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Sunday, January 30, 2011

25 Years Later, Former Hermann Resident Recounts Challenger Explosion

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25 years later, St. Louis area residents recount Challenger explosion

 BY SUSAN WEICH  www.STLtoday.com Saturday, January 29, 2011
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Paul Wilhite was an eighth-grader at a small Catholic grade school in Hermann, Mo., when the space shuttle Challenger exploded over the Atlantic Ocean 25 years ago.
"When I look back at the '80s, it was one of those pivotal, seminal moments," he said. "You had the elation and excitement followed by the devastation and tragedy."
After the explosion, Wilhite, 39, of St. Peters, said he and his classmates went to church to pray for the families of the seven astronauts who were killed. And his attitude about his studies changed: Science became much more interesting to him.
"It became about dedication and taking risks, self-sacrifice for the sake of science," he said.
It inspired him to pursue a career as a biochemist, and he now works at EMD Millipore in Weldon Spring.
Wilhite, his wife, Sandra, and their daughter Olivia, 11, were among dozens who came to honor the Challenger crew and their families on the disaster anniversary Friday at the Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis. The center, situated in Ferguson, opened in 2003 with the goal of inspiring a lifelong interest in science, technology, engineering and math in young people. Forty-eight centers are spread across the world, and each year about 400,000 schoolchildren visit them.
Many of the people who came to the event said they home-school their children and had signed up for one of the free public missions, where they got to act out roles similar to mission control staff or to experience life on a space station.
During orientation, center director Tasmyn Scarl Front showed a slideshow of the Challenger, which exploded 73 seconds after liftoff. Among the astronauts was the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe.

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Missouri Couple Turns Hobby Into Wine Excursions Shuttle Service

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Couple turns hobby into Vines 2 Wines Excursions shuttle service

Friday, January 14, 2011
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What began as a hobby of growing grapes, making homemade wine and learning more about the wines of Missouri turned into a small business venture for Cape Girardeau empty nesters Suzanne and Tom VanderFeen. They created Vines 2 Wines Excursions to give patrons an opportunity to explore wineries and vineyards in Southeast Missouri.
In the summer of 2009, the couple was returning home from a trip to Iowa when Suzanne VanderFeen suggested to her husband they trade in her vehicle and get a bus to take people on visits to wineries, because the couple made frequent trips themselves. They are members of a wine club and said they love learning about wines.

"I was always the [designated driver] for my friends anyway," said Suzanne VanderFeen.

Soon after, Tom found a white shuttle bus for sale on Craigslist in St. Charles, Mo. The couple drove to see the bus the next day, taking along Suzanne's brother, a mechanic.

"We asked each other, 'Are we really going to use our savings to do this?'" Suzanne VanderFeen said. "And we bought it, and drove it home and looked at each other like, who does this kind of thing? Especially in a recession?"

The venture has turned into a win-win for them, she said.
In July 2009, the VanderFeens began taking their first patrons on daylong trips. On the way, Suzanne has conversations with the patrons about the wines and gives them information on the wines they will taste. Tom, she said, is great to ask about pesticides and grape growing, because he has a background in horticulture. The couple is licensed to take patrons to any location within the state. They mostly visit wineries in Southeast Missouri, but have traveled as far as Hermann, Mo., and St. James, Mo.

About once a month, Vines 2 Wines Excursions organizes a tour with open seating, but it takes groups with certain destinations or themes in mind. The couple either plans an excursion to a certain winery for the public tour or bases the stops off the patrons' wine tasting preferences by choosing wineries known for particular varieties.

She said people often schedule tours for bridal showers, birthday parties, anniversaries and fundraisers. They often bring picnic baskets or coolers onto the bus for the ride to and from a winery.


Seats are limited to 13 passengers per trip. Going on excursions during the winter, Suzanne VanderFeen said, often means even more time to spend with winemakers because it is a downtime for the wineries. Most are still open and have indoor seating, but people don't think to go to them when it's cold. 

For more information on upcoming trips, visit http://vines-2-wines.com/index.html. To make reservations, call 579-9009. 

. Click Here to Read More.

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Best of the Super Bowl Commercials Last Year 2010 VIDEO

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Some of the funniest commercials from last year 2010 Super Bowl.
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Repeated Endless Storms Cause Snow Plow Rage 'get out of the way. I gotta plow,'

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Endless Storms Causing Snow Rage

 Sunday, 30 Jan 2011___________________________________________________________________________________
Y GIOVANNA DRPIC

MYFOXNY.COM - Snow plows have been out in full force in Wayne, N.J. since the storm hit. But some people who are digging out claim, some operators are plowing them right back in.
It's causing snow plow rage.
Nancy Snyder's husband is a public works employee. She say an angry resident attacked him with a bucket of salt.
"He sees the red face. He sees the anger in the resident. He sees the swinging bucket. And he even says, 'Roll down that window or I'm going to bust you in the head with it.' And boom," Snyder says.
She says the the thrown bucket missed her husband but shattered the passenger side window anad dented the door of his plow truck.
Chuck D'Angelo allegedly threw the bucket.
D'Angelo says, "I wasn't happy for my actions for that day. I was really annoyed at him and coming and plowing me straight in."
D'Angelo says he specifically asked Robert Snyder not to plow him in as he cleared the Route 23 service road. It's a road he says he 'adopted' and cleared litter from it.
"He said, 'get out of the way. I gotta plow,'" D'Angelo said.
D'Angelo was charged with criminal mischief after the incident. In the end, D'Angelo tried to smooth things over by trying to buy Snyder a drink but Nancy Snyder is still angry about the incident.
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Anthony Hopkins Horror Film "The Rite" Top Weekend Movie VIDEO Review

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Hopkins takes 'The Rite' to top of box office

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Jan 30, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Anthony Hopkins horror film "The Rite" topped the box office on a weekend notable for the bump many Oscar-nominated films received, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The Warner Bros. flick earned $15 million from just under 3,000 theaters. The PG-13, "Exorcist"-influenced movie drew most of its audience from the older-than-25 demographic.
In its 10th week of release, the Weinstein Company's "The King's Speech" earned $11.1 million while adding nearly 900 screens.
Now with a cumulative box-office haul of $72.2 million, the story of King George VI's triumph over his stuttering affliction continues to build momentum as the Oscar favorite for best picture. It led with 12 Oscar nominations on Tuesday, and its director, Tom Hooper, won best director from the Directors Guild on Saturday.
Last week's top film, the Natalie Portman romantic comedy "No Strings Attached," from Paramount, slipped to second with $13.7 million.
The other debut this weekend, CBS Films' action film "The Mechanic," which stars Jason Statham and Ben Foster, took in $11.5 million, tied for third with Sony's updated superhero film "The Green Hornet."
Heavily marketed, "The Rite" sought a PG-13 rating less to attract younger audience members than "not to offend" older fans of the 73-year-old Hopkins, said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros.
Fellman credited the film's success to Hopkins, who remains a draw for moviegoers, especially in scary films that recall his famous performance as Hannibal Lecter in 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs."
"The King's Speech" saw the biggest increase after Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday, jumping 41 percent from its performance last weekend.
The Coen brothers' Western "True Grit" was up four percent in its sixth week, bringing its total to $138 million. "The Fighter," in its eighth week, and Portman's "Black Swan," in its ninth week, had only slight drop-offs from the prior weekend.
Still, it was hard to ignore the rising tide of "The King's Speech," which has usurped David Fincher's "The Social Network" as prognosticators' pick to win best picture at the Academy Awards on Feb. 27. Its star, Colin Firth, is believed to be a shoo-in for best actor.


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "The Rite," $15 million.
2. "No Strings Attached," $13.7 million.
3. "The Green Hornet," $11.5 million.
(tie) "The Mechanic, $11.5 million.
5. "The King's Speech," $11.1 million.
6. "True Grit," $7.6 million.
7. "The Dilemma," $5.5 million.
8. "Black Swan," $5.1 million.
9. "The Fighter," $4.1 million.
10. "Yogi Bear," $3.2 million.


. Click Here to Read More.

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Egypt Protest Riot Over 125 Dead 2000 Wounded - LIVE STREAMING Video Civilian shot dead

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LIVE STREAMING VIDEO
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Death toll in Egypt's protests tops 100: sources

CAIRO | Sat Jan 29, 2011
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(Reuters) - More than 100 people have been killed during anti-government protests that have swept Egypt, according to a Reuters tally of reports from medical sources, hospitals and witnesses.


There was no official figure, and the real figure may be very different, given the confusion on the streets.


On Saturday in Beni Suef, south of Cairo, police shot dead 17 people trying to attack two police stations and eight people were killed during protests. Eight others were killed in clashes when prisoners tried to escape from Abu Zaabal prison in Cairo.


Some 68 deaths were reported killed in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria during Friday's protests.


Before then, security sources had said at least six people, including a police officer, had been killed since the protests started on Tuesday.


On Saturday, medical sources told Reuters around 2,000 people had been wounded throughout the country, however with more protests erupting, that number was almost certain to rise.

. Click Here to Read More.

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Thousands in Cairo defy curfew
Tens of thousands of protesters have defied Egypt's President Mubarak's curfew.
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Credit Card Rates at Record Highs Up to 59.9 Percent, Near 15% Average

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Credit card rates at record highs near 15%

By Blake Ellis, CNN staff reporter
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Interest rates are now hovering near record highs, at an average rate of 14.72%. And if your credit is bad enough, you could even end up with a rate as high as 59.9% APR.

That's because while the CARD Act helped crack down on certain fees and requires more disclosures, it didn't cap every credit card holder's worst enemy: interest rates.

Sure, the new rules prevent banks from raising most interest rates retroactively, but there's no limit on the rates they can charge new customers.

"Rates are going up because card issuers know that once you get a card they can't raise the rates, so they're raising rates on the front end to ensure they get the revenue from that interest," said Beverly Harzog, credit card expert at Credit.com.

APRs have climbed more than 20% over the past two years and hit an all-time high of an average 14.78% in mid-November, based on weekly data CreditCards.com collects from 100 of the nation's top credit card issuers.

And there's no end in sight. While interest rate caps have been proposed -- including a proposal earlier this month from New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey that would limit rates at 15% -- none have been passed into law so far.
So what do record high interest rates mean for you? If you have a terrible credit score, opening a credit card is going to be painful. Though rates vary depending on the card you apply for, with a score below 599 you'll likely be stuck facing an APR of 24% or higher, said Harzog. If you can get a card at all.

In fact, First Premier Bank offers a Gold MasterCard with a whopping 59.9% rate for those people with "less than perfect credit", according to its website. And that rate is actually down from the 79.9% rate it originally charged.

Even with a credit score between 600 to 649 -- still considered poor, but not terrible -- you're probably looking at rates around 20%.

Harzog recommends staying away from interest rates above 20% and instead getting a secured card from a lender like Orchard Bank as a way to build up credit so that you can eventually get a card with a decent rate.

With a secured card, you deposit money into an account and can use the card like a credit card -- and it impacts your credit just like a credit card does. But if you don't make payments, the bank will just take your own money out of the account.
"I don't suggest people ever carry a balance at such high interest rates," Harzog said. "A secured card is like a credit card on training wheels, so it will help you get your credit back on track."

With a credit score between 650 and 699, you're on your way to finding better interest rates, likely ranging between 15% and 19%.

. Click Here to Read More.

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How To Improve Your Credit Score
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FBI Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 28, 2011

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FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 28, 2011

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Washington, D.C. January 28, 2011
  • FBI National Press Office 
Press Release
  1. Honolulu: Hawaii Man Sentenced to 32 Years in Prison for Providing Defense Information and Services to People’s Republic of China

    Noshir S. Gowadia was sentenced to 32 years in prison for communicating classified national defense information to the People’s Republic of China, illegally exporting military technical data, as well as money laundering, filing false tax returns and other offenses. Full Story
  2. Headquarters: Search Warrants Executed in the United States as Part of Ongoing Cyber Investigation

    FBI agents executed more than 40 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations. Additionally, the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service executed search warrants and arrested five people for their alleged role in the attacks. Full Story
  3. San Juan: One Doctor and 532 Individuals Indicted for Mail and Social Security Fraud Conspiracy

    A jury issued a 709-count indictment, charging 533 defendants with mail fraud conspiracy, mail fraud, social security fraud and one forfeiture count. The victim of the offenses charged in the indictment was American Family Life Assurance Company, which paid out more than $6 million to its policyholders as a result of the fraudulent scheme. Full Story

  4. Detroit: Leader of the Detroit Highwaymen Sentenced to 37 Years in Prison

    Aref “Scarface” Nagi, former leader of the Detroit Highwaymen Motorcycle Club, was sentenced to 37 years in federal prison after being found guilty on a variety of charges, including conspiracy to violate federal racketeering laws and conspiracy to commit murder, along with controlled substance, stolen property and firearm violations. Full Story
  5. New York: Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Ann Pettway with 1987 Kidnapping from Harlem Hospital

    Annugetta Pettway, a/k/a “Ann Pettway,” was charged with kidnapping in connection with the 1987 abduction of a 19-day-old girl from Harlem Hospital in Manhattan. Pettway, was arrested in Bridgeport, Conn. and was presented in Manhattan federal court. Full Story
  6. Charlotte: Man Wanted for More Than a Decade Nabbed After Profile Airs on National TV

    A man on the run for more than a decade was arrested in Rockwell, Texas after investigators received tip calls from viewers of America’s Most Wanted. Jack Allen Poteat was wanted on a federal Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution warrant based on charges in Union County, N.C. Full Story
  7. Minneapolis: Federal Fugitive Arrested

    SAC Ralph Boelter announced the arrest of Cruze Anthony White. White was a federal fugitive charged by criminal complaint on Nov. 17, 2010, for one count of murder in the second degree and two counts of assault with intent to commit murder. Full Story
  8. Phoenix: Valley Man Indicted for Possessing and Transporting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

    A jury returned a three-count indictment against Jeffrey Harbin for possession of unregistered destructive devices and the unlawful transportation of explosive material. Full Story

  9. San Diego: Border Corruption Task Force Arrests Fugitive

    SAC Keith Slotter announced the arrest of Marcos Gerardo Manzano Sr., who was taken into custody after he self-surrendered to agents assigned to the Border Corruption Task Force. Manzano was arrested in the vicinity of the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station without incident. Full Story
  10. Atlanta: Former Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced to Prison for Corruption and Drug Charges

    Anthony C. Atwater was sentenced to six years in prison on corruption and drug charges. U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “While dressed in his uniform, this former law enforcement officer sold out his badge to people he knew as drug dealers, and chose to protect them rather than the citizens.” Full Story
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Comic David Frye Dies, Impressionist of Presidents Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson

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Comic David Frye, known for Nixon impression, dies

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 Associated Press  Saturday, January 29, 2011

LAS VEGAS -- Comic David Frye, whose impressions of Presidents Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and other prominent political figures vaulted him to popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, has died in Las Vegas, his family confirmed Saturday. He was 77.
Frye died at his home Monday of cardiopulmonary arrest, Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said.
Frye's sister, Ruth Welch of Boynton Beach, Fla., said he was a born comic genius who wrote his own material and began by imitating neighbors in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they grew up.
"He had an eye for people's movements and an ear for their voices," Welch told The Associated Press on Saturday. "He could really get down people's mannerisms and intonations."
Among other venues, Frye performed at colleges and nightclubs across the country as well as on television programs such as the "Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson."
He reached the height of his popularity doing exaggerated impressions of Nixon, with his shoulders hunched and face bowed down. He also devoted several albums to Nixon before Nixon resigned as president in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal.
Born David Shapiro in 1934 in Brooklyn, Frye also imitated such political and entertainment figures as Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, William F. Buckley, Walter Cronkite, Kirk Douglas and Howard Cosell.
Welch said Frye was a "wonderful" brother who moved to Las Vegas about eight years ago from Beverly Hills, Calif.
"He was a generous person and a very good brother in time of need," she said. "He was very much loved by the whole family, and he'll be terribly missed."


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