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Special Olympics bronze medalist Kevin Callaghan shares story, confronts labels

first_imgKevin Callaghan, a bronze medalist in the 5,000-meter race at the 2011 Special Olympics, spoke at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday evening regarding his experiences as an athlete. The event, sponsored by Multicultural Services, served as part of the College’s Disability Awareness Week.Saint Mary’s junior Maryselva Albarran Hernandez commented on the significance of the event, saying although there have been many projects promoting diversity and inclusion on campus, there were very few events surrounding disabilities.“We noticed that there were a lot of projects and events happening that were focused on diversity and inclusion in religion, race, ethnicity and LQBTQ issues, but there was nothing for increasing awareness on disabilities,” she said. “This is a big concern because we do have students with disabilities on our campus and it’s important for them to feel included.” Tags: 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Disability Awareness Week, Kevin Callaghan, Special Olympics Natalie Weber | The Observer Special Olympian and bronze medalist Kevin Callaghan presents at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday in Vander Vennet Theatre. The event was a part of Saint Mary’s inaugural Diversity Awareness Week.Albarran Hernandez said Callaghan is committed to speaking up and helping others who suffer from intellectual disabilities, similar to those he and his brother face.“He wants to be a role model for those who may not have a voice and wants to be their voice,” she said. “He wants to be able to provide the tools for people to voice their concerns and he wants to motivate others to speak up and I love that about him.”Callaghan was diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability, which he said is nothing more than a label. He said that a disability doesn’t always mean disabled. Every person is gifted in their own way, he said, and trying to live life to its fullest with the talents that they have.“I do things like anyone else, just at a slower pace,” he said. “I can drive a car; I live in my own apartment; I am self-sufficient. It wasn’t easy though, I had to work a lot harder to achieve my goals.”Callaghan said he always enjoyed running and competing. Sports have helped him in many ways, he said, by allowing him to make connections, find his passion and make new friends. One of the biggest highlights of running was the opportunity to compete against other athletes who were just like him.“When I was 10 years old, my parents offered me to be a medical guinea pig and the doctors injected my legs with Botox,” he said. “It worked. The medicine caused my muscles to relax and I was able to walk normally. That may sound like a little thing, but when you have special needs, it’s really important to be as normal as you can be. I decided to try out for my high school’s cross-country team, and I had a great coach who didn’t care about what I couldn’t do — he only cared about what I could do. By the time I was a senior, I was the fastest guy on the team and was voted MVP by the end of the season.”Seven years ago, Callaghan, who wore his Olympic medal around his neck, competed in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.“I ran on the same track as Usain Bolt, competed against some of the best Special Olympic athletes in the world and won a bronze medal,” he said.Kevin’s father Jim Callaghan said although it was difficult coming to terms with two of his kids suffering from intellectual disabilities, his greatest goal has always been to make sure his kids were happy. Both of Kevin’s parents became actively involved in the Special Olympics as coaches.“There was an adult special Olympics group, but they didn’t have a kids division,” Jim said. “So, we called the state and said we wanna start a Logan Center kids team. The first year it was only Kevin, the next year it was like, eight kids, and now the program has been running for 20 something years.”Jim said his son is a role model for a number of people and is referred to as ‘the mayor’ by some of his friends because he knows everyone in his town.“It’s not just about me but there are so many stories of people with disabilities,” Kevin said. “I love people and I also have many friends with autism, so I always try to think about how things would affect me if I was in another person’s shoes. If it was up to me, I wish there was a universal healthcare for everybody in the world.”last_img read more

Brazilian KC-390 Aircraft in Final Phase of Certification

first_imgBy Taciana Moury/Diálogo February 15, 2017 The Brazilian KC-390 military transport jet, designed and built by Embraer, is in the final phase of certification. The program for the design and construction of two initial prototypes will cost an estimated $1.5 billion and is being done jointly with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB, per its Portuguese acronym). The FAB plans to acquire 28 planes, with the first delivery expected in 2018. Both prototypes are well on their way to certification. According to the KC-390 Program Director, Paulo Gastão Silva, from the initial flight tests, on October 26, 2015, the KC-390 prototypes have logged more than 800 flight hours. Initial operational clearance for the KC-390 is expected to be issued by the end of 2017, with certification of its operational capabilities expected in 2018. For Gastão, the KC-390’s performance and its expected capabilities through the use of advanced engineering are being confirmed in these tests. “The hose extension of the air refueling system has already been tested in high-speed and slow-speed conditions, as well as cargo drops and paratrooper jumps using the lateral cargo hold doors and the rear ramp, in a joint effort with the Brazilian Air Force and Army. This program has already gone through the plane’s entire flight log, reaching a cruising speed of Mach 0.8 and an operating altitude of 36,000 feet,” he said. The current stage of flight testing is, according to Gastão, devoted to testing the exterior aerodynamic settings and certifying the plane’s flight systems. The timeline for the coming months includes: certifying the fuel system, hydraulics, and air brakes; initial aerodynamic freezing tests; landing in wind shear conditions; and evaluating the in-flight refueling system coupled with the aircraft in refueling mode. New performance standards “The KC-390 was developed in order to set new in-class performance and capability standards, while at the same time coming in at a lower market cost over its life cycle. It is faster and transports more payload than other airplanes in its class,” Gastão explained. The aircraft is capable of transporting a payload of up to 26 metric tons at a speed of 470 knots (870 km/h), and it can even operate on unpaved or damaged runways. Gastão pointed out that the onboard avionics also include fly-by-wire control, saving work for the pilots and increasing mission efficiency, as well as a cargo handling system that allows the aircraft to be quickly reconfigured. “Different types of payload can be transported, such as pallets, vehicles, helicopters, troops (up to 80 soldiers in full gear), paratroopers (up to 66 paratroopers in full gear, who can jump either from the lateral doors, or from the rear cargo ramp), stretchers for aerial medical evacuation (up to 82 standard NATO stretchers), or a combination of configurations.” For the Embraer executive, in addition to the project’s technical benefits, it also adds value to the Brazilian aviation industry. “The KC-390 enables us to create platforms for export that are a net positive for Brazil’s balance of trade, as well as creating jobs in Brazil, leveraging our national supply chain, and developing new technologies for the industry.” Some countries have already expressed interest in acquiring the new airplane. “There is a growing global demand for this class of aircraft, and the KC-390 stands out in the marketplace,” Gastão said. The Combat Aircraft Program Coordinating Committee is the Brazilian Air Force institution responsible for handling issues related to the development of this aircraft. Additionally, the Brazilian government, through the Air Force, is the intellectual property rights holder of the KC-390. According to Lieutenant Colonel Marcelo Hiroshi Kono, an aeronautical engineer who is the assistant manager for the KC-390 Project, a multidisciplinary team from FAB is monitoring every stage of the project, together with Embraer. FAB pilots and mechanics, as well as paratroopers, infantry soldiers, and airmen from other specialties are also participating in the project, submitting their suggestions to the development team. In all missions conducted by the transport aviation wing of the Brazilian Air Force, professionals were observing these efforts and searching for alternatives that might improve the plane’s functionality. “The level of detail included such things as which side of each door should open, and the ideal spot for a lever,” Lt. Col. Kono noted. Missions In the Brazilian Air Force, the KC-390 will go on missions for air logistics transport, air refueling, search and rescue, and fighting forest fires. According to Lt. Col. Kono, the KC-390 is capable of refueling a wide range of FAB aircraft in flight, from fighters to H-36 helicopters, as well as other KC-390s. “The possibility of refueling combat planes means that it acts as a range multiplier – something that enables long-distance missions or even aerial combat patrols of several hours’ duration. Additionally, a fleet of KC-390s is quite important in a conflict, transporting troops and dropping paratroopers or cargo into conflict zones,” Lt. Col. Kono said. Lt. Col. Kono also underscored the aircraft’s capability of landing on short runways, even unpaved ones, enabling it to bring logistical support closer to the front lines. “The KC-390 flies faster and longer, and carries more payload than other aircraft, as well as having state-of-the-art electronics; and because it is a new project, it has a wide margin for further improvements. Also, the cargo compartment is quite large,” he emphasized.last_img read more

Millennials: Redefining the American Dream

first_img 41SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Volling Sarah Volling is Marketing Manager at Accenture Mortgage Cadence. Beginning her career with the company over seven years ago, Sarah now oversees the marketing department, strengthening brand identity through thought … Web: www.accenture.com Details “Another article about Millennials?” you might be asking yourself. I can guarantee this is unlike most articles you have read. The industry is buzzing about the opportunity these future homebuyers will create for lenders. However, the fact of the matter is that most Millennials are still not buying homes. Because of this, I decided to do a little digging to identify why this is the case and what, if anything, lenders can do to begin nudging Millennials in the right direction. While I myself am, in fact, a Millennial, I am the exception to the rule. Find out more about my story and those of other Perennial Homebuyers here. Read on to uncover a firsthand account of one Millennial, Taylor Epskamp, who is just beginning his journey on the path to being a first-time homebuyer.Q: How old were you when you decided you might be interested in buying your first house? A: I became seriously interested in buying my first home just a few months ago at age 25. However, I can remember as far back as high school casually flipping through the homes listed for sale in the back of our newspaper. I had a vision of becoming some sort of real estate mogul prodigy, yet I certainly couldn’t pursue that career path given my lack of steady income at the time.Even after starting my first post-undergrad position, the idea of buying a home seemed like bad planning. Who knew where I would end up? In the year following graduation, I left my hometown of Chicago and made my way out west to Colorado. Once there, I rented a home with several roommates before moving again the next year to my current apartment where I live with my girlfriend. In the two years since graduating, I moved 5 times, so home buying definitely didn’t fit into the picture. Now, nearly four years after graduation, home buying feels like something I should consider. My savings account is looking better, I’ve developed a connection to my current city, and my parents surprised me with an incredibly generous offer to cover a down payment. Although my newfound stability could easily be offset by a sudden end to my long-term relationship or a shift in my career, those factors seem less significant than they did even six months ago. Q: Who have you been asking for advice regarding where to start and what to consider when buying a home?A: When seeking advice about buying a home, I naturally started with asking my parents. I didn’t receive the straightest of answers on some of the questions. What happens if I need to move in a few years? Could I rent my home out? Is it a good time to buy? And so I began to supplement our conversations with research online. I encountered some great rules of thumb and even calculators that move backwards from the maximum mortgage payment you could afford, yet I still felt like I didn’t have a complete picture. With a little more context on the home buying process, I casually sought opinions from like-minded twenty somethings. A central question was, “Where do I start?” A few referred me to their favorite realtors and recommended I speak to my bank of choice about getting preapproved. I learned, however, that pre-approvals are typically only good for 30 days, and the idea of owning a home in a month made my palms sweat a little. Even after research, I’m not quite clear on where I should go for a preapproval: credit union, community bank, or a big bank? Although it’s a huge buying decision, I’m trying not to get bogged down by all of the details, at least initially. The important thing is to just start this process, working it out as I go. Q: Your last statement ties in nicely to my next question. What is the biggest roadblock preventing you from actively beginning your home search?The first obstacle I see when looking to buy a home is a deep seeded fear that I am too naïve. If I don’t know my budget, I might get talked into a home that I can’t afford comfortably. I’m also worried about finding the best terms for a loan. An interest rate that’s only slightly higher could play out as a loss further down the road. This vaguely irrational fear is coupled with the realization that I would be tied to a specific location regardless of other factors such as a relationship, career, or lifestyle change. In other words, I might be married for better or for worse to my mortgage. In contrast, it’s fairly easy to break your apartment lease or to sublet for a few months until it runs out. The flexibility that renting affords is like a giant security blanket for us young professionals. Finally, I worry about home maintenance. With the wrong home, I could find myself choosing to pay for a new roof instead of going on that trip I had planned. Even the thought of having to putter about my lawn instead of going rock climbing is a sacrifice I’m unsure I want to make. Okay, so lawn work can be highly gratifying, but the point is that home maintenance potentially represents a huge time commitment. Even for young professionals with the means to buy their first home, there are many obstacles they see in their way. Saving up for a down payment (they likely aren’t familiar that FHA loans are an option), learning the buying process, and sacrificing some flexibility and independence are all valid concerns.Lessons to be learned:Taylor mentioned he does not know what type of bank to go with. Now is the time to target Millennials through social media and advertising campaigns geared at differentiating yourself in a crowded market. Answer the question: “What can you do for me that no one else can?”Millennials don’t want to feel tied down to a given city – let alone a house. Educating this generation on the potential to turn a home into an income property or how the selling process works would likely squash many of their concerns. Consider short, educational videos you can post to social media or your website. Millennials are likely to watch a 2 minute video before picking up the phone to chat.Consider adding calculators to your website that compares renting to buying. Renting often costs more each month than a monthly mortgage payment. Millennials likely don’t know this. This is not much different than a standard calculator you already have on your site today, but positioning it in a way that speaks to Millennials is key.The silver lining: as these individuals tire of handing check after check over to their landlords, acknowledging their loss of equity, home ownership will be a natural next step. Taylor closed by saying, “I’m not ready to pull the trigger just yet, but I am willing to talk to a few realtors and maybe even shop around for a lender.”last_img read more

Diabetes biggest comorbid factor in COVID-19 deaths: Task force

first_imgNational COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo says diabetes mellitus has been the most common comorbidity in COVID-19 deaths in Indonesia.“Based on data in the past six months, some regions have comorbidity levels of up to 92 percent, with diabetes as the number one factor,” he said during a public discussion on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.He added that the province with the highest number of COVID-19 patients with diabetes was East Java. Meanwhile, the second-most common comorbid disease for COVID-19 patients was hypertension, followed by heart disease, lung and respiratory disorder, kidney disorder, asthma and cancer.“COVID-19 is very lethal to the high-risk group [elderly and patients with pre-existing conditions],” he said.Therefore, Doni said, the government’s first strategy was prioritizing the protection of these vulnerable groups. The second strategy is to reduce the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as deaths and increase the recovery rate, while the third strategy is to increase testing and optimize contact tracing.”We have tested more than 30,000 specimens a day. However, this is still below the World Health Organization’s standard of 38,000 people a day,” he said. (aly)Topics :last_img read more

Schoknecht Shootout set this Saturday at Arlington

first_imgRain date is Sunday, Sept. 29 beginning at 3 p.m. The third annual event is sponsored by Robinson Trucking and Robinson Repair and held in memory of Scott Schoknecht, a friend of many in the racing community. Several area businesses have contributed to the payoff for this special event on the final night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season. The IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Series of Minnesota will be in action, as will IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods and Mach-1 Sport Compacts. More information is available by calling 507 380-6998, at arlingtonraceway.com and on Facebook. ARLINGTON, Minn. – B&B Racing Chassis will be host to the $5,000 to win Schoknecht Shootout for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars at Arlington Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 28.  At stake in the IMCA Modified feature is a check for $1,000 to win and a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berth with the runner-up receiving $1,500. In true Schokecht fashion, he would often say “We go to the races to win first places” and the Modified driver who does so will earn the spot on the All-Star ballot. The pit gate opens at 1 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 2:30 p.m. Cutoff for the draw will be 2:45 p.m. with racing at 4 p.m.last_img read more