Watch Anna Kendrick in the First Trailer of Pitch Perfect 2

first_imgThe Bellas are back! As we all know, Tony and Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow and the Bellas are returning for Pitch Perfect 2 and we now have our first proper look at the sequel. Directed by Hunger Games actress Elizabeth Banks, the film is set three years after the first movie and the girls are taking their competing to a whole new level—The World Championships of A Capella. Check out the trailer below. Between this (which will be released on May 15, 2015) and the upcoming movie musicals Into The Woods and The Last Five Years, isn’t it time to return to Broadway, Ms. Kendrick? It’s been far too long! View Commentslast_img read more

Plans for mountain bike trails in Virginia Beach state park are canceled

first_imgSouth Carolina’s environmental agency has granted a pair of certifications for a Charleston-area developer to fill more than 200 acres of wetlands in one of the city’s most flood prone areas, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) said on their website. The wetlands are slated to become a mix of housing and commercial construction called the Long Savannah development project.  Florida family finds 9-foot alligator on their doorstep Plans for mountain bike trails in Virginia Beach state park are canceled Heading outside to go on a hike or run? In Florida, it’s a good idea to scan the stoop before you step over the threshold. Case in point: A family in Tampa, Florida opened their door to find a 9-foot alligator with missing limbs resting on their front porch. The family was unable to get the gator to move and eventually called in the services of a reptile rescue facility. 200 acres of SC wetlands to be filled by Charleston-area developer SELC is asking the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to reconsider the approval for the project. “So many of the homes in the Church Creek basin area of Charleston have suffered flood damage year after year because builders have repeatedly destroyed the wetlands that protect us from flooding,” Chris DeScherer, managing attorney of SELC’s Charleston office said. “It doesn’t seem like a good idea to fill another 200 acres of valuable wetlands and give stormwater even fewer places to go.” center_img The study found that cyclists have already harmed the landscape at First Landing State Park by creating “ghost” trails that have eroded the soil and by using chainsaws to cut down trees that blocked the unofficial path. “Once roots are exposed and subjected to repeated stresses from bike tires or foot traffic, it becomes only a matter of time before tree mortality results, stabilization of the dune is compromised, and forest integrity is degraded,” the study said.  Mountain bike trails proposed for First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach are being reconsidered after an environmental impact study concluded bikes are harmful to the park’s unique landscape. “It’s going to take more conversation and more work,” Sen. Bill DeSteph told the Virginia-Pilot.  To protect unsuspecting visitors to the home, residents in their neighborhood posted signs that read “Delivery stop! Leave packages here! Alligator at front door!! (seriously)” to warn delivery drivers of the stubborn gator. The alligator was eventually removed by employees of Croc Encounters and will now live at the organization’s facility.  Beach grass on dunes at Sandbridge Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia – Photo courtesy of Getty Images by SherryVSmith_Imageslast_img read more

Judicial candidates raise millions for campaigning

first_img October 15, 2000 Regular News Judicial candidates raise millions for campaigning Judicial candidates raise millions for campaigning center_img Circuit court candidates in Florida have raised almost $7 million as of mid-September and lawyers and candidates have accounted for more than $2.8 million of that total.According to statistics assembled by The Florida Bar, judicial candidates raised a total of $6.8 million through September 17 contribution reports. Of that, $3.5 million had been spent. Much of the money was raised by candidates — frequently incumbents — who were unopposed, and consequently spent little.Additional funds are likely to be raised and spent in the four runoff races that will be decided on the November ballot.The Bar statistics also showed that lawyers contributed $1.6 million to judicial campaigns, including candidates who gave to their own campaigns. Aside from those gifts, candidates loaned themselves just under $1.3 million. Similar information for county court races is not collected in a central location and was not readily available.The information was collected as part of the Bar’s education and advocacy program on the November referendum on extending merit selection and retention to trial judges. The Bar has embarked on a campaign to both educate voters about the issue and to advocate the adoption of the merit process.One of the arguments for switching to the pure merit system is it would lessen the influence of contributions from lawyers to judicial candidates whom they will later appear before in court, and reduce the impact generally of money in selecting judges.Most of the money was raised in 17 contested circuit judgeships (out of 127 total seats up this year), and the statistics showed that success in raising money helps but isn’t a guarantee of winning. In 11 of the races, the candidate raising the most money either won or made the runoff; in six of the races the less well-heeled candidates prevailed. That included one 11th Circuit race where one candidate outspent his three opponents combined more than four times over and failed to make the runoff.Three of the less well financed candidates who won were incumbents, and one incumbent judge who led his race in fundraising lost.The figures also show that big money campaigns are no longer just in the large, urban circuits.The most expensive campaign through the September primary was in the First Circuit, covering Florida’s western Panhandle, where two candidates combined to raise more than $450,000, mostly from their own pockets. Another candidate in that circuit, running unopposed for an open seat, raised almost $73,000, bringing the total for the circuit, which had two seats open, to about $540,000, the third highest total for any circuit.The highest total belonged to the 11th Circuit, which saw candidates raise almost $3 million and spend $1.3 million. Miami-Dade County had four contested circuit races and 18 uncontested races. Nine of the uncontested candidates, including eight incumbents, raised six-figure campaign funds.The second highest spending circuit was the Ninth Circuit, which had four contested races and six uncontested races. The total raised there was $682,000. Much of that came in one race where both candidates raised over $100,000 and from one unchallenged incumbent who raised over $150,000.last_img read more

5 mental tricks that will save you money

first_img 38SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Behavioral change is hard. You may have resolved to adjust your approach to spending, saving, or investing this year—but just because you know a new habit would be good for you doesn’t mean it will be easy to adopt.Small tweaks can have significant impact, though, so I’m always looking for easy, repeatable tricks and tactics that anyone can use to take control of his or her finances. Here are a few of my favorites.Give it a minute. Spend one minute each day—ideally, at the same time—to check in on your finances. The best way to do this is with an account-aggregation app, which pulls together your credit card and bank accounts and lets you scroll through all your recent transactions. (You can also use this to catch incorrect charges; I’ve found restaurants changing my tip or double billing me.) You could also use individual bank or credit card apps on your phone or even scan the cash and receipts in your wallet each morning. The key is to see whether you’re spending money faster than you want to. continue reading »last_img read more

The interview which started as a Tweet

first_imgA few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a series of tweets from a credit union member to no one in particular. That I saw it at all amongst the mass of data is odd. But here’s where it gets interesting. The member had an issue with their credit union, Idaho Central Credit Union, and said so in a tweet. They didn’t @ mention the CU or # them, either. So, really, there was no simple way for the credit union to ever know about it. The member was, for all intents and purposes, yelling into an echo chamber.But the credit union did reply. And thus the origin of this post.After seeing how the credit union located this member and solved their problem (all through Twitter), I contacted them directly. Unsurprisingly, their Twitter account had a friendly reply, wherein they referred me to the social media/marketing director, Lisa Davis. The following is an interview conducted with her. This credit union, and their team, get social media. I wanted to help them share this strategy with you.Joe Winn: Good afternoon and thank you for taking the time out for this discussion! As mentioned, I recognized your social media efforts were far beyond the norm when you plucked a member complaint out of thin air (in a sense) for resolution. How did you do that?Lisa Davis: I work with a couple of systems to grab any mentions of us – monitoring a number of different keywords. We really want to keep tabs on what is being said about us (good and bad) on social platforms, news articles, review sites, etc. We go after negative comments and try our best to turn them around. This is not just great for our members, but is a wonderful way to display how amazing our customer service is to those watching that are potential members.Winn: I sure was impressed! From their posts, it seemed the member was as well, which is what really matters. What spurred ICCU to develop a social media presence?Davis: We felt and feel that social media is a great way to connect with members and potential members.Winn: I agree. How did you inform your members it existed?Davis: We started off with just a Facebook page and did some fun promotions—contests and whatnot to gain followers. We also had “Like us on Facebook” stamps made up for the tellers to spread the word. Now, we advertise all of our social platforms in the branches on the screens behind the teller line. In addition, we do run Facebook/Instagram ads.Winn: Engaging the “what’s in it for me” mentality is a good strategy. Of course, I’m sure it wasn’t all roses and massive follower adoption. What missteps (if any) did you encounter as the system grew?Davis: In the beginning, we weren’t catching as many mentions since people use a variety of different names for us. This is what prompted us to look into monitoring software – which has proven very useful, especially since as we continue to grow, mentions are growing as well.Winn: So that would be how you caught this member’s complaints to no one in particular. Given a member can ask anything online, is the social media platform effort engaged with all CU departments, or just routed through a specific team?Davis: I manage all things social, but work with many teams to accomplish our goals. For example, we strive to follow up with anyone who has an issue or a question – whether they request follow up or not. Based on the question or concern, I facilitate these through the appropriate team member and then make sure the person has been contacted and then follow up on our social channels so the public can see that we have addressed it.Winn: Sharing these resolutions is a smart move. It’s like when a restaurant responds to reviews on Yelp. Always makes me feel like they truly care. How do you feel member support and outreach will grow in this medium? Will it become just another option for members, or will it begin to replace existing platforms (live chat, phone, e-mail, even in-person)?Davis: I feel that [social media as a member support and outreach medium] will continue to grow. (emphasis mine) As we…grow, we have definitely watched our member interaction through social channels grow. We have some members who use social media as their primary way to connect with us – to inquire about a new product, provide feedback on a recent interaction, or ask a question about their online banking. Social never really shuts down for the day. Although, it is not expected, if I get a question at 10pm on a Saturday night, I’ll answer it. Our members know they can count on us through social to at least get feedback that their question has been passed along to a team member who will get in touch with them shortly after the opening of next business day. I think this makes them feel more connected to us and builds a level of trust and security knowing they have a place to go with a question or concern 24×7. (emphasis mine)Winn: Well, I’ve definitely gained a level of trust through this discussion. Thank you again for your time and for sharing these insights! I’m certain readers from other credit unions will enjoy learning about your strategies and the passion committed to making it the best it can. This reflects, as you intended, positively on Idaho Central Credit Union.Follow Idaho Central Credit Union directly through their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages! Visit their site for even more ways to connect.So, fellow geeks (and honorary geeks)…what did you think of this interview? Want to see more discussions with your peers? Let me know in the comments below! 33SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joe Winn What do you get when you mix auto loan programs with a desire to help others? Well, approaches that make a difference, of course. So what do you get when … Web: Detailslast_img read more

UK government schemes abandon merger after last-minute U-turn

first_imgIn May, the government, also trying to cut costs, published a consultation on the creation of two collective investment vehicles for the 89 LGPS funds in England and Wales, ending speculation over scheme mergers.The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is considering responses over whether to mandate LGPS funds into investing all listed assets passively.OCC and BCC said it was this consultation that compelled them to end negotiations with RBWM, as any potential shift in government policy would affect the cost/benefits previously identified.RMBM said the Berkshire Pension Fund met on 3 December and approved collaboration with the two funds, expecting their Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire counterparts to do likewise.However, a spokesman for OCC said: “Following the presentation of a report on the potential savings, Oxfordshire’s pensions committee deferred any decisions on collaboration.“The council is awaiting an expected announcement by central government on whether it will in future require LGPS funds to use passive investment for all listed shares, as this will significantly impact the financial business case for future collaboration.”The pension fund’s committee did suggest it would explore options for collaborations with “more suitable” funds.According to Nick Greenwood, manager of the Berkshire Pension Fund, the Buckinghamshire committee also said it was not prepared to make a formal move until the DCLG decision.Greenwood said the BCC committee was uncomfortable with the differences between its own and the Berkshire Pension Fund’s investment strategies, and that the committee wanted to investigate the benefits of leaving RBWM out of the arrangement.The note from Greenwood added that both BCC and OCC announced they were approaching the government, alongside Northamptonshire Country Council, seeking permission to create a three-county authority, which could potentially include pensions in the long term.“No mention of these discussions was made at our 17 November meeting with the two councils,” Greenwood said.“Consequently, it is clear both councils have no intention to collaborate with RBWM on managing pension funds.”The DCLG consultation response was expected to be published in 2014.However, it is now expected to be published in early 2015.Aside from mandating all 89 funds to invest listed assets and alternatives through collective investment vehicles, the government will also consider a ‘comply-or-explain’ approach. Three English county pension funds looking to collaborate over investments and administration have called off their plans due to the government consultation on changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM), Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) and Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) had been in discussions since 2013, in a bid to increase efficiencies and cut costs.RBWM sponsors the £1.6bn (€2.1bn) Berkshire Pension Fund, with the other pension funds holding £1.8bn and £1.5bn in assets, respectively.However, discussions between the three neighbouring funds were abandoned as the central government debates the future of LGPS investmentslast_img read more

Triangle’s Cliff Head well goes offline after pump issue

first_imgAustralia-based oil producer Triangle Energy has experienced a technical issue with one of the wells at its Cliff Head oil field located offshore Australia, which has caused the well to stop producing. The Cliff Head oil field is located in the Perth Basin about 270 kilometers north of Perth and 12 kilometers off the coast of Dongara in Western Australia, at a water depth of 15-20 meters.The field is produced via an offshore platform connected to the onshore Arrowsmith Stabilisation Plant by twin 14km production and injection pipelines. Crude oil is trucked to BP at its Kwinana refinery south of Perth.Triangle Energy is the operator and majority owner of the field with a 78.75% interest, with Royal Energy holding an interest of 21.25%.Triangle informed on Wednesday that a technical issue has occurred during steady state production operations which has caused production well CH13 to stop producing. It has been confirmed, by both company and service personnel, that the issue is associated with the downhole electric submersible pump, Triangle added.Whilst CH13 remains offline the company anticipates production to stablize at approximately 750 bopd from the other four producing wells.Triangle experienced a similar issue with the downhole electric submersible pump on another well last year. Namely, a technical issue with the pump caused well CH12H to stop producing back in May 2018. The production from the well was not restored until October last year.In addition, in July 2018, Triangle’s Cliff Head was hit by severe weather and sea conditions resulting in a loss of produced fluid and the interruption to production. The incident was classified as a low-level oil spill, in the range of zero to 10,000 liters.last_img read more

Trespassing complaint, standoff results in three arrests

first_imgCross Plains, Ind. — Three people were arrested for theft and weapons charges after a trespassing complaint in Ripley CountyThe incident began Wednesday at 10:54 a.m. when Christian Stewart, 21, of Madison, went to a residence in Cross Plains to get help because his vehicle was stuck. The residents called police when they suspected Stewart was impaired and noticed he was carrying a loaded handgun.Officers responded to the scene of the stuck vehicle and discovered it was gone. During their investigation police determined two accomplices stole a tractor and other items from a nearby garage while Stewart was asking for help. The two accomplices, Kelsey Luellen, 22, of Madison, and Cameron Stewart, 19, of Commiskey, used the tractor to free their vehicle and attempt to flee.During the investigation police learned Cameron Stewart was armed and reportedly inside an abandoned residence. When police responded to that location Stewart barricaded himself inside. After a two-hour standoff with police Stewart attempted to flee. He was quickly captured by a canine officer.Ripley County deputies along with Indiana State Police troopers made the three arrests without incident.last_img read more

U.S. 52 to reopen between New Trenton and Cedar Grove by end of October

first_imgBrookville, IN—The section of U.S. 52 between New Trenton and Cedar Grove in Franklin County will reopen by the end of October, following completion of the upper portion of a slide repair project that began in early June. INDOT crews will repave the area, install guardrail and apply pavement markings before the road is opened to traffic.The road was originally scheduled to reopen as one lane with a temporary signal by the end of September, but due to safety concerns and the project schedule, it was decided to reopen the road as two lanes without a signal after crews are able to move to the lower section of the repair.Intermittent closures will be necessary for material delivery, loading and unloading until the project is completed in mid-December. Flaggers will be utilized to close the roadway to traffic for up to 20 minutes at a time. Dates and times for the closures will be communicated as much in advance as possible via message boards and communications from INDOT.The official detour for the closure remains S.R. 46 to S.R. 1 north of Cedar Grove until the road reopens. An official date will be announced prior to the roadway opening to traffic in October.last_img read more

Summer of struggle for Pardew

first_img He could be forgiven for feeling sorry for himself, but the former Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton boss is hoping there are brighter days ahead. Asked how he maintains his own spirits, he replied with a smile: “I try to get some sleep when I can. “But the spirits are always lifted by the fans. To walk out at Morecambe and let’s be honest, half of it was Newcastle United fans coming to watch it, and if that can’t energise you, nothing will.” Pardew hopes to be able to unleash his one summer acquisition to date, Loic Remy, at some point on Saturday with the Frenchman having now trained with his new team-mates after shaking off the calf injury he was suffering with when he arrived from QPR on a season-long loan deal. Fulham were the last side to lose at St James’ Park in April with Papiss Cisse’s last-gasp winner, which prompted Pardew to leap into the embraces of delighted fans in the stands, proving crucial in their ultimately successful fight for survival. The Senegal international has not scored a league goal since and improving the supply lines to him is a priority. Pardew said: “Looking at the team, I am really looking to try to help Papiss a little bit more in terms of his service, and it’s something we will be working on.” The 52-year-old has had to contend with the controversial appointment of director of football Joe Kinnear, continued speculation over the future of French midfielder Yohan Cabaye, a frustrating lack of signings to date and a distinctly ordinary opening to the new campaign on the pitch. That combination of factors would have been difficult enough to deal with had Pardew not ended last season fighting for his job with both owner Mike Ashley and the club’s fans less than impressed with a 16th-placed Barclays Premier League finish. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admits another turbulent transfer window and a tough start to the season have taken their toll on him. While he insists the events of the last few weeks have not really come as a surprise to him, he is hoping his fortunes will take a significant turn for the better as he prepares for Fulham’s visit to St James’ Park on Saturday and Monday’s transfer deadline. Pardew said: “If I had been asked during the summer what would pre-season be like, I would have suggested not too dissimilar to how it’s been. “We had a tough start in terms of Manchester City away with a new manager, and also you could almost sense that one or two of our players would be involved in this window, so I kind of sensed it was coming. “But that doesn’t mean to say it hasn’t been difficult, because it has. “It has been a very difficult period and if we can get a win on Saturday and get through to Monday with one or two additions, I will be very, very pleased.” A crushing 4-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium was followed by a dispiriting 0-0 home draw with West Ham, and Wednesday night’s 2-0 Capital One Cup victory at League Two Morecambe came courtesy largely of Pardew’s understudies and was less convincing than the scoreline suggests. But the uncertainty of Cabaye’s future – the France international has been told he is expected to be available for selection against Fulham after sitting out the opening three games – has proved draining with Arsenal’s second bid having been firmly rejected, but the Magpies are awaiting a response with time running down. Pardew could yet lose arguably his most influential performer to the Gunners and face the task of replacing him in what remains of the summer window, while his hopes of landing two more “flair” players lie in Kinnear’s hands. Press Associationlast_img read more