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The employees of Kalsee Credit Union broke a Guinness World Record, which resulted in Kalamazoo Public Safety ordering eight new K-9 bulletproof vests.

The Kalamazoo City Commission voted to accept the donation of over $7,000 from Kalsee Credit Union on March 17, according to commissioner Robert Cinabro, allowing Kalamazoo Public Safety to order new bulletproof vests for their K-9s.

“It was unanimous,” Cinabro said. “I’m very pleased.”

The Kalamazoo City Commission normally receives smaller donations, according to Cinabro, and the donation from the Kalsee Credit Union was “quite a bit.”

“Anything to protect our dogs,” Cinabro said.

Kalsee Credit Union, located on 2501 Millcork St. in Kalamazoo, raised the money on Monday, Feb. 17, by breaking a Guinness World Record for most coins tossed in a bucket in one minute.

Kalsee Credit Union’s record of 869 coins shattered the old world record of 289 coins tossed in a bucket three meters away, in under a minute, according to Human Resources Manager Sheldon Faworski.

That same day, Feb. 17, Kalamazoo Public Safety performed a demonstration for Kalsee Credit Union. One officer put on a dog bite suit and had a dog attack him.

Police Chief Jeff Hadley said the demonstration was important because everyone saw the purpose of the donation.

The Kalamazoo Public Safety has nine handlers for nine dogs. Hadley said most handlers end up adopting their dog after it retires.

The bulletproof vests have a cycle of about five years, according to Hadley, and the donation did not cover the whole cost of eight bulletproof vest, but it helped a lot.

“Not only does it help from a financial standpoint, it also gives officers and dogs up to date technology,” Hadley said.

Kalsee Credit Union was able to raise the amount over the span of a few weeks, and practiced to break the world record, Faworski said. During trial days, employees would practice with different coins and experiment with putting sand or water at the bottom of the bucket, according to Faworski.

Most people preferred quarters and nickels, Faworski said.

Looking at different scenarios of tossing coins in buckets helped, Faworski said. They learned the best technique.

Faworski said people brought about $3,000 in coins total on the day and is “ecstatic” they broke a world record.

“I can’t believe to this day that we have a world record,” Marketing Manager Dennis Christensen said.

Christensen said Channel 3 was at the event on Feb. 17 and was attracted to the idea of breaking a world record.

All the money was raised by Kalsee Credit Union employees, Christensen said, and every penny went to the police dogs.

“It was probably the most important thing,” Christensen said, referring to the police dogs. “It was like a moth to a porch light. The media was attracted to the world record. When we explained we were raising it for the K-9s, then that turned into the buzz. They were with us the entire time raising money for this day.”

Everyone enjoyed the dogs and demonstration, Faworski said.

“Everyone loved it,” Faworski said.

“You donate money then you get to see why you donate it,” Hadley said. “Everybody loves dogs.”

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The translucent windowpane oyster offers clues on how to construct lightweight, transparent body armor for troops on the battlefield, say researchers.

New transparent armor to protect U.S. troops on the battlefield could be inspired by the structure of seashells, researchers say.

Scientists would love to develop tough, hard, lightweight materials for applications such as body armor. Increasingly, researchers seek to create materials that mimic structures found in nature, a strategy known as biomimetics.

“We have long studied natural exoskeletons as inspiration for the development of advanced engineered protective systems,” said study author Christine Ortiz, a materials scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To develop the novel armor, Ortiz and her colleague Ling Li investigated the windowpane oyster, Placuna placenta. They were especially interested in this mollusk, because it has a shell that permits 80 percent of visible light to shine through it. The shell sometimes finds use in windowpanes in place of glass in the Philippines, India and other Asian countries.

“About five years ago we started searching for natural armor systems, which were also optically clear,” Ortiz said. Transparent armor could serve in “soldier eye or face protection, windows and windshields, blast shields and combat vehicles,” she said.

This seashell is made nearly entirely of calcite, the main component of relatively fragile rocks such as limestone and chalk. However, the scientists discovered this seashell could dissipate energy from penetrations about 10 times better than ordinary calcite.

Scientists have examined mollusk and other shells for tips on how to create armor, but “this is the first thorough study of a natural armor that resists mechanical penetration but is also optically clear,” Ortiz told Live Science. “We wanted to find out how the material resists penetration but also preserves this unique optical property.”

To find out how this seashell could do so much better than regular calcite, the researchers examined its structure on the scale of nanometers, or billionths of a meter. The seashell is made of layers of long diamond-shaped crystals of calcite joined together by organic material.

When the seashell was subjected to microscopic denting from a diamond-tipped probe, the scientists found the shell deformed via “twinning” — crystals of calcite that were mirror images of each other formed around the penetration zone. Such twinning helped dissipate energy and localize damage, by deflecting cracks from spreading farther, for instance.

Ultimately, twinning, along with the shell’s nano-level structure, confined damage to a small volume and preserved the mechanical integrity of the rest of the structure. Armors based on this strategy of twinning and of nano-level structure could survive multiple hits, researchers said.

“The findings in this work may provide design principles for synthetic engineering of lightweight structural materials with efficient energy dissipation,” Ortiz said. “We are continuing to study other armored species that exhibit semitransparent properties and intend to create a library of biological design principles.”

Li and Ortiz detailed their findings online yesterday (March 30) in the journal Nature Materials.

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City police officers received some new protective gear Monday with the arrival of new body armor to replace their old vests.

Police Chief J.T. Panezott thanked the city administration, Mayor John Berlin, city Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst and city council members for ensuring the department had the funding in this year’s budget to make the purchase.

The department was able to purchase 20 bullet-proof vests at a cost of $850 each. Panezott said he still plans on trying to apply for a grant to reimburse the city for the cost, saying he felt the need to get the new vests as soon as possible and didn’t want to wait for the grant.

He recently learned that the city has been awarded a $6,000 grant from the State of Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services to purchase two laptop computers to mount inside two of the cruisers. The grant does not cover the cost of software, but Panezott said he doesn’t know how much that will cost at this point.

The city had applied for $20,000 in hopes of being able to equip all the cruisers with computers, but the amount awarded was $6,000, enough to cover the computers for two vehicles for now.

With a computer in the car, Panezott said officers will have access to information quicker and be able to know more when they pull a vehicle over before they even have contact with the person inside. They’ll have access to any outstanding warrants, photographs of the person from their license and whether the person has a conceal carry permit.

If the car is stolen or the person registered is wanted for murder, the officer will know before getting out of the cruiser and have more information on how to proceed. According to Panezott, having that information quicker can be a lifesaver.

He said they’ll also be able to spend more time in the field, cutting down the time they spend at the police station, because they’ll be able to do reports in their cruisers.

The department also recently installed mounts in the cruisers for rifles, which the officers didn’t have before. The department has seven marked units, all with rifles now.

The life of a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy is saved by his bulletproof vest, but not in the way most people might think. It happened as the officer was answering to an emergency call.

Ronald Lalumandier, 29, has only been with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department a short while. “He told me the first thing he thought was, ‘I’m going to die,’” said Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton.

The deputy sheriff was on an emergency run, speeding to a brawl involving five or six people early Monday evening when his patrol car left Evergreen Road just outside the Frankfort city limits.

“Coming around the curve, his back end broke loose and wound up going through the fence,”

said Melton.

Black ice may be to blame. The vehicle smashed through a wooden plank fence with one of the planks flying through the front windshield. The officer was wearing his bulletproof vest, which was loaded with extra trauma plates. Melton credits the vest with saving his the deputy’s life.”

(The plank) him straight in the chest where the trauma plate is, bounced off took the headrest off and knocked the cage into the back seat of that car, which is a lot of force,” said Melton. A couple of inches over, the plank would have likely hit the deputy in the neck or head.

Melton said he bought vests for all his officers, but never expected one would prevent serious injury or save a life like this.”He was extremely fortunate. God was actually with him that night, and thank God he’s OK,” said Melton. The deputy sheriff is sore, but already back on the job.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most law enforcement officers injured or killed on the job are hurt or killed in traffic-related incidents.

Understanding The New NIJ Standards

Should you throw your body armor in the trash or thank the guy in the department who selected it? Chances are, neither action is appropriate, though a few department decision-makers may deserve to be given a serious dose of whoop-ass. As a technology buff, I often write about computers, cameras and the like. When I was asked to research and write this article, it threw mea curve. My editor reassured me body armor involves more technology than anything else a cop uses. I’ve learned that is the understatement of the decade —somuch for my “computer-only” stance.

Rarely has so much information been put forward by so many, resulting in total confusion of the masses. Geek-speak, techno-jargon, turf-wars, slick-tongued sales people and a myriad of others have all peed in the soup, making the result mostly useless. Howdid you, the user/wearer of body armor end up with the particular vest you were issued? Did the vest-fairy visit you? Did you just hut-hut right down to Supply and pick up your required gear without a care or thought about it? Probably.

Some Basics
The reality is most cops are wearing a vest selected by someone in their own agency who probably didn’t have a clue about the nuances of vest design or standards and was trying to work within a very limited budget. That’s not to say inexpensive vests are crap, in fact a cheaper vest may be better than a zoot-deluxe expensive one. It’s just a matter of fact. Sorry. Remember, it’s only your life you’re entrusting to the administration to make the best and safest choice for body armor. “Exactly what do you have?” is a legitimate question and one you should be able to answer. Every vest has a label on the inside and it must show two pieces of data; the threat level and expiration date. The expiration date is nothing more than the manufacturer’s warranty and is typically about five years. Don’t interpret this to mean you should toss yours simply because it’s out of warranty, and it doesn’t mean it’ll no longer be able to stop a feather — should someone shoot you with one. Wearing a vest, even one beyond the expiration date, is better than not wearing one at all.

Body armor deteriorates over time. How quickly it deteriorates and to what degree depends on how often it’s worn, the conditions (such as extreme heat andperspiration) under which it’s worn, and how the owner cares for the vest. Read more.

Dupont Plant

DOVER, Del. (AP) — DuPont Co. said Tuesday that strong seed and insecticide sales, lower taxes and cost controls helped double its fourth-quarter net income, and the chemicals giant announced plans to buy back $5 billion of its shares to boost shareholder returns.

DuPont’s adjusted earnings beat Wall Street expectations, though revenue fell short. Its shares slipped 1 percent to close at $59.57 as the broader markets ticked up slightly. The stock is still up 24 percent in the past 12 months.

DuPont’s agriculture business usually posts a fourth-quarter seasonal loss, but this time benefited from earlier than expected seed sales in Brazil and North America and strong demand for insecticides in Latin America. Profit in the company’s electronics segment jumped on stronger demand for Solamet paste and Tedlar films in photovoltaics used for solar electricity, executives said on a conference call with analysts Monday.

DuPont also pointed to better profitability in its safety and protection business driven by more demand for Kevlar fiber used in body armor and fire-resistant Nomex material. And higher pricing and stronger demand for nutritional items such as probiotics boosted earnings in that division.

Lower prices for titanium dioxide (used for white pigments in paint and cosmetics) and refrigerants, as well as higher raw material costs, weighed on profits in the performance chemicals business. DuPont is in the process of spinning off that segment, which generates significant cash but is subject to highly volatile markets.

DuPont earned $185 million, or 20 cents per share, double the $92 million, or 9 cents per share, that it reported for the final months of 2012.

Its adjusted earnings per share of 59 cents beat the 55-cent estimate of Wall Street analysts surveyed by FactSet. That excludes a pretax $197 million charge to settle claims related to its discontinued Imprelis weedkiller, bringing total Imprelis-related charges to about $1.2 billion, and a pretax $129 million charge for severance and other items.

Sales rose 6 percent to $7.75 billion from $7.33 billion last year, slightly below the $7.8 billion analysts expected. Volumes rose in all regions, including double-digit gains in Asia and Latin American markets. That offset lower local selling prices and foreign exchange fluctuations.

For the full year, DuPont earned $4.8 billion, or $5.19 per share, on sales of about $35.7 billion, compared with 2012 net income of about $2.8 billion, or $2.91 per share, on sales of about $34.8 billion.

Looking ahead, the Wilmington, Del.-based company forecast full-year 2014 operating earnings of $4.20 to $4.45 per share. Analysts expect $4.33 per share.

The $5 billion share repurchase program replaces an existing program. DuPont expects to repurchase $2 billion of the shares this year.