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    Fair Lawn community unites to support injured teen, family – NorthJersey.com - September 2, 2017 by admin

    Car wash at Fair Lawn High School for injured Fair Lawn runner Joe Fernandez and his family. Fernandez was seriously injured in an accident last week. Michael Karas/NorthJersey.com

    The Fernandez family, from left, Catherine, Wendy, Jose, Johanna, and Joe, seen at Jose's birthday party in May. Catherine and Johanna were not involved in the accident; Wendy, Jose, and Joe were, along Joe's grandmother, Ana Silvia Burgos, not pictured.(Photo: Courtesy of Amanda Ayala)

    In some places, people are left to face personal tragedies alone.

    And then there's Fair Lawn.

    After a car accident left Jose Fernandez;his wife, Wendy;and their 16-year-old son, Joe, in intensive care, theFair Lawn community came together.

    MORE:Car wash raises money for injured Fair Lawn runner

    They organized a GoFundMe page, a car wash and a T-shirt drive to raise money for the family, who were onvacation in the Dominican Republic when the accident occurred.

    There are efforts under way to raise money for their medical treatment and long-term care when they all returnhome.

    "The whole community poured in money and good wishes," said Kevin Orfe, a history teacher and cross-country coach at Fair Lawn High School.

    The Fernandez family has deep roots in Fair Lawnand is well known around town, he said.

    "Joe is one of our best runners on ourcross-country team," said Orfe. "He's a nice, friendly kid who is always smiling."

    Fair Lawn Mayor Joe Cosgrove said he's not surprised by the outpouring of generosity. He's seen such displays of altruism time and time again through the years, whenever accidents or illnesses strike at the heart of the community.

    "In Fair Lawn, we come together to help our neighbors," he said. "That's what we do."

    The accident turned a planned family celebration into a tragedy.

    The family had traveled to the Dominican Republic to celebratethe 60th wedding anniversary of Jose Fernandez's parents. As the Fernandezfamily was heading to the airport on the return home, a car plowed into them on the highway.

    Witnesses reported thatthe driver of the other car appeared to be on her cellphone as she made an illegal turn, said Joe's cousin, AmandaAyala.

    Wendy's mother, Ana Silvia Burgos, who was sitting in the backseat, was killed on impact.

    Wendy, Jose and Joe were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Wendy sufferedabdominal injuries that were exacerbated by her lupus. Joe sufferedspinal injuries, andremained in a coma for 10 days. Between the three of them, they underwent 10surgeries, said Ayala.

    Burgos' funeral and burial took place while they were in the hospital, completely unaware of what had transpired.

    "Therewere a lot of tears," said Orfe, about the students' reaction to the news. Then the kids decided to do somethingpositive."

    They organized a car wash Saturday that raised $1,500 for the family. Now they are selling T-shirts, complete with Joe's Number (2) and motto, "Playoff Mentality."

    Medical costs were higher than normal because the incident occurred internationally. The deductible for the insurance was $21,000, and transport to the U.S. by air ambulance will run about$60,000, said Ayala.

    "We still don't know what the costs will be for their ongoing care, so we are hoping that whatever funds remain will be enough to keep them going after they are discharged," she said. As of Thursday, the GoFundMe page had raised about $81,000.

    Jose was recently discharged from the hospital, and Wendy was airlifted back to the United States, where she is in an intensive care unit at an undisclosed hospital.

    Joe, who has been in and out of the intensive care unit, recently caught pneumonia and will now need closer monitoring, said Ayala. She hopes he will be brought back to America soon.

    "Nobody ever thought something like this could happen," said Samantha Murri, 15, a Fair Lawn High School sophomore who was on the cross-country team with Joe. "Joe isalways such a bright spirit to everyone around him, especially to kidson the basketball team and the cross-countryteam. He always keeps everyone's spirits up."

    Track practice is not the same anymore,she said. "He was a big part of the team." The kids are not smiling and laughing as much. And now when the kids break, instead of shouting "Go team!" they shout, "Go for Joe."

    "Everyone in Fair Lawn has been praying for him and keeping him in our thoughts," she said.

    Jon Marcus, a senior who went running with Joe over the summer, said that everyone who knew Joe liked him. "It made us all want to help his family," he added. "We heard what happened and we immediately wanted to help."

    "When we go running now, it's a lot more quiet. We feel the void without him."

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    Fair Lawn community unites to support injured teen, family - NorthJersey.com

    Latinx Student Alliance alleges discrimination by U.Va. Police in dispersing social gathering on Lawn – University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily - September 2, 2017 by admin

    The University Police Department is facing allegations of discrimination after a Latinx student gathering on the Lawn was broken up by officers the evening of Aug. 25.

    Eddie Castillo, a fourth-year College student and LSA vice president for advocacy, was present at the event, which was for new and returning students. He said the actions of one of the officers was aggressive towards their group and that white Lawn residents who were also having gatherings were treated in a much gentler manner.

    Though not technically an LSA-sponsored event, two LSA Lawn residents who were hosting the gathering notified the surrounding Lawn rooms and family pavilion of their plans prior to the event, and promised to end by 11 p.m. per the request of the pavilion residents.

    Castillo noted the the event had technically ended when the officers arrived.

    We had a Latinx beverage, Horchata, we had Spanish music playing and we had a lot of new first-years there, Castillo said. There were no problems. Around 10 oclock we shut down one of the rooms because it ran out of the Horchata, and moved to just one room.

    Castillo said they called last song around 10:45 p.m., and then at 10:52 p.m. made an announcement that everyone needed to leave the Lawn room since they had to be done by 11 p.m.

    There were maybe around 30 people, and once we made that announcement, then about half left, Castillo said. Then around 10:59 people are starting to leave, but thats when the police officer comes over and starts shining his light at people and telling them to get off the Lawn.

    Castillo said the area in front of the Lawn room and a little past the pillars is considered to be the Lawn residents property. He said people were being asked to get off of that area.

    The officer was coming over and screaming at people to get off the Lawn, not really saying more gently to get off the Lawn, it was more assertive and sudden, Castillo said. The Lawn resident walks up to the officers and begins to tell the officers that the event is ending and people are dispersing, but the police officer doesn't actually acknowledge the resident. The officer looks at resident but doesn't actually say anything.

    Castillo said the Lawn resident followed the officers down the Lawn and stood next to the officer as they knocked on the residents door.

    The police officer asks if this is her room, which she says yes, it is, and the police officer cuts the resident off and says that she needs to disperse everyone in 20 minutes, or everything out here will be considered litter and youll be charged with distribution to minors when he comes back, Castillo said. Then the police officer walks away without giving us much of a chance to acknowledge what he says.

    The Lawn resident involved in the situation was fourth-year Curry student Paola Snchez Valdez, who declined to comment for this article.

    Castillo said there were approximately 15 students remaining from the gathering when the officers arrived, and many in attendance were first-years who were trying to meet new people.

    It was just really unfortunate that as soon as the police officers show up, all these first-years are terrified, Castillo said. What we also know is that there were some undocumented students there who came out to make friends, which can be rough for undocumented students to do, and it really just hurt us.

    According to Castillo, there had been alcohol present in both of the two Lawn rooms, but that it had run out by 10:30, leaving only the Latinx drink Horchata left, and the members shut down one of the rooms to consolidate the gathering to one space by the time the officers arrived.

    There was alcohol, but all of the alcohol was out by 10:30, Castillo said. When the officers arrived, I believe there were really only cups around, not even cans, [and] in reality, we were cleaning up, not actually littering.

    Castillo said he followed the officer as he walked down the Lawn towards the other parties in order to ask for his name, and heard the officer notify a white Lawn resident hosting a party that there had been a complaint and that only those under 21 needed to disperse, unlike the LSA gathering, who were told all needed to leave.

    When the officer talked to the white resident, he said there was a complaint, but didnt call for immediate shut down of their party, but did call for immediate shut down of our party and didnt inform us there was a complaint, Castillo said. He told [the] resident that he would be charged with littering if the trash remained, but with us he told us everyone needed to go in twenty minutes or we would be charged with litter and distribution to minors, [and] he didnt say this other resident would be charged with distribution to minors like he blatantly said to us.

    Castillo said he found this alleged discrepancy in treatment saddening, particularly when the event with LSA members was respectful the wishes of the pavilion residents, and felt that, based off his behavior, the officer came into the situation predisposed to think the group was misbehaving.

    The University Police Department did not return a request for comment.

    In an interview with The Cavalier Daily on Tuesday, University President Teresa Sullivan said the incident is under investigation and was brought to her attention on Aug. 27.

    The Latinx Student Alliance denounced the alleged mistreatment in a statement on its Facebook page on Aug. 27 and connected it to recent white nationalist events. The University has faced criticism over its response to an Aug. 11 white nationalist torchlit march through Grounds that turned violent.

    The Charlottesville community is going through a long process of healing from the uninvited and unwanted members of the so-called alt-right, LSA wrote. The last thing that needs to be happen, especially from an institution that was unresponsive and absent on Friday, August 11th, is to target a group of minorities in such an aggressive and inappropriate manner.

    Castillo said he and other LSA members spoke with two of their Lawn resident friends of color on Bachelor Row the smaller Lawn Rooms south of Pavilion VII who also hosted parties that evening also experienced similarly inconsistent treatment from white fellow residents by the officer.

    Two of our friends on Bachelor Row who are people of color also got similar treatment to us, in the sense that they were asked to immediately shut down their party and they were questioned and given a hard time about a table serving food, which is allowed on the Lawn, Castillo said. I dont want our organization to be seen as sensitive or quick to jump the gun, [but in] reality it was really a racial difference its a matter of protocols being different and not being the same for all residents across the board.

    Castillo said that while the LSA greatly appreciates all that University Police Department does to protect students, they felt the need to speak up about this incident involving their community members and remind UPD that the Lawn residents are students, and student leaders at that.

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    Target of Algonac recall effort submits resignation | News … – New Baltimore Voice Newspapers - September 2, 2017 by admin

    The target of a recall effort in Algonac recently submitted his resignation from the city council.

    Council member Joe Nugent was set to face 19-year-old Jake Skarbek in a November recall election, but will instead resign his seat if approved by the city council. Officials are expected to vote on his resignation at their Sept. 5 meeting.

    Skarbek told The Voice he intends to submit his application for the seat.

    Nugent, a lifelong Algonac resident, has served the city both as a council member and as mayor. He has also worked at the wastewater treatment plant and served as clerk at the citys department of public works. Nugents parents also previously served in the city.

    To me, Algonac is my home, he previously told The Voice. I have lived in the same house my entire life. I love the area and its uniqueness the fact that your neighbors are also your friends.

    Council will have 30 days to appoint a new member to serve the remainder of Nugents term, which ends in 2018.

    He dedicated his life to make the city of Algonac, Mayor Eileen Tesch said of Nugent. He deserves our utmost respect and admiration. He will be missed.

    While Nugents recall election will be canceled if his resignation is OKd by council members, a recall election is still scheduled for council member Irene Bird. In late June, Algonac resident and recall petitioner Amanda Gougeon submitted nearly 400 signatures targeting Nugent. The recall petitions filed against both members cite collusion, dishonesty and lack of integrity as grounds for recall, as well as secret meetings and the removal of the communitys former city manager.

    Algonac resident Cindy Kloeffler asked Nugent and Bird for their resignations to spare citizens having to vote in November during the councils Aug. 15 meeting. Teschs resignation was also sought.

    Joe has been a friend of mine for many years and a wonderful colleague on council always putting his life on hold to assist in any way he could, said Bird. He is a giving person who is loved and appreciated by those who know him. Because of Joes fantastic knowledge of the city of Algonac, he truly will be missed by council.

    His resignation marks the fourth in the city this year. Former City Manager Doug Alexander resigned in February. Council member Helen Meldrum resigned in May, citing medical reasons. Clerk Cindi Greenia resigned in late August.

    Nugent could not be immediately reached.

    I wish Joe well on his next adventure, Bird said. He deserves it.

    Skarbek graduated from Algonac Jr./Sr. High School in 2016 and is currently majoring in political science. He owns a lawn care business and is actively involved in the community.

    My experience is low, but I am confident that I can make a difference, he said. I am an active listener for the people in the community. I will be bringing honesty and integrity to the city council. I will also be bringing a new generation of thoughts and ideas to the city.

    Council members earn $40 per regular meeting and $10 per special meeting.

    Those interested in applying for the vacant city council seat can submit resumes or letters of interest to Algonac City Hall, 805 St. Clair River Drive, P.O. Box 454, Algonac, MI 48001.

    Pamela Binsfeld is a staff writer for The Voice. She can be contacted at 586-273-6197 or pbinsfeld@digitalfirstmedia.com.

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    Virginia bee buster helps turn venom into treatment – Roanoke Times - August 23, 2017 by admin

    Its a routine Saturday morning and youre mowing your lawn, lost in thought to the low hum of your machine. Suddenly, the hum grows louder, snapping you out of your post-pancake daydream. You check to see if you ran over a rock, but see a cloud of orange erupting from the ground instead.

    Run.

    Last month, Bobby Jessup mowed over a yellow jacket nest in his front lawn in southwest Roanoke County. He called The Bee Busters, a one-man service founded in 1998 that offers free hornet and yellow jacket removal.

    George Waldenmaier, 62, of Accomack County represents Virginia for ALK Abello, a company headquartered in Denmark that uses insect venom for immunotherapy. It makes products that treat patients who are deathly allergic to wasps and bees. Waldenmaier said hes one of 30 ALK Abello representatives in the U.S.

    Waldenmaier arrived on Jessups front lawn in July ready to collect yellow jackets, but he was annoyed that a skunk had gotten to their underground nest first. Now, the process wouldnt be as fun.

    I hate skunks, Waldenmaier said. They are my biggest competitors. Skunks, bears and pigs can stand to be stung.

    Because tree roots were growing over the nest, the skunk didnt get to all of the yellow jackets, so Waldenmaier inserted the tip of a hose with a black interior into the hole in the ground. The inside of the hose mimicked the inside of a predators mouth, luring the yellow jackets to sting it. What the yellow jackets didnt know was that the hose was connected to a vacuum, which sucked them into a trap.

    Waldenmaier said all his wasp and bee catching tools are homemade, with instructions from ALK Abello.

    After an hour, Waldenmaier zipped on his bee suit and stomped over the nest while blowing into it with a plastic tube. His goal was to antagonize any leftover nest defenders to surface and get sucked into the trap.

    Theyre intolerant of being disturbed, Waldenmaier said.

    Once the nest was empty, he took the trap to his truck and let carbon dioxide into it, knocking the wasps unconscious. Since the skunk beat him to the nest, there were only about 100 yellow jackets in the container. James Wilson, an extension agriculturist at Virginia Tech, said a yellow jacket nest can be home to more than 5,000 inhabitants, depending on the time of year.

    After adding the gas to the trap, Waldenmaier put the yellow jackets into a cooler with dry ice, freezing them to preserve their venom. Later, hed ship his collection to a lab in Idaho, where the venom would be extracted and used for immunotherapy.

    Immunotherapy works somewhat like a flu shot, Waldenmaier said. A series of tiny injections of venom are given to a patient over a period of time to encourage resiliency to future stings.

    They work in terms of dilutions, Wilson said. You wouldnt want to start someone out with a large dose of venom, he said.

    It can be close to curative, said Dr. Laura Dziadzio, a pediatric allergist at Carilion Clinic.

    Depending on how allergic a person is to yellow jackets, even one sting can be deadly. Some people can stand up to 1,000 stings, Waldenmaier said. Still, thats only collectively a fifth of a gram of poison, so a tiny concentration of venom is lethal.

    Dziadzio said a shortage of immunotherapy treatments over the last year affected patients. The shortage was due in part to the fact that ALK Abello shut down its production in October.

    Tim Davis, vice president of ALK Abello in Post Falls, Idaho, declined to discuss the reason for the shutdown, though he said it had nothing to do with product safety. The company resumed operations this summer, Davis said. The lab in Idaho continued to collect wasp and hornet venom even during the shutdown in order to prevent future shortages, he said.

    Most people get stung because they run over a nest with their lawn mower or weed-eater or stick their hands in one accidentally, Waldenmaier said. So check around your lawn before you start treating it, especially this year because the spring weather was optimal for wasp and bee growth. It can be deadly if a child or someone who cant run gets caught near a nest.

    Its an intense yellow jacket year, Waldenmaier said. Scan for straight-line movement that means theres a nest.

    An average workday for Waldenmaier involves going to 10 to 12 homes to collect wasps or bees, and he said he emptied out 32 yellow jacket nests in two days during a recent week.

    Waldenmaier said the wasps and bees he catches cant be used for immunotherapy if theyre contaminated with insecticide or another type of chemical. If you find a nest, leave it be and call for help, because stinging pests are only harmful to humans when theyre antagonized.

    Theyre really only a pest when they interact with humans, because otherwise theyre just doing their own thing, Wilson said.

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    Virginia bee buster helps turn venom into treatment - Roanoke Times

    Top Doctors: A NeuroLife Neural Bypass volunteer shares his remarkable story – Columbus Monthly - August 23, 2017 by admin

    After a freak accident left Ian Burkhart paralyzed, Ohio State and Battelle asked him for his best remaining assethis brain. Three years later, he's given more than they imagined possible.

    Inside one of those cookie-cutter hotel conference rooms, a serious man with a heavy Swiss accent discusses the prospective benefits of cogno-ceuticalsa virtual reality treatment for neurological pain. It might sound like futuristic technobabble if not for all the equally serious experts in the audience. It's midafternoon on April 28, and scores of neurologists, psychiatrists, engineers, computer scientists, academics and entrepreneurs have overtaken the lower level of the Hilton Columbus Downtown for the second annual Brain Health and Performance Summit. This afternoon's breakout sessions have catchy names like Noninvasive Monitoring of Intracranial Hemorrhage and Neuroprosthetics-enabled Cortical Control of a Paralyzed Hand.

    The Swiss presenter cedes the podium to Gaurav Sharma, a scientist from Columbus' Battelle Memorial Institute, whose session is about the aforementioned paralyzed hand, specifically, Ian Burkhart's. Sharma begins with a stat: 5.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of paralysis. He's here to present a potential solution under development by Battelle and Ohio State UniversityNeuroLife Neural Bypass Technology.

    Researchers have implanted a tiny microchip into Ian's brain, which hooks into a system of computers and algorithmic software via the pedestal, a short black cylinder that looks like a plastic water bottle cap screwed to his skull.

    Sharma shows a video of Ian playing Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses on a modified Guitar Hero video game, using a hand that otherwise couldn't pick up the controller, let alone play. In the back of the conference room, the video's 26-year-old star watches from his motorized wheelchair. Ian needs no introduction, Sharma says from the podium. It might be redundant at this point.

    The previous evening, in an adjacent ballroom, Dr. Ali Rezai bestowed Ian with the summit's first Brain Health Hero Award. Rezai is the summit's leader, as well as the OSU neurosurgeon who implanted Ian's microchip. He calls Ian a pioneer. The next speaker, Dr. Caroline Whitacre, lauds Ian for taking part in NeuroLife at great personal risk. The award itself is presented by Stanley and Joan Ross, whose $10 million donation funded the creation of Ohio State's Center for Brain Health and Performance. Stan says Ian's contribution will resonate for generations. The man of the hour takes center stage to an ovation.

    For these visionaries, Ian is an embodiment of the untapped potential of neurotechnology and a harbinger of optimism for millions living with paralysis. That small pedestal is just a hint of something radical underneath.

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    Ian was born in Dublin, the third of four children. He did well in school and was obsessed with lacrosse from third grade onward. He played goalie, never missed practice and got his older brother, Marshall, hooked on the sport in middle school. Ian wasn't as naturally gifted as Marshall, says A.J. Auld, the brothers' coach at Dublin Jerome High School, but he was a maximum-effort player, always positive, a great teammate.

    Ian was efficient and methodical in all thingsorganized as if born into a platoon. He helped his mother Terre run the household by the time he was 8. He sold water and pop to golf fans entering and exiting the Memorial Tournament, spending months collecting ice from the family freezer and scouring newspapers for drink sales. At 14, he started a lawn care company, made business cards, listed himself as CEO. In high school, he created recruiting clips for lacrosse and football players and produced a wedding video for the principal's daughter. He majored in film production and played club lacrosse during his freshman year at Ohio University. He loved Athens.

    On June 13, 2010, Ian stood in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, where the girl he was dating, their friends and a few parents had just arrived for vacation. The water was cold, and Ian was first into the Atlantic. He dove outward. A powerful wave broke on top of him, slamming his head into a hidden sandbar. Ian went limp. His friends carried him to shore, and he was strapped into a life-flight to Virginia. He'd severed his spinal cord between the C5 and C6 vertebrae. The surgeon in Virginia told his family that Ian would be unable to walk or move anything below his elbows ever again.

    I guess the only way I dealt with it was the fact that we still had him, and he's always had such a great mind, says Ian's father, Doug.

    Ian spent several months in a rehab hospital in Atlanta before returning to Dublin, where he began outpatient therapy at OSU until his insurance cut him off. He met Dr. Jerry Mysiw, OSU's medical director of Rehabilitation Services, and routinely bugged him about new medical advances. Mysiw had already started work on the NeuroLife study with Rezai and a team from Battelle, lead by researcher Chad Bouton. Mysiw saw Ian as an ideal candidatea young, tough former athlete who was willing to sacrifice for the delayed gratification of reaching a goal.

    The three researchers explained NeuroLife to Ian: If it worked, the system would allow him to regain use of his right hand. It would only work in the lab. It required brain surgery to implant the microchip and a second one to remove it. The surgeries wouldn't help Ian whatsoever, and he risked losing what little neurological function he'd salvaged.

    Ian discussed it with his mom, who compared the situation to her favorite book, Flowers for Algernon, and the superior intellect gained and lost by the protagonist after an experimental surgery. You're going to be able to do something, and they're going to take it away, Terre told him. Ian's dad said he'd be like a guinea pig. Doug offered to put him in touch with another neurosurgeon to discuss pros and cons. But Ian had already done his research and made the decision. He was going forward, taking the chance.

    Mysiw hesitated when Ian accepted, wanting to be sure he understood the ramifications of his decision. You are consenting to have two neurosurgical procedures on your brain that you don't need, Mysiw told him. Why are you doing this? Mysiw remembers Ian's answer. In part, he said, I owe it to all those other people who, like me, have been hoping for something better. How can I walk away from being able to help make things better?'

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    Do I have my brain in here somewhere? asks Dr. Rezai. The neurosurgeon looks around his office in OSU's Davis Medical Center for his model human head. He's been captivated by the brain since medical school and became a star for his work on deep brain stimulation, a surgical procedure to treat neurological symptoms of diseases like Parkinson's.

    Rezai was lured away from Cleveland Clinic in 2009 by a fire in the belly here at Ohio State to create something special, namely, to establish the university as a leader in neurological treatment and research. The field is coming of age the way cardiac care did decades ago, says Rezai, the director of OSU's Center for Neuromodulation.

    The medical device market for neurotechnology is growing at double the rate of the market as a whole, says Bouton, who left Battelle in 2015 to lead the Center for Bioelectronic Medicine at the Feinstein Institute in New York. Several years ago, Battelle's leadership recognized the rising tide of neurotechnology and set out to prove the nonprofit's capabilities. Bouton had already completed a project that allowed quadriplegics to use their thoughts to control computer cursors and motorized wheelchairs, but he was struck by the fact that they still couldn't move their own limbs. That became his team's goal. Battelle could develop the technology, but it needed test subjects and clinical experts to perform the surgeries and help oversee the study, which is where Rezai, Mysiw and eventually Ian came in.

    Rezai pulls a model head from a cabinet in his office. The top half is lopped off to expose a veiny, pink, plastic brain. He points to the area where he implanted Ian's microchip, the motor cortex, a band of the brain above the ears on either side. On April 22, 2014, he cut a small window into Ian's skull. He stimulated the brain's pulsating surface, the cortex, and identified the region that controls Ian's right arm. Rezai then placed the microchip, which has 96 miniscule penetrating electrodes, into that precise location and connected it to the pedestal he'd inserted in Ian's head.

    After waiting a little over a month for Ian to heal, the team hooked him to the NeuroLife system developed by Bouton and the Battelle researchers. There was just a flicker of movement, a wrist extension. It wasn't very fast or reliable, but it was a monumental flicker nonetheless.

    Mysiw never thought he'd see that moment. He'd worked 30 years to help paralyzed patients maintain muscle mass and bone density for the nebulous day when an innovative procedure might restore their movement. Now, it seemed, that day had arrived. The NeuroLife team had high hopes that, with refinement and practice, the flicker could turn into something even more remarkablethe ability to open and close a hand, grasp a mug or pick up a spoon.

    Within the first month, Ian was doing all of that.

    The researchers seem awed by Ian's progress, yet not completely surprised. After conducting a battery of physical and psychological tests before the surgery, they concluded they'd found the perfect subject in Ian, says Nick Annetta, the project's electrical engineering leader and one of 20 or more specialists working on the cross-disciplinary team at any given time.

    NeuroLife is designed to bypass a damaged spinal cord using three major components: the microchip, which records a sliver of the brain's electrical activity and transmits it to an external computer; the computer's algorithmic software, which recognizes patterns in the electrical activity, thereby interpreting the patient's thoughts and forwarding them to the third component, an electrostimulation sleeve that's composed of eight film-like bands of electrodes that wrap around the forearm to spur the intended wrist, hand and finger movements. The microchip sends 2.8 million samples a second, which must be interpreted and sent to Ian's hand in less than eight-tenths of a second or his brain won't register the limb as his own. When he thinks about a movement, his hand obeys about half a second later.

    There are a number of kindred projects around the countryexoskeletons, robotic arms and the likebut NeuroLife is the only one that utilizes an electrostimulation sleeve to give a patient's limb restored movement. Ian is its only user. He can stir a straw, he can pour, he can swipe a credit card, he can complete multiple complex tasks in random sequences. He can control individual fingers, which no one felt confident he'd be able to accomplish. And he can play Guitar Hero. But he can only perform those feats in the lab.

    Herb Bresler, who assumed Battelle's leadership role after Bouton left, describes Ian with superlativeshighly motivated, dedicated, intelligent, amazing, exceptional. David Friedenberg, the head of the algorithms and data teams, provides an anecdote: During a recent lab session, Ian was trying to control the force of his grip to account for picking up different objects, say, a banana versus a hammer. He had one run that didn't go as well, and I was like, It's OK, Ian. No one's ever done this before. We don't expect you to be perfect,' Friedenberg recalls. And he's like, No, I expect myself to be perfect.'

    Beyond Ian's intelligence and drive, he has a deep understanding of the process, Friedenberg says. The two-minute Guitar Hero videos that have garnered worldwide attention omit countless hours of repetition in the lab. Science may be sold by breakthroughs, but it's paid for with glacial tedium.

    ||||||||||

    It's nearly still and silent inside a bottom-floor lab in the Davis Medical Center. Researchers want nothing to distract the most important brain in the room. Ian is plugged into NeuroLife, concentrating on mimicking the motions of a virtual hand on the screen in front of him. A digital gong sounds, ending the routine.

    Battelle researcher Mingming Zhang straps a dynamometer to Ian's right hand. It measures variations in the force of his grasp, the banana-hammer test he and the team have struggled to master recently. There's a glitch during the first run, and Ian tells the other researchers to check some parameter or calibration, make sure to save, turn off the recordinghe's fluent in the technical jargon. Far from a guinea pig, he's a full-fledged team member, and increasingly, one of its leaders. Researchers often ask for his input and defer to his opinion. It's hard to imagine many other clinical trials operating this way.

    Dr. Marcie Bockbrader sits a few feet behind Ian. She's a cognitive neuroscientist and rehab specialist with OSU who has overseen the lab's operation since its early stages, and she says Ian filled the void when Bouton left and Annetta began spending less time in the lab to focus on developing the next phase of NeuroLife components. Bockbrader says Ian is a natural leader because he's the most familiar with the system.

    I like to say I got a crash course in neuro-engineering when I signed up for this study, Ian says. His ability to comprehend the underlying science and articulate the system's challenges have been crucial to improving NeuroLife.

    Rezai and Mysiw are the study's medical directors, and Rezai stops in to check on this session, which typically runs three to four hours twice a week. Ian tells him that he thinks the lab work has improved his strength and coordinationthere are changes going on under the microchip. A few weeks earlier, Rezai claimed Ian's brain and the software were both evolving. This is a beautiful example of brain plasticity and machine learning, Rezai said. Evolution is going on together, live, at the same time.

    Friedenberg says it's hard to disentangle how much progress is due to the system learning how Ian thinks and how much is due to Ian learning how to control the system. It raises an imminent question: What happens when it has to interpret someone else's thoughts?

    The Food and Drug Administration recently granted Ian and NeuroLife another year together, the third renewal in as many years. The sessions can be exhausting. The time commitment is substantial, and he's only paid a small travel stipend. But he has no interest in stopping; he talks about the study as his social obligation. It's thrilling work for someone who's interested in technology, and after three years, moving his hand is still exhilirating. But the determining factors for his continued participation are his health and the durability of the microchip, which has maintained a high-quality neural signal longer than anticipated. Once the signal falls below a certain threshold, it will be removed.

    In the lab, Bockbrader turns her attention to Ian's pedestal, asking him how much it has merged with his mental image of his body. Later, she explains that over time these prosthetics become one with patients' perceptions of themselves. The other thing that I wonder about, too, is psychologically is it going to feel like he's lost a limb when we're taking some of these things away.

    The FDA approved up to five patients for NeuroLife, and Mysiw is searching for the study's second candidate. It will be difficult to replicate Ian's success; Mysiw was surprised at the intense cognitive skills the system requires of him. The team will screen future subjects to try to find someone who's similarly capable. Simultaneously, Battelle's researchers are working on new algorithms and an advanced electrostimulation sleeve that they hope will be approved by the FDA this fall. But NeuroLife is still many years away from leaving the lab, Gaurav Sharma says, and it needs to become wireless, smaller, faster and more robust.

    ||||||||||

    Since June 13, 2010, Doug Burkhart has only seen his son cry with self-pity one time. Once, in seven years. Terre Hanson Burkhart says she broke down at one point when Ian was still recovering in Atlanta, tearfully telling him that she was having a bad day. He didn't have those, he told her, because he didn't want to waste his time on them. He decided the injury wouldn't define his life.

    Less than a year after the accident, Dublin Jerome lacrosse coach A.J. Auld asked if Ian would like to help with the team, in whatever capacity he could. Ian devoted himself, volunteering as an assistant coach for the past seven seasons, using the limited function in his upper arm to steer his wheelchair across the often-muddy field 18 hours a week from February to May. Auld made a habit of telling players: The toughest guy out here is the one in the chair.

    Ian earned a business management degree from Columbus State, and he's pursuing an accounting degree at OSU. He has an internship with Klingbeil Capital Management, and he's leaning toward a career in either corporate or tax accounting. He's on track to graduate in December 2018. He had been living in Dublin since the injury, but he moved into his own condo in Harrison West at the beginning of July, another step toward regaining some of the independence lost in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Yet he can't really escape the injury. He's the poster boy of NeuroLife, featured on the BBC, CNN, Vice on HBO and in the Washington Post. His condition placed him on stages from TEDxColumbus to South by Southwest. In April, he started the Ian Burkhart Foundation, which focuses on advocacy, raising funding for research and providing financial assistance to patients with spinal cord injuries like his. So in a roundabout sort of way, I did let it define me, he says, but I'm 100 percent OK with that.

    It's unclear when all this will end for Ian, but the day is coming, probably sooner than he or anyone else wants. The pedestal is part of him now, he says, and it will be strange when it's gone. It will be difficult to deal with the loss of restored mobility, but he thinks he's compartmentalized his abilities inside and outside the lab. Bockbrader says it would be a mistake not to include him in some capacity even after the microchip and pedestal are removed. His knowledge and experience can't be replaced. Perhaps he could be a consultant. Whatever the future holds, Ian will adapt. He's resilient, always has been. The greater challenge may be finding a way for NeuroLife to move on from Ian.

    ||||||||||

    In addition to his advocacy and research foundation, Ian has partnered with the nonprofit HelpHopeLive to raise funds to offset his own non-covered medical and living expenses; that website can be found here.

    Read this article:
    Top Doctors: A NeuroLife Neural Bypass volunteer shares his remarkable story - Columbus Monthly

    What’s going on in Topeka and surrounding areas this week? Here’s our calendar for Aug. 23-29, 2017 – Topeka Capital Journal - August 23, 2017 by admin

    WED AUG 23

    Topeka West Rotary Club, 7 a.m., second-floor conference room, Hy-Vee, S.W. 29th and Wanamaker. Information: Rick Ryan, 249-9000 or president@topekawestrotary.com.

    Capitol Midweek Farmers Market, 7:30 a.m. to noon (rain or shine), south lawn, Kansas Capitol, S.W. 10th between Harrison and Jackson.

    Preschool Storytime, 10 to 10:30 a.m., The Story Zone, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Stories, songs and fingerplays that encourage a love of reading and help develop early learning skills for children. Ages: 3-5 years.

    Story Time, 11 a.m., The Toy Store, 5300 S.W. 21st. At least one adult for every four children recommended. Information: 273-0561.

    DTI Noontime Brown Bag Concert Series, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Information: Facebook pages Noontime Brownbag or Downtown Topeka Inc., or visit DowntownTopekainc.com.

    YWCA Network Lunch, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., 225 S.W. 12th St. Speaker: Laura Burton, of Midland Care Connection. Topic: Tea, Cake and Death: Death Cafe and Rethinking Death and Dying. RSVP: reservations@ywcaneks.org.

    Al Anon New Beginnings AFG, noon, Town and Country Christian Church, 4929 S.W. 29th St. (use double doors off church parking lot). Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Sunflower Duplicate Bridge Club, 12:30 p.m., Womans Club of Topeka, 5221 S.W. West Drive. Cost: $7 per session. Information: jan@topekabridgeclubs.org or http://bit.ly/1OfJsPj.

    Queen of Spades Garden Club, 1 p.m., Preston Hale Room, Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site, 124 N.W. Fillmore.

    Windows 10 for Beginners, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Computer Training Center, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Experience the new features of Windows 10. Learn how to organize the Start Menu, use accessories, personalize the desktop and get apps from the Windows Store. Register at tscpl.org/register.

    Minecraft @ Your Library, 4 to 5 p.m., Computer Training Center, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Enter the librarys Minecraft world on our own server and build, build, build. Each meeting will feature a new mission to construct and complete new parts of the librarys landscape, before unleashing creepers. Ages: 8-12 years.

    Planning Your Legacy Nemaha County, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Nemaha County Community Building, Seneca. Guest speaker: Gayle Evans, attorney with Chinnery, Evans & Nail. Topic: Contribution options customized to fit your interest and tax planning. Cost: $10 per meal. RSVP: Karla Henry, 336-6116 or khensy@bbwi.net.

    Topeka Lions Club, 6:30 p.m., Twilight Lions Branch Club, Pam Luthis office, 3310 S.W. Harrison. Program: Kristen Shore, of Kansas University Endowment Association. Intro by Luthi. Visitors welcome. Information: topekalions.org.

    Al Anon Holton Family AFG, 7 p.m., Room 104, Evangel Methodist Church, 3rd and Pennsylvania, Holton (use east glass door). Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Al Anon Hope for Today AFG, focuses on adult children of alcoholics, 7 p.m., Metropolitan Community Church, 4425 S.W. 19th St. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Square dance lessons, 7 to 9 p.m., Croco Hall, 6115 S.E. US-40 highway, Tecumseh. Singles, couples and families welcome. Information: 286-0105.

    THU AUG 24

    Southwest Topeka Kiwanis Club, 7 a.m., The Kanza Cafe, 2701 S.W. East Circle Drive South.

    Capital City Networking Group, 7:30 a.m., Jayhawk Tower, S.W. 7th and Jackson.

    Country Quilters Guild, 9 a.m. to noon, First Congregational Church, 1701 S.W. Collins.

    Baby Bookworms, 9:30 to 10 a.m., 10:30 to 11 a.m. or 5:30 to 6 p.m., Lingo Story Room 121, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Introduces babies to the world of books through interactive songs, stories, bounces and more. Age: birth to 18 months.

    Preschool Storytime, 10 to 10:30 a.m., The Story Zone, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Stories, songs and fingerplays that encourage a love of reading and help develop early learning skills for children. Ages: 3-5 years.

    Al Anon Southwest AFG book study meeting, 5:45 p.m., First Christian Church, S.W. 19th and Gage. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Cub Club Crafts, 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., The Toy Store, 5300 S.W. 21st. At least one adult for every four children recommended. Information: 273-0561.

    Downtown Topeka Rotary Club, noon. For location and meeting information go to topekarotary.org. Information: Linda Ireland, topekarotary@gmail.com or 232-7216.

    Heartland Toastmasters, noon, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Guests welcome. Information: 232-2836.

    Christian Widow and Widowers Organization annual birthday party, 5 p.m., Formation Room, Most Pure Heart, S.W. 17th and Stone. Dime bingo after dinner. Bring a covered dish and dimes. Open to all faiths. Information: 233-7350, leave a message.

    PowerPoint, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Computer Training Center, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Beginners create a dynamic presentation from start to finish. Learn to insert slides, add text, graphics, transitions and animations. Register at tscpl.org/register.

    Al Anon Southwest AFG, book study meeting, 5:45 p.m., First Christian Church, S.W. 19th and Gage. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Meadowlark Toastmasters, 5:45 p.m., Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th.

    Jam Session, 6 to 9 p.m., American Legion, 310 Veterans Memorial Drive N, Marysville.

    Al Anon St. Marys Fresh Start AFG, 6:15 p.m., fellowship hall, United Methodist Church, 107 N. 7th St., St. Marys (south building). Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Al Anon Southwest AFG, 7 p.m., fellowship hall, First Christian Church, S.W. 19th and Gage (south building). Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Marine Corps League, 7 p.m., VFW Post 1650, 3110 S.W. Huntoon. Gen. Lewis W. Walt Detachment invites former, retired and active duty Marines, FMF corpsmen and FMF Navy chaplains to attend. Information: http://on.fb.me/1E7lhbp or 640-6077.

    Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers League general meeting, 7 p.m., Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Program: Eclipse Stories. Public welcome. Information: nekaal.org.

    Master Gardener Series: Fall Lawn Care, 7 to 8 p.m., Marvin Auditorium 101B, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th Ave. Presented by Steve Paige.

    Nicodemus: Children of the Promised Land, presentation by Angela Bates, executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Society, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Marvin Auditorium, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council. Free.

    FRI AUG 25

    Sex Addicts Anonymous Topeka Chapter mens group, 7 to 8 a.m., St. Davids Episcopal Church, 3916 S.W. 17th. Open to men seeking help; closed to visitors. Information: 200-3450, saatopeka@gmail.com or saa-recovery.org.

    Topeka South Rotary Club, 7:15 a.m., Memorial Union, Washburn University, 1700 S.W. College. Public welcome. Information: Faron Barr, 266-8333.

    Taking Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS), 8:30 a.m. sign-in, 9 a.m. meeting, Countryside United Methodist Church, 3221 S.W. Burlingame (use north entrance). First visit is free. Information: (800) 932-8677 or tops.org.

    Ace of Hearts Duplicate Bridge Club, 9 a.m., Womans Club of Topeka, 5221 S.W. West Drive. Cost: $7 per session. Information: jan@topekabridgeclubs.org or http://bit.ly/1OfJsPj.

    Al Anon Friday Morn Serenity Seekers AFG, 9:30 a.m., Fairlawn Church of the Nazarene, 730 S.W. Fairlawn. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Kids Drum Circle, 11 a.m., The Toy Store, 5300 S.W. 21st. At least one adult for every four children recommended. Information: 273-0561.

    Friendship AFG, 12:05 p.m., St. Vincents basement, Most Pure Heart Church, 1800 S.W. Stone (enter main west door). Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Community Action Mobile Food Pantry, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. (weather permitting), across from Auburn Community Center, 121 W. 11th, Auburn. First-come, first-served basis. Recipients must provide number of people in their household.

    Email for Beginners, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Computer Training Center, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th Ave. Learn to log into an account and open, delete, reply to and forward email messages. Register at tscpl.org/register.

    Open Stitch, 1 to 3 p.m., Yak n Yarn, inside Fairlawn Plaza, S.W. 21st and Fairlawn. Bring project to work on. No fee. Information: 272-9276.

    Emporia Main Street Mix & Match, 5 to 7 p.m., Brickyard 20 Ale House, 420 Merchant, Emporia. Must be 21.

    Celebrate Recovery, 6 p.m. meal, 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. program, First Southern Baptist Church, 1912 S.W. Gage Blvd. (enter off parking lot). For ages 18 and older. Freewill offering. Child care available for children grade 6 and younger, 6:45 to 9:45 p.m. Information: crtopekaks.org.

    Al Anon Freedom AFG, 6:30 p.m., Metropolitan Community Church, 4425 S.W. 19th. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Topeka Gem & Mineral Society, 7:30 p.m., Room 138, Stoffer Science Hall, Washburn University, 1700 S.W. College. Open to the public. Children explore time, 7 p.m. Information: Millie Mowry, 267-2849 or rock2plate@aol.com, or Lesliee Hartman, hartman12345@hotmail.com or TopekaGMS.org.

    SAT AUG 26

    Downtown Topeka Farmers Market, 7:30 a.m. to noon (rain or shine), S.W. 12th and Harrison. Information: http://bit.ly/20LQVIC, lanebetty4@yahoo.com or 249-4704.

    The Topeka Daylily Club Plant Sale, 7:30 a.m. to noon, Downtown Topeka Farmers Market, S.W. 12th and Harrison.

    Lets Help Annual Fundraiser: Downtown Adventure Race Topeka, 8 a.m., downtown Topeka. DARTini at 9 a.m. Registration begins an hour before each race. Register early or day of the event. Information: dothedart.com, 270-5238 or info@letshelpinc.org.

    Seneca Community Farmers Market, 8 a.m., The Market Greenhouse, 33 N. 5th, Seneca. Information: Facebook page Seneca Community Farmers Market.

    Musical Storytime, 10 to 10:30 a.m., The Story Zone, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th Ave. Shake off your sleepiness with fun songs and crazy dancin with Kyler. Occasional surprises and guests. Ages: birth to 5 years.

    United Daughters of the Confederacy, Ladies of the Plains 2696, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Information and reservations: ladiesoftheplains@ksudc.org or ksudc.org.

    Kansas Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hughes Room 205, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th Ave. Learn about African-American family history and genealogy, and Kansas African-American history with various topics, guest speakers and projects. Information: email info@kaahgs.org.

    Topeka Unit NAACP executive board meeting, 11:30 a.m., Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, 1515 S.E. Monroe. Information: 266-5688.

    Topeka Nar-Anon Family Group Saturday Serenity Seekers, noon to 1:15 p.m., First Baptist Church, 3033 S.W. MacVicar (enter Door A, south side). For families and friends affected by someones narcotics addiction. Information: naranonmidwest.org.

    Topeka Unit NAACP, 1 p.m., Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, 1515 S.E. Monroe. Public welcome. Information: 266-5688.

    Olive Oils and Vinegars 101, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Moburts Inc., 820 S. Kansas. Cost: $15. Information: moburts.com or 806-3025.

    Altered Books Workshop, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Marvin Auditorium 101B, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th Ave. Altering unwanted books expresses your creativity and recycles at the same time. Hands-on demonstrations and books provided. Registration required at tscpl.org/register.

    2017 Huff n Puff Crew Training, 6 p.m., 3315 S.E. Tinman Circle, Lake Shawnee. Rain date: Sunday, Aug. 27. Information: huffnpuffcrew@gmail.com.

    Stargazing at Volland Store, 6:30 to 11 p.m., 24098 Volland Road, Alma. Barbecue dinner and music. Kansas Astronomical Observers will bring their telescopes and talk about the night sky. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and bug spray. Cost: $40 for adults; $20 for ages 12 and under. Reservations: thevollandstore.com or call Abby, 499-3616.

    Al Anon Saturday Night Serenity AFG, 6:45 p.m., Christ Lutheran Church, 3509 S.W. Burlingame Road (enter north side). Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    SUN AUG 27

    White Lakes Market, outdoor flea market, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mainline Printing parking lot, 3500 S.W. Topeka Blvd. Information: 260-5458 or Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1hy8X0T.

    Family Board Games, 1 to 3 p.m., The Toy Store, 5300 S.W. 21st. At least one adult for every four children recommended. Information: 273-0561.

    So Many Books, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Perkins Room 201, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th Ave. Discuss Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan, a fictional depiction of the unconventional love affair of Robert Louis Stevenson and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift.

    North Topeka Historical Society, 4 p.m., The Cottages, 620 N.W. Lyman Road.

    S-Anon, 7 p.m., Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. For those affected by the sexual behavior of another person. Information: sanon.org.

    MON AUG 28

    Monday Farmers Market, 8 to 11:30 a.m., Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library parking lot, S.W. 10th and Washburn. Visit library booth for free fun kid craft.

    Capital City Lacers bobbin lace and tatting group, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Yak n Yarn, Fairlawn Plaza, S.W. 21st and Fairlawn. Guests welcome. Information: 272-9276 or 286-3632.

    Story Time, 11 a.m., The Toy Store, 5300 S.W. 21st. At least one adult for every four children recommended. Information: 273-0561.

    Al Anon Living the Legacies, 11:45 a.m., 1728 Randolph Ave. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Kiwanis Club of Topeka, noon, Florentine Room, Jayhawk Tower, 700 S.W. Jackson. Guests welcome. Information: topekakiwanisclub.org.

    Topeka Lions Club, noon, McFarlands Restaurant, 4133 S.W. Gage Center Drive. Guest speaker: Diane Hentges, 2nd vice district governor. Visitors welcome. Information: topekalions.org.

    Al Anon Courage to Change AFG, 12:05 p.m., First United Methodist Church, S.W. 6th and Topeka (enter on west side). No meetings on holidays. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Al Anon Just for Today AFG, 1:30 p.m., Fairlawn Church of the Nazarene, 730 S.W. Fairlawn (west entrance). Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Information: 228-2250.

    Introduction to DigitalLearn, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Deer Creek Training Center, 2345 S.E. 25th. An overview of the librarys online learning tool for new computer users. Bring your email address and password or sign up in class. Registration required at tscpl.org/register or call 580-4400.

    Al Anon Peace and Serenity AFG, 5:30 p.m., University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College (use ramp to basement on west side). Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Picture This Photography Club, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Whether you use your phone, a point-and-shoot or an expensive camera, join the club at a different location on the fourth Monday of each month to take pictures. Contact Meg at mporteous@tscpl.org or follow Picture This Photography Club on Facebook.

    Topeka Healing Rooms, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., TrueNorth, in the American Heart Association building, 5375 S.W. 7th, Suite 100. Affiliated with International Association of Healing Rooms. Information: 221-6589.

    Acappella Unlimited, 7 p.m., Seaman Congregational Church, 2036 N.W. Taylor. New female members welcome. Information: acappellaunlimited.com.

    Al Anon Topeka AFG No.1, 7 p.m., Our Saviors Lutheran Church, 2021 S.W. 29th. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    Capital City Barbershop Chorus, 7 p.m., West Side Baptist Church, S.W. 4th and Fillmore. New members and guests welcome. Information: 273-9514, capitalcitychorusa039@gmail.com or capitalcitychorus.com.

    Teen Writers Group, 7 to 8 p.m., The Edge-Teen Room, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Join others to share your literary passion and express and explore the world through works of poetry and prose. Ages: 12-18 years.

    Compassionate Friends, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Formation Room, Most Pure Heart of Mary Church, 3601 S.W. 17th. Support group for bereaved parents and siblings. Information: Susan, 272-4895 or tcftopeka.org.

    Al Anon Carbondale AFG, 7:30 p.m., Carbondale Community Center, 228 Main St., Carbondale. Information: kansas-al-anon.org or 215-1045.

    TUE AUG 29

    Sunrise Optimist Club, 6:30 a.m., Optimist Club Activity Building, 720 N.W. 50th. Guest speakers: Seaman High School footbal coach Glenn ONeil, assistant coach Mike Lincoln and three captains. Guests welcome. Information: Gary Slimmer, 246-1291.

    Kansas Department of Health and Environment retirees, 8:30 a.m. breakfast, 9 a.m. program, Kanza Cafe, 2701 S.W. East Circle Drive South (block north of S.W. 6th and MacVicar). Information: Steve, 478-0126.

    Preschool Storytime, 10 to 10:30 a.m., The Story Zone, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th. Stories, songs and fingerplays that encourage a love of reading and help develop early learning skills for children. Ages: 3 to 5 years.

    Veterans Stroke Survivor and Caregiver Support Group, 10 to 11 a.m., Building 3, Room A-101, Colmery-ONeil VA Medical Center, 2200 S.W. Gage Blvd. Information: 350-4386.

    View post:
    What's going on in Topeka and surrounding areas this week? Here's our calendar for Aug. 23-29, 2017 - Topeka Capital Journal

    HOA tells one Loveland couple: You have too many pots in your yard – 9NEWS.com - August 23, 2017 by admin

    The HOA sent the couple a letter informing them of noncompliance - and so the couple doubled-down.

    Victoria Sanchez, KUSA 9:18 AM. MDT August 22, 2017

    It's a sign!

    A Loveland homeowner's association and a retired couple living in the HOA community are going head-to-head over garden decorations.

    The Alford Meadows Community Association sent a letter informing Colleen and Richard Stephens that their home's garden violated community rules. The couple's response was to double-down and add a unique lawn ornament in the form of a large sign.

    The red and white sign states: "If you are considering purchasing a home in Alford Meadows, you may want to reconsider .... You could be the next target of the HOA!"

    The Stephens' yard is well maintained. It has bright flowers, pruned bushes and green grass. It also has artwork which is how the dispute between the couple and HOA started.

    The Alford Meadows Community Association says there are too many decorations and sent a letter stating some need to come down. If not, there would be consequences in the form of possible fines.

    "It's ticking me off. I don't know what else to say. I don't feel we're in violation. We haven't done anything wrong," said Colleen.

    Colleen and her husband decided to add one more piece to their yard. The sign has been sitting on their lawn for a few weeks.

    "I'll do what's necessary to protect my rights," said Richard.

    Before the violation letter was sent, someone with the homeowner's association totaled up the pots, planters and other items. They counted nine milk churns, 13 buckets and cans, patio furniture and a wooden flag handmade by Colleen.

    The violation letter says the Stephens' can pick six items. The flag can't be one of them.

    "I think HOAs are totally out of control today," said Richard.

    The 64-year-old Marine Corps vet said he thinks they are being singled out.

    "I just believe this is a personal vendetta because of my support for Donald Trump," he explained.

    Richard said he had multiple political signs stolen from his yard during the presidential election. He also said they received a letter stating they were not welcome in Colorado.

    Michael Krueger, the attorney for the Alford Meadows Community Association, sent journalists a statement on behalf of the HOA. It states the letter telling the Stephens' to remove the items is not politically motivated and that the couple just wants "special treatment" for their yard.

    According to the original letter, the HOA said there have been complaints. But some residents stopped by the home to show support.

    "Your yard is gorgeous," said one neighbor.

    While there is some support for the decorations, not everyone is behind the large sign.

    "Before I even put it up I apologized for my actions. I said, 'I know I'm going to offend some people but I feel I've been pushed to the next step.' I have had negative feedback asking me to take it down because it does affect their property values and the sale of their house. But the only thing I can say to them is, 'Go to the HOA. Address it with them.' This wouldn't happen if it weren't for the actions of the HOA," said Richard.

    He said he'll take it down once the HOA rescinds the violations and writes a letter of apology.

    The HOA's attorney told 9NEWS Monday afternoon that the board is not interested in pursuing fines for the decoration violations. However, the association is looking into filing a lawsuit to get a court order for the Stephens' to remove the large sign from their yard.

    2017 KUSA-TV

    More here:
    HOA tells one Loveland couple: You have too many pots in your yard - 9NEWS.com

    From the supervisor: Water treatment plant now under construction – Wayne Post - August 9, 2017 by admin

    Kenan Baldridge, Rose town supervisor

    I hope you have been enjoying this fine summer weather, rain and all. It is better than snow.Speaking of water, our new water treatment plant on Catchpole Road is finally under construction. Many of the underground pipes and foundation blocks have been finished, along with some valves and a new hydrant. This includes the diversion of the main 24-inch diameter pipe from the well to the treatment plant. These are the parts that dont show much, but are necessary preliminary items before the aboveground parts can be constructed. The buildings walls are up, and the cement floor was recently poured and is curing now. We should take delivery of the interior equipment, including the actual treatment vessels, in August. They need to be lifted over the walls for placing. Then the roof can be completed and the equipment inside all connected and made ready for use. We are making good progress on this project and look forward to bringing it into service this fall.We have been logging the Salter Road gravel pit area in preparation for the construction of the solar array. Although this has taken us a while, due in part to inclement weather, this logging operation has netted the town over $21,000 to date, which will help to defray any local costs of the project. I expect that the last of the red tape should be completed on this fairly soon so we can begin construction. Once construction commences, it does not take long to complete it, so am looking forward to having this done by fall. Stay tuned.As you know, the coastal towns continue to suffer from flooding due to high lake levels. Although Rose does not have a coastline, this will still affect us indirectly. Many of the lake and bay shore businesses have been unable to open. If open, their business volume is lower than usual. This means that their sales tax collection is lower than usual. ince this tax is shared with the towns, it seems likely at this point that we will receive less sales tax revenue than usual. Fortunately, when we prepare the town budget we try to figure these things conservatively, but it is unclear how long or how severe this problem will last. We are in full swing with the lawn mowing season, and the rain has made things grow. Please note that the local town law requires lawns to be kept below 10 inches in height. Those households not complying will be given a written warning. If needed, 10 days later the town will mow the lawn. If this is needed, the bill will include a $75 administrative fee in addition to the mowing expense. We have not had to mow many lawns in the past few years, but we have done it and will continue to do it as needed.Dont forget the wonderful live concerts at Rose Union Community Building in Rose every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. This season is in full swing and will continue every week until the end of August. Please join me there, youll enjoy it.

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    From the supervisor: Water treatment plant now under construction - Wayne Post

    Gottheimer Responds to Protest Regarding Mixed Appropriation Bill … – TAPinto.net - August 9, 2017 by admin

    GLEN ROCK - While 14 individuals representing various causes protested Congressman's Josh Gottheimer's(D-Wyckoff) vote for a defense funding bill late in the afternoon Aug. 8, his staffers were inside meeting with those concerned about veterans whobriefedthem on the benefits of the bill.

    According to an Aug. 8 press release, "The bill contains key resources to support service members and veterans."

    "I think CongressmanGottheimer'sopposition to some of the bill provisions, including the border wall funding, should be noted," Matt Fried, Gottheimer'sdistrict press secretary said.

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    Gottheimervoted in favor of thedefense appropriations bill that recently passed the House of Representatives. The bill included appropriations for the border wall.

    Protesters were specifically angered by the funding for the border wall President Donald Trump promoted during his campaign and continues to support.

    With a mock wall in front of them, one protester who addressed the group said, "We got rid of Scott Garrett because he did not represent the needs of New Jersey. Mr. Gottheimershould be on notice we're concerned."

    "Our bottom line, brothers and sisters," Analilia Mejia, a representative of the Working Families Party, said, "is actions in DC impact us here in New Jersey."

    One of the organizers of the protest, Matt Smithfrom Food & Water Watch, a non-profit organization out of New Brunswick, said Gottheimer'svoting record during his short tenure as a congressman (since January 2017), "has not represented many of his constituents."

    Smith was concerned about energy infrastructure and Gottheimer'ssupportof the Midnight Rules Relief Act,which expands the power Congress has to overturn regulations by allowing lawmakers to bundle together rules adopted in a presidents final year in office and overturn them at once.

    Gottheimerwas one of four democrats who supported the bill which passed 238-184.

    The New Jersey congressman defended his vote stating "unnecessary and out-of-date regulations have been able to pile up on the books, burdening businesses large and small, and passing hidden costs along to families."

    Support of Veteran's issues

    Gottheimer's Director of Veterans Affairs met with local veterans in the Glen Rock office on Aug. 8 where the group discussed Gottheimer's support for resources to improve military readiness and the Veterans Administration, provisions formental health and traumatic brain injury treatment to veterans, resources to fight opiates,pay raises to the nation's armed services, and plans to defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

    Further details of the legislation include:

    More details on this bipartisan legislation's provisions are availableHERE.

    No wall support

    "While a number of Jersey priorities and national security programs are resourced in this funding measure, Gottheimer does not support every provision of the bill and voted to remove allocated resources for a wall along the nation's southern border, something he has said will not make our families or communities more safe while hitting taxpayers squarely in the pocketbook," the press release said.

    Gottheimer said he supports "common sense" efforts to reform theimmigration system.

    "He isproud to defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and cosponsor the Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training (ENLIST) Act, bipartisan legislation to help qualified undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children earn legal status through service in the U.S. Armed Forces," his representatives said. "He also stood with mayors and police chiefs by voting against H.R. 3003, which would punish state and local law enforcement for prioritizing protecting public safety."

    In a direct statement, Gottheimersaid, "I am in Israel this week seeing first hand our nations' collaborative efforts to defeat terror, stand strong against Iran, and strengthen America's national security. I am grateful to these local veterans for serving our country and meeting with my team to discuss the vital provisions in the defense appropriations bill I recently voted for."

    "Our government's top priority must always be the security of our country and communities and having the backs of those who risk their lives to keep our families safe," he said.

    I thank Congressman Gottheimer for always standing by New Jersey veterans and making sure our service members have the resources they need abroad and the support they need when they return home,David Pearson, Assistant Director of Veteran Services, Catholic Family and Community Services, said in a statement.

    Originally posted here:
    Gottheimer Responds to Protest Regarding Mixed Appropriation Bill ... - TAPinto.net

    US News Announces 2017-18 Best Hospitals in New Jersey and Nationally – TAPinto.net - August 9, 2017 by admin

    NEW JERSEY -- Two area hospitals, Hackensack University Medical Center and Valley Hospital, ranked high statewide in U.S. News & World Report's annual list of Best Hospitals in the U.S. per state.

    Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, ranked number one in New Jersey, andis nationally ranked in threeadult specialties and onepediatric specialty and high performing in eight procedures/conditions.

    Valley Hospital,Ridgewood, is tied for number five in New Jersey withAtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Atlantic City. Valley Hospital is high performing in seven procedures/conditions.

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    According to U.S. News & World Report, the analysis reviews hospitals' performance in clinical specialties, procedures and conditions. Scores are based on factors including survival, patient safety, and nurse staffing, among others. The rankings also looked at treatment of specialties and conditions, such as cancer and heart bypass surgery, hip and knee replacement and COPD.

    "Covering nearly every hospital in every U.S. community, U.S. News offers deep, rich data that patients can use to help them make informed decisions about where to receive surgical or medical care," Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis for the magazine, said. "We know outcomes matter most, which is why U.S. News is committed to publishing as much data as possible on patient outcomes."

    New Jersey's Top Hospitals (according toU.S. News)

    #1 in New JerseyHackensack University Medical Center (Hackensack, NJ)Hackensack University Medical Center is nationally ranked in 3 adult specialties and 1 pediatric specialty and high performing in 8 procedures/conditions

    #2 in New JerseyMorristown Medical Center (Morristown, NJ)Morristown Medical Center is nationally ranked in 2 adult specialties and high performing in 9 procedures/conditions

    #3 in New JerseyRobert Wood Johnson University Hospital (New Brunswick, NJ)Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is nationally ranked in 1 pediatric specialty and high performing in 7 procedures/conditions.

    #4 in New JerseyJersey Shore University Medical Center (Neptune, NJ)Jersey Shore University Medical Center is high performing in 8 procedures/conditions.

    #5 in New Jersey (tie)AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (Atlantic City, NJ)AtlantiCare Regional is high performing in 6 procedures/conditions.

    Valley Hospital (Ridgewood, NJ)Valley Hospital is high performing in 7 procedures/conditions.

    #7 in New JerseyVirtua Voorhees (Voorhees, NJ)Virtua Voorhees is high performing in 5 procedures/conditions.

    #8 in New Jersey (tie)Ocean Medical Center (Brick Township, NJ)Ocean Medical Center is high performing in 4 procedures/conditions.

    Overlook Medical Center (Summit, NJ)Overlook Medical Center is high performing in 2 procedures/conditions.

    Riverview Medical Center (Red Bank, NJ)Riverview Medical Center is high performing in 4 procedures/conditions.

    Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset (Somerville, NJ)RWJ in Somerville, NJ is high performing in 3 procedures/conditions.

    University Medical Center of Princeton (Plainsboro, NJ)University Medical Center is high performing in 4 procedures/conditions.

    Nationally, U.S. News ranked the Mayo Clinic inRochester, Minnesota as the best hospital in the country.

    The 2017-18 Best Hospitals Honor Roll (according to U.S. News)1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.2. Cleveland Clinic3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore4. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston5. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco6. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor7. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles8. New York-Presbyterian Hospital, N.Y.9. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Stanford, Calif.10. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia

    U.S. News estimates that nearly 2 million hospital inpatients a year face the prospect of surgery or specialcare that poses either unusual technical challenges or significantly heightened risk of death or harm because of age, physical condition or existing conditions.

    U.S. Newssays its rankings are a tool that can help such patients find sources of especially skilled inpatient care and that its methodologiesin most areas of care are based largely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators. For the 2017-18 report, U.S. News also examined:

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    US News Announces 2017-18 Best Hospitals in New Jersey and Nationally - TAPinto.net

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