California Could Lose Most Of Its Salmonids In A Century

salmonids

A new report shows that California’s salmonids may be quite close to becoming extinct within a century.

A new study released earlier this week claims that California is at a very high risk of losing most of its salmonids within a century’s time. This includes both the Chinook salmon, highly prized specimens, as well as many other trout and salmon species.

The new report on the matter is called “State of the Salmonids II: Fish in Hot Waters” and comes as an update to a first similar such study, released in 2008. Research was carried out by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences and the California Trout, a conservation group.

Climate Change and Dams are Just Some of the Dangers Faced by Salmonids

According to the report, California salmonids are put at risk by quite a number of factors. One of them is the ever present climate change and warming temperatures. Salmons and trouts rely on cold and clean water. But if snow starts thinning and glaciers melting, this latter could also start being a rarity.

Local agriculture was also presented as a risk factor. The study shows the negative effects of farming and grazing on the waterways. It points out how chemicals and eroded sediments can foul the otherwise clean waters. Irrigations can also reduce local water levels and leave salmonids stranded in shallow and warm water.

Presently, California holds some 31 genetically distinct kinds of trout and salmon. The report estimates that 23 of these may be gone within the next century. The 50-years outlook is even worse, all things considered. If current trends don’t change, some 14 species and subspecies could go extinct over the following five decades.

Still, the study researchers point out that salmonids may still have a chance. They suggest restoring coastal marshes and riverside floodplains, areas in which young fish should have plenty of food. Also, the scientists point out the need for focusing conservation efforts on mountain springs.

“We do still have time, and we are optimistic that with some effort, we can have a future that involves these fish,” says Curtis Knight. He is the executive director of the California Trout.

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An Ohio Police Officer Was The Unintentional Victim Of Fentanyl

ohio police officer

An Ohio police officer accidentally overdosed with fentanyl after a drug bust.

Recently released news once again bring to attention the potentially deadly effects of the opioid fentanyl. Last Friday, May 12th, an Ohio police officer accidentally overdosed after a drug bust carried out that night.

Chris Green is one of the patrolmen part of the East Liverpool police force. On Friday night, he was called into action to inspect suspected of being involved in a recent drug transaction. During this procedure, the officer was careful and wore both a mask and the regulation gloves. According to reports, the car was covered in a white powder.

Ohio Police Officer Close To Dying Because of a Deadly Stain

Back at the station, as the officers were questioning the car owner, one of them pointed to a stain on Green’s shirt. As the man brushed it off with his bare hand, he then started feeling queasy. Within minutes, Green was already on the floor and feeling the effects of the drug.

“I started talking weird. I slowly felt my body shutting down. I could hear them talking, but I couldn’t respond. I was in total shock,” stated Green for a media report.

Luckily, paramedics were already at the scene as they were taking care of the driver of the car, also exposed to the drug. As they saw him fall, they then turned their attention to Green and administered a dose of Narcan. This is capable of reversing the effects of an opioid overdose and is used in emergency cases.

Green was then transported to the hospital and further taken care of. The Ohio police officer reportedly received 3 other doses of Narcan to counteract the effects of his accidental overdose.

The East Liverpool Police Chief, John Lane, released a statement on the matter in which he drew attention to the lethal effects of fentanyl. As the Chief pointed out, both the police officer and the driver could have died if they had been alone. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid some 100 times more powerful than heroin. Fental powder, the cause behind this potentially deadly incident, is so potent that it can become lethal and kill from just a touch.

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UMMC Grounds May Be The Resting Place Of 7000 Bodies

7000 bodies in insane asylum

Specialists believe there may be as many as 7000 bodies buried on the grounds of the UMMC.

Specialists believe there may be as many as 7000 bodies buried on the grounds of the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus. The current UMMC grounds were once the site of an insane asylum. They also seem to be the resting place of the patients who had died there.

In 2013, UMMC workers found 66 coffins while building a road on the campus. A year later, underground radar tests detected 1,000 more coffins as the university was getting ready to build a parking garage. Researchers eventually found 2,000 more coffins and believe there are thousands more.

The Insane Asylum, which was built in 1855, was the first mental health institution in Mississippi. While the asylum was a better place for such patients than jails or attics, its conditions were still poor. Of the nearly 1400 patients admitted during the asylum’s first 22 years, over 20 percent died.

After the Civil War, the facility started expanding over the years until it could 6,000 patients at its peak. In 1935, the Mississippi government moved the asylum to the State Hospital at Whitfield, where it remains to this day. In the 1950s, construction began on what would become the UMMC grounds.

Future Fate of the 7000 Bodies

Now the UMMC faces the question of what to do with these probable 7,000 bodies. Exhuming and reburying them would cost $21 million in total or $3000 per body. Keeping the bodies in-house, by contrast, would cost $400,000 per year over an eight-year period.

The Asylum Hill Research Consortium recommends creating a memorial, visitors’ center, and laboratory to study the remains. Some researchers have already begun analyzing several dozen bodies to learn what their health was like.

Karen Clark of Clinton has proposed establishing a grant for collecting the patients’ DNA. This would help identify them, after which their descendants could be contacted. Clark believes that one of the patients was her great-great-grandfather, Isham Earnest, who is thought to have died at the asylum in the late 1850s.

Given the construction on the UMMC grounds, this is no longer a viable resting place for the 7000 bodies. Implementing both ideas sounds best. The memorial would pay respect to the deceased, and the DNA tests could identify peoples’ ancestors. Both the esearchers and any other interested parties could learn a lot from the laboratory and visitors’ center.

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The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower Will Peak This Week

eta aquariid meteor shower

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower will reach its peak this week, on May 5 and 6.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower will reach its peak this week, on May 5 and 6 according to Bill Cooke. He is the head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. The meteor showers began on April 19 and will continue until May 28. Stargazers could see as many as 30 meteors in an hour.

The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower Will Peak On May 5 And 6

The meteors come from Eta Aquarii, which is in the constellation of Aquarius and is one of the brightest stars out there. This meteor shower is caused by dust grains left behind by Halley’s Comet. Such grains are tiny, being no more than a millimeter thick.

When these enter the Earth’s atmosphere, the grains burn up and create the streaks of light that people can see in the sky. The Eta Aquariid meteors aren’t as numerous as the Perseid showers that appear every August, but they are at least as bright.

The Eta Aquariid meteor showers will hit their peak around dawn on May 5 and 6. By that time, the moon will have already set. As such, its light will not impede on the people’s ability to see the meteors.

Stargazers in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres will be able to see the meteor showers. However, those living in the Southern hemisphere will enjoy a particularly good view, for they will be able to face north and see the shower’s radiant.

According to Cooke, the best way to watch the meteor shower is to lie on one’s back and look up. Doing so will provide the widest field of vision and prevent the stargazer from developing a crick in their neck.

Watching the shower is easy, providing you have a dark sky and an unobstructed view. Dress warmly, for the pre-dawn hours can be cool. Sky gazers should allot at least an hour for the show and be prepared for some minutes of seeing nothing. Specialists point out that the eye first has to get used to the nighttime dark. Only then will it be able to spot and enjoy the meteor spectacle.

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The Melting Antarctica Could Have A High Impact On California

california coast

The melting Antarctica will most likely have a higher impact on California than on any other state according to a new study

Late last week, California authorities released a new report on the rising sea levels. This showed that the melting Antarctica will most likely have a higher impact on California than on any other state. Possibly bigger than even the world average.

As the water levels will rise, the Golden state could start losing its iconic beaches. According to this latest report, some of its most important infrastructures could be affected as well.

The California Coast Could Be “In The Bull’s Eye” Of Rising Sea-Levels

The new report on the effects of the warming global weather and rising water levels was released on April 26th. Research was carried out by a group part of the California Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team.

It is not the first study produced by the working group. An initial report came out in 2010 and was then updated in 2013. John Laird that a newer one was nonetheless needed. The updated projections and more advanced science on sea-level rise required such an action. Laird is a council chairman and also the California Natural Resources Agency Secretary.

This new research concluded the following. The melting of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet will affect the Golden state more than any other such event.

“For every foot of global sea-level rise caused by the loss of ice in West Antarctica, sea-level will rise approximately 1.25 feet along the California coast.”

Recently released studies on the matter show that the both Antarctica and Greenland’s rate of ice loss are on the rise. Many expect this to become a primary contributor to the worldwide sea-level rise.

As it is, the Council will start holding workshops. These will take place throughout spring and summer, and will focus on this research. They will also take comments, and even create a draft proposal for a new environmental policy, one that could be approved by next January.

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Florida Just Released Its Own Mosquitoes In The Fight Against Zika

florida's own mosquitos

Earlier this week, Florida released its own mosquitoes to try and reduce the local population numbers.

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Earlier this week, Florida took a new step in its fight against the Zika virus. State officials released its own mosquitoes to try and reduce the local population numbers. These recently liberated specimens were specifically infected with a bacteria which should help stop the spreading of the species.

The mosquito release was carried out by Florida Keys Mosquito Control District authorities. They freed 20,000 male specimens on Stock Island. Through this somewhat unusual method, the state officials will be trying to fight off both Zika as well as other diseases that manifest in the area.

Florida’s Own Mosquitoes Are Carriers Of The Wolbachia Bacteria

Florida’s own mosquitoes were bred by MosquitoMate. This is a Kentucky-based company which specializes in non-genetically modified, natural mosquito solutions. The Stock Island release is a trial test as specialists will be looking at it in order to determine the method’s efficiency and applicability.

All the study specimens are male and have been specifically exposed to the Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacterium. The plan is to let them loose to mate with Aedes aegypti female mosquitoes. This species is known for being the main carrier of the Zika virus.

As the two species mate, the resulting eggs should not hatch. Even if they do, the ensuing mosquitoes will reportedly not reach adulthood. As such, the mosquito population should be kept at a low as the species stops excessively reproducing.

The Tuesday release is just the first stage in the trial. This will be carried out over a period of three months. State officials will be releasing a new batch twice every week. They will continue doing so until the total liberation of 40,000 additional male specimens.

Authorities hope that this trial will help put a stop to Zika transmissions. Also, it can be helpful in halting the spread of other dangerous diseases as well, as mosquitos are known for carrying various viruses.

“A successful trial with the Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes could mean the availability of a new tool in the fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito […] for the Mosquito Control Districts around the country.” This is according to Executive Director, Andrea Leal.

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The I-85 Bridge Should Be Completed By June 2017

i-85 road june 2017

The GDOT released news about the I-85 which should be ready and reopened by June 2017, more exactly the 15th.

Earlier this week, the Georgia Department of Transportation or the GDOT released news about the I-85. According to this, the collapsed portion should be ready and reopened by June 2017, more exactly the 15th.

GDOT Officials Will Be Trying To Finish The Reparations By June 2017

The additional information about the I-85 was released on Tuesday, during a press conference. According to the GDOT officials, they will be using various methods in order to make sure that the highway will be ready by the promised time. They will be trying to expedite the reconstruction as this is one of the main highways of Atlanta, one also situated at its heart. One of the utilized methods will be contracting incentives, for example.

The GDOT officials stated that they have and will continue asking the state marshal as well as the insurance commissioner to carry out another task. They should be revising the practice of storing materials under a bridge.

This revision should come as a future safety measure. It is also directly tied to the current I-85 investigation. This, as well as the reconstruction in itself, are the result of a fire which broke out last Thursday. The event escalated as flames engulfed construction material surplus which had been stacked under the elevated section of the I-85.

Following this event, a section of the interstate collapsed, which resulted in the road being closed. Currently, local authorities are working on repairing and reopening the segment. Demolition work is still in progress, but should allegedly be completed by the end of the week. Following this step, crews will start removing the debris. Then, they will also begin erecting the new columns and caps that sit atop of them.

“We’re in coordination with GDOT and the June 15 date is achievable”. This is according to Dan Garcia, the C.W. Matthews president. They will be leading the repair efforts.

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FDA Suspended The Dixie Dew, A Soy Nut Butter Manufacturer

dixie dew nuts

The FDA decided to suspend activity at Dixie Dew, a soy butter manufacturer as it detected insanitary conditions.

The FDA decided to suspend activity at Dixie Dew, a soy butter manufacturer as it detected insanitary conditions during a control. This latter was also the consequence of another issue. Dixie Dew Products Inc. products may be involved in an E. coli outbreak.

As the FDA or the Food & Drug Administration was investigating an E. coli outbreak, this led it to an Erlanger, Kentucky-based manufacturer, Dixie Dew Products Inc. Reportedly, the authority was initially refused access to the factory. However, according to the FDA statement, they managed to gain access by issuing the Demand for Records under Section 414 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Then, the health authority investigated the facility in between March 03rd and 15th, 2017. Reportedly, this inspection revealed insanitary conditions in the factory.

Insanitary is mostly used in order to name something that is unclean enough as to pose a public health risk. Following the inspection, the FDA found a set of objectionable conditions. Then it advanced a list with this issues to the Dixie Dew.

FDA Decided To Suspend Dixie Dew, Especially Its Soy Nut Butter Production

The Dixie Dew responded to the FDA’s list as it reported a set of actions that will be taken in order to fix the problems. However, the health authority considers that these corrective actions are not adequate as they do not fully address the potential risks associated with them.

As such, FDA decided to issue a Suspension Order. This suspends the facility’s registration and comes with the following limitations. No food is to leave the Dixie Dew factory, be it either for sale or distribution. This decision targets the entire factory, not just the soy nut butter production line.

“The FDA will reinstate Dixie Dew’s food facility registration only when the agency determines that adequate grounds do not exist to continue the suspension of registration.”

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Verizon Unlimited Data Plan Will Make A Return

verizon unlimited store

Verizon will once again start offering an unlimited data plan called the Verizon Unlimited starting with February 13.

The weekend came with a surprising announcement from Verizon. This wireless network provider is reintroducing its unlimited data plan. And it will do so starting with February 13th. How will the new service be called? The Verizon Unlimited.

Verizon Communications is considered the largest wireless communications service provider in the United States. And it is also one of the biggest broadband telecommunications companies.

This Sunday, Verizon revealed some interesting news. This was released in an official statement, posted on the company’s website. And it announced the launch of the Verizon Unlimited.

This will be a new unlimited data plan. Starting with February 13, the company will start offering it as an introductory plan. In the official blog post, the company revealed some details about the new data plan.

As such, Verizon Unlimited should offer access to one of the best 4G LTE networks. It will also be providing HD video streaming options. And also Mobile Hotspots.

Verizon Unlimited will also come with some special features for Mexico and Canada. Users will be able to call and text users in the respective countries. And also provide with 500 MB per day of 4G LTE roaming. Both these options will be readily included in the unlimited data plan. And they will not inquire an additional fee.

Verizon Unlimited will come with an introductory cost of $80. This will be the price for one line. A four-line unlimited data family plan will come with a $45 per line. Interested users will have to enable the AutoPay service. And also the paperless billing.

This new unlimited data plan will include the following options. It will offer the aforementioned Mexico and Canada services. It will also provide access to the TravelPass. Following its activation, this latter will offer 500MB LTE roaming. But it will come with an extra $10 fee.

Verizon Unlimited will be offering hotspot tethering. At 4G LTE speeds, it will be working up to 10GB. After this value is reached, users will be moved to a 3G data speeds.

Unlimited plan users will benefit from the full LTE speeds. But only until they reach a 22GB usage. After reaching this limit, their data speeds will be reduced. They will also be de-prioritized. Verizon stated that it is not expecting this de-prioritization to become a common event.

In the blog post, Verizon also points out the following. It will not be imposing the unlimited data on users that do not need it. As such, it will continue offering the 5GB L, M, and S Verizon plans.

According to the same source, Verizon has been working on improving its network. They have been trying to make it “better, faster, stronger, every single day”.

Verizon Unlimited will also support connected devices. For example, a GizmoPal or a smart watch. These can be linked to the unlimited data plan for $5 a month.

The decision to introduce this new unlimited data plan came as a surprise to some. Verizon stopped offering unlimited data plans to new users back in 2011. Though a small number of subscribers held on to the “grandfather” unlimited data plan. Although the company seems to have been trying to transition them to other plans.

Verizon Unlimited will start being available this Monday. The duration of this “introductory plan” offer was not revealed. As such, interested users should look into the matter.

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Willis Tower In Chicago Will See A $500M Renewal

willis tower entrance

Earlier this week, Blackstone announced that it will be investing about $500 million in renovating Chicago’s Willis Tower.

Earlier this week, the Blackstone Group LP announced that it will be investing about $500 million in renovating and updating the iconic Willis Tower in Chicago.

Willis Tower is also known as the Sears Tower. Situated in Chicago, it was once the tallest building in the world. It held the title for almost 25 years. Presently, it is the second-tallest building in the United States. And the 14-th in the world.

The Willis Tower opened in 1973. It is a 1,450-foot tall building. The building has 110 stories. It is one of the most visited local landmarks. Over one million people are estimated to reach its observation deck each year. And now, the building will be going through a renewal.

Presently, the skyscraper is administered by the Blackstone Group LP. On February 01, the company released an announcement. In it, it stated its wish to invest in a renewal of the Sears Tower.

They are planning on investing an estimated $500 million in the skyscraper. Blackstone also offered some renovation details. The Willis Tower will be going through its first major renovation.

It will also be the company’s largest investments in one of its buildings. This is according to Jon Gray. He is the chief real estate officer.

Blackstone is planning on reconfiguring some of the existing spaces. This will target an almost 460,000 square feet area. The space already hosts various services. It includes event spaces and lounges. And even one of the resident fitness centers.

Following the renewal, the Willis Tower will also expand. It will be gaining over 300,000 square feet. These new areas will host different services. A new retail will be added. And also new entertainment and dining areas. These 300,000 square feet will be added at the base of the skyscraper.

The building will also feature a new, 30,000-square feet outdoor garden and deck area. Still, the existing outdoor spaces will not be forgotten. Sears Tower’s Skydeck Chicago will also see some improvements.

This latter is one the tower’s main attraction. It is situated on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. According to the statement, it receives 1.7 million visitors each year.

A new glass structure will be added to the entry plaza. The project proposes a three-story tall such structure. Beneath it, there will be three underground floors. These will be organized around a new winter garden.

The Willis Tower will go through a quite serious renewal. According to the Blackstone statement, the company is hoping to attract new visitors. And it is also trying to attract new tenants.

Currently, 85 percent of the building is occupied. United Airlines is its largest tenant. The airline company moved in back in 2013.

Blackstone acquired the Willis Tower back in 2015. It offered $1.3 billion for the skyscraper. This was a local record sum paid for an office building. The skyscraper received its current name in 2009. Until then, it was officially called the Sears Tower.

Now, it is called the Willis Tower after the Willis Group. The company has a lease on a part of the tower. The fate of the “Universe” statue is as yet unsure. Designed by Alexander Calder, it does not appear in the presented renovation plan. An official mention as to its fate has yet to be released.

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