Elkhart man dies after leaving the road and crashing into a tree

first_img Google+ Facebook WhatsApp Facebook Elkhart man dies after leaving the road and crashing into a tree Google+ Twitter (“Ambulance” by Andrew Malone, CC BY 2.0) An Elkhart man was killed Friday morning after his SUV ran off the road and struck a tree. It happened on CR-3 about 2 miles north of the city limits, shortly after 6:30 a.m.Police say Jonathan Towne, 44, crossed the center line and left the road.He was not wearing a seat-belt according to officials and was pronounced dead at the scene.It’s not known why he crossed the center-line and left the road. By Tommie Lee – July 24, 2020 0 465 IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market WhatsApp Pinterest Pinterest Twitter Previous articleThe Elkhart Education Foundation is seeking donations to help teachersNext articleV.P. Pence pushes for in classroom learning during Indiana visit Tommie Leelast_img read more

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Old specimens, fresh answers

first_imgResearch conducted by a Harvard undergraduate has traced the rise of mercury pollution in endangered seabirds and highlighted the importance of museum collections as a time capsule concerning conditions on Earth over the past century.The research, by Anh-Thu Elaine Vo ’08, now a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, details mercury levels in the feathers of endangered black-footed albatrosses from 1880 to 2002, showing increased levels after World War II and after 1990, when Asian industrialization is believed to have increased emissions. Similar studies have documented the rise of environmental mercury levels in other seas, including the Atlantic and the North Sea, but this is the first to do so for the Pacific.Mercury is known as a highly toxic pollutant that can have detrimental effects on the environment. It can become particularly toxic for top predators in a food web, because the consumption of creatures with lower mercury levels concentrates it in their tissues. This environmental concentration has led to human consumption advisories for some marine predatory fish, such as tuna.Black-footed albatrosses, with 7-foot wingspans, are among the oceans’ top predators, living on small fish, squid, and crustaceans. Though Vo’s work illustrated that mercury does concentrate in the birds’ tissues, it is not known at what level mercury becomes poisonous in the birds. The albatrosses are considered endangered by the IUCN Red List, but the main threat to them is believed to be longline fishing, which snares an estimated 3,000 birds a year.“We don’t know whether these concentrations are deleterious for this specific species although adverse effects are associated with the observed concentrations in other waterbirds,” said Vo.Vo’s research was conducted under the guidance of Scott Edwards, an ornithologist and professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, and Michael Bank, a research associate in the Harvard School of Public Health’s Trace Metals Lab, where some of the mercury testing was done, and with the assistance of James Shine, a senior lecturer on aquatic chemistry. It was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in April.Vo examined mercury concentrations in feathers taken from two museum collections. One is Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), which had specimens collected from 1880 to 1949, and the second is at the University of Washington, which had more-recent specimens. Vo said the assistance of the Harvard Trace Metals Lab and Dartmouth College Trace Metals Analytical Laboratory were critical to the research because she couldn’t have done the mercury analysis without it.“We knew from the literature that mercury is highly toxic to animals, and we knew that humans have changed levels of environmental mercury,” Vo said.The work analyzed levels of total mercury and of methyl mercury, a form of the element that is absorbed into an animal’s body. It also examined isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as a way to rule out the possibility that changes in the birds’ bodies were due to a shift in food sources. The research showed that the level at which the birds fed in the food chain didn’t change appreciably over time.Bank said there had been speculation that mercury levels were rising in the Pacific, but the results provided confirmation.“We don’t have just a model, we have actual data,” Bank said.Edwards said the research highlights the value of museum collections. The birds in the MCZ’s ornithology collection, of which Edwards is curator, are commonly used by scholars to study their anatomy. But Edwards pointed out that their tissues also function as a time capsule for the world in which they lived.“The collections are key,” Edwards said. “These birds were collected without any … thought about mercury.”Bank said the research built on the “ghost” of past collecting work.“We’ve harnessed the power of past expeditions,” Bank said.Edwards and Vo said there are several follow-up studies that could be undertaken, including on whether this level of mercury in the tissues is detrimental to the birds’ breeding.“We don’t really know if this has really impacted their reproductive success,” Edwards said. “I think there are some great follow-up studies to be done.”last_img read more

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Skelos Corruption Trial: Ex-North Hempstead Pol Testified He Gave Adam Skelos $20K

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A former North Hempstead town councilman said he gave $20,000 to the son of New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) to fulfill an alleged bribe requested by a mutual acquaintance.The ex-councilman, Tom Dwyer, was one of three officials to take the stand Monday as the corruption trial against the senator and his son, Adam, enters its second week at federal court in Manhattan. The other two officials included Glenn Rink, chief operating officer at AbTech Industries, an environmental technology company, and Joseph Strasburg, president of a landlord advocacy group known as the Rent Stabilization Association (RSA).“‘This should get Dean off my back,’” Dwyer testified was the response he got from Charles Durego, general counsel and senior vice president at developer Glenwood Management Corp., after he told Durego that he’d done what Durego had asked by giving Adam a check disguised as payment for work that Adam didn’t perform at Dwyer’s title insurance company, American Land Services (ALS).Dwyer testified that he did as Durego wanted without question because Glenwood was his biggest and most lucrative client—and he didn’t want to lose their business. Dwyer said he thought Durego meant the payment would help Glenwood stay in the state Senate majority leader’s good graces when lobbying the senator on legislation the developer backed.New Hyde Park-based Glenwood, Arizona-based AbTech and Roslyn-based Physicians Reciprocal Insurers are the three companies that the former state Senate majority leader allegedly coerced $300,000 in bribes from in the form of no-show jobs that his son, Adam, was unqualified for, in exchange for illegally manipulating legislation. Both men deny the accusations.Dwyer said the payment to Adam was funded by a commission for title insurance work on an real estate transaction unrelated to Glenwood.“Charlie did not want the payment to Adam to be associated with Glenwood Management,” Dwyer testified. Durego also responded to an email about how the $20,000 was calculated with “not for emails” and later emphasized that point in a phone call, Dwyer recalled.Dwyer met Adam on Feb. 18, 2013 for lunch at Coolfish, a restaurant in Syosset, to give Adam the check in an envelope without discussing its contents, Dywer testified.Tatiana Martins, one of the federal prosecutors trying the case asked: “Had Adam Skelos performed any work for that $20,000?”Dwyer replied: “No.”Defense attorneys and prosecutors noted that Dwyer had lied to federal investigators when first questioned about the money. Dwyer said he made a “big mistake” because he was “extremely nervous,” but a week later he began cooperating and turned over his emails. The defense also questioned Dwyer if he knew about large title insurance work referral fees given to others besides Adam.Dwyer had been a North Hempstead town councilman for more than a decade until he resigned in November 2013. He told Newsday at the time that he left office because he was too busy with his outside work and didn’t want to have any conflicts of interest with his consulting business.During cross examination, Dwyer testified that AbTech officials offered him compensation to be a consultant for the company and find out why Nassau County, which had secured a $12 million contract through Adam, “was not moving quickly.” Dwyer said he learned that the project “wasn’t a priority” for the county.When Strasburg, the RSA president, took the stand, he testified that Leonard Litwin, the billionaire owner of Glenwood, did not share Strasburg’s view that the 421a program—a tax break for developers—would easily be renewed at the same time RSA was lobbying for rent control laws to be renewed without any changes.“He actually thought 421a was in jeopardy,” Strasburg testified, recalling his conversation with Litwin.Rink, CEO and founder of AbTech, took the stand next and recounted how Litwin’s family became investors in his company, which manufactures a product called the smart sponge that removes pollutants from storm water runoff when it’s installed in drainage systems. Rink gave the jury a demonstration of his product, using water he’d contaminated with petroleum products. Martins, the prosecutor, asked that it be noted for the record that the small test tube of water came out clear after passing through the smart sponge.Rink testified that Durego, who had set AbTech up with Adam, told him that their proposed contract was illegal on the grounds that it offered lobbying on a contingent fee basis. It can only be commission based or a flat fee, Durego said in an email read in court. AbTech and Adam signed the contract after making modifications only for how big of a contract Adam must secure before he’d get a raise from $4,000 monthly to $10,000 monthly.Rink is scheduled to continue his direct examination Tuesday, when the jury in a separate federal corruption trial against ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) is expected to begin deliberating in the same courthouse.last_img read more

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