Iowa Recognizes the Biggest Contributors to Agriculture Development

Agriculture remains a core part of the development of a nation. Without enough to feed the population, the country lacks the strength to spur growth and development. In Iowa, leaders in four categories were honored in the annual Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Leader Awards for their commitment towards Iowa communities. The awards go to the leaders who contribute positively to Iowa agriculture industry. The winners are part of the teams responsible for developing innovations that seek to enhance the agriculture industry. On the other hand, they have participated, in one way or another, in conservation, collaboration, or in activities that contribute to the development of the industry.

In the same event, Bill Northey, the former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture took the oath of office to become the USDA undersecretary of agriculture. Mike Naig replaced him in the position. The honored winners include;

Sarah Carlson. She was honored under the conservation category. As a strategic initiatives director, Sarah has continued to share her expertise and knowledge with farmers in Iowa. As such, her contribution has seen the farmers understand the concept of having cover crops on their farms. As a result, Iowa farms have remained covered contributing to reduced soil degradation.

Myron and Ellen Kloubec. The two received an award under the industry development category. Ellen has actively participated in aquaculture for over 38 years. Her journey began by converting a summer kitchen to a fish hatchery. Since then, the Kloubec enterprise has grown to become one of the largest producers of fish. Myron works in the advisory committee with specialization in fish farming. The Kloubec also re-stocks the lakes in Iowa with game fish reared in their farms.

Iowa Monarch Conservation. The collaboration leadership award went to the community led organization. Over the years, they have purposed to increase the population of the monarch butterfly in Iowa. The butterfly population had dropped by 80 percent.

World Rim and Wheel received the award in agriculture manufacturing. The company has contributed to the development of agriculture in Iowa through the provision of original farming equipment.

Whatever Happened to Flint?

JUST, Will and Jaden Smith’s water company, recently donated water to Flint, Michigan. This reminded people of Flint’s issues and made some wonder, “Whatever happened to Flint?” The Michigan city that made headlines back in 2015 for having dangerously high levels of lead is actually still not up to par with their water. If you will recall, the government officials in Flint decided to change the water source from Detroit’s system to Flint River in order to save money. The decision quickly turned disastrous, and the media storm was rampant. It’s ironic that the decision was to save money when in the end way more was lost. A dozen people died due to contracting Legionnaires’ disease because of the unclean water as well as there was an increase in fetal deaths and miscarriages in the years to follow. What’s equally concerning is the long-term effects that the lead-filled water will have on the city’s residents over the next two or so decades.

Flint officials have some more work to do to get its resident’s back to having safe and clean drinking water. The city still doesn’t have clean water for all of their residents nor in all of their schools. Thankfully this crisis should be fully over at least by 2020, the projected completion date when the city should have all of the water pipes replaced in an effort funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s $100 million grant that was awarded in 2017. Days of the GoFundMe efforts and the large donations by big-name celebrities such as the Detroit-native Big Sean, Cher, and Jimmy Fallon are long-gone. However, the city’s issue remains. Perhaps the Smith’s effort will shine a light on a city that is still in need.

High School’s Entire Graduating Class is Still Alive After 60 Years

The tiny town of Milford, Iowa doesn’t make national news very often. After all, the town had less than 3,000 citizens in 2010, according to the 2010 census. However, a group of seniors who attended high school in Milford have made the national news for beating the odds in a really big way.

Time for the school’s 60-year high school reunion, the organizer was a bit concerned that he might not be able to reach all 14 of his classmates. After all, since all of the former students range in age from 77 to 79 years old, the organizer assumed that at least one or two of them might have passed away at some point, whether from an illness or an accident.

In fact, it was determined that the odds of all of the classmates still being alive today were 1 in 777 million. Many are shocked to learn that these classmates did beat the odds, with all 14 graduating students still alive.

Not only are all 14 graduating members of the class of 1958 at Ringsted High School still alive, but they have outlived their school itself, which was bulldozed years ago. Just because the school is not still there, however, does not mean that the classmates don’t still get together. Their high school reunion was hosted at a local tavern, where the classmates gathered together and discussed their good luck. Although unsure of how they all survived to make it to the six-decade mark since their graduation, many of them attribute it to growing up in rural Iowa and living active, busy lifestyles as they worked on the farm. Regardless of the reason, this group of seniors has beat the odds and are still able to meet with one another to celebrate the anniversary of their high school graduation day.

Zona Rosa Defaults on Mortgage

Traditional brick-and-mortar stores took another hit this week when it was revealed that the North Kansas City retail shopping center Zona Rosa is in default of its mortgage. The massive shopping and dining facility opened in 2004 to much fanfare. Troubling news to many Platte County residents is the revelation that they may be required to cover the debts incurred by the default.

New York-based private real estate firm Olshan Properties owns Zona Rosa Development. This financial news is not a surprise to those familiar with the company and its economic difficulties the last few years. Zona Rosa expanded in 2007, just a few years after its opening. At that time, a deal was brokered with the Platte County Commission and the Platte County Industrial Development Authority both agreeing to cover debt payment shortfalls should the Zona Rosa Development not be able to generate sufficient funds on its own.

Signs of Zona Rosa’s troubles have been apparent since 2014 when occupancy levels begin to drop dramatically as shoppers have continued to gravitate toward more nontraditional online retail options. In 2004, Zona Rosa’s occupancy rate sat at a relatively healthy 85.9%, however, that rate has dropped to 60% currently. In late 2017, investors were informed that Zona Rosa Development had depleted its last letter of credit and efforts to receive a new $500,000 in funds had failed.

Foreseeing this development, the Platte County Commission had previously set aside $500,000 to assist in covering these debts. These payments are scheduled to be paid in December 2018. Should this money need to be tapped into, it will deplete the funds previously set aside for the county jail expansion and improvements.

Alex Pall Talks About Personalizing The Chainsmokers Music

One of the main things that Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers want to do is personalize their music. They want their voices to be what is heard through their music rather than just a professional songwriter. For this reason, they are deeply involved in penning their own lyrics or at a minimum taking a guiding hand over it. Each album and song release thus reveals a little more about them to their fans.

As a musical duo, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart both bring something to The Chainsmokers. Alex Pall handles the DJ side of the duo while Andrew Taggart does the production. Once they met, through their mutual manager, they started talking to one another about their individual musical influences, which were closely aligned, as well as how ambitious each of them was and what they were willing to do to accomplish their dreams. Alex Pall says that they both watched other acts across New York City and could perceive what was working out for others and what should be avoided. They used this experience to shape their own identity.

It was more than just personalizing their music and having an active hand in the lyrics to their songs, Alex Pall says. One of the big issues is that they wanted to do an album rather than just singles as did their record label and their fans want this of them. The problem with using professional songwriters is that if they had gone that route then they would have 10 or 12 songs on an album that really didn’t share anything. The instead wanted to put out cohesive albums that collectively made sense.

Alex Pall also says that he really enjoyed working with Halsey on the song “Closer”. He has said that he thinks she is a really cool artist who brings something really different to the table. He says she was also a joy to work with because she was really cool and into the song, they created together. He has also said that she doesn’t compromise and just is who she is which is exactly the type of artist they want to collaborate with.

Dr. Mark McKenna Mixes Business And Medicine For Tremendous Success

Dr. Mark McKenna is a celebrated medical practitioner these days thanks to the many achievements and successes he’s built for himself today. Mark is licensed to practice surgery and medicine and has built a valuable reputation in the community by making showing his clients that their needs come first. Dr. Mark McKenna graduated from the Medical School Tulane Unversity, where he earned his degrees and developed a strong background in medicine. Right after his graduation he quickly began gaining hands-on experience in surgery by working with his father in the family business. This built the foundation of Mark’s skills and success in the future. Once Mark gained sufficient experience, he decided he wanted to start up his own company rather than looking for his own practice, which he founded as Mckenna Venture Investments.

This first startup company for Mark turned out the be quite successful, and that’s when Mark knew that this was just the start. Dr. Mark McKenna had a hidden entrepreneurial talent within him, and he wanted to make use of it. Unfortunately for Mark and the New Orleans community, hurricane Katrina struck the area and caused catastrophic damage. This included millions of dollars in assets for Mark, which was quite the setback. Mark’s determination was strong, however, and he quickly began helping his community and rebuilding his assets.

Once Mark finished aiding the community, he decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia and settle down. Once he found his feet, Mark started up the company known as ShapeMed, which was an aesthetic wellness company that focused on non-surgical treatments. Finding quick success in the market, ShapeMed was doing very well until 2014, when Life Time Fitness noticed Mark’s company and offered to buy it. Dr. Mark McKenna was more than enthusiastic about selling the company for a bundle and starting up his latest idea, OVME. This company delivery products and treatments to peoples homes for a more personalized and comfortable experience. OVME operates in Atlanta and Nashville and will continue to expand in the near future starting with New York.

Iowa is Home to the Mid-Winter Tournament of The Special Olympics

The Mid-Winter Tournament of the Special Olympics is one of the biggest events in Iowa City and the mid-west. Athletes from across the region converge to showcase their skills. 2018 is the 50th year of the USA’s Special Olympics. The Mid-Winter Tournament took place on March 9-10 at the Iowa City West High School and the University of Iowa Field House. For its 27th year running, the tournament received over 1,000 athletes for a range of events from basketball to powerlifting.


Variety of Skills

The annual Mid-Winter Tournament presents opportunities for athletes to take part in different areas that display diverse talents. There is the basketball competition, which can be played as a team, a half-court 3-on-3 competition, or a showcase of basketball skills. The cheerleading event involves cheer and dance. For the artistic gymnastics competition, female events are the vault, balance beam, and uneven bars. Males can compete in horizontal bars, parallel bars, rings, vault, floor exercises, and pommel horse. There is the rhythmic gymnastics for both male and female athletes, which include ribbon, ball, and hoop vests. The powerlifting section of the tournament consists of bench-pressing, deadlift, and a combination event of the two.


Community Sponsorship

Iowa’s Mid-Winter Tournament of the Special Olympics is made possible by volunteers from the region. Companies in Iowa and across the Mid-West use the opportunity to fulfill their corporate social responsibility by sending some of their employees to volunteer. The event is supported by unified sponsors who partner to give athletes a platform to advance their achievements while showcasing what they can do. Individuals can also provide monetary support through donations. Participants benefit from the Healthy Athletes screening, which is part of the competition. Doctors and specialists conduct examinations for hearing, dental, fitness, and general health. Admission to the public for this event is free, which gives communities a chance to support their own.


Sprint Announces Sizable Layoffs

After a few years of relatively stable operations, the Sprint Corporation announced on Thursday that the telecommunications giant will be laying off 500 employees from its Overland Park, Kansas corporate headquarters. The cuts come as part of a continual push to cut operating costs across all of its locations. Currently, there are over 6,000 people employed at Sprint headquarters. This announcement marks the first time since April 2016 that employees were let go. Sprint management is still in the process of determining what jobs will be eliminated as part of this latest round of layoffs.

Not all of the news is grim. Although there will be a sizable amount of workers affected by this reduction, Sprint maintains that overall job growth across all business sectors will remain strong as the company forges ahead with its expansion plans. The company plans to open more than 600 retail and customer support stores across the country this year. Its pre-paid affiliate Boost Mobile plans to open an additional 850 storefronts in an effort to expand its reach and grow its market share.

Earlier this year, Sprint had been engaged in merger talks with competitor T-Mobile. However, Sprint’s Tokoyo-based parent company SoftBank Group Corp. killed those negotiations, causing Sprint to lose out on substantial operating cost savings. Now that the merger negotiations have been put to rest, Sprint plans to invest capital to improve its wireless network. Company CEO Marcelo Claure expects the network boost to lead to additional employment opportunities.

Although Sprint is still one of the biggest employers in the Kansas City metro area, its overall employment numbers are down substantially since its high of over 22,000 local employees at its peak.

Only Supermarket In Cudahy Closes

In Cudahy, there is only one grocery store. A Pick ‘n Save stands on Packard Avenue, employing 75 employees. Unfortunately, it is scheduled to close down later this month, resulting in a situation where there will no longer be any grocery stores in Cudahy.

The owner of the store, Kroger, did not give any prior notification to the decision of closing the store down. According to the mayor, John Hohenfeldt, once the store closes down Cudahy will be the only place in Milwaukee County that does not have a store for groceries.

The store is going out of business, despite efforts to do better. There will be a going-out-of-business sale, starting Thursday.

Pick ‘n Save employees have been offered jobs in other franchise locations in places such as Oak Creek, St. Francis and South Milwaukee.

Hohenfeldt stated that the local government will try to work with the owners of Cudahy’s Pick ‘n Save location to attract other grocery stores to the location.

For those who do not know about Cudahy, it is located in Milwaukee County and, as of the 2010 Census, has a population of 18,267. It is located in the southeastern part of Wisconsin, bordering Lake Michigan. Cudahy consists of 4.76 miles of land. Racially, the city is 88.8% white, 1.4% Asian, 0.9% Native American, 2.7% African American, 9.7% of Latino from any race, 2.7% mixed race and 3.6% from other races not mentioned. Only one school district, Cudahy School District, serves the community. Apparently, only one grocery store–Pick ‘n Save, serves the community, too!

Hopefully, this won’t be too much of an inconvenience for the residents of Cudahy. Fortunately, Cudahy is in a relatively well populated area with walkable streets and neighborhoods that are very close to each other.

Instantly Ageless underlines transformative nature of Jeunesse Global products

When Randy Ray and Wendy Lewis decided to take the leap and retire for good in 2009, the couple believed that they had already completed all of the things they wanted to do in life. But the restlessness and boredom of the idle, purposeless hours of retirement began setting in. The couple realized that the permanent vacation they had looked forward to lost its appeal once it was no longer a relief from a busy schedule but instead a languid string of empty days on the calendar. Ray and Lewis began longing for the action of the business world.

The couple started selling a few products out of their Florida home. The business steadily grew, and, soon, the couple was spending 50 hours or more per week. They named their new firm Jeunesse Global as a reflection of their mission to create top-quality youth-enhancing products for people across the globe. As they started bringing more distributors on board, the company’s growth began to explode.

It is true that the company has built a network of great distributors. But without transformative products, those distributors wouldn’t be able to retain customers and continually grow sales. At its core, Jeunesse Global’s success is all about the company’s ability to create some of the most cutting-edge health and beauty products that the market has seen in decades.

One example is the company’s facial micro-crème known as Instantly Ageless. The crème is designed to help eliminate wrinkles, restore the skin’s natural elasticity and cleanse pores. The micro-crème is able to get deep into every pore and follicle, providing a deep cleansing that keeps skin looking its absolute best.

Instantly Ageless is designed for busy professionals and full-time mothers who require professional-level skincare but who don’t have hours each day to fuss with beauty regimens. In just a single daily application, Instantly Ageless is able to provide youth-enhancement, skin protection and a long-term protection against the formation of new wrinkles and other age-related damage.

Instantly Ageless is available exclusively through authorized Jeunesse Global distributors. For more information on how to get this and other great Jeunesse products, please visit their website.