On: June 5, 2017

David LaTourette House
Photo by: Daniel Case

The David LaTourette House was built in 1836 by the prosperous farmer, David LaTourette. The LaTourette family operated the farm from 1864-1910, the property was sold to the city in 1928. The city converted the home to a clubhouse for the LaTourette Park Golf Course. The home is a brick, Federal-style building in the middle of the 540-acre LaTourette Park.

Park Avenue Robb House
Photo by: Beyond My Ken

The Robb House at 23 Park Avenue was built in 1890 by renowned architect, Stanford White in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. The home was constructed as a mansion for James Hampden Robb, a retired businessman, and former state senator.  and currently, operates as a Co-op with 5 floors and 17 apartments.

Photo by: Daniel Case

Estherwood is a late 19th-century mansion on The Masters School campus in Dobbs Ferry New York. The home was built for industrial tycoon James Jenning McComb. The home was built around an octagonal library which had been the centerpiece of McComb’s’ prior home. The Renaissance Revival home is detailed with marble and gold leaf.

Cornelius Evans House
Photo by: Daniel Case

The Cornelius Evans House was built in 1861 out of brick and sandstone. The Evans family built the home as an homage to their success after their brewery, Evans Company, became an immense success.  The Evans Company thrived until 1920 when Prohibition forced it to close. The home has since been used as a community center and a private residence. [hr]


RENEWAL DEADLINE: 2 years from date of issuance




On: June 5, 2017

New York researchers are planning to release genetically engineered insects on a cabbage patch at Cornell’s Agricultural Experimentation Station 160 miles from Albany. The insects are an attempt to control invasive diamondback moths without using pesticides. Diamondback moths are known for their resistance to every pesticide and their appetite for cruciferous crops such as cabbage and broccoli.

Anthony Shelton, a Cornell University researcher, has been studying diamondback moths for 40 years. He estimates global management costs to be between $4-5 billion. Shelton is hoping to manage the moths without using insecticides to protect pollinators and other non-target insects.

The genetically engineered moths are meant to reduce the diamondback moth population over time by limiting the number of reproductive females in the next generation. To meet this end, the lab-bred males have a synthetic “self-limiting” gene that makes the female larvae die before they mature.

This form of population control has already been successfully used by Oxitec, the biotech firm that created the moths. Oxitec released similarly modified mosquitoes in Brazil, Panama, and the Caribbean to fight mosquito-spread diseases.



Iowa Architecture Tour

On: June 5, 2017

Fred B. Sharon House

The Fred B. Sharon House is a three-story, brick home built in Second Empire style in 1891. Fred B. Sharon was a high school teacher in New York City turned newspaper publisher and postmaster of the city of Davenport. Financial problems forced Sharon to sell his newspaper in 1936, however, various other business ventures allowed Sharon to remain in his home until his death in 1949.

Close House
Photo by: Billwhittaker

The Close House was designed in 1874 by August Hazelhorst in the Italianate style. The home was originally owned by the Close family, who were involved in the linseed oil and glove industries. After the Close family sold the home it was used as a fraternity and later, the Johnson County Department of Social Welfare. Currently, the building is used by an interior design firm and a picturing framing shop.

Iowa Yearly Meeting House
Photo by: Boscophotos

The Iowa Yearly Meeting House is a historic church in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The church was designed by A.T. Simmons in Colonial Revival style and completed in 1913. The church replaced a simple structure from 1865 as part of an effort to draw more patrons to the Quaker church.  The church gained its name from the yearly Quaker meeting held here.

Anamosa Public Library
Photo by: Ian Poellet

The Anamosa Public Library, an example of Romanesque Revival, was built by Dwight H. Perkins. The building is unique because it was built using exclusively private funds. Community members began campaigning for the library in 1900 after a community member named Walter S. Benton donated $10,000 to the city for purchasing library books. Benton’s donation was based on the expectation that the city would build a library by 1903. When the city failed to follow through with the project Miss “Lou” Shaw took charge and raised the necessary construction funds.



Iowa architects are required to complete 24hours of continuing education by June 30, 2017. Architects Training Institute offers state approved continuing education packages and individual courses to renew your license.

Iowa Architect Continuing Education Courses


Drone Taxi

On: June 5, 2017

The head of the Dubai transportation agency intends to start using self-flying taxis this July. Dubai will use the Ehang 184 for the service. This drone flies for 23 minutes at a speed of 63 mph without human direction. Ehang carries a single passenger and a bag weighing up to 100kg.

Potential passengers will enter their destination into an app, the drone then maps a route to the passenger and to their destination.  Ehang cannot fly straight, instead it flies along a specific flight line, much like a public bus system. This is intended to avoid potential collisions with other air taxis or drones.

Potential passengers have been assured about the Ehang “fail safe” malfunction system.  If anything goes wrong during the flight the drone will automatically go to the nearest landing pad.

Las Vegas has also shown interest in using Ehang for taxi service in the city.


Commercial Drone Pilots Must Follow these Steps to stay within FAA Guidelines

Step 1: Pay the $5 fee and register any aircraft that weighs more than 0.55lbs.
Step 2:  Pass the $150 Small UAS Remote Pilot Exam – exam prep is available here.
Step 3: Pass a TSA background check
Step 4: File FAA Form 8710-13



Oklahoma Architect Renewal Guidelines

On: May 30, 2017

How do I renew my Oklahoma architect license?
To renew your Oklahoma architect license you must complete 24 hours of Health, Safety, and Wellness courses, every two years, by June 30th on odd numbered years. The Board will send you a renewal notice about 6 weeks prior to your expiration date.  If you have not received your renewal notice by May 15th contact the Board at (405) 949-2383 for a new copy.

Where do I find courses to meet my continuing education requirements?
Architects Training Institute offers an approved, online, complete 24-hour renewal package and individual courses to meet your renewal requirements. Courses are available 24/7 on any internet capable device.

Who submits my architect continuing education to Oklahoma?
Oklahoma does not require continuing education submission unless you are audited. Certificates are available for your records immediately after completing courses through Architects Training Institute.

What happens if my Oklahoma architects license is audited?
Architects who are audited by the Board have 30 calendar days to complete the required continuing education. Licensees who do not complete their continuing education within 30 days may have their license revoked by the Board.

What do I do if my Oklahoma architect license has expired?
The Board deals with expired licenses on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Board at (405) 949-2383 if your license expires. [hr]



On: May 30, 2017

The benefit of drones in journalism is no secret. Drones save journalists money by providing a birds-eye view that was formerly only gained by helicopter. This perspective allows journalists to gain a greater understanding of the story and take great photos and videos. While drones are relatively easy to use for journalistic ventures, FAA imposed guidelines must be followed to avoid fines and legal recourse.

Drones used for journalism must be flown by an individual at least 16 years old and holding a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the supervision of an individual with a remote pilot certificate, and pass applicable TSA vetting.  Remote pilot airman certificates can be obtained by passing the applicable exam.
Note: Pilots must pass the FAA Remote Pilot exam every 2 years to maintain their certificate.

When choosing a drone, keep in mind it must weigh less than 55lbs and undergo a pre-flight check by the FAA Remote Pilot Airman certificate holder.


Step 1: Pay the $5 fee and register any aircraft that weighs more than 0.55lbs.
Step 2:  Pass the $150 Small UAS Remote Pilot Exam – exam prep is available here.
Step 3: Pass a TSA background check
Step 4: File FAA Form 8710-13 [hr]



On: May 29, 2017

How do I get my Louisiana commercial contractor’s license?

  1. Submit an application to the State Licensing Board for Contractors
  2. Upon receipt of the application, the State Licensing Board for Contractors will send you an examination scheduling notice with the date of your exam.
  3. Pass the Business and Law exam – exam prep for Louisiana business & law exam
  4. Pass the NASCLA Exam– exam prep for the NASCLA exam

When do I need a Louisiana commercial contractor’s (NASCLA) license?
Any construction project of $50,000 or more ($1 or more for hazardous) must be performed by a licensed contractor, even the homeowners themselves. There are no provisions in the law to prevent an owner from applying for and being issued a contractor’s license. 

Why should I take the NASCLA exam?
Contractors must pass the NASCLA exam to do commercial work in Louisiana. The NASCLA-Accredited Commercial Contractors license allows contractors to work in multiple states with little or no additional exams. Some states may require NASCLA license holders to pass a state-specific Law exam, however, you will not be required to pass a separate Commercial Trades exams. States currently accepting NASCLA licenses include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Can I do residential work with a Louisiana commercial contractor’s license?
Yes, commercial contractors can do residential work, in fact, contractors working on more than one residence must have a commercial contractor (NASCLA) license.

What can I expect from the Louisiana Business and Law exam?
The Business and Law exam is an online, open book examination based on the Contractors Guide to Business, Law and Project Management, Louisiana Contractors 12th Edition. You will have 4 hours to complete this 50-question examination from the minute you first begin.

What can I expect from the Louisiana NASCLA exam?
The NASCLA exam is 115 questions, you will be required to get 81 answers correctly.  The exam lasts 330 minutes and covers estimating, bidding, preconstruction, project management, project construction, project closeout, business, and fiscal management.

Where can I find exam prep for the Louisiana Business and Law and NASCLA  exams?

Builders License Training Institute offers online HD video exam prep for the Business and Law and NASCLA exams. Exam prep is available 24/7 and broken into several sections, making it easy for contractors to work through the materials at their own pace on any internet capable device.

Is the NASCLA an open book exam?
Yes, there are 20 references books allowed in the exam. A complete list of books is available here. [hr]


Idaho Pesticide Applicator Renewal Guidelines

On: May 29, 2017

How do I renew my Idaho pesticide applicator license?
Idaho applicators must renew their license every two years by completing the state-required continuing education, completing a renewal application, and paying appropriate fees. License renewal applications will be mailed to you by the Idaho Department of Agriculture approximately 45 days before your expiration date. If you need another copy of your renewal form call the ISDA (208) 332-8531.

Private Applicators Professional Applicators
1.    Complete 6 hours of continuing education
2.    Complete the renewal application provided by the ISDA
3.    Pay the appropriate fees

  • $10 RU Category
  • $20 Chemigation Category
  • $30 for both categories

4.    Photocopy the front and back of your license, showing
your signature and the appropriate recertification credits.

1.    Complete 15-hours of continuing education
2.    Complete the renewal application provided by the ISDA
3.    Pay the $120 licensing fee
4.    Photocopy the front and back of your license, showing your signature and the appropriate recertification credits
5.    Provide proof of financial responsibility.

 Where do I find courses to renew my Idaho pesticide applicator license?
Certified Training Institute offers 10  Idaho-approved continuing education credits for applicators.  Courses are completed online, at your convenience, on any internet capable device.

Who submits my Idaho pesticide continuing education?
Certified Training Institute will submit your continuing education the Idaho Department of Agriculture the next business day after completion.  You will be able to print or save certificates for your records immediately after completing your course.

What happens if I do not renew my Idaho pesticide license?
Applicators who do not renewill be charged $100 per day for operating without a license. [hr]


Minnesota Real Estate License Renewal

On: May 29, 2017

How do I renew my Minnesota real estate license?
Minnesota real estate salespeople and brokers must renew their licenses every two years by June 30th. To meet renewal requirements, you must

  1. Complete 30 hours of continuing education
  2. Pay a fee
    • Salesperson: $60 + $10 technical processing fee
    • Brokers: $120 +$10 technical processing fee
  3. Go to the Minnesota Real Estate Commission portal and renew your license be 4:30 pm central time on June 30th.

What continuing education is required to renew my Minnesota real estate license?
You must complete 30 credit hours of approved courses each 2-year cycle. Courses are broken into two 15 hour modules. Courses must include:

  • 1 credit hour of Fair Housing
  • 1 credit hour of Agency Law
  • 1 credit hour of Residential Contracts for 2016-2017 renewal
  • You cannot take the same course twice in a licensing cycle

When must my Minnesota real estate license continuing education be completed by to avoid license lapsing?
Continuing education must be completed by June 30th, however, if you wait until the last two weeks of June to complete your continuing education you risk having your license lapse as well. It takes the state time to process realtor renewals, if your renewal is not processed by July 10th your license will lapse.

Where do I find courses to renew my Minnesota real estate license?
Real Estate Training Institute offers Minnesota approved online continuing education courses to renew your license. We offer a 15-hour package and individual courses to meet requirements for your 2017 module. Individual courses are also available.

Who submits my continuing education to the state of Minnesota?
Real Estate Training Institute will submit all Minnesota resident continuing education. Nonresidents are responsible for submitting their own continuing education to the state. Continuing education certificates are available immediately after completing courses. [hr]


World’s First Drone-Proof Shield

On: May 26, 2017

The Channel Island jail is the world’s first to use innovative technology designed to keep drones from bringing in contraband such as weapons, phones, and drugs. The system uses a device to create a 2,000ft shield around and above the prison to deflect UAVs. The device works by using a series of “disruptors” to jam the drone’s computer and block control protocols. When activated the pilot’s screen will go black and the drone will bounce back to its launch location.

The drone-induced contraband issues are not specific to Channel Island jail. Drones all over the world have been looking for solutions to their drone issues. Aside from jails many businesses and homeowners have been looking for ways to keep drones off their grounds. Notably, the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada is on constant guard for drones because other companies are looking to steal trade secrets. As drone shielding technology progresses drone pilots can expect to see it used in a variety of settings. [hr]