Burnsville, Minnesota Woman Is The First Miss USA State Contestant With Down Syndrome

You might not have heard of Burnsville, Minnesota before now, but the suburb of Minneapolis has been in the spotlight lately. That’s because of a young woman from Burnsville, 22-year-old Mikayla Holmgren, who was the first contestant of a state Miss USA pageant who has down syndrome.

You couldn’t ignore the energy of the beautiful young woman as she strutted down the runway with perfect hair and makeup, in both formalwear and swimwear. While she didn’t win the pageant, she did walk away with two awards: the Spirit Award and the Director’s Award. As she accepted the awards, the audience rose for a standing ovation.

The Miss USA pageant isn’t Holmgren’s first competition, nor is she new to leadership and competitions. She’s competed in the Special Olympics and is active in sports such as gymnastics at Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Mikayla also won the title of Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing in 2015, so she was ready to take on Miss USA last weekend, too.

Mikayla uses these platforms to share her joy of dancing, which she has been doing since she was just 6-years-old, and to help encourage artistic creativity in children. Ms. Holmgren jas certainly succeded. As state director Denise Wallace Heitkamp handed Mikayla the award, she commended the contestant for her ability to make people cheer, smile, and dance.

Mikayla Holmgren is an inspiration to many, including others like her who have Down syndrome as well as people with disabilities who are not traditionally included in beauty pageants such as Miss USA.

You can follow Mikayla on Facebook where she posts videos of her dance routines and raises funds for charities that are close to her heart.

New Report Shows Increase in Iowa School Funding

A new report from the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has revealed that Iowa students are among the few in the nation who have received a hike in public funding since the 2008 recession. In fact, state funding for students from kindergarten to grade 12 increased by 20.6% in Iowa from 2008 to 2015.

This is in direct contrast with prevailing trends of deep cuts and slashed education budgets in most states. After the recession in 2008, many states severely limited funding for primary and secondary education due to decreased tax revenue. States like Arizona, Florida and Alabama were hardest hit, with state funding per student dropping more than 35% in Arizona over seven years. In many states, local funding has gradually crept back up to pre-recession levels, but state funding remains low in many areas of the country.

Iowa’s increase in educational funding has helped cushion the impact of cuts that other states have experienced. However, while Iowa has not seen the deep cuts in school funding like other states, it has still been affected in less obvious ways. For example, despite adding on more than a million new students in 2017, Iowa’s pool of teachers and other educational workers declined by more than 100,000 during the same period. This has led to more staff shortages and increased class sizes in Iowa schools.

The Iowa General Assembly has continued to back education funding, increasing school funding by $40 million this year alone. This hike was made possible by local property taxes which have earned more than $50 million more this year than they did last year. If this trend continues, it will help Iowa’s school system maintain its position as one of the best in the country. Currently, U.S. News & World Report ranks Iowa eighth on its list of best states for education.

Kansas City Symphony Album Receives Recognition from the Grammys

The nominations for the 60th annual Grammy Awards are in, and a contemporary classical album featuring the Kansas City Symphony has received nominations for two different Grammy Awards: Best Engineered Album, Classical and Best Classical Contemporary Composition. The album is a recording of three different pieces by Massachusetts-based composer Adam Schoenberg. It includes his 2012 composition Picture Studies, 2011’s American Symphony and his first major composition Finding Rothko.

Released on January 20, 2017, the album features the conducting talents of Michael Stern, the music director and lead conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. The symphony has worked closely with Schoenberg since the beginning of his career. His Picture Studios symphony was a joint commission of the Kansas City Symphony and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and was intended to be an updated version of Modest Mussorgsky’s 1874 orchestral suite Pictures at an Exhibition. The Kansas City Symphony also commissioned Schoenberg’s earlier American Symphony. Written in the aftermath of the 2008 American presidential election, the symphony draws on various influences from Aaron Copland’s Symphony #3 to John Phillip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever”. The Kansas City Symphony premiered American Symphony in March 2011 at Lyric Theatre.

The album was recorded in June 2014 at Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the new home of the Kansas City Symphony. It was produced and edited by David Frost who has won 15 Grammy Awards for his work, including one award last year for Producer of the Year, Classical. He was nominated for another Grammy award this year in the same category. If the album takes home both Grammys this year, it will earn an award for engineers Keith O. Johnson and Sean Royce Martin, as well as garner Adam Schoenberg an award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Tech Start Ups ‘Boomerang’ To Midwest After Trump Win

The Midwestern united states, often referred to as America’s Heartland is set to become one of the country’s technological hubs. For a long time, technology investors have flown over Midwestern states as they make their way to coastal hubs such as New York and San Francisco. Investors, shaken by the outcome of the 2016 election, are leaving the Silicon Valley with a mission to bring Silicon Valley-like job opportunities to Midwesterners.

The Midwest has been, for a long time, disillusioned from seeing gains from the American economic recovery pass them by. Trump’s triumph in the last election laid bare the disillusionment that these American citizens have had to endure. Tech start-ups, centred in the Silicon Valley and New York, have transformed — and even obliterated — industries and jobs. Trump’s election was a wake-up call in the Midwest. It’s time for Midwesterners to seed old manufacturing and rural centres that have been overtaken by the technology boom.

Lack of VC Interest

The Midwest United States consists of the farming communities, small towns, and large cities. Though images of the Midwest US focus on sprawling farmlands and flat plains, the region is also home to several big cities including St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago. Some of these cities have remarkable technology potential, but lack of proper venture capitalist interest and investment to take advantage of the situation have derailed the growth of the tech industry.

A survey commissioned by the National Venture Capital Association shows that 75 percent of venture capitalist money goes — including the capital that jumpstarted tech giants such as Google, Facebook, etc. — goes to tree states namely Massachusetts, New York, and California. Apart from the election of Donald Trump as president, the boomeranging of the Midwestern tech industry is driven by the high number of techies moving to the Midwest for family reasons or just to try something new outside of the Silicon Valley.

Important Eras and Events in American History

2017 has seen many Americans, especially communities living in the Midwest being affected by an increase in gasoline prices. The increase has been recorded in periods when many motorists usually experience reduced prices at the gas pumps. Latest surveys show that the increase in fuel prices has mainly been due to the ongoing maintenance work being carried out at the refineries to rectify the damage that was caused by hurricane Harvey.

The gas prices rose to an average of $2.52 for each gallon, which is 30 cents more than it was at a similar period last year. California recently introduced a 12 cent increment on gas, which has led to the spike being experienced nationwide. However, motorists in the Great Lakes States are feeling the pinch even more as the Explorer Pipeline, which normally carries gas to the upper Midwest from the Gulf coast started operating at a much-reduced capacity in October 2017.

Limited Supplies Vs. Increased Demand for Gasoline

Even though the repairs were completed in mid-November, the Midwest is yet to feel this effect as it is still operating with very limited supplies. This is a factor that has led to the high gas prices, which were partially a result of the refinery being closed to repair damages caused by hurricane Harvey.

Another factor that is contributing to the high gas prices is the increased demand for gasoline. Given that the economy has stabilized in recent weeks, many Midwest residents are choosing to hit the road, either for fun or work. This has led to reduced gas inventories.

The inventories fell by close to 4 million barrels in early November to 212.8 million barrels. The fall happened much faster than many gasoline experts had anticipated. The price of each barrel also topped the $55-dollar mark earlier this year, which led to the production costs being extended by the organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Why Attorney Bruno Fagali Supports Resolution 4,595/1964

If you’ve been following business news, especially foreign business news, you’re probably well aware that the tides have turned for Brazil’s once struggling economy. The country, once beset by a prolonged recession is by all accounts regaining its economic footing. In fact, since 2016, the country has increased spending to help further lift Brazil out of the recession, which includes reducing interest rates to help spur economic growth. With that being said, Brazil has also introduced a new law called resolution 4,595/1964; if you’re unfamiliar with the resolution, it governs financial institutions and aims to establish uniformity amongst the country’s banks. What does this mean, exactly? Well, resolution 4,595/1964 will be the new guideline that all financial institutions must adhere to when it comes to licensing, foreign investments, and liquidity. The resolution, which went into effect August of 2017, will also play a role in any legislative changes made by the Brazilian Central Bank and the National Monetary Council.

Read more: Bruno Fagali reports research that reveals that Brazilian companies are more concerned about adopting anti-corruption mechanisms in 2017

Many people, including Brazilian attorney Bruno Fagali, are in favor or resolution 4,595/1964. Why? Well, it creates unprecedented uniformity, especially relating to the code of conduct that financial institutions are expected to follow, which coincidentally, reduces incidences of abuse of power amongst high-ranking bank officials. Attorney Bruno Fagali believes that these changes will also serve to make financial institution much more efficient. If you haven’t heard of Bruno Fagali, he is one of Brazil’s most prominent attorneys, as well as Founder and CEO, of Fagali Advocacy (a boutique law firm). The law firm prides themselves on their proficiency in key areas like anti-corruption, compliance, and public law.

Bruno Fagali began his career as an ambitious law student, who worked several internships while still pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Sao Paulo. After graduating college with a Master’s in Administrative Law, and having already fulfilled his internship requirements, Fagali launched his own firm, aptly named Fagali Advocacy. In light of his background, it should come as no surprise that Fagali would champion resolution 4,595/1964; after all, it is a law rooted in compliance, which is one of the hallmarks of his law firm.

Find more about Bruno Fagali: http://www.comunique-se.com.br/release.aspx?title=bruno-fagali-da-agencia-novasb-fala-sobre-o-premio-pro-etica-organizado-pela-cgu-e-pelo-instituto-ethos&releaseid=128648&partnerid=11&

Children At Rady Children’s Hospital Are Driving in Style

In San Diego, there is a hospital for children that goes by the name of Rady Children’s Hospital. This hospital has embarked on a mission to make children feel more comfortable before their operations.

They are providing a selection of miniature cars for children to “drive” into the operating room. The cars are operated by doctors and nurses who control them via remote control. The cars come in three different models—a Lamborghini, a BMW and a Mercedes Benz.

The San Diego Law Enforcement Agencies donated these miniature cars via a teddy bear drive that raised funds for stuffed animals that would go to children in the hospital.

Having the children drive around in little, make-believe-luxury cars is not just great for the children—it’s also great for the parents. Having a child in the hospital who is going into surgery can be an emotionally arduous experience. However, seeing their children go into the operating room in such a cheery, upbeat way is very uplifting.

A program like this can go a very long way when it comes to quality of life and recovery. Feeling negative emotions is a part of life, though it can hinder health and recovery. Stress and sadness can even cause more bad conditions in a person’s life that affect his or her health negatively. This is true for both children in hospitals and parents.

By seeing their kids rolling up to the operating room in style, parents will have less stress chipping away at their bodies. By driving in style, children start surgery on a positive note.

In September of 2017, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the miniature vehicles. During the ceremony, children were in the cars. Their smiles and laughs testified to the effectiveness of the program.

How Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods is Strengthening Local Communities

When you think of Amazon, you might think of robots taking over, technological innovation, or a trendy west coast startup turned multi-billion dollar behemoth. However, unlike many giant corporations, Amazon still has something intangible: soul. Amazon, the online retail giant offering everything from shoes, to electronics, to that cute purse you’re totally going to get on your lunch break, has recently acquired Whole Foods for over $12 billion.

However, this wasn’t just the average corporate merer. Amazon took the opportunity to put their mark on the popular grocery retailer. Whole Foods, known for organic, imported, and locally sourced product, is anything but cheap.

One of the first big changes that Amazon made after acquiring them was to cut costs on a few items such as salmon and avocados. This helped local communities afford their favorite healthy foods.

Furthermore, Amazon didn’t just lower prices, they also plan to bring more growth to the local communities they operate in. You may have heard of the 50,000 jobs at factories that Amazon plans to hire for, but this time is different.

6,000 more jobs will be added to the Whole Foods locations in various locations throughout the U.S. The jobs vary, from cashiers to bakers to managers. Some of Amazon’s hiring happens on the spot.

It’s not often you hear of a giant company like Amazon doing what’s best for local communities. With so much division around the nation, people are struggling around the country. However, with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, they proved that community was a priority for them. From the lowering prices, to the hiring frenzy, they are helping hard working people get back on their feet.

All about the Local Communities news

The community is where people that live in the near surroundings interact for various reasons. The aim of the interaction is mostly to better the living by operating different businesses together. The coming together includes the public government staffs, business holders, and the local community residents. A lot of changes have come along with the local communities working together.


In most localities, the main issue affecting the residents is lack of employment. The situation had changed for the better when the surroundings interaction began. Residents have moved to different regions that neighbor them and set up business; this has given the jobless individuals the chance to earn a living.

Local Communities investment

People in the local residences can invest to different organizations as a result of the economic growth in the areas. Through the investment, the community can secure its future. The saving plan has come in ways of establishing a great business relationship between the consumers and the local community business owners.

Other Organization investing

There have been occurrences where large organizations spend in those local communities. Most individuals are left wondering why the Corporation could not locate big towns or cities. The reason behind the decision is because those investors have discovered the efforts and growth in the communities that could bring rise to their business. Investing in the communities gives the community extra strength in their business sectors.

More skills to the community

When local communities interact they learn so much from each other. Individuals get different entrepreneur skills from each other that could benefit their businesses. It is from these skills that they learn to encourage each other for better characters.

Local communities are behind the growth of big businesses and financial organizations. Small business owners are many and invest more than those owning big companies. Local communities union has brought more changes in the health sectors. Best things are known to come along with unison.

New Species of Great-Ape, Already Endangered

Raya, a male orangutan, died in 2013, under the watchful eye of veterinarians, following a cruel showdown with neighborhood villagers on an Indonesian island named Sumatra.

Until then, scientists believed there were only two types of orangutan, one that dwells on Sumatra, and one on Borneo Island. They realized that their populations, as with the other primates on Earth — chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos — are waning. An estimated 60,000 orangutans in total are left.

Raya, however, was apart of a gathering of 800, in the Batang Toru woods of Sumatra. Also, scientists speculated that gathering may be somewhat different from the other orangutans on the remainder of the island. The orangutans associated with Raya tend to have thicker fur, and feast on a variety of foods.

An investigation of Raya’s skull, combined with a hereditary examination of a small number of his relatives, proved that Raya was not quite like the typical species of orangutan that also inhabit the island.

In a recent journal called “Current Biology”, a group of geneticists and researchers have reported that there’s a third type of orangutan on the planet, Pongo tapanuliensis, also known as the Tapanuli orangutan.

It’s the original yet, newly discovered great ape species to be projected in the logical writing in 90 years, since 1927, when the Bonobos were found.
In any case, there’s very little time to observe: This species just has around 800 individuals, which makes it endangered.

Some scientists simply do not believe, that these orangutan are their own species.
The analytical research was restricted to just one skull, and genes of just a few individuals. At times, nature may not provide a clear division line between types of species. However, we are clearly educated enough to understand the Tapanuli orangutan, is indeed very special.