Vietnam War Hero Gets South Carolina’s Top Civilian Honor

As a recipient of the U.S. Military’s highest honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, retired Maj. General James Livingston has now received the highest civilian honor from his home state of South Carolina.


S.C. Governor Henry McMaster awarded the Order of the Palmetto to Livingston for his ongoing and extraordinary contributions to the state. The award was presented at a small ceremony at the South Carolina Statehouse on Tuesday.


Livingston entered the U.S. Marine Corps as a second lieutenant in 1962. By 1966 he was the Commanding Officer of the Marine detachment assigned to the The Wasp, a U.S. Naval aircraft carrier. He was sent to Vietnam in 1967. It was his heroic action during the Battle of Dai Do that landed him the Medal of Honor. Livingston participated in direct hand-to-hand combat, was wounded three times and was still firing at the enemy as two fellow Marines dragged him to safety.


Livingston served two tours in Vietnam. He retired from active duty in 1995 at the rank of Major General. Entering civilian life in South Carolina, he continued to distinguish himslef and make enormous contributions to businesses and community organizations, including the National D-Day Museum, the Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America, the Salvation Army and the LSU Medical Foundations.


At the Palmetto Awards ceremony, Livingston repeated his favorite quote from Dr. Martin Luther King — that a man, “should be judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin.” He also said he was honored to receive South Carolina’s highest civilian honor because it was, “supported by the governor and friends.”


The Order of the Palmetto was created by governor John West in 1971 to recognize people who make outstanding contributions to their local communities.

Charleston Bridge Closed for Emergency Repairs:

A snapped cable inside of a bridge forced the closure of one stretch of I-526 in Charleston in order to effect emergency repairs. The damage was discovered by engineers with the South Carolina Department of Transportation while performing a routine inspection. This same bridge, which spans the Wando River, also suffered a snapped cable back in 2016. Since that time, SCDOT has conducted weekly inspections.


State officials say there is no timetable for when the bridge will reopen. There is concern that the bridge might have to remain closed through the busy Memorial Day weekend. This will have the greatest impact on motorists and buses making daily commutes from areas like Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms. A closure through Memorial Day could potentially affect thousands of tourists making for the Lowcountry beach for the holiday. Your text to link…


In the meantime, SCDOT has worked with local law enforcement agencies to set up detours during the period when the Wando River bridge on I-526 is closed. Two detours have been established to accommodate affected traffic. Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie said everyone will be affected by the closure of the bridge. He urged all residents to be patient and courteous while the closure is in effect. The closure has resulted in stalled traffic that caused problems for parents getting their children to school and people trying to get to work on time.


The bridge over the Wando River was originally opened in 1989. Roughly 35,000 vehicles use that stretch of I-526 every day.

New Psychiatric To Open In Middleton

In Middleton, there are plans to build a 72-bed hospital for psychiatric patients. The plans for it have just been approved by the Middleton City Council this past Tuesday. They also approved a tax increment financing amount of $1.2 million.

The facility will be called Miramount Behavioral Health, and it will be located in the Airport Road Business Park. The name of the company behind the plans is a for-profit called Strategic Behavioral Health.

The company is based in Memphis, Tennessee, and runs a total of 10 mental hospitals in 6 states. They already operate a hospital in Wisconsin, which is located in Greenbay. Strategic Behavioral Health is building facilities in two new states.

According to Jim Shaheen, the president of the company, construction will begin this summer. By the time Summer 2019 rolls around, the facility will be in use.

In Dane County, there are already about 90 beds for patients who need psychiatric care. The majority of these beds are located in general hospitals. The existence of Miramount Behavioral Health will add more beds in the county for psychiatric patients. This new behavioral health center will keep people with mental health crisis from going to jail, as well as to Oshkosh Medical Center. It will make things more convenient for authorities and dignified for patients.

Some people herald the new behavioral health center as a good thing. However, many people are concerned about the new facility, bringing up incidents that have happened at other facilities owned by Strategic Behavioral Health. For example, this past January, 10 minors ran away from a facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company has faced 9 immediate jeopardy violations within the past several years.

South Carolina Gaining Popularity With Maryland’s State Bird

Beautiful Baltimore orioles seems to be falling in love with the state of South Carolina in record numbers. Now bird experts have an interesting theory about why it might be happening.


The Baltimore oriole is most associated with the state of Maryland where it is the official state bird and has a baseball team named after it. But in the past four years South Carolina has been drawing hundreds of the orange-and-black fliers to stay over during winter months.


Scientists speculate that rapidly changing climate patterns due to global warming are shifting the migration patterns of orioles. However, a more unusual theory is gaining traction among bird experts — and it involves grape jelly.


Backyard bird lovers know that putting out grape jelly is a sure way to attract Baltimore orioles to feeders. In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of people deploying the grape jelly tactic.


Scientists say the birds may have caught on. Baltimore orioles have discovered that if they want a plentiful supply of one of their favorite treats, South Carolina is the place to be. The people of the Palmetto State are putting out so much jelly that bird experts speculate it is preventing more orioles from migrating to the tropics for the winter.


Why make all that effort to flying hundreds of miles south when the weather stays warmer now in South Carolina year-round? It’s an added bonus that there’s also an abundant supply of yummy jelly to snack on.


The average temperature in the state’s Lowcountry is now more than 51 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1985 it was about 48 degrees. That means winter months that are milder and tolerable for orioles, which generally migrate to Florida or cross the Gulf of Mexico to flee the winter cold.

The Midges Are Coming Out

Finally, the weather is getting warm in Wisconsin. The temperatures are going up into the 70s after a chilly spring. Unfortunately, the midges are coming out. Midges are small insects, also known as lake flies, that fly around people’s heads and buzz. They are not mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, they do not have mouths. Midges do not sting or bite.

The life cycle of midges includes searching for mates, reproducing, laying eggs and dying off. Usually, the lifespan of a midge ranges from roughly 3 to 7 days.

Midges generally annoy people, though they are liked in some situations. For example, anglers like them because they can be used to construct fishing ties. Also, various animals such as bats, birds, fish and ducks eat them. Creatures consume midges, their larvae and their eggs. Midges make up the most frequently occurring insects in aquatic systems.

Right when warm weather first comes, male midges fly around in swarms. Female midges fly into those swarms and the genders mate with each other. After mating, females lay their eggs in Lake Michigan, among other places. The eggs fall down to the bottom of the lake, where they develop during the year. As they go through their larval stage, the young midges go up through the water and come out as adult insects.

Midge populations are currently at their highest, though their numbers will eventually go down within the next week or two. McKinley Marina, in Milwaukee, has seen especially large amounts of midges. Greenbay and Lake Winnebago are places that usually get large midge inundations every year. In these places, the midge populations surge so high that you can hear a hum coming from the bodies of water.

If you find yourself walking into an annoying cloud of these little insects, just be thankful that they are around because it means that various animals are being fed.

Sprint Announces First Profit in 11 Years

On the heels of last week’s news of the planned merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, Sprint announced Wednesday that the company has turned its first annual profit in 11 years. Sprint also named Michael Combes as the company’s new chief executive officer (CEO), effective by the end of May. Combes recently moved into the role of president and chief financial officer (CFO) after he moved from Altice to Sprint. Outgoing CEO Marcelo Claure will move into the role of executive chairman, replacing Masayoshi Son.

Claure reiterated his commitment to Sprint, stating that the changes will enable him to work with T-Mobile CEO John Legere as the two companies campaign to gain federal approval of the proposed merger between the telecommunications giants. Work has already started as both Claure and Legere have previously met with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in an effort to persuade the governing bodies to approve the merger plan.

Sprint’s fiscal year ended at the end of March and the company reported a profit of $7.4 billion, thanks in large part to the big bump garnered as part of the President Donald Trump’s tax reform bill. The Overland Park-based company added 44,000 new subscribers in the first three months of 2018, bringing its total customer base up to 54.625 million people. In contrast, T-Mobile boasts a total subscriber base of 74 million subscribers according to figure released at the end of March.

Tensions are high on the Overland Park campus as questions of job security are heightened in light of the proposed merger. Despite the profitable fiscal year, Sprint recently announced plans to lay off 500 employees from their 6,000-employee campus. The effects of the proposed merger have yet to be seen.

Des Moines Moves Up To No. 4 In ‘Best City’ Ranking

It seems that life in Des Moines, Iowa, just keeps getting better and better. The city earned the No. 4 spot on the 10 Best Cities in America list issued in April by U.S. News & World Report. Just two years ago the Iowa capital city ranked 11th. Now it is solidly in the Top 10.

Not only is Des Moines 4th best, but Iowa itself was ranked as the No. 1 state by U.S. News & World Report. The Midwest farm state might best be known for growing corn and raising hogs. But Iowa has the highest high school graduation rate in the country, and it consistently rates first or second in literacy. It also ranks No. 3 for healthcare, No. 2 for affordable housing and No. 1 in infrastructure. That latter category includes best access to high speed Internet in the nation.

Des Moines Mayor Frank Crownie has been at the helm of his city since 2004. He told reporters he was thrilled that Des Moines achieved such a high ranking from a respected national publication, but was quick to give credit to his entire staff. He also gave a shout-out to the many volunteer community groups in Des Moines that work hard to make this city special.

The city government of Des Moines gets a lot of help from involved citizens that take on a variety of ongoing city improvement projects. For example, the Des Moises Legacy Foundation recently launched a city-wide community playground project that places new playgrounds for kids where needed, and keeps existing playground clean and safe with well-maintained equipment.

Another unique program is the Des Moines ‘Age-Friendly’ Initiative which works to make the city an excellent, service-rich environment for people over the age of 50.

A robust private-public partnership clearly has the city of Des Moines humming along better than ever in 2018.

Trabuco’s Ancient History

Weapons and the way that they are used has changed a lot over the years. Weapons were once only purposed for defending oneself and the nation. Now they are used for many different things. Before weapons were fancy and quick to use they required a large amount of work for a large number of people but were still able to help one defeat their enemy. One weapon that was popular and very useful to the people in the Middle Age is the Trabuco.


The Trabuco is a weapon that was used to wage war during the Crusades according to The weapon was able to throw stones of large weights that would crush walls or go over walls and crush whatever was there. It took almost 300 people commonly men to operate the machine. They had to load it with stones that were very heavy. Trabuco machine was able to shoot four stones per minute. During the time of battle, a machine that could fire four shots per minute seemed like something that was very beneficial to the one operating the machine and very detrimental to the one that was having the shots fired at them. Operating the weapon took a lot of work.

Eventually, trabuco was redesigned so that operating the machine wouldn’t require as much work as it did during the Crusades. The weapon is believed to have been created in China. Arabs modified the machines. Once they created the machines, they sold them to people in Europe so that they would have weapons in times of battle according to The improvements that were made allowed for the users to do more damage in a shorter amount of time, so they took advantage of the opportunity that they had to move forward with their weapon. The weapon has evolved over the years.


Michigan Politicians Ask Department of Defense To Clean Up Mess

It is a tragedy when groundwater and waterways become polluted. Unfortunately, these things have recently happened in Oscoda. Oscoda is home to Wurtsmith Airforce Base, a former Air Force base responsible for the pollution. A number of federal lawmakers from Michigan have written a letter to the Air Force, asking them to clean up their mess and to stop the pollution.


Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, leaked into the local soil from the Air Force base. As a result, a toxic plume swept through the ground water and surface water. In the letter to the Air Force, the politicians from Michigan asked the Department of Defense to allocate money to help stop and clean up the pollution. They said that the Department of Defense should take some of the $310 million that they have been given to clean up a mess that is not the fault of the locals.


They went on to say that what has happened on the part of the Department of Defense goes against the water quality regulations of the State of Michigan. Suggestions have been made to provide more granulated activated carbon filter systems to stop the plume and clean the water.


According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, about $38 million must be spent this year in the pursuit of cleaning the mess up. Out of that large sum of money, $33 million would be used to construct six filters that would clean plumes that are currently polluting Van Etten Lake. It is expected that at least $180 million must be spent before the problem is rectified.


Many of us might wonder why such chemicals are even present at the base, to begin with. The chemicals that are leaking out have something to do with firefighting foam. They are very toxic and can cause cancer and problems with the liver, reproductive system, heart and kidneys.


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Southridge Capital performs different tasks. This includes: Advising by providing services that include financial analysis and balance sheet optimization. Mergers and acquisition whereby the company accesses merger candidates with a business model matching that of an existing client. Restructuring analysis was done in order to help companies make the best move for best outcomes. Bankruptcy advises by negotiating and creating strategies to help the companies come out of the bankruptcy. The legal settlement which is done by defining legal requirements and saving the clients’ time and money.


Southridge Capital has three finance points of service. First is securitization which is done by monetizing the assets a company has and comparing it to shares, other assets or capital. Second is credit enhancing whereby Southridge works directly with the creditors in order to do away with debt as a result of common stock and thus helps increase a company’s creditworthiness. Its structure is implemented based on the liquidity in the company’s stock. The third is the financing solution in that Southridge offers Equity Purchase Agreement (EPA) enabling companies to raise capital as they wish irrespective of the market conditions.


Southridge Capital management team comprises of Stephen Hicks, founder, and CEO, Narine Persaud, the CFO and Controller, Laurence Ditkoff, the CFA and CPA as Research Director, Henry Sargent, JD, CFA, COO and General Counsel, and Linda Carlsen, management portfolio team member.


Southridge recognizes and supports social responsibility, volunteer work, community leadership and giving not only to strengthen the company but also to impact the society positively. In collaboration with Daystar Foundation which was established by Stephen Hicks and his wife, Southridge has provided financial aid to many organizations for decades not only for personal fulfillment but also as a social and corporate responsibility. For more details you can visit




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