Regional briefs – March 31


Staff report



Williams Syndrome

support group planned

For some families in the state of Ohio, The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Marilee Martens is a trusted resource who provides them access to a rare support system. Martens studies a rare developmental disability called Williams syndrome (WS). There are only a small handful of researchers who study the syndrome in the world. That is why twice a year, Martens hosts a support group event for those with Williams syndrome and their families on the Ohio State Newark campus. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, April 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the John Gilbert Reese Center. Reporters are welcome to attend.

“Some parents of children with Williams syndrome don’t know anyone else who has this condition,” said Martens. “Getting together with others who understand is a huge support for them. We had a family drive to the last event from Cleveland, Ohio. Their baby had just been diagnosed three weeks earlier.”

According to The Williams Syndrome Association, WS is a genetic condition that is present at birth and occurs randomly at conception. It is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities. However, those with WS often have relatively strong verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music. WS affects one in 10,000 people worldwide, and it is known to occur equally in both males and females, and in every culture.

Las Vegas Dance Troupe

to Take UF Stage

Molodi, a Las Vegas dance show that is now touring the United States, will be performing at the University of Findlay on Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. in Winebrenner Theological Seminary’s TLB Auditorium.

Molodi is a performance ensemble that uses only their bodies as instruments, taking body percussion to the extreme. Consisting of artists from Stomp, Cirque du Soleil, Step Afrika!, Stomp the Yard and the International Body Music Festival, their unique blend of collegiate stepping, gumboots, beatbox, poetry, hip hop dance, guerilla theatre and robust personalities bring to life a high-energy, immersive experience.

The troupe’s day in Findlay will begin with a free arts and education workshop for children in grades K-12. The workshop will include several high-energy performance pieces from Molodi’s repertoire featuring stepping, tap, beatbox and South African gumboots with insights into the cultural histories of the art forms and inspirational stories from the artists.

Investment to help

Midwest farmers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest $41 million in a three-year initiative to support the work of farmers in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). The initiative helps farmers and ranchers implement science-based conservation measures to reduce runoff from farms entering the region’s waterways.

NRCS Chief Jason Weller unveiled the initiative today at an event with partners and stakeholders from the region at Maumee Bay State Park in Toledo, Ohio. This initiative will expand conservation and financial assistance opportunities available to WLEB farmers and ranchers who want to take additional steps to improve the quality of the water feeding the Lake. This funding is in addition to the $36 million the Agency has already planned to make available in the basin through the 2014 Farm Bill, for a combined three-year investment of $77 million to improve water quality and support sustainable production in the Basin.

“The challenges that face Lake Erie require science-based solutions and a commitment from all partners to address the factors that impact water quality. The area’s farmers and ranchers have already made great strides in helping to reduce runoff, and with this new investment they will be able to do even more,” said Vilsack. “Farmers and landowners will be able to add conservation measures to about 870,000 acres in this critical watershed, effectively doubling the acres of conservation treatment that can be accomplished in the three years.”

Staff report

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