Burton gains ground at Pocono; Friesen squarely on playoff bubble

first_imgLONG POND, Pa. — Coming into the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Gander RV 150 at Pocono Raceway, Stewart Friesen looked to be in a comfortable spot to point his way into the eight-driver playoff. On the other end, Harrison Burton appeared in need of a win or some help to close the gap on the cutline.Fast forward roughly two hours — with a third-place finish, Stage 2 win and a 52-point day for Burton combined with a Lap 1 exit for Friesen — and the gap has shrunk considerably (down to 13 points) with two races left in the regular season.RELATED: Chastain scores Pocono win | Full race resultsFriesen, who entered the race second in the point standings and 60 points ahead of Burton, spun and wrecked on the opening lap, collecting Anthony Alfredo in the process. The damage was too much and he finished last — 32nd on the day.“It sucks. I don’t even know how to put it in words. It’s that frustrating,” Friesen said.The result left Friesen as the last driver in the provisional eight-driver playoff field with Eldora and Michigan remaining before the field is set.“We’ll just go race as hard as we can,” Friesen said. “Whatever happens, happens. We’ll try as hard as we can to win a race and it is what it is.”As frustrating as Friesen’s day was, Burton’s was inversely fruitful. His third-place run continued a stretch where the 18-year-old has come into his own in the series with four top-five finishes in the past five races and a rise to fifth in the point standings. Because of wins by drivers behind him in the standings, that leaves him as the first driver on the wrong side of the cutline.RELATED: Updated series standingsThe early exit of Friesen also helped shape the strategy of Burton’s No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports team. After finishing third in Stage 1, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. elected to have the young driver stay out to score his first stage win of the season and bag an additional 10 points on the day.“That definitely affected the decision making,” Burton said on pit road after the race. “I think we probably would have pitted under green there coming from second and not gotten the stage win and set ourselves up for the win at the end. We almost won anyway. We were coming hard — needed a couple more laps at the end.”Now, with two races to go in the regular season, Burton finds himself in a spot where he might not have to win to get in — although the recent results suggest that victory may not be far off.For the son of 21-time Cup winner and NBC broadcaster Jeff Burton, the mission is simple.“I’m gunning for a spot in the playoffs and once we get there, I think everyone should look out,” Burton said.last_img read more

Students respond to potential Waddick’s renovation

first_imgAbigail Piper | The Observer Students frequent Waddick’s, a popular cafe in O’Shaughnessy Hall. In response to rumors of potential renovations to the facilities, senior Susan Lefelhocz started a petition to oppose changes.Lefelhocz said she did not anticipate the petition would be very successful, but it soon went viral among students and Notre Dame groups on Facebook, receiving nearly 500 signatures.Junior Lydia Costello shared the link on Facebook, saying, “Some issues are nonpartisan. Saving Waddick’s, the ultimate Arts & Letters retreat, is one of them.”Junior Frank Hagan, a self-dubbed “Waddick’s aficionado,” made a plea in the Class of 2019 Facebook group that garnered plenty of attention.“The administration wants to deface [Waddick’s] pristine beauty and replace it with just another cog in the oppressive corporate machine,” Hagan said in the post.He then appealed to the common values of Notre Dame students, urging, “if you care about liberty and individuality, about small business and croissants, join the fight.”Like many students, Hagan said Waddick’s is a part of his weekly routine.“Waddick’s is a little community, you know, there’s a family spirit here,” he said. “Every Tuesday and Thursday I get an iced coffee and a croissant. The coffee here’s cheaper and the coffee here’s better.”Campus Dining said Waddick’s would not be removed, but did not disclose an exact plan for the coffee shop.“The one thing I can share is that there are no plans to permanently close Waddick’s and it is being considered for renovation,” Luis Alberganti, director of retail dining, said in an email. “There will be an announcement about this coming soon, it is a project that we are very excited about. Some of the details are still being worked out, stay tuned for more information.”Lefelhocz said modifying Waddick’s would be one of many changes, such as the six-semester housing mandate, that represent a bigger trend on campus.“There’s all these changes happening that the school says we wanted, but students didn’t ask for, and now one of them is Waddick’s,” she said.Lefelhocz and Hagan said they both heard from non-student sources that Waddick’s was going to be remodeled.“I was talking about it with a friend in Waddick’s and someone said ‘I see you in here a lot. This change really is happening,’” Lefelhocz said.Both Hagan and Lefelhocz also said they heard food services would be scaled down and it might expand into the art gallery across the hall.“I come here for the food and iced coffee, and both of those things are apparently on the axe,” Hagan said. “I think you could just get more seating but also keep all the food and coffee and stuff.”“I heard it would just be a coffee machine,” Lefelhocz said.Lefelhocz said she was asked to close the petition, which had gained 476 signatures, until she had a discussion with a dean about renovations.“I was told that if we don’t accept the renovations, we can reopen the petition,” Lefehlocz said. “If they need to expand it, then I understand that, but to completely remodel it and do away with the things that people love, I’m not on board with that.”Tags: AAHD. O’Shaughnessy Hall, breakfast sandwiches, Campus DIning, coffee, iced coffee, O’Shag, petition, renovations, Waddick’s In the past couple weeks, students have shown concern over the future of Waddick’s, the campus cafe inside O’Shaughnessy Hall. Rumors about possible renovations to the popular dining and coffee spot sparked major backlash among its frequenters.One such student, senior Susan Lefelhocz, began a petition “to keep the unique and beloved coffee shop Waddick’s unchanged.”“I posted a Facebook status update about them thinking about changing Waddick’s and I got, like, 60 responses of people saying, ‘I love this coffee shop,’ and even alumni saying, ‘I graduated but this used to be my favorite place,’” she said. “I was like, OK, maybe I can make this into a petition.”last_img read more

Bar alters market strategy for long-term investments

first_imgWith an expectation that inflation and interest rates will begin returning to normal levels, the Bar’s Investment Committee has recommended and the Board of Governors has approved revisions to the market strategy for the Bar’s long-term investment portfolio.Committee Chair Ian Comisky told the board at its Sarasota meeting that the Bar’s investment advisors, Morgan Stanley, recently completed a seven-year projection of the U.S. and global economies.“Their view is interest rates [which have been near zero] have to go up,” Comisky said, noting that this upturn has implications for bond investments because as interest rates rise, the price of a bond goes down.“They also believe that inflation has to increase because it has been at a historic low,” he added. “And that means commodity prices will rise.”Currently, the Bar’s investments are divided into 16 different categories, such as large-cap equity, emerging markets equity, and fixed income, and then invested with various managers or funds within those categories. There is a targeted goal for each category, plus a minimum and maximum level for which that category can range, Comisky said.Morgan Stanley also helps the Investment Committee review the performance of the various managers and funds that oversee the Bar’s investments, he said. Investment performances are measured against an index in each category and managers and funds are expected to outperform their benchmarks over a significant amount of time.The largest category for the Bar will continue to be fixed-income securities. Under the previous guidelines, the goal was to have 29 percent of the portfolio invested there, although that could fluctuate between a minimum of 20.3 percent and a maximum of 37 percent. Under the new guidelines, that will be reduced to a goal of 22 percent with a minimum of 15 percent and a maximum of 29 percent.The new allocation guidelines slightly reduce investments in U.S. large-cap stocks and inflation-protected securities and increases it slightly in mid- cap stocks, emerging market equities, and commodities. It also, Comisky said, adds a new category of “liquid alternatives” — mutual funds that are traded daily — and this category will initially have a targeted goal of 3 percent of the portfolio and an allowed range between 0 and 6 percent.The Bar’s investment portfolio continues to be conservative, he noted, and is designed to be much less volatile that the overall market. “This is diversified, and it’s balanced,” Comisky added.Overall, he said the Bar’s long-term portfolio — which contains funds the Bar does not need for immediate operations — has more than $39 million and is up 4.5 percent year to date.Comisky said the committee will continue to review the investment policies and was to make additional recommendations at the board’s next meeting. Bar alters market strategy for long-term investments Bar alters market strategy for long-term investmentscenter_img August 1, 2013 Regular Newslast_img read more

Activity in brain’s thinking and problem-solving center linked to avoiding anxiety

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Pinterest Share on Twitter Boosting activity in brain areas related to thinking and problem-solving may also buffer against worsening anxiety, suggests a new study by Duke University researchers.Using non-invasive brain imaging, the researchers found that people at-risk for anxiety were less likely to develop the disorder if they had higher activity in a region of the brain responsible for complex mental operations. The results may be a step towards tailoring psychological therapies to the specific brain functioning of individual patients.“These findings help reinforce a strategy whereby individuals may be able to improve their emotional functioning — their mood, their anxiety, their experience of depression — not only by directly addressing those phenomena, but also by indirectly improving their general cognitive functioning,” said Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. The results are published Nov. 17 in the journal Cerebral Cortex.center_img Email LinkedIn Previous findings from Hariri’s group show that people whose brains exhibit a high response to threat and a low response to reward are more at risk of developing symptoms of anxiety and depression over time.In the current work, Hariri and Matthew Scult, a clinical psychology graduate student in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, wanted to investigate whether higher activity in a region of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex could help shield these at-risk individuals from future mental illness.“We wanted to address an area of understanding mental illness that has been neglected, and that is the flip side of risk,” Hariri said. “We are looking for variables that actually confer resiliency and protect individuals from developing problems.”The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is our brain’s “executive control” center, helping us focus our attention and plan complex actions. It also plays a role in emotion regulation, and well-established types of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, engage this region of the brain by equipping patients with strategies to reframe or re-evaluate their emotions.The team drew on data from 120 undergraduate students who participated in the Duke Neurogenetics Study. Each participant completed a series of mental health questionnaires and underwent a type of non-invasive brain scan called functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while engaged in tasks meant to activate specific regions of the brain.The researchers asked each participant to answer simple memory-based math problems to stimulate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Participants also viewed angry or scared faces to activate a region of the brain called the amygdala, and played a reward-based guessing game to stimulate activity in the brain’s ventral striatum.Scult was particularly interested in “at-risk” individuals with the combination of high threat-related activity in the amygdala and low reward-related activity in the ventral striatum. By comparing participants’ mental health assessments at the time of the brain scans, and in a follow-up occurring on average seven months later, he found that these at-risk individuals were less likely to develop anxiety if they also had high activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.“We found that if you have a higher functioning dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the imbalance in these deeper brain structures is not expressed as changes in mood or anxiety,” Hariri said.The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is especially skilled at adapting to new situations, the researchers say. Individuals whose brains exhibit the at-risk signatures may be more likely to benefit from strategies that boost the brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal activity, including cognitive behavioral therapy, working memory training, or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).But, the researchers warn, the jury is still out on whether many brain-training exercises improve the overall functioning of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, or only hone its ability to complete the specific task being trained. Additional studies on more diverse populations are also needed to confirm their findings.“We are hoping to help improve current mental health treatments by first predicting who is most at-risk so that we can intervene earlier, and second, by using these types of approaches to determine who might benefit from a given therapy,” Scult said.last_img read more

Size doesn’t matter

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A New Flag

first_imgThursday, January 2, was the official unveiling of East Hampton Village’s new centennial logo on the lawn at Village Hall. The centennial flag, designed by local artist Scott Bluedorn, will fly with the American flag on the village flagpole. Visitors also had the opportunity to tour Village Hall. Sharelast_img

Probate: privileged wills and not-so-helpful help

first_img Professor Lesley King, College of Law, London Just how unusual it is to have a modern case on privileged wills is, perhaps, indicated by the comment of judge Peter Langan at the start of his judgment in Re Estate of Ashley Edward Servoz-Gavin, deceased 14 September 2009: ‘The case has involved a forensic journey on a path along which most lawyers, counsel and myself included, never travel after our student days.’ Privileged wills are the creation of statute. Section 11 of the Wills Act 1837 provides that any soldier being in actual military service, or any mariner or seaman being at sea, may dispose of his property after death without formalities. The deceased, Ashley, had been a ship’s radio officer. On his death a grant was obtained on the basis that he had died intestate. Subsequently it became apparent that, in 1985 and again in 1990, he might have made valid privileged wills. Ashley’s cousin, Christine, gave evidence that he had said to her on those two occasions that if anything happened to him, he wanted everything to go to his aunt Anne. Aunt Anne was the twin sister of his mother and he had been very close to her. After the death of his mother, she provided a home for him in England between voyages. Christine’s daughter, Emma, dealt with the administration of the estate on the basis of an intestacy and, initially, obtained a grant of letters of administration to the use and benefit of aunt Anne. Christine had told Emma about the conversations with Ashley, but Emma had brushed them aside on the basis that a will could only be validly made in writing and with witnesses. Later, Emma’s husband came across the concept of privileged wills on the internet. After counsel and solicitors had been consulted, an action was commenced to revoke the grant pronounce in favour of a privileged will. The court accepted Christine’s evidence of the conversations with the deceased, describing her as a straightforward and reliable witness and the evidence as ‘overwhelming’. The issue then was whether the words used demonstrated that he had sufficient intention to make a will. Langan J held that it is unnecessary for the validity of a privileged will that the testator knew that he was making a will – what is required is that he intended deliberately to give expression to his wishes as to what should be done with his property in the event of his death (see Re Stable [1919]). Here, the words used, the seriousness with which the deceased spoke and the fact that his cousin was a person who could be relied upon to carry out his wishes combined to show that the test of intention was satisfied. Counsel for those entitled on intestacy argued that the section 11 privilege is restricted to those serving or engaged to serve on British-­registered ships. This was not correct. There is nothing in the context or purpose of the legislation to indicate that the section should be restrictively construed. The phrase ‘being at sea’ in section 11 has been construed as extending to those who were ‘under orders’ to join their ship. The deceased was to be regarded as having been ‘at sea’ on the second occasion. The evidence showed that he had at that time been instructed to join his ship and his activity was thereafter directed towards preparation for the voyage, Re Wilson (deceased) [1952] PDAD followed. What had happened in 1985 was less well documented and the evidence was equivocal. The court, therefore, pronounced in favour of the 1990 will. That would revoke any previous will, including the 1985 one. The importance of good attendance notesPractitioners can be forgiven for feeling a little jaundiced about will making. There is increased competition from unqualified will writers and it is difficult to charge at a level proportional to the risks involved. The recent decision in Martin v Triggs Turner Barton [2009] EWHC 1920 is a salutary reminder of the need for good attendance notes (see also the comments in Sprackling v Sprackling [2008] EWHC 2696 (Ch) earlier this year). A solicitor had drafted a will leaving the residue of the husband’s estate to his wife for life, and the remainder to charity. The will included a power to advance £100,000 to the wife. She contended that it should have been a power to advance all but the last £100,000. As she had been present at the discussions over the will, this was a straightforward difference in understanding of what had been agreed and the judge preferred the wife’s version, among other reasons, because there was no full attendance note, just ‘notes on the draft will’, and some pages from a ‘counsel’s note book’. The firm’s problems with the life tenant in Martin v Triggs Turner Barton did not end with the disagreement over the power of advancement. After the testator’s death, the solicitor dealing with the administration told the widow that she was unlikely to be entitled to a widow’s pension. The solicitor agreed to write to the Department of Social Security and did so. The letter stated that the writer believed that the widow was in touch with them direct concerning any widow’s pension payable, and asked for confirmation of this fact. The DSS did not reply and the solicitor did not chase the DSS for a reply. The widow did not ask the solicitor about the state widow’s pension again. It later emerged that the widow was entitled to a pension and lost the opportunity to claim the benefits that would have been paid between 2000 and 2007 (valued at £25,047). Floyd J held that while, ordinarily, an executor does not owe a duty to advise a beneficiary in connection with the affairs of the beneficiary: see Cancer Research Campaign v Ernest Brown [1998] PNLR 592; [1997] STC 1425, that rule is subject to the principles about assumption of responsibility and reasonable reliance. In the judge’s opinion, the solicitor assumed responsibility to advise the widow about her pension entitlement, and to take steps to find out whether her belief in the non-entitlement was correct. The circumstances of the relationship were such as to make it reasonable for the widow to rely on the solicitor, so creating the necessary duty of care. He accepted the solicitor’s evidence that this was done as something of a favour, but said that it was done in a professional context in which it was reasonable for a recipient of the information to assume that it would be done with due care. He declined to find any contributory negligence on the part of the widow. Once responsibility had been assumed, there was nothing she needed to do. As a result, the widow had lost the benefits that would have been paid. Perhaps a warning to solicitors to think carefully before offering to help?last_img read more

Stars in their eyes

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

SRA to relax rules on reporting breaches

first_imgThe Solicitors Regulation Authority plans to drop the much-criticised requirement for compliance officers to report all non-material breaches, an executive said today. Samantha Barrass, director of supervision, risk and standards, told delegates at the Law Society’s Risk and Compliance Annual Conference in London that the authority’s current rules will be changed so that firms’ records of non-material breaches will not need to be reported annually to the SRA. The change is subject to consultation and approval by the SRA’s board. Compliance officers for legal practice (COLPs) and finance and administration (COFAs) will still need to record non-material breaches however, in order to support the identification and management of patterns suggesting systemic risk issues. The change to reporting requirements requires an amendment to the rules and will be consulted on as part of the next phase of the SRA’s Red Tape Initiative. The consultation will be published in April, ready for the necessary changes to come into effect in October. Barrass said: ‘In light of extensive engagement with those we regulate and the increasing effectiveness of our risk centre, we have come to the conclusion that we can safely remove the requirement for recognised bodies to report non-material breaches. ‘We recognise that the requirement to record and report non-material breaches has not been popular with firms, many of whom have told us that this is a burden that is simply not proportionate to risks.’ She said the regulator’s main concern ‘is, and always has been, identifying patterns of non-material breaches, that combined may amount to a material breach because of the systemic underlying issues’. Barrass also said the SRA will shortly be providing regular COLP/COFA alerts so they will be the first to know of any developments that may affect their role. She noted that the frontline regulator’s budget has been placed under pressure by the cost of interventions. A budget allocation of £1.3m to deal with interventions is already overspent, with the cost of two interventions alone reaching £1.8m. If mismanaged, the cost to the profession of the failure of a firm of the size of Cobbetts could be in the region of £6m, she estimated. Advice for COLPs and COFAs, including support for decision making on whether or not a breach is material, can be found on the SRA website.last_img read more

‘New solicitors not prepared for AI’

first_imgLaw Society president Christina Blacklaws has questioned whether new entrants to the profession are prepared for the growing reality of working alongside artificial intelligence (AI). ‘At the moment we’re training lawyers for 20th-century practices, not even for current practice,’ she told an international conference on AI in London last week. ‘There is a mismatch with what they are doing in practice today, let alone what they will be doing in future.’Blacklaws (pictured, centre) was chairing a panel at the AI Congress at which lawyers spoke of their experience of working with AI systems already implemented at magic circle firms. Sonia Cissé, managing associate at Linklaters in Paris, said her firm is already sifting through unstructured data with systems including its self-developed tool Nakhoda. Linklaters was one of the first magic circle firms to install an AI system from RAVN, now part of iManage, to organise, discover and summarise documents. The system is used on live matters, including by the firm’s banking department recently to compare 200 loan agreements, she said. Tests show that the AI system cut on average 26% of the time taken per document, displaying an average accuracy of 75%, she said: ‘These time savings are reflected in the fee we propose to clients.’ Other technology installed includes an electronic bundle creation system. Innovation consultant Peter Stovall, formerly a solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, said that the magic circle firm has a Kira AI system assisting with corporate due diligence. Among other AI systems is one to predict where time-recording entries should be made. He noted that AI was still applied in ‘very narrow use cases’ in law, reflecting the practice groups within firms. ‘Not many firms stick to one platform like the Big Four [accountants] do.’ However he predicted that ‘general AI’ – a system capable of learning any new task – was a decade away.  Cissé stressed that machines were not replacing humans. ‘How do we know there’s 75% accuracy? Because we did a close check and will keep checking what happens on the machine.’ AI is helping lawyers focus on the more important strategic things, she said. ‘It also improves morale among junior lawyers – they are not expected to work such long hours.’last_img read more