Earthquakes and Shock Waves Rattle Northwest Alabama

Sep 26, 14 Earthquakes and Shock Waves Rattle Northwest Alabama

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Less than a month after shock waves from California’s 6.6 earthquake reached Alabama, the state is experiencing its own, smaller quakes. On Tuesday, September 9, an area seven miles west of Russellville was shook by a 2.1 tremor at 10:59 p.m. Several hours later, a second earthquake struck an area 11 miles west of Russellville just before 4 a.m., which also had a magnitude of 2.1. These two incidents are consistent with the region’s proximity to the New Madrid fault line. The first signs of geologic activity were seen Sunday, August 24, when primary shock waves from an earthquake in the Napa Valley region arrived in Huntsville at 7:26 a.m., six minutes after the initial tremor. The secondary, shear waves arrived after another 11 minutes, and the larger, slower waves began five minutes later. At its peak, the earthquake reached a vertical ground movement of 75 micrometers after 18 minutes. For shock waves that traveled 1,994 miles from their origin point, that amount of movement is fairly impressive. Meanwhile, the smaller, local earthquakes were focused in northwest Alabama and only affected the immediate area. Unlike the California earthquake, which took place six miles below the surface, the United States Geologic Survey agency (USGS) has reported that the Alabama earthquakes both had a depth of around 3.4 miles. Unlike the California earthquake, which resulted in a severe level of destruction and several injuries, there has been no reported damage or injuries in Russellville or Huntsville. However, with the higher than average rate of geologic activity in the state, some people are reportedly concerned about the potential harm that could befall their homes. Fortunately, with an estimated 744,614 people employed by the U.S. property management industry, many renters have been reassured that their units, apartments and homes will be quickly repaired in the event of earthquake-related...

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Missouri Unemployment Holding Steady Above National Rates

Sep 26, 14 Missouri Unemployment Holding Steady Above National Rates

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

The latest unemployment numbers show that the national unemployment rate is still slightly lower than Missouri’s. According to a report released by the state Department of Economic Development, Missouri’s July unemployment rate remained at 6.5 percent despite the fact that the state added 13,200 jobs. Official unemployment statistics released in August 2014 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the national unemployment rate was only 6.2 percent in July. This is slightly up from 6.1 percent in June, but lower than the rest of the year. 2014 unemployment peaked at 6.7 percent in February and March. The numbers of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) also remained virtually unchanged in July at 3.2 million. These individuals account for 32.9 percent of those currently unemployed. Both the state and national figures are seasonally adjusted. Missouri’s nonfarm employment went up to 2.78 million in July. Industries that saw significant gains include durable-goods manufacturing (3,300 jobs); construction (2,300 jobs); and transportation, warehousing and utilities (2,300 jobs). Moderate gains were also seen in educational services (2,200 jobs) and finance/insurance (1,100 jobs). 53,600 nonfarm jobs have been added to Missouri’s economy in the past year. The leisure and hospitality sector, on the other hand, declined. Missouri’s seasonally adjusted labor force, which includes both those working and those looking for work while on unemployment, shrank by just fewer than 1,500 jobs. This comes as last week new laws came into effect making it more difficult to collect unemployment benefits after being fired under certain...

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Utahans Take to the Great Outdoors to Shed the Stress of the New School Year

Sep 19, 14 Utahans Take to the Great Outdoors to Shed the Stress of the New School Year

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

Nearly 50 million American children headed back to their primary or high schools in late August and early September. With the beginning of a new academic year, children are faced with a whole new set of stressors, ranging from homework to social issues to the time crunch that comes with extracurricular activities. Likewise, parents are under back-to-school pressure — from bills for school supplies and school clothes, adjusting to a new schedule of drop-offs and pick-ups, and even simply making sure their kids are ready each morning. For many, dealing with this stress is just a matter of getting through each week and trying to recover on the weekend with some well-earned RandR. Utahans, as St. George News reports, are taking a creative way to shrugging off the stress of the new year: they’re going camping. Utah’s Wealth of State and National Parks Makes Camping a Natural Getaway An estimated 43 million Americans go camping each year. As home to 43 state parks and five national parks, including the otherworldly Arches National Park, Utah offers no shortage of choices for parents and students looking to get away from homework, permission slips, and high school drama. Nature’s ability to heal is well documented. Getting outside exposes our bodies to more oxygen. In turn, that oxygen pushes our bodies to produce more serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is linked to happiness and more restful sleep. Increased exposure to the sun improves Vitamin D levels in the body, another vitamin that is tied to happiness, as well as bone and tooth health. It goes without saying that being in the middle of the woods — instead of constantly being surrounded by ringing phones, assignment due dates, and grumpy teachers — is a lot less stressful. Utahans, in other words, are onto something. Is camping one of the ways you deal with your stress? Tell us about some of the places you like to go in the comments...

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Record-Breaking Snowstorm Dumps Early Winter on Western US

Sep 19, 14 Record-Breaking Snowstorm Dumps Early Winter on Western US

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

Winter came early for many Americans this week when an unseasonably early snowstorm, referred to by social media commentators as “Snowtember,” swept through Western United States. Rather than depositing a light dusting, the snowstorm dumped a three-day average of over seven inches of snow on South Dakota, Monana and Wyoming. The Weather Channel estimated that up to 18 inches fell in the Bighorn Mountains of Northern Wyoming. North Platte, Nebraska and Cody Wyoming both reported their earliest snowfall on record this week, and Boulder, Colorado also experienced the first snow of the season. Several records were broken by a startling amount in Rabid City, South Dakota. The city also reported its earliest snowfall on record. The area received two inches of snow on Thursday, breaking the record for the previous earliest snowfall on record set by a dusting, less than an inch deep, on Sept. 13, 1970. This makes it the earliest snowfall since 1888. On Thursday, the temperature never got above 37 degrees, which was 12 degrees colder than the “low maximum” set in 1950. Meteorologist Jon Chamberlain with the National Weather Service in Rapid City told Argus Leader that the early September snowfall was “definitely unusual” for Rapid City, but not as much for the general Black Hills area. “It’s a little on the high side, though,” he said. Alex Calderon, also a National Weather Service meteorologist, told NBC News a similar story. “September is a transition month [in the Black Hills]” he said, adding that early snow was fairly common. However, the storm still came as a system shock to Calderon and his neighbors. “I was wearing shorts and sandals and mowing the lawn [on Monday]” He told NBC News. Only a few days later “we’re pulling out our winter clothes.” The early snowfall may have caused a problem for unprepared roofs as well. Since snow and ice can seep into roofs as they melt, causing leaks and damage, repairing them before the first snowfall is important. Unfortunately, residents in the...

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Company offers gold-plated iPhone 6

Sep 16, 14 Company offers gold-plated iPhone 6

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Gold jewelry has long been a sign of wealth, but in recent years there’s been a trend of selling old gold jewelry for cash. These trade-ins can net sellers 40 – 70% of the gold’s value, depending on the rates of the individual buyer. Don’t let that fool you into thinking all gold is out of style, however; demand for gold objects is stronger than ever. Case in point: the iPhone 6, announced at an Apple event Sept. 9, will have a little extra shine added to it before being delivered to some of its customers. In a distinct upgrade to the gold hue offered by Apple, Gold and Co London makes 24k gold iPads and iPhones, as well as other golden gadgets, under the brand Burj Al Arab. In the six months leading up to the release and the few days after, the company received well over 400 orders. Over 150 of those will go to the United Arab Emirates, where demand is high for such luxury items. The company had to scramble to get back to its customers regarding their model preferences when Apple announced that the iPhone 6 would be available in two sizes, but the golden handsets will be delivered in the UAE as early as Sept. 20 or 21 regardless—even before standard models become available. Golden Fever: Smartphones aren’t the only devices the ultra-wealthy have covered in gold. Many bizarre golden objects that have made the news in recent years, but here’s a recap of some of the strangest: A royal throne: The world’s most expensive restroom, built in 2001, required 380 kg of gold — and 6,200 gemstones, to boot! Gold roll: Continuing the bathroom theme, Australian company The Toilet Man created a roll of toilet paper out of 22k gold. Golden words: A gold-covered keyboard might not improve the quality of the typist’s prose, but Wazakura Koubou made one anyway, selling it for around $275 dollars. Putting the “g” in gaming: As part of a marketing stunt...

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