RIDING HOME: Odessa couple plays growing part in veterans’ healing on coast-to-coast ride

first_img Previous articleOUR VIEW: Memorial Day is time for reflectionNext articleObservers across Odessa area honor heroes on Memorial Day admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Motorcyclists in the 30th annual Run for the Wall event make their way northbound along East Loop 338 as they head for their evening stop May 18 at Crossroads Church in Odessa. Some of the riders began their trip to Washington, D.C. in California, while others joined the group along the way. Over 1,600 bikers were involved in the ride to the nation’ss capital city, with over 500 riding the Southern route through Odessa. Local News RIDING HOME: Odessa couple plays growing part in veterans’ healing on coast-to-coast ride OC employee of the year always learning Facebook Pinterest Twitter Motorcyclists in the 30th annual Run for the Wall event make their way northbound along East Loop 338 as they head for their evening stop May 18 at Crossroads Church in Odessa. Some of the riders began their trip to Washington, D.C. in California, while others joined the group along the way. Over 1,600 bikers were involved in the ride to the nation’ss capital city, with over 500 riding the Southern route through Odessa. Twitter 1 of 2 Pinterest Home Local News RIDING HOME: Odessa couple plays growing part in veterans’ healing on coast-to-coast…center_img WhatsApp Facebook “It really does,” he said, between stolen glances at his wife, ‘Mojo.’John and Diann McKee rolled through Odessa the week before Memorial Day alongside more than 400 other riders, as part of the 30th annual Run for the Wall event, which sends motorcyclists across the country in 10 days, from California to Washington, D.C., toward the capital’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial.On the third day of this year’s ride, on May 18, after a day spent barreling between scorching asphalt and the sweltering sun in New Mexico, John detailed what it was like, as a Vietnam veteran, to find something he could be part of like Run for the Wall, and to find brethren of a common bond in an organization founded by fellow veterans — and to find much, much more.John and Diann met on his first cross-country ride with the group in 2006. They talked more during the ride in 2007. By 2008, they were married, and he moved from Pennsylvania to be with her in Odessa.Diann is a native Odessan who graduated from Permian, and who got involved with Run for the Wall in 2003. Where everyone has their ‘road name,’ hers is ‘Mojo.’Now, through their connections along with those of other area participants, Odessa has become a pivotal part of the event each year, serving as a tentpole among the 10 stops along the ride’s Southern route.The event has grown to include 1,600 registered riders this year, spread across three routes that all start in Ontario, Calif. and push through different states before funneling together again in Washington, D.C. in time for Memorial Day.Veterans, like John, and supporters, like Diann, participate in the endurance ride every year, to raise awareness to the call for the accounting of prisoners of war and those missing in action, and to honor those killed in action — and, for some, to be back part of something more.“It’s a healing journey for a lot of these Vietnam vets, and now even the Iraqi and Afghanistan vets as well,” Diann said, speaking across from John under the roof of Crossroads Church on that first Friday of this year’s ride. With an escort from Odessa Police Department, the riders had just pulled in to the church to eat dinner and end their day’s ride that started in Las Cruces, N.M. that morning, before revving up and heading east the next morning.“As they come across the country and see the support from the grassroots of America, it helps them release all those demons and just helps them heal, and they in turn want to come back the next year, and year, and year, to help other veterans.”John said he was struggling with common issues from PTSD in the early 2000’s, when he learned about Run for the Wall through a documentary about the ride. “I said, ‘Why don’t I try that out?’“I went in 2006, and man, it just changed my life,” he said. “It really did.“It changed my life, and I saw similar people’s lives change around me, and that’s when I committed, ‘I’m going to do this again,’ and just kept doing it and doing it and doing it.”More than a decade later, John can claim to be living proof of what the ride can do — and what the support along the way, from cities like Odessa, can mean.“I thought patriotism was dead in the country, really. Because all you see on the news is the east coast and west coast, and you know how they are,” he said. He described a stop on his first ride with the organization, where, in a small town in New Mexico, a group of junior high students sang the national anthem for the riders, and he “about lost it,” just seeing some of that ‘grassroots’ support between the coasts.“That was very rewarding.“And it was also very rewarding to get back with people who had walked the same ground that I did — the mud, the blood and all that stuff. To have somebody say, ‘When you’re feeling down, I understand what you’re going through’ — Because you don’t think anyone does. You think you’re the only one who has these thoughts and feelings.” 2021 SCHOOL HONORS: Permian High School Odessa’s Diann McKee, left, and John McKee are pictured May 18 outside Crossroads Church in Odessa, participating in the 30th annual Run for the Wall bike ride to the nation’s capital city this month. The McKees were among 1,600 registered bikers who began a 10-day trip from Ontario, Calif. to Washington, D.C. on May 16. Over 500 riders took the event’s Southern route, making a stop in Odessa on May 18. (Jacob Ford|Odessa American) ECISD undergoing ‘equity audit’ Slap Your Mama It’s So Delicious Southern Squash CasseroleFruit Salad to Die ForSmoked Bacon Wrapped French Vidalia OnionPowered By 10 Sec Mama’s Deviled Eggs NextStay By admin – May 28, 2018 WhatsApp Almost 40 years after John McKee left Vietnam, he decided to get on a motorcycle out in California, and go for a ride.That ride changed his life.And a fascinating thing happened as he rumbled his way east, coasting across the United States with hundreds of other riders, through deserts and over plains and winding between hills: He saw more of the same happening all around him, and by now, he’s seen all of it a dozen times over.“It does bring healing,” said McKee, now of Odessa, speaking firsthand and sitting with his riding gear loosened, and his gloves off, during a stop on his 13th such cross-country ride.last_img read more

Vermont Yankee’s $60 million dilemma

first_img NRC makes Vermont Yankee license renewal official | Vermont … Mar 21, 2011 … In a letter dated March 21, 2011, US Nuclear Regulatory Senior Project Manager Robert Kuntz notified Michael Colomb, Entergy Vermont Yankee … Aug 27, 2002 … Vermont Yankee finally sold to Entergy by Robert Smith The deal had more than its share of up and down moments, but the sale of the Vermont … Northstar Vermont Yankee,By Kate Duffy, Vermont Business Magazine. Entergy Nuclear has a $60 million decision to make ‘ whether to invest in refueling Vermont Yankee, even though a federal judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction assuring the company it could continue operating the plant while its lawsuit against the state is pending. US District Court Judge J Garvan Murtha denied the request for a preliminary injunction in a decision issued Monday afternoon. He said Entergy failed to prove during a two-day hearing in June that it would suffer ‘irreparable harm’ before the case, schedule for trial in September, is decided.During the hearing, Entergy’s lawyers argued that without an injunction that would let it plan for future operations, the company may be forced to shut down the plant before its current license expires in March. It would be unlikely to make a $60 million investment in fuel rods without an indication from the court that it might win its case. ‘Entergy, while it has raised the possibility, has not persuaded the Court that a decision to shut down is likely and imminent,’ Judge Murtha wrote in the 18-page decision. Entergy is suing the state in federal court over whether a law that effectively gives the Legislature the right to shut down a licensed, operating nuclear power plant is constitutional. Vermont Yankee, the state’s only nuclear power plant, is slated to shut down on March 21, 2012, at the end of its original 40-year operating license. Citing the plant’s age and history of radioactive leaks, last year the Senate voted 26 to 4 not to allow the Public Service Board to issue a certificate of public good to let the plant operate beyond its scheduled shut-down. In March, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which regulates all of the nation’s 104 nuclear power reactors, approved a license extension that would allow the plant to continue generating power for another 20 years. Entergy says the plant is safe and reliable and should be allowed to continue operating. It had hoped a preliminary injunction would allow it to do so while the case is pending. Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, a Democrat, said the state had won an important battle but still has a war to wage. ‘This was a nice win, but really what’s better is that the preliminary injunction was not issued,’ Sorrell said. ‘If one had been granted, that would have been a devastating blow to us because it would have required the finding by the judge, based on his understanding of the facts and the law, that it was likely that Entergy would prevail on the merits of the case as a result of the trial. We would have been really knocked backwards if that were the case.’ In ruling on the failure to prove irreparable harm, Judge Murtha did not address whether he thought Entergy could win its suit based on the merits of its case. ‘I was a little bit surprised that he so carefully skirted the merits,’ said Pat Parenteau, an attorney and professor at Vermont Law School who has been closely watching the case unfold. ‘He gave a few hints of what’s troubling him and things he wants to see addressed at trial. It’s like reading tea leaves in the opinion. But I was not at all surprised he found no irreparable harm.’ Parenteau noted it is extremely difficult to prove irreparable harm in a case like this. Instead, he noted the judge fast-tracked the case, scheduling the trial for September 12-14, in order to address the merits of the case and make a final decision. ‘The judge expressed no views whatsoever on the constitutional issues that Entergy has raised,’ Parenteau said. ‘Reading between the lines, what I see is a judge who believes the state has a right to close the plant for the proper reasons, but a judge who is not 100 percent convinced the state has done that.’ In a statement issued to reporters, Vermont Yankee spokesman Larry Smith said the company is ‘disappointed in the outcome.’ He made no indication of whether it will buy the fuel needed for the plant ‘ a decision he previously had said would have to be made by July 23. ‘Our request for a preliminary injunction was about keeping the plant’s workers employed, the plant running safely and the electric grid reliable until this case is resolved. In the upcoming days, we will be evaluating Judge Murtha’s opinion and assessing the company’s near-term options.’ RELATEDCourt denies preliminary injunction in Vermont Yankee caseThe Federal District Court for the District of Vermont issued a decision Monday evening in favor of the State of Vermont and denied Entergy’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the State from enforcing its laws during the pendency of the litigation. In a prepared statement, Attorney General William Sorrell called the decision ‘a very good first step in an important case.’  Mar 3, 2010 … Vermont Yankee engineers and technicians continue their investigation into the source of tritium in the plant’s groundwater.www.vermontbiz.com/node/14600 Vermont Yankee finally sold to Entergy | Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Yankee narrows search for tritium leak | Vermont Business …last_img read more

Town of Palm Beach sets new curfew due to increase in coronavirus cases

first_imgThe Town of Palm Beach announced Monday that it is issuing new curfew hours due to the record increase in coronavirus cases, particularly among young people, and lack of available hospital beds.The new hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., effective Thursday, July 2, until further notice.last_img

Tributes pour in for man killed in quad tragedy

first_imgThe man killed when his quad crashed outside Mountcharles on Sunday evening has been named.He was Patrick McGinty, a 42-year-old single man from the local area.Mr McGinty was thrown from his quad and suffered serious head injuries around 7pm on Sunday evening. He was rushed to Letterkenny University Hospital and then transferred to Beaumont Hospital but died in the early hours of Monday morning.Mr McGinty was well-known and liked in the local area where he was remembered as friendly, quiet and a huge Liverpool FC fan.Tributes have been flowing in on social media for the late Mr McGinty.A full investigation into the cause of the crash is being carried out by Gardai. Tributes pour in for man killed in quad tragedy was last modified: June 19th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalGardaiinvestigationkilledMOUNTCHARLESPatrick McGintyquadlast_img read more

New technologies for social housing

first_imgThis project in Kliptown, Soweto, is one of 2.3-million funded by the government. Minister Tokyo Sexwale viewing alternative sanitation systems at the indaba. Ahmed Ahmed exhibited his solar lighting system. Hydraform produces strong bricks. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Chris Vick, Spokesperson, Department of Human Settlements +27 83 556 7644 or +27 12 421 1645  RELATED ARTICLES • New homes for Soweto residents • Housing projects to curb SA slums • Urban housing success story • Social development in South AfricaBongani NkosiSouth Africa is now looking into alternative and innovative building materials to address backlogs in social housing delivery, and also to improve the quality of its products.The Department of Human Settlements hosted an indaba on 29 and 30 September in Sandton, Johannesburg, to explore new technologies that could be used for its building projects. The indaba, attended by leading business executives and research academics, was meant to find “new ideas” that are “concrete and implementable”, the department’s minister Tokyo Sexwale said.The department is addressing various faults in a number of social housing projects across the country.  It has bulldozed shoddily built houses, spending billions of rands on rebuilding them.Demolishing started in the Eastern Cape in November 2009 where about 20 000 defective houses were flattened. The department also set aside R2-billion (US$287-million) to investigate “dodgy contractors” involved in corruption.As a result of inferior work, officials are forced to do comprehensive inspections on a number of ongoing projects, which is a waste of time, according to the director-general Thabane Zulu.“We should do things right from the start,” Zulu said, adding that there are extensive backlogs.The indaba saw more than 100 companies exhibiting innovative building technologies and new approaches to building. They included construction companies and developers in areas such as sanitation and solar energy.“We have to apply new technologies to build better homes,” Sexwale said.The government is looking at reasonably priced products of quality. “As we look for solutions, we should also be looking at their cost-effectiveness – searching for cheaper materials, but not compromising on quality,” said Sexwale. “The poorest of the poor deserve much better.”The alternative productsJohn Cook, MD of Nare Housing, brought his company’s steel and concrete wall surface, named the Blast Building System. Like many of the exhibited products, Cook’s new technology complements conventional bricks and mortar structures.Independent assessment company Agrément South Africa certified the product in June 2010, and Cook said they will start a project in the Eastern Cape in six weeks.It’s cheap and durable, and a house can be extended using bricks though it’s built of concrete and steel, according to Cook.“Our quality is guaranteed.  In 20 years’ time a gogo [grandmother] in Phalaborwa can get a bricklayer to extend her house. I heard they are demolishing because of poor quality – but you can never demolish this.”Germany-based Surefire Group is planning to bid for subsidy housing contracts in South Africa through a local subsidiary. Surefire exhibited its double-insulated concrete structures.“It’s stronger and cheaper than bricks and mortar,” said Surefire director Freddie Seward. “This is the future of technology; bricks and mortar are the past.”The indaba also focused on environment-friendly sanitation and electrification products. Cape Town-based Ezylight, a solar power company, introduced its lighting system, Featuring a solar panel, 12 volt battery and LED lights, the system costs R1 700 ($244) and lasts a lifetime, said founder Ahmed Ahmed.“Our focus for social housing is lighting,” he said.The market for solar energy in South Africa is still “very tight” and the indaba was a “move in the right direction by the government” towards promoting the technology, Ahmed said. Ezylight has been nominated for the 2010 eta Awards, which recognise excellence in innovation and use of efficient energy.2.3 million housesSince coming to power in 1994, the incumbent government has built more than 2.3-million subsidised houses, according to Sexwale. “We’ve been building houses. This government has done better.”last_img read more

South Africa moves to unlock ‘blue economy’

first_img21 July 2014 Teams of representatives from the government, business, labour, civil society and academia have begun working on plans to unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans, in the first activation of a new initiative, dubbed Operation Phakisa, that was launched by President Jacob Zuma on the weekend. Inspired by the “Big Fast Results” methodology successfully applied by Malaysia, Operation Phakisa – from the Sesotho word meaning “hurry up” – aims to fast-track the delivery of priorities outlined in the country’s National Development Plan. Key to this will be a series of “laboratories”, or work sessions, in which teams of experts and stakeholders conduct intensive planning at a practical and detailed level in order to deliver complete, signed-off action plans for presentation to Cabinet. The first implementation of Operation Phakisa will initially be led by the Department of Environmental Affairs, and focus on four priority sectors: marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture, and marine protection services and governance. “South Africa is uniquely bordered by the ocean on three sides,” President Zuma told delegates at the launch of the initiative at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Saturday. “With the inclusion of Prince Edward and Marion Islands in the southern ocean, the coastline is approximately 3 924 kilometres long.” But the full economic potential of this vast marine space remains largely untapped. South Africa’s oceans, Zuma said, have the potential to contribute up to R177-billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while creating up to 1-million new jobs, by 2033 – compared to R54-billion generated, and 316 000 jobs created, in 2010. In the area of marine transport and manufacturing, Zuma said, the expert/stakeholder work sessions would look at exploiting South Africa’s location and expertise to increase its share of the global marine manufacturing market, including ship-building and repair, and oil rig repair and refurbishment. They would also look at capturing the benefits of growing volumes of cargo handling, and supporting activities such as storage and warehousing. Regarding offshore oil and gas exploration, Zuma said the government was looking at creating a more enabling environment in order to increase the number of exploration wells drilled, while maximising the value captured for South Africa. The government was also looking at enhancing growth in aquaculture, which was relatively underdeveloped in South Africa despite being an increasingly important contributor to food security globally. At the same time, Zuma said, the government recognised the need to continuously balance the economic exploitation of the oceans with the maintenance of their environmental integrity. This would be achieved by developing an institutional framework for the management of South Africa’s ocean space, and by improving the protection of South Africa’s oceans, particularly around critically endangered ecosystems. Zuma said the expert/stakeholder teams – comprising over 180 representatives – had begun their work last week, and would spend next few weeks, until 15 August, “further developing these aspirations and ideas, setting ambitious targets, and formulating detailed delivery plans for accelerating delivery. “These work sessions will help create transparency and help to remove bottlenecks and resolve the most critical challenges facing a sector,” Zuma said. Once the plans had been completed and approved, Operation Phakisa would enter its first implementation phase, which would be rigorously monitored and measured against publicly stated targets. “The people of South Africa deserve much better from all of us,” Zuma said. “Through Operation Phakisa and all our other key strategic interventions to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan, we must work tirelessly to move our country forward and build a better life for all, especially the poor and the working class.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Animal Health Alert: Bovine Tuberculosis Detected In SE Indiana

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey is recommending cattle owners in Southwest Ohio monitor their herds closely after the Indiana Board of Animal Health reported this week that bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been diagnosed in a wild white-tailed deer in Franklin County in Southeast Indiana. No cases have been diagnosed in Ohio.“While the extent to which the disease may be present in the wild deer population is not known, cattle owners in Southwest Ohio should be aware of this finding and take precautions,” said Dr. Forshey. “Monitor your cattle for signs of TB, including lethargy, low-grade fever, and cough, and to take steps to prevent contact between your cattle and wild animals.”Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial disease that affects primarily cattle, but can be transmitted to any warm-blooded animal. While clinical signs are not visible, in early stages, signs that the disease is progressing may include emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, low-grade fever and pneumonia with a chronic, moist cough.  Cattle owners who notice any of these signs in their livestock should contact their veterinarian immediately.Hunters should take precautions to protect themselves, including wearing gloves when field dressing animals and fully cooking all meat. Deer can be infected without noticeable signs of disease, like the doe that tested positive in Indiana. Hunters who notice signs of TB in wildlife should contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, June 10, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Showers will be moving across Ohio today and will try to exit the east later this afternoon. Rain totals will be from .1″-.7″. Clouds will break up late this afternoon and evening, and we should see better sunshine potential tomorrow.  Our next chance of rain arrives Wednesday night with scattered showers that linger through Thursday. We actually end up getting two separate lines or bands of moisture, one front-running the cold front where we can see some thunderstorms in central Ohio, and the second with wrap around moisture that works through more on Thursday. Thunderstorms will be most likely in central and south central Ohio out of that first batch. Rain totals end up from .25″-1.25″ with coverage at 80%.  We dry down for Friday in all parts of the state but may see clouds trying to come across Lake Erie late Friday afternoon and evening.  Saturday has a Great Lakes frontal boundary slowly sagging south. This will bring rain to the entire state through the day Saturday and we end up with rain totals from .25”-75” with coverage at 100%. Everything should be done by Sunday morning.  We put together our next multi-day dry stretch starting next Sunday. We see full sunshine for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the very least. There should be good drying associated with this period. We even start next Wednesday with sunshine but are seeing some moisture wanting to lift up out of the southwest that may bring showers by next Wednesday afternoon. This will be another good weather window for field work, especially if we can get by with rains at the lower end of the range out of the Friday night-Saturday event. The map at right shows 10 day rain totals from today through midweek next week. We should note that the bulk of this moisture comes from Wednesday night through Saturday night. However, temperatures continue to be on the cool side through the entire forecast period, so heat units will be harder to come by than we would like.  For the extended period, Thursday looks dry, but showers and thunderstorms arrive for Friday and Saturday, the 21st and 22nd. Rain totals can be from .5”-2” with 90% coverage. A wet pattern continues with a chance of scattered showers for the Sunday through Tuesday, the 23rd through the 25th. Rain totals can be from .25”-1” with 70% coverage.last_img read more