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From the Mommy Desk…
National Children’s Study in Lamar County
Some of you might know that Lamar County was selected as one of 105 sites to participate in this study, the largest long-term study of children’s health in the United States, and it will examine the effects of the environment and genetic factors on children’s health. The study will track children from the womb until the age of 21. Pat Cochran, Lamar County Community Liaison, states “this is one the most important studies of the 21st century.” In the end, they hope to have 100,000 children involved in the study from across the country, and researchers are hopeful that the findings of the study could help in understanding the causes of asthma, autism, childhood obesity, diabetes, developmental disorders, early puberty and premature births.
The Lamar County field office began recruitment in February, 2011. They hope to have 100 pregnant women participating in the study by summer of 2011 and over the next 5 years they hope to have 1,000 children enrolled (this is the same goal for each of the 105 sites nationally).
Pregnant women between the ages of 18-49, who reside in Lamar County and reside in an “eligible segment” are being recruited (Lamar County has been broken down into segments based on socio-economic and geographic data and an “eligible segment” is a scientific random sampling that is representative of the county as a whole). All local ob/gyns and pediatrician are supporting the study and aiding in the recruitment process. Moms who choose to take part in the study are given Walmart gift cards (up to $100) to compensate them for their time, but the main reason that women are choosing to join the study is to be part of a national study that will have such a huge impact on understanding children’s health. “It is the gift of giving forward and the pride of representing Lamar County,” adds Mrs. Cochran when explaining why moms are choosing to join this study.
What is most important for moms who are considering partaking in the study to understand, is that participation is 100% voluntary and that you and your child may opt out at any time or deny any part of the study. Moreover, it is completely anonymous and protecting your privacy and the privacy of your child is top priority. At no time will any identifying information of your child be listed on any on the data. Furthermore, there are incredibly high standards set for security and those stringent security measures must be upheld throughout the life of the study.
Although the study will follow a child for the first 21 years of their life, the actual time commitment per year is relatively low – just a few hours a year. There is an initial pregnancy visit and consent meeting that can last an hour or more, visits should be under an hour. Participants should expect 15-16 visits over the entire course of study (from birth to age 21). The study will work in conjunction with the child’s pediatrician so that duplicate sampling and data gathering can be avoided. However, participants should also know that this is an environmental study so there will be home visits to collect samples of water, dust, air, soil and perhaps even blood, breast milk, bio-medical and placenta tissue. But again, everything is voluntary and study participants can opt out of any part of the study and still remain part of the larger study. James Rogers at the Lamar County Field Office wants moms to know that “we are observing, not experimenting. This is not a judgmental study… we are just observers.”
I strongly urge those of you who are pregnant or have friends who are to consider participating in this study. The results, which will be released as they are found, could have such an unbelievable impact on children’s health! For more information on the National Children’s Study please call 903-782-9190 or email email@example.com.
From One Mommy to Another,
In an interview this week, the executive director of the Paris Economic Development Corporation says it’s important that the PEDC and the Paris City Council be on the same page in using the city’s best resource – water – to bring in new jobs and revenue.
“I think everyone understands that our water advantages are huge,” Steve Gilbert said.
“What the PEDC is doing right now, we’re working with our staff, we’re gathering some data, and doing some research to very clearly target a group of companies that we can go meet with and to say, we have this great water asset, and let us tell you about it, because your business is key on the availability of water.”
Daisy Dairy came to Lamar County because of the water, Gilbert noted. Campbell Soup uses a lot of water, as does Sara Lee, he added.
“And so water-using industries are a big opportunity for us. Clearly, food and beverage makers of all kinds use a lot of water, so that’s the big one. One of our challenges is to really target companies that we think would fit that are interested in the markets in the Metroplex and in the I-35 corridor,” Gilbert said.
It became clear during research two years ago by the Pat Mayse Lake Water Study Committee (concerning the possible sale of water to Irving) that the city’s contracts with its major water users are a problem.
The city pumps out about 15 million gallons a day of the 55 million gallons that it can withdraw from Pat Mayse Lake under the city’s permit from the State of Texas.
But much of that supposedly available 40 million gallons a day cannot be touched because the city guarantees Campbell Soup and Lamar County Water Supply and the two electric power plants that whatever additional water they need, should a peak demand occur, will always be available to them .
That guarantee locks up a lot of water 365 days a year that is needed only when the peak day kicks in, even though that peak demand occurs only a few days a year.
That’s water that currently can’t be promised to other prospective industrial customers.
The PEDC has to know that the huge water surplus the city has in Pat Mayse Lake is available for new industrial use, and that whatever water rate is promised now won’t change.
The potential is great not only for prospective new customers, but existing ones, Gilbert notes.
“Campbell Soup is a huge, huge user of water, and I pick up that Campbell’s is very cost-competitive from one plant to another. And all of these companies are, where if they have a sister plant in another city, they’re going to compare the cost of providing soup in Paris, Texas, or juice or sauce or whatever, versus the plant in some other part of the country.
“And so they look at all costs of doing business. They look at the cost of energy, they look at the cost of labor, they look at the cost of gas and electricity, and they look at the cost of water. So if a company’s product depends upon water — and that is a cost factor that we are competitive in — then an expansion could come to our community, because we’re the most cost competitive site.”
Clearly, water is a major source of revenue for the city, which has fixed costs of treating and providing that water, and those costs have to be covered.
“But I think the challenge is, we want to make sure that we have a policy on our water rate that is clear, that is transparent, and our companies know what goes into making that rate, and that the operation of the water utility is as efficient and effective as it can be,” he said.
“So all in all, the question for the city council is what does it think the city can do to provide a cost-competitive water rate for not only citizens but industrial customers,” Gilbert said.
Douglass Wehrman, one of five members of the PEDC board, adds: “When a pitch is made to an industrial prospect, “we’ve got to be able to tell them this is what our rates are, or this is what our competitive sewer rate is, and that they are not going to change when we get them here. That rate needs to be the same when Steve talks to them vs. the city talking to them, because that can drive a city away from here when they get inconsistencies.”
That has happened on some occasions in years past, Gilbert added, “and everybody is a little sensitive about that.”
“The PEDC board and I are sensitive that between us and the City Council, “we aren’t going to make promises we can’t keep. It’s critically important that the city does work with the EDC and that it provides clear, consistent and accurate information on the costs of those utilities for industrial development.”
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Bowl-a-thon for Big Matches
Big Brothers Big Sisters annual fundraiser to impact local mentoring program
PARIS, Texas (March 30, 2011) – The Northeast Regional office of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) announces the return of its signature event, the local fundraiser “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” taking place, Saturday, April 30th at Paris Lanes, 2331 North Main Street, Paris, Texas. The event is underwritten by local sponsors allowing 100% of dollars raised to support matches in the local community.
Participants will enjoy life in the fast lane with two free games, free pizza, free drinks and event
t-shirt, but they do have to get the ball rolling by raising $500 – $600 per team. Teams may consist of 5 to 6 people (it’s easy – each bowler can ask 10 friends for $10). Teams can have the choice of bowling at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., or 1:00 p.m. Bowlers of all levels are encouraged to sign up and join in on helping to make a difference in the lives of area children.
“Bowl for Kids Sake is a fantastic way for people to get out to support and celebrate mentorship,” said Emily Neeley, Regional Executive Director. “Big Brothers Big Sisters is changing the lives of our local youth every day, but we need events like this in order to continue creating matches. Come bowl, have some fun, and help positively change the future of our youth!”
TEAM REGISTRATION: The designated team captain should register the team by going to www.bowlforkidssake.org and clicking on “Paris” or by contacting Emily Neeley, Regional Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (903) 784-7388 ext. 503.
CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS: Underwriting opportunities for the event are available. Contact Emily Neeley, Regional Executive Director at (903) 784-7388 ext. 503 or email@example.com
COMMUNITY SERVICE: Bowl for Kids’ Sake can serve as a team-building community service project either for friends, families or employees. Volunteer opportunities during the event are also available. Call Emily Neeley for more information (see contact info above).
About Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS):
For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping to develop youth across the country through the power of safe and positive mentoring relationships. The program is based on a classic one-to-one relationship between an adult and child, where new experiences and mutual activities help the “Little” to become more self-confident, do better in school and enjoy time with a new friend in their life. Children matched with Big Brothers Big Sisters are:
The Commissioner of Education has granted school districts special permission for making up lost instructional days due to the large number of districts that missed multiple days of school due to inclement weather and electrical supply issues. Districts are allowed to extend the school day in order to make up six hours of instructional time in lieu of a weather make-up day or districts may eliminate two early dismissals in lieu of a weather make-up day.
PISD designated Saturday, Feb. 26, as the first weather make-up day and has eliminated early dismissals on Feb. 14 and May 9 in lieu of the other planned weather make-up day on Saturday, April 16.
For more information contact Mark Hudson, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum & Student Services at 903-737-7473 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Episcopal Brotherhood of St. Andrew Establishes Scholarship at Paris Junior College
A generous donation of $3200 marks the establishment of the Bell-Lee-Thornburrow Scholarship program at Paris Junior College by the Brotherhood of St.
Andrew, part of the Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Paris. Presenting the check was long-time brotherhood member, Lt. Col. John W. Norton Ret. USAA. Norton is a lifelong resident of Lamar County, life member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew as well as a 1938 PJC alumnus who graduated from the old “concrete campus” facility in Paris.
“We hope to continue it annually,” said Norton, “with at least $3000 given each year. PJC has only increased in size and support of the community and it was a growing concern back when I graduated.”
He was accompanied to the check ceremony by Father Michael W. Hurst, Rector at Church of the Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Paris, and brotherhood and church member Ron Knight. Also involved was Robert Thornburrow (former chair of the PJC Social Sciences department). The members met a year ago with PJC President, Dr. Pam Anglin, for guidance on the best way to set up the program.
“It is wonderful to have this type of scholarship available for students wishing to get job skills and begin working in the healthcare field.” said Dr. Anglin. “These funds will give individuals who might have not been financially able the opportunity to be trained for employment. These scholarship funds mean a lot to PJC and will make a long-term difference in peoples’ lives.”
“Holy Cross is happy to be a part of helping to promote the growth of our community and the individuals in it,” said Father Hurst, who recently came to the church from Nashville, Tenn.
The program is intended to expand the brotherhood’s Christian outreach into the community by giving financial assistance to worthy technical/ vocational students at PJC. Initial scholarships will be in the continuing education/noncredit health occupations area such as certified nurse aide or pharmacy technician, and may include programs ranging from a few weeks to semester length or longer. Future scholarships may be in other areas, depending on employment opportunities in the community.
The funds will be managed by the college and are primarily for tuition, books and fees, but may also be used to cover transportation costs and day care. Scholarships are intended for students from Lamar County or the surrounding area, who have few marketable skills and the ability and ambition to better themselves. The brotherhood’s scholarship committee will serve in a liaison role with the college, monitor recipients’ success, and make recommendations on funding scholarships to other programs depending on the community job market.
To apply, visit PJC’s Financial Aid website by clicking here
or contact the PJC Office of Financial Aid at 903-782-0429. Ask for a Continuing Education Scholarship Application and state interest in applying for the Brotherhood of Saint Andrew’s Bell-Lee-Thornburrow Scholarship.