Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
(Mountain View) – Did you sleep well last night? All that tossing and turning may be not be from stress or anxiety, but from sleep apnea. It’s a common disorder but it often goes undiagnosed.
To help patients lower their complication risks, Mercy St. Francis Hospital is hosting a sleep apnea seminar on Wednesday, October 15. Dr. Tammy Albrecht will speak at the course, which is part of the hospital’s diabetic education series.
The free seminar on October 15 will be held in the dining room at Mercy St. Francis Hospital at 100 W. US Highway 60 in Mountain View. Snacks and door prizes will be provided.
If you need a ride, feel free to call 417-252-7766.
(Gassville)- The public is invited to a presentation by history author and Baxter County Library Reference Librarian Vincent Anderson at the Gassville Branch Library Tuesday, September 30 at 7 PM.
Anderson will be discussing the American Civil War in the Ozarks, including the initial skirmish on the White River above Cotter, and the raid and skirmish at Mountain Home.
For information on Library programs, visit www.baxlib.org. The Gassville Branch of the Baxter County Library is located at 6269 Highway 62 SW in Gassville, AR.
(Liberia) (AP) – Doctors are in short supply. So are beds for patients. Six months after the Ebola outbreak emerged for the first time in an unprepared West Africa and eventually became the worst-ever outbreak, the gap between what has been sent by other countries and private groups and what is needed is huge.
Even as countries try to marshal more resources, those needs threaten to become much greater, and possibly even insurmountable.
Fourteen-year-old D.J. Mulbah was taken by his mother and grandmother on Saturday in desperate pursuit of a coveted bed at the Ebola clinic run by Doctors Without Borders in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. Too weak to stand, he was put into a taxi with his backpack and a bucket for vomit. Now he lay on the dirt beside the worried women.
“He’s been sick for a week with a runny stomach,” said his mother, wiping the sweat off the boy’s brow with her bare hands. “We tried calling an ambulance days ago but nobody ever came.”
Beds are filling up as fast as clinics can be built. Ambulance sirens blare through standstill traffic. Often there is nowhere to take the sick except to “holding centers” where they await a bed at an Ebola treatment facility.
By 8 a.m. a dozen people who likely have Ebola are crouching and sitting on the ground outside the padlocked metal gates of a facility with a capacity of 160 patients. Soon a triage nurse approaches, her voice muffled through a surgical mask covered by a plastic face shield. The clinic will take the boy. D.J. manages a faint smile. Seven of the 30 beds made available Saturday morning were vacated by survivors. The rest had died.
Statistics reviewed by The Associated Press and interviews with experts and those on the scene of one of the worst health disasters in modern history show how great the needs are and how little the world has done in response. Some foreign medical workers have bravely fought on, a few even contracting Ebola themselves as they cared for patients. Experts warn that the window of opportunity to snuff out the dreaded disease may close unless promises of additional assistance immediately become reality.
The existing bed capacity for Ebola patients in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and Nigeria is about 820, well short of the 2,900 beds that are currently needed, according to the World Health Organization. Recently 737 beds were pledged by countries. Yet even after the promised treatment facilities are built, they will still be at least 2,100 beds short.
The shortage of health workers is also great. WHO has estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 international health workers are needed in West Africa. More than local 200 health workers have died of Ebola trying to save patients, complicating recruitment efforts.
Doctors Without Borders, which has more Ebola clinics than anyone, currently has 248 foreign aid workers in the region.
President Barack Obama has ordered up to 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to train health workers and build more than a dozen 100-bed field hospitals, including reserved sections for infected aid workers in Liberia.
Among other promises of global assistance:
- The African Union has said it will deploy 100 health workers to assist the West African countries affected by Ebola. The first batch of an AU Ebola taskforce, totaling 30 people, left for Liberia on Sept. 18. Taskforce members are expected to arrive in Sierra Leone on Oct. 5 and in Guinea by the end of October.
- Britain and France have both pledged to build field hospitals in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
- China is sending a 59-person lab team to Sierra Leone.
- Cuba will send 461 health workers, who will be trained in biosecurity, and some will go to Liberia and Guinea.
Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of Doctors Without Borders, urged world leaders this week to take “immediate action.”
“The reality on the ground today is this: The promised surge has not yet delivered,” she said.
MSF and other aid workers are distributing home-care kits with gloves and surgical gowns to try and keep those awaiting hospital beds from infecting relatives at home, though only thousands of kits are being distributed in Monrovia, a city of 1.6 million.
“We have been working furiously trying to set up treatment centers but (incoming patients) have been outpacing our ability to set them up,” said Dr. Frank Mahoney, co-lead of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control team in Liberia.
Unless the situation is put under control, the outbreak may infect as many as 1.4 million people by the end of the year and nearly half of those people could die, the CDC estimated this week. More than 3,000 are currently believed to have died from Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of the sick.
If more people get sick than those who recover or die, the needs will grow even more pronounced.
“If this outbreak continues, the sheer caseload will make it much more difficult to contain,” said Dr. Bruce Aylward, assistant-director general in charge of emergencies at WHO. “We will need more health workers to take care of them, more PPE (protective suits), more hospitals, more of everything.”
A top priority is sending enough protective equipment, including gloves, gowns, masks and boots. WHO is shipping about 240,000 protective suits a month in addition to supplies sent by other agencies. Under-sourced clinics are reportedly washing and reusing protective gear that is meant to be worn once and burned.
“We still do have gaps in the supply, which are quite significant,” said Antonio Vigilante, the Deputy Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General in Liberia. “Nobody expected that the requirements of protective gear would go in the order of millions.” Liberia now requires an estimated 1.3 million protective suits, Vigilante said.
One of the world’s top makers of the suits, DuPont, says it has more than doubled production but would not say who has placed orders. Officials are also looking into whether protective clothing can be locally produced.
“The situation on the ground is just disastrous,” said Dr. Heinz Feldmann, chief of virology at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who recently returned from Liberia.
“The idea of having hundreds of people in tent structures for Ebola management is unbelievable but the way this is spreading, we need to find a solution now.”
AP Medical Writer Maria Cheng reported from London. Sarah DiLorenzo in Dakar, Senegal and Randall Chase in Dover, Del., contributed to this report.
(Tokyo) (AP) – Rescue workers have found 30 or more people unconscious and believed to be dead near the peak of an erupting volcano in central Japan, local government and police said Sunday.
Nagano prefecture posted on its website that about 30 people had heart and lung failure, the customary way for Japanese authorities to describe a body until police doctors can examine it. At least four of the victims were being brought down from Mount Ontake on Sunday afternoon, one day after the volcano erupted.
A Nagano police official described the number of unconscious people as more than 30. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. The mountain is a popular climbing destination, and at least 250 people were initially trapped on the slopes, though most made their way down by Saturday night.
Before the unconscious victims were found, Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that 45 people had been reported missing. The exact location of the bodies and their identities were not immediately known.
Keita Ushimaru, an official in nearby Kiso town, said that Nagano crisis management officials had informed the town that at least four people with heart and lung failure were being brought down to the town, and that there were others in the same condition. The journey was expected to take about three hours.
Rescue workers were also trying to help injured people and others who had been stranded on the mountain overnight, many taking refuge in mountain lodges. Some were unable to descend on their own, or unwilling to take the risk.
Military helicopters plucked seven people off the mountainside earlier Sunday, and workers were helping others make their way down the slopes. One woman was being carried on a stretcher, and a man with a broken arm was walking down.
Seven people were picked up in three helicopter trips, said Defense Ministry official Toshihiko Muraki. All are conscious and can walk, though details of their conditions were unclear, he said.
Japanese television footage showed a soldier descending from a helicopter to an ash-covered slope, helping latch on a man and then the two of them being pulled up.
The Self-Defense Force, as Japan’s military is called, has deployed seven helicopters and 250 troops. Police and fire departments are also taking part in the rescue effort.
A large plume, a mixture of white and gray, continued to rise from the ash-covered summit of 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) Mount Ontake on Sunday, visible from the nearby village of Otaki. A convoy of red fire trucks, sirens blaring, and rescue workers on foot headed past barriers into the restricted zone around the mountain.
Shinichi Shimohara, who works at a shrine at the foot of the mountain, said he was on his way up Saturday morning when he heard a loud noise that sounded like strong winds followed by “thunder” as the volcano erupted.
“For a while I heard thunder pounding a number of times,” he said. “Soon after, some climbers started descending. They were all covered with ash, completely white. I thought to myself, this must be really serious.”
Mount Ontake, about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Tokyo, sits on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures, on the main Japanese island of Honshu. The volcano’s last major eruption was in 1979.
Associated Press videojournalist Emily Wang in Otaki, Japan, contributed to this report.
(Turkey) (AP) – Airstrikes likely carried out by the U.S.-led coalition struck an oil refinery in Syria held by the Islamic State group on Sunday, shaking buildings and sending flames shooting into the air near the Turkish border, a witness and activists said.
Al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate meanwhile warned that Muslims would attack countries taking part in the coalition air raids, which have targeted both the Islamic State extremist group — with which al-Qaida is at war — as well as hardline militants battling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Explosions lit the sky for two hours at the refinery in the northern Syrian town of Tel Abyad around 2:30 a.m. local time (2330 GMT Saturday), said Turkish businessman Mehmet Ozer, who lives in the nearby Turkish town of Akcakale.
“Our building was shaking and we saw fire, some 60 meters (65 yards) high, coming from the refinery,” he said. The strikes were also reported by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Turkey’s Dogan news agency. Dogan said the strikes targeted an oil refinery and the local headquarters of the Islamic State group.
U.S. Central Command, which is overseeing the air campaign, did not immediately comment on the strikes.
The U.S.-led coalition has been targeting oil installations across Syria controlled by the extremist group, aiming to cripple its finances. The group is believed to earn some $3 million a day from selling smuggled oil on the black market as well as kidnapping and extortion.
The United States and five Arab allies launched an aerial campaign against Islamic State fighters Tuesday with the aim of rolling back and ultimately crushing the extremist group, which has created a proto-state spanning the Syria-Iraq border. The U.S. has been carrying out airstrikes against the group in neighboring Iraq since August.
In seizing territory, the Islamic State group has massacred and beheaded its opponents, chased out tens of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis who belong to minority groups and imposed a harsh interpretation of Islamic law on residents,
The Islamic State group has also abducted Syrian activists, international aid workers and journalists, and has beheaded a British aid worker and two American reporters.
The coalition includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Jordan. Several European countries also are contributing to U.S. efforts to strike the Islamic State group in Iraq, including France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Britain.
The campaign against the oil facilities is expected to be a long, slow task as most of the refineries held by the Islamic State group are small and scattered across their territory.
The Britain-based Observatory says at least 19 civilians have been killed so far in coalition strikes in Syria. Most recently, six oil workers in the far northeast province of Hassakeh were killed overnight, said the Observatory, which obtains information from a network of activists on the ground.
Overall, some 190,000 people have been killed in Syria’s three-year conflict, and nearly one-half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million people has been displaced.
In Syria, the strikes are also targeting the Nusra Front, al-Qaida’s official branch in the country.
Washington views the group as a terrorist organization, while most Syrian rebels see it as a highly effective ally against both President Bashar Assad’s government and the Islamic State extremist group, which has been rejected by al-Qaida’s central leadership.
The Nusra Front’s ultimate goal is to impose Islamic law in Syria. But unlike the Islamic State group, it has fought alongside other rebel groups, seeing the overthrow of Assad as its first priority.
On Sunday, a spokesman for the Nusra Front warned that jihadists around the world would strike back against the coalition.
“This will have a response,” spokesman Abu Firas al-Souri said in a video uploaded to social media networks by Nusra loyalists. “These countries undertook an ugly act that will place them on the lists of targets for jihadi forces all over the world.”
Al-Souri said the strikes on the Nusra Front were “against the Syrian people… who rose against the oppressor and fought in the way of God.”
Al-Souri’s speech was preceded by mournful music and images of what appeared to be dead Nusra fighters and rubble from bombing. The video appeared genuine and corresponded to Associated Press reporting.
Syrian rebels have expressed anger at the coalition airstrikes, both because they have targeted the Nusra Front — which they see as an ally — and because they are not hitting forces loyal to Assad, which are the best placed to benefit from any rolling back of the Islamic State group.
Diaa Hadid contributed reporting from Beirut and Suzan Fraser from Ankara. Follow Desmond Butler on Twitter at www.twitter.com/desmondbutler .
(St. Louis) – Police in Ferguson, MO are reporting that a police officer was shot Saturday night.
KSDK-TV reports that a department representative said the officer was shot in the arm, and they are still looking for the suspect. His condition is unknown, and the suspect is still at large.
Ferguson was the site of sometimes violent protests and looting in the days after Darren Wilson, a white police officer in Ferguson, shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on August 9.
(West Plains) – The 2nd annual Color Me for CASA Color Run benefiting the 37th Judicial CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) was held Saturday, September 27 in West Plains.
The team that had the most participants was Fairview School, with 44. Howell Valley was second, with 36, and West Plains Head Start was third with 22 participants.
The first place finisher was Logan Jeffery, second place went to Tim Bean, and third place went to Scott Ragsdale.
The total raised by the event is not known at this time.
by Marilyn Odneal, Horticulture Adviser
Most of us remember Charlie Brown’s friend Linus keeping watch in the pumpkin patch on Halloween night in search of the Great Pumpkin. If only he gone on this quest more scientifically! Fortunately, Logan Duncan is doing just that. Logan began his master’s program with Missouri State University this summer working in Dr. Chin-Feng Hwang’s plant breeding program.
Logan explains that, “My research involves the genetic improvement of pumpkins and squash in the genus Cucurbita. I am working with natural resistance genes from the wild species Cucurbita lundelliana, and introducing them into cultivated species Cucurbita maxima through traditional breeding methods. C. lundelliana is a low growing (3-5 inches) vine and one plant can easily cover 200 square feet. It produces green gourds with white stripes that are about the size of a baseball. The fruits are bitter and inedible because of the alkaloid cucurbitacin. C. lundelliana is native to Central America, and have maintained resistance to several mosaic viruses, crown rot, powdery mildew, and squash vine borers.”
Logan is working with Cucurbita maxima and notes that, “This species includes the cultivars Atlantic giant, buttercup, banana, turban, and Hubbard squash. Genetic improvements have already been made to introduce mosaic virus resistance and powdery mildew resistance in to C. maxima, so I decided to work with squash vine borer (SVB) resistance.”
Logan became interested in this project in high school when he started growing Atlantic giants. He recalls that, “The squash vine borer cut my growing season short more than a few times, and the only way for me to control SVB is to use chemical insecticides. If I can introduce the genes for SVB resistance into cultivated varieties, dependence on pesticides would be reduced.”
Logan still enjoys the Great Pumpkin competitions. He says, “I will be taking one of the pumpkins used in my project to Republic Missouri’s Pumpkin Daze on Saturday, Oct. 4. If all goes well, that is! Two weeks is still plenty of time for the bottom of the pumpkin to rot out, or for it to split from growing too fast. The most recent measurements put this pumpkin somewhere around 900 pounds. Growth has slowed considerably in the past couple of weeks to five pounds per day. In the month of August the pumpkin put on between 30 to 40 pounds a day for a few weeks.”
Logan has already scoped out the competition. He has observed that the size of first place winners at Republic’s Pumpkin Daze can be variable. “Last year first place went to a pumpkin just under 400 pounds, but in 2008, Nancy Burgess broke the state record with a 1,244 pound pumpkin,” he said. Logan suggests anyone is interested in growing giant pumpkins visit bigpumpkins.com. He also is willing to share seeds he has saved from some of his Great Pumpkins. You can contact Logan at email@example.com if you are interested in obtaining some seed.
Direct comments or questions concerning this column to Marilyn Odneal via email at MarilynOdneal@missouristate.edu; write to Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station, 9740 Red Spring Road, Mountain Grove, Mo. 65711; or call (417) 547-7500. Visit our website at http://mtngrv.missouristate.edu.
(Washington) – USDA announced that it is investing $831,000 in Missouri through two grants that will help develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. The two grants to the University of Missouri are among $15.7 million being awarded to 47 entities nationwide.
Recipients of USDA’s Conservation Innovation Grants will demonstrate innovative approaches to improve soil health, air and water quality, conserve energy, and enhance wildlife habitat in balance with productive agricultural systems. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service administers this competitive grants program.
One of the Missouri grants will provide $367,913 to focus on an innovative waste heat recovery system in poultry barns that could result in energy savings for poultry farmers. The other Missouri grant will provide $463,167 to focus on building soil health through innovative cover crop practices while enhancing pollinator and wildlife habitat.
The grants are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Grantees must work with producers and forestland owners to develop and demonstrate the new technologies and approaches.
At least 50 percent of the total cost of CIG projects must come from non-federal matching funds, including cash and in-kind contributions provided by the grant recipient.
NRCS has offered this grant program since 2004, investing in ways to demonstrate and transfer efficient and environmentally friendly farming and ranching. In the past years, the grants have helped develop trading markets for water quality and have shown how farmers and ranchers may use fertilizer, water and energy more efficiently.
For more on this grant program, visit the Conservation Innovation Grants webpage at www.usda.gov.
(Mountain Home) – Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) will have four representatives honored at the upcoming annual meeting of the Arkansas Association of Two Year Colleges (AATYC) at the Hot Springs Convention Center, October 12-14.
Corrina Riggs will be honored as the ASUMH Academic All-Star at a brunch on Tuesday, October 14. Outstanding ASUMH faculty member Kurt Monroe and outstanding staff member Brandy Shell will be honored at a reception and ceremony on Monday, October 13. In addition, Brad Hays will be recognized as Outstanding ASUMH Alum on Tuesday, October 14.
A summer M.A.S.H. program in high school led Corrina Riggs to Arkansas State University-Mountain Home on her quest to become a pharmacist. Riggs, who currently works as a pharmacy tech at Walgreens, has a full life with 20 hours of class time and 40 hours of work each week. Even with this heavy load, she serves as a leader at ASUMH as President of the Student Ambassadors and member of Phi Theta Kappa. Riggs received the Academic Distinction Scholarship at ASUMH and the Dr. Bernice Gotaas Scholarship. After graduating from ASUMH, she plans to attend ASU and pharmacy school.
As an instructor of Criminal Justice at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, Kurt Monroe says that when he is with his colleagues, he feels like he is part of a family, albeit away from his own. Perhaps that devotion is what makes this veteran teacher who has worked at a variety of universities stand out. Monroe says that he has never experienced faculty and staff more dedicated to providing friendly and exceptional service to students and to the community, with such full devotion, as at ASUMH. “Home is where the heart is,” says Monroe, “and at ASUMH, I am home.”
Adjectives like friendly, outgoing, and caring are often used to describe Brandy Shell, 2014 Staff Member of the Year for Arkansas State University-Mountain Home. Shell, who worked in the office of Human Resources at ASUMH from 2012-2014, was known as someone who anticipated people’s needs and who cared about others. A good listener, Shell was known to be innovative and someone who went above and beyond in her job and in her personal life. While she has moved to a career outside the ASUMH family, Shell remains an example of the qualities any outstanding staff member would exhibit.
From funeral science student to Chief Deputy Coroner in Baxter County, Bradley Hays has stood out in his field. Hays was a student in Arkansas State University-Mountain Home’s first Funeral Science distance cohort at Jonesboro. After obtaining his A.A.S. in Funeral Science from ASUMH, Hays was offered a position with Roller Funeral Home in Mountain Home and came to call Baxter County home. Hays has an extensive background in death investigation and has obtained many certifications in various areas of forensic investigation, including Medicolegal Death Investigator through the University of St. Louis School of Medicine.
The Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges (AATYC) is a private, non-profit higher education membership organization serving the educational needs of two-year college students and the business/industry needs of the state. AATYC represents all twenty two (22) public two-year colleges in Arkansas. The Association facilitates the sharing of ideas, resources and opportunities among its members, and advocates on behalf of members’ students.