LOVINGTON, N.M. â€“ If Jake McClure Arena had a trophy case, it would be full of awards for this yearâ€™s Lea County Fair and Rodeo.
The annual event, now in its 80th year, is a two-time nominee for Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year, having received those bids each of the past two years.
â€śTo be mentioned in the same breath as Cheyenne (Wyo.) and Pendleton (Ore.) is an honor,â€ť said Greg Massey, chairman of the rodeo committee that is part of the Lea County Fair Board. â€śFor me, I realize how blessed I am to be part of a great event and to get to work with such a wonderful, hard-working group of volunteers.â€ť
Nominations are based on voting by PRCA members, and only five events in each category are among the finalists. Since the award was created in 1993, only six rodeos have earned the title; of those, Cheyenne has won the award 16 times. Other finalists in 2014 were Ogden, Utah, and Salinas, Calif.
â€śTo be nominated is an honor itself,â€ť said Corey Helton, the fair board chairman. â€śWhen you look at the list of rodeos in our category, it says a lot about the work our rodeo committee has been doing.â€ť
The volunteer committee is just one piece of an award-winning puzzle for the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5-Saturday, Aug. 8. It takes amazing talent to make an event like this click off so well:
â€śWe are fortunate to work with the best professionals in rodeo,â€ť Massey said. â€śIâ€™m surprised Andy hasnâ€™t won Announcer of the Year yet. He does everything that we ask for and is excellent at it.â€ť
It takes that kind of trust to produce such a top-flight event, but it also takes a dedicated group of volunteers to make it happen in Lea County. The committee works together all year to showcase the rodeo to a region that knows the sport well.
â€śWeâ€™ve all shared in the vision of what our rodeo in Lovington could be,â€ť Massey said. â€śFor our committee to do what weâ€™ve done is because weâ€™ve had great support. Stephanie Rice and the office personnel over the last several years have done such a wonderful job of taking care of the behind-the-scenes things that no one ever knew about to make it easy for us to focus on what we needed to do and not be concerned about all the other details.â€ť
Itâ€™s an award-winning combination.
(NewsUSA) - When most people are envisioning their retirement, they picture themselves doing things they love, like dancing, playing tennis, or running around the playground with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, retirement isn't always as great as hoped. These days, too many seniors find themselves losing their independence due to the natural aging process.
According to Marketing Charts, 26 percent of seniors surveyed said that losing their independence was their biggest fear. That's higher than the 13 percent of seniors who feared moving into a nursing home or 3 percent fearing death. Instead of seniors fearing a loss of independence, let's look at some ways they can regain it and start making all of their retirement dreams come true.
Invest in a Power Wheelchair
Power wheelchairs provide seniors with independence and comfort beyond a traditional manual wheelchair. Seniors can stay independent thanks to joystick movement, letting them choose speed and direction they are comfortable with. Power wheelchairs also allow seniors to recline and tilt, helping them raise their legs if they need to.
Attach Bathroom Aids
Installing grab bars or safety handles on tubs and walls, along with bath and shower chairs, can help seniors regain their independence by giving them the confidence they need to safely bath themselves, even if they have a home health aide helping them.
Install a Stairlift
Seniors looking to recapture their independence, especially when they can't make it up the stairs anymore, can install an Acorn Stairlift. Seniors with arthritis don't have to worry, because it's the only approved starlift, with the Ease-of-Use commendation by the Arthritis Foundation.
Available for straight or curved stairs, Acorn Stairlifts provides seniors with a safe and secure movement from sitting down to stepping off through its swivel seat and safety belt. With this stairlift, seniors also don't have to worry about malfunctions with its built-in safety sensors that prevent it from running into something it shouldn't. It also features an easy-to-read numerical display notifying seniors if it needs servicing -- preventing it from malfunctioning with someone on it.
Learn more about how seniors can regain their independence by visiting www.acornstairlifts.com.
(NewsUSA) - More than a simple cooling device, many ceiling fans of today are high-tech works of art for your home. Ceiling fans can be a design element with sophisticated automated features. When selecting the perfect ceiling fan for your space and lifestyle, the American Lighting Association (ALA) suggests you consider several additional factors.
Think about how high or low tech you want to be. A very sophisticated system might seem intimidating to some, while others want much more than a simple on-off switch. Also ask yourself whether you want your fan to be an integral part of your interior design or simply an inconspicuous addition to your room.
Home Automation for All-in-One Control
Efficient airflow and alluring designs continue to drive the industry, but more people are looking to home automation systems to easily control their devices from a smartphone. One example is Fanimation's fan Sync, a Bluetooth-operated ceiling fan control.
According to Nathan Frampton, president of Fanimation, controls like fanSync will become more commonplace in the coming years. Technology of this magnitude is only expected to grow as more homeowners sync their home's lights, central air thermostats and security systems to an all-in-one platform.
Designs to Suit Today's Lifestyles
Just like the trends in home lighting design, ceiling fans have their front runners. Interior design styles are moving toward more organic aesthetics. This means designers are crafting rooms around exposed plumbing pipes, door and cabinet trimming and existing hardware, which helps mesh the entire room together organically.
To complete your design scheme, choose compatible trim and accent options for your ceiling fan. And be sure to consider the architecture of your home. Many newer homes have high ceilings with large great rooms, which give homeowners the chance to decorate their homes with larger or more ornate ceiling fans.
Trends with Regional Appeal
Geographic location often affects ceiling fan trends and finish selection. Frampton says, "We see certain trends in different regions of the country, as well as around the world. For example, in the Southwest, bronze is a prominent choice, and internationally, nickel and white are more common."
For advice about which fan fixtures and styles are best suited for your home, talk with a professionally trained expert at an ALA-member showroom, or go online to americanlightingassoc.com. With the right tools and information, you can easily find the perfect ceiling fan to make your home more functional and beautiful.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story appears in the July 2015 issue of Womenâ€™s Pro Rodeo News, the official publication of the WPRA. It is republished on this site with the approval of the WPRN.
Meghan Johnson has never really considered moving to Colorado, but competing in the Centennial State has been pretty nice.
â€śMy mom always tells me I should claim the Mountain States Circuit,â€ť said Johnson, a recent graduate from New Mexico State University.
Colorado has been pretty profitable for her already this year. She won the title at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in January, pocketing more than $12,000; she added more than $1,500 by winning the Elizabeth Stampede the first weekend in June.
More importantly, she and her mount, Nellie Laveaux, rounded the cloverleaf pattern in an arena-record time of 15.87 seconds, shattering the previous mark.
â€śI didnâ€™t know anything about it until Randi Timmons told me after my run,â€ť Johnson said of Timmons, a WPRA member from Elizabeth. â€śWe got it by two-tenths this year, so that was pretty exciting.â€ť
Johnson ran in slack on the morning of Sunday, June 7, when the arena was a tad bit muddy. Fortunately for her, Timmons knew the history and how the ground handled moisture better than most ladies in the field.
â€śRandi told me not to worry about it and that the ground was really good when it was wet,â€ť said Johnson, of Deming, N.M. â€śWe were 40th out in slack, but it seemed like the dirt was getting better as more girls were running on it.
â€śI just didnâ€™t hold back.â€ť
Neither did Nellie, a 14-year-old sorrel mare, who has proven to be solid in any kind of setup â€“ from a small indoor pen like Denver Coliseum or a large outdoor arena like in Elizabeth.
â€śShe doesnâ€™t like it when itâ€™s wet,â€ť Johnson said. â€śThe ground in Elizabeth was muddy, but there werenâ€™t any puddles, so I worked out well for me to run her.â€ť
As of the second week of June, she was eighth in the world standings with a little more than $37,000. She has parlayed some solid runs to earn big checks in San Angelo, Texas, and Tucson, Ariz., along with several other paydays. In fact, she also won in Silver City, N.M., and placed in Clovis, N.M., the opening weekend in June.
Itâ€™s all sort of a whirlwind for Johnson, who is just a few weeks removed from graduation ceremonies at New Mexico State in Las Cruses, where she earned a bachelorâ€™s degree in agriculture business. A two-time College National Finals Rodeo qualifier, she opted to spend the final semester of her senior year focusing on school and ProRodeo.
â€śMy family has always been big on education,â€ť she said. â€śI always took school seriously. I hustled for four years so I could be on the road. Plus itâ€™s nice to have that fall-back option.â€ť
Right now, though, she wonâ€™t need it. She and fellow barrel racer Ann Thompson have a tentative schedule in place and plan to make a run at Johnsonâ€™s first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
â€śSheâ€™s entering for me, and she knows I donâ€™t want to haul very much,â€ť Johnson said. â€śIâ€™ not going to be a crazy person out on the road. Weâ€™re going to try to pick the ones we think we can do good at and make them count.â€ť
Sheâ€™s done pretty well at that so far. By putting together a solid winter run, she has set herself up to chase Las Vegas through the rest of the regular season.
â€śI wasnâ€™t really wanting to go this hard,â€ť said Johnson, who credits Hi Pro Feeds, Biocare Animal Products, Arizona Oxy-Gen and Juli Miller Wade Saddle Pads for helping her get up and down the rodeo trail. â€śMy goal was to be in the top 30. Winning Denver got the ball rolling down the hill faster. It got a lot of people excited among my family and friends, and theyâ€™re pushing us to go for it. It opened a lot of doors.
â€śIt also put a lot of confidence in me and my horse that we can do it against all these tough girls.â€ť
The way barrel racing is now, there are tough girls and great horses all across the map. Now that sheâ€™s in the top 10, Johnson wants to stay there. That means stretching her comfort zone and reaching out to new places and new venues. The goal, though, is worth it.
Of course, it helps to have confidence in oneself and in the teammate that seems to make things happen. Thatâ€™s the case for Johnson and Nellie.
â€śSheâ€™s handled everything really good so far, and weâ€™re taking a lot of care into her,â€ť she said. â€śWeâ€™re trying to fit in as many breaks into the schedule as we can. With her, itâ€™s kind of a crucial thing. Iâ€™m getting good on my schedule so she can rest as much as she can.
â€śIf I can stay out of her way, she runs a good pattern.â€ť
Theyâ€™re both pretty good at what they do. They wouldnâ€™t be in this position without it. They might just have the swagger of a champion; at least Nellie does.
â€śThis year, sheâ€™s become more of a diva,â€ť Johnson said. â€śSheâ€™s become a little ornery. She used to be just really sweet. I think they know when theyâ€™re doing good.â€ť
(NewsUSA) - Is it time for homeowners to start celebrating Hug-A-Roofer Day?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics just disclosed the most dangerous jobs in America. Not only did roofers come in at No. 6, but take a look at some of the occupations that didn't even make the top 10:
* Police officers
* Taxi drivers
* Security guards
"Some of the results may surprise you," was how Bloomberg Business understatedly put it.
We'll reveal in a second who topped the list with more than three and a half times the 36.26 fatalities, per 100,000 full-time employees, that earned roofers their high ranking. But first, here's what those deaths should tell almost all amateurs thinking of tackling a job as big as installing a roof themselves: Don't do it.
For those who do insist on going the DIY route, at least be sure to follow these safety tips:
* Minimize your risk of slipping. An average of six roofers die each month in the U.S. from falls, according to Professional Roofing magazine. So, never work on a wet roof, wear soft-soled boots for the best traction, and use safety equipment like a harness when working on a steeply pitched roof. And if you do fall, pray that you remembered to don a helmet to protect your head.
* The 36-inch rule. Some of those fatal falls resulted from having to lug heavy material up a ladder. Yours should extend 36 inches above the landing or roof eave to make transitioning to and from the roof more secure. And this warning from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration: "Do not stand on the three top rungs."
* Avoid electrical hazards. Roofers also suffer fatal burns and electrocution despite having it ingrained in them that electricity can leap, or "arc," from a wire to a ladder several feet away. Ergo, for starters, make sure your ladder is made of non-conductive wood or fiberglass.
* Six words to live by when it comes to utility knives. Those would be: Always cut away from your body.
Having second thoughts?
Unless you're Warren Buffett (who still lives in the same modest, five-bedroom house in Dundee, Omaha, he bought for $31,500 in 1958), odds are your home is your biggest asset. So, GAF (gaf.com), North America's largest roofing manufacturer, has made it easy for you to find the most reputable, dependable and adequately insured professionals in your area by searching its website's GAF Master Elite Contractor database.
Oh, as for the most dangerous job in America? Fisherman, with 131.52 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees.
(NewsUSA) - If you're a smoker these days, it's hard not feel a bit vilified. After all, rarely will you find a place that you can light up inside. Same goes for e-cigarette users, who are now also under the microscope and in many places are being banned from using as well. Even dipping tobacco and "chew" are not allowed in public places in San Francisco.
So, what's a smoker to do? If you happen to be Evan Grossman, you design a smokeless tobacco alternative that circumvents the ban in your favorite restaurant, library, movie theater or other public space, by creating the Pixotine Nicotine Toothpick (www.pixotine.com), a birch wood toothpick infused with a high-quality proprietary blend of organic pharmaceutical-grade nicotine extract that contains no other unnecessary additives or chemicals.
The way it works is this: Nicotine transmits its effects through contact with the skin and absorption through the mouth. When a Pixotine Nicotine Toothpick is placed in the mouth, the saliva aids in drawing out the nicotine, which then gets absorbed into the bloodstream through contact with cells. Chewing slightly on Pixotine enhances the speed at which the nicotine is released. With proper use, first effects can be felt within minutes, depending on the user.
According to its website, the concept is quite basic: people use Pixotine Nicotine Toothpicks just like they would use a normal toothpick to get that refreshing rush. At the office, on the subway or even at an anti-smoking rally, Pixotine is discreet, functional and virtually undetectable. It's merely an easy way to enjoy all the benefits and pleasure of a cigarette or tobacco product, without judgement or harsh carcinogens.
For some, it's also a way to switch to a safer alternative entirely.
"After smoking and chewing tobacco for 15 years, I was looking for an alternative. I found this with Pixotine, and it even has saved me money as well. It's funny because now when I am around someone that smokes it stinks," said one user.
As an added convenience, Pixotine comes in a matchbook-size package that contains 15 toothpicks, making it discreet, and yet easy to use during those times that you can't smoke or use your e-cig.
Similarly, Pixotine can satisfy nicotine cravings without leaving the desk or walking out of a child's basketball game or when traveling on an especially long flight.
For more information, visit www.pixotine.com.
(NewsUSA) - Ten thousand Americans a day are turning 65, including a couple we'll call Stu and Helen. In excellent health, Stu and Helen could be facing a retirement of 30 years -- or even longer. One of their biggest fears about their impending retirement is their potential longevity -- and running out of money to not only pay their bills, but enjoy their free time.
Stu and Helen participated in their companies' 401(k) plans. Like many workers, neither has a traditional pension, so they are solely responsible for their own retirement security.
Fortunately, couples like Stu and Helen have options for creating a "personal pension." By using some of their savings to purchase an annuity, they can guarantee a steady stream of income for life.
With an immediate annuity, they can make a lump-sum payment to a life insurance company, and the company will send them their choice of monthly, quarterly or annual payments. They can choose to receive the income payments over a specified number of years or as a guaranteed stream of income they can never outlive.
They could also consider purchasing a deferred annuity, which allows savings to grow tax-deferred during an accumulation phase until they decide when payouts begin. People who are years away from retirement -- or who are retired but don't need income right away -- might choose this type of annuity.
With a deferred annuity they decide how their money grows during the accumulation phase. A fixed annuity earns interest at a guaranteed rate. An index annuity is tied to a market index like the S&P 500 stock price index. In a variable annuity, savings are placed in subaccounts that are invested in stocks and bonds.
Another option is a special type of deferred annuity, often called longevity insurance, which will provide them with a guaranteed stream of income once they reach a certain age, usually around 85.
Surveys show that 90 percent of annuity owners think annuities are an effective way to save for retirement. And annuities are among the most regulated financial products in the marketplace. From product development to advertising to sales, life insurers must comply with state and federal laws and rules that help prevent fraud and protect consumers. In addition, most states provide a "free look" period allowing customers to return annuities to the insurance company for a full or partial refund.
Planning for retirement can be stressful. But for retirees like Stu and Helen, the guaranteed income from annuities can provide peace-of-mind for a lifetime.
For more information on annuities, visit www.acli.com.
(NewsUSA) - Sunny summer days are meant for outdoor fun, but few things ruin time outside more quickly than bites from pests. Insect bites can result in consequences that range from minor, yet aggravating, irritation to extreme pain and even potentially fatal illnesses. If you are on the receiving end of a bite, it is important to detect which pest inflicted it so you can determine the best course of treatment, as well as investigate whether there is a pest problem on your property that warrants a call to your local pest control company.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers the following information on how to identify the culprits of three common summertime bites:
A mosquito bite typically results in a red, itchy bump on the skin. Despite the temptation to scratch, doing so agitates the venom and increases the itchiness of the bite. All bites should be washed with soap and water, and the best remedies are antihistamines and anti-inflammatories. Anyone experiencing fever, head or body aches, skin rashes or swollen lymph glands following a bite could have been infected with potentially fatal West Nile virus and should seek medical attention.
Because of their small size, blacklegged deer tick bites frequently go unnoticed. However, these tiny pests are vectors of Lyme disease, and the earlier you can identify a bite from a Lyme-infected tick, the sooner you can begin the necessary antibiotic treatments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a circular bulls-eye rash appears within 3-30 days of the bite in approximately 70-80 percent of infected persons. Anyone who develops this characteristic rash should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Red imported fire ants are an aggressive species capable of stinging and injecting venom with their bites, causing an intense burning sensation. Red bumps form at the sting, and within a day or two they become white fluid-filled pustules. While the bites and stings are often excruciating, medical attention is typically only necessary for those who are severely allergic to the venom.
If you are repeatedly experiencing issues with these pests on your property or are concerned for the health and safety of your family, contact a local pest control company to evaluate the problem and determine the best course of treatment. Find a qualified pest control professional at PestWorld.org.
(NewsUSA) - The past 18 months shook up state education communities preparing students to earn a high school equivalency certificate. With some states dropping the old test for new ones, states choosing to have multiple options, and the implementation of College and Career Ready (CCR) standards, the landscape drastically changed in a short period of time.
Here's what educators and those looking to achieve this educational milestone should know about the past year and a half.
1: 2014 marked the first year in U.S. history that alternative tests were used by states.
Twenty states administered alternative tests after choosing to either drop the GED test within their state or offer multiple tests for students to choose from. The HiSET exam developed by Educational Testing Service and the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion by CTB/McGraw Hill allow those who haven't completed high school the opportunity to earn their high school equivalencies.
Introducing numerous branded tests broke conventional terms and understanding of how people actually go about earning a high school credential.
2: People are learning you don't "get a GED."
Employers, education administrations and institutions of higher education incorrectly ask whether an applicant has his or her "GED." Having proof of a high school credential is essential for many careers and postsecondary education opportunities. However, the GED is a test -- not something earned.
HiSET, GED and TASC scores are mobile, meaning they can be used for employment and college applications throughout the United States. Test takers now have a choice as to what test they choose to take based on various categories such as price or whether the test is available in paper- and/or computer-delivered formats.
3: The results are the same.
All three tests measure high school equivalent skills, and each has implemented CCR standards. Whether one takes the HiSET, GED or TASC test, the end result when passing these tests is the individual earning a state-issued credential. For example, in California, a student can take either test and earn the California High School Equivalency Certificate when passing each test's subject areas.
The trend toward alternative testing shows no signs of slowing as more states consider new test options and vendors in the near future. Options in how one earns a high school credential have changed, but the outcomes are the same -- increasing one's ability to achieve a more secure future by reaching this education milestone.
LOVINGTON, N.M. â€“ From rising stars to an â€śAmerican Idolâ€ť to a Rock â€™nâ€™ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, the 2015 Lea County Fair and Rodeo will have the perfect mix for fairgoers.
â€śI think our lineup is exciting and is holding to the standards that weâ€™ve developed over the past few years,â€ť said Corey Helton, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board.
Helton and the rest of the folks in southeastern New Mexico should be excited. Not only does the exposition feature a top-rated carnival, a world-class rodeo and amazing local fixtures, the fair also has six amazing acts set to perform through its nine nights at the Lea County Fairgrounds in Lovington:
â€śI think theyâ€™ll all be great shows,â€ť Helton said.
Richochet kicks off the fair with a special show on the opening Saturday night. The country band has been around for nearly two decades and still boasts of being the only country artist to chart the national anthem. Richochetâ€™s first No. 1 hit, â€śDaddyâ€™s Money,â€ť showcases the bandâ€™s harmonies that theyâ€™ve carried with them since the beginning.
After the Lea County Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday, the fair will celebrate Texas Country music with chart-topper Cody Johnson. He will provide a spark to the week filled with great entertainment.
â€śI like the crowd to sing along, yell or whatever makes them feel part of the show,â€ť Johnson said on his website. â€śI love big crowds because of the energy and showmanship I can exhibit.â€ť
That likely will be the case at the fair in Lovington, which has seen significant crowds over the last several years. A big reason for that is the economical admission price; for just $8 ($6 for children), anyone can enjoy all the festivities on the fairgrounds.
â€śYou pay one price for the day, and you get to enjoy it all: the shows, the exhibits, the daily entertainers, the rodeo, the concerts and have the opportunity to take in all the carnival rides,â€ť Helton said. â€śThereâ€™s a lot to our fair, and I think that makes it attractive.â€ť
Crowder will be the featured piece for Christian music night. Raised in east Texas, David Crowder has loved to share his faith through music.
Country artists Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney first met in December 2012. Within a year, the duo had released its first single, â€ś19 You + Me.â€ť They have been nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year in the Academy of Country Music Awards.
â€śCountry music fans are extremely passionate and loyal,â€ť Smyers said in an interview with SheKnows.com. â€śWe are extremely thankful for the support the country community has shown for us and canâ€™t wait to share more of the journey with them.â€ť
McCreery won Season 10 of â€śAmerican Idolâ€ť when he was 17 years old. Since then, he has sold more than 2.5 million albums. Two singles from his inaugural album, â€śI Love you This Bigâ€ť and â€śThe Trouble with Girls,â€ť have been certified platinum.
Allman was one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band and also has had an amazing solo career. In addition to singing and playing for the band, he also wrote many of their hits, including â€śDreams,â€ť â€śWhipping Post,â€ť â€śPlease Call Home,â€ť â€śMelissaâ€ť and â€śMidnight Rider.â€ť
â€śWe seem to always bring some of the big names on the final Saturday night,â€ť Helton said. â€śWe always want to end our fair and rodeo with a bang, and I think weâ€™re doing that this year.â€ť