US university president who attended mask-free Trump event under fire

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The University of Notre Dame, one of America’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, is bullish on mask-wearing and social distancing to fight the coronavirus.

Now, its president, the Rev. John Jenkins, is under fire after attending a notorious White House event with President Donald Trump at which both precautions were largely ignored — and testing positive for Covid-19.

Some students called for Jenkins’ resignation but he survived. Jenkins is big on coronavirus safety — back in August, after students returned to class and there seemed to be a spike in Covid cases, he did not hesitate to suspend in-person classes for two weeks.

Jenkins says he is sorry for not wearing a mask at a September 26 ceremony at the Rose Garden at which Trump introduced Amy Coney Barrett, his nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. She is a Notre Dame graduate and law professor.

That event, at which people sat close together and few wore masks, has come under close scrutiny because at least seven who were in attendance have now tested positive for Covid. They include Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, two Republican US senators, the White House press secretary and a Trump campaign advisor.

“I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask during the ceremony and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden,” Jenkins wrote in a letter to students, faculty and staff at the Indiana university. 

“I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so.”

He said he has mild symptoms and would be working from home. The White House has said Barrett tested negative.

Students say they are upset with the university president and see a double standard in his behavior. Around


Intellisense Systems Wins Phase II Funding for Fire Weather Observation Sensor from USDA

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This sensor builds on the proven Micro Weather Sensor to include fuel moisture, solar radiation, particulate monitoring, and thermal imaging that will improve firefighting efforts.

Torrance ,CA, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — September 29, 2020 – Torrance, CA – Intellisense Systems, Inc., a leading provider of integrated environmental sensing solutions, won Phase II funding to continue development of the Fire Weather Observation Sensor (FWOS) from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The FWOS is a stand-alone, unattended, field-deployable sensor for remote measurements of fire weather-related data. These devices will be placed throughout forests and areas prone to wildfire outbreak and transmit data via satellite from anywhere in the world. This development will integrate new sensing capabilities to the proven Micro Weather Sensor (MWS®) platform, including fuel moisture, solar radiation, particulate monitoring, and thermal imaging.


In 2020, the Western United States experienced a record-setting number of wildfires, which have displaced millions of residents, burned over 6 million acres, and destroyed nearly 10,000 structures. The FWOS will support fire departments to anticipate fire weather conditions and improve awareness in remote and densely forested regions.


“We’re very excited to continue the development of the Fire Weather Observation Sensor,” said David Miller, the Vice President and General Manager of Environmental Monitoring Systems at Intellisense. “New technology that facilitates the detection and management of wildfires is critical. The FWOS falls right in line with our strategic growth plan in applying our MWS system to the fire weather market and aligns with one of our primary goals of providing advanced solutions that ensure the safety and protection of people and property, especially our front-line firefighters.”


During Phase I, Intellisense demonstrated the feasibility of adding miniature fuel moisture, particulate, thermal infrared, and solar radiation sensors into the MWS package, and they have already developed a