Footprints Discovery Suggests Ancient ‘Ghost Tracks’ May Cover the West

Scientists have found historical human footprints in Utah, traces, they are saying, of adults and youngsters who walked barefoot alongside a shallow riverbed greater than 12,000 years in the past.

It took “pure probability” to make this discovery on the Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary, a 1 million-acre web site the place the U.S. Armed Forces check experimental plane and different navy {hardware}, stated Tommy City, a analysis scientist at Cornell College. Following on Dr. City and his colleagues’ latest research of historical human and different mammal tracks at White Sands Nationwide Park in New Mexico, the Utah tracks prolong scientific understanding of historical North America by revealing not simply the place people lived, but in addition proof of their behaviors.

Daron Duke, a Nevada-based archaeologist for the Far Western Anthropological Analysis Group, invited Dr. City to help with a seek for historical campfires on the Utah check vary. Dr. Duke and his workforce revealed a paper on the contents of 1 campsite final yr.

Whereas driving to a dig web site, the 2 have been having an animated dialog about trackways. When Dr. Duke requested what a fossil footprint regarded like, Dr. City identified the window and stated, “Effectively, type of like THAT!” They stopped the truck, having situated the primary of what would transform 88 footprints.

“Once I noticed them from the transferring car, I didn’t know they have been human,” Dr. City stated. “I did know they have been footprints, nevertheless, as a result of they have been in an evenly spaced, alternating sequence — a observe sample.”

The 88 footprints are in a number of brief trackways, a few of which point out that individuals could have merely been congregating in a single space. “It doesn’t appear to be we simply occurred to seek out somebody strolling from level A to level B,” Dr. Duke stated. They consider these footprints are of people that lived close by. “Possibly gathering issues. Possibly simply having fun with themselves” within the shallow water, he added.

Dr. Duke stated they’d additionally discovered a kind of stone spear tip in a close-by web site which may have been used to hunt giant animals, however no proof of the animals but.

Dr. City in contrast the Utah footprints to the “ghost tracks” in White Sands, a time period used for tracks that seem solely beneath sure circumstances, then disappear simply as rapidly. The fossil tracks in New Mexico, as a lot as 23,000 years previous, have been uncovered utilizing ground-penetrating radar know-how and contained a treasure trove of revelations: tracks of historical people and megafauna intersecting and interacting with one another. They confirmed proof that historical people walked within the footprints of monumental proboscideans and vice versa; that one human raced throughout the mud holding a baby, put that youngster down at one level, picked that youngster again up after which rushed off to an unknown vacation spot; that at the very least one big floor sloth was adopted by historical people, rose up on its hind legs and twirled because the people surrounded it; that youngsters performed in puddles.

The invention of the extra set of tracks in Utah means that there are different websites round the US the place extra about historical human conduct waits to be revealed.

“The western U.S. has many comparable settings that might have early footprint websites,” Dr. City stated of the salt flats. He added, “Now now we have a second location, there are in all probability extra on the market.”

Nonetheless, discovering human footprints was shocking. People haven’t inhabited the world for hundreds of years. It’s a desert, it’s distant and it’s a navy set up.

“Once we thought via these choices, concluding that probably the most logical rationalization is that the footprints have been made in the course of the late Pleistocene, then we have been excited,” Dr. City stated.

The Utah footprints are greater than what seems on the floor.

“They’re delicate, as a result of they’re flush with the bottom floor and customarily lined in a veneer of the identical sediment,” Dr. City stated. “You wouldn’t essentially discover them for those who didn’t already know what to search for.”

When footprints are made, the stress of the tracks impacts the subsurface, providing details about the load and measurement of the folks or animals making these tracks, in addition to the pace at which they’re transferring. By learning them with ground-penetrating radar, the workforce was capable of finding extra footprints and perceive extra in regards to the tracks with out destroying them.

Dr. City and his teammates taught Dr. Duke learn how to rigorously excavate a few of the tracks. It was Dr. Duke’s first time working with footprints, and he admitted to feeling trepidation about excavating them. However, he stated, “once you see the kids’s toes forming in what you’re digging, that’s simply wonderful.”

The employees at Hill Air Pressure Base, which administers the vary, has labored to incorporate and inform Native American communities in regards to the discovery.

“I’ve now identified for about three weeks, and I’ve to confess, I’m nonetheless processing as a result of it’s a once-in-a-lifetime discover,” stated Anya Kitterman, an archaeologist overseeing Dr. Duke and his colleagues’ work on behalf of the Air Pressure on the check vary. “There’s one thing so private in regards to the footprints and with the ability to stroll alongside these trackways figuring out that somebody years in the past walked proper there.”

Patty Timbimboo-Madsen, a Shoshone tribal member and cultural and pure useful resource supervisor for the Northwestern Band of Shoshone, stated she couldn’t miss the chance to go to the tracks.

“It provides us proof that our folks have been right here,” she stated. “And I feel our folks have all the time been right here.”

Ms. Kitterman says the Air Pressure is now contemplating learn how to handle the invention web site. “We’re nonetheless studying this panorama and what these trackways imply,” she stated. “How can we protect them?”

And if the Utah check vary web site is something like what was discovered at White Sands, preserving the positioning might be definitely worth the bother, as a result of the researchers suppose there will probably be a lot extra to be taught.

Geothermal plant wins appeal but pauses Nevada construction

In this 2017 photo provided by the Center for Biological Diversity is a Dixie Valley toad, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has temporarily listed as an endangered species on an emergency basis near the site of a power plant site in Nevada.

RENO, Nev.— (AP) — The developer of a geothermal energy plant dealing with authorized challenges in Nevada agreed Monday to droop building simply hours after a U.S. appeals courtroom had refused to halt the challenge that opponents say would hurt an endangered toad and destroy sacred scorching springs.

In a ruling Monday morning, a three-judge panel of the ninth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals rejected a bid by environmentalists and a Nevada tribe to reinstate an injunction that quickly blocked work earlier this yr on Ormat Nevada’s plant 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of Reno.

However hours later, attorneys for Ormat, the federal government, environmentalists and the tribe filed a joint stipulation in federal courtroom in Reno detailing a voluntary settlement to droop building for a minimum of 30 days — and maybe till the top of the yr.

In this image from a drone provided by the Center for Biological Diversity is the wetlands at Dixie Meadows, home to the Dixie Valley toad near the Ormat construction site for the Dixie Meadows Geothermal Project, in Churchill County, Nev., June 28, 2022. On Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a bid by environmentalists and a Nevada tribe to halt construction of a geothermal power plant that opponents say would harm the endangered toad and destroy sacred hot springs.

The weird flip of occasions comes after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took the uncommon step of declaring the Dixie Valley toad endangered on a short lived emergency foundation in April — one thing the company has completed just one different time in 20 years.

The challenge is certainly one of a number of underway within the West that the Biden administration backs as a approach to fight local weather change by expediting the transition from fossil fuels to renewable vitality.

Economic Assistance Grant – business.utah.gov

The Utah Legislature allotted $4.5 million for an Financial Help Grant program to be administered by the Governor’s Workplace of Financial Alternative.

The grant assists Utah companies that promote and assist financial alternative and supply a service associated to trade, schooling, group growth, or infrastructure.

Grant recipients could obtain a most grant quantity of $200,000.

The grant software portal will probably be open from July 26, 2022, at 9 a.m. till August 4, 2022, at 5 p.m.

The applicant’s principal place of job have to be in Utah, and the applicant have to be registered and in good standing with the Utah Division of Firms. An applicant have to be a for-profit or nonprofit entity (authorities entities don’t qualify).

Be ready to explain how your undertaking will:

  • Present a service associated to Utah trade, schooling, group growth, or infrastructure
  • Promote and assist financial alternative
  • Contribute to job creation
  • Help Go Utah’s focused industries, together with superior manufacturing, aerospace and protection, monetary companies, life sciences and healthcare, and software program and knowledge expertise
  • Establish clear metrics that will probably be used to measure success
  • Leverage different funding sources
  • Have sound organizational and undertaking budgets
  • Have a one-time project-based want for funding

Grant Utility Required Paperwork

  • A accomplished and signed W-9 (data should match what’s on file with the IRS and the identical handle, as acknowledged earlier within the software, that will probably be used to mail grant funds)
  • Detailed undertaking funds, together with all sources of funding and different state funds (if relevant) secured for the undertaking
  • The applicant’s prior, present, and projected annual budgets

For questions on this system, please e mail dishihara@utah.gov, and please e mail econsfsupport@utah.gov for software help or technical queries about Go Utah’s grant portal.

Like the rain? Another monsoonal ‘moisture surge’ is headed toward Utah this week

Ina Kivijärvi walks within the rain in downtown Salt Lake Metropolis on July 15. Salt Lake Metropolis acquired triple the quantity of rain within the first two days of August than all of July. Extra rain is anticipated throughout the state over the subsequent few days. (Laura Seitz, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Monsoonal moisture raised dewpoint ranges to about 65 levels alongside the Wasatch Entrance on Tuesday, inflicting Nationwide Climate Service meteorologists to make an uncommon climate comparability: the East Coast’s scorching, humid summers.

“It isn’t typically you should utilize the phrase ‘muggy’ in reference to Utah however right here we’re,” the company tweeted.

That additionally means Utah is getting precipitation, which is sorely wanted as a result of the state entered the second half of the 12 months on tempo for its third-driest 12 months on document.

And extra rain is on the way in which.

The climate service provides that one other “monsoonal moisture surge” is headed to Utah, creating late Wednesday and persevering with at instances by way of the weekend. That’s good for the soil moisture ranges and diminished fireplace dangers, however it would additionally include elevated dangers of extra flash flooding.

“Moisture will start to extend throughout central and south Utah, growing the likelihood of domestically heavy rainfall,” the agency noted Tuesday, including that every one elements of Utah will finally be affected in the course of the second half of the week.

KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson explains that the subsequent wave is fueled by the identical sample that introduced moisture all through the state the previous few days. A high-pressure system positioned over the 4 Corners area helps pump moisture from the Gulf of Mexico north towards Utah.

“We’re beginning to activate that little movement, that nozzle from the Gulf of Mexico,” he mentioned.

A Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mannequin for the primary week of August tasks upwards of an inch of rain throughout central Utah, whereas all different elements both have already or will obtain some type of rain this week.

The monsoonal influence

About 84% of Utah stays in no less than excessive drought, however this summer season’s monsoonal storms are slowly beginning to make an influence on the state. Utah Division of Water Assets officers reported final week that storms have helped soil moisture ranges attain nearer to regular and even above regular in some locations. As of Tuesday afternoon, ranges ranged wherever from 87% to 104% of regular throughout the state, in keeping with Nationwide Water and Local weather Heart information.

It is also lowering fireplace dangers within the state, in keeping with a month-to-month replace by the Nice Basin Predictive Providers. Basil Newmerzhycky, a lead meteorologist for the company, mentioned in a video posted Monday that the moisture content material of lifeless fuels within the state has improved favorably throughout Utah over the previous month, particularly in southern Utah. The degrees are nonetheless dry for a lot of the state however not in essentially the most extreme classes as some elements had been.

The moist begin to August is barely serving to circumstances enhance.

“That is going to have the ability to take a giant chunk out of the fireplace hazard, when it comes to moistening up the fuels,” he mentioned, including that eight- to 14-day outlooks point out a excessive chance that monsoon moisture patterns will proceed throughout the West into the second week of August.

The Nice Basin Predictive Providers up to date its August fireplace outlook Monday to listing the entire Nice Basin area as regular fireplace dangers. That features most of Utah and Nevada, in addition to elements of Idaho and Wyoming, although Newmerzhycky mentioned circumstances can shortly dry up in wildland areas if the rain stops.

In the meantime, the storms are additionally serving to fill some gaps on this 12 months’s precipitation normals. For instance, the climate service’s Cooperative Observer Program web site in St. George acquired 1.03 inches of rain in July, which is sort of a tenth of an inch greater than it had acquired from the primary half of the calendar 12 months mixed.

Salt Lake Metropolis acquired 0.43 inches of rain from storms on Monday and early Tuesday, which is greater than thrice the quantity Utah’s capital metropolis acquired all through all of July. Town does stay 2.24 inches beneath regular for the water 12 months, which started on Oct. 1, 2021, and three.93 inches beneath regular this calendar 12 months, although.

The moisture additionally snapped the town’s streak of reaching no less than 90 levels at 41 days, 9 shy of the all-time document.

The storms that arrived in northern Utah on Monday even dropped near 2 inches of rain over south Tremonton.

Full seven-day forecasts for areas throughout Utah may be discovered on-line on the KSL Climate Heart.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers common information, open air, historical past and sports activities for KSL.com. He beforehand labored for the Deseret Information. He’s a Utah transplant by the way in which of Rochester, New York.

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House OKs Extension of Medicare Telehealth Flexibilities Through 2024

By a close to unanimous vote, the US Home of Representatives has handed a invoice increasing telehealth entry and protection for Medicare companies till the top of 2024, whereas making these flexibilities everlasting for FQHCs and RHCs. The invoice now goes to the Senate.

Congress is midway towards extending telehealth flexibilities enacted throughout the pandemic till the top of 2024.

The US Home of Representatives this week handed the Advancing Telehealth Past COVID-19 Act of 2021 (HR 4040) by a 416-12 vote, sending the problem on to the Senate. The invoice, launched greater than a 12 months in the past by US Rep Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), expands the definition of “originating web site” to permit extra areas to make use of telehealth, eliminates facility charges for brand spanking new websites, expands the listing of healthcare suppliers ready to make use of telehealth, provides audio-only telehealth to the definition of “telecommunications system,” and makes everlasting the power of federally-qualified well being facilities (FHQCs) and rural well being clinics (RHCs) to make use of telehealth underneath the Medicare program.

These flexibilities have been put into place by the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Providers (CMS) on the onset of the COVID-19 disaster to assist healthcare organizations develop entry to and protection of telehealth companies, with the caveat that they be terminated on the finish of the general public well being emergency (PHE). The invoice’s purpose is to offer suppliers a greater concept of how lengthy they’ve to make use of these flexibilities earlier than they both finish or Congress takes extra motion.

The invoice’s passage drew speedy reward from the American Telemedicine Affiliation (ATA) and its lobbying group, ATA Motion.

“At present, we took a major step ahead in offering a lot wanted stability in entry to take care of hundreds of thousands of Individuals, with the US Home vote to increase key telehealth flexibilities carried out throughout the COVID-19 Public Well being Emergency (PHE) till the top of 2024,” Kyle Zebley, the ATA’s vp of public coverage and govt director of ATA Motion, mentioned in a press launch. “We can not permit sufferers to lose entry to telehealth post-pandemic, and this invoice will present stability via 2024, whereas giving Congress time to handle the best way to make the insurance policies everlasting.”

“Telehealth has lengthy been a bipartisan healthcare difficulty and we now flip to the Senate to make sure this necessary piece of laws makes it to President Biden’s desk so he can signal it into regulation,” he added.

The American Medical Affiliation additionally weighed in on the problem.

“Elevated Medicare-covered entry to telehealth has been a lifeline to sufferers and physicians all through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the American Medical Affiliation (AMA) is happy by immediately’s bipartisan vote within the Home,” AMA President Jack Resnick Jr., MD, mentioned in a press release. “The COVID-19 public well being emergency made plain that care by way of telehealth must be out there to all Medicare sufferers, particularly with their very own physicians, no matter the place they reside or how they entry these companies. From continuity of care, broadened entry to care, and eradicating geographic and originating-site restrictions, our hope is that the flexibilities afforded throughout the public well being emergency can be made everlasting.”

Passage of the invoice is important not solely due to the margin of victory within the Home – indicating robust bipartisan help for telehealth – however as a result of Congress has taken motion on the problem. Dozens, if not a whole lot, of payments have been proposed in each the Home and Senate these previous few years geared toward increasing telehealth entry and protection, many looking for some or all the flexibilities outlined within the Cheney invoice, however only a few have seen any votes.

Passage within the Senate isn’t any completed deal, even with the Home’s robust help. However Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-West Virginia) current shift to help the Inflation Discount Act could trace at a willingness to maneuver ahead on different points as nicely, together with healthcare. And the invoice does have the backing of the Biden Administration.

“It is very important proceed the supply of expanded telehealth to fulfill the wants of Medicare beneficiaries and well being care suppliers,” the Govt Workplace wrote in a Assertion of Administration Coverage shortly earlier than the Home vote, noting that telehealth visits elevated 63-fold in 2020, particularly in rural areas and for behavioral well being companies. “As we emerge from the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, H.R. 4040 will be certain that the Medicare program frequently adapts to supply handy, high quality, accessible, and equitable healthcare.”

The Senate can now vote on the Home invoice, vote by itself model of the invoice, mix the 2, or do nothing.

And whereas Senate passage of the invoice is now high of thoughts, advocates will proceed to push for everlasting enlargement for some or all of these flexibilities, arguing that telehealth has confirmed its worth throughout the pandemic.

Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Expertise Editor for HealthLeaders.

Student loans are costing the federal government billions, report finds : NPR

College students at Pasadena Metropolis Faculty, in Pasadena, Calif., take part in a commencement ceremony in 2019.

Robyn Beck/AFP by way of Getty Pictures


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Robyn Beck/AFP by way of Getty Pictures


College students at Pasadena Metropolis Faculty, in Pasadena, Calif., take part in a commencement ceremony in 2019.

Robyn Beck/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

​​A brand new report from the U.S. Authorities Accountability Workplace finds the U.S. Division of Schooling miscalculated the price of the federal scholar mortgage program.

From 1997 to 2021, the Schooling Division estimated that funds from federal direct scholar loans would generate $114 billion for the federal government. However the GAO discovered that, as of 2021, this system has really price the federal government an estimated $197 billion.

A proportion of that shortfall, $102 billion, stems from the unprecedented federal scholar mortgage fee pause that started underneath the CARES Act in 2020. The pause has been prolonged a number of instances underneath former President Trump and President Biden. The newest extension runs by means of Aug. 31.

A much bigger purpose for the $311 billion distinction, the report says, is that preliminary predictions didn’t account for the excessive proportion of debtors who ended up enrolling in income-driven compensation (IDR) plans. About half of all direct loans are actually paid by means of these plans, that are designed to assist individuals who cannot afford to make giant month-to-month funds and which promise mortgage cancellation after 20-25 years. The GAO explains, “the month-to-month fee quantity for debtors in Revenue-Pushed Reimbursement plans can change based mostly on their financial scenario.” It is considered one of many causes authorities prices across the program have been unpredictable.

IDR has additionally did not stay as much as its promise to debtors: A latest NPR investigation revealed that these plans have been badly mismanaged by mortgage servicers and the Division of Schooling. In consequence, comparatively few debtors have really succeeded in having their loans canceled by means of IDR.

U.S. Department of Education Announces $215 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Students in Puerto Rico, Boost Teacher Pay Ahead of Academic School Year

As we speak, U.S. Secretary of Schooling Miguel Cardona and Puerto Rico Secretary of Schooling Eliezer Ramos Parés introduced that $215 million in beforehand awarded American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds could be disbursed to colleges throughout the island forward of the brand new college 12 months. These funds will assist meet the wants of scholars and educators and can be utilized for helps together with psychological well being providers, tutorial restoration, educator skilled improvement, and group and household partnerships. Funding from the American Rescue Plan can be serving to to spice up compensation for educators in Puerto Rico. Starting this month, public college academics on the island began receiving a $1,000 month-to-month wage improve that was made potential by means of the crucial federal funding. This can be a 30 % improve for the common trainer in Puerto Rico.

“One 12 months in the past, I met with Secretary Ramos Parés for the primary time to debate the collaborative and clear work that we envisioned to serve college students in Puerto Rico. Since that day we’ve not stopped working to make sure that each scholar throughout the island has their truthful shot at success and for our academics to be handled with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” stated Secretary Cardona. “I am assured that we’ll proceed to work collectively as companions, for the scholars and educators of Puerto Rico and for the way forward for the island.” 

Secretaries Cardona and Ramos Parés have been joined by Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA) Federal Catastrophe Restoration Coordinator Jose G. Baquero Tirado, and Ponce Regional Superintendent Dr. Roberto J. Rodríguez Santiago at Escuela Superior Dr. Pila to have fun the start of the varsity’s reconstruction. Escuela Superior Dr. Pila has been closed for over two years as a result of infrastructure injury and is likely one of the largest colleges within the southern area of Puerto Rico to be disproportionately impacted by current earthquakes. FEMA has obligated over $700,000 to the Puerto Rico Division of Schooling (PRDE) to help the reconstruction of Escuela Superior Dr. Pila.

Earlier this 12 months, the Division of Schooling (Division) additionally authorised PRDE’s use of ARP funds for brief column repairs at colleges impacted by pure disasters. This funding helps to speed up repairs that can make colleges and lecture rooms safer and accessible for educators and college students. Since Secretary Cardona’s final go to to Puerto Rico in July 2021, over 275 colleges have had quick column repairs accomplished.

The Division continues to offer further technical help to information PRDE’s administration of federal education schemes and funds. Moreover, the Division is constant formal listening periods throughout the island to listen to the wants of scholars, mother and father, educators, and stakeholders. These listening periods will end in a Memorandum of Understanding to make sure that transparency stays on the forefront of the collaboration between the departments.

“We have now labored with the U.S. Division of training to strengthen our instructional packages, help our workers with higher know-how and tutorial instruments, and equip our college students with extra sources for an optimum studying expertise,” stated Puerto Rico Division of Schooling Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés.  “We proceed to face the infrastructure challenges of our campuses, managing the distribution of the federal funds and guaranteeing their correct use. I respect the help of Secretary Cardona and his crew and I am assured that communication between us will stay open and we’ll be proactive to offer an academic system that meets the wants of our college students.”

“FEMA stays dedicated to the Island’s reconstruction after the hurricanes of 2017 and the 2020 earthquakes. Colleges are a core a part of the island’s socioeconomic improvement and that’s the reason we’re allocating funds for amenities that can prepare our future leaders. Obligated funds for these colleges won’t solely construct again higher: they may even mitigate dangers from future pure disasters,” stated the Federal Catastrophe Restoration Coordinator for FEMA in Puerto Rico, José G. Baquero.

Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has been dedicated to making sure that college students on the island have equal alternatives at success and the sources wanted to completely get well academically from the impacts of the pandemic. As we speak’s actions complement steps the Administration has taken to proceed supporting training outcomes for college kids in Puerto Rico.

As of July 2022, the Division has launched practically $6 billion to the PRDE together with:

  • $2.9 billion from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Faculty Emergency Aid Fund (ARP ESSER) and Homeless Kids and Youth (ARP HCY);
  • $1.9 billion from the Coronavirus Assist, Aid, and Financial Safety Act (CARES Act); Governor’s Emergency Schooling Aid Fund (GEER Fund); Coronavirus Response and Aid Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act); and
  • $1 billion in FY 2021 and FY 2022 program grants.