Friday, October 31, 2008

National Hospice Month, 2008

RJ Note: Kudos to these caretakers who help patients and their families as the last great challenge of life is faced.

During National Hospice Month, we honor the dedicated health care professionals and volunteers who help the terminally ill spend their final days in comfort and with dignity. Hospice care providers and other compassionate individuals are a constant reminder that the greatness of America lies in the hearts and souls of its citizens.

Americans believe that every person has matchless value throughout all of life's stages. Hospice physicians, nurses, counselors, and volunteers put this belief into action by using their talents and energy to care for those who are terminally ill and by providing support and comfort to their loved ones. As an alternative to traditional services, hospice care frequently provides assistance in the home so that patients can be surrounded by family and friends. Hospice counselors offer guidance to patients, as well as to those close to them, as they deal with grief, anxiety, and other end-of-life issues. Through these and countless other acts of compassion, our Nation's hospice caregivers lift up souls, offer peace of mind, and strengthen America's culture of life.

Throughout National Hospice Month, we recognize hospice care professionals and volunteers for their selfless efforts to provide physical, psychological, and spiritual assistance to terminally ill patients and their families.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2008 as National Hospice Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities. I also ask Americans to recognize our health care professionals and volunteers for their contributions to helping provide comfort and care to those facing terminal illness.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where's the Information? Where's the Solution? Obama Infomercial Found Lacking

RJ Note: Thought you'd be interested in the view from the King of the Infomercial.

'King of the Infomercial' Pans Obama's Half-Hour Special

PRNewswire- AJ Khubani, successful entrepreneur and "The King of the Infomercial," was highly critical of Barack Obama's 30-minute broadcast Wednesday evening, calling it a "missed opportunity" that offered "no real solutions" and was "full of fluff."

And, for good measure, Khubani said in reaction to reports that Obama paid about $3 million to produce the spot: "He grossly overpaid."

"Barack Obama: American Stories" was broadcast in primetime on CBS, Fox, NBC, BET, Univision, TVOne and MSNBC.

Khubani, founder of TeleBrands, knows exactly what a successful infomercial should include -- after all his "As Seen on TV" company has sold billions of dollars worth of products in the past 25 years.

"Overall, I thought it was mediocre at best and just a missed opportunity for Obama to connect with voters prior to the election," Khubani said. "He spent a lot of time presenting the problems and very little time on solutions."

There must also be endorsements of the product in any successful infomercial, Khubani said. The Obama campaign calls them "validators," and the broadcast featured not only Senators and Governors, but also Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, for example, to encourage voters to support Obama.

"I thought he could have done much better with the endorsements," he said. "Where were the 'A-listers' he always talks about, like Colin Powell and Warren Buffett?"

Finally, infomercials must also have a call to action and that call to action is usually repeated at least three times, according to Khubani. Here, the obvious call to action is to vote for Obama on Election Day.

"I have to give him some credit here," Khubani said. "Almost the entire live portion was one continuous call to action: knock on doors, call your neighbors, go to my website and cast your ballot."

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National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, 2008

RJ Note: The effects of Alzheimer's Disease on a family can be debilitating. The loss of a loved one who is still physically among us is a hard road to travel. During this month, take time to remember those who take care of these loved ones. Take time to give the caretakers encouragement. Be there for them all.

During National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, we recognize the dignity and courage of the men and women living with Alzheimer's disease. We also honor the devoted family members and caretakers who bring them love and comfort, and we underscore our dedication to finding a cure for this tragic disease.

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that seriously impairs a person's ability to function normally. Age is the most important known risk factor, and scientists are studying the role that genetics, education, diet, and environment might play in the development of this debilitating disease. Through research supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs, we are learning more about the disease and enhancing the quality of life for those affected. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services is improving the delivery of home and community-based services to people with Alzheimer's.

National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month is an opportunity to pay tribute to the courageous individuals facing this disease and remember the precious lives lost due to Alzheimer's. All Americans appreciate the strong support and dedication of the families, medical professionals, scientific researchers, and caregivers who are helping build a society that values the life and dignity of every person.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2008 as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let Me Be Very Clear

One thing I'll be happy about on November 5th is that maybe, just maybe, I won't hear the phrase, "let me be very clear" again for a long, long time. Never would be too soon.

Every time some political hack is backpedaling or covering their candidates back side, they start off with some standard phrases, the most obnoxious being the one in the title of this blog.

Another one that I hear way too often is "out of touch with mainstream America". I'd venture to say that most politicians who've been in office for a couple of cycles are probably out of touch, period. It's rather funny hearing one millionaire politician saying that phrase about their opponent right before they hop in their limo to go to the next thousand dollar dinner fund raiser. The only "politician" I know at the national level who's not out of touch with mainstream America (geez, I hated to even type that phrase) is Sarah Palin. She's about as real as you can get at this point in time. I don't think living in the White House is going to keep her from staying in touch, either.

Here's a list of other phrases that are said way too often:

I'm not a politician.
Culture of corruption.
Inside the beltway (and outside the beltway).
Moral majority.
Audacity of hope.
Windfall profits.

Politics of fear. (Here's an interesting blog I found while looking to see who used this phrase mostly: Why Must Obama Use a Marxist Catch Phrase To Attack His Critics? )
Even though I'm supporting John McCain and Sarah Palin, I could live without hearing "My friends" quite so often, too.
Let me be very clear, I have the audacity to hope the moral majority takes the "Straight Talk Express" into the White House next Tuesday so we can make some headway against the culture of corruption that lives inside the beltway, then I'm hoping they leave all those irksome phrases behind forever!

Slumping Economy Shouldn't Mean a Gloomy Holiday for Troops: Troop Support Programs Deliver Holiday Cheer

PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of soldiers hoping to receive a holiday package from home may be disappointed this year.

Troops support programs report that fewer packages are being sent this year than ever before. Popular online package provider Treats for Troops (http://www.treatsfortroops.com/) says the number of soldiers being sponsored through their Foster-A-Soldier program has fallen by nearly twenty-five percent from last year.

"People are struggling to pay their bills and worried about making it a Merry Christmas for their own families," says TFT founder Deborah Crane. "But I am heartsick thinking about the thousands of soldiers who have registered with our program in hopes of getting a package who might not get anything through Treats for Troops this holiday.

"We've never had a year when every soldier registered didn't receive something. We are doing everything we can to reach out to companies, groups, organizations and people who care about our troops in hopes of getting more support in time for the holidays," Crane continued.

The company's Denver warehouse is filled with holiday feasts, bright red stockings stuffed with cookies, candies and treats, electronic games, phone cards, and dozens of other packages, all ready to brighten a homesick soldier's holiday.

Thousands of soldiers from every state and branch of service are registered with their Foster-A-Soldier Program. The company's selection process allows people to select a soldier to sponsor by home state, area of deployment, branch of service or gender.

Treats for Troops also has groups and units of all sizes registered for support. Their Group Gift Department will do all the work for anyone wanting to make supporting the troops a holiday project. They will even suggest items that particular soldiers or units need most and help sponsors create a personal message to go with each gift.

"Thank you so much for the package," wrote Army soldier John Vigil. "I only get mail every so often and it never feels good to be the guy who doesn't get anything. I really appreciate everything and will share with all my buddies here. It's really good to know that people still support the troops."

For information on how to send a holiday care package to the troops, visit http://www.treatsfortroops.com/.

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Consumers Becoming Increasingly Less Tolerant of Recalls, Demanding More Control Over Information

RJ Note: There are so many recalls in our markets. Have you ever stopped to see the country who appears to be the major manufacturer of the suspect items? Take a moment and go to the Fayette Front Page "Recall Roundup." We bring you all the recalls we can find on a daily basis. Be an informed consumer!

PRNewswire/ -- The buying habits of consumers change dramatically and cost companies millions when product safety and quality issues arise, according to a new study released today by Deloitte.

More than half of consumers responding (58 percent) who heard about product safety and/or quality problems changed their buying habits, according to the survey. These consumers turned away from such products for more than nine months, on average, increasing the likelihood that they would discontinue the use of the product or brand entirely.

"Our research shows that consumers are becoming less tolerant of recalls with more than 50 percent changing their product choices," said Pat Conroy, Deloitte LLP's vice chairman and consumer products practice leader. "As these consumers continue to buy different products, product manufacturers can expect lower sales and run the risk of damage to their brands."

The survey, "Food and Product Safety and Its Effect on Consumer Buying Habits," addresses consumer behavior around product safety and product quality issues in general. Specifically, it focuses on key issues in four product categories:

-- Toys
-- Consumer electronics
-- Fresh food
-- Packaged food/beverages


Of these categories, changes in buying habits were most common for fresh food and packaged food/beverage. Roughly half (49 percent) of respondents said they were extremely concerned about product safety, with the greatest concerns coming from women (53 percent) and consumers 55 years of age and older (56 percent). All in all, there is a wide awareness about product safety and quality problems, and more than half of respondents (54 percent) said they were more concerned about the safety of fresh food products than they were a year ago.

Global Concerns

The global lines that were once drawn have now begun to blur and corporate globalization has created "businesses without borders." However, though globalization is an increasingly valuable part of doing business, roughly two-thirds of consumers surveyed (65 percent) were extremely concerned about the safety of products produced outside the United States, with the greatest apprehension coming from older consumers.

Approximately three-quarters of the overall respondents (73 percent) were extremely concerned about the safety of products produced in China, with half having the same doubts about products produced in Southeast Asia and Mexico.

As products fall under greater scrutiny, consumers surveyed indicated they would like more information about the safety of food products provided on packaging (86 percent), company Websites (81 percent) and by the government (81 percent). Some 67 percent said that food product labels with country of origin labeling, certification of product testing and certification of quality testing would be extremely important in their buying decisions.

"Consumers' increased sensitivity of product safety and quality is having a long-term effect on business," said Conroy. "Product recalls impact companies' revenues and share price, as well as market share and brand perception. We've seen that, while some companies can maneuver through recalls relatively unscathed, others suffer catastrophic damage."

The research shows that some of the key factors that drive the extent of a product recall impact ranges from the extent of the company's product diversification, if the recall is specifically for a branded product, strength of the company's brand when the incident occurred and how the company responds.

"Companies are meeting consumers' concerns by upgrading or expanding safety procedures including stricter safety standards, testing and third-party audits and government intervention is driving change," said Conroy. "The recent granting of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to initiate product recalls and monitor ingredient levels such as lead allowed in toys and other children's products, is a very timely and relevant example of changes being made all with consumer safety and peace-of-mind at the top of the agenda."

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Georgia Army Officer Wins Week Three IWantMyManCave.com Contest Prize

RJ Note: Man Cave? Hey, remember that women have come a long way and also like their own spaces! Ever think about "I want my woman spa"?

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sports fan Lloyd Dillard from Savannah, Ga., is the third weekly winner of the IWantMyManCave.com contest sponsored by Bill Me Later®. Upon his return from Iraq, the Army Chief Warrant Officer faced stiff competition, with thousands of entries received in the third week of the contest. He is also eligible to win the grand prize – a Man Cave makeover valued at up to $15,000. As a weekly winner, he receives prizes from Fathead.

“I’m not sure what hurt more – watching Lloyd break down in tears over his busted big screen TV or the glare from the bright yellow paint in his Man Cave,” said Chris Williams, vice president of marketing for Bill Me Later, Inc. “While Lloyd’s TV looks to be a Man Cave casualty, the Fathead wall-size poster prize will quickly resuscitate Lloyd’s Man Cave d├ęcor, and kick start his Cave’s recovery. In less than a month, Bill Me Later has studied thousands of Man Cave calamities, but there’s only one remedy – the grand prize Man Cave makeover!”

What is a Man Cave?

A Man Cave is a room that includes male-centric style and is used for watching sports, shooting pool, and being with the guys. It is frequently where the cave dweller displays items considered undesirable for display elsewhere in the home by their significant other. The 2008 Man Cave Survey of 1,000 consumers found there are 11 million Man Caves in America and 24 percent of Man Cave dwellers spend more than 20 hours a week in their Cave.

Bill Me Later’s retail partners have everything needed to build a man’s paradise in his home, and the grand prize winner will fill their Man Cave with up to $15,000 of merchandise from merchants, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Newegg, Fathead, Sports Authority, FogDog, Lenovo, Blendtec and TigerDirect.

How to Enter the Bill Me Later “Win a Man Cave” Challenge

Contestants can log onto www.IWantMyManCave.com for a complete list of sponsors, rules and deadlines for the “Win a Man Cave” Challenge. Each cave dweller must submit a short essay detailing why they deserve a Man Cave. Essays can be augmented with a video or photos further detailing the need for a Man Cave. Contestants can also browse the Bill Me Later merchant prize pool and select the items they’d like to win to build their dream Man Cave.

Video and photo submissions can be posted, and will be viewed and shared online at www.IWantMyManCave.com. Visitors to the site can comment and vote for the Cave they feel is most in need of a makeover or the contestant who they think needs a Cave the most. Caves for consideration can be posted until November 19, 2008, by the cave dwellers themselves or by friends and family members that feel that the time has come for a change. The ultimate Man Cave winner will be announced on December 2, 2008, at www.IWantMyManCave.com.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Survey Reveals Long Term Care Key Issue for Voters in Presidential Election

RJ Note: We've all heard how each presidential candidate is going to "fix" things. I don't recall either candidate candidly talking about those Americans who are staring the upcoming necessity of long term care. How are the candidates going to reduce taxes under either of their proposed stump wish lists when the American population is growing older, and therefore, ending their years of paying taxes on wages? We know that government sponsored health care for the elderly does not achieve high marks. Hmmm---- food for thought.

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eighty-four percent of baby boomers say the presidential candidates' positions on long term care issues and funding will be an important factor in determining how they cast their vote in November, according to a national survey of more than 800 registered voters ages 45 to 64 sponsored by Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:GNW) .

According to the poll, conducted mid-September 2008, 41 percent of respondents said the candidates' positions on long term care issues and funding are "very important," 18 percent said "important" and 25 percent said "somewhat important" in deciding how they will vote. The survey, released in tandem with the beginning of National Long Term Care Awareness Month, specifically reveals:

-- More women than men (88 percent versus 79 percent) said they considered the issue of long term care at least somewhat important in determining how they will vote.

-- Voters with lower household incomes found long term care policy and funding issues more important in their election decisions than those with higher incomes, with 93 percent of those earning $35,000 - $50,000 per year claiming an impact on their vote compared to 78 percent of those earning $75,000 or more per year.

"Given the uncertain nature of the current economic climate, future financial security is of paramount importance to this generation," said Buck Stinson, president of Genworth Financial's long term care insurance business. "The rising cost of long term care and the shortage of caregivers in this country have made finding quality, affordable long term care a challenge for countless American families. Voters in the mid-forties to early sixties age group want to know that the candidates share their concerns."

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 70 percent of Americans who reach their 65th birthday will have to pay for some kind of long term care services. Today, only 8 million Americans have purchased long term care insurance yet 76 million baby boomers* are on the cusp of potentially needing this type of protection. Costs continue to escalate for these types of services, having reached an average national cost of $76,460 for one year in a private nursing home room, according to Genworth's 2008 Cost of Care Survey.

"Amidst economic uncertainties, purchasing long term care insurance from a trusted leader in the industry is one thing consumers can do to ensure their future long term care needs are covered without having to spend their hard- earned savings," Stinson continued. "It's more important than ever that this type of protection be an integral part of each individual's overall financial plan."

Consumers interested in getting additional information about long term care planning can visit http://www.mylifemyfamily.com/. Consumers interested in getting additional information about the cost of care can visit http://www.genworth.com/CostofCare or call 888 GENWORTH (888 436-9678).

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Road Safe America Applauds American Trucking Associations Policy Supporting Electronic Speed Governors on All Big Trucks

RJ Note: Keep on Trucking----- Safely! Way to go!

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Road Safe America, a non-profit seeking to have a national regulation adopted requiring the use of speed governors to slow down tractor-trailer rigs to save lives, applauds the action by the board of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) supporting required activation of electronic speed governors on big trucks built since 1992 at 65 mph or slower.

The ATA board took the action as part of an 18-point initiative to reduce the number of highway fatalities by improving driver performance and vehicle safety. The ATA formerly had endorsed activation of speed governors on big trucks built in the future, so the retroactive nature of its new directive is welcomed as a pro-safety measure. This addresses the millions of existing trucks as well as those manufactured in the future.

“This is an historic breakthrough in our efforts to have speed governors activated at 65 mph on tractor trailer trucks over 13 tons because statistics from other nations show that when heavy trucks are operated at slower speeds, they are involved in fewer and less violent wrecks,” commented Stephen C. Owings, co-founder of Road Safe America (www.roadsafeamerica.org).

“The ATA is to be commended for its wisdom and foresight, and we hope the new policy will go into effect as soon as possible,” said Owings. “Each day that passes, more truckers and passenger car occupants and drivers are injured or killed in wrecks involving big rigs.”

Road Safe America was founded by the Owings after their son, Cullum, was killed in 2002 when his car – stopped in an interstate traffic jam – was crushed from behind by a tractor trailer truck going 7 mph over the posted speed limit on cruise control.

Since then, the Owings family and thousands of supporters in the trucking industry, government, business, and the insurance industry have been working to have speed governors, standard equipment on all heavy trucks in the U.S. since 1992, required to be activated on all Class 7 and 8 trucks (over 13 tons). “That one change will save the lives of some of the 1,000 truckers killed and the 4,000 motorists killed yearly in large-truck-related highway crashes,” said Owings, who has served on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee.

The European Union, Australia, Japan and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec have regulations requiring speed limiting devices set at or below 65 mph on all large trucks. Sadly, instead of showing international leadership, the U.S. is behind the rest of the world on this issue.

Owings said citizens should contact their representatives in Congress and Senators as well as the candidates for president requesting their support for requiring speed governors on big trucks to make the roads safer for everyone.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One-Third of Workers Called in Sick With Fake Excuses in the Last Year, CareerBuilder.com's Annual Survey Shows

RJ Note: It's been a long time since one of our dedicated staff workers called in sick. I do remember having to come up with some excuse or another a very long time ago. I also remember one employee of the past who said his sister was in a car wreck in North Carolina and he couldn't find a phone. Gee, did he think we couldn't check the hospital to see if she was a patient there or that the hospital had no phone? He didn't last long. It must have been all the frequent bouts of food poisoning!

PRNewswire/ -- CareerBuilder.com's annual survey on absenteeism shows 33 percent of workers have played hooky from the office, calling in sick when they were well at least once this year. While the majority of employers said they typically don't question the reason for the absence, 31 percent reported they have checked up on an employee who called in sick and 18 percent said they have fired a worker for missing work without a legitimate excuse. The nationwide survey included more than 6,800 workers and 3,300 employers.

Nearly one-in-ten workers (9 percent) who played hooky admitted to calling in sick because they wanted to miss a meeting, buy some time to work on a project that was already due or avoid the wrath of a boss or colleague. Others missed work because they just needed to relax and recharge (30 percent), go to a doctor's appointment (27 percent), catch up on sleep (22 percent), run personal errands (14 percent), catch up on housework (11 percent) or spend time with family and friends (11 percent). Another 34 percent just didn't feel like going to work that day.

Of the 31 percent of employers who checked up on an employee who called in sick, 71 percent said they required the employee to show them a doctor's note. Fifty-six percent called the employee at home, 18 percent had another worker call the employee, and 17 percent drove by the employee's house or apartment.

"It's in your best interest to be up-front with your employer and chances are you'll get the time you need," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com. "More companies today are moving toward a Paid Time Off system, giving employees more flexibility in how they categorize time away from the office. Employers are also expanding the definition of the sick day with 65 percent stating that they allow their team members to use sick days for mental health days."

When asked to share the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work, employers offered the following real-life examples:

-- Employee didn't want to lose the parking space in front of his house.
-- Employee hit a turkey while riding a bike.
-- Employee said he had a heart attack early that morning, but that he was
"all better now."
-- Employee donated too much blood.
-- Employee's dog was stressed out after a family reunion.
-- Employee was kicked by a deer.
-- Employee contracted mono after kissing a mailroom intern at the company
holiday party and suggested the company post some sort of notice to
warn others who may have kissed him.
-- Employee swallowed too much mouthwash.
-- Employee's wife burned all his clothes and he had nothing to wear to
work.
-- Employee's toe was injured when a soda can fell out of the
refrigerator.
-- Employee was up all night because the police were investigating the
death of someone discovered behind her house.
-- Employee's psychic told her to stay home.


Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 3,388 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions); and 6,842 U.S. employees (employed full- time; not self-employed) ages 18 and over between August 21 and September 9, 2008, respectively (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of U.S. employers or employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,388 and 6,842, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.68 percentage points and +/- 1.18 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Introducing the 'Stem Cell Facelift,' to be Performed in France 10/17 at World Academy of Anti-Aging & Cosmetic Medicine

RJ Note: Huhhh?? Amazing. Wonder if it works? And for how long?

PRNewswire/ -- Over the decades, multiple procedures have been presented for rejuvenation of the face, most of them stressing the need for extensive surgery in the form of a facelift. In the last 10 years, use of temporary fillers has become a very popular avenue for temporary rejuvenation, or at least for creating the illusion of a younger, more rested, facial appearance.

Now, with the advent of stem cell technology and a wealth of information about the aging process, a revolutionary new procedure, termed a "Stem Cell Facelift" has been created by world renowned anti-aging physician and plastic surgeon Vincent Giampapa, MD, FACS. The procedure will be presented in France on October 17th at the World Academy of Anti-Aging and Cosmetic Medicine. On November 2nd, it will be performed in the U.S. at the American and International Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, in Miami, FL.

The "Stem Cell Facelift" is a complete facial rejuvenation procedure without involving any surgery. The procedure, which Dr. Giampapa has been performing for the last 4 years, restores the youthful contour and shape of the face as well as skin tightness, and evens out color irregularities caused by the aging process and environmental sun exposure.

Although fat grafting to the face has been known and utilized for over a decade with a varying amount of success, this new approach, of transplanting "Adult Stem Cells" and fat from the lower abdominal area, and awakening them as well as the local stem cells within the face with specific stem cell growth factors, is a revolutionary technique to facial rejuvenation.

The patients treated have exhibited marked improvement not only in the underlying soft tissue contours of the face but the skin itself. These specific "Stem Cell Growth Factors" induce the skin and fatty layers to produce more of their own cells. The Factors stimulate or initiate "a signal" to both the local stem cells within the skin and fat as well as the transplanted adult stem cells from the lower abdomen to multiply and restore themselves.

According to Dr. Giampapa, fat cells, in particular the Adult Stem Cells, are now known to be a source for producing other "hormone-like" substances to enhance both skin quality and the underlying subcutaneous-fatty tissues of the cheeks, the mid face and the skin in general. The result is a longterm marked improvement that enhances both skin quality as well as the underlying youthful contours of the face.

The procedure is accomplished under local anesthesia in about an hour in the office setting. This approach, says Giampapa, is exactly what most patients are looking for -- a procedure that avoids the need for a hospital trip and general anesthesia. Recovery time takes about a week, when the face looks slightly swollen and a little pink in color. At the end of this time, light powder and makeup is easily applied, and the results document an extremely natural, full-rested facial contour.

Priced at $5,000 (whereas the surgical facelift ranges from $7000 to $13000) may also eliminate the need for ongoing facial "filler" injections like Restylane, Juvederm and the other hyaluronic acid fillers. Dr. Giampapa explains that the improvement of the skin frequently eliminates the need for Botox for many patients as well.

Dr. Giampapa is an Assistant Clinical Professor at UMDNJ Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey and Director of The Plastic Surgery Center Internationale and Giampapa Institute for Age Management. He and his colleague Michael Dobryansky, MD have offices in Montclair, NJ. Dr. Giampapa has recently been awarded a patent on his stem cell growth factors from the U.S. patent office. His latest book The Gene Makeover: The 21st Century Anti-Aging Breakthrough is currently a best-seller. He also founded the Suracell Personal Genetic Health program, www.suracell.com, one that looks at your individual genetic profile and provides exclusive nutraceuticals that work at the cellular level for optimal genetic health.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Georgia Man Invents Cover-Lifting Device

RJ Note: Guess this could come in handy for some folks.

PRNewswire/ -- A Jefferson, GA man has invented a product designed to offer a better night's sleep to individuals who experience nighttime discomfort due to sheets and blankets binding or even touching their feet. When attached to the foot of any-sized bed, the "Cover Hover" (patent pending) raises sheets and blankets to create a canopy-like effect over the feet, allowing space for the feet to move around freely while still retaining insulation and warmth.

The developer of the Cover Hover is Carey Strickland, a Jefferson native and co-owner of Hi-Tec Machining, Inc., a precision parts manufacturer in Jefferson. Strickland has 20 years of experience in the machining field; he came up with the idea for the product after a minor foot surgery made sleeping with his bandaged foot under the covers uncomfortable. The solution he came up with was the Cover Hover, which he was able to refine at Hi-Tec Machining. "It was nice to have a machine shop handy when it came to the research & development phase of the product," said Strickland.

Strickland's product differs from other cover-lifting devices on the market, as it consists of telescoping plastic tubing, which makes the product significantly less expensive and lightweight. Its snap-lock structure requires no tools for assembly and folds down to the level of the bed's baseboard for storage during the day.

The Cover Hover is offered for sale both through the company's website (www.coverhover.com) and over the phone. Though the site has only recently been launched, Strickland reports that the initial demand for his product is encouraging. "I am pleased with the response so far, but not overly surprised. It's a simple, affordable device that I think will benefit a great number of people."

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Not All Vets Treat Pets -- For Some It’s About Homeland Security

(ARA) - Anthrax. Biological attacks. Exotic diseases. These and many other issues are making headlines as the world we live in seems to get smaller and smaller. Yet there is a dedicated group of scientists who are confronting these, and many other, threats each and every day.

Who are they? Veterinary pathologists. These specialists work to understand various diseases and biological compounds wherever our military are deployed around the world. They also are part of the Homeland Security Council and other government agencies, working closely with government officials to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect the military and citizens in the event of a biological threat.

Why Veterinary Pathologists are Important to Homeland Security
Simply put, veterinary pathologists are critical on the frontlines of public health risks like agroterrorism or bioterrorism. The United States military certainly believes veterinary pathology is important. It maintains a cadre of veterinary pathologists in uniform who are working to limit the risk of infectious diseases to soldiers deployed overseas.

From studying the basic mechanisms of exotic fevers, to the development of vaccines, disease control, risk management and rapid detection of biologic and chemical agents, Army veterinary pathologists are crucial members of the effort to protect our soldiers. Lt Col Dana Scott, director of the division of pathology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and a diplomat in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP), has studied Ebola virus in the famed “Hot Zone” and served for two years as special liaison for biologic warfare to the Pentagon.

Veterinary pathologists are also working in federal and state diagnostic laboratories as well as with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and will be the first to know about foreign animal diseases in our country that could devastate our agriculture industry. One has only to read accounts from the past few years about Mad Cow Disease in Europe and North America with its impact on both human health and the beef industry to understand its importance.

The outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Great Britain a few years back is a case in point. Although there is little risk of human catching foot and mouth disease, the economic impact to Great Britain was enormous. We were lucky the disease did not spread to the United States. The USDA spends considerable effort and money keeping these foreign diseases out of our country, some of which are less than 90 miles from our border. Veterinary pathologists familiar with these diseases are busy working to improve detection and containment of this threat.

At Home and Abroad, These Vets Help Keep Us Safe, Too
Veterinary pathologists research different diseases because there can be an outbreak at any time during a deployment, but they also conduct research because many diseases have the potential to be used as intentional weapons.

In 1991, a natural botulism outbreak occurred across Egypt. Veterinary pathologists in the military had already helped develop a vaccine and treatment for botulism to protect soldiers in the event of a natural or intentional attack. Thanks to their proactive motion, they used those drugs to save civilian and military lives in Egypt.

When Operation Iraqi Freedom started, veterinary pathologists were sent with an army laboratory to Iraq in case of a biological weapon attack. When they began delving into research, they ended up working on ways to treat a parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sand flies which turned out to be a significant problem for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterinary pathologists also provide many other benefits for the military, from researching new bandages that soldiers can use on the battlefield to stop bleeding more effectively after a blast injury, to studying and developing new body armor, to caring for working military dogs when they’re sick or injured.

So the next time you’re thanking the military for protecting our country, give a little nod to the veterinary pathologists behind the scenes, at home and abroad, that help protect them and others around the globe from dangerous microorganisms. For more information on the profession and other areas of public health served by veterinary pathologists, go to www.acvp.org.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Healing Power of Sugar

RJ Note: I can really sink my teeth into this story. Who would have ever believed it?

(NAPSI)-It turns out that Mary Poppins was right when she said that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down-sugar even has some medicinal qualities of its own.

Sugar is well-known for making good foods taste better, breads rise, cookies crunchy or chewy, and it protects the safety of jams and jellies. But did you know the same preserving power in jams and jellies can also help heal wounds?

Many of the same properties that make sugar an excellent food preservative also bestow it with its healing powers.

Sugar has been used to treat wounds according to records dating back to 1700 B.C. Today, scientists here and abroad are rediscovering sugar's wonderful healing powers and reporting surprising success in the use of sugar to treat serious wounds and especially burns that fail to respond to conventional therapy.

When sugar is applied to an open wound, it absorbs the wound's moisture necessary for the growth of infectious bacteria. Physicians also believe sugar supplies the very nourishment damaged tissues require for healing and regrowth.

According to a study featured in the Microbiology Infectious Diseases Journal, sugar is thought to exert an antibacterial effect by helping to slough off dead tissue and keep a wound clean.

Another article, which appeared in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, stated that granulated sugar has been used with success in treatment of eliminating bacterial contamination after cardiac surgery.

This study also suggested that sugar treatment leads to faster healing of infected wounds than conventional packing methods.

A third article, in the Southern Medical Journal, stated that during a 56-month period, 605 patients were treated for wounds, burns and ulcers with granulated sugar and iodine. Rapid healing ensued. The requirements for skin grafting and antibiotics were greatly reduced, as were hospital costs for wound, burn and ulcer care.

Science is showing that sugar helps wounds heal as well as preserve the safety in foods. Many would consider that sweet news indeed.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

NASA Supercomputer Shows How Dust Rings Point to Exo-Earths

RJ Note: We've all spent time just gazing at the stars in the heavens above. It's pretty incredible just thinking what the future of space may hold for us.

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Supercomputer simulations of dusty disks around sunlike stars show that planets nearly as small as Mars can create patterns that future telescopes may be able to detect. The research points to a new avenue in the search for habitable planets.

"It may be a while before we can directly image earthlike planets around other stars but, before then, we'll be able to detect the ornate and beautiful rings they carve in interplanetary dust," says Christopher Stark, the study's lead researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Working with Marc Kuchner at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., Stark modeled how 25,000 dust particles responded to the presence of a single planet -- ranging from the mass of Mars to five times Earth's -- orbiting a sunlike star. Using NASA's Thunderhead supercomputer at Goddard, the scientists ran 120 different simulations that varied the size of the dust particles and the planet's mass and orbital distance.

"Our models use ten times as many particles as previous simulations. This allows us to study the contrast and shapes of ring structures," Kuchner adds. From this data, the researchers mapped the density, brightness, and heat signature resulting from each set of parameters.

"It isn't widely appreciated that planetary systems -- including our own -- contain lots of dust," Stark adds. "We're going to put that dust to work for us."

Much of the dust in our solar system forms inward of Jupiter's orbit, as comets crumble near the sun and asteroids of all sizes collide. The dust reflects sunlight and sometimes can be seen as a wedge-shaped sky glow -- called the zodiacal light -- before sunrise or after sunset.

The computer models account for the dust's response to gravity and other forces, including the star's light. Starlight exerts a slight drag on small particles that makes them lose orbital energy and drift closer to the star.

"The particles spiral inward and then become temporarily trapped in resonances with the planet," Kuchner explains. A resonance occurs whenever a particle's orbital period is a small-number ratio -- such as two-thirds or five-sixths -- of the planet's.

For example, if a dust particle makes three orbits around its star every time the planet completes one, the particle repeatedly will feel an extra gravitational tug at the same point in its orbit. For a time, this extra nudge can offset the drag force from starlight and the dust can settle into subtle ring-like structures.

"The particles spiral in toward the star, get trapped in one resonance, fall out of it, spiral in some more, become trapped in another resonance, and so on," Kuchner says. Accounting for the complex interplay of forces on tens of thousands of particles required the mathematical horsepower of a supercomputer.

Some scientists note that the presence of large amounts of dust could present an obstacle to directly imaging earthlike planets. Future space missions -- such as NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, now under construction and scheduled for launch in 2013, and the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder -- will study nearby stars with dusty disks. The models created by Stark and Kuchner give astronomers a preview of dust structures that signal the presence of otherwise hidden worlds.

"Our catalog will help others infer a planet's mass and orbital distance, as well as the dominant particle sizes in the rings," Stark says.

Stark and Kuchner published their results in the October 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. Stark has made his atlas of exo-zodiacal dust simulations available online.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

25 Elite Local Drivers Added to UPS ''Circle of Honor''

(BUSINESS WIRE)--UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced 25 elite drivers from Georgia are among 692 nationwide newly inducted into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving.

Georgia boasts 191 active Circle of Honor drivers with a combined 5,489 years of accident-free driving. Robert Millican, Jr. of Flintstone and Carleton Byrd, Jr. of Savannah are Georgias senior safe drivers, with 39 years each of accident-free driving.

Nationwide, 4,582 active UPS drivers are members of the Circle of Honor. Collectively theyve racked up 129,632 years and more than 5 billion safe miles during their careers, or the equivalent of 10,000 trips to the moon and back.

UPS puts a premium on safe driving methods and training and these drivers reflect that commitment, said Rocco Romanella, president, UPS Southeast Region. Im very proud of these drivers. To go at least a quarter of a century without an accident is a testament to how seriously our drivers, and trainers, take safety.

Nationally, the most seasoned UPS Circle of Honor driver is Ron Sowder of UPSs Kentucky District, with 46 years of driving without an accident. Thomas Camp of the Michigan District is next in line with 45 years of safe driving. Eight others have logged at least 40 years without an accident.

UPSs 112,450 drivers are among the safest on the roads, logging more than 2.5 billion miles a year and averaging less than one accident for every million miles driven. There are 2,640 total UPS drivers in Georgia.

UPS has invested approximately $53 million in 2008 on safety training and employs its own comprehensive driving course called Space and Visibility. New UPS tractor-trailer drivers receive 80 hours of classroom and on-the-road training, and UPS delivery truck drivers receive 20 hours of classroom and on-the-road defensive driving training before operating equipment. Delivery drivers also are required to complete three safety ride evaluations during their first 22 days on the job.

Founded in 1907, UPS has a rich history of safety and training. The company issued its first driver handbook in 1917 and began recognizing safe drivers in 1923. In 1928, UPS recognized its first five-year safe driver, Ray McCue, with UPS founder Jim Casey presenting him a gold and platinum watch. UPS formally established the Circle of Honor in 1955.

More information on UPSs commitment to safety is available at www.pressroom.ups/safety.

Following is a list of drivers in Georgia inducted this year into the Circle of Honor with 25 years of safe driving.

Work Center Driver Residence
Chattanooga
Jeffery Ervin
Ringgold, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Ken Bargie
Lithonia, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Cecil Brown
Doraville, GA
Forest Park
Julius Camp
McDonough, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Jeffery Crowley
Newnan, GA
Atlanta Hub
Gregory Delaney
Ellenwood, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
James Francis
Suwanee, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Robert Franks Jr
Stone Mountain, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Joseph Garner
Suwanee, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Bennie Gray
Lithonia, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Raynard Green
Stone Mountain, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Robert Kimbrell
Cumming, GA
Griffin
William McBride
Barnesville, GA
Pleasantdale Hub
Thomas Parker
Woodstock, GA
Forest Park
Randall Pettigrew
Conyers, GA
Atlanta Hub
Robert Reeves
Villa Rica, GA
Atlanta Hub
Larry Rich
Fairburn, GA
Atlanta Hub
Omar Waajid
Lithonia, GA
Atlanta Hub
James Walls
McDonough, GA
Atlanta Hub
Steve Wilson
Douglasville, GA
Unadilla
Lyndon Childs
Unadilla, GA
Columbus
Lester Ingle
Columbus, GA
Brunswick
William Johnson
Brunswick, GA
Swainsboro
Wayne Morris
Soperton, GA
Tifton
Forrest Wayne
Ocilla, GA

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Go see this movie: "An American Carol"

If you're looking for a laugh, this movie is great! It's not your typical liberal leaning movie by a long-shot. It is chocked full of good value messages and it pokes fun at a lot of the things you hear every day in the media that make you raise an eyebrow.

It's silly fun, just like you'd expect from a movie with Leslie Nielsen, Kelsey Grammer and Kevin Farley. Jon Voight, Dennis Hopper, Trace Atkins, James Woods and others are included in the line up.

Not surprisingly the Hollywood reviewers have given it fairly low ratings, but everyone I've talked to who has seen the movie thinks it great fun and worth seeing.

If Michael Moore and moveon.org are not on your like-list, then you'll definitely love this parody.

Light language and some very light adult humor.

Here's a link for more info: http://americancarol.com/

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cleavage Creek Cellars Releases New Wines and Donates 10% of Gross Sales to Breast Cancer Research

RJ Note: It's been awhile but I have seen the owner of Cleavage Creek telling his wife's story on a TV program. I am so touched by what this company is doing in her memory and for all women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I thought you'd enjoy learning more, too.

24-7 -- The second generation of Cleavage Creek wines produced by owner Budge Brown will be released on October 4th, 2008. Dedicated to fighting breast cancer, Cleavage Creek and Brown continue their commitment to donate 10% of gross wine sales to breast cancer research. Brown lost his wife of 48 years to breast cancer in 2005. He obtained the Cleavage Creek label, and is focusing his efforts on funding research to find an end to the disease.

Cleavage Creek will release 6 varietals on October 4th. This much anticipated release continues a one-of-a-kind philanthropic venture, pairing fine wine and an effort to fund breast cancer research. The six new Cleavage Creek wines include a 2006 Reserve Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2006 Reserve Napa Petite Sirah, a 2006 Reserve Cabernet-Syrah, and a 2007 Reserve Chardonnay, all produced from grapes grown in Budge Brown's own vineyards. A 2006 Secret Red and a 2007 Secret White complete the group. Brown expects a total of 1,600 cases of wine to be available for sale in October 2008.

Each bottle of Cleavage Creek wine honors a breast cancer survivor with their picture on the label. Their story is told on the Cleavage Creek website. Six survivors adorn the bottles of the second release of Budge Brown's Cleavage Creek wines. The breast cancer survivors and their stories are every bit as unique and special as the wine they represent.

Ten percent of the gross dollar amount of this operation will be donated to cutting edge research to fight breast cancer. That's gross, not net - a huge difference when determining the amount of money that will be contributed. These wines will be priced in the $18 - $50 range and are available for purchase via internet and phone. Gift sets of Cleavage Creek wines will be available in 2, 4, and 6 bottle sets.

To date, Cleavage Creek has donated over $37,000 to breast cancer research.

Budge Brown is a successful self-made businessman and farmer. Brown believes that Cleavage Creek wines can make a difference. "The world is full of people who enjoy good wines," says Brown. "When they buy Cleavage Creek, they get a world class wine while helping efforts to find a cure for breast cancer. Everybody wins. When people learn about Cleavage Creek and the motivation behind it, well, if it reminds one person to go for a checkup, do a self-examination, or become more informed, we're accomplishing our goal of saving lives. The cure for breast cancer may not come in my lifetime, but the mere existence of Cleavage Creek could bring it along sooner rather than later. Let's get it done."

Plans for Cleavage Creek vineyards in Napa are in the works, and they are ambitious. A tasting room and wine shop will soon be under construction just steps from the growing vines as the permit has already been approved by local Napa officials. Arlene's Garden, a special meditation flower garden overlooking a lake has been built to honor the late Arlene Brown, Budge Brown's wife and a victim of breast cancer. Her favorite flowers have been planted there, including over 20,000 daffodils, 10,000 iris, thousands of tulips, California poppies, a host of wild flowers, and roses. "I want people to visit Cleavage Creek and celebrate life and health," says Brown. "There's no better way to do that than with a fine wine and the company of those who are a part of the fight." Brown looks forward to hosting events and celebrating survival. "We have to move forward," he asserts. "The focus should be on finding a cure. We want Cleavage Creek to do all it can to help this process."

Budge Brown speaks with great passion about the Cleavage Creek Wine Clubs. There is a special category of the club for those who have conquered breast cancer. Brown believes that not only should those with breast cancer survive, but they should thrive as well.

Brown's goal is simple and his dedication is genuine. "I want to sell great wine, give a portion of our gross to the best sources for a cure, raise awareness, and celebrate survival. Our motto is 'Live to Love Life'."

About Cleavage Creek
Cleavage Creek vineyards are located in Pope Valley, Napa, Calif. Cleavage Creek is dedicated to producing world class wines and funding breast cancer research. For more information, please visit http://www.CleavageCreek.com or phone 1.888.295.1280.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ending Unwanted Junk Mail

RJ Note: Sometimes, I need a dump truck to get all the junk mail in from the box. How much money could the Postal Service save if they didn't have to deliver all that landfill mass? Thought you'd be interested in learning how to get out from under some of the junk mail that flows into Fayette County.

(SPM Wire) It's something we all get nearly every day. Junk mail is a nuisance for many consumers who receive daily postcards, flyers, specially-marked envelopes and pre-approved credit card offers.

Not only does junk mail weigh down our garbage cans and harm the environment, it also presents an opportunity for ID thieves to steal personal information. However, as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) explains, there are several steps consumers can take to reduce the amount of unwanted mail and the possibility of identity theft.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw out more than four million tons of junk mail every year -- and what is one man's garbage is an ID thief's goldmine. A Javelin Strategy and Research survey theft estimates that 8.1 million Americans became victims of ID theft in 2007; with nearly half a million cases of ID theft occurring as the result of stolen mail.

"Many people view junk mail simply as a daily nuisance, but if credit card offers and catalogs are heading to the trash can in tact, that unwanted mail can become a much more sinister problem," said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. "Preventing ID theft perpetrated through the mail requires the two-step approach of reducing the amount of junk mail received, as well as shredding any sensitive materials, such as credit card offers."

BBB recommends consumers always shred important documents and take the following steps to reduce the amount of junk mail they receive:

* Pre-Approved Credit Card OffersPre-approved credit card offers are easy targets for identity thieves who can use these offers to open fraudulent credit accounts. Stopping these offers can help reduce the chances of identity theft.

To "opt-out" of receiving pre-approved credit card offers for at least five years, and perhaps permanently, consumers can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (567-8688) or visit: www.optoutprescreen.com. This service is offered by the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Consumers will be asked for personal information, including name, address, birth date and Social Security Number. This information is only used to process requests and remains confidential. This procedure will need to be followed for each adult family member.

* Direct Mail Offers: Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a trade group with 5,200 member companies that use telephone, mail, and the Internet to pitch their products directly to consumers. To stop receiving mailings from DMA members, consumers can go to dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing. DMA regularly updates its list, but companies it notifies to remove names from their mailing lists may take as much as six months to stop solicitations.

* Catalogs: Consumers' mailboxes often can be overrun with catalogs - even if they've never shopped with the company before. This is likely because the consumer has, at some point, made a catalog or online purchase with a company that handed over contact information to Abacus, an alliance of catalogue and publishing companies. To stop individual catalogues, consumers can contact the specific company in question. To stop mass mailings, consumers can e-mail optout@abacus-us.com, or write to Abacus, Inc., P.O. Box 1478, Broomfield, Colorado 80038.

* 'Resident' and 'Occupant' Mailings: Consumers can remove their address from "resident" and "occupant" mailings that offer various goods and services, by contacting Valassis - formerly known as ADVO - by phoning 888-241-6760, or through an online form at: advo.com/consumersupport.html. Consumers also can send a written request to ADVO, Inc. Customer Assistance, P.O. Box 249, Windsor, Connecticut 06095.

* Solicitations Sent to Children: If a child under age 13 is being mailed advertisements or credit card offers, it could be a sign that identity theft has occurred. Parents should contact the three major credit reporting bureaus and inform them of the situation (Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; Experian: 1-888-397-3742; TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289)

For more on ID theft prevention, including tips Internet safety, visit www.bbb.org.

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