Country News

New Thomas Rhett Album

Thomas Rhett is a new father to adopted daughter, Willa.  And that’s evident in his songwriting now.

“I feel like the whole next record is going to be a pretty mushy one about my kids,” Rhett told told Lousiana’s Advocate (He was quick to clarify that his forthcoming record due out later this year was written before bringing Willa home, so that one will only have a couple songs that allude to how drastically life can change).

“But on the fourth record, for sure, there’s going to be a lot about my children.

“How can you not write about people that you’re with every day and that make you laugh and make you want to just go outside and take a deep breath for a minute,” he said.

He also knows that having Willa and another new baby at home (due this summer) is going to change the way he feels about leaving to go on the road for his tours. So he is looking for advice from his fellow country artist friends who’ve been there and done that.

“I texted Jason Aldean the other day and said, ‘How do you ever leave the house and not feel guilty?’ He said that feeling never really goes away, but that when you leave the house now, you get on the bus for a different purpose,” he recalled of the conversation.

“‘Before you had kids, it was all about going out there and trying to win at awards shows and sell as many tickets as possible and trying to have multi-week No. 1 (singles). After you have kids, you still want those things. But at the forefront of your brain is, ‘How can I give my child the best life humanly possible?’”

Aldean told Rhett that that’s what helps him get on the bus on the weekends.

And the new father revealed, “That’s the best piece of advice I’ve gotten so far.”

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Dale Jr Getting His Own TV Show

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has some exciting news…and it has nothing to do with racing.

The NASCAR driver (age 42) recently tweeted that he and wife Amy will star in a new home renovation series on the DIY Network. “Exciting news!” he writes. “@Amy Earnhardt and I are working on @DIYNetwork TV series where we’ll renovate a historic home in Key West!”

Exciting news! @AmyEarnhardt and I are working on a @DIYNetwork TV series where we’ll renovate a historic home in Key West! Airing in 2018.

His wife Amy (age 35), also wrote about the show on Twitter: “Can’t wait to flex those design muscles & make this house shine! #DaleJrProject,” she tweeted. The series, set to air in 2018, will follow the couple as they transform a fixer upper in the Florida island’s Old Town district into a gorgeous modern home.

“Amy and I are excited to take on our first home renovation project together,” Dale Jr. says in a DIY Network press release. “Amy is a fantastic designer. She has creative ideas and a strong work ethic. We love DIY projects around the house, and so I expect this to be challenging but fun.”

Country News

Brantley Gilbert is Going to be a Dad!

Brantley Gilbert is going to be a dad. In a recent interview with People, Gilbert talked about how he and his wife Amber have been trying to have a baby since they married in 2015.

After seeing a fertility specialist and other experts, the couple was told it would be “close to a miracle” if they were to conceive. Gilbert said, “I’m not much of a quitter, but I was really, really frustrated.”

In February, Amber surprised “The Weekend” singer before a show in Louisville. She handed him three positive pregnancy tests and Gilbert said he was “literally in shock” and that it was an answer to “many, many many prayers.”

“I’m not an emotional guy, but this has got me crying like a baby,” he revealed. “I’m pretty good around other folks now, but when I’m by myself, if I look at one of the pictures from the doctor’s office, I lose a few tears.”

#nascar

Matt Kenseth Museum Closing

The Matt Kenseth museum and retail store located at 210 W. Main Street in Cambridge, Wis., will close on Sunday June 11, 2017, after more than 13 years in business.

The family owned and operated museum broke ground at the original location just west of downtown in 2003, the same year Kenseth won the NASCAR Cup Series championship. Since the beginning, the museum has offered a place for Kenseth’s fans to enjoy the many trophies, race cars, and other unique items the Cambridge native has accumulated over his illustrious NASCAR career.

“Cambridge has always been and will always be my hometown,” said Kenseth. “I have a lot of pride in where I come from, and I am thankful I have been able to share not only my racing career but also where I grew up with so many fans through the years. The museum had a great run, 13 years, which is probably more than we ever dreamed of when we first opened the doors.”

Kenseth’s online store, MattKensethStore.com, and the Matt Kenseth Fan Club, now in its 22nd year, will continue to operate with the oversight of Kenseth’s sister, Kelley Busse, who has managed the store and the fan club since their inception.

“We have made a ton of memories through the years with fans who have come from all over the nation, and even other countries, to visit us in Cambridge,” said Busse. “I have been working in the family business since I was 14 years old, and will continue to do so with our online store and fan club. Like Matt, I’m not thinking about retirement, but I am excited to take some weekends off to see him race.”

#nascar

Regan Smith to Sub for Almirola

Former Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith, now competing regularly in the Camping World Truck Series, will sub for the injured Aric Almirola behind the wheel of the Number-43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford in Saturday night’s Monster Energy Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Almirola was involved in a three-car accident last weekend at Kansas Speedway in which he suffered a compression fracture of one of his vertebrae.  He’ll address the media on Friday at

C-M-S to provide an update on his condition and outline his plans for recovery.  Smith competes for Ricky Benton Racing in the Truck Series and is currently tenth in points.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Know Before You Go: Travel Tips

Road warriors rejoice! The season of the family road trip is here.

For most travelers, this means a leisurely jaunt to a favorite getaway. But some travelers may trade leisure for frustration when an automotive breakdown occurs. If you are on the road and you need repair services, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) offers tips to help consumers know their rights when they are faced with an unexpected auto repair.

“Getting towed to a repair shop can be a stressful situation for any driver,” said Frank Frassetto, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “Thankfully Wisconsin has a number of protections in place to make sure that consumers are treated fairly and consistently at repair shops statewide.”

If you are in an unfamiliar town and are looking for help during normal business hours, seek out the local chamber of commerce for guidance. Do as much research as you can before you commit to a repair shop, and inquire with DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7128) to find out if complaints have been filed against a particular business.

During your journey, remember these helpful car repair tips:

  • If you drop your car off during regular business hours, Wisconsin car repair shops must get your authorization for any repair and must offer you an estimate if repairs will cost $50 or more. Receiving a repair bill that is more than you were told is illegal in Wisconsin.
  • An invoice must describe the work done and should list each repair with the parts replaced and their costs; labor charges; the odometer reading when you brought the vehicle in; and the date the vehicle was returned to you.
  • There is no “standard warranty” on repairs. Make sure you understand what is covered under your warranty and get it in writing.
  • The shop must return replaced parts to you if you ask for them before the repair begins. Warranty parts or parts exchanged for rebuilding need not be returned, but must be made available to you for inspection.

Should you need to drop your car off outside of regular business hours, you must remember to ask the business to call you with an estimate before they start working on your vehicle. Unauthorized repairs are not allowed, but if you drop off your car with a note to repair something and you do not ask for an initial estimate, the shop can proceed with the repairs regardless of the cost to you.

For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, call the Consumer Protection Hotline or send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Healthy Wisconsin Initiative To Focus Statewide Efforts on Key Health Issues

Plan aimed at improving issues affecting health of Wisconsin families by 2020

Building on a year of collaboration with organizations from around the state, health officials today launched Healthy Wisconsin, aimed at improving the health of Wisconsin residents by 2020. The plan highlights five priority areas for improving health:

  • Alcohol
  • Nutrition and physical activity
  • Opioids
  • Suicide
  • Tobacco

Healthy Wisconsin includes a state health assessment and improvement plan to help communities identify strategies to make Wisconsin healthier.

Healthy Wisconsin builds on the great work already underway in Wisconsin to address these five priority health issues.” said Department of Health Services Secretary Linda Seemeyer. “The goal of this effort is to improve the health of those who live here in the next three to five years, by collaborating with partners throughout the state to address issues that are having a real impact on our communities.”

To develop the plan, a statewide steering committee representing community organizations reviewed health data and information on evidence-based practices. The committee then selected the five priority health issues. The plan also incorporates the concept of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience, and how these can affect health.

A new Healthy Wisconsin website highlights goals, data and strategies to encourage public involvement in making progress on the five priority health areas. The website will also highlight local and statewide success stories that show communities working to make a difference in each focus area.

“We know that improving health in Wisconsin will take all of us working together,” said State Health Officer Karen McKeown. “We are excited about the opportunity Healthy Wisconsin offers to energize people and communities around these shared goals.”

Learn more about Healthy Wisconsin and the priority health issues at healthy.wisconsin.gov (link is external). Access additional information about the Wisconsin Health Improvement Planning Process (WI-HIPP), the process used to develop Healthy Wisconsin.