NEWS SCAN: Avian flu prevention, PCA roof leak, meningitis in Africa, USDA’s social networking tools

first_imgMar 26, 2009North Korea reports H5N1 prevention strategiesNorth Korea yesterday said its nationalized approach to preventing avian influenza has helped it avoid outbreaks and infections, despite the circulation of the H5N1 virus in other nations, Korea News Service (KNS) reported yesterday. North Korea has conducted bird surveillance in winter migration areas, developed rapid detection systems, educated the public and medical workers about how to prevent the disease, and set up medical checkpoints in densely populated areas to monitor and treat people who are sick. The nation also said it would continue its close contacts with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.[Mar 25 KNS report]Group helps Nigeria with avian flu fightA nongovernmental organization has launched an intensive program to prevent avian influenza in Nigeria, AllAfrica.com reported today. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is aiming its behavioral-change messages at migrant poultry workers, traders, and transporters in states that have been hit by the virus, which include Anambra, Borno, Kano, and Lagos.[IOM Web site]Hearing reveals leaky roof problem at PCA plantA leaky roof at the Peanut Corporation of America’s plant in Blakely, Ga., might have introduced or spread Salmonella contamination that sparked the recent national outbreak, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported yesterday. A recent bankruptcy hearing revealed that the company had spent $60,000 fixing the roof in August 2008. A former plant worker told the AJC that the roof leaked so profusely that employees had to move products around to keep them from getting wet. In 2007, an internal investigation conducted by ConAgra of its Sylvester, Ga., plant found that moisture from a leaky roof and a faulty sprinkler system might have triggered the growth of Salmonella at the facility, which led to a national outbreak involving peanut butter that sickened 425 people in 44 states.Africa’s cases of meningococcal disease riseAfrica’s “meningitis belt,” an area that includes northern Nigeria and Niger, has recorded 24,868 suspected cases of meningococcal disease, including 1,513 deaths, since Jan 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement yesterday. Cerebrospinal fluid testing has revealed that the predominant strain is Neisseria meningitides serogroup A. The WHO said 2.3 million doses of polysaccharide vaccine have been released to Nigeria and 1.9 million to Niger.[Feb 25 WHO statement]USDA unveils new-media toolsThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today launched news- and recall-related RSS (really simple syndication) feeds, a Twitter feed, and new bookmarking capabilities to allow people to share food safety content on social networking sites and Web pages. In a news release today, the USDA said the tools will expand the reach of its educational materials and connect with audiences it might not otherwise reach.[Mar 26 USDA press release]last_img read more

BLOG: Pennsylvania Has a Fair Funding Formula: Sorry, Delaware and North Carolina

first_imgBLOG: Pennsylvania Has a Fair Funding Formula: Sorry, Delaware and North Carolina Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary center_img June 02, 2016 Education,  Schools That Teach,  The Blog,  Videos A landmark report in 2013 revealed a stark ranking for Pennsylvania: we were one of only three states without a funding formula to fairly, equitably and adequately distribute new funding to school districts.This week, Governor Tom Wolf signed Pennsylvania’s fair funding formula into law.And that leaves Delaware and North Carolina alone as states without a fair funding formula.While this is a victory for students, their parents, teachers and school administrators, it is not a singular or quick fix.As Governor Wolf has pointed out and education advocates have pushed, in order for the formula to work, the General Assembly must allocate more money for our schools.Only more funding, not the formula alone can solve another ranking problem for the commonwealth: A ranking of states regarding school-funding equity found Pennsylvania in 47th place.As Governor Wolf works toward a final 2016-2017 budget, he will be fighting to push more funding out so Pennsylvania’s schools can start to move forward.last_img read more

Okagbare Runs First Sub-11secs in Almost Two Years

first_imgMany local athletics watchers had been doubting Okagbare’s ability to bounce back after a rather disappointing 2016 season when she not only failed to race inside 11 seconds in the 100m but also could not make the final of the event at the Rio Olympics.The last time she ran a sub-11 seconds in the 100m was way back in September 2015 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich where she closed her season with a 10.98 seconds performance.Interestingly, the Nigerian ran an incredible six sub-11 seconds in the 100m that season, topping it with the 10.80 seconds she ran at the IAAF Diamond League meeting at the Stade De France in Paris on July 4. It was her and Nigeria’s second fastest 100m time ever.It was also the third fastest time in the world that year. Okagbare broke 11 seconds for the first time in 2012 when she ran 10.96 seconds to place second in the first semi-final at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Crystal Palace, London on July 14.She ran three more sub-11 seconds to close the season with a 10.92 personal best on August 4 at the Olympics in London.She ran three more the following year with an incredible 10.79 seconds performance to become the first Nigerian nay African woman to break 10.80 seconds in the 100m.It was then a new African record which proved to be the second fastest in the world that year behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pyrce’s IAAF World-title winning 10.71 seconds performance in Moscow.In 2014,Okagbare broke 11 seconds thrice like she did the previous year and ended the season with a 10.85 seconds personal season’s best which not only fetched her the Commonwealth Games gold but also ensured she ended the year with the second fastest time in the world, again behind USA’s Torie Bowie (10.80 seconds).The following year she ran six times inside 11 seconds and was on course to becoming the first Nigerian to win a 100m medal at the IAAF Worlds in Beijing but wishes refused to turn to horses as she finished last in the final. Last year she did not legally break 11 seconds as the 10.92 seconds she ran at the Istvan Guylai Memorial Grand Prix in Hungary on July 18 was aided by a +2.6 metres per second trailing wind which rendered it illegal.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Picks bronze in IAAF Diamond League in LondonReigning Nigeria sprint queen Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor on Sunday at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London ran 10.99 seconds, her first sub-11 seconds performance of the season to place third behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson (10.94) and Dutch girl, Dafne Schippers (10.97). She has thus raced back to reckoning ahead of next month’s 16th IAAF World Championships also in London.It was the Nigerian’s first sub-11 seconds performance in the 100m in over 21 months and 17th of a very storied career since she raced into the limelight in Abuja on July 25 when she won her first national title in the blue ribband event.last_img read more