Community Events, Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Sick of Cold Weather?

Think it’s cold here?  It’s so cold in one village in Russia that eyelashes are freezing!!!!


News Around the World

Dog in Space

A stuffed toy dog gets to float around on the International Space Station as a sweet reminder of home. Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov posted a photo of the critter on Twitter Wednesday: Shkaplerov’s cousin made the small poodle, which features a classic poofy-legged haircut, and modeled it after the astronaut’s family dog. The cosmonaut’s daughter asked him to take it with him into space, but he didn’t just pack it away in his luggage. It had a job

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Winter Stresses on Trees & Shrubs

Heavy snow and ice, as well as frozen soil conditions, can damage cherished trees and shrubs in residential landscapes. Even areas without major snowfall experience high winds and huge fluctuations in temperatures during winter. But homeowners can lessen the adverse effects of winter weather with preventive maintenance.

How to avoid damage to trees

“Branches of trees can break due to the excessive weight of ice or snow,” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). “Tree strength can be improved with proper pruning to promote the formation and growth of the strongest possible branches and branch attachments. When pruning alone isn’t enough to strengthen a tree, properly installed cables and rigid braces can add support to weakened parts of a tree.”

Winter winds cause evergreens to lose moisture from their needles. Even some deciduous trees suffer from winter drying. If water is not available as moisture is drawn from living cells, permanent damage can result. The best prevention consists of planting only hardy species in areas of prolonged exposure, watering plants adequately in the fall and mulching to insulate the soil and roots from severe cold.

On sunny days in winter, a tree’s trunk and main limbs can warm to 15 degrees higher than the air temperature. As soon as the sun’s rays stop reaching the stem when the sun sets, the tree’s temperature plummets, potentially causing injury or permanent damage to the bark. The two common types of injury from winter sun and temperature changes are sun scald and frost cracking. The effects of sun scald and frost cracking can be reduced by sound arboricultural practices to maintain overall health, and by covering the trunks of young, susceptible trees with a suitable tree wrap.

Winter is a good time to prune

“Most skilled arborists prefer pruning when trees are dormant,” says Andersen. “With no leaves on the tree, the arborist is better able to evaluate its architecture and spot dead or diseased branches. In addition, since the ground is frozen, damage to the turf underneath the tree due to falling limbs and tree care activities is negligible. This is also a good time to check trees for diseases and other damage.”

Other recommendations to improve the health of your living landscape:

  • Reduce compaction around trees to help improve water and air movement in the soil. This strengthens the tree’s root system.
  • When planting, choose hardy trees available in your area as they have better chances for survival in severe weather conditions. Choosing the best location and following proper planting procedures should be your highest priorities.
  • Only fertilize after a qualified tree care provider has assessed the tree’s health, growth and site conditions.

In case of moderate storm damage, restoring the tree to its former health and beauty may take some time, but it generally can make a full recovery. Broken, hazardous limbs should be removed immediately. Pruning to remove broken stubs and restore the balance of the crown can be put off a little while, but shouldn’t be delayed more than one growing season.

News Around the World

Grandmother Can’t Figure Out “Bun in the Oven” Pregnancy Announcement

Wesley Dozier and Shantelle Dozier found out just before Christmas that, after years of infertility struggles, Shantelle was pregnant.

In order to share the goods news with Wesley Dozier’s mom, Cynthia Dozier, the Montz, Louisiana, couple put a hot dog bun in the oven.

Cynthia Dozier, a grandmother of 11, was quick to get the bun out of the oven but then had a hard time putting the clue together.

“A bun’s in the oven,” Cynthia Dozier says in a video shared by the family. “Who put a bun in the oven?”

“You put the bun in the oven?” Cynthia Dozier asks Wesley.

“Maybe not that oven,” Wesley Dozier replies.

After more than a minute of additional questioning and family laughter in the background, Cynthia Dozier puts it together and gives her son a tearful hug.

“It actually played out exactly like we thought it would,” Shantelle told ABC News. “We knew she wasn’t going to get it right away.”

Shantelle Dozier said the family frequently plays jokes on Cynthia Dozier. This time, though, the family matriarch had a very good reason not to even consider that it would be a pregnancy announcement.

Shantelle Dozier and her husband had nearly given up trying for a baby after many years of unsuccessful fertility treatments. They decided to try a final treatment but did not tell any family members.

After sharing their pregnancy news with Cynthia Dozier last month, Wesley and Shantelle Dozier discovered they are having twins.

“The funny thing is when [Cynthia] grabbed the bun out of the oven, it broke in half,” Shantelle Dozier said. “That was our first sign.”

News Around the World

New Robot Dog

Man’s best friend has just become more bionic.

Sony unveiled Monday the new “aibo” autonomous entertainment robot that “brings fun and joy to the entire family,” Sony President and COO Mike Fasulo told ABC News.

“We were thinking companions, we were thinking how do you take on artificial intelligence and bring emotion to people’s lives,” Fasulo said. “Look at them, they’re adorable!”

The robotic dog can form an emotional bond with members of the household while providing love and affection. No cleanup required.

Besides its adorable appearance, the robotic dog possesses a natural curiosity, vibrant movements and a responsiveness to its owner. It will even develop its own unique personality through everyday interactions as it grows closer and closer to its owners. And just like a real life dog, it may or may not respond to an owner’s request.

This robotic dog also will be able to actively seek out its owners, detect words of praise, smile and let its owner pet and scratch it, allowing the dog to learn and remember what actions make its owners happy.

The robotic companion comes with the “My aibo App,” which is designed to help owners enjoy life with their “aibo” by providing support and convenience, access to photos taken by the dog as well as a feature to play with a virtual “aibo” inside the app. The app also features a store where users can add additional tricks to their “aibo.”

Sony said the dog will require an “aibo” basic plan subscription necessary to use the dog. The plan will allow users to access information stored on the cloud, and will also allow users to be able to back up the dog’s data periodically.

This mechanical take on man’s best friend will cost roughly $1,700 and is now available for pre-order.

News Around the World

700 Blocks of Cheese stolen in France

It wasn’t an armed robbery at the Ritz, but you could put it on a Ritz – and it stinks a lot more.

Local police from central France’s Auvergne region told ABC News today that around 700 blocks of Saint-Nectaire cheese were stolen Monday night in the city of Murol.

Thieves broke the door of a cellar where the cheese was located, according to police.

The owner and producer of the cheese, Caroline Borrel, told the France Bleu radio network that the losses totaled an estimated €10,000, or U.S. $12,000. Borrel said she wanted to install CCTV cameras and alarms in her cellar.


Lakeshore News, News Around the World

New Campaign Tries to Draw Young Professionals to Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has launched a $1 million marketing campaign to encourage young professionals in the Chicago area to consider living and working in Wisconsin.

The campaign, which places an emphasis on reaching millennials via popular social media platforms they use every day, began this week and runs through June 30. It includes ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pandora, and popular mobile phone apps.

The unprecedented campaign is part of the state’s comprehensive efforts to attract and retain talented workers in Wisconsin to meet the workforce demands of today and tomorrow. It marks the first time the state has embarked on a paid media strategy aimed at talent attraction.

“Wisconsin’s strong economy has resulted in the lowest unemployment levels in decades and a record labor participation rate, which means it’s more important than ever to attract and retain a strong talent pool,” said Governor Scott Walker. “WEDC’s strategic investment delivers the message to Chicago millennials that Wisconsin offers unlimited opportunities for personal, professional and business success.”

Key elements of the digital campaign include:

  • paid social media posts aimed at users ages 21 to 35 within a 25-mile radius of downtown Chicago
  • Facebook ads using the new “Canvas” platform and video-enabled Instagram Stories
  • audio and video ads for the same targeted audience streaming on Pandora and YouTube
  • geotargeted mobile ads on popular websites and apps
  • application ads that dynamically calculate commute times and cost-of-living comparisons; and
  • paid search advertising on Google and Bing search engines.

The campaign conveys the central idea that Wisconsin is “more you.” Here you can be more, mean more, create more impact and have more, making Wisconsin a better fit for you. To drive this point home, specific ads contrast life in Wisconsin with that in Chicago, highlighting the state’s shorter commute times, lower cost of living, lower taxes and numerous recreational, social and cultural opportunities.

The campaign also includes national social media ads launching in February that will encourage out-of-state alumni from Wisconsin colleges and universities to consider returning to the state.

“This non-traditional marketing campaign has been strategically designed to reach these individuals on the platforms and devices they use every day,” said Tricia Braun, deputy secretary and COO of WEDC. “Whether they’re checking Instagram, watching videos on YouTube, listening to their playlist on Pandora or waiting for their train, young professionals in Chicago will become more aware of all our state has to offer them, and may see that Wisconsin is a better choice for their career and lifestyle.”

Braun said the campaign targets those who wanted the urban experience but have since become disillusioned with the daily challenges of a large metropolitan area such as Chicago and may not know much about Wisconsin.

“We recognize that it is common for millennials to seek opportunities in urban areas such as Chicago, but after a period of time many of them want to move away from the hassles of big-city living,” she said. “However, our research has shown that individuals living outside of Wisconsin have a very limited perception of the opportunities – both career and lifestyle – that are available in our state.”

The campaign also includes:

  • ads on the interior and exterior of Chicago Transit Authority “L” trains;
  • posters at selected health clubs in downtown Chicago;
  • ads on drink coasters at downtown bars and restaurants; and
  • sponsored posts on Facebook and LinkedIn encouraging out-of-state alumni of Wisconsin colleges and universities to consider returning to the state.

WEDC also has redesigned its website to better demonstrate Wisconsin’s many business and lifestyle attributes to business leaders and people looking for the best place to pursue their passions.

The new site employs the latest online design and user experience standards, including stunning videos, beautiful photography, compelling data and powerful testimonials that underscore how good life is in Wisconsin. Each region of the state has its own information-rich page built in collaboration with local and regional economic development partners. The site is built to convert “shoppers” into “buyers,” with home search options and job search functionality powered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Job Center of Wisconsin.

Business and young professional leaders throughout the state are applauding the initiative as a way to help address Wisconsin’s workforce challenges.

“The time is now to be proactive – instead of reactive – about our state’s talent needs,” said Angela Damiani, CEO of NEWaukee, a social architecture firm and organizer of the annual YPWeek series of events for young professionals. “This is an exciting and progressive approach to attracting those just across the state’s border and perhaps looking for an ideal lifestyle. The campaign speaks to the value propositions the next generation of talent seeks.”

“To ensure continued growth in Wisconsin’s economy, we must work together to fill the talent pipeline and develop innovative ways to make young professionals outside our state aware of the personal and professional opportunities that exist here,” said Wilson Jones, president and CEO of Oshkosh Corp. “This new initiative will help ensure that message reaches this key audience in the Chicago area.”

The WEDC marketing campaign is a component of Governor Walker’s Workforce Agenda, which focuses on enhancing Wisconsin’s workforce, removing barriers to work, and meeting the state’s current and future workforce needs.

As part of the Workforce Agenda, Governor Walker is asking the state legislature to pass legislation that would provide $6.8 million for a targeted, multiagency campaign to attract talent to Wisconsin. That proposal would leverage the resources and mission of WEDC, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Travel Wisconsin.

The additional funding would allow WEDC to expand its millennial and alumni attraction efforts to other markets. In addition, WEDC would work with other agencies to develop a targeted campaign to encourage out-of-state veterans and those soon retiring from the military to live and work in Wisconsin.

WEDC’s talent and attraction efforts embody Think-Make-Happen In Wisconsin, a new unifying message that celebrates Wisconsin as a premier destination for business, career and personal fulfillment.