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  1. Hi, my name is Sis. Green and I made this shirt cake for the ASL Pioneer School in St. Louis, MO. Thanks you much!☺️ @Lmgreen2767
  2. Jehovah's Witnesses from East Texas will attend their semiannual circuit assembly at the Carthage Civic Center on Saturday and Sunday. The theme of the circuit assembly is "Increase Your Faith in Jehovah." Jehovah's Witnesses from Carthage, Whitehouse, Nacogdoches, Kilgore, Bullard, Lufkin and other communities will attend Sunday's session, while Jehovah's Witnesses from Longview, Marshall, Lindale, Mineola and Tyler areas will be attending Saturday's session. The public talk "True Faith -- What Is It, and How Is It Shown?" will highlight the program each afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The event, which will start at 9:30 each morning, is free to the public.
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  3. Enjoy these days.... this much paper won't be printed much longer .....
  4. We used to have pre studies before the actual watchtower study in the past until we were told that was no longer allowed. It appears some are now re engaging in this process?
  5. Children enjoying the convention in San Diego, California, USA by @Mva_Micky
  6. President Barack Obama holds a robotic arm being controlled by the mind of the man in the wheel chair at right as he makes a stop at the exhibition hall of the White House Frontiers Conference on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Pittsburgh. (Michael Henninger/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP) (Associated Press) WASHINGTON — A paralyzed man shared a handshake with President Barack Obama on Thursday by using a mind-controlled robotic arm that, in a first for medical research, is helping to restore his sense of touch. Obama fist-bumped Nathan Copeland’s robotic hand, and tiny chips implanted in Copeland’s brain let him use his thoughts to move the Star Trek-looking metal arm attached to his wheelchair — and also let him feel subtle pressure in his own fingers when the artificial ones were touched. He had “pretty impressive precision,” Obama said. “When I’m moving the hand, it is also sending signals to Nathan so he is feeling me touching or moving his arm.” The president congratulated the University of Pittsburgh researchers who are developing the technology, saying, “what a story.” The research is part of a quest to make artificial limbs that can feel. On Thursday, the Pittsburgh team reported important early findings: When they blindfolded Copeland, he could correctly identify which robotic finger they touched 84 percent of the time. “The majority of them, it felt like a pressure or a tingling” in his own corresponding finger, said Copeland, 30, of Dunbar, Pennsylvania, who was left paralyzed after a car accident. When a researcher touched two fingers at the same time, “I just laughed and I said, ‘Are you trying to be tricky or something?” Preparing to show the president how the cutting-edge research worked, Copeland said he was “circling between excited and nervous every half-hour.” Harnessing brain waves to power prosthetics is a hot field, with a goal of giving the disabled more independence and improving artificial limbs for amputees as well. Headlines in recent years have reported experiments that let paralyzed people move a robotic arm to touch a loved one or take a drink simply by imagining the motion. Their thoughts activate brain implants that relay electrical signals needed to command movement. The signals are transmitted through a computer to the robotic limb. What’s new is recreating sensation using this brain-controlled technology. After all, proper motion depends on more than muscle movement. Reach for something and that sense of touch helps you naturally grasp with just enough force to hang on while not either dropping something or crushing it. “It’s not only that emotional connection we get,” said Robert Gaunt, a Pittsburgh assistant professor of rehabilitation who led the new study. “People have an incredibly difficult time interacting with objects, picking objects up, manipulating them, doing fairly basic things with the hand if they don’t have a very basic sense of touch.” Step one is placing sensors in prosthetics. The next hurdle is how to allow feedback to and from those sensors. For amputees, some scientists are attempting to wire nerves left in the remaining part of the person’s natural limb directly to the robotic arm. That’s not possible if a spinal cord injury has interrupted the messages that normally flash between the hand and the brain. But previous monkey research had suggested brain implants could bridge that gap. So surgeons at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center implanted electrodes in the part of Copeland’s brain that controls what his hands feel. Electrically stimulating those cells worked even though the car wreck that left Copeland mostly paralyzed happened over a decade ago, Gaunt noted. “This shows you can get natural sensation” through the brain implant, added Pittsburgh neurobiologist Andrew Schwartz. Thursday’s report in Science Translational Medicine details the first six months of experiments after Copeland received the brain implants in March 2015. The ongoing research is becoming more sophisticated, as he picks up objects while the electrodes stimulate different amounts of force, Copeland said in a phone interview. While the work is in just one patient, it’s a step toward creating touch capability, said Richard Andersen, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology whose team also studies mind-controlled prosthetics and is about to begin a similar experiment. “It still needs to be determined if this tactile feedback will improve performance” in using the robotic arm, Andersen cautioned. Copeland doesn’t get to take the robotic arm home but is proud of helping to advance the science. “Technically when it’s over, I will have netted nothing except having done some cool stuff with some cool people,” Copeland said. “It’s cheesy, but Luke Skywalker loses his hand and then basically the next day he’s got a robot one and it’s working fine. We have to get to that point, and to do that, someone has to start it.”
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  7. The Watchotwer Tract Society, commonly referred to as the Jehovah's Witnesses, is asking a San Diego Superior Court judge to return the bond money it posted as a result of an August ruling from a California appellate court which found the $13.5 million dollar sexual assault judgement against the church was too harsh. The church filed the motion to return the bond money on October 7. Jose Lopez, now aged 38, filed his lawsuit in June 2012 alleging that elder church member, Gonzalo Campos, of the Linda Vista Spanish Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses molested him during bible study sessions when he was seven years old. Campos had been accused of molesting young boys before. According to Lopez's complaint, senior church officials were aware of his behavior before the incident with Lopez had occurred. Three years before Campos allegedly assaulted Lopez, a 12-year-old boy who shared a room with Campos accused the then-18-year-old Campos of trying to have sex with him. During the following years, seven other church members lodged similar accusations against Campos, as well as the church for trying to bury the allegations. Now, only two complaints remain; Lopez's case, which will be sent back to the trial court for a new judgement amount, and a lawsuit from former Linda Vista congregation member Osbaldo Padron. Padron sued Campos and the church over similar molestation charges in 2013. In that lawsuit Padron claims that Campos molested him on numerous occasions in 1994 and 1995. In June of this year, superior court judge Richard Strauss, as reported by the Reader, imposed $4000 per-day sanctions on the church for failing to turn over documents to Padron's attorneys during discovery. The church has since filed an appeal over those sanctions. The appellate court has yet to rule on the appeal. In Lopez's case, the church appealed the $13.5 million judgement, as well as additional sanctions against the Jehovah's Witnesses in August of this year. In its appeal the church claimed judge Joan Lewis should have imposed less severe sanctions. The appellate court's August 2016 ruling: "We conclude the court erred in ordering terminating sanctions because there was no evidence that lesser sanctions would have failed to obtain Watchtower's compliance with the document production order and because there were other possible sanctions that could have effectively remedied the discovery violation. On remand, the court has broad discretion to start with a different sanction that does not wholly eliminate Watchtower's right to a trial." According to court documents, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America issued two bonds to the court on behalf of the Jehovah's Witnesses in 2014. One of which totaled $20.2 million while the other was for $56,698. The two sides will be in court on October 20 to discuss the motion.
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    #
  8. 87 and 94! Still going strong. Hackettstown NJ Pic by @kmthoren
  9. A brother made this drawing as a gift to a friend with his service group, preaching at the Port of Long Beach, California, USA.
  10. August 18, 1939 - October 2, 2016 Carol J. Gatrel, age 77, of Janesville, died on Sunday, October 2, 2016, at Mercy Hospital & Trauma Center. She was born in Janesville on August 18, 1939, the daughter of Harlow and Geraldine (Bauer) Paul. She married Wayne Dupree, and later Gary Gatrel on July 3, 1986. Carol was a member of Riverside Jehovah Witness. She is survived by her husband, Gary Gatrel; three daughters: Cindy Buggs of Janesville, Peggy Truesdill of Janesville and Julie Clough of New Brockton, AL; son, Milton Dupree of Janesville; step daughter, Angela Gatrel of Janesville; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; two siblings, James (Margie) Paul and Phyllis Neeson; half-brother, Harlow Paul; and step brothers, Gary Van Tassel and George Little. She was preceded in death by her parents; grandson, Rance Gehri, sister, Susan; and step sister, Gertrude Miller. A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2016, at Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall, Riverview Congregation, 4129 E. Bingham Rd., Janesville. Schneider Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family. For online condolences and registry: www.schneiderfuneraldirectors.com
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  11. A husband and wife and their two young children were found dead in their home in Irmo, South Carolina on Wednesday after what homicide investigators called and apparent murder-suicide. Police believe 28-year-old Kia Miller along with their 3-year-old son Kyler and daughter Syrai, who was barely a year old were executed with shots to the upper body by family patriarch and devout Jehovah's Witnesses Sheddrick Byron Miller before he turned the gun on himself. The hellish scene was uncovered after the man's mother, who had not heard from her son in several days, went to their home in the Riverwalk neighborhood around 10 a.m. to investigate. There she discovered the bodies and called police. A spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff's Department told the Charlotte Observer that the initial investigation points to a domestic disturbance prior to the killings. One woman who knew the family told the Associated Press that there was no indication anything was amiss and expressed shock at the tragedy. Authorities say a handgun, the presumed murder weapon was found in the master bedroom near Shedrick Miller's body. His wife, also in the room. The two children were shot dead in their respective bedrooms. Police are still trying to determine the exact time of the murder. South Carolina's homicide rate of women killed by men is the worst in the country, according to a report by the Violence Policy Center in Washington.
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  12. Highlights •Neurosurgical outcomes in patients who refuse blood products are similar to control patients when blood management protocols are followed •No significant differences in mortality or morbidity were identified •No significant differences in hospital length of stay or readmission rates were identified Abstract Background Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) are a Christian faith with > 1 million members in the United States who do not accept autologous blood transfusions. The optimal management of these patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures is not well defined. Here, we examined the feasibility and safety of JW undergoing neurosurgery in a blood management program. Study Design and Methods Sixty-eight JW patients including 23 males and 45 females (mean age 53 +/- 12 years) who underwent a variety of cranial (n=19) and spinal (n=49) neurosurgical procedures over a 5-year period were identified retrospectively and their hospital charts, anesthetic records and operative reports reviewed. A concurrent cohort of sex - age- and procedure-matched non-JW controls also was identified. Results Among JW patients a cell-saving system was used in 27 cases, with blood re-transfused in 13 cases. Lactated Ringers solution was used extensively intra-operatively; albumin was given to 15 patients. The median decrease in Hgb was 2.1 g/dL. One patient had a postoperative Hgb value < 7 g/dL. One patient returned to the operating room to revise a lumbar pedicle screw, and one patient had postoperative seizures. No cardiopulmonary complications, sepsis, pneumonia, or wound infection were observed. When compared to the matched control group, similar outcome results were observed. Blood loss and operative time also were similar in JW patients and controls. Conclusions Neurosurgical procedures in Jehovah's Witnesses are feasible, safe, and have similar outcomes to patients willing to accept transfusion when managed within a multidisciplinary blood management program.
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    30854-3/abstract
  13. TRACEY BLAIR Legal News Reporter Published: September 20, 2016 A Lorain County trial court erred when it ordered the West Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses to produce certain documents for discovery in a child molestation case. However, the trial court was correct in concluding the majority of documents that were compelled are not protected from disclosure via the clergy-penitent privilege or the First Amendment, according to a recent decision by the 9th District Court of Appeals. Former West Congregation member Elizabeth McFarland sued the Lorain-based church in 2013 for negligence, ratification and fraud by omission/concealment. According to case summary, McFarland was a member of West Congregation from 1997 to 2001, when she was 10 to 14 years old. McFarland’s parents told church elders that Scott Silvasy, a fellow member, had molested their daughter for several years. Silvasy died in 2003. McFarland claimed elders never disciplined him or reported the issue to their superiors, and discouraged her parents from doing so. In her suit, McFarland said church elders were aware Silvasy had previously molested a minor and was a danger to her. She sought compensatory and punitive damages. After discovery began, McFarland served Watchtower – which was responsible for disseminating literature to the Bodies of Elders at each local congregation – to produce certain documents, including: • A 1997 letter from Watchtower asking local elders to report any current or former members in a Society-appointed position with a known history of child molestation. Watchtower argued that Silvasy never served in a “Society-appointed position.” The trial court found McFarland’s request was overbroad, but that any reports that specifically mentioned Silvasy were relevant. • Any documents the West Congregation had relating to Silvasy and herself. The appellants cited clergy-penitent privilege, attorney-client privilege and the First Amendment. • All letters that Watchtower/Christian Congregation sent to the Bodies of Elders between Jan. 1, 1980 and Dec. 31, 2002. The court ordered appellants to produce 10 letters from the Service Department elders to the Bodies of Elders, plus 15 other letters and memos. Church officials filed an appeal over 19 of the documents they were ordered to produce. In a 3-0 opinion written by 9th District Judge Beth Whitmore, the panel found four of the documents were privileged because they were requests for spiritual guidance, so the church need not produce them. “The trial court did not err when it concluded that the remaining fifteen documents at issue here are not protected from disclosure by virtue of either the clergy-penitent privilege or the First Amendment,” Whitmore stated. Appellate judges Jennifer Hensal and Julie Schafer concurred. The case is cited McFarland v. W. Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lorain, Ohio Inc., 2016-Ohio-5462.
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  14. This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed historic legislation Thursday, establishing one of the most ambitious carbon reduction goals in the world. The bill, SB 32, has enormous implications for the state’s economy and for its efforts to combat climate change. It requires that California reduce its carbon pollution to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. “This is big, and I hope it sends a message across the country,” Brown said at the bill-signing in Los Angeles, according to the Sacramento Bee. “The bills today, they really are far reaching, and they keep California on the move to clean up the environment, to encourage vast innovation and to make sure we have the environmental resilience that the Californians really want and expect.” (Brown also signed into law AB 197, a measure that creates additional legislative oversight of the California Air Resources Board, the regulatory agency that had led the efforts to cut emissions.) California has already made progress in cutting its carbon dioxide emissions, following a landmark 2006 law that called for the state to reduce carbon pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. A report from the California Environmental Protection Agency last June showed that the state was on track to meet those goals, and California has one of the lowest carbon dioxide emission rates per capita. SB 32 would require California to reduce its emissions levels even more drastically. It also ensures that the state’s climate change efforts will continue for at least another 10 years. Opponents of the legislation argued that making such significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions would hurt the economy. But supporters counter that that hasn’t been the case: California’s GDP has continued to grow while emissions have decreased, according to data from the California Air Resources Board.* California also didn’t lose manufacturing jobs, as opponents predicted it would, and continued to add jobs, according to the same group. The bill’s goals will not be easy to accomplish, especially since it doesn’t specify what will happen to California’s cap-and-trade program, which sets a price and a limit on carbon emissions. The policy has been billed as a low-cost, revenue-generating way of cutting carbon pollution but has struggled in recent years. Without an effective cap-and-trade system, the state would have to find another way to meet its targets. The challenge facing California is a daunting one; here’s one possible scenario, as laid out by Vox: We’re talking about a world where California gets more than 50 percent of its electricity from renewables in 2030 (up from 25 percent today), where zero-emissions vehicles are 25 percent of the fleet by 2035 (up from about 1 percent today), where high-speed rail is displacing car travel, where biofuels have replaced a significant chunk of diesel in heavy-duty trucks, where pastures are getting converted to forests, where electricity replaces natural gas in heating, and on and on. Possible? Sure. Easy? Hardly. The level of effort is just orders of magnitude different from anything California has done so far. For more on Brown’s efforts to fight climate change, read our feature detailing the history of California’s energy policies.
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    George W Bush is told of the 9/11 attacks during a visit to a school in Florida on the day of the atrocities Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images George W Bush with his aides on the day the attacks took place
  15. Last weekend, Will.i.am's customized and heavily modified Tesla Model S was spotted street-parked in Beverly Hills. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your aesthetic sensibilities) for us, someone captured a walk-around video of the thing. From the detailed video shot in the dark, we can see that the rear doors have been made into rear-hinged suicide doors. However, they still retain the stock handles that extend as the driver gets near.
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  16. Very strange behavior by the attendants and Elders after the Duluth, GA, RC. On the first link the attendants start to exit the arena, then line up and turn their backs on the street preachers. (Around the 6:00 mark). This video shows the attendants and Elders singing over and over, We are Jehovah's Witnesses and clapping hands.

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