11 Jan

District might reinstate busing

first_imgEAST WHITTIER – East Whittier City School District could resume busing students to and from school, possibly as early as next month, officials said Thursday. Officials were forced to discontinue the district’s busing program several years ago in the face of funding cutbacks by the state. But the recent death of a boy while riding his bike home from his middle school prompted officials to seek out ways to provide transportation, district administrators said. Superintendent Joe Gillentine said free bus transportation to and from three middle schools will be provided from five bus stops. The selected stops will eliminate the need for students to walk or bike across busy major streets, he said. For East Whittier Middle, the bus stop would be at Danbrook Drive and Greenleaf Avenue; for Granada Middle, two stops would be at the Bright Medical parking lot and Ceres Elementary School; and for Hillview Middle, two stops would be at Tarryton Avenue and Mulberry Drive, and Calmada Avenue and Mystic Street. “I wanted to do this when I got here last year because of our unique situation,” Gillentine said, referring to the fact that the district is not eligible to receive state money for busing. “We’re just doing this minimal transportation program now. But we plan next year to have a more comprehensive transportation package,” he added. The district’s lack of busing returned to the forefront last month, after an East Whittier Middle School student was hit by a truck and killed as he rode home on his bike. “The death of the boy was shocking for everyone. But his death prompted City Council members to ask if there was anything they could do, and we said, `Yes, we’ve been working on this transportation package, and if you can come up with a way to help us, that would be great,”‘ Gillentine said. For now, the district plans to use about $60,000 of its own money to fund the busing program. However, if more parents than expected request busing for their children, the district might turn to the city for financial help, Gillentine said. City officials, meanwhile, are looking at other bus companies to see if they could provide the service cheaper than the company already identified by the district, said City Manager Steve Helvey. Strict rules on how cities can use public transportation dollars prohibit Whittier from funding a school bus program, he added. “But we’re willing to do what we can,” said Helvey. tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
18 Dec

Scientist gets mine drainage patent

first_imgProf Jannie Maree has successfully received a patent to treat acid mine drainage.(Image: www.savingwater.co.za) Masters students Vhahangwele Akin Bologo and Dineo Maila, with Prof Jannie Maree.(Image: Prof Jannie Maree) MEDIA CONTACTS • Professor Jannie Maree   Rand Water Chair, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology  +27 12 382 6343. RELATED ARTICLES • Working towards sustainable mining • CSIR at the World Water Forum • Mining history for new solutionsAneshree NaidooWhen the Witwatersrand Gold Rush began 127 years ago, it birthed the city of Johannesburg, affectionately known in Zulu as eGoli, the City of Gold. But years later, as the ground gave up its last golden nuggets, the abandoned mines have filled up with acidic water that poses a significant pollution threat to the city’s water resources.But South African academics and scientists have been hard at work on solutions to tackle the corrosive mining by-product, and one has successfully applied for, and received, a United States patent for an acid mine water treatment process.A world-leading scientific processProfessor Jannie Maree, Rand Water chair in water utilisation in Tshwane University of Technology’s Faculty of Science, says the magnesium-barium-hydroxide (MBO) process, which removes metals and sulphate from mine water, offered South Africa a technically sound and cost-effective solution for the acid mine water problem.Acid mine drainage is highly acidic water, usually containing high concentrations of metals, sulphides and salts from mining. This acid runoff also dissolves heavy metals such as copper, lead and mercury into ground or surface water, threatening the health of rivers by disrupting aquatic organisms’ growth and reproduction. Further problems include the acidic runoff corroding infrastructure like bridges. Most importantly though, the drainage pollutes groundwater, which contributes to the drinking water supply. In a water-poor country like South Africa this poses a significant problem.So much so that in his 2012 State of the Nation address South Africa’s President Zuma said that R248-million was to be invested over the next two years to deal with acid mine drainage on the Witwatersrand, an extensively mined area in the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area in the province of Gauteng.Gold mining began in 1886 on the Witwatersrand, which stretches 50km from Krugersdorp to the west, to Boksburg to the east. From the 1950s mines across the region started closing down and the last remaining operational mine, East Rand Propriety Mines in Boksburg, closed its operations in 2008.During the mining period, there was infrastructure in place to pump water out of the mines. But as they closed down, the underground voids created from mining operations have filled up as the pumps have ceased. Accumulated water has also flowed into adjacent mines, filling up the entire void.Laboratory success, real world applicationMaree said removing metals and sulphate with the MBO process could produce water that contained levels low enough to be acceptable as drinking water. “This was provided the levels of sodium and chloride in the treated water was low.”He added that the “patented process was used with great success at laboratory level”, where water from coal and gold mines was used. The success of the process success was recorded in Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) postgraduate student Hangwi Bologo’s master’s dissertation.Maree describes the income-generating side to the process, saying “the saleable products from the process would be sulphur, calcium carbonate and the treated water. Depending on the water quality other saleable compounds could be metals and magnesium hydroxide.”He adds: “SA imports its sulphur. Sulphuric acid is produced from sulphur which is an important raw material in the manufacturing of fertiliser.”The water treatment stage is ready for full-scale implementation.  The thermal stage where barium sulphate is processed to barium hydroxide needs to be demonstrated on a pilot scale.  This will be done by September 2014. For full-scale implementation the process will compete with technologies such as reverse osmosis, ion exchange and biological sulphate removal.Acid drainage filtrationAnother academic working on, among others, the acid mine drainage problem, Professor Sunny Iyuke of the University of the Witwatersrand School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, has, with the help of PhD students, developed a membrane to separate waste from water. The membrane has applications across industry, water purification and even medicine.According to Iyuke the membrane (similar to a household water filter) could be used to catch water waste from mines before it entered drains or the water table.last_img read more

3 Dec

Former RJD MP sent to jail

first_imgFormer Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP and strongman of Bihar’s Saran district Prabhunath Singh and two others were convicted on Thursday in an old murder case by a local court of Hazaribagh in Jharkhand. All three were later sent to jail. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on May 23.Additional district and sessions judge Surendra Sharma found Prabhunath Singh, his brother Dinanath Singh and one Ritesh Singh guilty of the murder of former MLA Ashok Singh. MLA killed in blastAshok Singh, the then Janata Dal MLA from Masarakh constituency of the Saran district in Bihar, died in a bomb blast on July 3, 1995, when he was sitting in the lawns of his official bungalow in Patna. “My brother defeated Prabhunath Singh in the 1995 Assembly poll and Prabhunath Singh had openly said that my brother will be killed within 90 days of becoming a legislator. He was killed on the 90th day,” Tarkeshwar Singh, younger brother of Ashok Singh, told journalists. The day Ashok Singh, 28, was killed, he had met the then Director General of Police G.P. Dohre for police protection.“It was a long battle, but I had full faith in the judiciary and I’m happy that justice has been done,” Chandani Singh, wife of Ashok Singh, told journalists.last_img read more