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Boston Barrier flood gate fully operational

Boston Barrier flood gate fully operational

first_imgBoston Barrier flood gate fully operational The Boston Barrier gate is now fully ready and working to give an enhanced level of flood protection to over 13,000 homes and businesses in the town.As the centrepiece of the flood scheme, the barrier gate can be raised in just 20 minutes, responding quickly to threats of North Sea tidal surges.With the whole of the £100m Environment Agency scheme now two-thirds complete, the project will provide Boston with one of the best standards of flood defence outside of London. Once the scheme is fully completed in 2022, flood risk to over 14,000 homes and 800 businesses will be greatly reduced and allow for the effects of climate change for the next 100 years.This barrier is part of the government’s long term investment in flood and coastal defences. Since 2015 it has invested £2.6bn to better protect the country from flooding and coastal erosion and is on course to have better protected 300,000 homes by March 2021. Earlier this year, the government announced a record £5.2 billion investment in flood and coastal defences and the National FCRM Strategy will help build a better prepared and more resilient nation.The Boston Barrier project is expected to be fully completed in 2022.Minister for Floods, Water and Emergencies Rebecca Pow said:Flooding has a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods, but for communities like Boston the barrier project brings a real sense of support for the years ahead, better protecting 13,000 properties.We are determined to support flood-hit communities as we build back greener and we are investing a further £5.2 billion over the next six years to reduce flood risk to hundreds of thousands more homes.Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan said:Reaching this stage of the Boston Barrier project represents a huge development for the town and for the Environment Agency.During this most difficult of years, I want to thank all of the teams who have shown great dedication and determination to reach this important milestone in a Covid-secure way.Now that the barrier gate is fully operational, Boston is better prepared for what winter may bring, this year and for many years to come.Environment Agency Boston Barrier project director Adam Robinson said:It gives me great pleasure to see the barrier gate fully operational following rigorous testing.This marks a huge leap forward for the scheme and there is now a significant reduction to the risk from tidal flooding in Boston. The majority of properties covered by the scheme will be better protected for a similar event to that of December 2013.Work on the scheme, which has been identified by government as critical infrastructure, continues in line with the government’s coronavirus advice with measures in place to ensure safe working procedures on site.Our team have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic to minimise disruption while maintaining the health and safety of staff, suppliers and members of the public. That effort has definitely paid off and means we now have a winter-ready operational tidal flood defence.Further stagesThe next stages of work will focus on tying-in the further parts of the scheme downstream, including:Installing a replacement flood gate at the Port of Boston wet dock entrance.Work to tie the project into the Haven Banks Improvement Scheme, a separate Environment Agency project to raise and strengthen the existing flood banks running from the Barrier towards The Wash for a distance of 5 km.Background informationThe Boston Barrier is a critical infrastructure project and national priority project for the Environment Agency, delivered by BAM Nuttall Mott MacDonald Joint Venture.Over 800 properties were flooded across the town in a tidal surge on 5 December 2013. The surge highlighted the need for improved tidal flood defences in Boston, and the barrier scheme became a national priority project for the Environment Agency’s Six-Year Programme six months later.With total funding of over £100m, the scheme will protect Boston town centre against a tidal surge similar to what was experienced in 2013.When complete, the scheme as a whole will give 14,000 homes and 800 businesses a better standard of protection against tidal flooding, giving Boston one of the best standards of defence outside of London.It will help deliver economic benefits to the area estimated to be worth over £1billion.The Boston Barrier project was granted the Transports and Work Act legislation which gave the permissions to start the project in December 2017, and had spades in the ground at the beginning of January 2018.Winter readinessThe Environment Agency is prepared to take action this winter wherever it is needed. Throughout the year, it has continued to build and repair flood defences. It has 250 high-volume pumps available and 6,500 trained staff across the country, including 314 trained flood support officers.The Environment Agency is also making the most of new technology to prepare for and respond to floods:  It uses drones and aeroplanes to map river channels and the extent of flooding  Nimble, remote-controlled boats help it monitor river flows and collect data  It uses its flood warning system to directly alert over 1.4 million properties at the touch of a button when flooding is expected.  It uses a wide range of social media and media channels to increase the reach of its warning messages.   /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:climate, climate change, coronavirus, environment, Government, health and safety, infrastructure, Investment, legislation, London, Minister, project, running, social media, technology, testing, UK, UK Governmentlast_img read more

FLU NEWS SCAN: H1N1 vaccine benefits, tracking H1N1 on campus, kids’ vaccine survey, avian flu in Mongolia

FLU NEWS SCAN: H1N1 vaccine benefits, tracking H1N1 on campus, kids’ vaccine survey, avian flu in Mongolia

first_imgApr 20, 2011Ohio estimates benefits of H1N1 vaccination during pandemicOn the basis of its own research, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) estimates that its 2009 H1N1 vaccination efforts prevented 64 deaths, 1,400 hospitalizations, and 310,402 influenza cases during the 2009 pandemic. The vaccination drive also saved the state an estimated $8.4 million in H1N1-related hospital costs, the agency said in a press release today. The ODH estimated the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and illnesses prevented from Apr 12, 2009, through Apr 10, 2010. The researchers used a model published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come up with the estimates. The ODH ordered and shipped 4.1 million doses of H1N1 vaccine to more than 3,000 providers during the pandemic, and it also released more than $50 million in federal public health preparedness funds to support vaccination clinics and other prevention efforts. “Ohio’s local health departments sponsored hundreds of mass vaccination clinics and provided strong local leadership that was integral in our success,” ODH Director Dr. Ted Wymyslo said in the press release.Apr 20 ODH press releaseOnline self-identification tool accurately reflected H1N1 on campusAn online system for Ontario university students to self-identify flu-like symptoms during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic was effective for surveillance and for lessening the burden on campus medical staff, a study found. Reporting in the Journal of American College Health, researchers say that 1,432 students at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., used the Web-based tool, and data show that the tool accurately reflected levels of absenteeism and flu on campus. The authors conclude, “The online, real-time surveillance tool was effective in monitoring influenza activity on campus, providing timely health advice, decreasing unnecessary visits to the campus medical clinic, and assisting local public health in surveillance activities.”Apr J Am Coll Health abstractSurvey tracks kids’ flu vaccine preferencesWhen it comes to flu vaccines, children rated efficacy and the intranasal route of delivery as the most important attributes, according to a survey designed to gauge their preferences. The survey report, published online yesterday by Vaccine, was sponsored and partially designed by MedImmune, the maker of FluMist, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). It included responses from 544 children aged 8 through 12 years who took part in a nationally representative online panel in August and September of 2009. The children were recruited through their parents’ participation in a nationwide online panel. The poll also asked kids to weigh different vaccine attributes and was designed to gauge their comprehension of the issues and the consistency of their answers. Efficacy was most frequently selected as the most important attribute at 45%, followed by mode of administration at 31%. The majority (69%) said they preferred the nasal spray. The authors found that 85% of children were able to complete the survey task. The group concluded that children’s answers were consistent and that children can be included in discussions about flu vaccination.Apr 19 Vaccine abstractH5 avian flu found in whooper swans in MongoliaThree whooper swans that were found dead on a lake in eastern Mongolia tested positive for an H5 avian influenza virus, according to a report Mongolian officials filed today with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The swans were found at Zegst Lake in Sukhbaatar province. In other developments, a low-pathogenicity flu virus found in poultry in eastern Nebraska has been identified as an H7N9 subtype, a US Department of Agriculture official reported via ProMED-mail, the disease reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. The posting by Randall L. Levings said an H7N9 virus was isolated from geese and guinea fowl in a backyard flock. The virus’s pathogenicity in chickens is being tested, he said.Apr 20 OIE report from MongoliaApr 19 ProMED-mail reportlast_img read more

Spicer says Hitler comment ‘inexcusable and reprehensible’

Spicer says Hitler comment ‘inexcusable and reprehensible’

first_imgSpicer says Hitler comment ‘inexcusable and reprehensible’ WASHINGTON (AP) White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that his attempt to compare the Holocaust and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons was “inexcusable and reprehensible” and was made all the worse by this being a holy week for Christians and Jews.He said the comment, made Tuesday at the White House briefing, was personally and professionally disappointing, and he asked for “folks’ forgiveness.”“To make a gaffe and a mistake like this is inexcusable and reprehensible,” Spicer said during a previously scheduled appearance at a forum on the presidency and the press sponsored by the Newseum. Christians are preparing for Easter on Sunday, and Jews are celebrating Passover.“It really is painful to myself to know that I did something like that,” Spicer said. “That obviously was not my intention. To know when you screw up that you possibly offended a lot of people … I would ask obviously for folks’ forgiveness to understand that I should not have tried to make a comparison.”It was Spicer’s second apology in as many days, following an initial mea culpa Tuesday during an interview with CNN.Earlier Tuesday during the daily White House briefing, Spicer told reporters that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” The comment drew an instant rebuke from critics, who noted the remark ignored Hitler’s use of gas chambers to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.Reaction to Spicer’s initial comment continued Wednesday, with Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial inviting him to visit its website.In the CNN interview, Spicer said his comments did not reflect Trump’s views but “were a distraction from him and frankly were misstated, insensitive and wrong.” He added, “Obviously it was my blunder.” Spicer reiterated that sentiment at Wednesday’s forum.After making the initial comment, Spicer was asked about it again during the briefing but offered a garbled defense in which he tried to differentiate between Hitler’s actions and the gas attack on Syrian civilians last week. The attack in northern Syria left nearly 90 people dead. Turkey said sarin gas was used.“I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, he (Hitler) was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” Spicer said. “There was clearly … I understand your point, thank you. There was not … He brought them into the Holocaust center I understand that.”After the briefing, Spicer emailed reporters a statement that said: “In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable.”Reaction from around the world continued Wednesday. A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said comparing Nazi war crimes to present-day situations “leads to nothing good.”Robert Rozett, director of libraries at Yad Vashem, said Spicer’s comment implied a “profound lack of knowledge of the events of the second World War, including the Holocaust” and “are liable to strengthen the hands of those who seek to destroy history.”In the U.S., Democrats and Jewish organizations condemned the comments.House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement that Spicer was “downplaying the horror of the Holocaust” and should be fired. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said on Twitter, “Someone get PressSec a refresher history course on Hitler stat (hashtag)#Icantbelievehereallysaidthat.”The New York-based Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect also called on Trump to fire Spicer, saying he denied that Hitler gassed Jews during the Holocaust.Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Jewish Republican from New York, said in a statement that the comparison could be made “a little differently and it would be accurate, but it’s important to clear up that Hitler did in fact use chemical warfare to murder innocent people.”But Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said that while “using the issue of the Holocaust or Hitler is problematic on many levels,” he believed Spicer had “genuinely and sincerely apologized.”Spicer’s comments came on the first day of Passover and a day after the White House held a Seder dinner marking the emancipation of the Jewish people, a tradition started during the Obama administration. Earlier in the year, the White House generated criticism by issuing a statement on international Holocaust Remembrance Day that did not mention Jews.Tuesday was the second consecutive day in which Trump’s principal spokesman appeared to struggle to articulate Trump’s foreign policy at a critical time.On Monday, the White House clarified remarks Spicer made from the podium that the use of barrel bombs by Assad’s government might lead to further military action by the United States. Until Monday the administration had maintained that last week’s missile strikes were in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against its citizens.A White House spokesman said later that “nothing has changed in our posture” and the president retains the option to act if it’s in the national interest. SHARE Author: AP center_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Published: April 12, 2017 10:23 AM EDT Updated: April 12, 2017 3:58 PM EDT last_img read more

Eight UN peacekeepers killed in east DRC clashes

Eight UN peacekeepers killed in east DRC clashes

first_img2 Tanzanian UN peacekeepers killed in DRC UN peacekeepers killed in Mali At least 4 UN peacekeepers killed in central Malicenter_img Eight U.N. peacekeepers were killed in clashes with militias near the east Congolese town of Beni, United Nations and diplomatic sources have confirmed.The latest incident continues to hamper peacekeeping efforts in the region that is at the center of the country’s worst-ever Ebola epidemic.One Tanzanian and seven Malawian peacekeepers were killed during the clashes.“Our peacekeeping colleagues tell us that six peacekeepers from Malawi and one from Tanzania who are part of the UN peacekeeping operation in the DRC … were killed yesterday, in Beni territory, in North Kivu,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters initially in New York.The deaths mark the biggest loss by the large UN force in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the rebels killed 15 troops nearly a year ago.East Congo has been plagued by banditry and armed insurrections for more than two decades since the fall of former military ruler Mobutu Sese Seko, but the past year has seen a surge in violence around North Kivu.Beni and the surrounding villages are also suffering an Ebola epidemic that has infected over 300 people and killed two thirds of them.Constant armed attacks by at least two rebel groups in the region are hampering international efforts to contain the virus, by preventing medical workers from gaining access to Ebola victims.Relatedlast_img read more

Image 360 host sports Program on Vibes Radio

Image 360 host sports Program on Vibes Radio

first_img Share Heston Charles; Sports 360 host.Newly formed marketing company Image 360 corporation will host its sports show dubbed sports 360 on vibes radio.General manager of image 360 corporation Heston Charles will host the sports program on Vibes radio every Monday from 6:30-8pm.The program ‘Sports 360’ will cover a wide range of sports news and events locally, regionally and internationally.“We will discuss recent sporting, development, recent happenings of sports, we will also highlight some of our legends and those who have done very well,” said host Charles during an interview with Dominica Vibes.Charles said policies that governs the very sports globally will also be discussed. He promises that the discussions will be very informed ones as his co-host Mr Chaucer Doctrove is well aware of what’s happening in the sporting world.“Sports plays a very active part in our society and sports has a way of bringing people together and uniting people especially in the Caribbean and more so Dominica,” he concludedThe Program will be aired on frequency 99.5 and 94.7 FM from 6:30 -8:00 PM tonight and every Monday night.Dominica Vibes News NewsSports Image 360 host sports Program on Vibes Radio by: – May 26, 2014 Share Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! Share 52 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

SpayCC Pets receives $3,600 grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation

SpayCC Pets receives $3,600 grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation

first_imgLAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Spay Campbell County Tennessee Pets (SpayCC) is proud to announce it has been awarded a $3,600 grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation for spay and neuter procedures. SpayCC hopes to address overcrowding in shelters and rescues by preventing unwanted litters of cats and dogs.“Through no fault of their own, wonderful pets end up in the shelter, said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. It’s a heartbreaking reality that BPF works to prevent through funding for spay and neuter. We are committed to helping our partners save lives.”The funds will be used to subsidize low cost spay/neuter services through SpayCC “Happy Pets Low Cost Spay/Neuter Aid Program”.   The program is open to Campbell County residents with annual income of $35,000 or less, or receive government assistance, such as food stamps.   Owner cost, with approved application, for a dog under 70 pounds is $35, cats $30, this includes free, 1 year, rabies vaccination.Watch for SpayCC sign up days advertised on WLAF as well as on SpayCC  Facebook page www.Facebook.com/spayccpets or the website at www.SpayCCTNPets.com.SpayCC President Jane Homes: “This funding will aid 124 spay/neuter services preventing, at the very least, the birth of 620 unwanted cats and dogs in our communities.”With a mission to find every pet a home, BPF focuses their efforts on adoption, spay/neuter, microchipping and emergency support. For more information, visit: www.SpayCCTNPets.com  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/23/2019-6AM)About BISSELL Pet Foundation:BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and emergency support. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, BPF is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. BPF has since partnered with over 4,800 shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada to help pets find loving homes. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Homecare, Inc where every purchase saves pets. To learn more, visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org. Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Carter the man to catch

Carter the man to catch

first_imgThe Bunker Boys Golf SocietyMonday, May 22, Crystal Bay (white tees) – Medal1st Neil Carter (13) net 692nd Colin Greig (11) net 74 3rd Geoff Parker (14) netNear Pins: Neil Carter, Mashi Kenata, Geoff ParkerThe Bunker Boys at Serenity Hotel in Kabinburi.A surprise awaited the less observant of our members today on the first tee when they were reminded that it was a medal round.  Whilst medal is good for golf discipline it not the favourite format of many.It seemed we were a bit slow off the first tee with the first group having to wait for caddies and carts.  Despite the course being empty play was slower than it needed to be – it is very hard to police slow play without an independent adjudicator, it would seem the only answer is to group consistently slow players together and put them out last off the tee.Today temperatures were the highest we have encountered this season and by end of the round, everyone was saturated in perspiration.  The conditions didn’t seem to affect the winner Neil Carter though as he returned a fine score of 3 under his handicap.  Neil is looking like a serious challenger for “Golfer of the Month”.  The other two in the frame were Colin Greig and Geoff Parker whose positions were decided on count back.  Only three of the four near pins were claimed.Wednesday, May 24, Kabinburi Sports Club (white tees) – Stableford1st Neil Carter (12) 35pts2nd Colin Greig (11) 34pts3rd Les Cobban (9) 33ptsNear Pins: Colin Greig (2), Les CobbanHaving experienced the wild life at Crystal Bay on Monday and celebrated the fact we hadn’t encountered snakes it had to happen, today we had snakes.  Luckily no problems.  The course was not up to expectation, the fairways were cored and sanded in places and not in others, and the greens were extremely slow, but at its best it’s easy to see how good this course could be.Scoring was not of the highest standard, probably due to the slow greens, with Neil Carter taking first place.  The rest of the scores are best ignored.Thursday, May 25, Kabinburi Sports Club (white tees) – Medal1st Tony Robbins (20) net 732nd Mike Brett (16) net 733rd Les Cobban (9) net 75Near Pins: Geoff Parker, Tony RobbinsWhat an inspired choice to make an overnight stay in Kabinburi with two rounds of golf when our booking at Bangkapong was cancelled.  Just 3200 baht for accommodation and two rounds of golf including caddie was excellent value.  Rooms at the Serenity Resort and Spa were excellent, the food was top shelf and the service cordial and professional.The golf course, though not at its best in parts on the first day, was improved enormously overnight and provided plenty of challenge.  The maintenance staff must have worked hard to clean up all the scarified areas and brushed in the sand on the fairways.  It seemed that golfers adjusted quickly today to the slow greens and played much better.At 8,052 yards Kabinburi lays claim to being the longest course in Thailand and has six tee positions on every hole, enough to accommodate all standards of golfers.  Though the fairways are generous there are enough water hazards throughout the course to encourage caution with many shots.  Risk and reward was the order of the day.Today’s round was medal, an unforgiving format where one bad hole can ruin an otherwise good round.  The winner on the day was Tony Robbins, beating Michael Brett into second place on count back.It has been suggested that this trip becomes a bi-monthly event and the suggestion has much merit.  The possibility also exists to arrange an inter-society competition, and if the pricing can be replicated there is no reason why this could not happen.Friday, May 26, Pattaya C.C. (white tees) – Stableford1st Mike Brett (16) 39pts2nd Tony Robbins (20) 38pts3rd Colin Greig (11) 36ptsNear Pins: Colin Greig, Peter Allan, Mike Lloyd, Stuart Tinkler.After the well turned out second day at Kabinburi, Pattaya Country Club course was a disappointment, being in such poor condition.  The front nine had fairways in need of mowing, covered in sand and generally in very shabby condition while the back nine was only slightly better, except for the greens which were in good shape but uncharacteristic slow.  This course has a few things in its favor:(1) Its proximity to Pattaya(2) A better than average clubhouse(3) A course which is essentially a good interesting layout with plenty of variety.Rain threatened all day but luckily held off, however, it was hot and humid until the back nine when a cooling breeze came up.  The quality of caddies covered the full spectrum from excellent to untrained.  The speed of play was satisfactory except when there was a wait for caddies to catch up with their player, a frustration people struggling with their game could ill afford.Under the circumstances, scoring was of a reasonable standard.  After scrambling well all day the eventual winner Michael Brett returned a respectable thirty-nine points, reversing positions with Tony Robbins from the previous day.  Third place went to Colin Greig who is locked in a battle with Geoff Parker and Neil Carter for ‘Golfer of the Month’.last_img read more

Sergio Asenjo saves two penalties as Villarreal beat Getafe

Sergio Asenjo saves two penalties as Villarreal beat Getafe

first_imgGoalkeeper Sergio Asenjo was the hero for Villarreal on Sunday as he saved two penalties in his side’s 1-0 win against Getafe.  Getafe then had a second chance to get back in the game in the second hald when Jaume Costa tripped Jorge Molina. La Cerámica. 16.125 espectadores IN SPORT.ES Jonathan Moreno RELATED STORIES Upd. at 17:21 Penalty duties were handed to Angel Rodriguez, but Asenjo made a save to keep the home side ahead.  Sergio Asenjo; Rukavina, Bonera, Víctor Ruiz, Jaume Costa; Javi Fuego; Castillejo (Raba, 71′), Trigueros (Rodrigo, 56′); Soriano; Enes Ünal, Bacca (Fornals, 81′). Campo Celta Vigo 2-0 Eibar: Aspas and Gomez keep on scoring Gol GET This time Molina took responsibility but the outcome was the same: another Asenjo save.  Guaita; Molinero, Djené, Bruno, Antunes; Fajr, Arambarri; Portillo (Merveil, 69′), Gaku (Molina, 46′), Remy (Amath, 69′); Ángel. Sergio Asenjo detiene dos penaltis en la victoria del Villarreal 1-0 M.3 Enes Ünal However, Getafe were handed a chance to equalise when Javi Fuego charged Djene inside the box in the 35th minute.  Villarreal MATCH FACTS LaLiga Eres Unal opened the scoring after just three minutes at the Estadio de la Ceramica, turning home Carlos Bacca’s cross.  Árbitro 25/02/2018 Sánchez Martínez. TA: Víctor Ruiz, Ünal, Soriano, Castillejo, Jaume Costa / Molinero, Fajr y Antunes. VIL The win temporarily lifts Villarreal into fifth, ahead of Sevilla who host Atletico later on Sunday, while Getafe remain 10th.  Getafe CET 1-0last_img read more

Shooters hit their target

Shooters hit their target

first_imgBy ANEEKA SIMONIS CONTROVERIAL minor parties will see a greater control over the Legislative Council following a major switch-up during…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

WCU science building, medical offices, radio tower move forward after board action

WCU science building, medical offices, radio tower move forward after board action

first_imgA modern home for Western Carolina University’s natural science programs, a medical office building to be located near the Health and Human Science Building and a more powerful signal for the university’s FM radio station took additional steps toward becoming reality Friday, Sept. 2. The WCU Board of Trustees selected a firm to lead the construction of a new natural sciences building approved by voters as part of a $2 billion statewide referendum in March; ratified the sublease of approximately 2 acres on the university’s West Campus for the medical offices project; and authorized the lease of roughly 9 acres of land on Brown Mountain for the potential development of a new FM radio tower. The action came as part of the board’s first quarterly meeting of the 2016-17 academic year. The trustees selected Skanska USA as construction manager at risk for the $110 million science building project. The firm, headquartered in New York with offices in Durham, will oversee construction of the facility, which will replace WCU’s 1970s-era Natural Sciences Building. Design is expected to take place throughout 2017, with construction to begin on or near the site of the current Natural Sciences Building. The project may take place in phases, with a portion of the new facility to be constructed before the existing building is demolished and replaced. University leaders hope to see the new building completed by 2020. The university is being assisted throughout the design process by Jeanne Narum, a nationally recognized expert in science facilities and teaching who is founding director of Project Kaleidoscope, a National Science Foundation effort to develop science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM) learning environments. Narum visited campus in late March to meet with the campus community and discuss an initial vision for the new structure. Across N.C. Highway 107, the medical office building project will result in the first privately developed structure built as part of the Millennial Initiative, WCU’s comprehensive regional economic development strategy designed to enable the university to engage in public-private partnerships that enhance educational opportunities for students and increase the ability of faculty to conduct research, while also promoting regional development. As part of the initiative, the university acquired 344 acres of property adjacent to the main campus in 2005; that tract often is called the West Campus. The sublease approved by the board enables the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of Western Carolina University, which holds the lease on the West Campus property, to sublease the 2-acre tract to Summit Healthcare Group of Winston-Salem, WCU’s partner in the medical office building project. Construction could begin as early as spring 2017. The building is expected to include 30,000 square feet of space for health care professionals and health-related businesses. For the third project, the radio tower, the board agreed to lease 9 acres of university property on the Cedar Cliff Development/Brown Mountain tract to the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund to facilitate the potential construction of a transmitting tower. The Federal Communications Commission last year granted a construction permit to WCU to create a new noncommercial radio station on the 95.3 FM frequency. The university has three years from the time of the granting of the permit to build the facility and begin broadcasting. University officials say the new signal could be more than five times as powerful as the present university station at 90.5 FM. As part of the board’s committee meetings, discussions of interests and other activities Thursday, Sept. 1, trustees mingled with faculty and staff during WCU’s annual Employee Appreciation Day luncheon in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center.last_img read more