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Streets of Ferguson smolder

CNN - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 20:50
This is what Ferguson looked like Tuesday morning.
Categories: National News

Prescott and Beckwith Named Finalists For National Awards

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 18:31
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State junior quarterback Dak Prescott was named a finalist for the 78th Maxwell Award as well as the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, ESPNU announced Tuesday.

Prisoners got $70 million from fake tax refund claims

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 18:15
Prisoners are filing bogus tax refund claims from jail, and some are actually getting away with it.

With $1 million saved, should we hire a financial adviser?

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 18:07
Read full story for latest details.

These professional Christmas light displays can cost thousands

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:41
Read full story for latest details.

Paris police foil Cartier jewelry heist

CNN World - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:22
A jewelry heist on one the world's most prestigious jewelry stores has been foiled, and both would-be thieves are in police custody after an attempted escape amidst a flurry of security forces, according to police, eyewitnesses and French media.
Categories: International News

Smith focused, ready for the NFR

Twisted Rodeo - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:20

REXBURG, Idaho – When Wyatt Smith looks back at 2014, he points to a certain moment as the turning point and a key reason as to why he qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“San Antonio was a huge boost for me,” said Smith, who won the steer wrestling title in San Antonio this past February. “I got a lot of confidence from that, and I was able to stay very consistent through the year.”

It paid off. Smith pocketed $57,188 through the regular season, which ran through the end of September. He heads to Las Vegas next week as the 13th ranked bulldogger – only the top 15 contestants in each event earn the right to compete for the biggest pay in the game. Go-round winners will earn $19,000 each night for 10 nights.

Wyatt Smith

Wyatt Smith

“It still hasn’t really set in; all I’m doing is living out a dream,” said Smith, 26, of Rexburg, Idaho.

The dream started two decades ago as a youngster in a rodeo family. His father, Lynn, and mother, Valorie, provided the tools for Wyatt and his younger brother, Garrett.

“Rodeo is a lifestyle,” Wyatt Smith said. “My family is the big boost in every way that they can, from helping me take care of horses all the time to helping take care of everything when I’m gone. Everything we do is rodeo, rodeo, rodeo.

“My mom helps me a lot with goal-setting. It would help me keep my focus and drive and take care of practice and everything else. When school was out, I was saddling horses, and we were practicing. My dad had everything ready for us when we needed.”

That type of support means everything to Smith, who also won event titles in Evanston, Wyo., and Salt Lake City.

“There’s never a negative moment in our house,” he said. “We were just a little small family from Rexburg, Idaho. I’ve always had that positive influence and the push and drive.”

That influence and a true passion has been a guiding force for Smith, who won both the National High School Rodeo Association and the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association championships in the all-around and steer wrestling. A big part of that was the dedication he had to getting better.

“When I was younger, my idol was Ty Murray,” Smith said of the nine-time world champion. “He did lots of gymnastics, learning to use his body and control his body. He was one of the greatest and a legend. If he was doing it, I wanted to learn.

“It was just a way to stay in shape and keep the flexibility and control in my body.”

It seems to have worked well for Smith, who began competing in ProRodeo in 2008. He has finished among the top 55 cowboys in the world standings each of the previous three years, but his run in 2014 is his best so far.

Through all the greatness that came his way over the last 12 months, there was one major challenge. In mid-May, he lost his main partner, a 14-year-old gelding he called Short Bus.

“It was dang sure tough,” Smith said, his voice cracking. “When we travel around, it’s just just the traveling partners that become our family; our horses are, too. It’s how we make money and how we survive. Losing a good horse is tragic to a lot of things. I was just fortunate to have other horses to get on this year.”

Short Bus suffered a brain aneurism while Smith was at the rodeo in Ramona, Calif. The horse died just before Smith was to compete.

“That made it awful tough for the night,” he said. “I held it together to bulldog and haze a few steers, then I handed the horses off and headed to the truck. I was done for the night.”

That painful moment could have derailed everything Smith had worked for, but he viewed it more as a challenge to overcome. He knew there still was business ahead of him, so he tended to it, all while traveling with a team of steer wrestlers called “The Recking Crew”: Smith, Tom Lewis, Sean Santucci and Christin Radabaugh.

“What I like most about rodeo is the lifestyle,” he said. “We get to travel around the country and see different places. We get to go anywhere we want and get to do what we love. You set yourself up to be around great people all the time.”

Now he has the opportunity to ply his trade on rodeo’s grandest stage, the NFR.

“There are a lot of guys who could be at the finals right now that just didn’t have the luck,” Smith said. “There are so many bulldoggers out there that bulldog outstanding. It’s such a privilege to be one of the top 15 in the world and get to go to the finals.

“I’d love to win a round buckle. I want to go at it like I do at every rodeo I go to, and that’s to win as much money as I can.”

When the dust settles on the final night of the 2014 season, the contestants who have earned the most money in each event will earn the gold buckle awarded to the world champion.

“That would be outstanding and would be a lifelong achievement,” he said. “It is dang sure a possibility and is within reach if everything goes right. You’re always reaching for that, but in the back of your mind, you’re going to take each pen of steers one at a time.

“I don’t have to beat all the greats. I have to throw my steers down and let them play out the rest.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

New York Times names an innovation editor

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:18
The 163-year-old New York Times now has an editor for innovation and strategy.

Bulldogs Close Out 2014 Home Slate Against Texas A&M

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:13
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Play at the Newell-Grissom Building for the 2014 season will officially conclude on Wednesday, Nov. 26, when the Mississippi State volleyball Bulldogs (7-24, 2-14 SEC) host the Texas A&M Aggies (19-8, 11-5 SEC).

Champions League: Lionel Messi breaks goalscoring record

CNN World - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:12
Lionel Messi scores a hat-trick to become the most successful goalscorer in European Champions League history as Barcelona thrashes Apoel Nicosia 4-0.
Categories: International News

‘Good Ol’ Gals Tell All’ about cowboys

Twisted Rodeo - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 16:44

LAS VEGAS – Terri Powers thinks there are more pertinent story lines about the Western lifestyle than most books written on the subject portray.

“When I decided to write books for the rodeo crowd, I saw that most cowboy books out there are either historical, old-timey stuff or Western romance novels,” said Powers, an author from Albuquerque, N.M. “Instead, I want to do entertaining books that are more relevant to today’s cowboy.”

She’s done it so far. Powers wrote Gold Buckles Don’t Lie, the Untold Tale of Fred Whitfield, which was released in 2013. It’s been quite a success, especially among rodeo fans that have followed the career of Whitfield, an eight-time world champion calf roper and pro rodeo’s most decorated African-American cowboy.

This December, Powers releases “Cowboy Tails, Good Ol’ Gals Tell All,” a collection of short stories from women who have loved cowboys “to varying degrees of success.” She will be in Las Vegas from Dec. 5-14 for signings and appearances during the upcoming National Finals Rodeo.

“The book is based on my decision at 8 years old to never marry a cowboy,” Powers said. “I remember being quite certain, even as a little kid, that I didn’t want to end up with a cowboy.”

It’s something she never thought about again until writing Whitfield’s story.

“It was then that I realized there are some really awesome women out there who would not have anything but a cowboy,” she said. “I wondered what they knew that I didn’t, and Cowboy Tails was born. Regardless of the specifics, I figured the women’s stories would be a good time, and they are.”

Rodeo life is nothing new to Powers, whose father designed and built rodeo equipment during the 1960s. Her older brother was a tie-down roper, and her son is a team roper. Having seen the heartbreak rodeo can bring, she was never interested in it herself.

“I have always loved horses and still do,” she said.

Though she wanted to remain tied to cowboys and the rodeo way of life, Powers wanted her second book to be as far removed from her first as she could get.

“Gold Buckles was about somebody; Cowboy Tails is about everybody,” Powers said. “I started with my friends, women that I knew had been with cowboys. Very early, I knew I was on to something, so I next took it to the cyber crowd and talked to woman all over the country. I listened to them tell of the perks and perils of life with a cowboy, then, at the end, I analyzed my decision based on their stories.”

And, oh, what stories.

“There are 43 chapters,” Powers said. “The majority of them are one woman telling one story in one chapter, however, there are three or four women with stories throughout the book, which is structured to follow the course of a woman’s life: The first ones, the last ones and all the ones in between.”

Powers interviewed every woman, most of whom remain anonymous.

“The only common thread among the woman was that they had loved a cowboy, so their stories are all over the map,” she said. “I heard stories about stereotypical ornery, rotten rodeo cowboys, as well as stories of men who made me proud to me an American. They were very funny, but also very heart-warming.”

There are stories from women through the generations.

“One of my favorite stories is from a woman whose father was a cowboy, but her mother was a city girl from San Diego who fell for all of his outlandish stories,” Powers said. “He once told her that cockleburs were porcupine embryos, and if you put them into the oven, they would hatch. She believed him.”

Bull riders really took a hit in this book, and Powers said there were some wild stories about them. While she wasn’t too surprised about the bull riders, Powers said she was surprised to hear about another side of often chauvinist cowboys.

“Many women talked about how their cowboys pushed them to do more than they ever thought they could,” she said. “I found that paradox interesting. These supposed chauvinists often had more faith in their women’s abilities than the women themselves had, and pushed them far beyond their comfort zone.”

Updated information on Las Vegas signings and appearances will be made on the book’s website, www.CowboyTails.com. Some of the storytellers will be with her periodically during the NFR.

So why is this the best time to release the book?

“I wanted to get the biggest start I could,” she said. “I think it will make an awesome Christmas gift. This book is angled toward women, but in the end, I think it appeals to everybody.”

She also will begin investigating her next book while in Las Vegas.

“The women have had their turn, but I think my next book will allow the cowboys to have their say,” Powers said. “I’ll be talking to as many cowboys as I can during this year’s NFR and have Cowboy Tails II ready to release at next year’s NFR.”

When the National Finals Rodeo heads to Las Vegas every December, 119 contestants will battle for the top prize money in the game. They bring with them hundreds of thousands of fans to the Nevada desert looking for stories of cowboys, cowgirls and the Western lifestyle.

Terri Powers has found a perfect niche with rodeo fans and plans to stay there for years to come.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

UK report: Killer signaled intent

CNN World - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 16:10
An online threat made by one of the killers of British soldier Lee Rigby could have tipped off security agencies and perhaps prevented his murder.
Categories: International News

Why Black Friday deals aren't really deals

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 16:07
If you're experiencing déjà vu this Black Friday, there's a reason: Retailers are repeating products and prices from last year.

Possible reprieve for Louisiana family's beloved pit bull

CNN - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 15:56
A Louisiana family may have won a reprieve in its fight to protect its beloved pit bull from a local "vicious dogs" ordinance.
Categories: National News

Ferguson library sees donations roll in

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 15:42
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Frost living a dream with NFR bid

Twisted Rodeo - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 15:09

RANDLETT, Utah – As a child, Joe Frost did what most kids do: He let his imagination take him anywhere it wanted to go.

Even then, his imagination carried Frost along the rodeo trail. It’s what he knew. It’s how he lived.

“We didn’t play football or baseball,” he said. “When we played, we pretended we were at the NFR. We based everything off rodeoing, winning go-rounds. We didn’t know anything else and didn’t want to do anything else.”

Childhood is about wonder and fascination. It’s about playing in the dirt and dreaming big dreams.

Joe Frost is living his dreams in rodeo. The 2014 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association bull riding champion will now carry his amazing season over to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s marquee event that takes place Dec. 4-13 in Las Vegas.

Joe Frost

Joe Frost

“It’s something that’s been a goal and a plan for as long as I can remember,” said Frost, 22, of Randlett. “It’s everybody’s dream to ride at the national finals and to win a world title. You can’t win a world title without making it to the national finals.

“When you’re in youth rodeos and high school rodeos and college rodeos, you’re riding with that goal in mind. The films that everybody watches are from the NFR. That is the ultimate goal and the ultimate place to ride at.”

Frost earned his way to the game’s grand championship by winning $69,558 through the rigors of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association regular season. He is 11th in the world standings heading into Las Vegas, where he will battle for his share of the $6.375 million purse. Go-round winners will collect $19,000 each round for 10 nights.

But there’s so much more to Frost, who also competes in tie-down roping and steer wrestling when his schedule allows. In fact, the Utah cowboy earned the 2014 Linderman Award for excelling in both roughstock and timed events.

“I enter about 12 to 15 rodeos roping calves and steer wrestling and go to about 80 to 90 in bull riding,” he said. “I’m not consistently roping calves and steer wrestling, and it’s making it hard to be as competitive as I should be.

“In steer wrestling and calf roping, there are so many variables with your horse, drawing the animals you can win on and everything that goes with it. You can virtually not get on a practice bull all year long and still be sharp in bull riding just by competing.”

In addition to competing in ProRodeo, Frost is in the middle of his senior season at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in the small community of Goodwell, Okla. In 2013, he was one of the key members of the Panhandle State team that won the men’s college title. This past June, he rode all four bulls at the College National Finals Rodeo to claim the bull riding title.

He is the only contestant in this year’s NFR field of 119 contestants who has a chance to win the college title and the world title in the same year. The last time that was done was in 2007, when Panhandle State rodeo team alumnus Taos Muncy did so in saddle bronc riding, becoming just the third cowboy in PRCA history to have won both crowns in the same calendar year.

“When I first came to look at school, they have an office, and it’s Taos Muncy’s,” said Frost, who has sponsorship arrangements with Rodeo Mart and Wrangler. “(Coach) Craig Latham told me, ‘If you win the college title and the world title in the same year, we’ll build you an office.’ ”

That certainly was appealing to a young man looking toward his future, but there were several other reasons why he chose to move from the Utah mountains to the Plains of the Oklahoma Panhandle. He was offered an opportunity to grow as a cowboy and as a young man; both are vital for the Frost family: dad, Shane; mom, Lisa; brothers Josh, 19, and Jate, 13; and sister, Jacelyn, 10.

“College rodeo as allowed me to get an education,” he said. “Craig and Robert (Etbauer) have been really good with me to go to ProRodeos. It’s a huge priority for me to win the region team title. As much as I’d love to win the college bull riding title again, it would be more important for me to help win the team title again.”

While the team approach is amazing for college, Frost has individual goals for his inaugural visit to the NFR. He knows it’s going to take a lot of talent and a little luck for it all to come together, but that’s the way the bull riding bull bounces.

“My goal is to win the average and leave as the world champion,” Frost said. “My main goal is to ride 10 bulls one at a time. If I can keep my focus on my bull riding, then I need to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented. I’m going to keep it simple and keep it about riding bulls, then everything else will take care of itself.”

That’s a brilliant outlook for such a young cowboy, but he was raised that way. Shane Frost rode bulls, then raised a family on their Utah ranch. He and Lisa’s four children have been involved in riding horses and ranching all their lives. Shane built an arena just feet from the front door of the house, and the kids have had every opportunity to ride, rope and wrestle.

“Our family life was based off ranching, and every night we were out there practicing,” Joe Frost said. “My family is really close. It’s important when we can be together.

“As far as my bull riding career, I’ve never been to a bull riding school. Being around my dad, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, he can relate it back to bull riding and rodeo. You need to have a good attitude.”

That has gone a long ways in making Joe Frost who he is. That’s why he’s going to the NFR in 2014. That’s why he’s 22 years old and already a champion.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

iPads won't be stuffing stockings this year

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:49
Read full story for latest details.

Media in spotlight during Ferguson announcement

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:31
Late Monday, the country tuned in to hear whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would be indicted in the death of Michael Brown.

Lighting for Aging Eyes -- Don't Get Left in the Dark

Lifestyles - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:29
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Lighting becomes more important as people age. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), with each passing year, everyone requires more light to see properly.

Terry McGowan, director of engineering for the ALA, says, "Older eyes experience two important changes."

First, the amount of light required to sustain visual performance increases with age. Research shows that a 60-year-old needs twice as much light as a 30-year-old.

Second, with time, human eyes become more sensitive to glare. This can seem like a bit of a Catch-22, as more light can often result in increased glare. That's what makes the quality of light more important as you grow older.

With many baby boomers reaching their mid-60s, homeowners should consider user age as a factor in their home lighting design. It is easy to enhance the visual performance and enjoyment for baby boomers and older folks with a few simple lighting adjustments:

* Turn on one or two table lamps while watching TV to reduce the contrast between the bright screen and the surrounding darkness.

* Use a torchiere for uplighting as well as downward illumination for versatility. Look for a fixture with a separate task light attached or one with a glass bowl at the top to shine some light downward.

* Have a task light that can be directed or pivoted.

In addition to providing sufficient light, proper lighting design is essential to human health.

"As people get older, it isn't just the amount of light, it is also the color of the light and when it is applied, that is key to regulating things such as circadian rhythm and REM sleep cycles," says McGowan.

Growing research indicates that light can impact human health in numerous ways, including susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease. The question is: What exactly can aging people do to help their eyes and health?

The answer, according to McGowan, is to enjoy bright days and dark nights. "If you're older and don't sleep very well, expose yourself to bright light, such as daylight, early in the morning ... a walk outside will do it ... and sleep in a dark room at night. That will do everything required to regulate your circadian rhythm," says McGowan.

To see fixtures to help improve light quality without increasing glare, visit a local ALA-member retailer or go online to www.americanlightingassoc.com.

Categories: News USA

Airfare is still going up, even as costs go down

Business News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:10
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