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Story Ideas for Media 8/8/12


Thousands to ride in Pelotonia 2012. Approximately 6,000 riders are expected to participate in Pelotonia, a grassroots bike tour, August 10 – 12. This year, Pelotonia offers six route options for cyclists with a wide range of riding abilities.
Pelotonia 12 will start at Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus and ride to Kenyon College in Gambier. Riders gather at the Columbus Commons from 3 to 9 p.m. on Friday (8/10), and the opening ceremony takes place at 7 p.m.
Riders depart Columbus Commons at 7 a.m. and depart Pickerington High School North at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday (8/11).
Since 2009, Pelotonia riders have raised $25 million for cancer research. Every penny goes directly to innovative cancer research at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. SEE: http://pelotonia.org/

Ohio State LiFE Sports program wins 2012 Excellence in Summer Learning Award. The National Summer Learning Association has chosen LiFE Sports, a collaboration of Ohio State’s Department of Athletics, College of Social Work, and Department of Recreational Sports, as a recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Summer Learning Award. LiFE Sports serves about 600 Columbus, Ohio youth ages 9-15 for four weeks each summer, focusing on teaching participants vital life skills and social competence through sports. LiFE Sports is built upon a community outreach program operating at Ohio State for the past 40 years, the National Youth Sport Program. CONTACT: Frankie Jones-Harris, jones-harris.1@osu.edu, (614) 292-3540 or (614) 330-2206.


A simple way to help cities monitor traffic more accurately. Cities count the number of cars on the road in order to plan everything from the timing of stoplights to road repairs. But the in-road metal detectors that do the counting can make errors – most often by registering that a car is present when one isn't.
One common error is called “splashover” because it usually involves an over-sensitive detector picking up the presence a vehicle in the next lane over – as if the signal from the car “splashed over” into the adjacent lane.
Now Ohio State University researchers have developed software to help city managers easily identify detectors that are prone to splashover and reprogram them to get more accurate numbers.
Benjamin Coifman, associate professor of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at Ohio State, and doctoral student Ho Lee describe the software in the October 2012 issue of the journal Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies.
For the study, Coifman and Lee monitored 68 in-road detectors in Columbus, Ohio. They found six detectors that were prone to erroneously detecting cars in adjacent lanes. Error rates ranged from less than 1 percent to 52 percent. CONTACT: Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.1@osu.edu. SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/splashover.htm

Best and biggest map of the universe now available. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) reaches a new milestone this week, with the release of the largest-ever 3D map of the known universe.
David Weinberg, professor of astronomy and Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at Ohio State University, is the Project Scientist for SDSS-III. With his Ohio State colleagues, Weinberg is working on theoretical studies aimed at interpretation of the survey data, which could help scientists understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Weinberg is available to the media to discuss SDSS-III and the applications of its data for the future; he is best reached by email at weinberg.21@osu.edu. The official SDSS-III news release can be found at http://www.sdss3.org/press/dr9.php.


Conference looks at prescription drug abuse – Aug. 8-9. Prescription drug abuse among college students and prevention is the topic of a conference at Ohio State University today and tomorrow (8/8-9). The Collegiate Prescription Drug Abuse and Prevention Conference, hosted by the Ohio State College of Pharmacy, the Student Wellness Center and many local businesses and agencies, takes place at the Blackwell, 2110 Tuttle Park Place. For a complete agenda, SEE: http://pharmacy.osu.edu/forms/outreach/rxabuseconf/Collegiate_PDAP_Conference_Final-Schedule.pdf.

National leaders in local foods movement to headline conference on Ohio-grown foods – Aug. 9. Speakers at the upcoming local foods conference: “Ohio Grown: Local Foods Creating Local Opportunities” include a veritable “Who’s Who” of the national local foods movement. The conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday (8/9) at the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Rd. Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will deliver the keynote address at 9:15 a.m. In 2010, Merrigan was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” for her advocacy for locally-sourced foods for consumers, schools, hospitals and nutrition programs.
Other notable speakers include Bobby Moser, Ohio State vice president for Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources at Ohio State and several Ohio State University Extension experts. The conference is free and open to the public. SEE: http://fic.osu.edu/events/upcoming-events/ohio-grown.html

Summer commencement is on Sunday – Aug. 12. Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, will speak at Ohio State’s summer commencement, which begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday (8/12) at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. About 1,500 students will receive degrees during the ceremony. In addition, during the ceremony, Ohio State will present the honorary Doctor of Business degree to Stewart.
The university will present the Distinguished Service Award to Trella Romine, who was instrumental in establishing the Larry Yoder Prairie Nature Preserve at Ohio State Marion; Steve Sterrett, whose distinguished career with the university included many important communications and community outreach projects; Alec Wightman, a graduate of the Moritz College of Law who has earned a reputation as an exceptional lawyer and who has continued to give back to his alma mater; and Jon Woods, who retired this year after 28 years of leading The Ohio State University Marching Band. CONTACT: Jim Lynch (614) 247-4110.

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276 or cook.17@osu.edu;Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110 or lynch.270@osu.edu; or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385 or murray-goedde.1@osu.edu