deafweekly

 

May 4, 2005
Vol. 1 No. 29

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday morning and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. For information, contact mail@deafweekly.com.

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The contents of Deafweekly are Copyright 2005. Any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited. Readership: approximately 4,000 including subscribers and website readers.

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NATIONAL
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DEAF MAN ARRESTED IN SHOOTING DEATHS OF SISTER, BROTHER-IN-LAW

Thomas Simich Jr., 46, was arrested Monday outside the Freedom, Pa. home where he allegedly shot to death his sister and her husband after an argument about selling the house that had been in the family for over 50 years. The shooting victims were both deaf, as is the suspect and his parents, Thomas Simich Sr., 80, and Dorothy "Dot" Simich, 83, who escaped and went next door for assistance. Paramedics found Steven Bergman, 46, dead with a shotgun wound to the chest, and Marilyn Bergman, 43, still alive with a shotgun wound to the back. She was rushed to the hospital, where she died shortly afterward. The Bergmans had been visiting from Palm Bay, Fla. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, police had difficulty conveying the news to the couple's four children, ages 14, 16, 18 and 23, because none can hear or speak. A cousin, Richard Hudock, 38, told the Tribune-Review that Tom Simich was like a brother to him. "But he had a history of mental illness and some problems with drug abuse," he said.

MASSACHUSETTS MAN HELD FOR STABBING ESTRANGED GIRLFRIEND

Jonathan Williams, 34, was in police custody after allegedly stabbing his estranged girlfriend multiple times at her home in Westfield, Mass. According to The Republican, the stabbing was reported 10:37 a.m. Saturday when a neighbor noticed Sarah Dexheimer, 25, outside her home, covered in blood and screaming for help. Williams fled the scene in his car, but a neighbor took chase and called police on a cell phone with the suspect's license plate number and location. He was arrested shortly afterward. An arraignment for Williams, who is hearing impaired, was postponed Monday when a sign-language interpreter could not be obtained. Dexheimer was reported in "very serious" condition at a Springfield hospital Monday morning. She and Williams have an 8-month-old child who was home at the time of the incident and not injured. "I am not even sure if the child was in harm's way," said a police spokesman.

OHLONE COLLEGE SUSPENDS PROFESSOR AFTER STUDENTS COMPLAIN

Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif. has placed Brian Malzkuhn, a professor in the Deaf Studies program, on administrative leave with pay, KGO-TV in San Francisco reported Thursday, after students complained he tried to get them involved in a scam. Apparently no one took the bait, but it's the same scam Malzkuhn allegedly used earlier on a deaf San Jose couple, Bill and Marie Ramos. They say Malzkuhn promised to share $68 million from the fortune of a dead Nigerian dictator, and the couple took a mortgage on their home of 35 years and gave Malzkuhn more than a million dollars. They've been forced to sell the home and were due to move out this past weekend. KGO-TV's investigative I-Team found people across the country who have lost thousands of dollars in scams promoted by Malzkuhn. If you have any experience with Brian Malzkuhn you'd like to share, call the I-Team at 1-888-404-8326.

NEW MEXICO WOMAN FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST ATTORNEY

The National Association of the Deaf reported last week that it is representing Carolyn Tanaka in a disability discrimination complaint against New Mexico attorney Joseph David Camacho. According to the complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Justice, Camacho refused to provide Tanaka with a sign-language interpreter and suggested the deaf woman's 9-year-old son could serve as interpreter. Ironically, Tanaka retained the attorney to represent her in a complaint against the University of New Mexico Hospital, alleging that the hospital failed to provide her with qualified interpreter services as required under the ADA. Said Kelby Brick, NAD's director of law and advocacy: "It is unbelievable that an attorney suing a hospital for failing to provide sign language interpreter services refuses to provide the same services to his own client."

PRESCRIPTION FRAUD SUSPECT ENTERS PLEA OF NOT GUILTY

Robert (Bobby) Berry appeared in a Butte County, Calif. courtroom last Tuesday, where he entered a plea of not guilty to 15 felony counts of obtaining controlled substance by fraud. Berry, who is deaf, was represented by a court-appointed attorney and had the assistance of an ASL interpreter. Berry's attorney asked the court for a "speedy trial," meaning that the defendant has the right to a trial within 60 days. The judge set the jury trial date for June 22, and Berry remains in prison with bail set at $500,000. He may be extradited to New York to face charges that include stealing money from several deaf people, but not until the current matter in California is resolved. Kevin Maloney, Deputy District Attorney in Butte County, wants to hear from other deaf people who have had bad expreriences with Berry. Contact him at kmaloney@buttecounty.net. Berry was also indicted last week by a grand jury in Framingham, Mass., for raping a now-13-year-old girl over a two-year period beginning in 1997 when she was 6. Framingham police said the girl, the daughter of a pair of Berry's friends, did not report the incidents until recently.

COALITION DROPS REQUEST TO INTERVENE IN MOVIE CAPTIONING LAWSUIT

The Coalition for Movie Captioning has dropped its request to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the New Jersey Attorney General against Regal Cinemas . The coalition had filed its request in February so that it could share its expertise on movie captioning issues and represent its member organizations, said a news release from the National Association of the Deaf. The decision to withdraw the request was made after Regal Cinemas announced in March that it would install open-captioned DTS Cinema Subtitling Systems (DTS-CSS) in 11 of its 13 theaters in New Jersey and show captioned movies during prime time. The coalition said it supports all forms of captioning and noted that New Jersey citizens now have three types of movie captioning to choose from -- DTS-CSS, Rear Window Captioning, and InSight Cinema's open-captioned films.

U.S. AGENCY FOR DISABLED BEING GUTTED, FORMER COMMISSIONER SAYS

Joanne Wilson resigned as commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration to protest the Bush Administration's attempt to gut the agency, she said in Sunday's Washington Post. Wilson, who was one of the government's highest-ranking disabled officials before leaving her job March 1, said, "Programs for people with disabilities are being dismantled, and nobody is crying out and saying, 'Look what's happening.' " Wilson said the Department of Education, which oversees the RSA, is reducing staffing by half, downgrading the authority of its commissioner and pushing to combine RSA programs with job placement programs for the able-bodied -- resulting in less money and fewer services for the disabled.

MARYLAND SCHOOL TAKES TOP SPOT IN NATIONAL ACADEMIC BOWL

The Maryland School for the Deaf is the 2005 champion of the ninth annual National Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students. MSD won 66-49 in the championship match against Roosevelt High School of Seattle in the two-day event, held last week at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. In the third-place match, Mountain Lakes (N.J.) High School bested John Hersey (Ill.) High School, 51-44. The Sportsmanship Award went to the Alabama School for the Deaf, and Tyler DeShaw of Roosevelt High School was named the tournament's outstanding player. The National Academic Bowl, organized in 1997, is sponsored by Gallaudet with support from J.W.Marriott, Sorenson VRS and Verizon.

WAVE OF PUBLICITY ADDS TO RESERVATION LIST FOR LAURENT, S.D.

More than 100 families have reserved space in Laurent, S.D. after a worldwide wave of publicity in March. According to Marvin Miller, co-organizer of the proposed town for sign language users, 108 reservations forms have arrived representing 166 adults and 109 children. "We are pleased and excited to have new future neighbors!" he said in a recent newsletter. The publicity wave began when the Minneapolis Star ran a story March 14 on a weeklong meeting to design the town. The New York Times sent a reporter out for an interview, and her story was picked up by about 170 newspapers worldwide. In addition, a People magazine reporter visited for three days, with her story was set for the May 2 issue. "We were bombarded with media requests!" Miller said, and the inquiries have kept his five-member staff busy in the office they recently opened in Salem. The Laurent Company's website contains drawings of the town plans and pictures from the weeklong charrette, as well as a proposed construction schedule. Check it out at www.LaurentSD.com.

DEAFNATION ATTRACTS AUDIENCE OF 3,400 FOR ATLANTA SHOW

About 400 people were lined up outside the DeafNation Expo held April 23 in Atlanta a half hour before the trade show was set to open. "When we saw how many people were outside lined up, we knew immediately that we were about to get a wonderful dose of southern hospitality," said Joel Barish, DeafNation CEO. Final attendance topped 3,400, reported a DeafNation news release. "I was thrilled by the large number of attendees," said Martha Timms, moderator of E-peachy, an online forum for Georgians. Attendees came from as far away as New York and Michigan. Twelve cities are on the DeafNation schedule this year, and admission is free. You can view the schedule and register at www.deafnation.com.


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INTERNATIONAL
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UKRAINE INTERPRETER RECEIVES AWARD FOR COURAGE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

The sign language interpreter for Ukraine's state-run television who defied the government by signing her own statements during last year's tense presidential election has received an award for her courage. Natalia Dmytruk and three other Ukrainian women received the Fern Holland Award April 26 at the Vital Voices Global Partnership's fifth annual ceremony in Washington, D.C. The awards honor women worldwide who have made a difference. Dmytruk "staged a silent but bold protest," said the Washington Post, when she informed deaf Ukrainians that official results of the Nov. 21 runoff election were fraudulant. Melanne Verveer, chair of the Vital Voices board, said Dmytruk's "courageous actions sparked the public outreach and ultimately new and fair elections on Dec. 26, 2004."

12 DEAF SCHOOLS IN GHANA TAKE PART IN 5-DAY SPORTS FESTIVAL

Wa School for the Deaf beat the Adjei Kojo School 3-2 last Tuesday as the National Sports Festival for Special Schools (Hearing Impaired) kicked off in Wa, Ghana. Twelve schools for the deaf took part in the five-day event that involves athletics, soccer and volleyball, reported The Ghana. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, had a speech read for him that sought to inspire the physically challenged to reach for their full potential in life. He said that everyone has a shortcoming but they can be overcome with perseverance and commitment. He added, "For every dark cloud, there is a silver lining."

STUDY TO DETERMINE HOW TO IMPROVE TV FOR YOUNG DEAF VIEWERS

The National Deaf Children's Society in London is teaming up with BBC Broadcast to determine how closed captions and sign language on children's television programs can be improved. The project comes in the wake of the 2004 Ofcom Code on Television Access Services, which requires more broadcasters to provide an increased number of programs accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing people. According to Regional Film & Video, the NDCS will use its expertise to conduct a survey and set up focus groups, while BBC Broadcast will analyze the results and determine how access can be improved. "This study is a welcome initiative," said Susan Daniels, chief executive of the NDCS. "We hope it will enable us to better understand the needs of deaf children and encourage broadcasters to make any improvements needed."

U.K. COMPANY DEVELOPS NEW SMOKE ALARM FOR THE DEAF

MJR Controls of Grangetown in the U.K. has teamed up with the Royal National Institution for the Deaf on a new smoke alarm for deaf people. The smoke alarm has a flashing strobe light and a vibrating pad, which is placed under the mattress to shake a person awake in the event of a fire. The device is electrically powered and has a 100-hour battery backup, reported the Evening Gazette of Middlesbrough. Said Neil Thomas, the RNID's head of product development: "This is very much a first for a disability product."

CREATIVE FUNDRAISING POPS UP IN CANADA, AUSTRALIA

The Canadian Hearing Society's branch in Thunder Bay plans to plug up the ears of five prominent citizens tomorrow to mark Hearing Awareness Month. According to the Chronicle-Journal, it's a pledge-based fundraiser designed to call attention to hearing loss. A local audiologist will use ear mold impression material to "deafen" the subjects, who will then be asked to perform common tasks at stores that are sponsoring the event. Meanwhile, in Australia, the Shepherd Centre hopes to raise funds for deaf and hard-of-hearing children by sponsoring Loud Shirt Day. Organizers say it's a day when you can wear "that amazing ugly shirt you have at the back of your closet" and help deaf children "learn to speak and hear the crazy noise that you will be making on Loud Shirt Day."


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LIFE & LEISURE
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NTID STUDENT IN PEOPLE MAGAZINE'S '50 MOST BEAUTIFUL' ISSUE

A student at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf is featured in People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful" issue. Tony Madalena, 21, can be found as one of 10 "Beauties on your Block" in the May 9 issue, currently on sale. His sister, Carrie, 26, of Florida, entered him in the magazine's call for the most beautiful person inside and out. "He's somebody you can always turn to," his mother, Karen Madalena, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "He's a good-natured kid and he will always be there for you." Madalena, of Mendon, N.Y., graduated from the Rochester School for the Deaf in 2002 and plans to study mechanical engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

LIBRARY IN SACRAMENTO UNVEILS ASL VIDEO COLLECTION

The California State University at Sacramento unveiled its new collection of American Sign Language videos Saturday during World Language Day. The collection contains 315 videos, including 200 children's literature videos. Other videos discuss such topics as signing with your baby and working with a real estate agent. Members of the public can view the videos in individual booths, group viewing rooms and video conference rooms. The children's videos were obtained through the State Department of Education, and the others came from ASL Video Access, a non-profit organization that places ASL video collections in libraries around the country.

MICHIGAN DEAF SCHOOL PARTICIPATES IN ANNUAL MOCK TRAILS

Sixteen high schools participated in the annual Law Day activities last week in Genesee County, Michigan, the Flint Journal reported April 27, but this year's mock trials competition had a new twist -- the first appearance by a deaf school in the event. A mock trial held last Friday before Genesee Circuit Judge Duncan Beagle pitted Flint Southwestern Academy against the Michigan School for the Deaf. Retired Judge Ron Douglas, who is hearing impaired, helped the deaf students prepare for the trial.

N.J. SCHOOL'S DEAF AWARENESS DAY ATTRACTS 500 ATTENDEES

Silver Bay Elementary School in Toms River, N.J. held its annual Deaf Awareness Day recently, with 200 students and 300 guests in attendance. The school has been holding such events for nine years, with 25 guests on hand the first time. This year's attendees had the chance to view a National Theatre of the Deaf performance titled "Fingers Around the World," which tells of Alice in Wonderland as she learns different folk tales while visiting countries in Asia. Debbie Breece, who teaches deaf students at the school, told the Ocean County Observer that she wanted guests to walk away with pride in themselves. "With that pride they can make a difference in their lives and the lives of others," she said.

'I LOVE YOU' CAR MAGNET SALES WILL BENEFIT SEATTLE AGENCY

Shanda Miller, aWashington state entrepreneuer, hopes to cash in on the car magnet craze by selling magnets in the "I Love You" handshape. The magnets are available in four different colors, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Seattle-based Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The magnets help to promote ASL and deaf culture, said Miller. "If you see an ILY magnet on a vehicle, you can wave 'ILY,' bring a smile to the driver and/or passenger, and get a wave back!" Info: www.ILYmagnets.com.

PENNSYLVANIANS URGED TO CHECK THEIR HEARING THIS MONTH

A May 2 news release out of Harrisburg, Pa. urged Pennsylvania residents to "take care of their hearing and get tested early and often for hearing problems." Labor & Industry Secretary Stephen Schmerin said that May "is the perfect time" to focus on one's hearing, because it's Better Speech and Hearing Month -- a designation it has held since 1927. "A hearing or speech problem does not have to equate to a life of solitude," said Schmerin. State residents with hearing loss are urged to visit one of four offices of the state Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing, he said, where they can access a range of information and services.


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WORKING WORLD
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VIRTUAL SIGNER TO BE INTRODUCED TODAY ON U.K. CHARITY'S WEBSITE

Guido, the virtual signer, is expected to be introduced today on the website of the Norfolk, U.K.-based charity Deaf Connexions. Computer experts and sign language consultants worked two years to develop the "pioneering technology," reported the Eastern Daily Press last week, and its part of a European-wide initiative called eSIGN. Guido is an avatar, a virtual human that can convert text into sign language. Website visitors can click on a small fist to have forms and other information signed to them. Researcher Judy Tryggvason said deaf websurfers can read website information, but found sign language easier to work with. "It's their first language so it is almost a courtesy to them to address them in the language they feel most comfortable in," she said. ASL users who visit the site are in for a letdown, however; Virtual Guido communicates only in British Sign Language. For information, visit www.deafconnexions.org.

MISSISSIPPI POSTAL WORKER PRESENTED WITH 'COMMUNITY CHAMPION' AWARD

Dean Ebberman, a 44-year-old deaf postal worker in Biloxi, Miss., is uncomfortable with accolades but will have to get used to them, reported the Sun Herald on Sunday. Ebberman received the Community Champion award Thursday, given by the Mississippi Coast Chapter of Quota International, a service club for the hearing impaired. Ebberman didn't learn language until 13, after which he began reading, writing and expressing himself in sign language. His older brother, a postal worker who is also deaf, encouraged Ebberman to apply for a post office job and helped him with the test. He's been on the job 20 years now, sorting mail, filling P.O. boxes and sometimes helping patrons. "Dean is always happy, full of life and having a good time," said his supervisor, Scott Bailey. "You'd never know that he is deaf, with the exception that he is signing at you."

ASL RESEARCHER'S PRESENTATION HELPS REVIVE STANFORD DISABILITY GROUP

Carol Padden's visit Friday to California's Stanford University served not only to raise awareness of deaf culture but also helped revive the college's Disability Staff, Faculty and Students Forum (DSFSF). Padden, an ASL expert who has written four books with her husband, Tom Humphries, discussed their new work, "Inside Deaf Culture," and shared information about her current study project -- the emergence of grammar in a new sign language used by a village of deaf and hearing Bedouins in Israel. The presentation was organized by Cathy Haas, a senior lecturer in the Language Center who is believed to be Stanford's only deaf staff member. It marked the reemergence of the DSFSF, which had become inactive after key staff member Kimberly Thompson died last year.

VIRGINIA UNVEILS PROGRAM TO EDUCATE BUSINESSES ON RELAY SERVICE

The state of Virginia has announced that it is taking steps to solve an ongoing problem for people who use the relay service -- businesses that hang up because they don't know how to handle a relay call. Gov. Mark Warner announced April 27 that the state is launching Virginia Relay Partner, a statewide program that will offer online information and free on-site training on how to place and receive relay calls, and how to tell a relay call from a prank, scam or marketing message. The Virginia Relay Center in Norton, operated by AT&T, employs over 100 communication assistants and handles more than 120,000 calls a month. Virginia businesses that want to connect with the state's estimated 615,000 hearing- and speech-impaired residents can sign up for the new program at http://relaypartner.org.

COLLEGE FOR DEAF IN TEXAS CONTINUES TO GROW AS 25TH BIRTHDAY NEARS

The Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf was founded in September1980 by educators and parents who didn't want to send their children to faraway Gallaudet University or the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, reported the Midland (Texas) Reporter-Telegram April 17. The campus was created with buildings and land at the old Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, with the first class of 22 students spending their early days cleaning the drafty dorms. The old barracks have since been replaced with brick structures, but the hospital building remains, used for meeting rooms, offices and classrooms. A serious roadblock almost derailed plans for the school in 1980 when organizers were told they had to do a feasibility study that could take months, or even years. When it was learned that the study could be bypassed if the school had a sponsor, Howard College offered to fill the role. With the legalities taken care of, state legislators approved SWCID -- and it has remained on the budget ever since. The college's enrollment has grown steadily over the years, and now stands at about 150.

DEAF COMMUNITY LEADS THE WAY FOR SIDEKICK POPULARITY

Trendsetters like Paris Hilton who flaunt their T-Mobile Sidekicks are just catching up to where the hearing-impaired community was three years ago, reported the ASU Web Devil at Arizona State University Thursday. ASU freshman Steven Craig, who is deaf, bought his Sidekick before all the hype. "It's like a portable computer, but much smaller than a laptop," he said. "Everyone uses PDA, cell phones and pagers, and they are all in one little machine." Craig upgraded to the Sidekick II when it came out in August and prefers the newer version. "It has a better design and lasts longer," he said.

VIDEO RELAY COMPANY IN CALIFORNIA OPENS CUSTOMER CARE DEPARTMENT

Hands On Video Relay Service of Rocklin, Calif. announced Monday that it has opened a new Customer Care Service department. The new service will offer a live person via video, allowing customers to talk directly to a representative instead of relying on email or Instant Messaging. "Our goal is to provide our customers with the highest level of support possible," said Ronald E. Obray, founder and president of Hands On. The company also announced it is increasing its hours of operation, with the service now available from 4 a.m. to midnight PST, 365 days a year.


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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TUBA-PLAYING TEEN MAKES HEADLINES IN FLORIDA

The Naples (Fla.) Sun Times reported Friday on Cesar Torres, the first deaf student at East Naples Middle School who wanted to learn how to play music. Cesar, 13, wanted to play the tuba but had never heard a musical note, leaving music teacher Hance challenged and school interpreter Jody Belcher doubtful. "There is no language to translate music into sign language," he said. But the teen's father, Cesar Torres Sr., created a way for his son to feel the beat and keep up with the music, building a wooden platform where Cesar sits alongside two drums. As other band members hit the drums, Cesar feels the vibrations of one with his feet and the other in his chair. "He's become just another member of the band," said Hance, and fellow student Dillon Hazel said, "Cesar plays well, like everyone else."


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SIGN LANGUAGE FOR THE FAMILY VIDEO SERIES and COMPANION BOOK
English and Spanish Versions both in video or DVD format.
The NEW 2005 SIGN LANGUAGE CALENDAR ASL, English and Spanish
It is also available as a FUNDRAISER for your organization.
8 x 11 full color laminated Sign Language Posters.
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SPORTS
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DEAF RUGBY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF TEAMS

Organizers of the 2005 Deaf Rugby World Championships have decided to cancel the event, which was scheduled for late summer. They informed the host, the Welsh Deaf Rugby Union, that not enough teams had signed up for the two-week tournament. According to Rugby News, several teams that had expressed interest earlier had to drop out due to financial difficulties. Tournament CEO David Blackburn, noting that a lot of work had been invested in planning the event, said the Welsh group should retain the right to hold the championships in Wales at a later date. The first Deaf Rugby World Championship was held in New Zealand in 2002 and was won by the Wales deaf team. The International Deaf Rugby Organization will meet in August to discuss options for staging the 2nd tournament in view of this year's cancellation.

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COMING EVENTS
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IOWA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF TO HOST 150TH ANNIVERSARY BANQUET

One hundred fifty years is a long time, and there's a long word to describe it: sesquicentennial. That is what the Iowa School for the Deaf is marking this year, and a banquet planned for May 26 will note the occasion. It takes place at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, and Gallaudet University President I. King Jordan will be on hand to provide the keynote address. A local painter, P. Buckley Moss, has created a watercolor showing students signing with the ISD administration building in the background. The painting will be unveiled at the banquet and prints will be available for purchase. Tickets are $30 with a May 16 deadline. Call 712-366-3213 for information.


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EMPLOYMENT
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POSITION OPENING
Chief Financial Officer

The Laurent Company, located in rural southeastern South Dakota, which is building the world’s first fully integrated signing community, is seeking a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Position Description
Chief Financial Officer will be responsible for all financial reporting and control, banking and maintenance of the company’s overall financial well-being. This person will be involved in both the tactical day- to- day accounting/financial management of the business as well as strategic and long term planning and implementing for growth and expansion.

Essential Functions
*Financial planning policies and controls, accounting practices, financial reporting, treasury operations, asset management, budgeting, tax planning and compliance, corporate services and internal audit.
* Develops financial strategies by forecasting capital, facilities, and staff requirements; identifying monetary resources; developing action plans.
* Oversees timely close of monthly financial statements and distribution of monthly reporting package, which includes monthly and year-to-date comparison with budget, key performance metrics and written management discussion and analysis.
*Continually reviews financial performance results against plan for all functional areas, finance, administration, sales and participates with COO and/or other senior management.
* Hires and supervises the financial team and monitors payroll and other operating expenses, and operating profitability measures with a focus on improving those measures.
* Develops and maintains a strong working relationship with the Company's specific financial institutions.
* Works with legal counsel as a participant in key legal decisions or other legal or contractual matters relating to the business.
* Maintains awareness of new regulations.

Qualifications
CPA credentials strongly preferred, with 10+ years of senior financial management experience. We are especially interested in candidates with a real estate background, as well as experience in managing budgets in excess of $100M. Sign language skills preferred.

Benefits
Position offers a very competitive starting salary plus a comprehensive benefits package, including fully paid group health insurance.

If interested in applying for this position, please contact Marvin Miller, Chief Operating Officer of the Laurent Company, at marvmiller@thelaurentcompany.com.

An EOE committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Drug testing required.

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POSITION OPENING
Vice President of Construction

The Laurent Company, located in rural southeastern South Dakota, which is building the world’s first fully integrated signing community, is seeking a Vice President of Construction.

Position Description
Vice President of Construction will be responsible for managing construction activities, overseeing and coordinating the entire construction project of building the town of Laurent. Will have overall responsibility for project deadlines, budgets, and client satisfaction during construction. Manage the estimating and bid process.

Qualifications
* Have commercial and/or residential construction management experience
* Knowledge of all trades, construction methods and materials
* Can read and interpret construction plans, bid packages, and spec sheets
* Requires a minimum of 10 years construction management experience, building over 25 residential and/or light commercial projects a year, and eager to do more, OR a technical degree in a related field and 5+ years construction experience
* Must have basic computer skills, preferred Microsoft Office and project management software. Experience with Macintosh computers a plus
* Strong organizational skills and be an effective problem solver
* Must have high integrity, a strong work ethic, and the ability to build and lead an organization.
* Fluency in American Sign Language (ASL) preferred. If not, willingness to take classes and learn ASL is required. Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI) will be required.

Benefits
Competitive salary based on your experience. Competitive benefits package.

If interested in applying for this position, please contact Jennifer Schiltz, Executive Assitant to CEO of The Laurent Company, at jens@thelaurentcompany.com, or fax or mail resume to The Laurent Company (see information above), attn: Jennifer Schiltz.

An EOE committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Drug testing required.

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