Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for office address ahead of November’s general election. Based on the input we received, we developed a five-item questionnaire for candidates running for Kansas State Board of Education District 2.We’ll be publishing the candidates’ responses to one item per day each day this week. Today we’re publishing the candidates’ responses to item #3:The state board of education has in the past debated whether it’s appropriate to teach the concept of intelligent design along with theory of evolution. What are your views on what should and should not be taught to Kansas students in this regard?Melanie Haas (Democrat)Intelligent design is a theory with secular religious roots. It has no basis in factual science and therefore does not have a place in our science classrooms. The facts of evolution have been proven through hundreds of scientific studies at the micro- and macro-evolutionary level and evolution is settled science. Our students (Christian and not) deserve a secular, fact-based public education. There is, potentially, room for including a discussion around intelligent design but strictly through a cultural and anthropological lens. It should not occur in the science classroom but instead within a curriculum that is examining the diverse religious beliefs around the world. By exposing our children to different cultures and belief systems, we can encourage tolerance and mutual respect. Far too often, it is the unknown — the fear of that which is different — that creates so much misunderstanding and hate. Our education system can and should play a vital role in bridging these gaps that divide us.Benjamin Hodge (Republican)Did not respond.Tomorrow we’ll publish the candidates’ responses to item #4:The world that Kansas public school students will graduate into in the coming decades is likely to be very different than the world today. What skills and experiences should Kansas K-12 education be providing students to prepare them for an uncertain future?
Vancomycin-resistant Staph found in Egyptian camels, abbatoir workersAn investigation in Cairo has identified vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) in camel meat samples and slaughterhouse workers, Egyptian researchers reported in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.The researchers collected 200 meat samples from dromedary camel carcasses at three different abattoirs in Cairo and hand swabs from 20 adult male slaughterhouse workers. S aureus was isolated from 29 of the camel meat samples (14.5%) and 11 of the hand swabs (55%). Of the 40 S aureus isolates tested for resistance, 14 (35%) were resistant to vancomycin, with 27.6% of meat samples (8/29) and 54.5% of hand swabs (6/11) showing resistance. Additionally, all VRSA isolates were also classified as methicillin-resistant.Molecular analysis indicated that all 14 VRSA isolates harbored both vanA and vanB genes, and whole-genome sequencing of four of the isolates (two from camels, two from humans) revealed that the vanA sequences were identical to each other, suggesting potential zoonotic transmission.”Our research is the first in Egypt to report VRSA in camels, and we urge further comprehensive molecular epidemiological surveillance studies on the extent and potential zoonotic transmission of VRSA in livestock animals,” the authors of the study write. “Urgent interventions to control the transmission of these antibiotic-resistant organisms in abattoirs are needed.”Aug 5 Antimicrob Resist Infect Control study Miami-Dade County records 2nd local dengue case this yearMiami-Dade County, Florida, recorded its second locally acquired dengue case of the year, the Florida Department of Health (Florida Health) confirmed yesterday. The first one was in March, the Miami Herald reported.”There is a heightened concern of additional residents becoming ill,” Florida Health said in a news release. “DOH-Miami-Dade reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.”Dengue is a painful mosquito-borne disease that is rarely reported in the United States except in people who acquire it from traveling to a dengue-endemic region. Florida Health has confirmed 75 travel-related dengue cases so far this year, according to the Herald story.Aug 6 Florida Health news release Aug 6 Miami Herald storyIn other dengue news, the Marshall Islands yesterday declared a health emergency because of a dengue outbreak, Radio New Zealand reported today.Officials have begun daily safety broadcasts and clearing of mosquito breeding sites after a case of type 3 dengue was confirmed on Ebeye island last week.Aug 7 Radio New Zealand story Study highlights low vaccination rates in premature infants in WashingtonA study of almost 2,000 infants born prematurely in Washington state found that more than half were undervaccinated at 19 months and more than a third had still not caught up by the time they were 3 years old, according to data published today in Pediatrics.The study enrolled 10,367 infants born in the state from 2008 to 2013, of whom 1,991 (19.2%) were born at less than 37 weeks’ gestational age.The researchers found that 47.5% of preemies had completed their recommended seven-vaccine series by 19 months, compared with 54.0% of the full-term babies. At 36 months, the rates were 63.6% and 71.3%, respectively. Full flu vaccination coverage by 19 months, however, was higher in some preterm infants; it was 47.7% in early-preterm babies, 41.5% in late-preterm babies, and 44.7% in full-term infants.The authors conclude, “The reasons for this are unclear but could reflect parental and provider factors, such as perceptions of medical vulnerability, vaccine safety beliefs, understanding of current vaccine recommendations, and provider-family vaccine communication, as well as health care use patterns in these high-risk infants. Future work is needed to inform the design and implementation of interventions aimed at improving timely vaccination coverage of these high-risk infants.”Washington has low childhood vaccination rates in general and is one of the states hit by this year’s record-setting measles outbreak, which has been fueled by parents not having their children immunized.Aug 7 Pediatrics abstract Malaria death toll in Burundi tops 1,800As of Jul 21, malaria deaths in Burundi rival Ebola deaths in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, growing to 1,801, AllAfrica reported today.According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the country has recorded about 5.7 million malaria cases so far this year, which means about half the population has been affected. The country has yet to declare a national emergency over the epidemic, however, the story said.The outbreak has been fueled by a lack of mosquito bed nets, climate change, and people moving from mountainous areas to the plains, OCHA said. Burundi declared a national emergency in 2017 after 1.8 million malaria cases and 700 deaths, but government leaders may be refraining from taking the step now because of its upcoming 2020 national election.Aug 7 AllAfrica report
UK: Following successful trials, UK infrastructure manager Network Rail has granted full approval for the SL35 LED Light Engine which has been introduced by Howells Railway Products as a direct replacement for signal filament lamps. The Light Engine is compatible with existing electrical and lamp proving systems, offering the reliability and long life of LEDs without the need to change the existing signal head. The existing lamp holder is used, but to further reduce failures the Light Engine is hard-wired into the signal. This means it does not use lamp holder contact springs to provide electrical connections.According to Howells, a four-aspect signal can be converted in less than 15 min.
Thursday, September 24, 5:30-6pm: Soldotna Mayoral Candidate/sFriday, September 25, 4-6pm: K-Beach Borough Assembly Candidates Kenai voters will decide between Bob Molloy, Mike Boyle, and Jim Glendenning for the Kenai City Councils two open seats. Thursday, September 24, 4-5:30pm: Soldotna City Council Candidates In Soldotna, registered voters will decide on a new mayor where Pete Sprague is running unopposed. For the city’s council, Seat A incumbent Paul Whitney is being challenged by Fred Sturman and Seat C incumbent Linda Murphey is contending with Dan Nelson. District one has four candidates: incumbent Kelly Wolf versus David Wartinbee, Gary Knopp, and Robin Davis. Districts six and nine have two candidates each: Dawson Slaughter and Willie Dunn are running for the outlying Homer area seat and Kenn Carpenter is campaigning against Brandii Holmdahl for the Seward seat. The schedule is as follows:Tuesday, September 22, 5-6pm: South Peninsula Borough Assembly CandidatesWednesday, September 23, 5-6pm: Kenai City Council Candidates Also beginning next Monday, September 21, KSRM will host candidate forums on air between the hours of 4-6 pm all week. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Absentee voting for local municipal elections will begin next Monday, September 21. Blankenship: “We have District 1, the Kalifornski seat, District 6 East Peninsula, District 9 South Peninsula, and we have school board seats that are also up. That’s District 2 Kenai, District 5 Sterling/Funny River, and District 8 Homer.” Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship detailed the Assembly seats that voters will decide on through October 6.