STATE News:SANTA FE — Tuesday, New Mexico state agencies – including the Public Education Department (PED), Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD), Indian Affairs Department (IAD), and Higher Education Department (HED) – announced expanded plans for coordination during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The goal of these collaborative efforts is to ensure that children in New Mexico are protected, fed, and educated, and that families are supported, during this crisis. “We know that numbers don’t begin to tell the story of how this crisis has hurt New Mexicans,” ECECD Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky said. “And just as individuals and communities across New Mexico are helping their neighbors in new and inspiring ways, state agencies are teaming up to deliver better-coordinated, better-targeted, and more effective supports to our fellow New Mexicans.” “School has never just been a place where kids go to learn,” PED Secretary Ryan Stewart said. “With our school buildings physically closed to students for the remainder of the academic year, state agencies are partnering in new and unprecedented ways to make sure that the physical, social and emotional needs of young New Mexicans are met while we practice distancing strategies to stop the spread of COVID-19.” “Many New Mexican families have been living with complex challenges for generations, but the COVID crisis further exposes the needs of our state’s most impacted people,” said Children, Youth and Families Department Cabinet Secretary Brian Blalock. “Across our divisions, CYFD is ready to step up to the plate in providing innovative services while improving old systems to respond to the crisis now and be stronger in the future. Should any family be in need of supports, CYFD and the state of New Mexico are here for you.”“Many tribal communities still lack access to the internet, running water and electricity,” IAD Secretary Lynn Trujillo said. “The Indian Affairs Department continues to work with our tribal, state and federal partners to leverage the resources that will help to support tribes through this difficult time. Our partnership with our sister agencies PED, CYFD, ECECD and HED stands as a testament to the state’s commitment to all 23 tribes, nations and pueblos of New Mexico.”Protecting ChildrenIn addition to closing public schools, PED is maintaining social distancing at meal pick-up sites and distributing guidance to school districts and charter schools regarding student privacy to ensure child safety during online learning. Similarly, CYFD is taking advantage of phone and video technology to “over-visit” with youth in care in order to identify, address, and meet their needs. CYFD is also increasing telehealth availability for critical behavioral health services for children and adults. In addition, the Department is increasing communication with domestic violence shelters, youth shelters, hospitals, police, the Department of Health, and other partners involved in keeping children safe.The New Mexico Crisis and Access Line remains open 24/7 to provide nonjudgmental support with mental health challenges and issues surrounding COVID-19. (NMCAL can be reached at 1-855-662-7474.) Statewide Central Intake (SCI) is also fully staffed 24/7 to receive, screen, log and prepare staff to investigate all reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. (SCI can be reached at 1-855-333-7233 or #SAFE from a cell phone.CYFD is working with youth shelters and domestic violence shelters to establish emergency operations and continuity of operations plans. CYFD’s juvenile justice facilities have established such plans, as well as procedures for supporting young people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who test positive but do not need hospitalization. The Department is also working with the Human Services Department (HSD) and other agencies to identify funding that would support hotel vouchers for quarantined or self-isolated individuals and families who have no place to live but who may be exposed to COVID-19.CYFD investigators also continue to investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect – and are taking proper health and hygiene precautions to protect children, families and themselves.Similarly, ECECD has issued enhanced health and safety guidelines for child care centers that remain open to support other classes of essential workers.Feeding ChildrenPED and CYFD continue to offer “grab and go” meals, reaching 47% of students in New Mexico. The Departments also obtained a USDA waiver that allows parents or guardians to pick up meals while their students are at home, including picking up several days’ worth of food at once. PED and CYFD distribute over 200,000 meals a day.ECECD is likewise continuing to connect child care centers with essential food and supplies. The Department is also coordinating feeding sites across the state, including in tribal communities.Funding from CYFD for shelters, including youth and domestic violence shelters, includes daily meal provisions for 3 meals and snacks per person. And in collaboration with PED and ECECD, CYFD is also coordinating and providing information to all shelters about meals available for youth at school and community sites.Additionally, CYFD staff members are volunteering to pick up and deliver meals to New Mexicans’ doorsteps – including families headed by seniors and grandparents – via coordination with the Department of Aging and Long-Term Services. IAD is coordinating with CYFD on meal-sites in tribal communities – as well as responding to requests from tribal leadership on streamlining meal services for children and families.Educating ChildrenWhile public schools are closed, PED is requiring districts to provide Continuous Learning Plans (CLP), including online learning and other forms of remote learning. The Department is also exploring the purchase of mobile devices and increased Internet connectivity for communities without broadband.PED is also maintaining special education services for students with disabilities ages 3-21. Schools will remain responsible for providing free appropriate public education (FAPE) – in a safe environment – of eligible students who have an individualized education program (IEP). PED is also supporting vulnerable students by ensuring that communities have mechanisms for connecting with educators – whether by phone, learning packets, or devices with downloaded curriculum. The Department is also informing families of support services at community schools, including food depots and virtual counseling services, and is keeping school-based health clinics open.PED is making extra efforts to support English language learners, including ensuring that families have information in home languages, providing multiple options for demonstrating work, and preserving ratios for English language instruction in online settings. The Department is also focused on delivering resources to at-risk students and their families, as well as prioritizing transition grade levels (including high school seniors and 8th graders). And during this stressful time, the Department is emphasizing socio-emotional learning as much as academic learning. In order to facilitate a smooth, orderly transition to distance learning and online platforms, PED is also offering professional development opportunities to all educational partners, including private schools and nonprofits. In particular, PED is collaborating with IAD to offer support for tribal charter schools and Bureau of Indian Education schools.ECECD is also offering extensive resources to families and children under the stay-at-home order. This includes assembling a cross-departmental Home Learning Initiative with CYFD, PED, and external partners to provide top-quality educational, health, child development, and mindfulness-related resources via the Internet, traditional media, and paper-based resources.In addition, the Department is providing ongoing early childhood development services via early interventions, child care, home visiting and pre-K. ECECD has also lowered barriers to service by establishing presumptive eligibility for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. IAD is also collaborating with PED and the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) to address concerns related to broadband access and other educational resources – as well as providing resources to tribal leadership and tribal education directors on how tech- and non-technology-based virtual learning can work in rural communities.CYFD is developing additional, creative educational activities and content to deliver to foster families, youth in care, and young people in juvenile justice facilities. Examples include virtual book clubs, household supply science experiments and other fun activities. The Department will also work with families to help coordinate access to educational options offered through individual school districts – and check in with children in care and families on school progress.HED has asked colleges and universities to work with school districts to ensure dual-credit students can complete their coursework, including via online instruction. Dual-credit high school seniors who need a dual-credit class to meet high school graduation requirements will receive priority. HED has also asked colleges and universities to offer the option of withdrawing or receiving an incomplete for students who cannot get Internet access.Supporting FamiliesWhile protecting public health is the first priority of all state agencies, we recognize the many impacts that this crisis has on normal community life. PED is strongly urging districts to find a way to host graduations and other milestone events – either virtually while the stay-at-home order is in place or after it is lifted. The Department is also ensuring that families have continued connectivity with counselors and social workers.Similarly, ECECD is continuing to provide home visiting services for pregnant mothers and young families. The Department has also waived child care copayments and expanded child care eligibility for health care professionals, first responders and other essential employees. CYFD is also working to support families with children in foster care through enhanced access to phone or video visits in order to maintain family connections and continue progress on reunification plans. In addition, the Department is standing up telehealth services for behavioral health care, conducting weekly meetings with domestic violence and youth shelters to help meet their needs, and connecting families and shelters with food and supplies.IAD is partnering with tribal governments to address worker displacement and develop safety protocols for working families – as well as supporting tribal communities in building community response plans.
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The Auto Care Association and HDA Truck Pride have announced a new partnership to support the Industry Job Board at autocarecareers.org, on the HDA Truck Pride Member Recruitment Resources page. The partnership creates connectivity between job boards, offering available positions and resumes of qualified candidates in the auto care industry.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“As part of the Auto Care Association’s Job and Career Development Program, the Industry Job Board is quickly expanding to create an industry-wide resource to find top talent,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “We are excited to continue to connect and share with other organizations passionate about recruiting the best of the best in the auto care industry.”“Our members are increasingly challenged to fill open employment opportunities within their businesses. Easily identifying qualified employees, or trainable employees with relevant experience, is critical to success,” said Don Reimondo, CEO, HDA Truck Pride. “The HDA Truck Pride Member Recruitment Resources page addresses this challenge and makes it easy for automotive employers to connect with job-seekers, via the Industry Job Board, who are best suited for their needs.”The Industry Job Board, an easy-to-use resource for both applicants and employers, is designed to be a central hub where auto care job seekers and job creators can connect. The job board currently hosts hundreds of positions available today in marketing, finance, legal, human resources, information technology, logistics, sales, international trade, facility management, technicians and hundreds of other career specialties in the auto care industry.The Industry Job Board also is powered by partnerships with SEMA, Babcox Media and CAWA.
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ORNL’s device focuses on a key challenge in conventional adsorption of carbon using solvents. By using additive manufacturing, the researchers were able to custom design a multifunctional device that improves the process efficiency by removing excess heat.Adsorption, one of the most commonly used and economical methods for capturing CO2, places a flue-gas stream from smokestacks in contact with a solvent, such as monoethanolamine, known as MEA, or other amine solutions, that can react with the gas.The team tested the novel circular device, which integrates a heat exchanger with a mass-exchanging contactor, inside a one-meter-tall by eight-inch-wide adsorption column consisting of seven commercial stainless-steel packing elements. The 3D-prinited intensified device was installed in the top half of the column between the packing elements. Additive manufacturing made it possible to have a heat exchanger within the column, as part of the packing elements, without disturbing the geometry, therefore, maximising the contact surface area between the gas and liquid streams.“We call the device intensified because it enables enhances mass transfer through in-situ cooling. Controlling the temperature of adsorption is critical to capturing CO2,” said Costas Tsouris, one of ORNL’s lead researchers on the project.When CO2 interacts with the solvent, it produces heat that can dimmish the capability of the solvent to react with CO2. Reducing this localised temperature spike in the column through cooling channels helps increase the efficiency of CO2 capture.“Prior to the design of our 3D printed device, it was difficult to implement a heat exchanger concept into the CO2 absorption column because of the complex geometry of the column’s packing elements. With 3D printing, the mass exchanger and heat exchanger can co-exist within a single multifunctional, intensified device,” said ORNL’s Xin Sun, the project’s Principal Investigator. Embedded coolant channels were added inside the packing element’s corrugated sheets to allow for heat exchange capabilities. The final prototype measured 20.3cm in diameter, 14.6cm in height, with a total fluid volume capacity of 0.6L. Aluminium was chosen as the initial material for the intensified device because of its excellent printability, high thermal conductivity, and structural strength.“The device can also be manufactured using other materials, such as emerging high thermal conductivity polymers and metals. Additive manufacturing methods like 3D printing are often cost-effective over time because it takes less effort and energy to print a part versus traditional manufacturing methods,” said Lonnie Love, Lead Manufacturing Researcher at ORNL.
Taiwanese carrier Evergreen Line is teaming up with Chinese counterparts COSCO and China Shipping in launching a joint China-Surabaya Express (CSM) Service.The decision stems from an increasing market demand resulting from significant trade growth between China and the ASEAN countries, Evergreen Line said.The company has been very busy with initiatives aimed at boosting its service on the Intra-Asian trade, which included the most recently launched Vietnam-Singapore-Malaysia service (VSM).The CSX service will employ four ships of 2,000-2,700 teu, including one each provided by Evergreen and CSCL and the remaining two by COSCO.The first sailing is planned to depart from Qingdao on the 20th of May, with the following the port rotation: Qingdao-Shanghai-Xiamen-Shekou-Pasir Gudang (Malysia)-Singapore-Surabaya (Indonesia)-Singapore-Qingdao.“The weekly service covers major ports from China in the north to Malaysia and Indonesia in the south, providing regular and convenient links for regional trade and connecting to Evergreen’s global service network via Singapore,” the liner said.After the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was established in 2010, bilateral trade volumes have continued to rise. According to the statistics published by the Gerneral Administration of Customs in the PRC, its import and export trade with ASEAN grew by 8.3% to USD 480.4 billion in 2014.In addition, the ASEAN community has actively negotiated with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand to establish the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It is believed that this significant development will further encourage free trade and have the effect of driving cargo growth within the Intra-Asia trade, Evergren Line said.
Noble Energy provided a new third quarter 2015 sales volume guidance, with the midpoint of the company’s new expectation representing a 10 thousand barrel of oil equivalent per day increase over the midpoint of its prior estimate. Following strong volume performance in July and August, the company has raised its anticipated third quarter 2015 sales volume range to between 360 and 370 MBoe/d, Noble informed in a statement.The increase was driven primarily by enhanced well performance and infrastructure expansion in the DJ Basin. In addition, strong production is resulting from the company’s assets in Texas (Eagle Ford and Delaware), Marcellus Shale, Israel, and Equatorial Guinea.Natural gas sales in Israel set a record in August as Noble Energy’s Tamar asset averaged more than one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, gross, for the month.The third-party Lucerne-2 plant has been tested to a nameplate capacity of 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Addition of the Lucerne-2 plant has expanded total system natural gas processing capacity to 840 MMcf/d. Noble Energy’s net DJ Basin production has averaged approximately 115 MBoe/d through the first two months of the third quarter of 2015.In regards to the Isreal’s Knesset vote in favor of the government’s approved regulatory framework for oil and natural gas development David L. Stover, Noble Energy’s Chairman, President and CEO, urged the government of Israel to follow through on this approved framework without further delay.Noble Energy is targeting conclusion of the negotiations of gas sales contracts, both in Israel and the regional market, and is looking to reengage project teams to advance the expansion of Tamar and initial development of Leviathan toward sanction.[mappress mapid=”17721″]Image: Noble Energy
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The transformer (pictured below) was loaded from the vessel to a 12-axle depressed centre rail car and transported to a rail siding in New Cumberland. As the maximum clearance was 12.7 m, the centre of gravity was set 3.94 inches off the centre line of the rail car and two 15.2 tonne counterweights were used on the opposite side to equalise the weight.At destination the transformer was offloaded to a platform trailer and transported to the final jobsite and was jacked and slid onto the foundation.
Proposals to introduce a central exam for would-be lawyers could damage the solicitor brand, putting those competing against direct access barristers at a disadvantage, an academic legal expert has warned.Anthony Bradney (pictured), professor of law at Keele University, said that while large corporate firms can rely on the ‘City’ brand, smaller and high street firms rely on the solicitor brand.His comments come as the Solicitors Regulation Authority consults on plans to introduce the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), a centralised exam to be taken by all would-be solicitors to facilitate more flexible routes into the profession.Speaking at a forum organised by thinktank Politeia, Bradney said: ‘Solicitors have not always enjoyed a good reputation and haven’t always been regarded as high-level professionals. Reputations are very hard to gain and very easy to lose. The SQE could well be the way in which solicitors will lose their reputation.’He said the proposals were worrying particularly now it is possible to approach a barrister directly, as barristers would be able to advertise themselves as more highly qualified than solicitors. This, he said, was important as the Bar Standards Board is simultaneously consulting on raising the degree classification needed to get onto the bar vocational training course from a 2:2 to a 2:1.Bradney said: ‘What we have are barristers who can say that they have high academic standards and qualifications – and solicitors who have got the SQE. Who is a client going to go to? A solicitor or a barrister?’ His concerns about the proposals are echoed in his report Dumbing Down the Law, published by Politeia. In the report he points out how other professionals such as teachers and nurses are required to have a degree.‘Emphasising the lack of connection between degrees and qualification, as the SRA is doing, when other occupations are doing the reverse will diminish confidence in particular,’ he said.Viola Joseph, a solicitor and legal learning leader at international firm Hogan Lovells, also warned against introducing the SQE. She said that although the plans were intended to help boost diversity, they would in reality have the opposite effect.She explained that this was because firms would look more closely at what pathway an applicant had taken to qualification and where they had studied, as the firms would not trust the SQE.Their comments add to concerns already voiced about the proposals. The Law Society warned that it could promote nepotism and favour the wealthy, while at a Gazette roundtable, junior lawyers said the plans were deeply flawed and could make it harder for students to get a cheap loan.