Comedian Ralphie May dead at 45

first_imgThe comedian’s body was discovered at a private residence in Las Vegas.  May had been battling pneumonia as of late, and had canceled several dates so he could recover.  The cause of death was cardiac arrest.   Related Just two days ago, May had been named Casino Comedian of the Year at the Global Gaming Expo, and had performances scheduled through the end of 2017 as part of his residency at Harrah’s Las Vegas. May, born in Chattanooga, TN, won a contest to open for his idol Sam Kinison when he was 17.  Kinison advised May to move to Houston, TX, where he graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.  He subsequently moved to L.A., and in 2003, he competed in the first season of Last Comic Standing, coming second.  Jason Squires/Getty Images for Pollstar(LAS VEGAS) — Comedian Ralphie May has died, ABC News has confirmed. May is survived by his wife, Lahna Turner, and his children April June May and August James May.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico May released his first album, Just Correct, in 2005.  He’s starred in four Comedy Central specials, including 2012’s Too Big to Ignore, and two Netflix specials, including 2015’s Imperfectly Yours.last_img read more

Kansas bill protects adoption agencies that cite religious beliefs to reject LGBT homes

first_img Related iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — Faith-based agencies in Kansas will likely be allowed to provide adoption or foster care services for the state even if they refuse to place children in homes that conflict with their “sincerely held” religious beliefs, including those with gay, lesbian or transgender parents.The Adoption Protection Act passed in an early-morning vote Friday in the Kansas state Senate after a night of debate. It had already passed in the state House and will be sent to the governor in the next 10 days for his signature in order to become law.Gov. Jeff Colyer, a Republican, intends to sign the bill.“Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies are key to the fabric of our communities,” Colyer said in a statement. “I look forward to signing this bill because it increases the opportunities for needy children to find loving homes.”Opponents of the measure, including LGBT rights groups, consider the bill discriminatory.Zeke Stokes, the vice president of programs at GLAAD, issued a statement slamming the bill.“This is a slap in the face to children and families across the state, and lawmakers who voted for this bill should be ashamed of themselves,” Stokes said in the statement to ABC News.“Business leaders, youth advocates, child welfare organizations, faith leaders and fair-minded Kansans have all spoken out against this dangerous bill, and we join them in urging Gov. Colyer to stop this misguided attempt to write discrimination into law,” he said.Several other states have similar laws in place. Oklahoma passed similar legislation Thursday that is now also headed for approval by the state’s governor, The Kansas City Star reported.Chuck Johnson, the president of the National Council on Adoptions, which has not taken a public stance on the issue, said that despite such laws, which inherently affect only faith-based adoption agencies, “adoption by gay and lesbian families is happening in all 50 states.”And even in states with similar laws, Johnson said, many gay and lesbian couples are able to adopt children after becoming foster parents. He cited an increasing need for foster families partly because of the opioid epidemic, which is resulting in more children being removed from their families or left orphaned in need of care.“The LGBT community has found opportunity in the world of foster care and foster care adoption,” he said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more

Wellington City is in good financial shape, auditor says

first_imgby James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council received its annual audit report at its meeting Tuesday and was told the books were in order.  CPA Kenneth Cooper, the city independent auditor, did the audit and presented the report.There were some minor “findings,” which are areas that need to be fixed.Cooper said his job was to make a report on the city’s financial statements and to see if they were stated fairly.  He said, in his opinion, they were fairly stated. You may see the entire audit here.He said the city is in a little better shape for 2018 than it was in 2017. Improvements with the hospital operations were one reason, and there were more unexpected expenses the previous year.The city has $19 million in total cash in investments, i.e. reserves, bonds and $31 million in debt. Cooper said that is a pretty good liquidity ratio.One compliance footnote said the city should have used a bond when repairs at the golf club exceeded $99,000, and that was one of the minor findings. City Manager Shane Shields said even though the city spent more than $200,000, most of that came from private donations. The city actually spent less than $99,000, which is the threshold.Other “findings” related to accounts that are not at the city offices, such as the landfill or lake.In some areas, there are no written rulesOverall, Cooper gave the city good marks for its record-keeping and said the records fairly and accurately report the city’s finances.In other matters:Wellington Recreation Commission Director Cody White told the council the aquatic center took a loss this year in his annual report given after the pool closes each year.  Because of the weather the pool was open 70 days, as opposed to 77 the year before. Attendance was up a little and that offset the fewer number of days open to some degree.The aquatic center had $107,217 in expenses and made a little over $70,000 in revenue.  That resulted in a loss of $37,000. The Wellington Rec Commission picked up $10,000 of that, leaving the city with $27,000 to make up.Mayor Shelley Hansel said the city budgets for a loss with the pool each year.“It is a public service. It is a quality of life thing,” she said.———Jan Grace, Campus Director of Cowley College, told the council there are 133 students enrolled in the Cowley College campus in Wellington. Their goal was 125. If you add in students in other programs, 147 students could be counted.———Jennifer Heersche, Joe Soria and Shane Shields were appointed voting delegates for the Kansas League of Municipalities annual meeting.  Kevin Dodds and Shelley Hansel were named alternates.———City ordinances were changed to reflect recent changes in state election laws. City council members will now take office the first meeting in December after the November election. They previously took office at the first meeting in January.The council also changed the wording of an ordinance to change meeting dates when a holiday causes a meeting to be canceled. It was changed to allow the council to change the date to any date they like.———Four street closings were approved for various events.•Church of the Nazarene Harvest Day, September 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Olive south of 8th to the alley;•Washington Elementary Jog-a-Thon, October 4  from 9 a.m. to Noon, Washington, between 17th and 18th (in front of the school);•2019 Fall Fest 5K Fun Run, October 5, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.;•Encore Dance Studio Dash & Dance, October 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Washington, between 3rd & 4th; volunteers will be at intersections in safety vests.———The Council passed the following resolution:•Purchased Reclamite from Proseal of El Dorado for $21,568 which is used to treat recently paved streets to make them last longer;•Approved an agreement to allow the Wellington Archery Club to use the lake facilities;•Approved the purchase of a utility truck with an aerial unit from a company in South Dakota for $310,000. The new truck will reach higher than the current one. The current truck will be sold and part of that will go toward paying for the truck;•Approved using RCB bank to finance about $250,000 for the truck;•Approved an agreement to pay $49,000 for engineering services for the BNSF electrical sub-station;•Approved $27,500 in engineering services with BNSF for the first street utility relocation project. The city will be reimbursed for much of this expense.Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (5) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +2 Vote up Vote down Guest · 49 weeks ago Good to hear now pay your employees more than starvation wages and fix the damn streets oh and please start looking for better department heads . Report Reply 0 replies · active 49 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Citizen J · 49 weeks ago If I pay someone to audit and conclude a certain thing, that is not an “independent audit.” That is a hired gun. An independent audit would be, say, if the KBI came in and took the city computers and the books for a while. If the city is solvent, where is the utility rebate? So many questions. So much smoke-and-mirrors. Report Reply 0 replies · active 49 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Thirsty · 48 weeks ago that debt/equity ratio is .61… in finance a 1.0 or above is considered a good debt/equity ratio as it shows you are able to liquidate assets to cover debts. This is not the case at least with the numbers provided. Report Reply 0 replies · active 48 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Thirsty · 48 weeks ago Now if those numbers are somehow mixed up and the debt was 19 million and assets/investments were 31 million it would be a debt/equity ratio of 1.63 which would be considered very good. Report Reply 0 replies · active 48 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down notlla · 48 weeks ago What was the profit, from the Golf pro shop , at the Golf course.. . It certainly should of made some profit. Report Reply 0 replies · active 48 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Loosen Up: NFL to allow some flair in celebrations

first_imgCHICAGO (AP) — The NFL wants to put some flair back into touchdown celebrations, allowing players to use the football as a prop, celebrate as a group and roll around on the ground again if they choose.In an email from Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to fans in an effort to deliver “a more exciting game experience,” the commissioner said the new guidelines came after conversations with more than 80 current and former players.The league, however, will continue to penalize any celebration deemed offensive, including those that embarrass opponents or mimic the use of weapons.“Players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves,” Goodell wrote.That freedom had been stripped in many cases, with fans and media criticizing the NFL as being the “No Fun League.” A 15-yard penalty often was the price paid for excessiveness.Goodell’s email also mentioned how the league is placing an emphasis on speeding up the pace of games. To go with that, he said the league knows “that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown.”___For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) leaps on the goal post after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 45-10. (AP Photo/Don Wright)last_img read more

Moving mountains to oppose quarry

first_imgBy Bonny Burrows The weekend’s community walk of Mount Cannibal in protest against the controversial granite quarry proposed for a…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Brewers steamroll to Sunfest Tournament Title

first_imgNelson opened with a 10-4 win over Castlegar Steelers followed by a narrow 10-9 win over Castlegar Royals.The Brewers then outlasted the Castlegar Raptors 12-7 to conclude the round robin draw with a 3-0 record.In the semi finals, Nelson edged the Raptors again, this time by a 6-4 score.The team includes, Moss Beattie, Gavin Franklin, Levi Konken,Sebastien Conne Correnti, Cash Nay, Gunnar Evenson, Larson Proctor, Cohen Wolbaum, Connor Peters, Austin Shrieves and Dax Dewar. Coaches are Kevin Dewar and assistant Jordan Konken.The Brewers, undefeated on the season at 12-0, play the Trail BlueJays Wednesday in Beaver Valley. Dewars Brewers had the offence running on all cylinders, putting up 10 runs during a 10-8 victory over Trail Mariners in Castlegar Sunfest Minor Division Baseball Tournament Sunday in the Sunflower City.The win was the fifth of the tournament for the Brewers.last_img read more

Rocking the nation, and the world

first_imgA violinist performing in front of the ever-appreciative Oppikoppi crowd. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff) One of the open-air stages on the Oppikoppi hill. (Image: Oppikoppi) The bush is dotted with numerous tents, vehicles, and people, all there for a common purpose – music. (Image: Oppikoppi)Janine ErasmusThe annual Oppikoppi music festival has grown tremendously in size and scope since its inception in 1994. Now the Limpopo-based festival has been selected by British newspaper the Daily Mirror as the fourth-best music festival held outside of the UK – and is the only African festival on the list.Outgunning many of the big names of the international music scene, Oppikoppi came in ahead of Switzerland’s renowned Montreux (10), Australasia’s The Big Day Out (9), The Electric Picnic (8) held annually in Ireland, Germany’s renowned Rock Werchter (7), the Airwaves festival (6) held in Iceland, and the Bestival (5) held in the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight falls within British territory, but the fact that concertgoers have to catch a boat or plane to get to the venue was reason enough for it to make the list.The top three spots were taken by the Fuji Rock (3) festival held in the valley of Mount Fuji in Japan, Benicàssim International Festival (2) held in Spain, and one of Europe’s most popular events, Pukkelpop (1) held annually in Flemish Belgium. Oppikoppi and the Pukkelpop festival have a cultural exchange agreement where, each year, artists, DJs, crew and media fly between the two countries to participate in both festivals.On top of the hillOppikoppi’s ranking is a tribute to the quality of South African music and to the ever-growing popularity of the festival. Turning 15 years old in 2008, Oppikoppi started as a small get-together near the platinum mining town of Northam in Limpopo province, situated just 90 minutes’ drive from Pretoria. The focus was on Afrikaans rock music and a crowd of just 1 000 turned up to watch 27 acts.The name is a colloquial variant of an Afrikaans phrase “op die koppie” meaning “on top of the hill”. This refers to the fact that the camping area lies at the foot of a hill, at the top of which is the Sipho Gumede stage, named after the late South African jazz bassist. Here hip hop and dance performers strut their stuff, while the big acts and rock artists appear on the main Oppikoppi stage.Since those early days Oppikoppi has grown into more than just a festival. Besides the annual event in the middle of the year and the spin-off Not-Quite-Easter festival held in April, Oppikoppi Productions holds music events around the country throughout the year and plays a substantial role in the thriving South African music scene. It has diversified into sponsorship management, an artist booking agency, a below-the-line ad agency, and events management, producing a host of shows away from the main Oppikoppi festival.Oppikoppi now offers a host of genres ranging from spoken word, world music, blues and jazz to house, ska and punk – the only stipulation is no cover bands or pop bands. “A lot of people come to Oppikoppi to see what is happening in the music industry at the moment as the festival (August more than Easter) is a showcase of the current status of our music industry,” says Annelie Hoffman of Oppikoppi. The growth in attendance figures, she says, shows that there is increasingly strong support for local music.The Easter and main festivals are both held annually on the Oppikoppi farm in Limpopo, where thousands park their dusty vehicles, pitch their tents in the bush, and socialise over three days while enjoying music from the cream of mostly South African, but also international music talent.The festival’s natural resources limit the maximum number of attendees to about 15 000. “Because our water is sometimes a limiting factor, we don’t really want to go over that amount so that the people attending the festival can all have as comfortable a time as possible,” says co-organiser Misha Loots.In deciding which bands to include on the programme, says Loots, they look at the obvious drawcards such as the new big acts. The organisers also give a platform to up-and-coming bands which, they believe, have the potential for success. “We get loads of submissions on an almost daily basis, so it is sometimes very hard. There are only so many slots per festival and so many more bands.”Glastonbury down southThe brief review in the Daily Mirror compared Oppikoppi to Britain’s Glastonbury festival, a weekend event that takes place on Worthy Farm in the Vale of Avalon – rumoured to be where King Arthur may be buried. Here, too, thousands of fans from all over the world congregate to pitch their tents on the 900-acre property and see the world’s top musicians in action.The Oppikoppi festival is said to have been hugely influential in the development of South African rock music, which has progressed in leaps and bounds since the late 1990s. Many local acts have gone on to enjoy enormous success overseas – among them are metal group Seether, Christian rock band Tree63, Just Jinjer, and Dave Matthews, and in the past, Tribe after Tribe and eVoid.Artists of the calibre of Stealing Love Jones, Cassette, Harris Tweed, Henry Ate and Tidal Waves will be seen at this year’s events.Useful linksOppikoppiNorthamSouth African musicSeetherTree63Just JinjerThe Daily Mirrorlast_img read more

R3bn solar plants unveiled in Northern Cape

first_img16 May 2014 A consortium led by British company Globeleq officially launched two solar power plants, representing a combined investment of R3-billion, in the Northern Cape this week. The De Aar and Droogfontein solar photovoltaic plants, each comprising over 165 000 photovoltaic (PV) panels spread over 100-hectare sites near De Aar and Kimberley, will together contribute 100 megawatts (MW) of clean energy to South Africa’s national grid. Both were built under the government’s renewable energy programme for independent power producers, which aims to add 3 725 MW of wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power to South Africa’s energy mix. Globeleq is the majority shareholder in the consortium that built and will run the plants, the others being Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power, Thebe Investment Corporation, South African engineering firms Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering, and local community trusts. Speaking at Droogfontein launch on Thursday, Deputy Science and Technology Minister Michael Masutha said the country’s shift towards renewable energy sources would help both to improve energy security and access, and to solve other socio-economic challenges the country was facing. “The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is focusing on setting up the necessary systems to support the sustainable solar energy industry,” Masutha said. “This is done through supporting research, development and innovation in the energy sector, informing and influencing energy policy decisions, and supporting human capital development.” The department has set up a number of research initiatives, including the Renewable Energy Hub and Spokes Programme hosted at Stellenbosch University, the University of Pretoria, Fort Hare University, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The department is also supporting a solar energy resource-mapping initiative by the South African Weather Service, and is finalising a solar energy technology roadmap in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the International Energy Agency. “It is foreseen that the DST’s funding and support to renewable energy research and technology development, as well as to human capacity development, will ultimately also benefit initiatives such as the Droogfontein Solar Photovoltaic Plant, providing technical expertise and competence to address the needs of such plants, as well as arriving at new solutions, products and processes to address future solar photovoltaic plants,” Masutha said. Also speaking at Thursday’s launch, Droogfontein Solar Power GM Mark Pickering said education and training “are vital if we are to unlock the potential of this new industry and best utilise South Africa’s abundant solar resources. To this end, Droogfontein Solar Power will be devoting the bulk of its social economic development budget to support education”. SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

It’s all happening…

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#web richard macmanus Related Posts Sorry for lack of updates recently, I’ve been busy getting married 🙂 I see othershave been busy too – Mike Arrington’s expanded theCrunch empire with a new mobile blog called MobileCrunch, Susan Mernit’s been hired byYahoo! (does this mean I get my name on the 5ive page now? ;-)), Ben Barren’slaunching an Aussie blog search engine called gnoos (Ben and I have also got plans for a mediaempire – we’re good at that in this part of the world!), and Umair Haque has been writinga fantastic series of articles on new mediaeconomics and edgecompetencies (which I’ve been poring over in what little spare time I’ve had recently– see also Keith Teare’s The first lawof RSS post). It’s all happening, as cricket commentator Bill Lawry likes tosay…This week I’m back to work and blogging, then the week after I’m off to MicrosoftSearch Champs. Sadly, the honeymoon has to wait 🙁center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

New Yorker iPad App Hits 100,000 Readers, Begins to Define a Genre

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#New Media#NYT#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting jon mitchell A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Magazine publisher Condé Nast reports that The New Yorker’s iPad version now has 100,000 readers, including about 20,000 people who have subscribed for $59.99 per year. In addition, “several thousand” people buy single weekly issues for $4.99.The New Yorker’s success on the iPad makes sense on multiple levels. Its rich illustrations and long-form content fit both the iPad’s laid-back, hands-on use case and its target audience. But the app also fits into a successful and growing category of reading apps that clear out all the clutter and just focus on the reading. As publishers of other high-profile magazine apps see interest waning, a successful genre of iPad magazine may finally be emerging.Condé Nast’s digital magazine business has seen its fair share of ups and downs, and AdWeek’s analysis of their sales finds that digital editions only amount to 1.3% of total circulation, anyway. But the relative success of the New Yorker app suggests that it might have a winning format.The magazine is already known for its sparse, text-focused design, and the iPad version retains the magazine’s classic aesthetic. The success of distraction-free reading apps like Instapaper, which was included in Apple’s iPad Hall of Fame for its dominance in the news category, suggests that this kind of reading experience is what iPad users want. Then again, it could just be that the New Yorker and the iPad happen to appeal to the same audience.By contrast, Wired, which was Condé Nast’s early entry into the native iPad market, saw an initial burst of enthusiasm, but its sales declined markedly after that. Wired’s layout is more dynamic and multimedia, and the downloads are bulky, which could discourage sustained interest.Other iPad magazines, like NewsCorp’s The Daily, have media-rich, complicated interfaces and large downloads, and while The Daily is guarded about its usage stats, its sharing data from social media suggest a marked decline and plateau in user engagement since its launch.This unconventional strategy might work for the New York Post, but it works against users of the Web.The New York Post’s iPad app, with its loud, bold layout, has bullied its way to the top of the heap, edging out even Instapaper as a top-grossing news app, but it did so by blocking its Web content explicitly from the iPad’s browser, even though it’s available on the desktop and other devices. This unconventional strategy might work for the Post, but it works against users of the Web.Meanwhile, Condé Nast has not bet its digital business exclusively on native apps. Last week, it became the first advertising partner on Flipboard, the iPad reading app that pulls in content from any number of user-selected feeds to create a magazine-like experience. The New Yorker’s Flipboard edition, which offers the same free content as the New Yorker’s website, is the first Flipboard feed to display ads. But other than these interspersed ads, the Flipboard reading experience is clean and quiet.The newest crop of magazine-like apps, such as The Atlantic‘s new standalone edition and AOL’s personalized AOL Editions, look much more like Flipboard than The Daily. With the New Yorker and other iPad reading apps posting some positive signs, competition for points of sale heating up, and overall Web traffic from tablets growing strongly, the market for magazine-style reading in digital formats could be starting to gel. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more