FAQ Contact Us

Welcome to Agility Newsroom

The Agility Newsroom is a news portal filled with original news and announcements from organizations around the world. Whether you’re an Agility PR Solutions’ client who needs a home for your original content or a journalist looking for a story – you can find what you’re looking for on the Agility Newsroom. Please contact us at support@agilitypr.com or 1 866 545 3745 if you have any questions or concerns about the content posted here.

Parkland Receives Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI and STEMI Receiving Gold Achievement Awards

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 12:42 EDT

Three American Heart Association Awards recognize Parkland's commitment to quality heart care Parkland Health & Hospital System has received three achievement awards for quality cardiac care from the American Heart Association, including the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines founded in the latest scientific evidence. The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. Parkland earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, scheduling a follow-up visit and other care transition interventions. "Parkland is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients with heart failure by implementing the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-HF initiative," said Sandeep R. Das, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, Director of Acute Coronary Care at Parkland and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. "The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes." Parkland also received the Mission: Lifeline® NSTEMI and STEMI Receiving Gold Quality Achievement Awards for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer heart attacks. The American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline program's goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. The initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Parkland earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of heart attack patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed. Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack, caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it's critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication. "We commend Parkland for this award in recognition for following evidence-based guidelines for timely heart attack treatment," said Tim Henry, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. "We applaud the significant institutional commitment to their critical role in the system of care for quickly and appropriately treating heart attack patients." "Parkland is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients," said Dr. Das. "We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care through Mission: Lifeline." To learn more about Parkland services, visit www.parklandhospital.com .

Free Weekly Communication Options for All Incarcerated Individuals at GTL-Contracted State Prisons

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 12:33 EDT

GTL , a leader in transformative corrections technology that improves outcomes for inmates and facilities, today announced free weekly 1 communication options to incarcerated individuals at their contracting state correctional facilities. This permanent initiative is in addition to previously announced efforts to support families during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our mission at GTL is to facilitate impactful communications and to do all we can to help prepare individuals reenter society and build toward a successful life after release," said Deb Alderson, GTL President & CEO. "We understand the importance of communication and also recognize the barriers that lower-income and fixed-income families face when a loved one is incarcerated. As we continue to expand our offering, our primary focus is ensuring every single individual in these facilities is included and has access to communicate irrespective of their financial situation-in total, this will directly help more than 530,000 people across the U.S. We are already working to expand the program and implement a similar offering with our county jail customers in the near future." Enabling connection at no cost is not a new concept to GTL-the company has been working with over 400 customers to bring families and friends together during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing 22 million calls, 2.5 million messages, and 6 million minutes of video visitation, all free of charge. Similarly, during other emergency situations such as Hurricanes Dorian and Florence, as well as the California wildfires, GTL provided free calling services to ensure incarcerated individuals were able to connect to their loved ones. "It is easy to tell the difference between incarcerated individuals who keep in regular contact with their loved ones and those that do not, whether due to financial reasons or otherwise," said Bureau Chief Shane Troxler, Delaware Department of Correction. "Frequent communication with family and friends can provide a much-needed morale boost, and we are confident that our population will take full advantage and benefit from the free services GTL is providing." "We will continue to listen to the concerns of incarcerated individuals and their families, improving the ways in which we can expand our support and increase connectivity," said Matthew Caesar, GTL Executive Vice President, Customer Solutions. "At GTL, providing connectivity regardless of financial situation is an important milestone on our journey to improve outcomes for both incarcerated individuals and correctional facilities." 1 Some customers may implement a different schedule.

As Bristol GKN Threatens One in Five Job Losses, Unite Calls for All Options to Save Jobs to be Considered

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 12:13 EDT

Unite, the UK's leading union, is calling on GKN Western Approach to consider all options to eradicate or mitigate proposed job losses at its factory in Bristol as it continues to fight for government support for the hard-hit industry. The company announced today (Monday 3 August) that it is seeking to make 64 workers redundant at the factory, which builds aircraft wings, out of an overall figure of just over 300 - a 20 per cent reduction in staff. The job losses follow a voluntary severance scheme opened by the company earlier this year. Unite is calling on GKN to work with the union to explore all options to preserve jobs, including the possibility of introducing temporary short-term working, in order to preserve as many jobs as possible. As a bottom line, Unite believes that GKN must rule out compulsory redundancies. Unite is also calling upon the government to play its part with growing fears that with the job retention scheme (JRS) ending in October, companies will feel compelled to make redundancies. The union has been arguing that in sectors such as aviation and aerospace, which have been mostly severely affected by Covid-19 but where demand is eventually expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in the near future, that the JRS scheme should be extended. Measures sought by the union and employers also include the introduction of national insurance and income tax holidays for workers who are working at 50 per cent reduced hours, so providing a realistic financial alternative to job losses and retaining vital skills across the industry. Unite regional officer Matt Allen said: "The announcement of the redundancies will come as a bitter blow to a highly skilled and dedicated workforce. "Unite is urging GKN to work with it and to leave no stone unturned in examining all options to avoid job losses and this must include the option of short-time working. "This announcement is far from an isolated case. It is clear the government needs to step in and bring in short-time working support to the UK's world class aerospace sector to assist it through the current crisis. "Short-time working schemes are being used in Germany and France to save jobs, skills and their industries. "A failure to act would be simply unforgivable, as it will result in thousands of needless redundancies, damaging lives and impacting on the local and national economy." Unite's has launched a campaign to protect aerospace jobs including a comprehensive plan to secure the long term future of the UK aerospace industry it is based around three clear aims for the sector: Survive, Rebuild and Recover. Notes: During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.


Mon, Aug 03, 2020 12:00 EDT

Priorities Include Community Building for Faculty, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion During last Friday's CalCPA Virtual Council Meeting and Annual Meeting of Members, Chrislynn Freed, CPA, was installed as the new president of the CalCPA Education Foundation. Freed shared her strategic priorities for the coming year which focus on finding opportunities: - Enhancing the community and support for CalCPA faculty, - Following diversity, equity and inclusion best practices, - Driving innovation in professional education product development, and - Finding opportunities to meet new education needs of CalCPA members. Freed indicated that the current pandemic has created both challenges and opportunities for the CalCPA Education Foundation that she is prepared to tackle in her tenure as president. "Right now, our country is contending with a pandemic, civil unrest, businesses closing and rising unemployment, yet it is not the time to despair; it's the time to recognize new opportunities and rebuild," said Chrislynn Freed, CPA, president of the CalCPA Education Foundation. "The CalCPA Education Foundation is poised to flourish in the future as we rebuild to increase value and drive growth for our members." Freed will support CalCPA initiatives to promote competency and learning among members, develop innovative new learning products that differentiate CalCPA in a crowded market, enhance existing products that leverage CalCPA's reputation for uniqueness and quality, and design new commercial-strength business models that will meet future business challenges head-on. "Chrislynn Freed assumes her role as president of the Trustees at a crucial time for CalCPA," said Anthony Pugliese, CPA, CGMA, CITP, President & CEO of CalCPA and the CalCPA Education Foundation. "Her perspectives and experiences as a CPA, top educator and engaged volunteer leader will help guide us along our strategic path to greater success. This path includes upskilling the profession, enhancing their competencies and creating more value for our members and customers through relevant, timely professional education." Freed is a professor of clinical accounting at the Leventhal School of Accounting at University of Southern California (USC). Prior to joining USC, she was a senior manager at an international CPA firm specializing in the hospitality and financial services industries. She is a member of USC's Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures, the advisory board of University of Florida's Fisher School of Accounting, and the UF Foundation National Board. Freed received numerous awards during her career, including the CalCPA Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 2013; Golden Apple Teaching Awards in 2010, 2012 and 2014; USC Mellon Award for mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in 2008 and 2009; and USC Parents Association Teaching and Mentoring Award in 2008. She is actively involved in CalCPA as a member of the Accounting Education Committee (former co-chair), Public Service Award Selection Committee. She previously served on the board of directors of CalCPA. Freed received her master's degree in business administration from the Marshall School of Business at USC and her bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Florida. In other news, CalCPA Education Foundation announced that Kathleen Wright, CPA, JD, LLM, MBA was the winner of this year's 2019-2020 CalCPA Award for Faculty Excellence. Kathleen Wright is the Director of the State and Local Tax Program at Golden Gate University School of Taxation (San Francisco).

Builders Merchant Launches Campaign in Aid of Air Ambulance Trusts

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 11:26 EDT

RGB Building Supplies is delighted to launch its latest charity initiative to raise vital funds for Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust and Devon Air Ambulance. The builders merchant has pledged to donate 25p to the charities from the sale of every promotional 'bulk bag', which are used to carry large quantities of aggregates, such as sand, crushed stone and gravel. Stephanie Bray, Corporate Fundraising Officer at Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, commented: "This is a great way for a business to support its community and help raise crucial funds to keep their local air ambulance flying. Thank you to RGB Building Supplies and we hope lots of their customers support this fundraiser." Tracy Owen, Fundraising Manager at Devon Air Ambulance, said: "We are delighted that RGB has chosen once again to support us and would like to thank them for their on-going support. During these challenging times, being able to work with RGB and build on the already strong partnership really does mean a lot. We know many people will be looking at various projects, which need what RGB has available in their charity bulk bags. If you are planning your own project and need any of the goods offered by the charity bags, please consider supporting us at the same time." Kevin Fenlon, CEO of RGB Building Supplies , added: "We've created specialist bulk bags which carry each charity's logo, and we'd like to encourage trade, and retail customers who are perhaps taking on a landscaping project in their own garden, to visit us for aggregates and help us raise as much money as possible for the charity. In advance, we'd like to thank everyone who purchases a bulk bag and supports our fundraising effort."

Texas Trust Receives 5-Star Rating from Bauer Financial

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 10:58 EDT

Texas Trust Credit Union Receives 5-Star Rating from Bauer Financial Texas Trust Credit Union has earned Bauer Financial's highest 5-Star superior rating based on 2019 financial data. The credit union has achieved this honor for 29 consecutive quarters. A 5-Star rating means Texas Trust is financially strong and excelling in managing its capital, loan and asset quality, profitability, and more. Bauer Financial is the nation's leading independent bank and credit union rating firm. The firm's quarterly analysis and ratings have been a bellwether for financial institutions since 1983. Bauer Financial Star assessments are based on a scale of zero to the top five star rating to indicate the overall financial strength of the financial institution. All banks and credit unions in the U.S. are analyzed based on Bauer's proprietary analytics model. "We are diligent in managing our resources so that we can provide members with a stable financial institution that they can trust to protect their money," said Jim Minge, CEO of Texas Trust Credit Union. "This rating means that our members belong to a financially healthy credit union, which outperforms what regulators require so that we can do more to help them build brighter financial futures." Consumers can review ratings of any financial institution for free online at Bauer Financial's website . The data can be helpful to consumers in selecting a trustworthy and financially sound credit union or bank.

Bangarra Group Appoints New Head of Sustainability & Community

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 10:22 EDT

Fund management and investment business The Bangarra Group has appointed Howard Jones as its new Head of Sustainability & Community.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, What Their Future Looks Like

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 08:34 EDT

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are considered by the most, as two competing technologies. Although both technologies power an electric motor, they have different properties and each of them is well suited for some uses more than others. BEVs market is increasing, with the major automotive companies, like BMW, and Mercedes, starting to introduce into the market an increasing number of electric battery vehicles, in parallel to the main BEVs company like Tesla, and Toyota. FCEVs on the other hand are still at the demonstration stage. In April 2019 Daimler stepped back from the development of the GLC F-Cell, after many years of investigation of fuel cells technologies. Besides this decision, Daimler did not completely abandon the hydrogen powertrain, but mostly shifted its focus to a different application. In fact, a collaboration with Volvo to develop fuel cell heavy-duty vehicles will possibly begin in September 2020, which will define a new chapter for the hydrogen technologies.

New UK Website for Draka's Multimedia Systems Division

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 07:57 EDT

With the continued growth of Draka's Universal Cabling System, Prysmian Group has now launched a UK specific web site dedicated to its datacom and multimedia cabling solutions: mms.drakauk.com . mms.drakauk.com has been designed to provide Draka UK customers with a single source of information on the brand's extensive range of fibre and copper structured cabling - previously contained in the main Prysmian website - making it easier to keep up to date with latest Draka UK developments. Draka is investing heavily in the Universal Cabling System to deliver a continual stream of upgrades to both cables and connectivity. Customers can expect to see new products released shortly, specifically designed to increase system performance (improved Cat 5e and Cat 6 connectivity) and ease of installation (BendBrightXS fibre now standard across all Draka UC Fibre cables). The new website will be key in the coming months in announcing these and other key advances and news. Technical information on new and existing products - including datasheets, installation guidelines, application assurance warranty documents, and more - are held on mms.drakauk.com and accessible to Draka's Technology Partners, Distribution Partners and approved installers that are part of the Draka Installer Programme. This programme has been developed to acknowledge and reward a select group of installation partners that have shown commitment to the Draka UC brand and have undertaken product training to a high level in order to ensure the uppermost standards. All Draka UC products are sold through a select set of Distribution Partners - Comms Centre, Comtec, Dunasfern and Precision Cables - whose contact details can be found on the 'Our Partners' page on mms.drakauk.com . Whist the focus is very much on Draka Universal Cabling, the new website provides an overview of the brand's relationship to, and position within, the Prysmian Group - the world leader in power and telecommunications cables and systems. The 'About Us' section introduces visitors to the Prysmian Group; its extensive manufacturing capabilities, including five sites in the UK alone; its position as a world leading manufacturer of optical fibre; and its commitment to only selling CPR compliant product. For more information on Draka in the UK, please go to mms.drakauk.com

New Planning Rules May Not Result in Affordable Homes

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 07:18 EDT

The announcement that land is to be designated as Growth, Renewal or Protected, has handed a huge bonus to landowners fortunate enough to have land located in a "Growth" area, but it may not result in affordable homes, say leading tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg. This is because under the proposed legislation planning permission will not be required for the construction of new homes, hospitals, schools, shops or offices if the land is in a Growth area. Heather Powell, a partner at the firm and head of property said: " Landowners have effectively gained planning permission for new homes, offices and various other property classes without spending any money on the change of the status of their land. Those with land in "Renewal" areas have gained "permission in principal" and so will also see some increase in land value." She added: " This is great news for the land owners, but whether it will flow through to a greater number of affordable homes depends on whether the selling price of the land drops. If landowners flood the market then the price will fall, but only 'IF'." Heather said: " Selling land is a once in a lifetime opportunity - and landowners will want to get the top price possible. Why should they hand the 'family silver' over to a developer so that he can build affordable homes?

STANLEY Security Provides Customers With COVID-19 Workplace Safety Resources

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 06:53 EDT

STANLEY Security, one of the UK's leading security providers, has produced a range of valuable resources for organisations looking to meet government guidance on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Located at www.stanleysecurity.co.uk/resources/blog/coronavirus-serving-our-customers-safely-and-hygienically , the resources include a guide to thermal cameras in the workplace; practical advice on how to leverage security technology to help maintain social distancing; site occupancy management solutions to help keep customers, visitors and staff safe through real-time people counting software; and a detailed overview on the types and benefits of remote security monitoring. In addition, visitors to the site can download a free Future of Security e-book, which includes insights from experts across STANLEY Security and identifies technologies considered to be fundamental in helping businesses navigate today's - and tomorrow's - challenges. Further to the range of valuable resources showing how customers can use security systems to help make workplaces COVID-19 safe, a new 'Clean Touch' video is included on the website showing how STANLEY Security is maintaining social distancing during customer site visits and sanitising procedures. This includes turning up on time, every time to avoid congregating; sanitising vehicles and tools before every customer visit and only having one person per vehicle; wearing facial coverings and gloves which are changed throughout the day; and sanitising workspaces at customers' sites on arrival and when leaving. Commenting on the company's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Matthew Marriott, STANLEY Security Managing Director UK, Ireland and Portugal, said: "The health and safety of our employees and customers remain our top priority. We continue to adapt and review our response to COVID-19 and ensure all our technicians are fully trained and follow the appropriate safety protocols - so you can be confident of a safe and hygienic service, without compromising our service provision." For more information on STANLEY Security's COVID-19 workplace safety resources, please go to www.stanleysecurity.co.uk/resources/blog/coronavirus-serving-our-customers-safely-and-hygienically

Legal Seeds Offer New Opportunities for Horticulturists

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 05:25 EDT

DUTCH PASSION DEVELOPED CANNABIS THAT IS LEGAL TO GROW NEW SEED VARIETIES WITH HIGH LEVELS CBG AND A THC-LEVEL BELOW 0,2% Dutch Passion, the famous seed company from the Netherlands, is pioneering yet again with the introducing of seeds with high levels of cannabigerol (CBG) and low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBG is believed to have similar qualities as cannabidiol (CBD) and this new innovation offers a great opportunity for growers. The certainty that the THC-level is below the legal level of 0,2% makes cultivating these seeds allowed without a permit in many countries. The return on investment on CBG-seeds is high and therefore an interesting option for farmers and horticulturalists. Also, the ability to grow CBG-rich cannabis legally will make the supply chain process for CBG-products easier, further increasing demand. Ground-breaking seeds Cannabis is booming business. The latest trend is the application of cannabinoids - with CBD as the most well-known - in all kinds of products like oils, teas and creams. With their extreme low levels of THC, Dutch Passion's CBG-seeds are ground-breaking. These new varieties - one Feminized and one Autoflower - can be grown and bought legally in many countries, offering horticulturists and farmers the opportunity to legally cultivate cannabis and access this growing and lucrative market. The CBG-seeds are the result of many years of breeding and selection through numerous generations of plants. A typical Dutch Passion-invention, as the company has made it its mission to develop new seed varieties with high levels of one specific cannabinoid, in this case CBG. More cannabinoids Eric Siereveld, CEO of Dutch Passion: "Up to 2010 cannabis was all about high levels of THC, until in 2012 we encountered our first variety with high levels of CBD. What a thrill! We were determined to discover more cannabinoids and now know there are over a hundred different chemical compounds in cannabis. Our dream is to offer a wide range of seeds that have high levels of one cannabinoid, like CBG in this case. We believe that every cannabinoid should be made available to farmers, researchers, home growers, consumers and organizations alike. That way, applications can be made with every little thing this versatile plant has to offer. Whether it is for recreational, medicinal or nutritional purposes. We want people to experience cannabis in all its different varieties and use it to their benefit!"

Dynamic Pricing in Towns and City Centres Could Move the Economy in the Right Direction

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 05:19 EDT

Dynamic Pricing could be the way for companies to survive in the short term as the government encourages people back to work, say leading tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg David Hough, a partner at the firm said: " This may be one way for business that depend on city centre footfall to move forward, but much greater focus needs to be given by government in helping these businesses to pivot towards a new way of working rather than rely on a return to traditional working patterns.. He added: "The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and many companies have found that whilst working remotely on a full-time basis presents challenges that would be overcome by a partial return to offices, many firms can work effectively with their people working at home. "Therefore, companies that depend on city centre workforces for their living really need is guidance and support on adapting for the future." David said: "This is why, leisure businesses should look to dynamic pricing to allow greater flexibility for its customers. This would allow pricing to adjust with demand, sending push notifications to regulars that attendance is low, and prices reduced accordingly. As demand increases so does the price which can encourage customers to visit later in the day when the venue is closer to capacity. He added: " The Government wants employees to return to their offices which would be a boost to the world of food retailers, bars and gyms as well as providing greater collaboration and confidence that more face to face working is likely to bring, but there needs to be a far greater investment in technology and help from government to increase the data available and allow companies to find efficiencies or other gains to counter reduced footfall. David said: "If the leisure industry for example had a greater insight on commuter habits then they could act accordingly. If for example they knew about the numbers of people coming into our towns and cities at different times of the week food retailers and transport companies could adjust their supply reducing the costs of wastage or of unoccupied buses and taxis." He added: "This could work well for gym's but also for restaurants, pubs and cafes as better use of data allows stock and staffing levels to be efficiently managed and dynamic pricing allows high demand to be capitalised on as well as allowing a more strategically resourced business to manage demand by increasing its prices, encouraging customers to return later when prices have reduced reflecting a lower footfall. David Hough said: "Businesses do need to change their ways of working. Going back to past practices will see many fall behind. A busy city centre will be a sign that the current situation is largely behind us but for the time being many businesses will continue working remotely due to employee dependence on public transport. He added: "Going forward more companies will embrace smarter working which will reduce footfall in traditionally busy parts of the city for the economy. Therefore, whilst bringing people back into the city would stimulate leisure and hospitality businesses that depend on those workers in some cases it will not be enough to counter the impact of the longer-term impact of changing trends." Greater focus must be given on helping these businesses pivot towards a new way of working.

Ystrad Mynach Salon Recognised at NHBF Hair & Beauty Community Awards

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 05:12 EDT

Ystrad Mynach is celebrating the achievements of local salon, Spirit Hair Team, who have been awarded special recognition for their contribution to the community as part of the Hair & Beauty Community Awards 2020 run by the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF). The NHBF's Community Awards were set up in 2019 to recognise that as well as providing hair and beauty services to clients, many are also community hubs, playing an instrumental role in improving their local communities, fundraising for good causes and promoting health and wellbeing in the community they serve. With business feeling the strain due to Coronavirus, there has never been a more important time to highlight some of Ystrad Mynach's fantastic businesses and the important role they play in the community. Spirit Hair Team was given a special recognition award for their amazing efforts to set up a special tailored service for children and their families living with Autistic Spectrum Disorder called 'ASD Sundays'. The team give their time for free and provide the children with a safe space to have their hair cut on their terms. One hundred percent of the monies raised go to a charity of the team's choice, last year being ASD Rainbows who received £2,000. Congratulating them on the award, Local MP, Wayne David said "Thanks must be given to Spirit Hair Team for the hugely positive impact they have had on the children and families who attend 'ASD Sundays' as well as helping to raise awareness of autism and get people talking and asking questions. "At times such as now it is even more important to highlight salons like our local Spirit Hair Team who consistently go above and beyond for Ystrad Mynach. They have really proven themselves to be an integral part of our community and I send my heartfelt gratitude for their amazing work and congratulations on this award."

Double Amputee Veteran to Reattempt Matterhorn Climb

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 04:56 EDT

A double amputee Army veteran is again attempting to summit one of the deadliest mountains in the world. Neil Heritage, 39, from Dorset, is set to climb the Matterhorn on 2 August in his third attempt to summit the mountain. If Neil and his team reach the summit, he will be the first double above knee amputee to complete the challenge. The former corporal, who was injured by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004, attempted the climb in 2016 and 2018 but had to make the difficult decision to turn back. In 2017, Neil and his team had to abandon their attempt as weather and two metres of snow thwarted any possibility of a safe climb even starting. To undertake the challenge, Neil has had the backing of several military charities, including Blesma, the Limbless Veterans, who helped towards funding this year's expedition as well as previous attempts, and main sponsor Neptune, a home furniture shop. Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932. Speaking before he set off, Neil said: "It was a last-minute decision on whether we actually went this year," said Neil. "We were holding off to see what the Covid-19 restrictions allowed us to do. It was only four weeks ago that we started planning travel and putting everything together, but we always trained as if we were going." "I'm feeling good about this year's attempt. The weather has improved over the weekend, so hopefully by Sunday or Monday morning we can get going nice and early. We have a bigger team coming out including six people from Veterans' charity Climb2Recovery, so I certainly feel more confident. If the weather doesn't work out for me, the chances are it might work out for some of the other guys. It takes the focus off me a little bit - which is always a good thing!" Prior to the Matterhorn climb, Neil has completed triathlons, learned to scuba dive and ski and also completed a 3000-mile row across the Atlantic as part of the Row 2 Recovery team. Neil's 15 strong climbing team will include six wounded, injured or sick veterans who are part of Climb2Recovery, including Blesma Member Les Binns, five experienced mountain guides and four sponsors. The team will start the climb on the 2 August 2020 and have a two-week window to reach the summit. Neil is completing his Matterhorn challenge in aid of Climb2Recovery, which he founded in 2016 and aims to support wounded soldiers in their rehabilitation using climbing and adventurous challenge as a springboard to recovery. Jon Bryant, the Chief Executive of Blesma, said: "We are delighted to be supporting Neil in his third attempt to climb the Matterhorn. His determination to overcome all obstacles and achieve this feat is truly inspirational. All of us at Blesma wish him and the team every success." To support, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/climb2recovery

Trident Technology Services Appointed as Atlona Representative Firm Serving the MEA Region

Mon, Aug 03, 2020 04:01 EDT

Longtime Panduit representative will cover the Middle East and the entire African continent, emphasizing complete integrated AV and IT solutions for enterprise-level facilities Atlona, a Panduit company, has appointed Trident Technology Services as its manufacturer's representative across the Middle East and Africa, effective immediately. Trident will focus on growing Atlona's increasing demand and market share with a large community of ICT professionals that now require networked AV over IP solutions for enterprise-level projects. A longtime Panduit representative, Trident is among the largest sales and marketing representatives for global ICT manufacturers in the MEA region, with four corporate offices and localized sales and support channels in key metropolitan areas. Trident's team of sales, marketing and technical engineering experts support a broad community of ICT systems integrators, distributors, consultants and end users - many of which find themselves needing IT-friendly systems to serve modern AV environments. "We have watched the evolution of AV, IT and telephony converging into one platform, and working with Atlona and Panduit will maximize our penetration into the data network infrastructure," said Mr. Bassel Alhalabi, Managing Director, Trident Technology Services. "The ICT community is only starting to learn about AV technology and how it can help win new business. Atlona's strengths in AV over IP distribution, collaboration, and control - and its interoperability with Panduit's network infrastructure solutions - will help us create stronger demand for complete networked solutions that are scalable, flexible, reliable, and of exceptional quality." Mr. Alhalabi, who previously was a Panduit business director in the MEA region for 11 years, adds that working with Atlona brings new opportunity to expand Trident's footprint into the AV industry. "We view this as an opportunity to develop partnerships with an expanded community of integration and consulting partners that are seeking knowledgeable IT partners, especially in the corporate, education, government and healthcare verticals," he said. Mr. Alhalabi also anticipates opportunities for co-training and education initiatives with Atlona - as well as through Trident's own programs - both online and in-person as businesses gradually re-open. He expects to demonstrate Atlona products alongside Panduit solutions in Trident showrooms, beginning with its Egypt and Saudi Arabia offices. "Trident's reputation in the ICT community is unsurpassed in the MEA region, and their value-added expertise will substantially raise Atlona's profile throughout the MEA region," said Thorsten Goecke, Atlona's Director of Sales for the EMEA region. "We look forward to working together and introducing Atlona to new customers throughout the region."

New CalCPA Chair to Prioritize Making Connections, Building Relationships and Finding New Opportunities Among CPAs

Sun, Aug 02, 2020 13:53 EDT

Jolene N. Fraser, CPA, a forensic accounting expert, was inaugurated today as the new chair of the CalCPA Board of Directors during CalCPA's virtual Annual Members' Meeting. Fraser will focus on the core mission of CalCPA to promote growth and prosperity for every member - and that of the profession. Making connections and building relationships among California CPAs will underpin Fraser's strategic platform during her 2020-21 tenure as chair. CalCPA is the nation's largest state CPA society. "With every storm cloud like the current pandemic, there's a silver lining ... an opportunity out of the challenge," said Fraser. "For California CPAs, our silver lining is the new opportunity for us to connect, learn and grow stronger together. CalCPA will continue to explore innovative opportunities that deepen our connections in meaningful ways, and I look forward to sharing our progress with you in the coming year." "Jolene's depth of experience as a CPA, business executive and active, engaged member and volunteer leader of CalCPA, gives her the requisite skills to lead our profession during these challenging times," said Anthony Pugliese, CPA, CGMA, CITP, President and CEO of CalCPA. "Jolene will continue our efforts to find the silver lining and help members find opportunity and community as they help to rebuild our economy." ' Several CalCPA programs are designed to help Fraser deliver on her strategy this year, including: Forge Stronger Connection Between CalCPA, Chapters and members: CalCPA has begun quarterly, virtual meetings with Chapter leadership, the first of which resulted in numerous innovative ideas. In addition, CalCPA is also introducing enhancements to our impactful technical committees while strengthening deeper connections between Chapters and the members they serve. Launch CalCPA Connect Platform: Members will have access to virtual hubs of information, education, and resources that bring members together in tight-knit communities around shared interests such as Tax or Managing and Accounting Practice. Through the CalCPA Connect Platform, members will be able to interact with state leaders and each other to share insights and experiences. Expand 'Conversations and Coffee' Programs: Newly launched, Conversations and Coffee offers CalCPA members an ongoing opportunity to come together in intimate smaller online groups to discuss and share opportunities, challenges and best practices with each other. Build a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Environment for All Members: In the coming months, CalCPA will be working work with a broad array of members, partners and staff to identify best practices, meaningful metrics, and impactful programs to help achieve this goal. Fraser said that through meaningful and actionable efforts like these, even in an environment in which we can only meet online, the profession will persevere and turn any challenges into opportunity - their silver lining. Fraser previously served as first vice chair of the CalCPA board of directors, and is Managing Director in the Forensic, Litigation & Valuation Services Group of EisnerAmper's Sacramento office. With more than 20 years of public accounting and consulting services experience, Jolene specializes in forensic accounting, providing consulting services and expert testimony. She often testifies in matters involving professional standards applicable to CPAs, computation of economic damages in commercial litigation matters, and fraud investigations across a wide variety of industries. Prior to joining the firm, Fraser was a Principal in Ueltzen & Company, specializing in forensic accounting and forensic technology services. Her background also includes audit experience at Reznick Group as well as Deloitte. Fraser is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Fraser previously served as President and Treasurer of the nonprofit organization, Teaching Everyone Animals Matter (TEAM), and serves on the American River College (ARC) Accounting Advisory Committee. # # #

Report shows close to a third of PA streams are impaired

Sat, Aug 01, 2020 04:46 EDT

Nearly one of every three miles of streams and rivers in Pennsylvania has impaired water quality, according to a draft report detailing the state's latest assessment. The number of impaired stream miles has grown by 5,568 miles since the last assessment two years ago. Of the 85,146 miles of stream and rivers that have been tested, 25,468 miles failed to meet standards in at least one of four categories - water supplies, recreation, aquatic life or fish consumption. That's 30% of all stream miles in the state. One in every eight miles of streams and rivers are considered unsafe for recreation. In addition, nearly half of the acreage of public lakes in Pennsylvania have fish that are not safe to eat, according to the report. The state is required under the federal Clean Water Act to conduct the assessment every other year and list restoration actions for approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The reports also help identify priorities for restoration. The 2020 report reviews 1,700 more miles of streams than the last report did. It identifies the top three sources of water pollution leading to impairment as agricultural runoff (5,765 miles), abandoned mine runoff (5,559 miles) and stormwater (3,206 miles). On the plus side, 26 streams, rivers or lakes have been fully restored for aquatic life since 2016, according to the report. That includes the Conestoga River and various tributaries to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River - the largest tributary of the Bay. Twenty-eight of the streams in the state that are impaired for use by aquatic life have been made a top priority for restoration. Agriculture runoff is to blame for all but two of those, according to the assessment. One is impaired because of acid mine drainage and one from urban runoff. Approximately 99% of all streams and rivers in Pennsylvania have now been assessed. The impairment and assessment status of any stream can be found at https://www.depgis.state.pa.us/IRViewer2020/. Ad Crable is a Bay Journal staff writer based in Pennsylvania. Contact him at 717-341-7270 or acrable@bayjournal.com. This article was originally published in the Bay Journal and was distributed by the Bay Journal News Service.

How Human Sperm Really Swim: New Research Challenges Centuries-old Assumption

Fri, Jul 31, 2020 14:50 EDT

A breakthrough in fertility science by researchers from Bristol and Mexico has shattered the universally accepted view of how sperm 'swim'. More than three hundred years after Antonie van Leeuwenhoek used one of the earliest microscopes to describe human sperm as having a "tail, which, when swimming, lashes with a snakelike movement, like eels in water", scientists have revealed this is an optical illusion. Using state-of-the-art 3D microscopy and mathematics, Dr Hermes Gadelha from the University of Bristol, Dr Gabriel Corkidi and Dr Alberto Darszon from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, have pioneered the reconstruction of the true movement of the sperm tail in 3D. Using a high-speed camera capable of recording over 55,000 frames in one second, and a microscope stage with a piezoelectric device to move the sample up and down at an incredibly high rate, they were able to scan the sperm swimming freely in 3D. The ground-breaking study, published in the journal Science Advances , reveals the sperm tail is in fact wonky and only wiggles on one side. While this should mean the sperm's one-sided stroke would have it swimming in circles, sperm have found a clever way to adapt and swim forwards. "Human sperm figured out if they roll as they swim, much like playful otters corkscrewing through water, their one-sided stoke would average itself out, and they would swim forwards," said Dr Gadelha, head of the Polymaths Laboratory at Bristol's Department of Engineering Mathematics and an expert in the mathematics of fertility. "The sperms' rapid and highly synchronised spinning causes an illusion when seen from above with 2D microscopes - the tail appears to have a side-to-side symmetric movement, "like eels in water", as described by Leeuwenhoek in the 17th century. "However, our discovery shows sperm have developed a swimming technique to compensate for their lop-sidedness and in doing so have ingeniously solved a mathematical puzzle at a microscopic scale: by creating symmetry out of asymmetry," said Dr Gadelha. "The otter-like spinning of human sperm is however complex: the sperm head spins at the same time that the sperm tail rotates around the swimming direction. This is known in physics as precession, much like when the orbits of Earth and Mars precess around the sun." Computer-assisted semen analysis systems in use today, both in clinics and for research, still use 2D views to look at sperm movement. Therefore, like Leeuwenhoek's first microscope, they are still prone to this illusion of symmetry while assessing semen quality. This discovery, with its novel use of 3D microscope technology combined with mathematics, may provide fresh hope for unlocking the secrets of human reproduction. "With over half of infertility caused by male factors, understanding the human sperm tail is fundamental to developing future diagnostic tools to identify unhealthy sperm," adds Dr Gadelha, whose work has previously revealed the biomechanics of sperm bendiness and the precise rhythmic tendencies that characterise how a sperm moves forward. Dr Corkidi and Dr Darszon pioneered the 3D microscopy for sperm swimming. "This was an incredible surprise, and we believe our state-of the-art 3D microscope will unveil many more hidden secrets in nature. One day this technology will become available to clinical centres," said Dr Corkidi. "This discovery will revolutionize our understanding of sperm motility and its impact on natural fertilization. So little is known about the intricate environment inside the female reproductive tract and how sperm swimming impinge on fertilization. These new tools open our eyes to the amazing capabilities sperm have," said Dr Darszon. Notes: Paper: Human sperm uses asymmetric and anisotropic flagellar controls to regulate swimming symmetry and cell steering Manuscript DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba5168 Publication: Science Advances Images and video: A selection of images with caption and credit details are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/r59wpsoop9a7dme/AABjBIyvHzhBqFkrZ0EfCs6pa?dl=0 A short 1-minute video telling the story is available here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/skqge4vivaqlex0/SPERM-ILLUSION-SUMMARY.mp4?dl=0 A fuller selection of images with caption details and related videos are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jt6t7jpypcwlfwc/AADrodGB0x6RCOgw5qf5Pmupa?dl=0 Dr Hermes Gadelha is available for interview and be reached directly via email hermes.gadelha@bristol.ac.uk More of his research on the mathematics of fertility can be found on his laboratory webpage: http://www.polymaths-lab.com/#!/


Fri, Jul 31, 2020 11:21 EDT

As the Milk Your Moments Campaign draws to a close this week Kantar data shows huge spikes in sales of core dairy items through the peak of lockdown. As the joint funded marketing campaign, Milk Your Moments, draws to a close today, data has revealed how consumers chose to consume and connect over their favourite dairy based foods, to get them through lockdown. Kantar data has shown that a huge 2.9 billion cups of tea and 1.7 billion cups of coffee were drunk over the peak lockdown period, increases of 21% and 19% respectively. Figures also show the overwhelming popularity of milk, with 94% of UK households purchasing milk over the last four weeks compared with only 16% buying a dairy alternative. Cheese has also seen unprecedented increases in sales, with consumption of cheese increasing 48% during lockdown as people found themselves making their own sandwiches and lunches as well as in scratch cooking such as homemade pizza, which saw a 235% jump in online conversations. Home cooking and the craze for banana bread also caused sales of butter to spike in the week of 22nd March, with a year on year increase of 69% in weekly sales. Commenting, chief executive Dr Judith Bryans said: "Clearly when it mattered most, consumers turned to the foods they know, trust and enjoy when they were in the height of lockdown. We all came together to make this campaign happen and we should be incredibly proud how its created positivity for dairy and increased awareness around mental health issues, during such an uncertain time. We should also see it at a starting block to future because we need to talk to our consumers on an ongoing basis." Rebecca Miah, AHDB head of dairy marketing said: "The Milk Your Moments campaign was hugely important, to not only support our industry in difficult circumstances, but to give back to our loyal consumers in a time of national crisis. Understanding that dairy has such a crucial part to play in human connection as well as nutrition is a real step change for the dairy industry, and we should continue to be proud of our importance to society, with these strong growth numbers demonstrating the fact". The campaign finishes today after last week successfully hitting its target of raising £100,000 in support of the UK's leading mental health charity Mind. Donations were generated through visits to the Milk Your Moments microsite and by encouraging text donations. Data This research was commissioned by Milk Your Moments in support of Mind, the mental health charity. Kantar data covers the eight weeks from 17th May 2020. The social data searched Twitter and provided stats for 546,506 unique authors during the timeline 12th March - 18th June 2020 and looked at the key lockdown moments.