Lunenburg County Traffic Advisory

first_imgLUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 331 and Green Bay Road Highway 331, between Risser Beach and Petite Rivere, and Green Bay Road in Lunenburg County are now open to traffic. Power lines, trees, branches and leaves are still down in many parts of the province. People who must drive are asked to use caution. -30-last_img

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Jamie Foxx To Host And Perform At The Grand Prix Royale

first_imgPrime Experiences is pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural Grand Prix Royale, the premiere Grand Prix Event, featuring Academy Award and Grammy Award-Winner, Jamie Foxx, as special host and performer on Friday, October 23.The Prime team has a combined experience of over thirty years dedicated to creating unique experiences combining glamour, sophistication, elegance and excitement.“Formula 1 is the richest, hottest, fastest and sexiest single seater sporting event in the world, and the Grand Prix Royale is the only event that brings the Grand Prix experience under one roof,” said Amanda Gunville, founder of Prime Experiences.The Grand Prix Royale will take place at The Palm Door on 6th, located in the heart of Austin’s historic entertainment district. This exclusive experience will feature gourmet food, a well curated, luxury item auction and entertainment like no other.Prime Experiences has chosen to partner with RISE School of Austin, a school dedicated to the highest quality early childhood education for all children – gifted, traditional and developmentally delayed. Prime Experiences Partner and Formula 1 industry expert, Paul Jordan expressed “a strong desire to expand the reach of the Grand Prix Royale to benefit the Austin community” to do so, a portion of the proceeds from the night, including those of the auction will be donated to the RISE School.“The Grand Prix Royale isn’t just about a big party – it’s about finding a way to help those in need by joining forces to improve education,” said Foxx. “Trust me, I will be challenging everyone in the audience to give back to the children of Austin.”“In keeping with our tradition of giving back, I am very proud to have found a charity partner in RISE School of Austin,” said Gunville.Partnering with The Zella Company for design, production and execution of this event will set the bar for the future Grand Prix events in Austin and around the world.A-list celebrities, Formula 1 personalities, key influencers and local Austin business leaders will be treated to an exquisite VIP event including bottle service, open bar, entertainment and food and a charity auction supporting RISE School of Austin.The Grand Prix Royale will take place from 7pm-2am. Find out more here.last_img read more

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Family of man shot by Winnipeg police speaking out

first_imgBrittany Hobson APTN National NewsThe family of a First Nations man who was shot by police last month is speaking out.The shooting took place in downtown Winnipeg.Josh Pardy, 25, was rushed to the hospital and survived.Now his family is questioning the police officer’s actions.bhobson@aptn.calast_img

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The Latest Acting EPA boss says hes deregulation champion

first_imgWASHINGTON — The Latest on acting Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler (all times local):9:30 a.m.President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is describing himself as a champion of deregulation and the environment.Former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler has been leading the EPA since Scott Pruitt resigned amid ethics scandals in July. He is to appear Wednesday before a Senate committee considering his nomination.Wheeler’s prepared remarks call protecting human health and the environment his most important responsibility. He cites EPA progress cleaning up Superfund sites and other pollution, including work that was begun under the Obama administration.Wheeler also boasts of the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks at the EPA, saying the administration has finished 33 major deregulatory actions.Wheeler is expected to face questioning on the health impacts of those rollbacks and on his past lobbying work.___12:55 a.m.Acting Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler’s past lobbying work is expected to draw scrutiny at his confirmation hearing for the permanent post.A Senate committee on Wednesday will consider Wheeler as President Donald Trump’s nominee for EPA administrator. Wheeler has served as the agency’s acting head since Scott Pruitt resigned in July amid allegations over Pruitt’s spending and alleged favour-seeking.Environmental groups want senators to question Wheeler about his lobbying for coal interests and others just before he joined the EPA.The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed an ethics complaint alleging Wheeler improperly oversaw regulatory rollbacks benefiting coal and others he had lobbied for.EPA spokesman John Konkus calls that “baseless.” Konkus says Wheeler consults closely with ethics officials at the agency.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Moroccan Hammam Among Seven Places Qataris Go to Relax

Rabat – Emirati magazine Step Feed has ranked one of Morocco’s Hammams among the seven places in the world where Qatari nationals go to relax.Step Feed ranked Morocco’s Hammam of Bab Doukkala, located in Marrakesh, sixth on the list of seven places where Qatari nationals go to relax, right between New Zealand‘s Hells Gate, which ranked last, and Malaysia ‘s Petronas Twin Towers, which ranked in fifth position.“When in Morocco, do asthe Moroccans do! This 17th century Moroccan bath– or hammam –is the perfect place to go to mingle with locals and get a soothing massage,” explained the Emirati magazine. Bab Doukkala is a historic hammam, situated at the grand Bab Doukkala gate of the Medina, in the southeast corner of Bab Doukkala Mosque, dating from the 17th century. The hammam is located near the mosque, since hammams traditionally share a water source with ablution fountains.The Hammam of Bab Doukkala, like all Moroccan traditional Hammams, has three main rooms: one cool, one hot, and one – the steam room – very hot.A Moroccan hammam is very similar to traditional Roman baths, complete with heat and steam, cold water,and an attendant to scrub your skin until it is as soft as a baby’s bottom.The baths are separated by gender, so men and women are welcome either in separate buildings or during different times of the day. In the Hammam of Bab Doukkala, women’s hours are from noon till about 7pm; men’s are early morning and later in the evening.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

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Morocco’s BCIJ Arrests 4 ISIS Suspects in 4 Moroccan Cities Monday

Rabat – Morocco’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau (BCIJ) arrested four suspects with alleged ties to the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Casablanca, Fez, Kenitra, and Driouch Monday morning.Moroccan news outlet 2M.ma said the four suspects were not connected to each other, but they were all connected with the terrorist group Daesh, also known as ISIS.The suspects were aged 20-27. The first suspect, an unemployed 20-year old, was arrested in Driouch, a town 90 kilometers southeast of El Hoceima. The second suspect was arrested in Casablanca.The third suspect, a 27-year old, was arrested in Fez, where he had been living with his wife for only a month.The final suspect, a 21-year old undergraduate, was arrested in Kenitra.Authorities seized several electronic devices and military uniforms during the operation.The suspects were placed in custody for further investigation to determine possible links with ISIS.The arrests mark the fourth terrorist crackdown in Morocco recently, after last week’s arrest of five suspects and the dismantling of 2 terrorist cells in February and March.On May 8, BCIJ dismantled a five-member terror cell with alleged connections to Daesh in North Morocco and Spain.  The BCIJ and Spanish authorities carried out the arrest operations in Fnideq, a city in northern Morocco, and in Bilbao in northern Spain.On February 21, the BCIJ dismantled a terror cell made up of six extremist supporters of ISIS in Tangier, including one member of the Polisario Front.In March, BCIJ dismantled another terror cell in the cities of Oued Zem, near Khouribga, and Tangier. Investigations revealed that the members were planning to murder one of their own after doubting his loyalty to the terrorist organization. read more

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TSX rallies more than 200 points led by resource stock gains

TORONTO — North American stock markets extended their rally, driven by strength across most key sectors — led by a big climb in resource issues.Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index gained 221.09 points to close at 13,868.35, extending gains into a fourth straight session.Metals and mining stocks were by far the leading gainer, rising a stunning 11 per cent amid strong performances by both First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) and Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B). First Quantum has outlined plans to reduce its debt while Teck announced a silver output deal.December gold lifted $2.30 to end at $1,148.70 an ounce and December copper added a penny to US$2.37 a pound.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 122.10 points to 16,912.29 after having been up more than 170 points in early trading. Meanwhile, the broader S&P 500 index gained 15.91 points to 1,995.83 and Nasdaq rose 42.79 points to 4,791.15.The Canadian dollar was down 0.22 of a U.S. cent at 76.54 cents US. read more

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Dutch diplomat appointed head of UN climate change convention

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced the appointment of a Dutch climate expert to lead the United Nations body responsible for monitoring an international climate change treaty.Yvo de Boer will become the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is responsible for gathering and sharing information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices, and launching national strategies for addressing the issue, among other measures.Mr. de Boer will assume his role on 4 September, in time to lead the Convention at the UN Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, in November.“I am very enthusiastic about taking up the job ahead of this conference,” said Mr. de Boer in a statement released by UNFCCC. “The conference is significant because some of the biggest challenges related to climate change which are presently facing humanity will be dealt with there.”The meeting, the first ever of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, will focus on issues such as adaptation to climate change, technology transfer and talks and negotiations on the future of the climate change process, both under the UNFCCC and under the Kyoto Protocol, a binding pact which sets targets for greenhouse gas emissions.Mr. de Boer, who is 52 years old, is currently Director for International Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. He has also served as Vice-President of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC and as Vice-Chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development. “He has actively sought broad stakeholder involvement on the issue of climate change,” said the Secretary-General in a statement, noting that Mr. de Boer launched an international dialogue on the clean development mechanism and has partnered in international discussions with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, aimed at increasing private sector involvement.Before serving the Dutch government, Mr. de Boer was Chief of the UN Information Office for North America and the Caribbean, of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) in Canada and Human Settlements Adviser with the Habitat in Nairobi.Mr. de Boer will succeed the late Joke Waller-Hunter, also from the Netherlands. She was appointed to the position in 2002 and died last year at the age of 58. read more

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WHY IT MATTERS Health Care

by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, The Associated Press Posted Aug 11, 2016 2:03 am MDT Last Updated Aug 11, 2016 at 10:24 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – THE ISSUE: About 9 in 10 Americans now have health insurance, more than at any time in history. But progress is incomplete, and the future far from certain. Millions remain uninsured. Quality is still uneven. Costs are high and trending up again. Medicare’s insolvency is two years closer, now projected in 2028. Every family has a stake.___WHERE THEY STANDHillary Clinton would stay the course, making adjustments as needed to major government health insurance programs. She’d build on President Barack Obama’s health care law, with one exception — a tax on generous coverage that she’d repeal. Medicare, the health care program for older Americans and the disabled, would get new legal powers to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharma companies. Clinton would also offer some relief from rising out-of-pocket costs, like deductibles and copayments. Donald Trump would repeal “Obamacare.” But a recent study found his plan would make 18 million people uninsured. Stay tuned, because Trump has also said he doesn’t want people “dying on the street.” Similar to Clinton, he has promised not to cut Medicare. He agrees Medicare should be able to negotiate drug prices, unusual for a Republican. Trump’s campaign has said he may revisit major health care programs once in the White House.___WHY IT MATTERSPatients from all over the world come to America for treatment. U.S. research keeps expanding humanity’s ability to confront disease. But the U.S. still spends far more than any advanced country, and its people are not much healthier.Obama’s progress reducing the number of uninsured may be reaching its limits. Premiums are expected to rise sharply in many communities for people covered by his namesake law, raising concerns about the future.The health care overhaul did not solve the nation’s longstanding problem with costs. Total health spending is picking up again, underscoring that the system is financially unsustainable over the long run. Employers keep shifting costs to workers and their families.No one can be denied coverage anymore because of a pre-existing condition, but high costs are still a barrier to access for many, including insured people facing high deductibles and copayments. Prescription drug prices — even for some generics — are another major worry.The election offers a choice between a candidate of continuity — Clinton — and a Republican who seems to have some core beliefs about health care, but lacks a coherent plan.If the presidential candidates do not engage the nation in debating the future of health care, it still matters.Even if you’re healthy, deeper national debt affects the economy and in some way everyone’s standard of living, especially the next generation. If the government has to spend more on health care, it comes at the expense of more debt, cuts in something else or higher taxes.America’s problem with health care spending can’t be ignored or wished away. Political leaders can postpone hard choices, but that will mean consequences even more wrenching when the bill comes due.___This story is part of AP’s “Why It Matters” series, which will examine three dozen issues at stake in the presidential election between now and Election Day. You can find them at: http://apnews.com/tag/WhyItMattersEDITOR’S NOTE _ One in an AP series examining issues at stake in the presidential election and how they affect people WHY IT MATTERS: Health Care FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. About 9 in 10 Americans now have health insurance, more than at any time in history. But progress is incomplete, and the future far from certain. Rising costs could bedevil the next occupant of the White House. Millions of people previously shut out have been covered by President Barack Obama’s health care law. No one can be denied coverage anymore because of a pre-existing condition. But “Obamacare” remains divisive, and premiums for next year are rising sharply in many communities. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) read more

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Southwest Agent Asks College Basketball Coach to Provide Proof

In an Aug. 30, 2017, photo, California women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb holds her then-6-month-old son, Jordan, during NCAA college basketball practice on the campus.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southwest Airlines apologized Tuesday to the Cal women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb after she claimed an airline employee stopped her from boarding because the worker didn’t believe her 1-year-old biracial son was hers.A desk agent questioned Gottlieb ahead of a flight from Denver to Oakland Sunday, saying she “had to ‘prove’ that he was my son, despite having his passport,” Gottlieb said in a series of tweets.“She said because we have different last name. My guess is because he has a different skin color,” Gottlieb tweeted Monday. The head coach from the University of California, Berkeley was traveling with her fiance, Patrick Martin, the boy’s father, who is black.Airlines aren’t required to match the last name of a child and guardian for domestic flights.“We have reached out to Ms. Gottlieb directly to address her concerns and will utilize the situation as a coaching opportunity for our Employee,” Southwest said in a statement. “We apologize if our interaction made this family uncomfortable — that is never our intention.”Gottlieb said Tuesday that the encounter was hurtful, but she appreciates Southwest’s apology.“I felt that in this situation it was my responsibility to say ‘Hey, this isn’t ok,’” Gottlieb said in a statement to The Associated Press. “I hope the coverage this has received can serve as a learning opportunity and that all families — regardless of how ‘traditional’ they may or may not look — are treated with dignity and respect.”Gottlieb, Martin and their child were eventually allowed to board. read more

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Pitchers Are Slowly Adapting To The Home Run Spike

For the past two years, baseball’s power surge has turned anonymous middle infielders into 30-home-run hitters and made power-happy rookies look like the second coming of Babe Ruth. The long ball has become so ubiquitous that it’s hard to recall that just three seasons ago, pitchers ruled the earth. In 2014, MLB was mired in a dead-ball era similar to the one it faced in the 1960s through early 1970s, when the league was forced to lower the height of the mound in pursuit of some offense.Today, regardless of where you place the blame (my money is on a juiced ball), baseball is on track to shatter nearly every dinger-related record. So in our third consecutive year of increasing offense, our attention now turns to the players serving up those homers: When and how will pitchers adjust to the fact that so many batters are launching shots over the fences?For a long time, the strategy for facing a slugger was clear. “The best way to limit slugging percentage was to throw down and away and off the plate,” said former MLB catcher and current Chicago Cubs coach John Baker. Baker played from 2008 to 2014, at a time when the bottom was falling out of the strike zone and offense was dropping with it. In 2013, 36.5 percent of throws crossed the plate less than two feet off the ground, and hitters racked up a slash line of just .210/.295/.298 against those pitches. Meanwhile, hitters did considerably better against pitches more than three feet above the plate: .210/.351/.348.Then the league adjusted. More recently, “the guys that are the best guys in the world right now all seem to have this [Mike] Trout-type low-ball swing,” Baker said. Nowadays, the same low pitches that once got hitters out are getting slugged at a rate 20 points higher than in 2013 (.212/.301/.321). While production high in the zone is still decent (.203/.351/.362), the gap between the two types of pitches has closed significantly.1Data is up to date through July 17, 2017. It seems as though a wave of young players entered the league with their swings geared to combat the knee-high strike, and that trend reduced the pitch’s effectiveness.But for every hole in the zone that the league’s batters close, another one opens. “It goes in waves, the pitching changes its philosophy, and the hitting changes up, and the pitching adjusts, and on and on,” Baker said. With batters adopting uppercut swings to generate loft even on low pitches, it stands to reason that pitchers could go even higher in response. Previous research has shown that when a fly-ball hitter meets a high strike, the result is often a popup or weak contact. I looked at the median height of all four-seam fastballs month by month to see whether pitchers are giving that strategy a try. By and large, hurlers have adopted the elevated approach. But the home run surge began in 2015, and fastball height only started increasing noticeably this July. Even as recently as 2016, when home runs were up about 15 percent compared to 2015, it appeared that pitchers were still aiming low in the zone. Complicating matters, the strike zone has been shrinking at the bottom. In the last few months, umpires have been more reluctant to call strikes down at the knees, bringing the strike zone closer to its 2013 height. It might be that pitchers are adjusting upwards in reaction to fewer low strike calls, rather than anything hitters are doing.There’s no question that the low-strike strategy is entrenched. “They’ve taught the same thing in pitching for a hundred years: Be down, and they hit the ball on the ground,” said Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester. Lester has had an above-average ground ball rate over his career, but his ERA has spiked this season to 4.03. But pitchers across the league are giving up more runs this year, and as a result, Lester is on pace for similar levels of overall production (as measured by wins above replacement) as he generated last year. Because the dinger revolution seems to be affecting everyone equally, pitchers including Lester and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw are seeing career highs in long balls allowed even though they’re matching their career norms in value. Cubs swingman Mike Montgomery pinned some of the reluctance to adjust on the evenness of the change across the league: “The thing is, it’s a fair playing field.”Lester said that he sometimes makes height adjustments for specific hitters, but only one or two guys per lineup. He declined to name an opposing batter who he would target this way, but said that his teammate Ian Happ might be a candidate if Lester ever faced his fellow Cub. Armed with better scouting reports than the public has available, pitchers might be revising their approach to deal with the home run surge on a player-by-player basis, in ways that wouldn’t move the overall median pitch height very much.While pitchers have been slow to expand the zone upwards, they have adjusted in other ways. Four-seam fastballs are usually the pitch of choice to generate pop-ups, since they naturally rise (relative to other pitches). Baker characterized MLB as moving from a “sinker/slider” league to “reverting back to the fastball/curveball game it was before.” The use of four-seam fastballs was declining for years until the home run surge began. Since September 2014 (the lowest point in the usage of four-seam fastballs), pitchers are throwing about 10 percent more four-seamers. In addition to leading to fly balls, heater usage is also associated with additional swinging strikes compared to sinkers. As allowing contact becomes increasingly dangerous for pitchers, it make sense that they’d aim to keep the batter from touching a pitch, which might be the surest way to limit the damage.There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to avoiding home runs. “Everything is specific to individual situations,” Baker said. A high fastball might work well against some batters, but it might also be the wrong move in some contexts. With the breeze blowing out at Wrigley, even a weak fly ball has a chance at making it over the fence, so the optimal pitching strategy varies from day to day.Still, the increase in home runs demands new tactics, even on windy days. Between the shifting strike zone, evolving hitting philosophies and changes to the ball, the league is challenging pitchers to adjust to several new factors at once. “That’s the fun part,” Montgomery said. “How are you going to be the one to adapt and survive?”If all else fails, they could just raise the mounds again. read more

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Conveyor specialist Flexco opens new manufacturing facility in Chile

first_imgFlexco, a leading manufacturer of products that help maximise belt conveyor productivity, recently opened a new sales and manufacturing facility in Santiago, Chile in order to better service customers in Latin America. The facility includes a training centre, which includes a classroom and workshop, that ensures that Flexco de Chile employees and customers are educated on the latest products and services. “The facility will provide closer support to our distributor partners, and in turn, provide better service to our customers,” Eleazar Castro, Director of Sales and Operations – Latin America, said. “Our customers can expect faster delivery of products and enhanced support from this facility.”Flexco CEO Richard A. White says the new facility supports the company’s long-term commitment to establishing local businesses to drive the growth of Flexco products in key markets around the world.  “Flexco is proud to be establishing our first South American subsidiary in the city of Santiago,” White said. “The region will be a major contributor to our organization’s future growth and this investment will significantly enhance our service and support capabilities in the region.”last_img read more

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Evolve III Maestro tablet tripleboots AndroidMeeGoWin7

first_imgWhile we admit that the video above is not the most exciting minute of video you’ll watch today, the tablet in the video could well be exciting. While other tablets choose a single OS to boot, others take bit more of a risk and offer a dual-boot option. That’s not the case with this Evolve III tablet: it triple-boots.Evolve III used to make digital screens for business, but then turned its hand to making tablet devices in 2008. The tablet above is called the Maestro and is capable of booting into Android, MeeGo, or Windows 7 giving you quite the choice of tablet interface experiences.The underlying hardware consists of the Intel dual-core Oak Trail Atom which is a new range of very low power Atom chips. This has been combined with 2GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD, and a 10″ touchscreen. It has WiFi and 3G connectivity as standard and weighs 835 grams.Evolve III is set to release the Maestro in the second quarter of this year. What we don’t know yet is which version of Android it will run or how much the tablet will cost.Read more at MobileSider and the Evolve III websiteMatthew’s OpinionThe triple-boot feature is going to be tempting for a lot of people if the price of the tablet is competitive. If Evolve III bring this out close to the iPad pricing it could have a hit on its hands.The spec of the tablet does make me think it will carry a higher price, though. 2GB of RAM, a Windows 7 license, and the 32GB SSD and 3G as standard will all take the price up. It may end up costing what the top-end iPad currently goes for.It’s certainly not underpowered and has loads of RAM to use. I’d like to know which graphics solution it uses, but I suspect it’s an integrated Intel affair rather than a dedicated chip.last_img read more

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Lottery Winner Claims 1 Million Check Wearing Scream Mask

first_img Maybe it will scare away friends and family looking for handouts? A man who won a Super Lotto prize in the Caribbean picked up his giant check while wearing a mask from the 1996 horror movie Scream.The Jamaican winner, who took home $158,400,000 Jamaican dollars (or around $1,171,400 in U.S. money), collected his winnings on Feb. 5.This is that happiness only a #SuperMillionaire knows about pic.twitter.com/xjRxtModuR— Supreme Ventures Ltd (@SVLGrp) February 5, 2019Supreme Ventures Limited, who runs the Super Lotto in the Caribbean islands, posted a photo of the man picking up his massive check on Twitter. The “super millionaire” winner, identified only as “A. Campbell,” can also be seen dancing in celebration with his check.Aside from the mask, Campbell also wore a full coat, long pants, and gloves to conceal his identity, KDKA reports.Cheque in hand! pic.twitter.com/UhO3ZCP58q— Supreme Ventures Ltd (@SVLGrp) February 5, 2019Campbell actually took 54 days to present his winning ticket, and Supreme Ventures had to place advertisements in the media, urging the winner to claim the prize before the 90-day deadline elapsed, according to St. Lucia’s The Loop.But the winner had good reason to be late. According to Campbell, he fell ill after learning he won the Super Lotto.“I looked at my ticket and ran into my bathroom and said, ‘I won! I won!’ From the day I found out that I won, I’ve been sick,” he told the Loop. “My head hurt me for three days because I was thinking so much. [Wondering] if what I’ve been longing for really come true. I had a belly ache for two weeks, sometimes I feel so much pain I forgot that I had won.”Campbell said his life has been “a struggle” but hopes that will change with the winnings. His first goal, he said, was to buy a house.Congratulations to the lucky (and scary) winner.More on Geek.com:NY House Designed to Stop Aging and Extend Owner’s Lives For Sale 4.5-Billion-Year-Old Heart-Shaped Meteorite Up for AuctionRare Penny Found in Boy’s Lunch Money Could Fetch $1.7 Million in Auction Mint-Condition Set of Pokemon Cards Sold For $107KRare, ‘Legendary’ 1894 Dime Could Fetch More Than $1 Million… Stay on targetlast_img read more

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San Diego mayor endorses John Cox for California governor

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 2:21 PM SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Friday announced he is endorsing gubernatorial candidate John Cox for the November election.“We need to reform Sacramento so it’s working for us again,” Faulconer said in a statement. “Millions of forgotten Californians face unaffordable housing, struggling schools and the worst poverty rate in the country. It’s time for new ideas to turn Sacramento around, and John Cox is the best choice for the job. He will never stop fighting for our communities.”Faulconer is a Republican, as is Cox, and has governed largely as a moderate over the majority blue San Diego since taking office in 2014 and winning a second term in 2016.Cox has garnered support from, most notably, President Donald Trump as well as former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, the San Diego Deputy Sheriffs Association and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA 49.Cox is running against current Lt. Gov. and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Average polling from RealClearPolitics showed Newsom ahead of Cox by 23.4 percentage points in July. San Diego mayor endorses John Cox for California governor Posted: September 14, 2018center_img KUSI Newsroom September 14, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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IAF inducts Boeing Chinook helicopters importance and capabilities of the chopper

first_imgAmid the ongoing tensions between neighbours India and Pakistan, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa inducted four heavy-lift Boeing CH47 Chinook helicopters into the Indian Air Force in Chandigarh on Monday, March 25. The IAF received the Chinook helicopters through a government-to-government deal signed between the United States and India in September 2015.The four helicopters are a part of the 15 Chinook deal, valued at about $1.5 billion. The rest of the helicopters are expected to be delivered by 2023. The four Chinooks were delivered to India in a semi-knocked down state at the Mudra Port in Gujarat in February 2019, after which the helicopters were reassembled, tested, and then sent to the IAF base in Chandigarh.Before their arrival in India, the US tested the helicopters in July 2018, and also trained IAF pilots and engineers on the operation of the same. Meanwhile, India worked in building the infrastructure for the Chinook helicopters, including two hangars, a maintenance facility, as well as, logistics and technical facilities, reported Livemint.What is the Chinook?The Chinook helicopter is a twin-rotor chopper, which took off for its first flight in 1962. The helicopter is used by the Armed Forces in 19 countries and has been a part of several army operations such as the Vietnam War, the Libyan Wars, the Falklands War, and the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars along with carrying out several disaster operations.The Chinook played a vital role during the Gulf War and remains an important part of the US’ role in counter-terrorism activities. Chinook helicopterALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Chinook is one of the two helicopters other than the Apache attack choppers that India signed deals for. The Apaches are also expected to start arriving at the Pathankot airbase. Chinook’s importance and capabilities The Chinook, with a maximum payload capacity of about 11 tonnes and an underslung load of about 10 tonnes, is a heavy-lift transport helicopter that will help move troops, artillery, ammunition, equipment, light armoured vehicles, and other supplies to the battlefield.The chopper, which gets its name from the Native American Chinook people of modern-day Washington state, is said to be highly manoeuvrable, making it extremely efficient in difficult terrain and narrow mountain valleys. The chopper also boasts of an all-weather capability”The Chinooks are a huge capability enhancement for the forces since they can carry not just troops but also artillery guns and even light armoured vehicles to high altitudes, which makes a lot of difference to the capability along the northern borders,” an IAF official told ThePrint.”Given the design of the Chinook, it is well suited for operations in the mountains as it is highly manoeuvrable, which comes handy when one has to fly through narrow valleys,” the official added.Chinook’s deployment in India At a time with tensions between India and Pakistan refuse to die down, the Chinook helicopters will be deployed in Indian regions that are along the Pakistan border. After the IAF carried out a strike in Pakistan’s Balakot, demolishing several terror camps in the area and killing scores of terrorists, Pakistan is known to have mobilised some of its units close to the border.Heavy shelling and cross border firing too has been reported from the border and India too has carried out counter-mobilisation in the region. A Chinook CH-47Michael Dodge/Getty ImagesApart from this, the Chinook will probably also be used by the IAF in when humanitarian assistance is required and disaster relief operations. Indian Air Force inducts Boeing Chinook helicopters IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:03/1:11Loaded: 0%0:04Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:08?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …center_img Closelast_img read more

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Dead Island looks like its shaping up to be the best zombie

first_imgWay back in 2007, developer Techland and publisher Deep Silver announced a new property called Dead Island that they proceeded to tell gamers absolutely nothing about except that it was a zombie-themed game that would be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows platforms. Almost four years of silence later, Techland has just released the first Dead Island trailer, alongside giving the press their first look at the in-progress game. And you know what? It already looks like the best zombie game ever made.According to previews, Dead Island will be an open-ended sandbox zombie survival game in the first-person but with an emphasis on melee combat. You play one of four characters who wakes up in his or her hotel room after a night of heavy partying on a New Guinea resort island only to discover that there’s been a zombie outbreak sometime during the night. Your character is immune from infection for some reason and must try to survive the scourge as long as possible, scavenging weapons on the way. Honestly, it looks fantastic, with a guiding RPG-like quest system for those who want more guidance. This is the Just Cause 2 of zombie games. It’s due out sometime this year, but other than that, Techland isn’t saying much. Even if you don’t care for zombies, do yourself a favor: watch that trailer.Read more at IGNlast_img read more

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Seeing smaller through cells A natural singlecell biomagnifier for subwavelength imaging

first_img LEFT: Optical manipulation of a single fluorescent nanoparticle. (a) Schematic diagram showing a fluorescent nanoparticle suspended on the surface of a mirror and trapped by the biomagnifier. (b) SEM image showing the PS fluorescent nanoparticles with an average radius of 50 nm. (c) Emission spectrum showing the central emission wavelength of the fluorescent nanoparticles located at 600 nm. (d–f) Optical images show the trapping process of a single PS nanoparticle with the biomagnifier. The process consisted of three successive steps: before trapping (d), during trapping (e), and after release (f). g–i Fluorescence images showing the fluorescence spot of the PS nanoparticle before being trapped (g), during trapping (h), and after release (i). j–l Three-dimensional color mapping of the fluorescence spots of the nanoparticle as shown in g–i. m Real-time trace of the position of the trapped nanoparticle in the x and y directions. (n) Trapping potential of the trapped nanoparticle in the x and y directions with parabola fittings. (o) Composite fluorescence images show the movement trace of the trapped nanoparticle in the x–y plane by controlled movement of the biomagnifier. RIGHT: Numerical simulation and calculation. (a–c) Optical intensity distributions of light focusing by a 4-μm biomagnifier fully immersed in water (a), semi-immersed in water (b), and suspended on the surface of a mirror (c). The illumination light source was set as a Gaussian beam with a wavelength of 560 nm. (d–f) Optical intensity distributions of the light spots from the biomagnifier corresponding to (a–c) in the x–z plane. (g) Optical intensity profiles at the focal planes of the output light from the biomagnifiers in the x direction. (h) FEM simulation results for the normalized waist of the light spot w/λ (w is the waist radius of the light spot and λ is the wavelength of the input light) and the ratio D/d (the width of the linear region where light enters the biomagnifier at its front surface is referred to as D, and the width of the output light beam at the rear surface is (d) as a function of the biomagnifier diameter. (i) Simulated intensity distribution of near-infrared trapping light showing that a nanoparticle (radius: 50 nm) is trapped in the gap between the biomagnifier and mirror. The input optical power of the trapping light was set to 10 mW. (j) Simulated optical forces of the nanoparticle trapped in the light spot as a function of the nanoparticle position along the x direction. (k) Calculated trapping potential of the trapped nanoparticle as a function of the position along the x direction. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0168-4 More information: Yuchao Li et al. Single-cell biomagnifier for optical nanoscopes and nanotweezers, Light: Science & Applications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41377-019-0168-4 Hamid Pahlevaninezhad et al. Nano-optic endoscope for high-resolution optical coherence tomography in vivo, Nature Photonics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41566-018-0224-2 Bo Huang et al. Breaking the Diffraction Barrier: Super-Resolution Imaging of Cells, Cell (2010). DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.12.002 , Cell Scientists therefore investigated simpler optical imaging schemes based on dielectric microspheres to overcome the diffraction limit common to conventional microscopes. While the technique is label-free and feasible, such microspheres are based on artificial inorganic materials such as silicon dioxide (SiO2), titanium dioxide (TiO2) and barium titanate (BaTiO3). Researchers are therefore interested in developing a natural biomaterial to construct a biocompatible device for bioimaging, manipulation and biomagnification at nanoscale spatial resolution. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Experimental imaging performance of different biomagnifiers. (a) Schematic diagram showing that the biomagnifier collects the near-field nanostructures from an object and forms a virtually magnified image that can be captured by a conventional optical microscope. (b–e) Optical images of different biomagnifiers constructed from bacterial (b), yeast (c), red blood (d), and stem cells (e) that are partially submerged in cell suspension. f SEM image of a two-dimensional hexagonal close-packed silica nanosphere array assembled by a photopheresis technique. (g–j) Optical images of the silica nanosphere array magnified through biomagnifiers based on bacterial (g), yeast (h), red blood (i), and stem cells (j). (k) SEM image of the surface of a Blu-ray disk grating with a line width of 200 nm and spacing of 100 nm. l–o Optical images of the Blu-ray grating structure magnified through biomagnifiers based on bacterial (l), yeast (m), red blood (n), and stem cells (o). p Intensity profile along the dotted line across the Blu-ray grating structure indicated in o. q Blue dots showing the magnification factor M of the images obtained by the biomagnifiers as a function of the biomagnifier diameter. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0168-4 Optical microscopes and tweezers can image and manipulate objects at the microscale for applications in cellular and molecular biology. The optical resolution is, however, hampered by the diffraction limit and therefore both microscopes and tweezers are unable to image and manipulate nano-objects directly. Emerging techniques in plasmonic/photonic nanoscopes and nanotweezers aim to achieve nanometer-scale resolution, although high-index material structures can easily cause mechanical and photothermal damage to the nanoscale biospecimens. Citation: Seeing smaller through cells: A natural single-cell biomagnifier for subwavelength imaging (2019, July 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-smaller-cells-natural-single-cell-biomagnifier.html Schematic illustration and material characterization. (a) Schematic illustration of the experimental setup. A conventional reflection-mode microscope equipped with a CCD camera and ×100 objective lens was used to observe samples and record images. The inset shown in a PC screen schematically depicting how the biomagnifier is used to magnify and image the subcellular structures inside a bio sample. (b) SEM image of the fiber tip with a diameter of 1.0 μm at its tapered end. (c) SEM image showing yeast cell-based biomagnifiers with smooth surfaces and spherical shapes. d-f Dark-field images showing 644-nm red light (d), 532-nm green light (e), and 473-nm blue light (f) transmitting through the biomagnifier and being focused into subwavelength light spots with waist radii of 370, 300, and 270 nm, respectively. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0168-4 MEMS-in-the-lens architecture for laser scanning microscopy To investigate the applications of biomagnifiers, Li et al. imaged human epithelial cells as imaging targets by growing epithelial cells on a mirror substrate for enhanced light-matter interactions via the interference of the illumination light and reflection light. While it was difficult to distinguish the fibrous cytoskeleton and bilayer structures under a conventional optical microscope, after positioning a biomagnifier on top of the epithelial cells the scientists were able to resolve both structures. To improve the imaging field of view (FOV), they trapped the biomagnifier on a fiber tip and moved it to scan the samples. For example, Li et al. used the setup to scan nanopatterned letters that stood for an acronym of Jinan University—JNU, which they first created on silicon using electron-beam lithography. In a recent study now published on Light: Science & Applications, Yuchao Li and colleagues at the Institute of Nanophotonics in China, developed an optical microscope system using living cells as tiny lenses to image and manipulate objects smaller than the wavelength of light. They showed sub-diffraction-limit imaging and manipulation of nano-objects with a non-invasive device, which they constructed by trapping a cell on a fiber tip. The trapped cell formed a biomagnifier that could magnify nanostructures with a resolution of 100 nm, under white light microscopy. Using the biomagnifier, Li et al. formed a nano-optical trap to precisely manipulate an individual nanoparticle with a 50 nm radius. The technique provides a high-precision tool for optical imaging, sensing and assembly of bio-nanomaterials without mechanical or photothermal damage. Optical imaging to manipulate small objects is crucial for medical diagnosis, biological sensing, cellular exploration, molecular training and materials assembly. Tweezers and microscopes are standard devices for noncontact imaging and manipulation of minute samples ranging from a few nanometers to several microns. Nevertheless, it is challenging to use the technology to image at the nanoscale, since optical resolution is restricted to approximately half the illumination wavelength. Scientists have achieved dramatic progress of near-field nanoscopes and nanotweezers in the past few decades to achieve optical imaging at nanometer resolution. These imaging techniques were withheld by high-index inorganic materials such as noble metals and semiconductors used for their fabrication—that can mechanically damage samples of biological cells or tissue during near-field imaging and manipulation. During experimental imaging, the scientists positioned a semi-submerged biomagnifier on top of a test sample and collected the underlying near-field information from the sample, to form a virtual image as detected by an optical microscope. Li et al. prepared a variety of biomagnifiers using diverse cells including bacteria, yeast, red blood cells and stem cells. For the first imaging sample, they used a two-dimensional hexagonal silica nanosphere array with a 200 nm diameter on a glass substrate using a photophoretic technique. Only nanospheres with biomagnifiers on top of them could be resolved during imaging, whereas nanospheres without biomagnifiers could not be resolved using a conventional microscope. The magnification factor M of the stem-cell based biomagnifiers was determined to be 3.3 times larger (x3.3), and the scientists showed the experimental M depended on the biomagnifier’s diameter. Subsequently, Li et al. performed all experiments using biomagnifiers of this diameter. Li et al. selected biological cells to replace microspheres since cells are both abundant and biocompatible in contact with biological systems. For instance, scientists can use living cells to manipulate light in biological environments and act as optofluidic microlenses, optical probes and even incorporate E.coli as biophotonic waveguides. In the present work, Li et al. enhanced the index contrast of living cells by using a spherical shape semi-immersed in a medium to achieve focusing at the sub-wavelength. The scientists captured biological images using the subdiffraction light spot to illuminate targeted samples along with white-light microscopy. The nano-sized light spot exerted a strong optical gradient force to trap and manipulate a single nanoparticle enabling the biomagnifier to also function as an optical nanotweezer.The scientists conducted all experiments under a reflection-mode optical microscope coupled to a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera and objective lens. They used light sources at 390 nm, 560 nm and 808 nm for excitation, illumination and trapping respectively. Using an optical fiber with a tapered tip, Li et al. trapped the biomagnifier at the end of the fiber, which they controlled by moving the tip using a micromanipulator. Li et al. selected smooth and spherical cells to minimize image aberration and noted the cells to exhibit better focusing performance when semi-immersed in solution to maintain cell viability. Thereafter, when they simultaneously irradiated near infrared (IR) and UV laser beams on the biomagnifier through an objective lens, they could trap and excite the nanoparticles. For these experiments, the scientists used fluorescent nanoparticles with a 50 nm average radius. When they trapped a single nanoparticle in the focus of a biomagnifier, they observed both optical and fluorescent images of the sample of interest. Li et al. then calculated the trapping stiffness of the particle in real-time using standard optical tweezers. The ability to manipulate a single nanoparticle without contact and precisely via optics will be useful to assemble well-regulated nanostructures. When Li et al. numerically investigated the imaging mechanism and trapping stiffness of biomagnifiers using 3-D simulation and COMSOL software. They observed the subdiffraction-limit light focusing ability resulted from a combined “photonic nanojet” effect and coherent interference enhancement by the mirror.Limitations of the method included imaging aberration and distortion due to the inhomogeneous intracellular structures of the natural biomagnifier, compared to dielectric microspheres with uniform refractive indices. Fortunately, intracellular materials were optically transparent to visible and near-infrared light and the optical interactions were relatively weak inside a single cell. Intracellular activities could also change the partial refractive index distribution in a cell to cause light distortion during trapping and imaging, but most intracellular activities were ultrafast and did not influence the imaging scheme.In this way, Yuchao Li and colleagues developed a new experimental imaging technique and verified the experimental capabilities with FEM simulations. Li et al. integrated optical nanoscopes and nanotweezers in a single device to image and manipulate nanostructures simultaneously for the first time in the present work. They promoted the resolution of the technique to 100 nm and proposed a label-free imaging procedure. The scientists envision the living biomagnifier to open new opportunities in super-resolution imaging, real-time sensing and precise nano-assembly of bionanomaterials to form nanoarchitectures of interest. (a) Schematic illustration of the experimental setup. A conventional reflection-mode microscope equipped with a CCD camera and ×100 objective lens was used to observe samples and record images. The inset shown in a PC screen schematically depicting how the biomagnifier is used to magnify and image the subcellular structures inside a bio sample. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0168-4 , Nature Photonics © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Light: Science & Applications Nano-optical imaging of subcellular structures and nanopatterned letters. (a, b) Optical images of the subcellular structures of a human epithelial cell using a conventional optical microscope (a) and biomagnifiers (b). The positions of four biomagnifiers are marked as A–D. For comparison, the biomagnifiers can resolve the fibrous cytoskeleton (indicated as A–C) inside the cell and two-layer structures (indicated as D) on the cell membrane, which are indistinguishable by the conventional microscope. c–e SEM (c), dark-field (d), and optical images (e) of nanopatterned letters JNU representing the acronym of Jinan University. The line width of the nanopatterned letters is 100 nm, which is smaller than the diffraction-limit resolution of the conventional optical microscope. f–h Optical images showing that the biomagnifier trapped on the fiber tip can scan and image the nanopatterned letters J (f), N (g), and U (h) by moving the fiber. The line width of the nanopatterned letters was magnified from 100 to 400 nm. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0168-4last_img read more

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24th EU Film Festival premieres next week in Delhi

first_imgStarting next week, the 24th edition of European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will bring to the national capital multiple-genre films from 22 European countries. The festival will take place at two locations here – the India Habitat Centre and Instituto Cervantes – from June 28-July 7, organisers said. The EUFF is organised by the delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States, and promises to a window into Europe’s rich cinematic landscape. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGenres like romantic comedies, period dramas, mockumentaries, satires, among others, are expected to be represented in the much-anticipated event. “This year, we bring an array of films exploring themes of self-discovery, dreams of a better future, nostalgia for the past, and human endurance in the face of psychological and situational barriers – universal themes cinemagoers everywhere can identify with,” Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to India, said in a statement. The festival opens with 2016 Belgian film King of the Belgians. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveParticipating European countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All 22 films will be screened with English subtitles, organisers said. Entry is allowed for individuals above 18 years of age, on a “first come, first served” basis. The festival, which commences in Chennai on June 24, will traverse through 7 other cities – Panaji, Pune, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Kozikhode – till August 31.last_img read more

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first_imgFeature | October 01, 2013 | Tony Gevo The Perfect Storm Today’s radiology groups face challenges through declining reimbursements, expanded patient access, increased quality demands and the emergence of competition from mega groups According to many healthcare experts, radiology is facing a perfect storm. This situation has been brought about by a number of factors, all converging on this profession at the present time. The challenges that radiology groups face today are declining reimbursements, expanded patient access, increased quality demands and the emergence of competition from mega groups.Declining ReimbursementsDeclining reimbursements have put continued pressure on radiology groups ever since the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. This, in turn, set the stage for the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), which included several provisions affecting Medicare physician payment policies that have had a significant impact on radiologists. The impact on individual physicians varied substantially, depending on the extent of technical components and global billing, how much of the practices were devoted to Medicare, and the imaging modalities in which they specialized. This trend, which in the past focused primarily on driving costs down by reducing payments to physicians, is now being modified and accelerated by the Healthcare Reform Bill of 2010 and the Affordable Care Act. Under the provisions of these bills, not only will radiology groups face a continuing challenge to reduce costs, but groups will now have to contend with calls for expanded patient access and increased quality of care and reporting. Experts predict that the Healthcare Reform Bill has the potential of adding an additional 30 million patients to the system while also mandating that all patients be afforded equal, high-quality care regardless of where they’re being treated. This is designed to address patients in rural areas who have limited access to specialized physicians and the unequal geographical/time distribution of specialists within urban areas. Add the emergence of competition from regional and national mega groups to these factors, and it is no wonder that many clinicians have serious concerns for the future of their practices and even their profession. In addition to the factors already in play regarding reducing costs, expanding access and improving quality, there are a number of technical issues that must be addressed if groups are going to compete with these encroaching practices and grow today: • How to manage multiple contracts?• How to distribute work efficiently?• How to deal with multiple systems?• How to ensure acceptable income levels and quality of life for radiologists?The real question that results from a consideration of these factors is this: How can my group compete in this marketplace?Finding SolutionsAt conference after conference, radiology experts addressing this perfect storm state that although most radiology practices are not equipped to address these challenges today, the solutions are available and ready to be implemented. Instead of looking at the current set of issues as a death knell, practices should consider this time as an opportunity to use technology to move forward toward the inevitable electronic radiology practice. The experts also noted that advancements in radiology-oriented technology, coupled with affordable and readily available networking bandwidth, have placed systems that were once only available to the largest groups now well within the grasp of even start-up radiology practices.  In conjunction with specialized radiology software and affordable bandwidth, they also noted the benefits of utilizing cloud technology. This eliminates both geographical and time-based constraints that prevent radiologists from providing the best care at the right time at an efficient rate. Groups can receive orders, images and supporting documentation from any site, and the radiologist can then read those orders and provide the interpretive report from any location where a suitable workstation is available, such as their office or home. The goal of such technology is relatively straightforward and fully supports the goals of the electronic radiology practice: efficient workflow, high-quality care and profitability. Specifically, the working goal of such an implementation is to provide the radiologist with a single workstation that provides:• Auto-launching of appropriate viewers;• Auto-launching of appropriate reporting systems;• Unified, intelligent worklists with flexible workload assignments; and• Expanded radiologist support through an integrated tool set.From a group practice management viewpoint, the capabilities of the electronic radiology practice should include tools to:• Easily administer contracts, facilities and personnel;• Know the status of every order and get alerts automatically;• Monitor quality, service levels and productivity;• Provide interface and connectivity tools and alerts;• Provide practice operational data as a by-product of radiologists reading; and• Be Web-based, not requiring client software or cumbersome updates.The benefits to a group implementing the electronic radiology practice are far-reaching, helping them to meet today’s challenges and equipping them to be a viable enterprise in the future. With the right vision and leadership, any group can utilize the tools presently available to:• Expand patient accessibility;• Provide increased quality to patients;• Help staff operate more efficiently and balance workload;• Reduce costs;• Enhance quality of life; and• Grow and maintain profitability.The Electronic AgeThis article has examined the current trends that are challenging radiology groups, all of which are under huge reimbursement pressures and are realizing the only remaining way to increase profitability is to increase practice efficiencies. The electronic radiology practice is the best way to increase productivity, utilizing a single intelligent worklist solution that streamlines the reading process, minimizes the number of systems radiologists must use and lets every member of the group contribute no matter where they are located. A continuing push for cost reductions, coupled with growing demands for equal patient access, increased quality through sub-specialty reading and increased competition from large groups has created what some would call a no-win scenario. Many experts, however, see this time as one of opportunity for groups that will embrace the tools currently available to move their businesses into the age of the electronic radiology practice.  Tony Gevo is president of Gevo Associates, Inc., a consulting firm in Belleair Beach, Fla., providing customized services to healthcare vendors and provider organizations. The firm has worked with vendors like McKesson, Epic and GE over the past few years, as well as a number of hospitals and radiology groups. RSA is a radiology group headquartered in Williamsville, N.Y.SIDEBAR:Case Study — Radiology Solutions Associates (RSA)RSA is a 20-physician group based in Williamsville, N.Y. It currently provides interpretive services for a number of hospitals, clinics and imaging centers. It implemented Clario’s zVision in 2011, along with an existing central picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and new dictation system. The goals for the system were:1. Increase radiologist efficiency;2. Provide high-quality sub-specialty services; and3. Enable growth without linear costs.According to David Ludwig, M.D., PC, president, “We had become victims of our own success, in a sense. As we added more contracts we also had to add staff and systems to allow our radiologists to read. What this meant, in reality, is that we had reached a point where growth wasn’t worth it anymore — we couldn’t reach our profit goals with that model. In addition, we had problems getting orders to the right doctors, as well as fully utilizing on-site radiologists.”RSA’s model is to place radiologists at their clients’ sites, which provides a high level of service and interaction with their clients’ physicians. That was the positive, according to Ludwig. The problems it created were multiple worklists for the doctors to monitor, multiple workstations to read from, order prioritization issues and very unbalanced workloads. Ludwig states that the impact of the new system was immediate. “With the efficiencies gained we’ve been able to combine two of our rotations into one, eliminating the need to hire additional radiologists to keep up with current growth,” he said. “This is very exciting as we are still expanding. Prior to this, our radiologists and support staff had to watch multiple PACS work lists, waiting for stat cases to pop up and hoping they were noticed it in a timely manner. We also had problems where lower priority cases would often go overlooked for extended periods of time until a physician’s office called looking for the report.“With the global work list we have now, and its ability to track a report’s required turnaround time, we know immediately when stat cases arrive and we’ve all but eliminated the problem of cases becoming stagnant,” Ludwig continues. “Our group also integrated voice recognition into zVision, which allows the radiologists to dictate a completed final report to our referring physicians, emergency rooms and urgent care centers. This has allowed us to maintain a 20-minute report turnaround time. Our referring physicians and our respective hospital administrators are thrilled about the quick report time. By integrating zVision with voice recognition and a PACS, we now become more competitive in the marketplace. Whereas before we had multiple PACS and multiple RIS, we could not interface with other facilities’ systems and thus we could compete for contracts. A unified RIS/PACS allows us to easily interface with any system that allows us to gain market share. Additionally the system has also allowed us to fully utilize our sub-specialty trained radiologists, even if they’re working remotely.”  Ludwig explained that previously, staff would run into situations where a sub-specialty radiologist was unavailable to the rest of the system because they were reading in a location not connected. “Our most valuable resource was, in reality, isolated. With the order assignment engine, we know what each radiologist’s RVU workload is at all times and the system automatically assigns orders to the correct doctors,” he said. “It also keeps track of each order’s contracted turnaround time and sends alerts when orders start aging. An added benefit is our ability to know where each order came from and launch the appropriate PACS viewer for each study. This is very important to us because our physicians read local studies on the site’s PACS and remote studies from our central PACS viewer; but we need all the reports and other data in our database. This is all automatic with the new system.”  FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享last_img read more

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