s not that different for them. Both Laurel and Madison are great writers and I know that they will do well. They do their best work when under pressure.”Brittain said she is ready for her return trip to Austin.“This time I’m taking the competition seriously,” Brittain said. “Last year, I wasn’t as prepared as I needed to be and I wasn’t completely focused on winning. But this year, my second round, I’m giving it my all.”last_img read more

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Jessie Mueller Will Star as Carole King in the New Musical Beautiful; Broadway Dates Announced

first_img Mueller received a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. She went on to star in Broadway’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Broadway.com Audience Choice Award nomination) and then replaced Kelli O’Hara in the Tony-nominated musical Nice Work If You Can Get It. Her additional credits include Lincoln Center’s Carousel, the Public Theater’s Into the Woods and Chicago productions of Meet Me in St. Louis, Baby and She Loves Me. Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 27, 2019 Click below to get to know Jessie Mueller better in a recent episode of Show People with Paul Wontorek. Related Shows View Comments Beautiful: The Carole King Musicalcenter_img Star Files Featuring songs written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and a book by Douglas McGrath, Beautiful tells the story of King from her early days as a Brooklyn teenager (named Carol Klein) struggling to enter the record business to her years spent as a chart-topping music legend. The production will feature choreography by Josh Prince. Additionally casting and creative team members will be announced shortly. Jessie Mueller will feel like a natural woman on Broadway this fall! The Tony nominee is set to headline Beautiful-The Carole King Musical, the new bio show about the early life and career of the famous singer/songwriter. The musical will receive its world premiere at San Francisco’s SHN Curran Theatre September 24 through October 20 before transferring to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, where it will begin previews on November 21. Beautiful officially opens on Broadway on January 12, 2014, directed by Mark Bruni. Jessie Muellerlast_img read more

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Musgrove family celebrates first ‘529 Day’ baby

first_imgBrattleboro Memorial Hospital,The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and Vermont Student Assistance Corp marked national 529 Day by starting a college savings account for Skyra Musgrove – the first baby born May 29 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Baby Skyra, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, was born at 12:36 am in Brattleboro, one of the participating hospitals in 529 Day event.“We are so excited to be able to partner with VSAC and the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan to award our ‘529 Baby’ with money for their college savings,” said Jill Olson, vice president of policy and legislative affairs for the hospital association. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for a family to receive money for college.”Scott Giles, VSAC President and CEO, said that 529 Day is an effort to remind parents that now is the time to start saving. “Skyra has a foundation for her future—what a great way to celebrate her birth,” said Giles. “We hope that other families will be inspired to start saving for their children, no matter how young or old—it’s never too early or too late to save.”Also, across the state during May, families of children of any age up to 18, have had an opportunity to enter to win one of two $529 VHEIP contributions. One boy and one girl will be selected in a random drawing. Families have until midnight on May 31, 2014 to enter at www.vheip.org(link is external).Proud parents Angela Musgrove and Scott Powers hold Skyra, Vermont’s 529 Baby, born at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital May 29 at 12:36 am. About VHEIPThe VHEIP 529 college savings plan was established in 1999 and is Vermont’s only state-sponsored 529 plan. VHEIP is administered by the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. For more information about VHEIP, visit www.vheip.org(link is external) or call the customer service center at (800) 637-5860.About VAHHSVAHHS is a member-owned organization devoted to improving the health status of communities throughout Vermont. Its activities include advocacy, policy development, education and research. VAHHS works in partnership with dozens of Vermont health care organizations on a wide variety of issues, providing educational and research services for members and non-members alike. VAHHS supports coordination of our members’ health care services with other health or social service organizations. For more information, visit www.vahhs.org(link is external).About VSACVermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit corporation created by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters plan and pay for education or training beyond high school. VSAC administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan; outreach services to encourage low-income students to aspire to and complete college; college and career planning services for all Vermonters; need-based state grants for full-time, part-time and non-degree study; public and private scholarship programs; and private education loans. Find us at www.vsac.org(link is external) or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VermontStudentAssistanceCorporation(link is external).Brattleboro — (May 30, 2014) – BMHlast_img read more

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At State of the School District address, Shawnee Mission superintendent says district must help every child reach potential

first_imgSuperintendent Mike Fulton discussed the district’s recently completed strategic plan at Thursday’s State of the School District Luncheon, which was put on by the NEJC Chamber.Highlighting demographic trends that have the Shawnee Mission area seeing growing diversity, Shawnee Mission School District Superintendent Mike Fulton on Thursday laid out a vision for updating the district’s approach to teaching to provide every student with a path to meet their potential.Before a crowd of local elected officials, municipal government staff and business leaders at the Broadmoor Bistro in the district’s Center for Academic Achievement, Fulton’s annual State of the District address, which is put on by the NEJC Chamber, focused on the recently completed strategic planning process and how Shawnee Mission plans to prepare today’s students “for a world that doesn’t exist yet.”“As you look at this plan, it basically boils down to one sentence: Every child will have a personalized learning plan that helps them to become college and career ready, and to have the interpersonal skills they need to have life success,” Fulton said. “We’re challenging people to build on the past, but also look forward with a clean sheet of paper.”Fulton noted that this approach will include efforts to close the so-called achievement gap between minority students and the student population at-large. Although the gap in Shawnee Mission is less pronounced than at the state or national level, students of color here still do not score as high on tests like the ACT as their peers on average. Fulton noted that with growing racial diversity at Shawnee Mission schools — students of color now make up approximately 36 percent of total enrollment — the imperative to close the achievement gap will grow.“Sometimes in the past we’ve educated some kids extraordinarily well, but not necessarily every child well,” Fulton said. “We can’t afford to do that any more.”He reiterated a point that’s he made frequently in the past: That exposure to a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints is a benefit to the education of Johnson County students.“It’s important that as a society — not just locally here in Shawnee Mission, but across this country — that we begin to embrace this notion that we have a lot diversity in our community and our country and that diversity absolutely is a strength,” Fulton said.last_img read more

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Susskind to highlight The Florida Bar’s 65th Annual Convention

first_imgSusskind to highlight The Florida Bar’s 65th Annual Convention March 1, 2015 Regular News Susskind to highlight The Florida Bar’s 65th Annual Conventioncenter_img The ‘legal futurist’ has worked on legal technology issues for more than 30 years Legal technology and innovation will take center stage at The Florida Bar’s 65th Annual Convention June 24-27 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.“It is not practice as usual,” said Annual Convention Chair Sean Desmond of Tallahassee.Desmond said this year’s theme, “Charting a Course for the Future,” is in keeping with President Greg Coleman’s vision for his administration — to focus on the technology that is rapidly revolutionizing the profession.“Technology itself has just absolutely exploded and the impact on the profession is amazing,” said Desmond, adding with e-filing, e-discovery, e-service, and cloud- based practice management software, it is imperative that lawyers stay abreast of the fast-paced changes taking place.“You can see in the daily practice of law how technology is totally revolutionizing the way we do business,” he said.To help Florida lawyers stay on top of the changing legal landscape, Desmond said the Bar has teamed up with Clio, one of the leaders in cloud based practice management software, to put on an all-day seminar on Wednesday, June 24. While many of the details of the Clio seminar are still being worked out, Desmond said the programming will be “second to none” in terms of providing the latest insight on law and technology issues, with a keynote address provided by “legal futurist” Richard Susskind.Susskind is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to major professional firms and to national governments. Susskind’s main area of expertise is the future of professional service and, in particular, the way in which IT and the Internet are changing the way lawyers work. He has worked on legal technology for over 30 years. He has written and edited numerous books, including Expert Systems in Law (OUP, 1987), The Future of Law (OUP, 1996), Transforming the Law (OUP, 2000), The Susskind Interviews: Legal Experts in Changing Times (Sweet & Maxwell, 2005 ), The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services (OUP, 2008), Tomorrow’s Lawyers (2013), and has written around 150 columns for The Times. His work has been translated into 10 languages.In his latest book, Susskind claims that legal institutions and lawyers are poised to change more radically over the next two decades than they have over the last two centuries. The future of legal service, he says, will be neither Grisham nor Rumpole. Instead, it will be a world of virtual courts, Internet-based global legal businesses, online document production, commoditized service, legal process outsourcing, and web-based simulated practice. Legal markets will be liberalized, with new jobs, and new employers, for lawyers . Tomorrow’s Lawyers is a guide to this future — for young and aspiring lawyers, and for all who want to modernize our legal and justice systems. It navigates the new legal terrain and offers practical guidance for those who intend to build careers and businesses in law.Past Clio seminars have touched on practicing in the post-information age; technology trends for law firms; virtual communication and collaboration; the paperless firm; digital marketing for law firms; entrepreneurship in law; and content marketing for lawyers, among others. Desmond said the Bar’s Annual Convention always provides the ultimate environment to network with colleagues and friends and the Clio seminar will also include a luncheon and reception.Members, he said, should also take advantage of other CLE seminars being offered this year, including:* “Don’t Crash on the Information Highway: What Every Lawyer Needs To Know About The Impact of Technology on Employment Law Issues,” presented as a Presidential Showcase Seminar by the Labor and Employment Law Section.* “Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence,” presented by the Business Law Section.* “Making a Big Impact in Consumer Protection: Analyzing Consumer Impact Cases,” presented by the Consumer Protection Law Committee.* “Counseling the Provocative Client: First Amendment, National Security, Ethics and Professionalism Concerns in Entertainment for the Globalized and Multicultural World,” presented by the Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section.* “International Trade: Legal Perspectives for Florida’s Future,” presented by the International Law Section.* “2015 Masters Seminar on Ethics,” presented by the Professional Ethics Committee.* “Setting the Course for Success in the Legal Environment,” presented by the Student Education and Admissions to the Bar Committee.For more information about the Annual Convention, visit www.floridabar.org/annualconvention.last_img read more

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CDC cites some signs of ebbing US flu activity

first_imgNov 13, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Today’s weekly influenza reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contain some hints that the fall wave of H1N1 flu may have crested, though cases are still widespread over most of the country.Visits to the CDC network of sentinel doctors for influenza-like illness (ILI) declined last week for the second week in a row, and the number of states with widespread flu activity dropped from 48 to 46, the agency reported.On the other hand, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu both continued to climb, the CDC said. In addition, another 26 pediatric deaths linked to confirmed H1N1 cases were reported, bringing the total since April to 156.ILI-related visits last week made up 6.7% of all visits to doctors, which is down from 7.7% the week before, the CDC said in its detailed weekly FluView report. Visits dropped in all regions except New England.”This is the second week of national decreases in ILI after four consecutive weeks of sharp increases,” the agency said in its general H1N1 Situation Update. “While ILI declined nationally, visits to doctors for influenza-like illness remain higher than what is seen during the peak of many regular flu seasons,” the agency update said.The CDC says that all states except Hawaii, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Texas had widespread cases last week; those states had regional activity. Only two states had less-than-widespread activity the previous week.The proportion of deaths related to pneumonia and flu in the CDC’s 122-city mortality reporting system reached 7.7% last week, which was above the epidemic threshold of 6.8% for the week. The percentage has been above the threshold for 6 weeks in a row, the agency said.However, charts in the FluView report show that the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths related to influenza of all types both dropped last week compared with the week before. The charts indicate something in excess of 3,000 hospitalizations and between 100 and 150 deaths last week. The CDC says that more than 99% of viruses in circulation are the 2009 H1N1.Thirty-five children’s deaths related to flu were reported last week. Of those, 26 were linked to confirmed H1N1 infections, while 8 involved influenza A viruses that were not subtyped, and one involved type B, the CDC reported.The number of pediatric deaths attributed to confirmed H1N1 cases since April has reached 156; another 23 cases involved confirmed flu viruses that were not subtyped.The total of 156 is higher than the number for any seasonal flu epidemic of the past 5 years, according to numbers listed in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The article says the highest pediatric death toll in that span was 153, with an average of 82.The FluView report says deaths due to confirmed flu from Aug 30 to Nov 7 totaled 877, and there were 22,364 hospitalizations related to confirmed flu in that period.Those numbers include only confirmed flu cases. Yesterday the CDC presented a new estimation method, in part to allow for untested cases. Using that method, officials estimated total US H1N1 deaths since April at 3,900.The number of oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 isolates found in the United States through October is 14, out of 256 isolates tested, according to the MMWR article. Twelve of the 14 patients had received the antiviral drug for treatment or prevention.See also: CDC H1N1 Situation Update pagehttp://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htmCDC’s weekly FluView reporthttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/CDC. Update: Influenza activity—United States, August 30–October 31, 2009. MMWR 2009 Nov 13;58(44):1236-41 [Full text]last_img read more

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MANNM ​Diabetes 1 mile/ 3.2 mile Walk/Run Saturday

first_imgMANNM News:Medical Associates of Northern New Mexico (MANNM), ​http://www.mannm.com/​, invites all members of the public to join in its second ​Diabetes 1 mile/ 3.2 mile Walk/Run. The event is at ​9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at Rover Park in White Rock​ to raise awareness for Diabetes while supporting two great causes – the ADA Camp 180 New Mexico program for kids with type 1 Diabetes and Self Help, Inc, ​http://selfhelpla.org​ as they celebrate their 50th year supporting people in need in Northern New MexicoThe ADA reports:1 in 11 Americans has diabetes today;Every 23 seconds someone in America is diagnosed with diabetes; andMore than 18,000 youth are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Type 2 diabetes, which occurs more commonly in adults, is where the pancreas produces insulin, however this is either not enough or the body develops resistance to it leading to a shortage of the hormone in the cells. Genetics and lifestyle play a big part in the development of this condition.“Lifestyle modifications play a big role in the management of the disease. This includes paying attention to nutrition and making exercise a habit,” MANNM Endocrinologist Dr. Garimella said. “I see several people who take this to heart and come back with great glucose numbers proving that it really does work. We hope that the event motivates people to come out and get moving to support their own health as well as contribute to two worthy causes.”Last year the event raised $1,990 with money disbursed equally between the ADA Camp 180 NM program for kids and the Los Alamos Auxiliary Fire Brigade http://laafb.wikidot.com/capabilities​​ as part of giving back to the community. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Camp Challenge generously matched the donation for the diabetes camp doubling the amount donated.“We hope this year will be even bigger and better,” said Tonya Sprouse-Mullins, one of the chief organizers of the event. As part of the festivities the ​Los Alamos Co-op,​ ​http://losalamos.coop/​ ​will once again showcase healthy snacks and drinks available at their store to show that healthy eating choices are available locally and easily accessible. Registration forms can be printed from​ ​http://www.mannm.com/​. Completed registration forms with entry fee can be dropped off at the Walk in clinic or mailed to MANNM c/o Tonya Sprouse-Mullins, 3917 West Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Online registration is available at ​http://buytickets.at/mannmdiabetes.Same day registration starts at 8 a.m., Oct. 5. Swag bags will be given to the first 110 participants.last_img read more

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Nautical Institute receives 2010 outstanding service award

first_imgThe winner for Outstanding Service by an Organisation is the London-based Nautical Institute. It was honoured for its support of the professional development of mariners and for its promotion of safety in the maritime industry.The awards are named after Samuel Plimsoll, a British Member of Parliament who strove to end the dangerous practice of overloading vessels. His efforts culminated in legislation passed in 1876 requiring load lines, or Plimsoll marks, to be visible on the hulls of seagoing ships. The awards honour those who, in the spirit of Samuel Plimsoll, make the world a better and safer place for mariners.The Nautical Institute demonstrably embodies that spirit in its work. Founded by a group of master mariners in 1971, the institute has striven to help mariners improve their performance by raising training standards and disseminating information crucial to greater operational efficiency and safety.For example, 20 years ago, the Institute recognized that no operational standards existed for what was then a new technology, dynamic positioning systems. In response, the institute developed a code of practice and a curriculum for training and certifying DP operators. Today schools around the world accredited by The Nautical Institute provide the certification training, while The Nautical Institute itself administers the logbook programme that verifies the mariner’s progress on the path to DP certification.One of the organisation’s most notable contributions to improved safety is the programme makes it possible for the industry to learn from dangerous incidents and implement changes to avoid accidents in the future. The system encourages mariners to report near misses in which they were involved without having their identities publicly revealed. Those reports are then analysed by The Nautical Institute and disseminated in its Seaways magazine.The Nautical Institute’s Chief Executive, Philip Wake, said: ‘We are delighted that our work to improve the safety and efficiency of shipping services through professional standards and development has been recognised by this prestigious Award. It is further encouragement for our members and staff to continue their dedicated efforts for the industry and the protection of the marine environment.’Pictured below is Bridget Hogan, director Publishing and Marketing from The Nautical Institute with left, Captain George Sandberg FNI, president of the Institute’s North East US branch and right, John Gormley, editor of Professional Mariner.last_img read more

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Basra Gateway expansion moves forward

first_imgWhen fully developed, the new container and general cargo terminal area will comprise 600 m of quay and 50 ha of yard space. Total investment for the first phase of development is USD130 million.In addition to the acquisition of new equipment and IT systems, the terminal is investing heavily in the training of its workforce.”We are confident the new terminal area will boost efficiency and speed the movement of import and export cargo supporting the rapid growth in Iraq’s economy,” said Enrique K. Razon Jr, chairman and president of ICTSI.Although the terminal expansion is focused predominantly on the container business, the Basra Gateway Terminal also has general, ro-ro and project cargo handling capacity.Basra Gateway Terminal ceo Phillip Marsham said in February 2016: “Given the extensive terminal and supporting land areas we possess, we are keen to support our clients’ needs on specialised project cargo opportunities. We are already talking to a number of companies in this respect.” Enrique K. Razon Jr, chairman and president of ICTSI, cuts the ribbon symbolising the formal opening of the Basra Gateway Terminal expansion area – the first entirely foreign financed new port infrastructure in Iraq.www.ictsi.comwww.basragateway.comlast_img read more

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Canadian truckers seek permit streamlining

first_imgLast summer the MTO confirmed the first round of changes were being implemented. This included changes to the duration of single trip permits from four to seven days, as well as the extension of weekend travel to include loads over current annual dimensions (excluding superloads).  It also included return empty permits being issued at the same time as the loaded permit. “There is no doubt these changes were welcomed by the industry and are making a difference for carriers,” said Jonathan Blackham, OTA’s policy and government affairs assistant. “In a recent meeting with MTO, we were also pleased to hear work will continue to streamline the permitting process in Ontario, which will benefit our carrier members and the overall supply chain.” Some of the 2017 projects being examined include the exploration of the options for electronic single trip permits; the expansion of online capabilities to include self-routing and self-issuance options for single trip permits and a review of the current annual, project and batch permit policies, to develop a better product (simplifying the permit to increase the speed of issuance for all permits).It was also confirmed that a delivery model for non-police escorting options (including necessary legislative changes as well as training and programme development) is underway. It is expected that much of the ground work in this area can be completed over 2017. OTA said it will be holding a meeting involving its heavy specialised division and MTO officials, so members can provide direct input.  www.ontruck.orgwww.mto.gov.on.calast_img read more

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Changes to public law

first_imgThe pressures on the public purse as much as those of the present Conservative government have brought about yet more radical changes to public law proceedings. To echo the words of Sir James Munby, the president of the Family Division: ‘The family justice system is undergoing the most radical reforms in a lifetime. The process of reform is little short of revolutionary.’ For those on the coalface, these changes can of course be both exhausting and exhilarating. At every level of the family justice system there is a sense that the goalposts have been moved. It will be incumbent on family practitioners to do all they can to ensure that fairness is not compromised in this brave new world. There is the creation of the new Family Courts (expected in April 2014); the recent policy and legal developments culminating in The Children and Families Bill 2013 (CAFB 2013) and a further assault on legal aid, resources and funding. From 1 July a pilot Public Law Outline (PLO) for care, supervision and other Part 4 proceedings will be introduced. The pilot will run until 1 April 2014 and aims to enable courts in specified areas to implement a proposed 26-week time limit to proceedings. At present the national average for care proceedings is 47 weeks. The clear message is that 26 weeks will not be a target, but a maximum requirement imposed by parliament. On 30 May the pilot PLO and accompanying practice direction were circulated by the president and some of the key points are as follows: There is a distinction between Local Authority documents to be filed with the court, to be served on the parties and to be disclosed on the request of the parties. Documents over two years old are not to form part of the LA’s evidence unless reliance is placed upon them. Threshold documents will be limited to two pages only. Courts will make standard directions on issue which effectively replace the directions commonly made at the first appointment. Children’s guardians will be required to complete a Case Analysis both in the early and later stages of proceedings. The case management hearing is to be held no later than day 12. This is intended to deal fully with case management issues and it will not be routine for a further case management hearing to take place. Advocates’ meetings, including any litigants in person, will take place prior to the case management and issues resolution hearings and it is intended that they play a greater role in determining the issues. There is scope for extensions to the 26-week limit if the court considers it necessary to enable the court to resolve issues justly. Jason M Hadden MBE, is a barrister at St Ives Chambers in Birminghamcenter_img Extensions will be for up to eight weeks and there is no limit on the number of extensions which can be granted. The approach of the Appeal Courts to robust case management decisions will be eagerly awaited and will, of course, have a huge impact on whether the 26-week time is achievable. One other significant rule change which will have a considerable effect in the 26-week time limit is the question of experts in family cases. The amended Family Procedure Rules 2010, Part 25 (and associated practice directions) (in force since 31 January 2013) provides: R25.1 Expert evidence will be restricted to that which in the opinion of the court is necessary to assist the court to resolve the proceedings. The clear consequence of the 26-week time limit and the amended Part 25 direction is that Court must seek to rely far less on external expert evidence in family proceedings. Greater reliance will be given to the two experts already employed in each case, namely the Local Authority social worker allocated to the case and the children’s guardian. It will obviously increase still further both their workload and the pressure on their role in the proceedings. It will also make the work of the advocate representing the parents at trial all the more important. This point on limiting the use of expert evidence was recently echoed by the president sitting in the Court of Appeal in Re TG (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 5, where he re-affirmed that in every case it will be for the case management judge to assess and evaluate the degree of likelihood that a particular expert’s evidence will or will not be of assistance to the court in determining the relevant issues. What has become a problem for many practitioners recently has been even if they can persuade a case management judge to allow them to instruct an expert, then the Legal Aid Agency will refuse to grant prior authority for the preparation of an expert report and give no reason for refusing the same. This matter was considered by way of a judicial review in the matter of R (on the application of T (by their Guardian & litigation friend Sue Clarkes) v Legal Aid Agency & (1) Ealing London Borough Council (2) Parents of T1-T6 (interest parties) (2103) [2013] EWHC 960 (Admin). Collins J, held that where a judge was satisfied that an expert was necessary then it seemed that the Legal Aid Agency should only refuse to give prior approval if it had very good reason to do so. That if there was a good reason to reject it in whole or in part, the LAA should engage with the court. If the judge, having considered the LAA’s representations, maintained his decision it was difficult to see how a continued refusal to give effect to it could be other than unreasonable. Whilst this is clearly positive news for practitioners, for the reasons set out above it may well be just that little bit harder to persuade the case management judge to make the original Part 25 order for the expert in the first place. The burden on the parent (and indeed their lawyers) will clearly become much more difficult, with more expected to be done quicker and with only limited resources. Added to this is the enormous stress on the courts as a rule of the recent changes to legal aid in private law proceedings (a false economy as to savings both in the short and long term). These are clearly interesting times.last_img read more

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Saudi passenger boost

first_imgSAUDI Railways’ Dammam-Riyadh services will benefit from refurbished rolling stock in a programme launched on April 10. The railway’s entire passenger fleet of 49 saloons and nine restaurant cars is being renovated to provide higher comfort and improved safety standards in advance of delivery of new stock. Local firms are carrying out the work with some input from foreign suppliers.An order was placed at the end of 2002 for a new generation of rolling stock. Construction of four trainsets by South Korea’s Samsung is to be overseen by CPCS Transcom, which will provide engineering and inspection services.SRO President Khaled Al-Yaha confirmed on April 22 that eight consortia had been shortlisted for financial consultancy work on the planned Riyadh – Jeddah line, and said a winning bidder would be selected ’within the next few days.’last_img read more

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Countdown to the launch of KTX

first_imgThis month South Korea joins the elite club of railways operating commercial services at 300 km/h when a fleet of 46 TGV trainsets will transform travel on Korail’s prime inter-city route between Seoul and Pusan. Reporting from Seoul, Murray Hughes finds that it has not been an easy ride for Korea TGV Consortium and its partners,EVERY DAY for the last few weeks passengers catching Saemaul express trains between Seoul and Pusan have watched the arrival and departure of the blue and white Korea Train eXpress trainsets.This shadow service using 25 to 28 trains a day has served to bed in the 223·6 km new line built between Seoul and Taegu, and on March 15-22 the KTX services were made available to fare-paying passengers. Every technical and commercial detail of South Korea’s most ambitious rail project was under scrutiny to check for pitfalls before the acid test of commercial service on April 1. From that date Korail plans to run up to 92 trains a day in each direction over the new line.The US$17bn project was first talked about seriously in the 1980s, and in 1994 a ‘core system’ contract was signed with Korea TGV Consortium, a group of 13 companies led by Alstom subsidiary Eukorail (panel). This was the organisation responsible for rolling stock, electrical power and signalling. Other work was entrusted to local companies.With traffic on the Seoul – Pusan axis forecast to reach 120 million passengers/year, it is set to become the second busiest inter-city route in the world after Tokyo – Osaka, with the possibility of trains departing at 3min headways. According to Vincent Fertin, Executive Vice-President & Project Director of Eukorail, South Koreans are inveterate travellers, and the advent of KTX, he suggests, will persuade many people to switch from air to rail. At the moment ‘wide-bodied jets fly every 10min’ between Seoul and Pusan, the catch being ‘that it is difficult to reach the airport’. Journey time by KTX with two intermediate stops will be just 2h 40min compared with 4h 10min by Korail’s fastest conventional Saemaul trains.Fertin has overseen the long process that has brought TGV technology to South Korea, which he likens to ‘building a cathedral – the designer never saw what he had built’. Essentially, the trains are derivatives of the TGV Réseau, while the TVM430 signalling plus the catenary are derived from the equipment used on TGV Nord. There are several important differences from the SNCF trainsets, the most obvious being the formation of two power cars and 18 intermediate cars with the outer bogies of the end vehicles motored (panel p228). Each Korean trainset will seat 935 passengers.Coping with the Asian crisisEukorail employs around 330 people, of whom half are local, reflecting the partnership with Korean companies that characterises the project. ‘It is a very challenging atmosphere’, says Fertin, who recalls the Asian financial crisis when ‘we were really afraid they would stop the project’. He professes to being ‘very impressed’ with the Koreans’ handling of the situation, which saw the scheme slide into ‘contractual limbo’ in 1996-99. But KTX enjoyed the status of a national project, and steps were taken to ensure its survival.Many changes followed. Alstom and its fellow French suppliers had not anticipated the merging in July 1999 of its local rolling stock partners, Daewoo, Hyundai and Hanjin into Koros, which was renamed Rotem in January 2002. At one point the technology transfer deal ‘was in abeyance’, but this was resolved by one of many contract amendments. Fertin says that the French suppliers needed compensation for the disruption, and while this was ‘not a claim or dispute’, it was ‘a very complicated situation’ which Fertin says was ‘handled in a very positive way’.Civil engineering work carried out by local contractors was another difficulty. This was not part of Eukorail’s remit, but Fertin says the arrangement whereby different companies were responsible for design and construction was ‘not appropriate’. The situation was made worse as ‘the different companies were not supposed to interface with each other’.But sufficient progress was made to have an initial test section available for the first trials to take place in 1999, and a demonstration run with the Korean President on board was staged on December 19 of that year.The hilly terrain called for long sections on viaduct or in tunnel, as the line is designed for speeds up to 350 km/h. Nearly all the track is ballasted, but tracks in some stations have a ballastless design; 60 kg/m rail is used throughout, with Pandrol fastenings. Wayside safety equipment includes rail temperature detectors, windspeed, snow and heavy rainfall detection, hotbox detectors, dragging equipment detectors, and tunnel intrusion alarms. Taegu – PusanA major revision of KTGVC’s contract in 1999 saw removal of the Taegu – Pusan section from its remit, and this part of the route is not now expected to be complete until 2008-10. Civil works on this section will in any case be carried out by Korean companies, and six contracts have been signed already. Four more are in preparation, and work on all 10 should have been started by the end of this year.The arrangements for electrical and mechanical equipment are under discussion, with contracts due to be signed next year. ‘We hope to have some involvement – they want us in the loop’, says Fertin. One possibility is for the Koreans to lead with the French ‘in a back-up position – Eukorail is of course a Korean company’. Extensive use of ballastless track is likely.To allow KTX services to reach Pusan before the second stage is completed, the 118 km from Taegu to the port city has been electrified at 25 kV 60Hz. This work was finished only at the end of last year, and a KTX ran to Pusan for the first time on November 4.On October 22 last year the client notified Korea TGV Consortium that KTX services would also run to Mokpo over the Honam line from Taejon, which was also wired last year. The same KTX unit reached Mokpo on November 11.There will be 60 to 64 KTX services a day in each direction between Seoul and Pusan, plus another 22 to 28 to and from Mokpo taking 2h 58min; to avoid congestion at the main station, some Mokpo trains will start and finish at Yongsan. This level of service will require 35 out of the 46 trainsets to be available. The Saemaul and Mugunghwa expresses on both routes will be rescheduled, with end-to-end services cut and retimed to feed in an out of KTX.Fares on KTX will be nearly 50% higher than on conventional trains, but still pitched below current airline fares.Project changesAmong the many changes in the ‘rescoping’ of the project following the financial crisis was the postponement of new construction through the cities of Taejon and Taegu. At present the Seoul – Taejon section of the new line ends at a yard north of Taejon, and there is a long, slow approach over conventional tracks. The decision to delay what would inevitably be expensive civil works led to a substantial cost saving. According to Korea Rail Network Authority, a decision has yet to be made on whether to build the missing section underground, at grade, or on elevated alignment.Another incident with the potential to disrupt progress was the Taegu metro fire on February 18 2003 (RG 3.03 p113). ‘It was a big event for us’, says Fertin, ‘because the question was “what’s going to happen to a KTX in a tunnel?”.’ Given that there will be 190 km of tunnel between Seoul and Pusan, this was clearly of major concern. ‘Within a week of the disaster’, Fertin continues, ‘we had arranged a demonstration showing someone with a torch trying to burn the inside of a KTX trailer – of course it does not burn.’ He points out that KTX is built to the same fire safety standard as the Eurostar sets.Balanced contractMarc Chatelard, Alstom’s Senior Vice-President, Asia Pacific Region, elaborates on the relationship between the French and the Koreans. ‘It was a balanced contract, and it worked well, but we had to adapt our way of thinking, especially as our client was a government company’. Everything was negotiated using interpreters, he adds.The consortium has also coped with the reshaping of Korean Railways. Its original client Korea High Speed Rail Corp became KRNA on January 1 2004, and the process of handing over sees the contract transferred to the operator Korail; the core assets and liabilities changed hands on January 5.Throughout the life of the project, various consultants have been involved. SNCF International is responsible for commissioning (RG 8.03 p506), and Georges Devaux, who oversaw the commissioning of TGV Méditerranée, has been seconded to the scheme. Other consultants include DE-Consult, Ingerop and Systra. Earlier, Bechtel International had been involved in project management, but it withdrew in November 2001.By December last year all the Alstom and Rotem trainsets had been delivered, and the catenary energised. Signalling and TVM430 train control was fully installed and tested by the same date.Maintenance strategyEukorail is not responsible for maintenance, but the company delivered maintenance manuals to its Korean partners in November as it is responsible for supervision of maintenance activities. Fertin sees this as an opportunity to extend the contract, and Eukorail held a review to examine options in February.Depots to service KTX trains have been built in Seoul and Pusan. The Seoul depot is located at Goyang, 20 km north of the main station. Facilities include a set of Neuero jacks able to lift an entire 20-car trainset, a Washtec train washer, and a Hegenscheidt MFD wheel lathe, which Divisional Manager, Reliability Management Oh In-Tack says ‘we are having to use too much already’. Another wheel lathe is provided at Pusan depot, but a new wheel lubrication system is being fitted to tackle the wear problems, which Fertin says are caused mainly by the need to run the trains over sharply-curved parts of the existing network. The extensive depot site at Goyang has nearly 32 km of track, including a 2·2 km test track. Its construction did not enthral local residents. New sporting facilities were built to keep the peace, but the most spectacular concession was construction of a two-track KTX station especially for Goyang residents. Service levels to and from Goyang had still to be decided in February.With KTGVC’s role winding down, Eukorail is actively seeking business. It already has a contract for work on the Incheon airport line, now under construction. With an eye to the future and the need for maximum capacity on the KTX route, Chatelard also notes that there is a proposal to discuss technology transfer for TGV Duplex to South Korea. ‘But that does not mean selling at any price’, he warns. Korea TGV ConsortiumAlstom, Eukorail, CSEE Transport, Rotem, Hyungai, Hanjin, Daewoo, Samsung SDS, Samsung Electronics, Iljin Electric, Hyundai, LG Industrial Systems and LG Cable.last_img read more

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Fowler White Burnett holds forum discussing economic development in the C’bean

first_imgRichard P. Morris, Esq., Fowler White Burnett; The Honorable Rafael Erwin Contreras, Minister of Trade and Investment, Belize; John H. Friedhoff, Esq., Fowler White Burnett; Ambassador Bayney Karran, Dean, CARICOM, Diplomatic Corps & Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States; and Dr. Barton Clarke, Executive Director of the Caribbean Agricultural Development and Research Institute Fowler White Burnett recently held an International Forum on the Impact of Agribusiness, Environmental and Economic Development in the CARICOM Region.  Spearheaded by Shareholder John H. Friedhoff, the Forum addressed agriculture and agribusiness and the opportunities for expanding trade between the Caribbean and Florida.In addition to discussing agricultural development, environmental needs and economic impact, the Forum addressed the need to move to agroprocessing and agriculture- based manufacturing and discussed the idea of faculty interaction between the University of the West Indies, the University of Guyana, the Guyana School of Agriculture and Zamorano University; furthermore, to increase interaction between the CARICOM nations and the private agriculture sector in the United States with a focus on bilateral and multilateral funding to promote investment and agroprocessing in the territory.Friedhoff, a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in International Law and Trustee of the Zamorano University in Honduras (where he serves on a pro-bono basis) brought to light the four undergraduate degrees the Zamorano University offers in Agricultural Engineering: Agronomy; Agribusiness Management; Food Agroindustry; and Environment and Development.Friedhoff noted the school is in reality a paradigm of Pan Americanism with students enrolling from the Caribbean, Central American and South America and that its actual name (Panamerican Agricultural School) is true to its name. He expressed hope that graduates and faculty from Zamorano would work together to assist in agribusiness development in the region and pledged his own assistance in jump starting such an initiative with his personal efforts.The four-year educational program emphasizes academic excellence and character formation, and it complements theory with practical field experience through its Learning by Doing program, in which the students work half a day in the production and processing plants or conserving the natural resources that are part of the university campus.last_img read more

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Construction workers urged to get certified

first_img 19 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring! LocalNews Construction workers urged to get certified by: – June 25, 2014 Tweetcenter_img Efforts are being made towards ensuring that persons working and operating within the construction industry in Dominica are certified to international Standards.The Ministry of Employment, Trade, Industry and Diaspora Affairs, through the Dominica Coalition of Service Industries (DCSI) and the Builders and Contractors Association of Dominica (BCAD) is embarking on the facilitation of a certification program for the construction industry.President of the Builders and Contractors association Stewart Paris said the certification program is critical during what he described as tight competition in the constructor sector. “The time is coming when construction workers are in most difficulty seeking employment telling people, well I am a mason and I am a carpenter and when they ask them to show something for it they have nothing to show for it and we at the builders association would like to change that,” he said. He said the time has come where construction workers should be able to provide certificates when applying for contracts, this he said will boost the level of confidence among the public. “These people should be certified, they should be able to have their certificates in their hand to show that they really can do the job that they day they can do. They will be assessed by the appropriate professionals who will certify that they are competent to in the area of work that they are asking for and they will be given a certificate,” Mr. Paris noted. He wants the authorities to make the certification program for the construction industry mandatory in Dominica. “We would like it to be a sustainable process in Dominica where we can continue to seek to upgrade, train, educate and certify the workers serving the construction industry in Dominica,” he said. The program will be administered by the National Training Agency of Trinidad and Tobago (NTATT) and will contribute significantly to building the skills and capacity of operators and workers within construction sector, and will enhance the regional and international competitiveness of the industry.Dominica Vibes News Share Sharelast_img read more