11th Hour IC News July 31st, 2007

(News graphic & background designed by Nysie)







Hip Hop Theater Festival

A week of free performances by new and established local, regional and national hip hop artists. No, it isn't just your imagination . . . you are hearing poetry everywhere you turn. All across the country youth are slamming for a chance to bust at Brave New Voices, the International Youth Poetry Festival, this July in Washington, DC. DC Writer's Corps are rocking the mic in Washington DC. July 9-14.


Many paths lead to one destination
Guided by the Lord, the Rev. Deloris Borum will soon open a shelter for women and children.

Life throws twists, turns and cliffhangers at many people, but the Rev. Deloris L. Borum of Faith for the Living Ministries in York County, sees the rough spots as a chance to prove her faith. "Life has been quite a trek," she said.
Thus far, all paths in the minister's life have led her to the building of a church on Goodwin Neck Road in 1990 and now to the imminent groundbreaking for Natasha House, a shelter for homeless women and children. Her road to the ministry began about 43 years ago when the birth of her first child sent her into post-partum depression. "I was in a suicidal state, and I prayed for help," she said.
One night, Borum dreamed she was back home in Mathews County and saw a long-haired man nearby whom she believed to be Jesus. Her sister attempted to lead her to him, but Borum felt unprepared for the meeting in the dream. "When I woke up, I gave myself back to the Lord," she said. "Things began to change for me then."
Borum knew there was a plan for her then, so she set her sights on going back to school. Ten years later in 1973, when she was finally in her last year in the Christopher Newport Elementary Education program, challenges came again - this time in the form of a severely broken toe. "I was in so much pain, and the doctor said there really wasn't much they could do," she said. "The swelling went from my foot all the way up to my knee."
That night, she remembers crying because missing class would have pushed her graduation back even further. Again she prayed for help and was able to drift off to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, Borum felt herself jerked awake and a strange, cold sensation on her knee. She felt herself pulled from the bed.
"The bandages fell from my foot, the swelling disappeared, and I was soon leaping around the bed," she said. "It was then that I heard the Lord say, 'This happened so I could do my work; go and preach my Gospel.'"
That night, Borum and her husband went to her mother's house in Mathews to share what had just happened. "I gave testimony to my mother, and I preached my first sermon right in her living room," Borum said.
Borum began preaching at local churches while she finished school. "I had a very busy schedule," she said. After she graduated in 1975, she began her 18-year teaching career. During the late 1970s, her life seemed near-perfect.
"I had achieved the American dream: I had a great husband, two nice children, the white picket fence - everything you could ask for," she said. "I also had worked to build a good reputation in the community; I felt it was important for teachers and preachers especially to have that reputation."
But when her daughter, a senior in high school, became pregnant, the family hit one of those rough spots. "Here I was, a preacher and a teacher with a pregnant teenager - I was so embarrassed," Borum said. The girl kept the baby and named her Natasha. Unfortunately, my daughter began to stray, and I didn't feel she was doing right by the baby," said Borum. "I took care of her, and I prayed that the Lord would give me the grace to raise her."
During that time, Borum had another vision. "The Lord said, 'I want your property - build a home for single women and children,' " said Borum. "He said, 'You have nurtured your child and grandchild, and I see your heart - I want you to do this.' "
Her assignment seemed far-fetched, and she and her husband, George, decided to wait until the time was right financially to build the shelter. The couple had already begun working on the Faith for Living Ministries Church; in 1984, they began holding services in their living room. "It took us six years to save the money to buy the land and build the structure," Borum said. Soon after they completed the church in 1990, George Borum died. Struggling with the loss, Deloris put the shelter on hold.
Ten years later, Borum again had a vision. The instructions to build a shelter were restated. "Right away, I called Social Services and Family Focus to find out if there truly was a need for such a shelter; both admitted there was," she said. "The representative from Family Focus suggested I find a grant writer." She still had no idea where to put the building.
Suddenly, she remembered the earlier dream, and she had an idea. "We had 3.3 acres next to our church that we had planned to use to expand our sanctuary," Borum said. "I asked the board to use that land for the shelter instead, and everyone agreed."
She and the other church leaders were excited about the plan, but they all knew that the shelter had to have a name. After a great deal of pondering, Borum suggested "Natasha House." "I chose the name after the granddaughter the Lord gave me the grace to raise," said Borum. "The Lord gave Barbara Jackson, one of my assistant pastors, an acronym for Natasha: 'New Alternatives To A Secure Home Atmosphere.'"
Borum enlisted the help of York County officials, who supported her idea and changed some text in the county codes to accommodate the future shelter. "The Lord then led me to the Honorable Shirley Cooper," she said. With Cooper's help, the shelter fund has received several donations, including $50,000 from the York County Volunteer Association and $500 from the York Lion's Club.
"We are well on our way - everyone who hears about what we are doing expresses a great need," said Borum. "I've already received between 10-15 calls asking when the shelter will be ready."
Statistics show that the number of homeless families in the area has increased by 100 per year since 2000. Once the structure is complete, Natasha House will provide homeless women and children with a residence, case management, financial and educational counseling, and a rental allowance program. Borum expects to break ground in late summer or early fall. "Our first major fundraiser will occur on Sept. 23 at Point Plaza in Newport News," she said. "There will be a $100 dollar per plate dinner, a silent auction, and JoAnne Davis will speak."
The community's outpouring of support for Natasha House has touched Borum deeply. "There are awesome caring people in York County - they have been so supportive," she said. "Hats off to them; it's a wonderful blessing to my soul to see such caring." "

Copyright (c) Daily Press








SOUTHWEST -- Federal Marshal Ethan Redfeather reported that a gentleman claiming to be new to the area, Michael Durst, formerly of Cincinnati, Ohio, was seen in local occult stores allegedly doing research on Little Death.

Durst, who was later discovered to be a new Paramedic employee of LifeStar EMT Response, was asking a lot of pointed questions of patrons of the store, about the deadly designer drug, which Marshal Redfeather felt was suspicious behavior. Durst expressed to the Marshal that he didn't exactly "play by the rules" and was interested in cracking the case himself. He claimed to have read stories about the drug in archived newspapers and online, and was interested in the story. One of the patrons asked Durst, what if he did solve the mystery of the glyphs on the pills, would he tell the police? Allegedly he replied, "I'm not sure, probably, unless I had a reason not to." He followed with an offhand comment about "dirty cops," and expressed interest in forming his own sting operation (which would be illegal) in which he posed as a drug user and attempted to buy some of the drug. 

Durst further explained his fascination was due in small part to a near-death experience back in Ohio. A background check revealed that he was shot and seriously wounded at a crime scene by a delusional vagrant, and the District Attorney had charged him with negligence in securing the scene.

Durst left his contact information with Marshal Redfeather. He is not being charged with a crime, but a report was filed on his behavior. No known  connections have been established between Durst, Stuart Dixon, or Hank  Bukalski. A week after the incident, Durst abruptly left town, ostensibly to return to Ohio. He is wanted for further questioning in this case.
















Mutant Mice Carry Diseases to Help Humans
Bred by the Millions, Exotic Bio-Engineered Mice Created to Carry Diseases to Benefit Humankind

By PAUL ELIAS, The Associated Press
They're being bred now by the millions, the mutants, created to carry the ghastliest of diseases for the benefit of the human race. Since researchers published the mouse's entire genetic makeup in map form three years ago, increasingly exotic rodents are being created with relative ease.
There's the Schwarzenegger mouse injected with muscle-building genes. The marathon mouse, which never seems to tire. Researchers recently engineered some mice to be extremely addicted to nicotine, and others to be immune to scrapie, a close cousin to the brain-wasting mad cow disease. And scientists are in hot pursuit of a Methuselah mouse, able to cheat death long after its natural brethren meet their maker.
Millions of these and other mutant mice are routinely created now, by injecting disease-causing genes or "knocking out" genes in mouse embryos. Their decreasing cost and increasing availability is helping researchers in pursuit of all manner of disease cures.
Top researchers in the Parkinson's disease field, for example, were more excited by the dopamine-free "knock-out" mouse that Duke University researchers invented than the actual study they unveiled this week, which suggests that the club drug Ecstasy reversed Parkinson's-like effects in these particular bio-engineered mice.
Researchers first genetically engineered a mouse in 1980. But until recently, such creations were mostly scientific novelties.
That changed drastically after President Clinton announced the mapping of the human genome in 2000. That's because mice and men are nearly genetically identical, each possessing just a few hundred different genes out of a possible 25,000 or so. Cancer in mice is a lot like human cancer, for instance. Mice have become powerful, living research tools.
The number of mutant research mice has grown so dramatically in recent years that companies are now profiting by housing and breeding scientists' creations. "Space is precious," said Terrence Fisher of Charles River Laboratories in Wilmington, Mass., the nation's largest mutant mouse house. The publicly traded company breeds and cares for scientists' creations and markets their inventions to other researchers, shipping an estimated 7 million mice worldwide annually. "The novelty of being simply able to do this has worn off and clearly these mice are tools that are accelerating research," Fisher said.
The repository with the country's widest selection of mutant mice is the nonprofit Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, where most researchers who genetically engineer mice with government money are required to send some of their mice.
The lab boasts a collection of nearly 3,000 different mutant mice types and shipped 2 million animals to U.S. researchers last year. The mice are in such great demand that Jackson opened another breeding facility in West Sacramento, Calif. four years ago. "We have always been the mouse place," said Jackson spokeswoman Joyce Peterson.
The lab charges researchers $11 for mice that are particularly useful in diabetes work and as much as $200 each for so-called nude mice, which lack immune systems. These mice think "boy in the bubble" are bred and kept in sterile rooms, high-technology cages and their human handlers are required to shower each time they enter and leave. The Jackson Laboratory's main focus is cancer research, but the mice business accounts for $60 million annually, Peterson says.
Many animal rights groups oppose all animal experimentation as cruel, but lab scientists who work with bio-engineered mice are quick to point out that the Food and Drug Administration requires that all drugs be tested on animals before people. Peterson said the Jackson lab, in operation since 1929, follows federal guidelines on animal treatment and has never been targeted by anti-experimentation militants.
Nearly all the genetically engineered mice in circulation today have but one gene added, subtracted or altered. The problem with that model is that many diseases such as diabetes and cancer are caused by multiple gene malfunctions.
"Eventually, that's where engineered mice are going," said Mendell Rimer, a University of Texas neuroscientist who tends to about 500 mice in his Austin lab. "That's a more realistic disease model." Rimer said such multiple gene engineering is occurring in tiny worms, and it's only a matter of time before researchers report similar success in mice.
Rimer's genetically engineered mice are among the most advanced, and offer a glimpse of the breakthroughs to come. He spent 2 1/2 half years engineering mice with muscles that lose connection to their nerve cells. He's done this by splicing into mice a cancer gene which creates a protein that "disassembles" the connections. But he's also taken his work one step further than the usual cut-and-paste work.
Rimer is able to turn on the mutant gene by feeding the genetically engineered mouse an antibiotic. He can turn it off by stopping the antibiotic treatment. This way, he can observe the progression and regression of the mutation he made, giving him unparalleled insight into how nerves communicate with the muscle. "We can control the timing of the defect that we induce in these mice," Rimer said. "This type of complexity is where genetic engineering is heading."







'Super floods' raised as nuke dump hazard

By Anna Salleh for ABC Science Online
AUSTRALIA -- Rare 'super floods' may cause rivers to change course, scientists say, compromising a site the Australian Government has shortlisted for a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory.
Hydrogeologist Peter Jolly of the Territory's Environment Department, who previously raised concerns about the suitability of the proposed dump site at Fishers Ridge, has now also cast doubt on the Harts Range site, 100 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs.
Mr. Jolly says the Harts Range site is on a flood plain between two active river channels that come off the ranges. He says evidence shows that over hundreds or thousands of years massive flooding has been responsible for "catastrophic changes" in the course of rivers in central Australia. "A river goes in one spot at the moment but a 'mega flood' can lead to it changing its course completely," Mr. Jolly said.
He says such issues are important to consider given the long-term nature of a nuclear dump. "The river channels may migrate across the [dump] site, so if you're looking at a containment time of 500 years or a couple of hundred years, the site may end up in the river channel at some stage," he said.
Mr. Jolly says recent studies of water bores drilled near the two sites show there is an aquifer in river sediments of sand and gravel beneath the Harts Range site. "That would tend to suggest that anything that would leak would leak pretty quickly into the sand and gravel and into the groundwater," he said.
He says the other site at Mount Everard, 27 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, has more suitable water flow and river erosion of the landscape for a dump. That site has brackish saline water beneath it, as well as 50 to 90 metres of clay, then granite. Mr. Jolly says it has no river sediments. "That would suggest that it would contain any spill," he said. "From a hydrogeological and a geomorphologic point of view it's probably the better site."
The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), whose preliminary assessment led to shortlisting the sites, has defended its proposals. It says the hydrogeology and geomorphology of the sites will be examined during site investigation studies.










Entertainment and Gossip

From regular columnist

Kitty Whittier 





All hail to the red, white and blue... Join me, friends, in celebrating Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of the Press, by sharing shocking dish on our favorite local luminaries!

Thankfully Loki is back from his West End Tour and keeping us busy guessing his intentions. He leads this month with a conservative salvo, trotting out the respectable Ms. Duckworth of the Word. Just friends, still? Mmm Hm.

The next week, an interesting mix-up of our favorite suspects goes down in Irish themed watering hole Hell or Connaught (we don't understand the name either). Loki, his on again off again blonde friend (sources say she has connections to the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland), our own Monica Garrett (really, my dear, must you appear in both columns so much?) and wayward Great White North visitor Steven MacDonald, were all seen gathered in the pub chatting it up over drinks. Nothing too scandalous, but just a fascinating remix of cast. Noted as absent - the blonde's bookworm beau, Felicity, Monica's yet unnamed trenchcoat mafia escort, Loki's Persian Princess, and La Nouveau. Then again this wasn't Dark Asgard, and heaven only knows what they could have been over there doing, while all this was going on...

Until next time!





Monica Garrett

Dear Monica:

About 10 years ago, my wife had an affair. I suspected it but could not prove it. Recently, something happened that confirmed my suspicions.
Now I am in a quandary as to what to do. I want to forget the entire affair.
I have no intention of leaving my wife or changing my feelings for her.
Things have been great for the past 10 years, and I believe that she regrets the affair.
I have three questions:
1. Should I confront her about this and probably cause more friction?
2. Should I just forget it?
3. What can I do to get this out of my mind?

Worried in Va.

Dear Worried:

If I told you to forget all about this, would you be able to?
I didn't think so.
People disagree about whether full disclosure is the answer in every situation of infidelity, but it is definitely the answer here. You need to talk to your wife about this because for your intimate relationship to continue and grow, you two need to get out your broom and dustpan and clean away the cobwebs lurking in the dusty corners of your marriage.
As things stand, you and your wife are keeping a deep secret. (Ironically, you're both keeping the same secret.)
This is best handled with the mentoring and support of a marriage counselor. These difficult conversations are easier when they are guided by someone who is neutral, understanding and who knows how to ask the right questions and frame the answers in a thoughtful way.
You should ask every question that you need to ask, and your wife should answer you completely and honestly. Then you can commence the process of forgetting.