Corvette Caravan to stop in Cape for the first time

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Kenny Pincksten has been a car enthusiast since he was 12. He now owns two Corvettes, a 1963 model and a 2014, and is looking forward to attending the first Corvette Caravan to stop in Cape Girardeau.

This marks the fifth anniversary of the caravan, in which hundreds of Corvettes travel across the United States to visit the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

This is the 20th anniversary of the museum’s opening, which makes it a more special event. Caravan members have worked with the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau for almost year planning it, and on Aug. 26 the Corvettes will roll into Cape Girardeau for the night.

“We felt we could give them a very quality experience as far as plenty of lodging, great restaurants to eat at while they were here, and some other things, and one thing just led to another,” said Chuck Martin, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau.

However, this event isn’t just for enthusiasts such as Pincksten; Martin said a variety of events will be offered for people to enjoy as they peruse the sports cars along Main Street.

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The band Hot Rod Nights will play oldies tunes, Martin said, and the Cape Girardeau Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Auto Tires and Parts will host interactive exhibits.

“We are doing an awful lot to make it just a fun family evening,” Martin said. “Fatal goggles by the Cape Girardeau Police Department gives you a sensation of what it’s like to be intoxicated and try to walk a straight line and … the seat belt convincer will be there by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It is an exhibit to give you an appreciation for wearing your seat belt, and the Auto Tires and Parts NASCAR simulator will be there.”

About 5:30 p.m., local Corvette owners will cruise down Broadway from Capaha Park to South Main Street, and the Corvette Caravan is expected to set up camp downtown between 6 and 6:30 p.m.

Martin said he thinks there will at least be 300 vehicles present, and they will be parked on Main Street all the way from Broadway to William, with some overflow on Water Street.

“I really do think there’s something there for everyone, even if you’re not what you would self-describe as a car person,” Martin said.

Generations of Corvettes are part of the ride, and the cars are definitely a sight to see.

“Seeing some of the new ’14 models that are out there, it is almost just looking like an airplane cockpit,” Martin said. “They are just some great automobiles and some great engineering.”

Pincksten agrees. Although he loves his ’63 Corvette, he said the 2014 model is more fun to drive.

“Half of the fun, though, is really just having the chance to meet some great people … and that kind of enthusiasm is contagious,” Martin said. “… We think it is going to be a memorable event.”

smaue@semissourian.com

388-3644

Pertinent address:

Main Street, Cape Girardeau

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Congressman Olson discusses Flight 17, Mexican border crisis with Fort Bend …

U.S. Congressman Pete Olson presented his 2014 congressional update to the Central Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Monday morning, which addressed the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, tensions at the Texas border with Mexico, and impending EPA legislation, among other topics.

Flight 17

Olson began by mentioning the Flight 17 crash in eastern Ukraine that killed the whole crew of 298 onboard the plane. He cited reports by other U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry that evidence points to a model SA-11 surface-to-air missile — a Russian-made weapon, hitting the jet.

As such, Olson said, “Vladimir Putin’s thugs, his rebels in Ukraine, shot down that airplane. We all know that.” He noted that Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine were restricting access to the crash sight, including the plane’s black box recording devices, and victim remains, to Dutch investigators after the flight came down.

The District 22 representative called President Obama “complicit” in a perceived lack of due diligence by Russia, saying Obama should do more to actively pressure Russian president Putin to aid international investigators. Olson cited a report by ABC News in 2012 that Obama communicated to Putin the U.S. would “have more flexibility” on missile defense talks after his last election.

Texas-Mexico Border

The congressman described his recent visit to McAllen, Texas, on the border of Texas and Mexico, where a wave of undocumented children has sprung up.

“There’s no place to put the children,” Olson said. He told one story of a grandmother and three children spending the elderly woman’s lifesavings to move, only to find themselves in a detention facility. Olson also talked about observing a “coned-off” quarantine area, where children were infected with scabies, speaking on a concern that foreign illnesses could spread into the U.S. population.

After mentioning these anecdotes, he said that poor living conditions in Central American countries, which are driving undocumented immigrants to the U.S., have been lingering for many years. Olson said the reason for a surge in illegal immigration is amnesty rhetoric by the Obama administration, which human smugglers have used to advertise their business.

According to Olson, prices to cross the border illegally range from $5,000 — $9,000 per person. He said while 37,000 undocumented children crossed over from Mexico to the U.S. in 2013, 50,000 have already done so in 2014, and by year’s end, that number is projected to total at 90,000. If nothing changes, Olson said projections for 2015 are around 150,000.

Referring to the crisis as what could be “Obama’s Katrina”, Olson said members of congress are working on a bill that could require the Department of Health and Human Services to inform local officials, including mayors and elected county representatives, where they plan to place these undocumented children, so as not to overly burden an area lacking adequate resources to accommodate the immigrants.

EPA Legislation

Next, Olson talked about current efforts by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to make air cleaner in Houston. According to the congressman, EPA officials are hoping to raise the standards for oil pollution in not just Greater Houston, but also the nation. He said the EPA would like to eventually change the current standard of .75 parts per billion to .6 parts per billion. Legislation to address this could be brought up by the end of the 2014.

The congressman wants to halt these efforts. He said it could cost the U.S, $1 trillion over 10 years time, as well as different civil liberties.

“Like to drive your car every day? Probably not — probably drive it one day and then off. Like to have barbeques in the backyard? May have to do it early in the morning or early at night.”

Eric Holder

“As our attorney general, he has one job — to enforce the laws of the land,” Olson said. “He’s failed to do that.”

Olson reiterated to the Central Fort Bend Chamber why he supports an impeachment of Holder. The Texas representative’s reasons include an unwillingness to prosecute IRS employees after allegations that conservative non-profits like the Tea Party were targeted without basis, a law violation from non-compliance with the Fast and Furious program, and prejudices against Fox News, among other considerations.

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New regs for Friday: Radiation, coal mines, model airplanes

Friday’s edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for radiation at nuclear facilities, explosives used in coal mining operations, model airplanes and recreational drones, and energy efficiency at manufactured homes.

Here’s what is happening:

Radiation: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering new radiation protections at nuclear facilities.

The radiation standards would protect workers and the public from hazardous radiation stemming from a nuclear facility, the NRC said Thursday.

The public has 120 days to comment.

Explosives: The Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is considering more stringent blasting regulations at surface coal mine sites, the agency said Thursday.

The Interior Department is considering a petition from WildEarth Guardians, an environmental group that wants the agency to prohibit visible nitrogen oxide emissions resulting from blasting operations. 

The petitioners argue this would protect the health, welfare and safety of mine workers and the surrounding public.

The public has 30 days to comment.

model airplanes: The Federal Aviation Administration is delaying a rule that would restrict model airplanes, also known as recreational drones, from flying near airports and interfering with commercial planes.

The FAA announced new rules last month that would prohibit people from flying model airplanes within five miles of an airport, more than 400 feet above the ground, or over populated areas where there is an increased risk of someone getting injured from a crash.

But the FAA said Thursday it is extending the comment period through Sept. 23 to give the public more time to discuss the proposed rules.

Beer: The Department of Agriculture is considering new standards for barley, which is often used to produce beer.

The USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration is looking to improve the quality of the barley produced in the U.S. The agency said more than 60 percent is used to produce beer and other alcoholic beverages.

The public has 60 days to comment.

Efficiency: The Department of Energy is considering new energy efficiency standards for manufactured homes, which would help homeowners save money on their electricity bills. 

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will hold two meetings next month on Aug. 4 and 5 to consider the proposed rule.

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Aero modelers abuzz over Saturday’s fly-in at Nacogdoches airport

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Aero modelers from all over Texas, and parts of Louisiana and Arkansas, are gathering at the A.L. Mangham Airport in Nacogdoches. They’re here for Saturday’s fly-in.

The free displays and demonstrations of not your ‘run of a mill’ model airplanes will certainly have spectators looking to the sky.

Drew Thomas with the Livingston Always Ready to Fly Club takes flying model airplanes to an extra high level.

“My annual cost of my hobby is probably about $35,000,” Thomas said.

However, the sport can cost less than a hundred dollars. That’s the beauty of it to David Hinson who likes building the models as much as flying them.

“We’ve got pilots young as seven years old and as old as 85,” Hinson said.

Gary Moxley, of Panola, isn’t quite there yet, but he’s been a plane enthusiast for 50 years.

“And I’ve been around these since I’ve been 10, 11 years old,” Moxley said.

The aero modelers are ready to show off their aircraft Saturday morning. You’ll get a bit of a history lesson along the way.

“In the military scene they used them to spot ground troops that were in trouble with the enemy,” Thomas said.

“This particular one, Rosie Rocketeer, was in Patton’s Third Armored Division and flew reconnaissance for him,” Moxley said.

The 60-percent scale models run off weed eater gasoline. They can present a furious element of realism.

Aerobatic flight displays, triplanes, jets, and demonstrations by the best of the best pilots goes on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Until four o’clock free lessons will be provided to anyone interested in trying.

“You, too, can have one,” Thomas said.

There will be a lot to see Saturday. The Bomber Field Club in Houston is brining large-scale jet airplanes.

Also a Commemorative Air force airplane will fly down. Rides can be purchased for $150.

It all takes place Saturday at the A.L. Mangham Airport in Nacogdoches.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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Plane crash on Penghu kills dozens

A TransAsia Airways (復興航空) plane crashed on Penghu yesterday, killing at least 47 people, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said last night.

The flight from Greater Kaohsiung crashed near the Magong Airport’s runway with 54 passengers and four crew on board, the agency said.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said that 47 people were confirmed dead and 11 injured.

According to the CAA, the 70-seat turboprop ATR72 model plane carried 54 passengers and four crew.

TransAsia Flight GE222 had been scheduled to depart Greater Kaohsiung at 4pm yesterday. However, because of Typhoon Matmo it was delayed, not departing until 5:43pm.

CAA Director General Jean Shen (沈啟) said air traffic control personnel received the request from the flight for a go-around at the Magong Airport at 7:06pm, but they lost track of the flight afterward.

“It’s chaotic on the scene,” Reuters quoted Shen as saying.

The plane made a forced landing in Shishi Village (西溪村), just outside the airport.

Several buildings on the ground were set on fire by the crash, but no one on the ground was injured, local officials said.

“A few empty apartment buildings adjacent to the runway caught fire, but no one was inside at the time and the fire was extinguished,” said Hsi Wen-guang, a spokesman for the Penghu County Government Fire Bureau.

About 100 firefighters were sent to the scene, besides 152 military personnel and 255 police, he added.

CAA information said the pilot, Lee Yi-liang (李義良), 60, has 15 years of experience in flying civilian aircraft.

The co-pilot was identified as 39-year-old Chiang Kuan-hsing (江冠興).

Witnesses have said that there was heavy rain at the time. However, the CAA said that the visual range was 800 feet (243.8m), which was adequate for landing.

The agency said that it will dispatch officials to Penghu today to help with the investigation into the cause of the crash, but the investigation will be led by the Aviation Safety Council.

Penghu County Fire Department Director-General Hong Yung-peng (洪永澎) said the airplane tried to land at the airport, but had pulled up to make another try because the heavy rain was hampering the pilot’s vision.

Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Lih-chuyn (孫立群) said Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) had ordered the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to report on the situation as soon as possible.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chua and Reuters

This story has been updated since it was first published.

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Some mechanical engineering students built two 3D printers

Amarillo, TX — A group of West Texas AM students are using new technology to create 3D printers for the School of Engineering and Computer Sciences. 


The goal these students had were to build the three dimensional printers using parts from an existing 3D printer, to be user friendly and cost effective. 


Five students, in three months, built two 3D printers. 


It’s a relatively new invention but it’s expected to have a major impact as technology advances.


“Instead of things being presented on paper, you can print it out and show it and people can actually hold it and see if it will work and you can actually build working parts too, if your project requires something of a small scale or lightweight, some 3D printers can print out light weight, plastic and you can actually build a project from it.” says Juan Ramirez, Mechanical Engineer Graduate 


The plastic that creates the models is called “polylactic acid” also known to be environmentally friendly. 


And depending on the size and scale of the model, the print could take 20 minutes or 20 hours. 


But graduating student Juan Ramirez says the printers are made to be accurate models or tools to be presented at a smaller scale. 


“Scale model of an airplane or new machine part and a working part, you can actually put moving parts together that have been 3D printed and actually show them working models, for modeling and presentation wise.” says Ramirez


These 3D printers are worth a few thousand dollars and were funded internally through the engineering department. 


The department says the investment in these printers will benefit future projects.


“To the best of our knowledge it has not been done anywhere else, basically using a 3D printer to make your own. So the idea itself was very exciting and the students were very interested to being involved in a project like that and to see it come to together, to see it work and to see the potential that it has for our new and incoming and current students.” says Bell Helicopter Professor Matt Jackson


Each semester students in the mechanical engineering design class are divided into groups to work on special semester long projects.

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Boeing’s unfinished work on 787 parts drops 30 percent in second quarter

The amount of unfinished work on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner declined significantly during the second quarter of 2014, a company official said Wednesday during an earnings update.

“Traveled work has declined by 30 percent since this time last quarter,” finance chief Greg Smith said.

Traveled work consists of parts that remain uncompleted at one location when they are scheduled to be shipped and require finishing at another site.

That was a huge problem for the North Charleston campus earlier this year, when workers couldn’t meet assembly time lines and were sending too many unfinished 787 fuselage sections to Everett, Wash. Boeing had to bring in contract workers to beef up production and get the program back on track.

Since then, the North Charleston campus met its goal of producing three 787 Dreamliners a month by midyear, and the aerospace giant is now producing 10 a month to catch up on a backlog of nearly 1,000 orders from 60 customers around the globe. Seven a month are produced in Everett, the hub of Boeing’s aircraft-making operations.

The company still expects to deliver 110 787s this year, Smith said. It has delivered 48 so far this year, including 30 during the April through June quarter.

“We are stable at 10 a month and continue to stabilize our production system in all areas of assembly,” Smith said.

In 2016, Boeing plans to speed up 787 production even further to 12 a month and, by 2019, to 14 a month.

With its higher production rate, Boeing’s cash flow improved in the second quarter and costs have come down on the 787, but Smith said the company will work to reduce them further.

Boeing delivered 181 airplanes during the quarter, including its first 787-9 to Air New Zealand. It also delivered its 8,000th 737 during the period.

The company manufactures and modifies aft and midbody fuselage parts for the 787-8 and 787-9 in North Charleston beside Charleston International Airport, where it also assembles the slightly smaller “Dash 8″ model. Boeing will begin piecing together the first South Carolina-made 787-9 this fall.

The company said its second-quarter earnings soared 52 percent on increased deliveries of commercial aircraft over the same period a year ago, while revenue rose 1 percent to $22 billion.

For the second quarter, Boeing earned nearly $1.7 billion, bringing its 2014 profit so far to $2.6 billion, up 19 percent over the first six months of 2013.

“With 783 new commercial airplane orders to date this year and significant contracts in the quarter for military aircraft and satellites, our backlog remains large and diverse,” CEO Jim McNerney said.

The aircraft-maker’s total backlog of orders for all commercial aircraft stands at more than 5,200, valued at $440 billion. The company booked 264 commercial aircraft orders during the second quarter.

Orders for 201 aircraft valued at $40.2 billion during the Farnborough International Airshow in England, which ended Sunday, will appear in third-quarter results.

Earlier this month, Boeing predicted nearly 37,000 new aircraft will be needed over the next two decades, mainly for single-aisle aircraft in developing nations such as China.

In a conference call Wednesday, McNerney said demand for replacement aircraft has not been this strong since the 1950s when the former 707 was introduced to offer the largest passenger cabin in the air at the time.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.

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