Strap In Racing by Big Bigelow: Can NASCAR Survive Without an Earnhardt in the Field?

• RESULTS – Oxford Plains Speedway, April 23: 1. Reid Lanpher, 2. Cole Butcher, 3. Glen Luce, 4. Ben Rowe, 5. Nick Sweet, 6. Donny Culprit, 7. Joe Squeglia, 8. Shawn Martin, 9. Cassius Clark, 10. David Farrington, 11. Scott Mulkern, 12. Tracy Gordon, 13. John Peters, 14. Jeremy Davis, 15. Scott McDaniel, 16. Johnny Clark, 17. Derek Griffith, 18. TJ Bracket, 19. Matthew Swanson, 20. Travis Benjamin, 21. DJ Shaw, 22. Angelo Belisto, 23. Dylan Gosbee, 24. Joe Pastore, 25. Garrett Hall, 26. Greg Fahey, 27. John Salemi, 28. Joey Doiron, 29. Travis Stearns, 30. Sarah Cornett-Ching, 31. Mike Landry, 32. Adam Polvinen, 33. Brad Babb, 34. Tim Brackett, 35. Dan McKeage, 36. Mark Lundbland, 37. Joey Polewarczyk Jr., 38. Bobby Sezer Jr., 39. Kyle Treadwell, 40. Mike Rowe.

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Strap In Racing by Big Bigelow: Can NASCAR Survive Without an Earnhardt in the Field?

• RESULTS – Oxford Plains Speedway, April 23: 1. Reid Lanpher, 2. Cole Butcher, 3. Glen Luce, 4. Ben Rowe, 5. Nick Sweet, 6. Donny Culprit, 7. Joe Squeglia, 8. Shawn Martin, 9. Cassius Clark, 10. David Farrington, 11. Scott Mulkern, 12. Tracy Gordon, 13. John Peters, 14. Jeremy Davis, 15. Scott McDaniel, 16. Johnny Clark, 17. Derek Griffith, 18. TJ Bracket, 19. Matthew Swanson, 20. Travis Benjamin, 21. DJ Shaw, 22. Angelo Belisto, 23. Dylan Gosbee, 24. Joe Pastore, 25. Garrett Hall, 26. Greg Fahey, 27. John Salemi, 28. Joey Doiron, 29. Travis Stearns, 30. Sarah Cornett-Ching, 31. Mike Landry, 32. Adam Polvinen, 33. Brad Babb, 34. Tim Brackett, 35. Dan McKeage, 36. Mark Lundbland, 37. Joey Polewarczyk Jr., 38. Bobby Sezer Jr., 39. Kyle Treadwell, 40. Mike Rowe.

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Weld County Tributes for April 27

Ronald “Ron” Davis

April 12, 1964-April 20, 2017

Age: 53

Residence: Greeley

Ronald “Ron” Davis, 53, of Greeley, passed away on April 20, 2017, at his home.

Ron was born to Janet (Bearden) Davis and Robert Kellar on April 12, 1964, in Weslaco, Texas. Ron was adopted by James Davis in 1973.

He loved to build and fly model airplanes, and spending time with friends and family.

Ron is survived by his mother; daughter, Ellie Davis; brother, James Davis; and grandfather, J.D. Bearden.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Davis; and grandmother, Ruth Bearden.

Services will be at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 7, 2017, at Grace Place, 375 Meadowlark Drive, Berthoud, CO 80513

To leave condolences with Ron’s family go to

Kenneth Trumblee

Aug. 9, 1956-April 22, 2017

Age: 60

Residence: Greeley

Kenneth Trumblee, 60, of Greeley, passed away on April 22, 2017.

Kenneth was born on Aug. 9, 1956, in Manchester, Iowa to John and Hazel (Rippon) Trumblee. In 1980, Kenneth married Kathleen (Dieterle) in Anchorage, Alaska.

Kenneth was a talented leather artist, accountant and an Army Veteran.

He is survived by his wife; children, Tonya (Anderson), Adam Trumblee, and Chad Koester; siblings, Dennis, Michael, and William Trumblee; and a large loving extended family.

Kenneth is preceded in death by his parents; and son, Brandon.

Memorial Service will be at 3 p.m., Friday, April 28, 2017, at Northern Colorado Crematory, 700 8th St., Greeley.

To leave condolences with Kenneth’s family visit

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The Gatesway Balloon Festival returns to Broken Arrow after years of being hosted in Claremore

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Tim Tipton said the Chisholm Trail South Event Park is the perfect location to fly his model airplanes. He also said it’ll be a great location for the Gatesway Balloon Festival.

“I think it’s wonderful and this is a great facility to do it,” said Tipton.

Organizers said the Balloon Festival originated in Broken Arrow, but has been held in Claremore the past eight years. They said moving the festival back to Broken Arrow will give the city’s economy a boost. 

“Bringing 40,000 people to a location for a weekend and having the economic value that it’s going to bring to the city, it’s going to be great,” Gatesway Foundation CEO Jim Pacula.

Organizers said this year’s event will be even bigger than years past, with roughly 35 balloons, a carnival and car show.

“We have more space here to use, much more parking,” said Pacula.

Tipton said he’s looking forward to taking his family to the Balloon festival at this favorite park. 

“This would be a place to bring my grandkids, they would love to see that,” said Tipton.

The Balloon Festival is set for September 15th through the 17th.  All of the proceeds will benefit people with disabilities. 

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Blade-mounted flow actuator promises greater turbine power production

A recent development promises to allow larger, more efficient, and durable wind turbines by mitigating unsteady aerodynamic forces that generate fatigue and extreme loads on blades. Developer Aquanis Inc says the device requires minimal modifications to a new blade.

Aquanis’ Chief Technology Officer, John Cooney, holds a model-scale prototype of a plasma actuator.

The design features a blade-mounted plasma flow actuator, a software controlled, solid-state electrical device that is simple and inexpensive. When a blade-embedded sensor detects deflection, software would signal the device to generate plasma that modulates the aerodynamic lift and drag forces, similar to the effect of trailing edge flaps in airplane wings.

Each device weighs only a few ounces and would be placed on the outer 20 to 30% of the blade length near the tip. An electronic driver weighing a pound or two would mount inside the blade and provide 8 to 12 kV signals to the plasma generators. The device is based on patented technology developed at the University of Notre Dame. Aquanis has an exclusive license to the patent portfolio for the wind energy field of use.

All remedies tried to date use moving parts and are costly and complex to implement. “The simplicity of our plasma actuator technology provides the basis for an inexpensive, no-moving-parts control system that will let wind turbines react instantly to changes in the wind,” said Aquanis CEO Neal Fine. And an improvement in aerodynamic efficiency can reduce material cost and extend the service life of utility-scale wind turbines.

The market for the device includes new wind-turbine construction, about 25,000 utility-scale turbines per year with a total capacity of 63 GW. This market is expected to grow 12% per year through 2025.

Aquanis says its electronic plasma actuators can modulate flow of air around a turbine blade, thereby reducing unsteady forces and maximizing aerodynamic performance.

Fine says he is targeting the top 10 wind-turbine manufacturers which include Vestas, Siemens, GE, Goldwind, Enercon, and Suzlon. Combined, these companies own about 70% of the global market. “However, they want to see wind tunnel data before they commit to anything,” he adds. And that is what the company is now working on. What’s more, the six-month NSF grant will fund development of a new design of the actuator that is expected to at least double its efficiency.

Repowering is another target market. Although Fine does not see modifying existing blades, the device could be a driver to replace the blades especially if a refurbished turbine with a 10% longer blade and plasma actuators can produce 20% more power, without exceeding the load limitation on the existing tower and foundation.

The company says it has received a National Science Foundation Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of $224,969 for the development and testing of the device. The firm was also awarded an Innovation Voucher grant from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, which will provide $50,000 in funding to support the company’s research partners in Brown University’s School of Engineering. RICC also awarded the firm a $45,000 SBIR Phase I matching grant to supplement the NSF award.

To explore a range of system designs, the company needs access to state-of-the-art computational tools. The RI Innovation Voucher provides that, with access to Brown University researchers who have developed advanced computational fluid dynamics tools that will assist in Aquanis’ product design.

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Janicki Bioenergy tries to sell Florida on drinking water from wastewater

ABOUT THIS STORY: TCPalm has published two investigations revealing how Florida threatens protected waters by allowing farms to dump tons of only semi-treated human waste on their fields for fertilizer, but the nitrogen and often unneeded phosphorus can run off and feed toxic algae blooms. Today, we explore proposed solutions.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates put his mouth where his money is.

Standing in front of an industrial behemoth in Dakar, Senegal — with a crowd and cameras watching — an engineer turned a valve that poured a clear liquid into Gates’ drinking glass. He wore a nervous smile as he took a sip.

After all, just five minutes earlier, the liquid had been raw sewage.

“It’s water!” Gates declared in a video on Janicki Bioenergy’s website.

The multibillionaire’s charitable foundation backs the sanitation and waste management company based in his home state of Washington. Gates is banking on the company’s Omni Processor technology revolutionizing how cities dispose of human waste, while providing clean energy and drinking water.

There are many worldwide companies developing technologies to recycle all kinds of waste into clean energy and drinking water — yard, food, biosolids, wastewater and used cooking oil among them. But none have the richest man in the world backing them. Few have successfully turned solid human waste into drinking water as well as energy. Fewer still have had scouts pitching their idea to at least a half-dozen Florida cities, counties and corporations since mid-2016.

Some Florida scientists and environmentalists say the Omni Processor could curb the state’s practice of dumping tons of only semi-treated human waste on farms, where nitrogen and often unneeded phosphorus can run off into waterways and feed toxic algae blooms.

“Rather than take this material, which actually has some potential value, and go out and dump it and create a problem,” Audubon Florida scientist Paul Gray said, “why don’t we use it to make something useful?”

From toilet to tap

Gates’ hand-picked engineer, Peter Janicki, is confident in the technology he developed for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and tested in Africa.

Janicki’s engineers in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, now are building and testing a scalable commercial model that handles 10 tons of dry sewage per day, but can be customized to process more or less. That processing capacity is about two to three times more than the African pilot plant.

At that rate, it would take 88 plants operating at full capacity — or higher-capacity plants — to process all the human waste Florida generated in 2013, TCPalm calculated based on Department of Environmental Protection data.

RELATED: More solutions 

Janicki’s scouts have met with officials from DEP, Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office, Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, village of Wellington and Royal Caribbean cruise lines, according to sales official Greg Akers. None has signed a contract, but Akers said it’s an educational process.

“Most of the time, we find that municipalities are eager to talk,” he said.

The plant, about three-quarters the size of a professional basketball court, costs between $3 million and $7 million, but can cost as much a $19 million, depending on the processing capacity, spokeswoman Brenda Thomas said in an email.

Best of all, it does not need a government subsidy to be commercially viable, President Sara VanTassel said in an emailed statement to TCPalm. Taxpayers nationwide, but especially in Florida and Indian River County, got burned on a $129 million investment in INEOS Bio, which closed its Vero Beach plant eight years after promising to turn yard waste into biofuel.

Personal problem

When Gates flew Janicki to Africa in 2011, he initially wasn’t interested in improving sanitation and wastewater treatment systems because he had no experience in the field, he explained in a 2015 TED Talk educational video series. His company, Janicki Industries, focuses on engineering and manufacturing things like airplane parts and composite materials.

His change of heart came while lying in a hospital bed after drinking contaminated water — the sickest he’s ever been, he explained in the TED Talk. Such illness is common in Africa, and half the patients in the Senegal hospital were there for that reason, he said he was told.

“My resolve to solve this problem became personal,” he said.

Three years later, he developed the Omni Processor, whose process has multiple benefits:

Shipping it elsewhere appeals to Florida scientists and environmentalists such as Gary Roderick, a former DEP administrator who opposes the agency letting farmers dump tons of only semi-treated human waste on their fields. While their soil may need the nitrogen, it rarely needs extra phosphorus.

Overcoming the stigma

The “toilet-to-tap” stigma may be Janicki’s toughest selling point.

In a 2015 survey of Americans, 13 percent refused to try it and 38 percent weren’t sure if they would, according to a University of Pennsylvania study.

Water managers nationwide are finding creative ways to combat the yuck factor.

Arizona water utilities, for example, received a $250,000 grant for a 2016 project to purify wastewater for local breweries to use in a beer contest. Oregon has been holding similar contests annually since 2013, challenging home brewers to make beer from treated wastewater.

“Water, after it’s treated, is good to use,” said Mark Perry, executive director of the Florida Oceanographic Society in Stuart. “Why waste it?”


– Human waste dumped near Florida springs
– Here are 2 quick fixes to cut Florida’s poop pollution





A TCPalm investigation found the Department of Environmental Protection permits treated human waste to be dumped near some of Florida’s most fragile and protected waters. LUCAS DAPRILE/TCPALM

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Ford Lauderdale Air Show turns South Florida skies into a grand …

It’s official. It’s the Ford Lauderdale Air Show, even if the papers sometimes call it the Fort Lauderdale Air Show. After all, the catchy name is what attracted Allan Young in the first place. In fact, it was his idea. 

Young is chairman of the board for the South Florida Ford Dealers, consisting of 28 dealers from Fort Pierce to the Florida Keys on the east coast, from Naples to Port Charlotte on the Gulf Coast. He is also the owner of Wayne Akers Ford in Lake Worth. The man is a born promoter. His office walls attest to his group’s community involvement. There are shots of Miami sports figures and teams, and there is a framed Miami Dolphins jersey, all representing teams with which Young has worked with at one time or another.

Indeed, it was through another major community sponsorship that Young became aware of the opportunity to be a title sponsor for this year’s revived air show. He was at a meeting with the Winterfest Boat Parade committee, of which Ford is a sponsor, when he learned that the air show was searching for a title sponsor.

It needed one. Recall that when the show was launched spectacularly in the mid-1990s, it was called the Shell Air and Sea Show per Shell Oil Company. That was a good corporate fit. Airplanes need gas. And so was the later sponsor, McDonald’s, with its wholesome family image. Then, due to circumstances beyond the control of the sponsor, the show, although increasingly successful, was suspended for several years.  It was brought back in 2012, thanks to the efforts of the Motwani family, prominent beachfront property owners and developers elsewhere in the city. They brought aboard Brian Lilley, an experienced air show producer, to restore what had been, both to the audience and performers, one of the most popular air shows in the country.

Ford became involved too late last year to get much publicity. The announcement came just weeks before the May weekend date. There wasn’t time to include Ford’s historic blue oval logo in the pre-show promotion. Many people who flocked to the show center on A1A in front of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park did not even know Ford was involved.

There is no doubt about it this year. “Ford Lauderdale” is a natural title. It is obviously a play on the name Fort Lauderdale, and it also gives the sponsor great visibility. 

Young takes only partial credit for the name. He explains:

“I was kicking it around with Gregg Snowden from our advertising agency (J. Walter Thompson), who works closely with our South Florida team, and we just stayed with it. It was a fit. Marketing is marketing. The Lord put it in front of us. I outshot my skill set this time. I have to thank the promoters for having the courage to go with it. All I wanted was to brand our name in South Florida. We’ve done 100 events, but this is the only one that has our name connected with a great city like Fort Lauderdale. There’s nothing cooler than an air show. Our blue Ford logo is the second most recognizable in the world, after McDonald’s. It’s an honor to be part of it.” 

That run-on, almost stream of consciousness paragraph, is no accident. No stenographer can keep up with Young’s machine gun delivery. No need for questions with this fellow. He interviews himself, and it is that dynamic personality and flair for promotion that made him a general manager of an auto dealership at age 26. A native of Fairport Harbor on Lake Erie in Ohio (not far from Don Shula’s hometown), he grew up in the auto business. His mother and stepfather worked for General Motors for 30 years. He was an all-around athlete, named Ohio’s small school athlete of the year, which explains his teaming with sports organizations in Florida.

He was general manager of a Chevrolet dealership in Greenacres, west of Lake Worth, in 1989, when AutoNation bought the agency. That was when he joined Fred Akers, where he is now.

One of Young’s favorite words, at least when it comes to marketing, is “experiential.” And no one who meets him can forget the experience. And he says that experience, at least with the air show, is here to stay.

“I’m in with both feet,” he says. “You can’t pry me away from it.”


Having a premier corporation behind the show is great news for local business people who have worked to revive it for several years. An auto company being associated with an air show may seem like an odd coupling, but not to aviation historians.

The fact is, the name Ford has been associated with airplanes since almost the birth of aviation. After succeeding in mass-producing his Model T Fords, Henry Ford became fascinated with vehicles that fly. Ford built one of the first successful commercial aircraft. The Ford Trimotor appeared in 1926 and was purchased by numerous pioneer airlines; 199 copies were produced before production ended in 1933. Among them was Ford’s own airline, Ford Aviation Transport, an air freight outfit that was the first to fly airmail.

The Trimotor wasn’t pretty. The third engine in the nose was ungainly, and its air-cooled radial engines had no cowlings. It was based on a German Junkers design, so much so that a patent infringement lawsuit followed. It was a sturdy and reliable machine, which achieved many firsts, including Richard Byrd’s flight over the South Pole, and many of Pan American’s flights from Miami to South America. It managed to keep flying for commercial purposes into the 1960s. A handful survive today, used mostly on tourist operations—on which the airplane itself is the star of the tour.

By 1933 it was outdated by more modern designs such as the Boeing 247 and the Douglas DC-2. By then Henry Ford had lost some of his enthusiasm for aviation after his chief test pilot died in a crash. Germany, however, continued to refine the trimotor concept, and its Junkers 52 was its primary transport in World War II.

Although Ford had stopped building its own planes, in World War II it became a major manufacturer of engines and aircraft designed by other companies. Its Willow Run plant, outside Dearborn, Michigan, had a production line a mile long. It built thousands of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers, which, along with the Boeing B-17, became the primary weapons in the campaign to destroy Nazi Germany’s industry. Ford built other airplane parts as well, and by the war’s end, it had built thousands of complete aircraft, plus 57,851 airplane engines and more than 4,000 military gliders.

This was in addition to building tanks, trucks and smaller vehicles, including 278,000 of the famous Willys Jeeps. Ford even had a plant in Germany, which the Germans commandeered to produce their own weapons. As the Allies swept across Western Europe, German employees ignored orders to destroy the plant in Cologne, and it actually produced its first post-war truck on May 8, 1945—the date the war in Europe ended.   


North American Aviation produced some of the most successful military aircraft in history. During World War II it built the P-51 Mustang, the best piston engine plane of the war, and the North American B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, also a leader in its class. The latter gained enduring fame as the plane launched from an aircraft carrier in the historic Toyko raid of 1942. North American followed those triumphs with the F-86 Sabre jet of Korean War fame.

But those contributions may not exceed the stature of another North American plane, designed before any of the above, which never fired a shot in combat—at least not in United States colors. It was produced in greater numbers (more than 15,000) than the others and has survived in quantity for more than 75 years. It has flown under more national insignia than possibly any other military aircraft and has probably been flown by more pilots than any American military aircraft. It even has more than one name. And it is one of the stars of this year’s Ford Lauderdale Air Show. 

That plane is the North American SNJ, or “AT-6 Texan” as it was known in the Army Air Force, or the “Harvard,” which was its name in the version built for Great Britain. Whatever it was called, it became a legendary trainer for thousands of World War II airmen and served the military in other capacities into the 1960s. It was close enough to elite fighter plane standards, and yet docile enough to be handled by student pilots to make an excellent trainer. Its unusually broad 42-feet wingspan gives it great stability in aerobatics.

A few actually were used in combat, as observation planes in Vietnam, and as light bombers in the early Middle East wars and in some African anti-terror actions.

Because its engine is not as high-powered as combat aircraft, it is economical to operate and thus, has found many uses beyond its original purpose. Included is its appearance in air shows as the GEICO Skytypers. 

The plane was designed in 1935, and the team’s planes were built in 1940-41. They are owned by Larry Arken, whose late father purchased the planes for skywriting purposes. Arken owns the team and flies as its commanding officer.

Among the unusual roles of the SNJ throughout the years has been that of movie star. Its resemblance to Japanese World War II planes, particularly the formidable Mitsubishi A6M Zero, has led to its use as a Japanese stand-in for a number of films, including “Tora! Tora! Tora!”

Canadian forces Snowbirds

The featured jet aerobatic team in this year’s show is the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Unlike America’s premier military performers, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels, it does not fly first line combat aircraft. But also unlike the U.S. teams, it traces its history to an authentic combat unit. 

The 431st Air Demonstration Squadron has its roots in World War II when it began life as a bomber squadron. It flew British Wellington medium bombers and later Halifax and Lancaster heavy bombers. It disbanded after the war in 1946. It was reformed briefly in 1954 when it performed demonstrations in the North American F-86 Sabre, the hottest jet fighter in the world at the time. It was just being introduced to The Royal Canadian Air Force. 

There were several attempts at demonstration teams until 1978, when the 431st was again reactivated. The previous demo team had been named the Snow Whites and was renamed the Snowbirds when the squadron reformed. The name had nothing to do with Canadian visitors to Florida in the winter, but rather to Canada’s frequently snowy weather and the fact that the squadron’s aircraft were painted mostly white. By this time their plane was the CT-114 Tutor, a Canadian-built two-seat trainer that dates to 1961. Obviously it isn’t as fast as modern jets, but is still capable of almost 500 mph. It has been retired from normal air force use and is scheduled for replacement as the Snowbirds mount in the next few years.

The Snowbirds are based at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the site of a NATO training base.


MAY 6-7. Fort Lauderdale beach at Birch State Park, north of Sunrise Boulevard.

The show opens at noon with the SOCOM Para-Commandos, a precision parachute team. It ends at 4 p.m. with the featured Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds. Other performers include the U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper demo, the Harrier Jump Jet demo, Sean D. Tucker – Team Oracle aerobatic demo, GEICO Skytypers, U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey demo and Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts aerobatic demo.

This article, courtesy Fort Lauderdale Daily, originally appeared here.


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