School Takeover And Safety Bills Easily Approved In One-Day Special Session

first_imgMay 14, 2018 By Abrahm Hurt and Adrianna Pitrelli TheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS — Monday’s special session came with no surprises as the four bills that legislators failed to pass on the last night of the regular session were all easily approved and signed by the governor.“Today, Indiana lawmakers aligned to state and federal tax law to streamline the process for Hoosier families and business, provided more funding to support schools in need and improved school safety statewide — all in one day as planned,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb.Legislators met for a little more than six hours to discuss bills from school safety to updating the state’s tax code, but the most heated debate took place over House Bill 1315, the Gary-Muncie school takeover legislation.HB 1315 establishes a process to single out struggling schools. It would allow the state to take over the Gary and Muncie community schools, and it authorizes a $12 million loan to the Muncie school system.Proponents of HB 1315 said the school takeover would allow for a unified approach to solving the two districts’ financial problems. But opponents countered that the voices of the community could be silenced because the elected school boards would be overridden.Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, said she wanted to be a part of the process of writing the bill, but she was ignored by the author, Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville.“I am just concerned about the democratic processes with this body,” she said. “It’s Muncie and Gary right now, but who’s going to be next?”Many legislators were concerned that citizens would no longer have the right to elect a school board.“Their right to select local representatives is being taken away from them,” Vernon Smith, D-Gary, said. “If there has been some mismanagement, the people of both cities have committed no wrong so, why are we punishing the average citizen?”Ball State will appoint a newly created seven-member school board to replace the current elected five-member school board, and Gary’s school board will be changed into an advisory board.Senate Democrats also voiced strong opposition to the bill.“The bill says that it allows the district to fire up to five percent of their teachers and staff,” said Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago. “The bill takes down the elected school board to make an advisory board — so does your vote really count?”Sen. Tim  Lanane, D-Anderson, said while he is happy for Ball State because this is something they have advocated for, he does not support the bill.“There will be less than 90 days before the fall school year once this passes because of the special session so the community must quickly unite over this decision,” he said. “While I disagree with this, I am here to assist Ball State University in any way we can get this job done for the students and families.”The bill passed the House 63-30 and in the Senate 34-14.Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns said the university’s board of trustees will meet Wednesday to discuss the whether or not they accept the responsibilities, and if they do, Ball State will assume responsibility starting July 1.Lawmakers also approved House Bill 1230 which provides $5 million for school safety that the governor requested during the regular session. The bill also allows school corporations and charter schools to obtain funding advances of up to $500,000 for school security equipment and capital purchases, but total advances are not allowed to exceed $35 million. The bill passed the House 96-1 and the Senate 47-1.House Minority Leader Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Austin, voted for the bill but said it still does not go far enough.“Five million dollars divided by all the schools that will be eligible for the benefit, $7,352.94, is what that $5 million is boiling down to,” he said. “We’re getting ready to work on bills that are going to give multi-million dollars in tax cuts to billion-dollar corporations, and we think that securing our schools is worth $7,352.94.”In other action:House Bill 1242 is a tax bill which exempts trucks, pavers, vehicle parts and fuel purchased by a hot mix asphalt company from Indiana’s 7 percent sales tax, which will cost the state around $5 million per year. It also includes a provision requiring that employees of the Department of Revenue and subcontractors be fingerprinted to comply with federal requirements. The bill passed the House 74-20 and 41-7 in the Senate.House Bill 1316 will update the state’s tax code to comply with recent federal changes. The bill changes to state policy to the current federal policy that allows one to use money in a 529 college savings plan on K-12 education. The bill passed the House 75-22 and the Senate 40-8.FOOTNOTE: Abrahm Hurt and Adrianna Pitrelli are reporters for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.center_img FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Battle of the Broad

first_imgOn Saturday May 16 & 17 the first annual Southern Raft Supply Battle of the Broad will commence. SUP is one of the hottest and fastest growing watersports in the world, and the Battle of the Broad will bring that excitement and energy to Asheville’s iconic French Broad River.Check out the event website to learn more.last_img

Men’s basketball: No. 22 Wisconsin’s recent struggles remind Greg Gard of past successful teams that found way through

first_imgTimes are tough for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team, but as head coach Greg Gard said Tuesday, it is nothing the program has not seen before.Gard was quick to point to the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Both of those seasons featured tough stretches during Big Ten play, but both teams managed to rebound (a conference tournament appearance in ’13, a Final Four in ’14).The confidence required to finish the season strong and make deep tournament runs is still there for No. 22 Wisconsin (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten), Gard said.Men’s basketball: Wisconsin senior Zak Showalter feels sense of urgency in final seasonWhen the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball staff began asking the team’s seniors to start filming their videos for Senior Read…“I think they’re fine,” Gard said. “They understand. Some of them have been through it before when they were younger and understand that it’s part of it. You don’t like to go through it. It’s not fun to go through. It’s painful at times.”In 2013-14, the freshman season for Vitto Brown, Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes (and the redshirt freshman season for Zak Showalter), the Badgers lost five of six at one point, going from the third-ranked team in the country to unranked.That, along with sticking to the gameplan, should get UW through this rough patch, Gard said.“You can’t deviate too far from your plan,” Gard said. “You adjust and try to get better and fix things that need to be fixed, but also understand and not flinch, I guess, in the moment.”Riley Steinbrenner/The Badger HeraldUW assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft is no stranger to dealing with low stretches as a player. Krabbenhoft has delivered a positive message to players during recent weeks, Gard said.“Joe’s talked about that before this, just all the different roller coaster rides he went on as a player and how guys fought through it, what was talked about in the locker room and how guys responded,” Gard said. “It’s part of it. He mentioned to me the other day it’s how you come out of those type of things that you remember.”Showalter, who has seen his share of losing streaks during his five seasons on campus, can speak to that.“Honestly, just knowing that this is the Big Ten, this happens to teams, don’t panic, don’t lose our togetherness,” Showalter said, “I think that’s the main thing.”Next up for the Badgers is Iowa (16-13, 8-8), who will visit the Kohl Center Thursday night. After losing three straight, the Hawkeyes have rebounded with two wins over Indiana and Maryland.Big Ten standings rely upon UW wins over OSU, MSU this weekendBronson Koenig is back. That much was evident following the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s 71-60 win over Maryland Read…Iowa sports the second-best scoring offense in the Big Ten (80.6 ppg) and the worst scoring defense in the conference (77.7 ppg). Despite allowing a season-worst 84 points on Sunday at Michigan State, the Badgers still lead the league in scoring defense (62.1 ppg).Peter Jok, a senior guard-forward combo, leads the Big Ten in scoring at 20.6 points per game, nearly two full points ahead of Caleb Swanigan, the Purdue big man considered the front-runner for Big Ten Player of the Year. Jok converts free throws at a 92.2 percent rate. He has made the third-most 3-pointers in the Big Ten. Jok’s 70 threes is just behind Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig’s mark of 71.Gard said UW has done a better job of taking care of the ball. That will be key against Iowa, a team that likes to play fast in transition. The Hawkeyes also tend to change defenses and pressure offenses in the backcourt, providing other challenges. Gard sees the Hawkeyes as a more mature team than when he watched them get blown out by Virginia early in the season.“It’s a good team that’s really improved and can put a lot of points on the board,” he said. “They can score in a hurry from a lot of different places.”Jordan Bohannon, the brother of former UW players Jason and Zach Bohannon, plays for Iowa and is off to a nice freshman season, chipping in 9.2 ppg. Gard remembers the younger Bohannon running around the family home in third or fourth grade when he was an assistant recruiting Jason more than a decade ago.“He’s obviously had great tutelage,” Gard said. “He’s worked hard.”Gard said Bohannon was on UW’s radar during the recruiting process, but UW’s uncertain scholarship situation inhibited it from offering and Bohannon committed to Iowa in the beginning of his senior year of high school.Riley Steinbrenner/The Badger HeraldRedshirt freshman guard Tyler Cook averages 11.8 ppg and is shooting 51 percent from the field to complement Jok and Bohannon.It was a tough road trip defensively for the Badgers, who saw Ohio State shoot 62.5 percent from three and score 83 points, only to allow 84 points at Michigan State on Sunday. Gard said he thought the team’s defense was better in terms of aggression and physicality against the Spartans, and the majority of what he has seen on film is correctable.“That’s the one thing that allows me to sleep a little bit better at night,” he said.Another recent problem for UW is its trouble scoring inside. Unofficially, Gard tallied Wisconsin at 17-for-36 from inside the paint against Michigan State. That, coupled with poor free throw shooting, doomed Wisconsin. Gard said he’d like the Badgers to be in the 70 percent success rate from down low.“Finishing inside,” Happ said, when asked where the team needs to improve right now. “And defensively.”last_img read more

Teen charged in Kenosha killings will hire lawyer

first_img First Published: 29th August, 2020 23:01 IST Written By A judge agreed Friday to delay for a month a decision on whether a 17-year-old from Illinois should be returned to Wisconsin to face charges accusing him of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third during a night of unrest following last weekend’s police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.The judge in Waukegan, Illinois, postponed Kyle Rittenhouse’s extradition hearing to Sept. 25 during a brief video conference that was streamed online. Rittenhouse asked for the delay in order to have time to hire a private attorney. He faces five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, and a misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.Rittenhouse did not appear during the livestreamed hearing. His current attorney, Lake County, Illinois, assistant public defender Jennifer Snyder, said Rittenhouse had spoken by phone with his mother since his arrest Wednesday.Lee Filas, spokesman for the Lake County state’s attorney, said Rittenhouse plans to hire Los Angeles-based attorney John Pierce and that Rittenhouse’s presence at Friday’s hearing had been waived.Rittenhouse, a white teen who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle as he walked Kenosha’s streets with other armed civilians during this week’s protests, would face a mandatory life sentence if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide. Under Wisconsin law, anyone 17 or older is treated as an adult in the criminal justice system.He was taken into custody on Wednesday in Antioch, Illinois, the city about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Kenosha where he lives.The shootings late Tuesday were largely caught on cellphone video and posted online.The shooting by police on Sunday of Blake, a 29-year-old Black father of six who was left paralyzed from the waist down, was also caught on cellphone video. That shooting made Kenosha the latest focal point in the fight against racial injustice that has gripped the country since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.Three nights later, Rittenhouse was armed and on the streets of Kenosha, saying that he was protecting businesses from protesters, according to widely circulating cellphone footage.(Image Credit: AP) Associated Press Television News SUBSCRIBE TO US LIVE TVcenter_img COMMENT WATCH US LIVE Last Updated: 29th August, 2020 23:01 IST Teen Charged In Kenosha Killings Will Hire Lawyer A judge agreed Friday to delay for a month a decision on whether a 17-year-old from Illinois should be returned to Wisconsin to face charges accusing him of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third during a night of unrest following last weekend’s police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. FOLLOW USlast_img read more

Peruth, Nakaayi eye first Ugandan women’s medal since Inzikuru

first_imgUganda’s Gold medal favourite  Joshua Cheptegei (left) will run the 10,000m final seven days from now, on the final day October 6, a day after Stephen Kiprotich in the marathon.Uganda has participated in IAAF World championships in Athletics since 1985 and won 2 Gold medals by Dorcus Inzikuru Helsinki 2005 and Stephen Kiprotich Moscow 2013; 2 Silvers by Davis Kamoga Athens 1997 and Joshua Cheptegei 2017, and Bronzes by Moses Kipsiro Osaka 2007 and Solomon Mutai in Beijing.Ugandan team in DOHA – Women (10)400 MetresLeni SHIDA800 MetresHalimah NAKAAYIWinnie NANYONDO1500 MetresEsther CHEBETWinnie NANYONDO5000 MetresSarah CHELANGAT10,000 MetresRachael Zena CHEBETJuliet CHEKWELStella CHESANGMarathonLinet Toroitich CHEBET3000 Metres SteeplechasePeruth ChemutaiMen (12)1500 MetresRonald MUSAGALA5000 MetresOscar CHELIMOStephen KISSA10,000 MetresJoshua CHEPTEGEIJacob KIPLIMO 1Abdallah Kibet MANDEMarathonStephen KIPROTICHFred MUSOBOSolomon MUTAI3000 Metres SteeplechaseAlbert CHEMUTAIBenjamin KIPLAGATBoniface Abel SIKOWO Share on: WhatsApp Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai wins the Women’s 3000m steeplechase heats at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha on September 27, 2019.PHOTO AFP TODAY  9.50pm 3000 M Steeplechase final (Peruth Chemutai) 10.10pm 800 M Final (Nakaayi, Nanyondo)Prizes Finalists win…. $60,000 $30,000 $20,000 $15,000 $10,000 $6,000 $5,000 $4,000Doha, Qatar | THE INDEPENDENT | Going by her performance in the heats, Peruth Chemutai will be one of the favourites to make it to the podium when she runs her first World Athletics Championships 3000m steeplechase final today.Twenty-year-old Chemutai easily won one of three heats on day one to make the final in a race that brought Ugandan Dorcus Inzikuru glory, way back in 2005.On August 8 2005, Dorcus Inzikuru stunned the world with her victory in the 3000m steeplechase women’s final, ending a 33-year-wait for a global athletics title for Uganda. The national anthem had last been played at a world athletics event in 1972, legend John Akii-Bua having won gold in the 400m hurdles.Of Uganda’s six medals at the worlds, Inzikuru’s is the only one by a woman, a feat Chemutai can match today, if she gets it right in an experienced field.Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech is the favourite having set a magnificent world record last year.  She is unlikely to make the mistakes of two years ago in London where Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs went 1-2 in the women’s steeplechase after a series of bizarre events.Also eyeing a podium in their debut World Championships final are Winnie Nanyondo and Halimah Nakaayi , who showed in the semis that if they are in the leading pack in the final 200m, have the pace to match the best.last_img read more

More Downtown Parking Proposed For Sea Bright Residents

first_imgBy Liz SheehanSEA BRIGHT – The number of residents-only downtown parking spaces will be expanded under legislation introduced by unanimous vote by the Borough Council at a special meeting Monday night.A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at the council’s June 16 workshop meeting.The designated streets – Beach Street, Center Street, Church Street, East Church Street, East New Street, New Street, Peninsula Avenue and River Street – previously had parking for residents only on one side of the street; now the restriction will be on both sides.Police Chief John Sorrentino said Tuesday that there was a need for more parking spaces for residents because of the new paid metered parking system the borough established in its parking lots, where some residents used to park. There are around 600 parking spaces in the metered lots, which cost $1 an hour to park from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day.Parking passes must be obtained from the police department for resident parking, Sorrentino said.He said two passes are available for each household, except for residents who live on Ocean Avenue, who can get a pass for the metered lots for one person per household.Before the meeting, Chris Wood, owner of Woody’s restaurant on Ocean Avenue and Church Street, complained to the council members about the paid parking being extended to 9 p.m.He said the late hours of paid parking was going “to drive people out of town” and affect the businesses. “It’s driving business away already,” Wood said.He said he saw a car with several people in it pull up to the parking spaces in front of his restaurant and then pull out when the occupants saw the numbers on the spaces, indicating it was a metered space.“The three summer months are basically our Black Friday,” Wood said, and the late hours for the metered parking were cutting that business down.Wood said the paid parking was supposed to end at 6 p.m. “It’s got to go back to 6,” he said.After the town’s business association dropped plans to file a lawsuit to block the metered parking system, the time went from 6 to 9 p.m., Wood said.According to Wood, a meeting was held last month concerning the metered parking regulations and he was not informed about it.Wood said that several other restaurants in the town had their own parking lots so were not concerned about the late parking charges.last_img read more

Panko-Dool, Sabo spark Nelson to Rossland Mini title

first_imgNelson captured the Rossland Mini title for the second time in 30 years.“You know you have performed well as a club when you take home the Team Trophy,”  Stewart said.“It’s an achievement all the girls can share in and something the club can show off for a year,” adds Christine Defouw, Nelson’s competition chair.With Rossland in the rear view, the club is looking ahead to the Regional Qualifying Competition in Beaver Valley on January 22-23. Performances at the Regional event will determine the top four skaters in each category to represent this region at the Pacific StarSkate Championships in Cranbrook from March 4-6.Defouw is excited that the season’s culminating event is being hosted so close to home.“It’s a big opportunity. The fact it’s taking place in the Kootenays makes it much more affordable for skaters from our region to attend.”Simpler logistics means coaches and parents can focus on honing routines, deepening confidence and reminding the skaters to enjoy the experience.With the competition season drawing to a close in March the club is starting to focus on its end of season Ice Gala to be held in Nelson in late February. Shaen Panko-Dool and Morgan Sabo topped the medal count to lead Nelson to the overall title at the Rossland Mini Figure Skating Competition Saturday in the Golden City.The Rossland Mini event is the first competition of the New Year for the Nelson skaters.”Our skaters did very well,” said a smiling Nelson Figure Skating head coach Rachel Stewart. “They displayed confidence on the ice, which is a reflection of the hard work and preparation they have invested.”Panko-Dool and Sabo led the club with two gold medals and a silver each. The two skaters, along with fellow club members Charly Defouw and Soleil Babcock, dominated Preliminary Dance winning gold and silver respectively, all the more impressive for being their first year competing in that category.Other gold medals were awarded to Christina Champlin in Junior Bronze Skills, Sophie Borhi for Preliminary Freeskate (10 and under), and Erica Tolles in Junior Bronze Freeskate (13 and over).last_img read more

A’s takeaways: Phegley’s night to remember, bats finally break out

first_imgJosh Phegley had trouble hearing the first question of his postgame media scrum late Friday night, the result of some sort of ear problem that’s been bugging him.Phegley isn’t alone in struggling to comprehend whatever the heck it was that transpired at PNC Park, as the Athletics crushed the Pirates, 14-1, and Phegley had a game for the ages.Oakland’s No. 8 hitter had seven RBIs by the fourth inning and finished with eight after he smacked a solo home run in the ninth inning. The 14 runs the …last_img read more

Molecular Machines on Parade

first_imgThe fact that protein machines use energy to undergo conformational rearrangements, and that these “moving parts” perform functional work, places them squarely in the realm of machinery – except on a scale so tiny, their operations are only now coming to light.1.  Valeria V�squez and Eduardo Perozo, “Structural Biology: A channel with a twist,” Nature 461, 47-49 (3 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/461047a.2.  Liu, Gandhi and Rees, “Structure of a tetrameric MscL in an expanded intermediate state,” Nature 461, 120-124 (3 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08277.3.  Cook, Fukuhara, Jinek and Conti, “Structures of the tRNA export factor in the nuclear and cytosolic states,” Nature 461, 60-65 (3 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08394.4.  Guydosh and Block, “Direct observation of the binding state of the kinesin head to the microtubule,” Nature 461, 125-128 (3 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08259.Molecular machines – the very concept is only a couple of decades old.  This is phenomenal.  It is marvelous and wonderful beyond description.  You can almost sense the astonishment and excitement of these biophysicists uncovering these tiny wonders in the cell.  Who could have imagined this is how life works?  Think of the centuries, the millennia, of people going about their business, oblivious to the fact that at scales too tiny to imagine a whole factory of automated molecular machines was keeping them alive.  The few thinkers after the discovery of cells by Robert Hooke envisioned little people (homunculi) doing some of it, but our instruments were too coarse to elucidate the workings inside till recently – till our generation.  Next to the discovery of DNA and the genetic code this must be considered one of the most important discoveries in the history of science.  If Antony van Leeuwenhoek was astonished at what he saw with his primitive hand lens, how much more should we be flabbergasted at what is coming into focus, now that we can discern the activity of individual molecules?    The Darwinists are strangely silent about all this.  In our 9 years of reporting, very few papers on molecular machines have even mentioned evolution (e.g., 10/02/2001, 01/09/2002), and those that did usually just assumed it rather than tried to seriously explain how the most primitive life-forms could have became endowed with factories of mechanical filters, scribes, taxicabs and walking robots by chance (e.g., 09/16/2000, 08/24/2009 08/26/2005).  Search on “molecular machines” in the search bar above and check.  There are lots of examples.  It’s time to cast off that antiquated 19th-century mindset that tried to imagine all this from the bottom up.  Let us regard as silly the tales of miracles of “emergence” occurring mindlessly in “a chance Motion of I don’t know what little Particles,” as Christiaan Huygens, our Scientist of the Month, quipped.  Paley is back with a vengeance.  The contrivances of nature are more wonderful than he or any other philosopher or scientist could have imagined.  It’s a Designed world after all.  Rejoice, give thanks and sing!(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Scientific papers continue to exhibit the exquisite mechanisms in the cell for handling all kinds of situations, through the operation of molecular machines.  Here are a few recent examples from this week’s issue of Nature (Sept 3, 2009).Molecular sieve:  What happens when a cell gets bloated?  Too much water entering a cell can increase the pressure against the membrane, “potentially compromising the integrity of the cell,” said Valeria V�squez and Eduardo Perozo in Nature this week.1  They described findings about a molecular sieve named MscL by Liu et al in the same issue of Nature.2  MscL in bacteria is made up of multiple protein parts that form a pore in the cell membrane.  The research team from Caltech and Howard Hughes Medical Institute found that the components flatten out and pivot, opening up the pore like an iris when sufficient pressure is applied.  This is called “mechanosensation” because it operates automatically via mechanical pressure.  “These channels act as ‘emergency relief valves,’ protecting bacteria from lysis [disruption] upon acute osmotic down-shock,” the authors said.  “MscL has a complex gating behaviour; it exhibits several intermediates between the closed and open states, including one putative non-conductive expanded state and at least three sub-conducting states.”  The team’s contribution was to image one of the intermediate states.    The research paper did not mention evolution.  V�squez and Perozo, however, said, “free-living cells have evolved a variety of mechanisms to deal with sudden variations in the physicochemical properties of their surroundings,” and later said, “Most prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) have therefore evolved a ‘pressure-release valve’ mechanism in which changes in membrane tension open up channels to form large, aqueous pores in the membrane,” but they did not explain how evolution could have accomplished this.  They made it sound like the bacteria purposely employed evolution (whatever they meant by the term) to solve a real problem.  They did not explain how bacteria got through osmotic down-shock without the pressure release valves.Molecular taxicab:  Transfer RNAs (tRNA) are made in the nucleus but need to commute to work outside, in the cytoplasm, where the ribosomes are.  They are small enough to barely squeeze through the nuclear pore complex (NPC) – the complicated gates in the nuclear membrane that control traffic in and out – but they don’t avail themselves of that freedom, lest their exposed parts interact with the authentication mechanisms of the NPC.  Instead, they hale a taxicab to escort them through.  That taxicab, or “tRNA export factor,” is called Xpot.    Xpot is a complex molecule that fits around the exposed parts of the tRNA.  It literally “wraps around” the tRNA, undergoing conformational changes as it clamps on.  Imagine a taxicab wrapping around you, and you get the picture.  Xpot is general enough to fit all 20 kinds of tRNAs, but specific enough to protect their delicate active sites.  It is also able to recognize and reject tRNAs that are immature.  Only tRNAs that have passed a processing exam are allowed in the taxi.  The authors of a paper in Nature who studied Xpot said, “Xpot undergoes a large conformational change on binding cargo, wrapping around the tRNA and, in particular, binding to the tRNA 5′ and 3′ ends.  The binding mode explains how Xpot can recognize all mature tRNAs in the cell and yet distinguish them from those that have not been properly processed, thus coupling tRNA export to quality control.”3  As an additional control, Xpot does not interact with tRNA except in the presence of another factor in the nucleus called RanGTP.  After safe transport through the nuclear pore complex, another factor in the cytoplasm unlocks the RanGTP, allowing the Xpot taxicab to unwrap from the tRNA.  The tRNA then heads off to the ribosome to fulfill its work shift as a scribe, translating the genetic code into the protein code.  “Transfer RNAs are among the most ubiquitous molecules in cells,” they said, “central to decoding information from messenger RNAs on translating ribosomes.”    The authors of the paper did not discuss how Xpot originated, but six times they said that parts of Xpot are either “conserved,” “evolutionarily conserved” or “highly conserved” (i.e., unevolved) throughout the living world.Molecular sherpa:  Kinesin is among the most fascinating molecular machines in the cell, because it literally “walks” hand-over-hand on microtubule trails, carrying cargo.  In doing this, it converts chemical energy from ATP into mechanical work.  Writing in this week’s Nature,4 Guydosh and Block of Stanford described direct observation of the binding state of the hands (called heads) of kinesin to the microtubule.  They found that it walks tiptoe on the tightrope: “Here we report the development of a single-molecule assay that can directly report head binding in a walking kinesin molecule, and show that only a single head is bound to the microtubule between steps at low ATP concentrations.”  The rear head has to unbind before the forward head can bind.  This keeps the kinesin from getting stuck with both feet (heads) on the tightrope.  If you can stand some jargon, here is what they said about the complexities of how this works:The inability of one head to bind the microtubule offers a natural explanation for the observation that the microtubule-stimulated release of ADP is inhibited until the microtubule-attached head binds ATP and docks its neck linker (Fig. 4, state 2).  Strain produced by an unfavourable neck-linker conformation also explains the observation that ATP does not bind prematurely to the front, nucleotide-free head of a 2-HB kinesin molecule (Fig. 4, state 3).  Any tight binding of ATP is disfavoured because it is coupled to neck-linker docking and, therefore, to the generation of a strained configuration in which both neck linkers are docked (Fig. 4, S3).  We anticipate that the single-molecule techniques presented here will be applicable to the study of dynamic properties of other motors and macromolecules that undergo analogous conformational rearrangements.last_img read more

FNB in R800m housing project

first_img26 June 2006(FNB) and the Gauteng Department of Housing are co-operating to close the gap that exists in South Africa’s affordable housing market.FNB, one of South Africa’s “big four” retail banks, launched a R800-million housing development last Thursday that will see more than 3 000 houses being built in a new Soweto suburb to be called Glen Ridge.Each housing unit will consist of three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and lounge at the cost of R168 000 (all inclusive).Construction will begin in July, with the first batch of houses to be available from as early as October.The project is split into commercial property finance (to fund developers to build the houses) and end-user finance in home loans for potential buyers to address the challenge of access to credit.FNB has set aside approximately R500-million to provide finance for the buyers, and R300-million for established property developers to build the houses.The initiative is in line with an agreement the government signed last year with the country’s four major banks – FNB, Absa, Standard Bank and Nedbank – under which the institutions committed themselves to pouring R42-billion into the country’s low-cost housing market.Gauteng Housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane commended the bank for helping ordinary South Africans to acquire homes through innovative home loan products.“Our role as provincial government will be to provide housing subsidies as equity to ensure affordability and quality houses for people in the middle to low income bracket,” Mokonyane said.Township development has in the past had limited appeal for developers because of difficulties involved in selling the properties.However, FNB chief executive officer Michael Jordaan said the collaboration between the banks and the government would make the provision of finance to buyers far smoother and the initiative an attractive one for developers.Last month, FNB unveiled a R368-million project to build more than 1 000 affordable houses at Cosmo City, north of Johannesburg. So far this year, the bank has ploughed approximately R1.7-billion into affordable housing developments.Jordaan emphasised that supporting South Africa’s previously under-serviced housing market was not merely about “ticking FSC [Financial Sector Charter] target boxes.”It was a business imperative, he said, for the country’s banks to contribute to the sustainable development and economic well-being of the communities they served.Source: BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more