Published February 17, 2012, 03:17 PM
Letter from 5 UND Athletics Hall of Fame inductees: NCAA sanctions would lead to death knell for UND athletics
If the referendum and amendment to force UND to retain the Fighting Sioux nickname ultimately passes, the former UND athletes write, the sanctions imposed by the NCAA, the loss of conference affiliation, scheduling difficulties, the endless road trips to faraway places, the lack of home games, absence of home playoff opportunities, the potential of not even getting to the playoffs, and the intense competition in recruiting that will take the top student athletes away from UND will signal the death knell for UND Athletics.
Bruce Smith, Corey Colehour and three others, Grand Forks Herald
JOHN HART -- State Journal archives
Fans stream into the Kohl Center, which has hosted the state
boys and girls basketball tournaments since opening in 1998.
Croyden approaches the aftermath of the fires from an acute angle, not exploring the actual bushfire but, rather, revealing the emotional fragility of Hannah (Libby Gott) and her younger sister, Lily.
The shocking truth of family abuse provides the dramatic tension in the latter half.
Croydens dialogue in the first half is, however, sometimes rambling or banal.
Director Wayne Pearn effectively concentrates on the fraught relationships of the characters of Hannah, her sleazy stepfather John (Jonathon Dyer) and her concerned neighbour Claire (Bridgette Burton).
A FALLEN TREE, La Mama, until March 4
Stars: * *
At age 12, Summit School of Ahwatukee seventh-grader Cooper Dinowitz hasnt played with Legos for years, but his stashed-away boxes of the small, interlocking blocks came in handy when fashioning a facsimile of the human digestive system.
Coopers project was among 16 Human Body Amusement Park displays on view this week at the school.
The brainchild of Summit science teacher Andrea Yocum, the park was a hands-on learning experience that showcases the students creativity while re-enforcing last semesters lessons on the human body and major systems, including the circulatory, digestive, nervous, skeletal/muscular and respiratory.
Each Body Amusement Park display had five rides illustrating each system.
Cooper and two partners made their digestive system ride to resemble a roller coaster starting at a gaping mouth in a large foam head.
A marble entered at the mouth and went steeply down the esophagus, curled down and through the small intestine, large intestine, colon, and came out you know where, said Cooper of Tempe, adding that he and partners Nick Walrod and Zach Crown had a little difficulty brainstorming as a group, but after a while we made some good decisions. Walrod and Crown are from Ahwatukee.
Osaso Ighodaro of Chandler and her partner KeAnna Anglin of Ahwatukee created trampolines to represent how neurons send messages through the nervous system.
We made the trampolines using clay, then added plastic tubing, cardboard and Popsicle sticks, said Osaso, 12. At first, we had trouble coming up with a concept for the nervous system but we used the trampolines as the neurons, and people as neurotransmitters that send messages throughout the body through the neuropathways.
Like other teams, the two girls worked on their large Human Body Amusement Parks during winter break.
Mostly we worked on it at her house, in her room, she said of their 2-foot x 4-foot park. From the brainstorming to when we finished, we probably put in about 14 or 15 hours.
No park could be larger than 4 feet by 4 feet in order to fit through the science-classroom door.
Some displays contained trees and water features, park visitors and restrooms. Others incorporated fans or small machines like those in the circulatory system that Austin Iannitti and Kyle Corrette made, using a pump to move pulsing blood through veins.
Carly Bych of Chandler and partner Lauren Shapiro of Ahwatukee, both 13, said creating the Human Body Amusement Park came in handy during final tests earlier this month.
It helped a lot because we could relate back to it and think, OK, how did the circulatory system relate to the digestive system, nervous system, respiratory and skeletal/muscular? said Carly.
Her favorite ride was their Lung Bounce House, made to illustrate the respiratory system. Milk jugs were used as the lungs and toilet paper rolls acted as the bronchi. At the bottom of the respiratory ride was a balloon with Lego figures that moved when viewers interacted by pushing down on the balloon that represented the diaphragm.
The kids are so creative, they can take the same (body) system and do it 10 different ways, Yocum said. The kids love it and a lot of it, I think, is that they get to look at the body systems in a different way. It helps them analyze the information.
Students also wrote an explanation describing how the rides worked, and how they related to the other body systems, and made oral presentations to their classmates.
I like the hands-on part of this, said Cooper. It really brings to life what weve learned from our books.
Torex, the leading global provider of innovative technology to the retail, hospitality and convenience and fuel markets, recently announces it is launching the MiAssistant application to enrich the customer in-store experience as part of the Torex Commerce Suite for Retail.
Torex MiAssistant is an application designed to run on all types of tablets and browser based mobile devices to support sales assistants on the shop floor with configurable sales processes and workflows to enable them to guide customers through the selection and purchasing of products and services. It can be used to identify ecommerce orders awaiting collection in store, quickly look up and recommend products from an extended range with detailed features and benefits; check stock availability across all locations and then place the order for store sale, delivery or collection. The transaction is then automatically reconciled through the stores POS system.
The application also provides sales assistants with additional information held about customers, such as recent purchases, birthday dates, loyalty points and eligibility for unique promotions, enabling them to personalise their in-store experience. Goods that have been ordered online can also easily be returned in-store with the original transaction recalled for verification.
Many retailers that have introduced website sales through stores report significantly depleted margins but MiAssistant counteracts this by improving the in-store experience, and guiding customers to purchase added value and additional items. Sales assistants are empowered with answers to customer questions and the ability to fulfil demands on the spot. Staff can also better identify and match products to customer requirements, which improves conversion rates and increases in-store spend. Easy access to detailed information means that new product features can be quickly explained, as can product comparisons and promotions, which both help sales assistants to influence the customers buying decisions; the result of which is a more bespoke, informative and positive in-store experience. Shoppers can make informed choices and have confidence in their purchase decisions.
Richard Willis, Retail Solutions Director, Torex explains: Whilst choice, availability and value are key to any shoppers requirements, for many a personalised experience will drive loyalty and increased spend. The launch of MiAssistant marks a step towards making the in-store shopping experience more satisfying for both customers and retailers by empowering the store sales assistants. The one-to-one interaction using this technology is very different from traditional POS interactions. Its interactive and flexible with an emphasis on sharing information with the customer to enrich their experience.
Torex is a European market leader for store systems in Retail, Hospitality, Convenience and Fuel markets. Our customers choose Torex to make the most out of their business, by gaining access to our deep market experience, innovative technology and global reach.
1,150 Torex people help over 6,000 businesses serve their customers every year, in over 30 countries. Over the last year we have launched PizzaExpresss ground-breaking voucher scheme and PayPal app, helped Mothercare to manage its franchise stock with Merchandise Planning and showed independent convenience retailers how to reap up to 2% improvement in margin. Our client list includes market leaders such as BQ, River Island, Lloydspharmacy, PizzaExpress, Costa Coffee, The Co-operative, Martin McColl, MRH, Londis, Hema and Deichmann.
We provide outlet and head office technology to our core markets globally, through a mix of software, hardware, consultancy, implementation and maintenance and services. Our technology ranges from Point-of-Sale to solutions which help our customers deal with merchandise planning, business analytics, loss prevention and multi-channel trading. We also provide consumer-facing solutions for e-commerce, vouchering, loyalty programmes and integration with social media networks.
This technology and expertise together provide a number of benefits including smoother processes, operational efficiencies, seamless employee management, better customer service, allowing customers to keep up with consumer trends and stay ahead of the competition - in short, improve profitability.
For more information, visit www.torex.com.
An article in Education Week titled, "Lingering Shame: Sexual Abuse of Students by School Employees," stated, "Most of America's educators are dedicated professionals who wouldn't dream of crossing the line into sexual conduct with a student. But a small slice of school employees do not respect that boundary."
That "small slice of school employees" is making headlines month after month unlike anything experienced in the history of this country. Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is just one of numerous cases making headlines. Attractive female teachers seducing their younger students make up the most sensationalized cases today.
Regarding the harm inflicted by sexually abusive teachers, the online article went on to say, "Their crimes can leave indelible scars on their victims, severely damage families, and cause lasting harm to entire school communities. How to recognize and combat the threat posed by such educators is an issue that no education policymaker, administrator, teacher or parent can afford to ignore."
In a world where females are as likely to compromise a student's morals as are males, parents are being called upon to take a more active role in the relationship their child might develop with a teacher. Experts say open communication is the key. When it comes to your child, curiosity is a good thing.
A 1998 article, "Sex With Students: When Employees Cross the Line," warned, "It may start with a warm smile or an affectionate hug. But often, far more often than many people think, those friendly moments mask the first steps by a teacher or coach down the road that leads to sexual relations with their young charges and the shattering of a sacred trust."
Just as disappointing as teachers cross this line is the occasional slap on the wrist by some authorities whose punishment for breaking this "sacred trust" is to allow the perpetrator to resign, relocate and continue teaching elsewhere.
In a seven-month investigation of sexual misconduct by teachers, The Associated Press discovered cases in which educators accused of such misconduct continued to teach.
Now, I certainly do not believe unproved accusations should be allowed to destroy a person's career. But if evidence such as text messages suggest a teacher has exercised poor judgment in flirting with a student, is it asking too much for that person to seek a new career in a field that does not involve close contact with children?
Still, why are improper teacher-student relationships increasing? Is it because of the emphasis placed on sexual gratification in society? Could films that romanticize improper teacher-student relationships share the blame?
As mature adults we should realize the potential to become attracted to someone can cross age, race, gender, education or social status. If left unchecked, imperfect human beings can easily become their own worst enemy. The cause?
The Bible says at Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?" -- New World Translation.
The New Living Translation reads, "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?"
Romantic feelings can become so desperate they can overpower reason, making even rational people act unwisely. We've seen this happen to psychiatrists, politicians and clergymen -- people who knew better.
A teacher or student may exhibit certain emotional or psychological vulnerabilities and begin to doubt their own attractiveness, feeling a need to test themselves to satisfy some need. While the desire may be common, experts agree that violating boundaries in a trust-based relationship can quickly turn into a consuming nightmare.
No one believes a reputable teacher would deliberately set out to send shock waves through a school, a community, their own family and risk their good reputation and freedom over a few fleeting moments with a child or teenager. Yet many mature teachers sit in prison for exactly that.
Why did no one see it, suspect it or speak up before it went too far? Why did the teacher not create some distance and seek help at the first sign of emotional attachment? These are questions often asked too late.
Research shows that parental involvement in schools can improve students' behavior, attendance and achievement. Perhaps it can help reduce the attraction that is causing some teachers to cross the line with students.
The first line of defense in fighting improper teacher-student relationships is the educators themselves. There is no sin in admitting you need help. After being honest about your feelings, follow the words of Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way." -- Good News Translation.
A worker trims stainless steel bristles at the Gordon Brush Manufacturing Co. production facility in Commerce, Calif. More than half of the growth in the US fourth-quarter GDP resulted from businesses increasing their stockpiles of products.
(Tim Rue, Bloomberg / January 10, 2012)
Fallout from the recession and bad, speculative loans finally crumpled Tennessee Commerce Bank in Franklin, a $1.2 billion bank closed Friday by regulators in Tennessee?s first bank failure in a decade.
Republic Bancorp Inc. of Louisville, Ky., will buy all of the deposits and some loans of Tennessee Commerce Bank at a steep discount to cushion against what could be additional problem loans lingering on the failed bank?s books.
The bank will reopen Monday with a 125-person transition team on site representing investigators, attorneys and a Republic Bank management crew expected to arrive over the weekend.
It represents the first bank branch in Tennessee for Republic, which has $3.4 billion in assets and operations in four other states. Deposits are protected up to legal limits by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., officials said. Stockholders shouldn?t expect to be made whole financially.
Other losers include taxpayers, who shouldn?t expect to get back the $30 million that Tennessee Commerce got under the US Treasury?s Troubled Asset Relief Program.
But Steve Trager, Republic?s CEO, called expanding into the Nashville market a natural for his bank, which probably will add other locations here.
?We?re here to grow,? Trager said.
?We have a good history of expansion and associating ourselves with quality people in local markets and serving customers in a responsive and accountable way.?
Closing a bank is a last resort for regulators.
Kathryn Edge, a banking attorney at law firm Miller Martin in Nashville, said, ?At least this one was acquired by a strong company, and that?s good for consumers.?
Peyton Green, a bank analyst with Sterne Agee in Nashville, added: ?You?re going to see an occasional failure in states where the economy is better than the national average. It could be related to an individual bank?s business model, which could cause problems.?
INDIANAPOLIS The battle over the right-to-work issue may be reaching a conclusion in Indiana as the state prepares to adopt its law, but the argument over exactly what the measure means for a states economy is likely to rage on, unresolved, as it has for 70 years.
Since the 1940s, 22 states have passed laws barring unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers for labor representation. Supporters, mostly Republicans, insist the measure helps create a pro-business climate that attracts employers and increases jobs. Opponents say the law only leads to lower wages and poorer quality jobs.
The evidence on the issue is abundant, but also conflicting and murky. The clearest conclusion, according to many experts, is that the economies of states respond to a mix of factors, ranging from the swings in the national economy to demographic trends, and that isolating the impact of right-to-work is nearly impossible.
Obscuring the answer is the difficulty of distinguishing the effects of the RTW laws from state characteristics, as well as other state policies that are unrelated with these laws, said economists Ozkan Eren and Serkan Ozbeklik, who conducted a major study last year of the right-to-work laws in Oklahoma and Idaho.
For major industries, the chief factors in choosing locations tend to be access to supplies, infrastructure, key markets and a skilled work force, according to business recruitment specialists. For a states workers, the impact of right-to-work is limited because only about 7% of private sector employees are unionized. Over the years, job growth has surged in states with, and without, right-to-work laws.
On right to work, The reason we dont have clear views is because its always being debated at its extremes, said Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Massachusetts, who assigns his students to analyze the issue each year. In the end, when it comes to jobs and the law, We dont know causation, he said.
The Indiana Legislature is expected to complete action on its measure soon. However, the larger debate will continue, focusing on the following arguments:
Claim: Right-to-work brings more jobs to a state.
According to a study commissioned by Indianas Chamber of Commerce, which supports the right-to-work law, employment grew 100 percent in right-to-work states between 1977 and 2008 but only 57 percent in those without the law.
Proponents point to an immediate impact in Oklahoma, which adopted the measure in 2001. In 2002, the state added 7,822 jobs, said Fred Morgan, president of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce.
In 2002, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce reported that companies announced plans to add the highest number of new jobs since 1995, Morgan said.
However, the chamber study does not account for significant factors affecting employment in the period cited. A massive decline in American manufacturing had a severe impact on jobs in the Rust Belt, where states without right-to-work are clustered. The Sunbelt, where most states have the law, had fewer manufacturing jobs to lose and also experienced big increases in population.
In Oklahoma, the job gains after right to work also were not unusual in the region. Three neighboring states without a right-to-work law -- Missouri, New Mexico and Colorado -- experienced similar job growth, in some cases even exceeding Oklahomas. Several major employers shut down in Oklahoma City, including Gulfstream Aerospace in 2002 and Bridgestone Firestone in 2006.
Other factors affecting businesses may play a larger role on job growth in right-to-work states, Eren and Ozbkliks study concluded. Many have higher subsidies for new factories, low taxes on capital and weaker environmental/safety regulations, they said. In Oklahoma and Idaho, it is not likely that RTW laws have any impact on manufacturing employment rate.
The chamber study also argues that right-to-work boosts a states population by making it a more popular place to live and work. Between 2000 and 2009, 4.9 million Americans left non-right-to-work states for those with the law, according to the study. However, the study offered no evidence on other causes for the population shifts.
Claim: Right-to-work decreases wages.
The Economic Policy Institute, which is supported by organized labor, reports that workers in right-to-work states earn $1,500 less annually than their counterparts in states without the law, based on a 2009 analysis of census data.
On average, right-to-work laws are associated with wages -- for everyone, not just union members -- that are 3.2 percent lower than they would be without such a law, according to an EPI study released earlier this month.
The EPI researchers, Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz, said their study made adjustments for differences in the costs of living so that the higher wages in right-to-work states didnt just reflect the higher living costs on the East and West coasts.
But right-to-work supporters counter with the chambers study showing that personal income grew 164.4 percent in right-to-work states between 1977 and 2008 while income grew 92.8 percent in non-right-to-work states.
Claim: Right-to-work is designed to weaken unions.
Unions lose some paying members when workers dues are made voluntary, according to data gathered by Georgia State University professor Barry Hirsch and Trinity University professor David Macpherson at UnionStats.com.
So-called free riders, or workers covered by union contracts who chose not to pay dues, increased 400 percent in the decade after Oklahoma became a right-to-work state. In 2010, 4.7 percent of the states private sector work force was covered by union contracts, by only 3.5 percent of the work force were dues-paying members.
In Idaho the number of workers covered by unions who werent members increased roughly 130 percent after the state approved its right-to-work law.
However, by far the largest blow to union membership and finances has been the manufacturing decline and the loss of millions of jobs. Even in states without a right-to-work law, union membership dropped 54.2 percent between 1983 and 2010, according to data from the UnionStats.com website.
And even before a right-to-work law goes into effect in Indiana, union membership there has dropped from 14.1 percent to 8.9 percent in the last decade.
Tom LoBianco can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/tomlobianco
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Its become far too common at those sporting events that are intended to teach sportsmanship where it is seen the least.
Youth sports, all over the metro.
This week the staff at St. Paul Municipal Athletics had to send a letter home to parents of kids in the basketball league reminding them about sportsmanship.
We are trying to be proactive right now to ensure the remainder of the season goes smoothly, spokesperson Jody Griffin said Thursday night.
In the letter parents were told: As adults we are all role models when we are in the presence of our youth...
The letter was sent because in the last few weeks there have been too many instances of poor sportsmanship shown at kids games by parents and coaches.
Being loud, not agreeing with officials calls, things like that, Griffin said.
Thankfully, nothing major has happened in St. Paul but that is exactly what the Municipal Athletics staff doesnt want to see this come to.
At Thursday nights practice for the 12-years-old and under teams one didnt see that kind of aggression from the players and the handful of parents watching were doing it the right way, quietly with the exception of a chuckle at their kids athletic prowess.
Nobody means any harm and its something you have to watch. Everybody is interested in their kid and wants the best for their kid, former coach Victor Mister said.
There is no foul in wanting what is best for the kids but in these gyms what is best for the kids is to learn to compete with respect and learn the game because its fun.
St. Paul sent the letter to parents to remind them that they are the teachers out here and teaching kids to argue over missed shots or missed calls is just a missed opportunity on the whole point of why they play.
We are all here for one reason. To create this positive experience for the kids because this is lifelong skills and lessons that they can learn from athletics, Griffin said.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)