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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Time to sign up for Mother’s Day Convoy

Article thanks to Jim Sweeney and the RoadPro Family of Brands. Links provided:

There were a record-setting 590 trucks in last year’s Make-A-Wish Mother’s Day Convoy in Lancaster, Pa., but Eddie Perales had eyes only for the one in which his son, Justin, was a passenger.
Seeing Justin wave from the cab of the Freightliner brought Eddie back to the terrible time when he thought his son was going to die from a brain hemorrhage.
“He was almost dead,” Eddie thought, “and look at him now, waving to everyone and offering hope to other families.”
Justin Perales is one of more than 100 children who ride in the annual convoy and one of thousands helped by Make-A-Wish of Philadelphia, Northern Delaware & Susquehanna Valley, the beneficiary of the fundraiser.
Justin, 11, will be back in the convoy this year with the same driver as last year, Henry Albert of Statesville, N.C.
“I have been in the convoy eight years and I do it because it’s a great cause. The kids make it worth all the effort of being there,” Albert said.
Justin was only seven in 2013 when he collapsed during a family trip. Doctors diagnosed a brain hemorrhage caused by a congenital defect and he was flown by helicopter to Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey, Pa.. He was put into an induced coma for three weeks, surviving a second hemorrhage and several operations.
His slow recovery has entailed more surgeries and years of therapy, but Justin, now 11, is back in school and doing much better. He still has some memory problems and he has not regained full use of his right hand, but his father is grateful for the progress made.
A bright spot in the four years since the hemorrhage was the Make-A-Wish trip the family took in 2014 to Aulani, a Disney resort in Hawaii. For Justin, Eddie, his wife, Addy, and their younger son, Jordan, it was a welcome break from the regimen of treatments and therapy.
“It was beyond just treating us with respect,” Eddie said of their reception at the resort. “It was another level. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life.”
Justin still keeps souvenirs from the trip in his room, Eddie added.   
Last year’s convoy, which claimed the Guinness Book of World Records title for World’s Longest Truck Convoy, raised more than $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish chapter, which equated to funding 40 wishes like the one granted the Perales family.
RoadPro® Family of Brands, based in nearby Palmyra, has been the primary sponsor of the convoy since 2015. Eddie, who had been laid off shortly before his son fell ill, was hired as a salesman by RoadPro a year ago.
“I’m grateful to RoadPro and Make-A-Wish and to everyone who helps organize and support the convoy. We used to go just to see the trucks, but now I have a new appreciation for how much it helps Make-A-Wish and all the families like mine,” Eddie said.      
The Mother’s Day Convoy will be Sun., May 14 in Lancaster, Pa. For information on how to participate or donate, go here.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

FOX 11 Investigates: Speeding tickets in Rosendale, Wisconsin
Story thanks to Robert Hornacek and Links provided:
Nov, 2016  ROSENDALE (WLUK) -- The Village of Rosendale has a bit of a reputation for issuing a lot of speeding tickets. FOX 11 Investigates decided to look into the issue.
Check out the t-shirts for sale at the local convenience store: Rosendale. Just the ticket.
"We have sold thousands every year, people not only in Wisconsin but all over the U.S." said Elizabeth Crook, who is one of the owners of Bluemke's. Crook also sits on the village board.
"I just think that over the years, people have realized that they must go the speed limit," Crook said.
Chris Lusk of Oshkosh found that out firsthand in August.

"I saw him turn his lights on. I was like okay. I really wasn't speeding," Lusk said.
Lusk says he was slowing down on his way into town, where the speed limit drops from 45 to 30. He doesn't think he deserved a ticket.
"There's a difference between enforcing the law and knowing that people aren't intentionally trying to speed through that town," Lusk said.
Lusk is certainly not alone. FOX 11 Investigates looked into the numbers to see just how many speeding tickets are issued by Rosendale Police.
We went back five years and here's what we found: According to data from the Lakeside Municipal Court, Rosendale Police issued 2,150 speeding tickets in 2011; in 2012 - 1,903 tickets; 2013 - 1,780 tickets; 2014 - 1,574 tickets; in 2015, one of the main roads was under construction for several months, police issued 1,162 speeding tickets.
That works out to an average of 1,714 tickets a year. To put that into perspective, Green Bay, which is 100 times larger than Rosendale, issued an average 1,542 speeding tickets per year over that same period.
We sat down with Rosendale police chief Kevin Verdine to find out why Rosendale issues that many tickets.
"Everyone says we only issue citations and that's all Rosendale is known for. But we issue 800-900 warnings a year in addition to the citations," Verdine told FOX 11.
Verdine, who has been chief since 2002, says his officers only issue a ticket if someone is going 10 or more over the speed limit. He says the village is unique: It has two state highways that go through a residential area. Each highway has a school.
According the village's comprehensive plan, one weakness identified by a village committee is that Rosendale is "considered a 'speed trap'" by some. 
When asked what he would say to people who would call Rosendale a 'speed trap,' Verdine replied, "I would say that my definition of a speed trap would be an officer hiding in a driveway, behind a bush, right at a change speed limit sign on the other side waiting for somebody. And we're not doing that. We're trying to get a high visibility patrol out there to get the motorists to slow down."
Since the number of tickets issued each year has gone down slightly, Verdine says drivers are getting the message.
"We haven't changed anything in what we're doing. We're still out there patrolling," Verdine said.
Lusk sees it differently.
"I think that they're basically trying to make money for the town," Lusk said.
FOX 11 tried to find out how much money the village has collected from speeding tickets but village leaders say they do not have specific records for that. We can tell you that over the last five years, the village brought in an average of $107,075 per year for all citations. Speeding is the most common, but that dollar figure also includes more than three dozen other offenses, like operating after suspension, failure to stop and driving without insurance.
"If you wouldn't speed you wouldn't be getting a ticket," said Rosendale Village President Duane Ciske.
FOX 11 asked Ciske what he would say to people who think Rosendale is just trying generate revenue. He replied, "We do get money from it, obviously, because of the fines and everything else. But if we could reduce the speed and not write all the tickets, we'd be happy about that also."
While Rosendale is pretty well known as a place where police write a lot of speeding tickets, it's not the only small town in this area doing it. Just a few miles down the road is the town of Ripon. Over the last five years, Town of Ripon police have issued an average of 1,126 speeding tickets per year.
"The reason that I feel it is is people aren't paying attention to the speed that they're going," said Capt. Howard Stibb. He has been with the Town of Ripon Police Department for 34 years.
When asked what he would say to people who would call the Town of Ripon a 'speed trap,' Stibb responded, "I would disagree with it."
"A speed trap in my mind is where signs are hidden or you drive past a billboard or something like that. We're normally parked out where a person can see us," Stibb said.
As for Chris Lusk, he's still trying to fight his speeding ticket in Rosendale. He says he doesn't expect his fine to be lowered. Lusk also says he will continue to drive through Rosendale, he will closely watch his speed.
"A little more careful and make sure that I'm probably under the speed limit," Lusk said.
That's just fine for residents like Elizabeth Crook.
"We want people to come to our town but we want them to slow down when they come through," Crook said.
So instead of getting a ticket, drivers may just get a t-shirt.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Funeral home van theft surprises police, thief too

Funeral Communications Now
Story thanks to Tom Quimby and Links provided:

Feb, 2017  This might be a great theft deterrent, but you surely don’t want to try it at home or anywhere else for that matter.
A thief got the surprise of his life this week after stealing a van from a California funeral home.
Yep, you guessed it. There was a body in the van.
About an hour after the theft occurred early Sunday morning, police say Bobby Joe Washington, 24, returned the vehicle with its passenger to the Riverside funeral home and stole another one of the company’s vans, but this time he made sure it was empty. As with the case for the first van, the keys had been left in the ignition.
When a mortuary worker came out of a nearby building and tried to stop him, Washington tried to run him over, police said.
A 10 minute police chase ended in Washington’s arrest, but it didn’t come easy.
“The suspect was uncooperative, until the canines got there,” Riverside Police Department spokesman Ryan Railsback told the L.A. Times.
Washington faces multiple charges including two counts of auto theft, one count of evading police and one count of assault with a deadly weapon. He will not be facing any charges for stealing the corpse because police say Washington never intended to take the body.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything like this,” Railsback said. “Out of all the bad decisions he made, he at least made one good one and brought back the deceased person.”
- See more at:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Estate Planning

By Jack Dinse:
 Everyone has heard at least one story about some eccentric, rich person who leaves their entire estate to their dog. While this may seem unfair to most people, I applaud the thoughtfulness shown. After all, your dog has more than earned it with his/her undying devotion. How about your spouse and kids? They are probably not as devoted to you as your pooch is. So good for Fido, now where is the application so I can apply to hold the checkbook? A good dog deserves someone who will ensure a canine lifetime of luxury.

  True story, the other night my wife asks me, “If something ever happened to me, you would just get another dog, wouldn’t you?” Without the slightest hesitation I replied,”No, it would be too hard to walk three dogs at one time.” I was mentally patting myself on the back. Atta boy, pal that was an excellent save. Then just as romantically she came back with, “Well if something ever happened to you, I’d go down to one dog once the other passed away.” Wow, guess we were meant to be together.

  But in all honesty, I have been saying this for a long time now, just never within earshot of Dolores. I would never get married again, ever. Nothing against my wonderful wife, but “been there and done that.” Once is enough. I’d stick with my dogs who hardly ever talk back. They don’t need their own car or charge cards either. Granted, they don’t earn a paycheck, but you’ve got to take the bad along with the good! And if they were not enough companionship, I would head to the animal shelter and adopt another dog. Yes, three dogs would be hard to take for a walk, but I would manage somehow.

  What about human companionship? Well I would get my fill of that at work, with friends and just being around town. Besides, human beings are overrated. Dogs don’t cause wars or become obnoxious drunks. Yup, I’d become the “crazy dog dude”, but so what? Is there really anything wrong with someone being dragged down the road by a couple handfuls of leashes with dogs on the other end of them? I do truly believe that there are worse things in life to become than the eccentric guy who leaves all his money to his dogs.

The preceding, a guest post thanks to cousin Jack Dinse, former active duty US Marine, and very talented, published author. Link here for a free chapter of his excellent book!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Truck driver’s tech wish list
Article thanks to Jim Sweeney and the RoadPro Family of Brands. Links provided:
The cab of your average long-haul truck has enough electronics to outfit a Best Buy, but there’s always some new device that promises to make the job a little easier and the downtime a little more enjoyable.
To gauge what drivers want, we surveyed members of the RoadPro Road Warrior Club on what new technology most appealed to them. Not surprisingly, their answers revealed a strong bent toward the practical and proven:
Technology which respondents wanted most:
Smart TVs – 67%
Self-service truck stop kiosks – 60%
Smart watches – 40%
These findings probably could be best summed up by the driver who added: “I’m just a simple person and all I need are a few things that make life easier a little easier on the road.”
Not surprisingly, less practical technology, such as virtual reality and video games, was not as popular.  
Technology in which respondents had the least interest were:
Robotic shopping carts – 80% uninterested
Video games – 67% uninterested
Virtual reality – 60% uninterested
Augmented reality – 60% uninterested
We fleshed out the survey by asking Facebook friends what mobile electronics they wanted. Laptops, dashcams and tablets led the wish lists, though a number of respondents said they didn’t want any more devices. (“I can barely work my phone,” one said.)
At least one driver was concerned about finding room for one more device in his cab: “I can't think of anything else I could put in here. Didn't get any sleep when I had a game console in here and I don't have any room for a bathroom/shower.”
In cases like that, a multi-purpose device such as Garmin’s dÄ“zlCam™ LMTHD, which is a trucking-specific navigator with built-in dash cam, and Rand McNally’s TND™ Tablet 80, a hybrid truck GPS and Android tablet, are the best solutions.  
Another driver asked for a virtual reality driving game. That guy either can’t get enough time behind the wheel or he wants to indulge in a little fantasy driving behavior that most carriers would find unacceptable.
If history is any indication, drivers will continue to adapt the technology that works best for them, while skipping the stuff that’s fun, but doesn’t have a practical purpose (at least not yet!).