Tues, January 31, 2012
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY IN FLORIDA
It's primary election day in Florida. After a bitter and expensive campaign, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is favored to win the Florida Republican presidential primary. A Reuters-Ipsos poll of likely voters there gives Romney a 43-percent to 28-percent lead over Newt Gingrich...
HASLAM'S BUDGET CALLS FOR RAISES, LAYOFFS
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam unveiled his new spending plan last night. It calls for a pay raise for state workers, but also job cuts. In the Governor's 31-billion-dollar spending plan, he stressed a need for the state government to work more efficiently, and said his administration intends to improve service, lower unemployment and improve education. (While his plan calls for a two-and-a-half percent pay raise for state workers, it also calls for laying off 11-hundred.)
Governor Haslam's budget ideas also include cutting the inheritance tax and the sales tax on groceries, changing civil service rules for state workers, and changing teacher pay and class size rules. It would also include more than 20 million dollars to expand a program to bring more businesses to Tennessee, and fund upgrades of higher education facilities, including a new science building at Middle Tennessee State University.
NO MORE WALMART GREETERS
After 30 years, "People Greeters" will no longer welcome Walmart customers with a "cart and a smile." Four months after Walmart got rid of its night-shift "People Greeters," the big-box retailer is moving its day-shift greeters inside the store. They'll stand in "high traffic" areas of the store, ask customers if they need any assistance, and direct the flow of traffic. The store, he said, already has a full roster of employees manning the floor, who are required to ask nearby customers if they need any help, as dictated by the "10-foot Rule."
RYMAN TO RETIRE OLD STAGE
Music City is retiring its most famous stage this week after 61 years of performances. The Ryman Auditorium is replacing its oak stage with one they say will be more durable and triple its load capacity. The old stage served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 20 years and supported the feet of legends like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Louis Armstrong. Keith Urban's Opry at the Ryman concert Friday will be the last show the old stage is used.
OBAMA TOWN HALL MEETING
President Obama has held another town hall type meeting -- this time on Google Plus -- during which he told a Texas woman that he would help her unemployed husband (an out-of-work semi-conductor engineer ) find a job. Other things on the minds of Americans, included a homeless veteran who asked why so much money is spent on foreign aid and a high school student asking about college loan debt.
TENNCARE SPENDING UP ON NARCOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS
As our population ages in Tennessee -- and across the country -- TennCare is keeping track of what we're spending money on... administrators say spending on narcotic prescriptions shot up 48-percent between 2007 and 2011. They say illegal use factors into the number.
HEALTH: CALORIE COUNT KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS
A report looked at four studies of weight loss, and found of all the plans, manipulating your intake of fats, carbs or proteins doesn't really matter. It still boils down to the amount of calories you eat. The strongest factor in predicting success of any diet, the researchers said, is sticking to a diet and cutting back on calories. ( Results of the study are published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.")
HEALTH: SKIN CANCER DRUG WINS FDA APPROVAL
You have a new weapon against cancer: the FDA has green-lighted a pill that treats an advanced form of the most common form of skin cancer. Erivedge is the first drug to get FDA approval to treat the advanced form of basal cell carcinoma. It's expensive, though, like most cancer drugs: it'll cost 75-hundred dollars a month, and you'll take it for ten months.
FRITO-LAY SUED FOR "ALL-NATURAL" CHIPS
Frito-Lay is facing a lawsuit claiming its so-called "all-natural" Tostitos and SunChips are NOT all-natural. A New York man has filed a class-action lawsuit, saying the company is using deceptive advertising, since independent testing has shown the chips contain ingredients made from genetically modified plants, including corn and vegetable oils.
IRAN AND NUCLEAR SITUATION
Just when it looks like we're getting out of one war, is this the first step toward another? Defense Secretary Leon Panetta predicts that Iran could have a nuclear bomb in about a year, and could create the means to use it in another two. Panetta told CBS' "60 Minutes" the U.S. "will take whatever steps are necessary to stop it" if the Obama administration receives intelligence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.
FACEBOOK BOOSTS WORK PERFORMANCE?
Don't let anybody tell you Facebook is JUST a time-drain. Although some studies find it can make you more depressed...because you think everyone ELSE is happier than you, judging from their profile pictures.... it can also boost your work performance. In a study, people had better focus and productivity after taking a 10 minute break to poke around online. it was more pleasurable and rejuvenating than checking e-mail, which is cognitively more demanding," . (Women's Health)
SETTLEMENT REACHED IN BRAZILIAN BLOWOUT CASE
California Attorney General Kamala Harris says a settlement has been reached with the makers of the Brazilian Blowout. The manufacturer of the popular hair-smoothing treatment is now required to warn hair stylists and their customers they're being exposed to a cancer-causing chemical (two of the chemicals in the formula emit formaldehyde gas). The settlement is the first enforceable action under a 2005 cosmetics labeling law, and will also require the company to submit its products for testing.
IDOL WANTS PRESIDENT ON THE SHOW
"American Idol" is known for bringing on superstar celebrities, but now producers of the hit Fox show are hoping to land the Leader of the Free World. "Idol's" Nigel Lythgoe recently sent a tweet to President Obama, inviting him to come on the show this season to sing "Let's Stay Together" with Al Green. Lythgoe said they loved Obama's brief rendition of the classic song during his speech at the Apollo Theater earlier this month.
HEARD: OBAMA BOOSTS AL GREEN'S 'LET'S STAY TOGETHER' SALES
By the way, after the president sang that snippet of the song, it got a 490% sales boost, according to Nielsen SoundScan via Billboard. Also, the video of Obama singing went viral, prompting 16,000 downloads to be sold that week.
HEALTH: WHY YOU REALLY YAWN
You've no doubt heard all kinds of reasons why you yawn... but a doctor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry says his theory is that your brain is very sensitive to temperature, and it's your body's way to cool your brain. He says brains, like computers, operate best when they're cool.
KENNEDY CAPE COD HOUSE TO BECOME EDUCATION CENTER
The main Kennedy house at the family's renowned Cape Cod location is being donated to be used as an education center. The center will be used to teach leadership and inspire public service. What will be known as the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate says the house in Hyannis Port was donated at the request of the late Senator and his widow Victoria. The donation fulfills a promise Kennedy made to his mother Rose, that the house be preserved and used for charitable purposes.
TODAY IS: FUN AT WORK DAY
And just in case you have some time to play, today is "Fun At Work Day." You're thought to be more productive if you take a few minutes out and do something silly; anything that makes you laugh. International Fun at Work Day is April 1st, so if you missed it this time around, you have another chance! Here are some ideas for you. http://www.playfair.com/fun.htm
TODAY IS ALSO: Change Your Answering Machine Message Day.
If yours hasn't changed in years, or is long, consider taking a few minutes and cleaning it up.