HMS Professor Howard Green developed the first therapeutic use of cells grown in the lab. Before stem cells gained fame, he cultivated them to generate skin grafts for burn patients. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo7vSI4LiIs” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/Eo7vSI4LiIs/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> His young body ravaged by fire, the boy looked at the nurse wheeling him into the operating room.“Don’t let me die.”The words have echoed through the decades, from a Boston operating room in the summer of 1983 to similar places around the world where similar sentiments have accompanied similar operations, and lost none of their power. In a neat house on a quiet Brookline street a Harvard Medical School (HMS) professor’s wife tells the story.Those words changed everything, she adds.It was either 5-year-old Jamie Selby or his brother, 6-year-old Glen, who spoke on that summer day. The plea’s power rather than who said it struck the doctors and nurses caring for them.The adults were attempting what they deemed the boys’ only hope: transplanting laboratory-grown skin created through a new procedure pioneered by Professor Howard Green. It had been tried in small test cases before, but in those, the patient could have been treated with traditional skin grafts, where skin from another part of the body is taken to cover a burned area. Cases like that of the Selbys, where there was little unburned skin left to graft, had left doctors with few options. They could provide medication for the constant pain and wait for death. The new procedure offered hope where there had been none.“He basically turned his whole lab to the effort to save those boys.”The boys had been burned when flammable solvent caught fire while they were playing in a vacant house near their Wyoming home. A friend died in the fire; the Selbys were flown to burn specialists in Denver, who had heard of the work being done in Boston.From a small patch of unburned skin, Green and the fellows and students in his lab on HMS’s quadrangle had grown healthy skin that, once transplanted, would develop and thicken until it became nearly indistinguishable from normal skin.But the doctors and nurses treating the boys still had their concerns. They questioned the wisdom of attempting unproven measures on little boys in constant pain, with bodies difficult to look at, so scorched that the only patches of healthy skin were on the soles of their feet and the crease at the top of their thighs. But the words banished any lingering doubt.“There’s no question they would have died [without the treatment],” said Nicholas O’Connor, then-chief of the burn unit at the Shriners Burns Institute of Boston, who conducted the transplant operations. “[But] they were game to live. . . . Taking care of burn patients is difficult sometimes. You do all this for them but they may not make it out of the hospital.”The Selby boys survived to leave the hospital and lived for decades. The treatment proved the power of lab-grown human skin, and provided hope for victims of severe burns. Green’s method was the first to harness the power of stem cells to regenerate a patient’s tissues, ushering in an era of regenerative medicine that continues to develop today.“It’s really the first stem cell therapy. It was way ahead of its time,” O’Connor said.Insight from teratomasIn 1974, neither Howard Green nor graduate student James Rheinwald was thinking of burns and skin transplants. In Green’s lab, then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the focus was on embryos and embryonic development.To gain insight into how a few cells can develop into the body’s diverse array of tissues, they were studying teratomas, tumors that, like embryos, are made up of many different tissues, including teeth, bone, and hair.While examining a mouse teratoma, Rheinwald noticed a smooth patch of what looked like skin. It was made up of cells called keratinocytes, a skin building block. Prior attempts to culture keratinocytes had failed, but the key observation from the teratoma was that the keratinocytes were growing together with structural cells called fibroblasts.Green, who had successfully cultured fibroblast cells years earlier, had a ready supply. He and Rheinwald first irradiated the fibroblasts to stop them from crowding out the keratinocytes, and then incubated the two cell types together.The keratinocytes grew readily, so Green and Rheinwald tried the same experiment on human keratinocytes and got the same result. Green, realizing that the advance had the potential to help burn victims, contacted O’Connor, who before moving to Shriners was head of the burn unit at what was then the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.“[Green] was unusual in having both extraordinary scientific instinct and rigor … while, with his medical training, he always had a good sense of when something might be applied to a clinical problem,” said Rheinwald, today an associate professor of dermatology at HMS and at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.O’Connor, working with physicians at the Brigham and, later, at Shriners, began experimenting using Green’s lab-grown skin for transplants. The pair did the first human transplant in 1980 — the same year Green moved to HMS — on two patients, growing skin patches from biopsies of the patients’ healthy skin and transplanting them.“Once we learned how to grow the cells, it was obvious what we were going to do,” Green said. “Use them for people with third-degree burns.”The effort to treat the Selbys consumed Green’s lab. To provide enough skin to help the boys, it had to be converted overnight from a research operation to one dedicated to manufacturing grafts of their skin.“He basically turned his whole lab to the effort to save those boys,” said O’Connor.Green realized that research was incompatible with growing large amounts of skin for grafts, so he founded a company, Biosurface Technology — bought by Genzyme in 1994 — to handle commercialization of the process.Stem-cell treatmentLicensing the process to an outside company allowed Green to return his focus to research. Later work in his lab showed that the keratinocytes in the skin grafts consisted of three cell types, one of which is an adult stem cell that provides most of the grafts’ proliferative capacity. The presence of stem cells explains why the grafts, transplanted as thin sheets mainly made up of the skin’s upper layer, the epidermis, continue to grow and thicken, adding a deeper layer, the dermis, over ensuing months.In the decades since, stem cell research has grown rapidly. Today, researchers are generating new knowledge about how our bodies function and making advances in regeneration of damaged tissue — as Green did in the early 1980s.Green, now the George Higginson Professor of Cell Biology, has won accolades for his efforts, including the 2010 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, which recognized his work with skin stem cells, and the 2012 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, which went to Green and a former fellow, Elaine Fuchs of Rockefeller University, for their insights into skin stem cells and skin diseases.In recent years, research associate Shiro Iuchi has continued to investigate keratinocytes in Green’s lab. Iuchi, who started in the lab in 1994, is a microbiologist who was drawn to the field by his curiosity about how organisms work and to the lab by the chance to work with Green. Iuchi has generated keratinocytes from embryonic stem cells and, using insights gleaned from them, is investigating chemical factors that play an important role in keratinocyte growth. Though the clinical application of keratinocytes has been known for some time, research using embryonic stem cells further illuminates how keratinocytes function, Iuchi said.“There’s always the basic question of how it’s made.”Lasting powerLast year, Green and his wife, Rosine, were having dinner at home when the phone rang. It was Anice Kruger, a South African mother whose daughter, 3-year-old Pippie, had sustained burns over 80 percent of her body — “everywhere but her bum” — in an accident at a family barbecue. Anice had found the Greens’ number on the Internet.Green referred Anice to Genzyme, which is still using his technique to grow skin for badly burned patients. Samples of Pippie’s skin were flown to Boston, where technicians grew grafts and handed them to a medical courier for a race against the clock. The grafts are viable for 24 hours; the long flight to South Africa left little time to spare. When the plane landed, an ambulance was waiting and sped the grafts through Johannesburg’s rush-hour traffic to surgeons ready to operate. A week later, the procedure was declared a success, with 90 percent of the 41 grafts taking hold. Anice spoke to a local newspaper after the operation.“It’s perfect,” she said.Skin engineering
Service has always been a part of Erin Wright’s life, and the Notre Dame junior finally is being recognized for her tireless efforts to the area. Wright is the 2012 recipient of the Richard J. Wood Student Community Commitment Award from Indiana Campus Compact. According to a press release from the Center for Social Concerns (CSC), the award is given to a student at an Indiana college or university for the impact they have on the citizens of the state and their community. “I think it is very humbling and honoring to win this award,” Wright said. “It’s a good testament to the organizations I work with and the people they serve. This makes me want to stay involved and continue to work with them.” As a high school student, Wright was involved with her school’s campus ministry. When she came to Notre Dame, getting involved in a variety of service opportunities was a way to become engaged on campus, she said. Wright is the president of Friends of the Orphans, a group that works in Honduras, interned last summer at St. Jude’s Children Hospital through the CSC’s Summer Service Learning Program, and is a poverty studies minor. Wright said she is committed to service in her future, no matter where she ends up. “I’m not sure what I want to do, I want to do some service, perhaps spend some time abroad,” she said. “I think I want to go to grad school and study global health. I want to work in development issues and how it relates to health care.” As an intern at St. Jude’s, Wright worked with patients and their families. Wright is a poverty studies minor and has participated in many CSC seminars, including the Appalachia program and Urban Plunge. Last year, she was part of a theology class who started a food co-op in the Monroe Park neighborhood, a local “food desert.” In the press release, Cynthia Toms-Smedley, director of the Educational Immersion Seminars at the CSC, said Wright is an advocate for people living on the margins of society. “Erin has demonstrated a deep and abiding conscience for people living at the margins of our society,” Toms-Smedley said. “Furthermore, her tireless efforts toward poverty alleviation have produced countless positive outcomes for her peer students, university staff and faculty, and for community members.” Fr. William M. Lies, executive director of the CSC, nominated Wright for the award. “As an educator, I am struck by the realization that many students come and go through our doors during our decades of university service,” Lies said in the press release. “Most students learn and contribute to our lives. However, once in a while, a special student enters our doors – a student that embodies our greatest values and bolsters our hope in the future. Erin Wright is that student.” Contact Anna Boarini at [email protected]
Get ready to get messy! The 4th annual Dig the Du “Dirty Duathalon” in Hendersonville, North Carolina winds through grassy fields and thick forests in this off-road race on Sunday, October 12.The combination biking and running race begins at 10:30 a.m. on private land at the Sky Valley Farm. The day begins with a 2.5 mile run through the farm’s fields and service roads, continues as competitors hop on their wheels for a 12 mile mountain bike ride, and concludes in a final 2.5 trail run back to the farm. The Dig the Du race is the perfect opportunity for anyone interest in multi-sport and off-road courses, or more highly trained athletes looking to get off the streets.On the same afternoon, kids can have their own duathalon experience! After the main race, all youngins ages 6 to 13 are invited to participate in the Kids Du Too, a mini-version of the full Dig the Du. Kids will get their little hearts pumping in a 1 mile run followed by a 3 mile bike and a final 1 mile run. Watch your kids get outdoors and try something new.Racers will walk away with special race t-shirts and awards, as well as a belly full of food and Sierra Nevada beer.The Dig the Du and Kids Du Too Diathalons will benefit the OpenDoors’ Llewellyn Perry Scholarship Fund, named for the late grandmother of the Perry family who own Sky Valley Farm and generously open their land for the event. Funds will help raise tuition and tutoring money for underpriviledged children in the area.Hurry to join the Dig the Du Duathalon or the Kids Du Too! Registration closes on October 8th, and the race is capped at 350 participants. Competitors can register either individually or as part of a 2 to 3 person relay team. Run, bike, and run your way to plenty of outdoor fun.
By Dialogo February 22, 2011 Mexico’s president says he is sending four more battalions to northern Mexico, where forces are engaged in a bloody battle with drug smugglers. President Felipe Calderon said on 19 February that the soldiers will be deployed to the state of Tamaulipas, along Mexico’s border with the United States. He said he was also going to send new armored vehicles and bullet-proof vests. And he pledged to raise salaries for soldiers and increase pensions for the widows of slain soldiers. Mr. Calderon was speaking at a military base in Reynosa, a city in Tamaulipas state, as part of a day celebrating Mexico’s armed forces. President Calderon launched his offensive against Mexico’s powerful cartels soon after taking power in December of 2006. Government officials say since then, at least 34,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence.
Drug interdiction in the Dominican Republic Costa Rican security forces captured two Costa Ricans and a U.S. resident during a raid of a hydroponic marijuana laboratory (Plants growing in water.) Drug Control Police made the arrests during a raid on a hydroponic marijuana laboratory in Coyol in the province of Alajuela, the Public Security Ministry said on Sept. 1. A “narco clan” allegedly ran the laboratory, according to the Interior Ministry. Security forces found buckets with marijuana residue and fertilizer inside the laboratory, which was located inside a residence. Police seized 256 grams of processed marijuana and a marijuana plant, in addition to $900 (USD) in cash and three vehicles, Public Security Vice Minister Gustavo Mata told the Costa Rican newspaper The Tico Times. The FARCs still deny being drug traffickers. They are the worst kind of delinquents. The FARC is a cynical organization, who says does not do drug trafficking while evidence shows something else, all they do is brag about helping the people. Lies, they are assassins, who want to put an end to the little wealth we have; these gentlemen should be in jail paying for their crimes. Drug arrests in Costa Rica In the Dominican Republic, the National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD) seized 219 packets of white powder from a vessel along the coast of the province of San Pedro de Macorís. Authorities will test the powder, which they believe is cocaine or heroin. Security forces discovered the bags of powder on a fishing boat allegedly used by a narco-trafficking ring to transport drugs between South America and the Dominican Republic. DNCD agents arrested a 33-year-old man who resides in the San Pedro de Macorís neighborhood of La Punta, though another suspected trafficker evaded authorities by swimming to shore. The Colombian Army dismantled seven cocaine-producing laboratories and seized nearly 4,000 kilograms of cocaine, while authorities in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica also confiscated significant amounts of drugs. Colombian Army soldiers found the drug laboratories in the southern department of Caquetá. Authorities suspect the laboratories belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC) 15th Front. Soldiers from the Sixth Division’s Special Operations Unit discovered hundreds of chemicals and equipment used to turn coca into cocaine inside the laboratories, the Army said on Sept. 2. No arrests were made in any of the operations. The destruction of the labs are the latest successes by Colombian security forces, who are carrying out a President Juan Manuel Santos’ strategy of strong enforcement throughout the country and at seaports. For example, in August, agents with the Coast Guard Station Santa Marta and the Magdalena’s Technical Investigation Corps Prosecutors Office seized 40 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a shipment of coal on a Liberian-flagged ship in the port municipality of Ciénaga. The vessel, the “Ping May,” had arrived from England and was bound for the Netherlands when agents found 40 packages of cocaine. It was the second time in less than a month that Colombian security forces seized cocaine on a ship transporting coal in the department of Magdalena. Coast Guard and CTI agents seized 246 kilograms of the drug from a Panamanian-flagged vessel that had arrived from Canada and was anchored at Puerto Drummond in Ciénaga. That ship was also destined for the Netherlands. And on Aug. 22, Colombian police confiscated 1.3 tons of cocaine belonging to the México-based Sinaloa Cartel. Gen. Ricardo Alberto Restrepo Londoño head of the counter-narcotics division, announced the seizure. The cocaine was on a ship departing from the Pacific port of Buenaventura and was destined for the Guatemalan port of Quetzal. . By Dialogo September 05, 2014
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York HOLD THE LINE: Suffolk County police investigated the third Central Islip gun death in a period of less than two days the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.One after another, nosey Central Islip neighbors walked up to the police tape on Clayton Avenue the rainy Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend, same as gawkers at any other crime scene.But morbid curiosity turned to deep-seated fear upon learning that Suffolk County police were investigating a third man in his 20s being gunned down within 39 hours and two square miles of one another in the same neighborhood where gunmen in recent local gang wars are still facing justice in the federal courthouse down the street.“We better say a prayer,” said one concerned citizen, likely echoing clergy in the convent abutting the boarding house where Matthew Gilmore, 25, was shot and killed May 28.In the month following that grim unofficial start to summer on Long Island, police, lawmakers and civic leaders have been scrambling to stem the spate of deadly violence from spreading. New York State anti-gang legislation advanced in Albany, the high-profile neighborhood watch group Guardian Angels announced plans to expand into the community, and Suffolk police brass reversed a controversial decision—first reported by the Press last fall—to quit the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force.“We don’t want to have a repeat of what we had in 2009,” Legis. Rick Montano (D-Central Islip) said, referring to the 14 murders in Brentwood and Central Islip between summer ’09 and spring ’10, most of which have been solved. “I’ve been knocking on doors in the community and people are afraid.”Police have since made arrests in two of the three cases as of press time, but have also proven unusually tight-lipped about releasing details, just one of the departures from law enforcement behavior following the bloodshed five years prior.Raesean Allen, 22, of Central Islip, was charged with the murder of Gilmore a week following the shooting. “I took some of the victim’s marijuana and ran out the front door,” Allen allegedly told investigators, according to court documents.“His involvement was simply to purchase marijuana as opposed to any type of murder,” Allen’s attorney, Michael Brown, told News12 Long Island.Late last month, Jeffrey Rosales, 27, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Keenan Russell, an up-and-coming rapper, shot after midnight May 28. As of press time, no arrests were made in Derrick Mayes’ murder, 25 hours prior. Both Russell and Mayes were 21.In the first two cases, police have said they suspect gang involvement. Not that anyone was surprised to hear it.“Gangs don’t need to fight if there’s no gang activity,” Andy Grascia, president of the New York Gang Investigators Association, tells the Press after being asked about local rumors that a new gang in town may be involved. “If you’re the only gang in the neighborhood, there’s no problems.” He notes that the Bloods in New York are currently fighting amongst themselves for control.Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of Suffolk police Homicide Squad, says that despite the unusually close-together murders, the county is enjoying a drop in such slayings.His unit investigates an average of 35 murders annually. Last year, there were 23, the third-lowest since ‘75. At this year’s half-point, there were nine murders, five of which have resulted in arrests—although his detectives historically have solved 82 percent of cases.“Generally, the victims and the murderers are known to each other,” Fitzpatrick says, describing common motives such as drugs, domestic violence and long-standing feuds. “That changes a bit when you involve gangs in the equation.”GANG BUSTERS: Flanked by partners in various law enforcement agenies, James Burke, Chief of Department for Suffolk police, announced June 3, a week after three murders in less than two days in Central Islip, that the department was rejoining the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force less than a year after pulling out of the unit.LAST GANG IN TOWNState lawmakers, grappling with an embarrassing resurgence of corruption scandals resulting in arrests that have plagued Albany for years, were unable to pass legislation reforming their seedy operations before summer break last month. But the state Senate OKed a bill cracking down on gangs three weeks after the trio of murders.“Our focus has been on not only punishment and accountability to those who owe a debt after committing a gang-related crime, but also elements of prevention and rehabilitation,” state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) says of the Criminal Street Gangs Enforcement and Prevention Act.Now the onus is on the Assembly to consider taking up the bill, should a special session be called before the state Legislature officially convenes again in January.“We can’t arrest our way out of it,” says Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood), a former Suffolk police detective working with Zeldin on the legislation, which increases sentencing in gang crimes, boosts gang prevention in schools and creates a gang prevention fund. “I like to put my efforts behind prevention and rehabilitation because those are the areas that help our areas most.”The ex-undercover narcotics investigator hopes that before final passage, the bill would include a measure creating gang courts similar to those already in Yakima County, Wash., St. Louis and being explored elsewhere nationwide.It’s an approach similar to the way drug courts offer alternatives to incarceration for substance abusers caught breaking the law. Or veterans courts for law-breaking returning soldiers.“Many of the kids don’t fit into mainstream school,” Yakima Gang Court Judge Susan Hahn wrote in a 2012 report on the nation’s first such program’s initial year. “We employ many options to help them succeed, including alternative schools, job training, GED and online schooling.”Grascia, head of the state gang investigators association, says a multifaceted approach is the best way to weed out wannabe Tony Sopranos.“The gang world is not an easy world to understand and to deal with,” he says. “There’s the law enforcement component, the school component and the community component. If you don’t have those three components working together, it can be a vicious cycle.”BLOODSTAINSBesides folks joining hands in prayer in weekly peace vigils, and Central Islip school resource officers getting backup after the shootings, the red-beret-clad Guardian Angels—a 145-worldwide-chapter unarmed neighborhood patrol group formed by Curtis Sliwa—are adding to a 3-year-old first LI chapter in Huntington Station, with three more on the way in Brentwood, Central Islip and West Hempstead.“We are going to continue to put boots on the ground and justify this generous award,” Silwa told reporters at a recent news conference announcing his winning $25,000 from the “Manes-American Peace Prize” awarded by Lynbrook-based Dr. Harvey Manes.“You can’t be afraid of fear,” says Jesse Gavares, nicknamed “Tarantella,” a Guardian Angel prerequisite, when asked if he was afraid to patrol the mean, hilly streets that forced the closure of Huntington’s Jack Abrahams School.Suffolk police were skeptical, to say the least.“They could present a danger to themselves if they confront people who are armed and dangerous,” says Deputy Chief Kevin Fallon, Suffolk police’s chief spokesman, adding that officers in the Second Precinct patrolling Huntington never see Angels on patrol.“Do they know what their limits are with civilians?” he asked. “Are they violating civilians’ rights without knowing it? What type of vetting process do they put people through?”Sliwa, who brands himself as a good/tough guy who took on late mob boss John Gotti, isn’t backing down.“We’ve been doing it for three years in Huntington Station; it’s not like we showed up yesterday,” he responds, recalling broken-up fights and citizens arrests made by the half-dozen-strong Huntington Station chapter. “The township and the people of Huntington are recognizing the Guardian Angels, so how can SCPD not also?”His group took partial credit for crime being down 9 percent in the Second Precinct between 2010 and 2012, although Suffolk police also reported crime was down 12 percent in the Third Precinct covering Central Islip and 12 percent overall in the western five towns for the same period.Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time Suffolk police bucked outside help and later changed their minds.“When we removed the detectives from the [FBI] Long Island Gang Task Force, we felt as though that was the best deployment of our officers,” Chief of Department James Burke, who pulled three detectives from the unit last fall, told reporters June 3, a week after the three murders.“Now… the key critical thing is making the public know that we are doing everything possible to make them safe,” he said. “We thought it was the prudent thing to install [two detectives] back to the task force.”The sniping wasn’t left to the streets, either.“Recklessly, too much information has been leaked to the media that has in fact hindered this investigation,” Burke said, referring to a Newsday report quoting anonymous sources saying that MS-13-linked guns were used in the first two Memorial Day slayings.“If one of the bad guys in these cases know that we know the type of gun that was used, well, do you think that gun is gonna be around anymore?” Inspector Robert Brown, commander of the Third Precinct, rhetorically asked residents at their monthly “First Tuesday” community meeting a day after that press conference. “That gun will never be found.”—With additional reporting by Danielle Cox and Amanda Wolfer
At Apple’s “show time” services event today, it announced a new Apple Card credit card, promising to improve things about the credit card experience with simpler applications, no fees, lowering interest rates, and offering better rewards.To get an Apple Card, users will be able to sign up on their phone in the Apple Wallet app and get a digital card that they can use anywhere Apple Pay is accepted “within minutes.” Customers will also be able to track purchases, check balances, and see when their bill is due right from the app. There will be a physical, titanium card too — but there’s no credit card number, CVV, expiration date, or signature, with all that authorization information stored directly in the Apple Wallet app.Apple also says that it’ll be using machine learning and Apple Maps together to help label stores that you use in the app, and use that data to track purchases across categories like “food and drink” or “shopping.” continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
A survey of SPW’s participants suggested that more than 50% would appreciate assistance from their pension fund with their financial planning – in particular regarding their pension itself.Schuyt said: “We consider helping making choices about their financial future also as a way of complying with our [duty of care] as a pension fund.”However, he emphasised that the assistance was only going to provide an insight “as pension funds are not allowed to offer advice”.Bringing together the figures about the expected pension benefits with details of superannuation and savings, as well as the desired lifestyle after retirement, would provide the participants with an overview of their future income.Combined with expected expenses after retirement, participants are supposed to be able to draw up a balance sheet.The program has been available for SPW’s participants since last month. According to Schuyt, 8% of participants who have logged in since then have already checked the program.Next week, SPW will alert 11,000 of its participants aged over 50 to the new program.“This development matches our goals,” commented Raoul Willms, who is responsible for marketing at APG. “We are working on several projects to improve the insight into and overview of the financial position of our clients’ participants.”Last year, ABP and APG presented a model for the visualisation of an individual’s pensions pot, showing how much pension capital participants were accruing.“We hope that other pension funds will also use the instrument,” said Schuyt. “An additional advantage would be that more schemes would contribute to the development costs.”Depending on users’ responses, SPW would decide which additional options are to be developed.Schuyt said: “We expect, for example, that adding the partner’s details would be the first wish for many participants, as financial planning is usually carried out on a household level.”SPW has outsourced its administration, communication, asset management and board support to APG. SPW, the €12.3bn Dutch pension fund for the country’s housing corporations, has developed an online program to provide its participants with an insight into their overall financial position.The program – developed by pensions provider APG and Ortec Finance – not only comprises information from the national pensions register, but also enables participants to add information such as their savings and other annuities.APG said that its main client, the €409bn civil service scheme ABP, as well as BpfBouw, the €57bn pension fund for the building industry, had also shown a serious interest in the program.“Our aim is to improve the bond with our participants,” explained Jim Schuyt, employer chairman of SPW. “We would like that eight out of 10 participants and at least nine out of 10 employers would join us.”
Indianapolis, In. — Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs have awarded more than $10M in federal grant funding to 19 rural communities.“Rural communities are the next great economic frontier for our state, and it is vital they are receiving support to keep Indiana moving forward,” Crouch said. “With these funds, local governments are able to complete various projects like improving their infrastructure, downtown revitalization and public facilities improvements.”Applications for round one of the federal Community Development Block Grant program were due to OCRA on July 20, 2018. Feedback for communities will be provided by the CDBG program director in the coming weeks.“We are excited to support Hoosier communities through our CDBG grants,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. “These investments will support long-term economic growth and community development throughout rural Indiana.”The second round of the 2018 CDBG program will begin on August 27. Those proposals are due October 5, and final applications are due November 30 at 4:00 p.m., contact CDBG Program Director Eric Oglefor more information.The Main Street Revitalization Program encourages communities with eligible populations to focus on long-term community development efforts. Eligible applicants had a designated active Indiana Main Street group in their community and the project must be a part of the Main Street’s overall strategy. Main Street Revitalization Program projects include streetscapes, facade renovations, and downtown infrastructure rehabilitation.The City of Greensburg is awarded $600,000 for downtown street improvements. This revitalization project will upgrade the southern half of Main Street between Broadway and Franklin streets and on the south side of the courthouse square. The goals of the Public Facilities Program are to improve the quality of place, to generate jobs and spur economic revitalization through improving community facilities or historic preservation projects. Eligible community facilities include community centers, daycares, libraries, museums, senior centers and performance spaces.The City of Greenwood is awarded $500,000 for renovation of a senior center, The Social of Greenwood. The project will renovate the roughly 6,500 square foot center to include updates to the wellness areas, multi-purpose program rooms, a food pantry and administrative spaces.Jackson County is awarded $225,000 for the rehabilitation of the Vallonia Community Center. The project will renovate the interior and upgrade the Joseph Jackson Hotel that was originally built in 1914.The Town of Knightstown is awarded $500,000 to rehabilitate the historic Hoosier Gym. The project will replace the roof, install new windows and complete tuck pointing of the deteriorating brick. This work preserves an important historic landmark.The Town of Napoleon is awarded $500,000 for the construction of a new fire station. The project will build an 8,400 square foot station with four drive-thru bays, a training room, and warming kitchen. The station will be constructed on Millhousen Road across six acres.The Town of Walton is awarded $500,000 to build a new community center. The building will be approximately 3,500 square feet and able to accommodate roughly 150 individuals. The project will include an ADA accessible restroom, a kitchen and be utilized as an emergency shelter when needed.The Stormwater Improvement Program strives to reduce flooding, to cut stormwater treatment and energy costs, to protect rivers, lakes and vital landscape, and to generate jobs and spur economic revitalization. Types of activities that are eligible for Stormwater Improvement Program grant funding include stormwater improvements as well as demolition and/or clearance.The City of Alexandria is awarded $600,000 for stormwater system improvements. This project will install a dedicated storm sewer and provide significant drainage benefits for the entire city.The Town of Centerville is awarded $600,000 for stormwater system improvements. This project will dredge two creeks, construct a detention basin, and replace an undersized culvert.The Town of Greentown is awarded $600,000 for stormwater system improvements. This project will address a number of drainage issues identified in the town’s 2018 Stormwater Utility Master Plan that was also funded by a Planning Grant from OCRA.The Town of Jamestown is awarded $600,000 for stormwater system improvements. This project will install a storm sewer, drainage swale, inlets and reconstruct three stormwater channels.The Town of Summitville is awarded $600,000 for stormwater system improvements. This project will help eliminate wastewater overflows at two lift stations.The goals of the Wastewater Drinking Water Program are to protect the health and environment, reduce utility rates for low-to-moderate income communities and improve rural infrastructure to enable long-term economic growth. Eligible Wastewater Drinking Water Program projects include many aspects of wastewater improvements and drinking water system improvements.The Town of Carbon is awarded $172,000 for wastewater system improvements. The project will address issues identified by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in regards to the main lift station.The City of Connersville is awarded $600,000 for wastewater system improvements. The project will construct a new lift station, install a larger force main and mechanical equipment.The Town of Grandview is awarded $491,675 for drinking water system improvements. This project will construct a new water production well, loop dead end water lines, install isolation valves and update fire hydrants to include shut-off valves.The Town of Holland is awarded $600,000 for drinking water system improvements. This project will replace an old water storage tank and rehabilitate a second storage tank.The Town of Kirkland is awarded $600,000 for drinking water system improvements. This project will improve the town’s water treatment plant, water storage tank, and distribution system.The City of New Castle is awarded $600,000 for wastewater system improvements. This project will install new blowers and make a number of safety improvements.The Town of Poneto is awarded $600,000 for wastewater system improvements. This project will upgrade the existing treatment plants to be in compliance with current standards.The Town of Sullivan is awarded $700,000 for wastewater system improvements. This project will upgrade the town’s treatment plant and collection system including the construction of a new lift station.