Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Most Sinful States

Every state is known for its own virtues and vices. But harmful behavior on the individual level can result in staggering economic costs, considering that gambling addiction costs the U.S. $5 billion per year and smoking costs dwarf that with over $300 billion per year.

With Mardi Gras coming up and sure to be full of drinking, drug use and sex, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2020’s Most Sinful States as well as accompanying videos along with its Mardi Gras Facts – Booze, Floats, Money & More infographic. To determine where the U.S. has the most moral growing to do, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on seven sinful behaviors: anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.

Here are some highlights from the report:

Most Sinful States Least Sinful States
1. Nevada 41. North Dakota
2. Texas 42. Minnesota
3. Florida 43. Utah
4. California 44. Iowa
5. Georgia 45. South Dakota
6. Tennessee 46. New Hampshire
7. Louisiana 47. Maine
8. Illinois 48. Idaho
9. South Carolina 49. Wyoming
10. Mississippi 50. Vermont

Mardi Gras Key Stats

  • Over $1 Billion: The economic impact of Mardi Gras on New Orleans.
  • $408.6 Million: The economic impact of Mardi Gras on Alabama’s Mobile.
  • Over 25 Million Pounds: Weight of beads thrown during Mardi Gras in New Orleans each year.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:


Lakeshore News, News Around the World

New Parents Picking Unique Names for Kids…for Social Media

Chances are you’ve encountered some, shall we say, interesting names for new babies of late.  Now a new survey shows part of the reason is that some parents are choosing names for their kids with social media presence in mind.

A poll of 1,772 British parents revealed 72% of all respondents believe a unique name will help their child stand out from the crowd — and nowadays, that includes social media searches.

One in 50 say they chose a “made-up” name specifically for social media purposes. In the business world, that’s known as SEO, or search engine optimization.

All told, 7% say they’ve already bestowed a brand-new, never-heard-before name on their babies, and 65% say they’re considering doing so. Which is how we get names like Jaspin, Wrenlow or Tovin.

The survey was commissioned by the website ChannelMum. Its baby name expert SJ Strum noted, “Shakespeare invented many names that have stood the test of time, like Imogen and Jessica. Now the social media boom means we are all writers and publishers, so parents are making up baby names that gives their child a unique start in life.”

Then again, the average soccer mom or hockey dad ain’t Shakespeare — hence names like Jessalie and Elisobelle.

While the survey noted the popularity of the “made-up” names, 92% of the parents surveyed admitted that giving their child such a name could have ill effects. Two-thirds worried that an odd name will be hard to spell, 62% feared a name would be seen as “tacky,” and a third feared that their kid’s future teachers would give them some payback for a name that’s out of the mainstream.

As for other popular sources for unconventional names, shows like Game of Thrones remain an inspiration, with three in ten parents looking to pop culture as inspiration. Also popular are gender-neutral names, and names that are, like the Impossible Whopper, “plant based,” such as Cedar.

Here are ChannelMum’s top-ten “New Age Names” for boys and girls:

1. Jaspin
2. Charleston
3. Brigham
4. Ranger
5. Wrenlow
6. Eastley
7. Graylen
8. Albion
9. Tovin
10. Cedar

1. Maevery
2. Faelina
3. Idalia
4. Evabeth
5. Tessadora
6. Anaveah
7. Jessalie
8. Sylvalie
9. Sophiel
10. Elisobelle

News Around the World

Not the Best Way to Plead Your Case

Some things, you just shouldn’t have to say.  Like, for example, don’t drive drunk to your court hearing about a drunk driving charge.

As reported by, James Gird was recently in Macomb County, Michigan court to respond to a charge of driving while intoxicated, when the magistrate noticed Gird was allegedly having difficulty speaking without slurring his words.

When questioned, the 57-year-old reportedly told court officials he’d had “a couple of shots” of alcohol. That was enough to prompt the magistrate to order both a blood alcohol test for Gird, and a search of his vehicle.

The latter turned up an empty vodka bottle.  The former revealed Gird’s blood-alcohol level was nearly four times the state legal limit for intoxication of .08.  Or, in he words of a court official, “super drunk.”

Gird was arrested and charged again with operating a motor vehicle while drunk and was jailed on $25,000 bond.  He’s due back in court March 5.

News Around the World

When You Can’t Agree on the Thermostat Temperature

Let’s just start by saying there clearly was a lot more going on here than just being a little too warm or chilly.  But the headline is that 53-year-old Candy Ann Moss was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting her live-in boyfriend during an argument over the thermostat setting.

Kentucky’s Bowling Green Daily News reports the sentence came after Moss pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including first-degree assault for shooting 64-year-old Steve A. Flynn on November 28, 2018.

Moss reportedly told Kentucky State Police investigators at the time that she “went crazy” when she shot Flynn after an “ongoing” argument over her adjusting the thermostat temperature setting.

Flynn was shot twice with a .38 caliber handgun, sustaining wounds to the left side of his neck, as well as his lower left chest area and left hand.  Police found the handgun at the scene.

Moss, who told police Flynn was controlling and verbally abusive, also was charged with forging checks written on Flynn’s account for two days prior to the shooting, and using his credit card the day after.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

AAA Fuel Gage

Gas prices may be 16 cents more expensive than last year, but that price gap has been shrinking steadily. It’s the smallest year-over-year difference seen in two months.

At $50/bbl (West Texas Intermediate), crude oil prices are at their cheapest point in a year. That, plus steady gasoline stock levels and low demand have helped to push the national average lower – a dime cheaper than three weeks ago.

Today’s national gas price average is $2.44. That is four cents cheaper than last week and 16 cents cheaper than last month. Motorists across the country can find gas for less than $2.25 at 1 in 3 (38%) of all gas stations.

On the week gas prices are as much as nine cents cheaper in the Great Lakes and Central region, but as much as 23 cents more expensive year-over-year.

Regional gasoline stocks built by 700,000 bbl, pushing total stocks to 58.6 million bbls, per Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Regional stock levels have not been this healthy since March 2019. Stocks are expected to increase this month and push gas prices even cheaper, with the potential for more states in the region selling gas under the $2/gallon mark.

  Monday Sunday Week Ago Month Ago One Year Ago
National $2.432 $2.435 $2.470 $2.595 $2.278
Wisconsin $2.305 $2.310 $2.342 $2.463 $2.187
Appleton $2.263 $2.268 $2.281 $2.437 $2.128
Eau Claire $2.355 $2.357 $2.436 $2.552 $2.166
Green Bay $2.281 $2.283 $2.318 $2.453 $2.147
Janesville-Beloit $2.224 $2.217 $2.252 $2.404 $2.177
La Crosse $2.379 $2.381 $2.381 $2.521 $2.201
Madison $2.269 $2.272 $2.311 $2.407 $2.158
Milwaukee $2.230 $2.235 $2.269 $2.414 $2.192
Wausau $2.330 $2.330 $2.369 $2.486 $2.180

Click here to view current gasoline price averages