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Texas Oncology-Paris physicist Dana Rosencranz, Ph.D, DABR, recently received the Medical Dosimetry & Physics Award, a prestigious award for outstanding achievement in radiation oncology and diagnostic imaging from Texas Oncology/McKesson Specialty Health. The award recognizes Rosencranz for her contributions toward advancing the science of radiation for patients.
Texas Oncology is an affiliate of the US Oncology Network, one of the largest community-based networks focused on cancer treatment and research in the country. As such, it is united with over 10,000 cancer professionals nationwide. According to the Texas Oncology website, it is also a primary participant in US Oncology Research, a nationwide effort consisting of 170 research locations with an experienced and dedicated staff of more than 300. Consisting of more than 150 sites of service, Texas Oncology has given treatment to more patients across the state than any other cancer care provider.
The award is presented on a national level, which means that (in consideration of the aforementioned information), Rosencranz was chosen from a pool of nominees (in her field) from hundreds of cancer centers across the country. Practice Director Ewell Byrd addressed what a significant achievement such recognition is for Rosencranz.
“If you look at the size of US Oncology, they treat anywhere from about 15-20% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases in the United States per year, so about one in every five patients to be diagnosed is going to be treated at a US Oncology site,” he said. “So when you look as far as this award nationwide, for Dana to receive this is outstanding.”
In addition, Byrd praised Rosencranz for not only her professional leadership skills, but also the interpersonal relationships between herself and her team.
“Dana is a natural leader. She’s infectious, as far as working on projects and new technology, she gets her team on board with it and they just go with it,” he said. “From your physicians to everyone, she motivates them.”
Rosencranz was the picture of genuine modesty and gratitude, contributing her team in the radiation department (including radiation oncologist James Petrikas) as key players in all accomplishments.
“I need the support of my team, so to me this award is 100% a team effort,” she said. “Although my name is on it, I, deeply in my heart, don’t consider it an individual award.”
She also spoke highly of her team’s motivation and enthusiasm for their work.
“I mean, literally, everybody takes such an ownership for the smallest little thing that they do, and they say ‘Okay, let’s just do it’,” she said. “I love that that, I just love working with people like that.”
Rosencranz was involved in the medical physics field long before she settled down in Paris. She received a bachelor’s in physics in her home country of Romania before relocating to the United States in 1996. Soon after, she worked for and received further education in Medical Isotopes from the University of North Texas in Denton. Before her work with Texas Oncology, she worked for a medical isotope company, but longed for involvement at a different level.
“It’s more industrial physics than medical physics and you know, I started working for two years for a medical isotope company and I always wanted to be more involved in a clinical application to see…how the radiation impacts, directly impacts a patient,” she said. “Then I found Texas Oncology. They opened the door for me and I just went straight in.”
Rosencranz has been involved with Texas Oncology since 2003, and in addition to Paris, has rotated through Fort Worth, Greenville and Mt. Pleasant.
“I oversee Greenville Cancer Center as well as Mount Pleasant, and Greenville was actually the biggest reward for me as a medical physicist in my career, because I think it’s such an immense internal reward to set up your own cancer center,” she said. “Greenville was just opening up, so I had a privilege to be part of setting up the radiation therapy department. I really enjoyed that.”
Rosencranz located to Greenville in 2008, and in September 2011, took her position in Paris while remaining at Greenville and Mt. Pleasant.
“I love to come and, you know, be part of organizing the radiation therapy department,” she said. “I really like that, to be part of the flow and be sure that the communication is working.”
The award is no doubt a great honor to anyone involved in medical physics, but what exactly does it celebrate? What does being a medical physicist entail? To begin with, it is not like your standard high school-level physics course; rather, it is very active and dynamic, requiring extensive knowledge of physics to all aspects of the Radiation Therapy Department. According to Rosencranz, typical responsibilities include:
The process of radiation treatment is delicate and dependent on a variety of factors, and thus must be treated with great care. If handled improperly, strong doses of radiation can be fatal, and it is Rosencranz and her team’s job to oversee every detail.
“It’s just a very complex process [and] somebody has to oversee that and make sure that whatever the doctor ordered is going to be followed,” she said.
Rosencranz is part of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and is certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). For more information about Texas Oncology or medical physics, visit www.texasoncology.com/ or www.aapm.org/.
Congratulations to Dana Rosencranz and team on this achievement!
By Courtney McNeal, eParisExtra
Shawntel Golden defeated Susan Flanary-Turner for district clerk in Lamar County’s Republican Primary on Tuesday, and incumbent Keith Mitchell defeated longtime Lamar County Sheriff to retain his seat as county commissioner for Precinct 4.
Three other races won’t be decided until a May 27 runoff because none of the three candidates in those races garnered a clearn majority.
And with 61 of 90 voting boxes in, State Rep. George Lavendar was trailing Gary Van Deaver, who was riding a wave of teachers’ support in the four-county district of Bowie, Franklin, Red River and Lamar counties. All the votes were in from Lamar, Red River and Franklin, and that’s Lavendar’s home turf. He is from Texarkana.
Van Deaver outpolled Lavendar 2,977 to 1, 966 in Lamar County, 1,240 to 367 in Red River County and 742 to 619 in Franklin County. Lavendar was carrying his Bowie County 2,542 to 2,114. As of 12:45 a.m. today, Van Deaver had 7,073 votes to 5,494 for Lavendar.
No one got a clear majority in the races for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 2; Constable of Precinct 5; or County Commissioner, Precinct 2, so voters will go back to the polls in 12 weeks to decide between the two top vote-getters in each of those races.
No Democratic candidates in Lamar County had challengers.
Winners outright were Shawntel Golden over Susan Flanary-Turner for district clerk and Keith Mitchell, who won re-election over the challenge of longtime former Lamar County Sheriff B.J. McCoy.
Golden jumped to an early lead over Flanary-Turner and stayed there. She earned 78.06 percent of the 5,693 votes cast. Incumbent Marvin Ann Patterson did not seek reelection; she threw her support to Golden, a 17-year employee of hers who has been her chief assistant the past seven years. Patterson’s husband, Lynn Patterson, was Golden’s campaign treasurer.
In the race for Lamar County Precinct 2 commissioner, David Niblett was the leading vote-getter in a three-way race, but failed to get over half the votes, so he will face off against Larry W. Davis in two months for the Republican nomination. Niblett received 48.84 percent of the 649 votes cast, to 25.89 percent for Davis and 25.27 percent for James Dunn.
Davi, an activist in the Tea Party movement, announced during a Republican candidate forum several weeks ago that he was dropping his candidacy and throwing his support to Niblett, but his decision came too late to get his name off the ballot.
Lonnie Layton, the incumbent, ran in the Democratic Primary and will face the Niblett-Davis winner in November.
Mitchell got 52.6 percent of the 1,865 votes against McCoy.
Gene Hobbs and Curtis Garrett will meet in a May runoff for Justice of the Peace of Precinct 5, Place 2, had a wide lead over Garrett and Jesse James Freelen, but didn’t get the clear majority required to win without a runoff.
Hobbs, the incumbent after being named by county commissioners in September 2012 to succeed Ernie Sparks following his retirement, got 41.69 percent of the vote to 29.44 percent for Garrett and 28.86 percent for Freelen out of 2,775 votes cast.
In the Precinct 5 constable race, incumbent Jimmy Hodges also is facing a runoff. He got 47.81 percent of the vote to 30.38 percent Gerry Don Hines and 21.81 percent for Jimmy Don Clark. So it’s a runoff between Hodges and Hines.
A total of 6,522 of the 28,698 registered voters in Lamar County cast ballots, a voter turnout of 22.73 percent.
Several Republican races only had one candidate in the primary, including Mike Malone for county judge, Bill Harris for county court at law judge, Kathy Marlowe for county clerk, Melanie Clifford for treasurer, Don Denison for Precinct 1 justice of the peace, Crystal N. Duke for Precinct 2 JP, Tim Risinger for Precinct 3 JP, and Ken Ruthart for Precinct 4 JP.
None of the Democrat candidates had challengers with incumbent Shirley Fults running for treasurer, incumbent Chuck Superville for county judge and Precinct 2 Commissioner Lonnie Layton seeking to retain his seat.
The races for county judge and Precinct 2 commissioner will be decided during November’s general election.
Here are the Lamar County vote totals in the contested races in the Republican Primary:
DISTRICT CLERK — Shawntel Golden 4,444 (78.06%), Susan Flanary-Turner 1,249 (21.94%). (Golden wins election.)
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 2: David Niblett 317 (48.84%), Larry W. Davis 168 (25.89%), James Dunn 164 (25.27%). (Niblett and Davis will meet in May 27 runoff)
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 4: Keith Mitchell 981 (52.60%), Billy Joe (B.J.) McCoy 981 (47.40%). (Mitchell wins election.)
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 5, PLACE 2 — Gene C. Hobbs Jr. 1,157 (41.69%), Curtis Garrett 817 (29.44%), Jesse James Freelen 801 (28.86%). (Hobbs and Garrett will meet in May 27 runoff.)
CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 5 – Jimmy Hodges 1,177 (47.81%), Gerry Don Hines 748 (30.38%), Jimmy Don Clark 537 (21.81%). (Hodges and Hines will meet in May 27 runoff).
STATE REPRESENTATIVE – Gary Van Deaver 2,977 (60.22%), George Lavendar 1,966 (39.77%). Van Deaver also was leading in the four-county district, with 29 of 36 voting boxes in Lavendar’s home county of Bowie County still out. As of 12:45 a.m. today, Van Deaver led 7,073 (56.29%) to 5,494 (43.72%).
On February 21st, Apple released iOS 7.0.6 with, simply described as “a fix for SSL connection verification.” The story actually goes deeper than that, giving way to darker and more terrifying implications.
The recently released iOS 7.0.6, iOS 6.1.6, and OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 updates fixed a major security flaw that has existed on the iPhone since the introduction of iOS 6 in 2012. The flaw left iOS devices open to “man-in-the-middle” hacker attacks when using devices on unsecured networks.
The issue relates to how iOS7 validates SSL certificates. SSL certification is a security mechanism designed to verify the identity of whatever you’re connecting to. Think of it as a “digital signature” from the likes of websites such as Facebook or Google.
The security flaw is actually the result of a simple case of really poor programming. An extra “GoTo” command in the code caused the SSL encryption security check to be bypassed entirely. So, it’s not that the verification check failed, but that the check never actually executed in the first place. This has lead to the bug’s nicknamed of “GoToFail.”
Potentially, any data that has traveled by means of any open network, such as a public WiFi hotspot, could have been compromised if someone with malicious intent and knowledge of the vulnerability happened to be on the same network.
Security firm CrowdStrike explained the issue: “To pull off the attack an adversary has to be able to Man-in-The-Middle (MitM) network connections, which can be done if they are present on the same wired or wireless network as the victim. Due to a flaw in authentication logic on iOS and OS X platforms, an attacker can bypass SSL/TLS verification routines upon the initial connection handshake. This enables an adversary to masquerade as coming from a trusted remote endpoint, such as your favorite webmail provider and perform full interception of encrypted traffic between you and the destination server, as well as give them a capability to modify the data in flight (such as deliver exploits to take control of your system).”
The bug was limited to Apple’s apps and services, such as Safari and Messages. Third-party applications, such as Google Chrome, did not seem to be affected.
If you haven’t yet updated your iPhone to the latest version, it’s advised you update immediately and stay away from any untrusted WiFi networks until you get the chance to update.
Users of the iPhone 4 and later, 5th generation iPod touch, and iPad 2 and later should update immediately to iOS 7.0.6 either through iTunes or directly through their phone with over the air updates. Those who are running iOS6 devices should update to iOS 6.1.6. OS X Mavericks users should update to 10.9.2 using the Software Update feature on their computer.
You can test whether or not your device is vulnerable by going to https://gotofail.com in your Safari web browser.
By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra
Even though it’s only February, college financial aid officers are already gathering documents, crunching numbers and otherwise working to determine grants for the school year that starts this coming fall. If you have children you plan on sending to college, how will your own savings and investments affect their chances of getting financial aid?
The answer depends not only on how much money you have, but also where you keep it. Most colleges base their aid calculations on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which currently counts up to 5.64 percent of certain parent-owned assets in determining federal or state aid. By contrast, FAFSA counts up to 20 percent of a child’s assets, such as an UGMA or UTMA account.
So, what parent-owned assets are counted when determining a student’s need for financial aid? They include savings and checking accounts, non-retirement investment accounts and other types of assets. You do not have to report retirement accounts — such as traditional or Roth IRAs, 401(k)s and pensions — on the FAFSA. However, if you start taking withdrawals from these accounts, the withdrawals must be reported on the FAFSA as student income for the year in which the transactions occurred — which means these withdrawals could affect your child’s financial aid package the following year.
A 529 plan, is one popular college-savings vehicle. If you own a 529plan, you will need to report it on FAFSA as a parent-owned asset. But when you take withdrawals from the 529 plan, they won’t be counted as parent or student income on FAFSA, and they won’t incur federal income taxes, provided the money is used for qualified higher education expenses. (If you don’t use the money for these expenses, you’ll be taxed and potentially penalized by 10% on the earnings.) Because a 529 plan is counted as a parental asset on FAFSA, some people ask grandparents to own a 529 plan. But while the value of an intact grandparent-controlled 529 plan will be excluded from FAFSA, the withdrawals themselves will be counted as untaxed income to the student on the following year’s FAFSA, and this money could certainly affect aid decisions.
At least a year before your first child heads off to college, you may want to contact the financial aid office at a local school to ask questions about FAFSA, scholarships, loans and other aspects of assistance. Since most colleges and universities follow similar rules regarding financial aid, you should be able to get some helpful answers, no matter where your child goes to school.
Of course, even with careful planning, your student may not qualify for financial aid. If this is the case, you will need to consider other strategies for paying for college. But keep this in mind: It’s best to develop a savings strategy for both college savings and one’s own retirement goals. So, study the financial aid rules, consider investing in college-funding vehicles such as 529 plans and do whatever else you can to help get your kids through school, but don’t forget about your own needs — because they are important, too.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
eParisExtra.com welcomes letters to the editor and opinion pieces, particularly from those seeking or holding political office. The following is an opinion piece from Brent Lawson, 2014 Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress.
The Challenge of Marvin Nichols by Brent Lawson
It’s the way we’ve always done it. A need for more water arises, and the government condemns a certain amount of low lying land to build a reservoir and quench the thirst. In 1913 Texas had four major reservoirs. Today there are over 190, providing over 5600 square miles of inland water. Texas leads the lower 48 states in inland fresh water resources. With that history it comes as no surprise that the recent urban growth in North Texas and the associated increase in water needs set wheels in motion to claim new reservoir land in five North East Texas counties to build the massive Marvin Nichols reservoir. It may be the way we’ve always done it, but that rationale isn’t sitting well with our neighbors in the Sulphur River Basin where family roots date back to the Republic of Texas.
It’s time to take a long hard look at the way we’ve always done things and give serious thought to the future of Texas water policy. It is an undeniable fact that the water problem is only going to grow as populations move and increase in the 21st century. The balance between water needs, water costs, and individual property rights need to be evaluated in proper context. Some things are difficult to put a price tag on, but that doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility to weigh the livelihood, the heritage, and the way of life, of our fellow Texans against higher urban water bills, finding alternative sources, or reducing demand.
There is growing confidence that the recent outcry over Marvin Nichols may allow the bullet to be dodged. Unfortunately, it isn’t a bullet, it’s a boomerang and postponing the project for now won’t keep it from returning in the future. The key to permanently solving the Marvin Nichols problem is to change the incentives so that alternatives become at least as attractive as seizing property through imminent domain. In 2005 the Texas Water Development Board completed a commissioned study into the feasibility of increasing the depth of existing reservoirs to expand water reserves. That study indicated that dredging is more expensive than creating new reservoirs, but it did not include estimates for cost sharing among other entities that benefit from the dredging. The study also left out the very real human costs associated with imminent domain property seizures. Dredging is currently done on some Texas lakes to improve water quality and recreation use. If we can value recreational boating, we should be able to value the heritage and property rights of our fellow Texans.
There are other technologies available for increasing the water supply. Waste water treatment, and desalination are currently in use in Texas. With increased use the higher costs of these technologies should come down. But as long as it is easy to simply take the land and build a lake, the incentive will not exist to pursue other options. Marvin Nichols represents an opportunity to begin to reestablish the value of our basic property rights, to help our neighbors in the Sulphur River Basin, to protect against future encroachments on the property rights of other Texas communities, and to start reshaping water policy for the 21st century throughout our nation.
On January 18th over 100 of us met in Cuthand Texas to learn about an entire Texas community with a unique culture and heritage that is destined for oblivion below the future waves of Marvin Nichols. In a congressional district covering 18 North East Texas counties this was a rare opportunity for our U.S. congressman to appeal to multiple grass roots organizations, bring 1,000 concerned citizens to show support, and make national news to start changing those incentives, and stop doing things the way we’ve always done them. Unfortunately, our U.S. representative didn’t find it vital to rally North East Texans and come to Cuthand that day. There are times and places where it is necessary to draw a line in the sand. In one such case the time is now, and the place is the Sulphur River Basin. Please contact congressman Hall and ask him to take a bold stand for property rights in North East Texas, or guarantee change by voting for new representation on March 4th.
Brent Lawson is an Electrical Engineering Manager and a 2014 Republican candidate for U.S. Congress representing Texas 4th District. www.Lawson4Texas.com
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