Orlando Screams: 78 Days of Halloween

(NewsUSA) – Halloween has become one of America’s most iconic holidays. But why celebrate for just one night when Orlando, Halloween Vacation Capital, offers Halloween events spanning an entire 78 days?Starting as early as Aug. 17 and running through Nov. 3, there’s something for everyone, from mild and family-friendly to wild and terrifying.This year’s lineup includes a host of All-Hallows events and attractions; themed hotel packages; and the return of the largest horror convention in the nation. Theme Park Frights This year, visitors can expect Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights to pay an homage to the ’80s , with a haunted house in the theme of Netflix’s "Stranger Things," as well as nine other haunted houses, for a total of 10 – the most ever in the event’s 28-year history.For a more family-friendly experience, the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park comes alive with jack-o-lanterns and special characters for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.Visitors can trick-or-treat throughout the park, masquerade with costumed characters at the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, sing along at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, and end the night with a "Boo-tacular" fireworks show.SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular has an ocean of Halloween fun planned.During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater "fantasea" including trick-or-treating, not-so-spooky live shows, and the chance to mingle with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends including Elmo, The Count, Cookie Monster and more. Boo Beyond the Parks The largest horror convention in the nation, Spooky Empire, returns to Orlando Oct. 26-29 at the Caribe Royale Orlando. Celebrity guests this year includes David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson of X-files fame, with more to be announced.Other thrills and chills include a, costume contest, zombie walk, and film festival.A Petrified Forest features two outdoor scare trails for small groups to venture through a haunted forest at night. Live actors stalk guests through the dark, and uniquely themed areas make for a truly thrilling, chilling experience. The event runs select nights, Oct. 5 – Nov. 3 Haunting Hotel Happenings Three Hyatt properties are offering a "No Tricks, Just Treats" package, Sept.1 – Nov. 4, to get guests into the Halloween spirit.The package includes two complimentary "spooky" drinks or beverages of choice per stay as well as a special-themed treat placed in their room upon arrival, available at Hyatt Place across from Universal Orlando Resort, Hyatt House across from Universal Orlando Resort, and Hyatt Place Orlando Convention Center.Hilton Orlando is offering "A ROOM WITH A BOO" package, which includes daily breakfast, premium Wi-Fi and late checkout at 2:00 p.m.; perfect sleeping-in time for those "creatures of the night." Use this link for booking.For more information, visit VisitOrlando.com

More Than Half of Those Approaching Retirement Believe They Will ‘Unretire’

(NewsUSA) – Reflecting a changing post-retirement landscape, a new survey by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, reveals that 53 percent of workers approaching retirement in the next five years believe they will likely "unretire," or return to work.Not only do the majority of those approaching retirement and those who have "unretired" say they will change or have changed industries, nearly 80 percent of both groups say they want to make a meaningful impact in their communities during their post-retirement years.After money, the top motivators for returning to work among those who have retired were fighting boredom and keeping their minds sharp, while finding new challenges and fulfillment were important motivators among those pending retirement, according to the Home Instead, Inc. survey.Encouraging older workers to explore new "unretirement" options that will fulfill these needs, Home Instead collaborated with RetirementJobs.com to introduce an online career assessment tool that asks questions about users’ skills and interests before recommending a category that might be a fit for a post-retirement career:* Caregivers (e.g., personal care aide, child care worker)* Advisors (e.g., library assistant, tutor, admin assistant, clergy/counselor)* Networkers (e.g., driver, retail salesperson, tour guide)* Creatives (e.g., culinary worker, writer, graphic designer)Sales clerks, bank tellers, online tutoring and caregiving are among some of the most popular and flexible jobs for older workers.To explore additional unretirement resources including the Career Assessment Tool, visit UnRetireYourself.com, or find a Home Instead Senior Care office near you by going to www.homeinstead.com/state/

New Solution Helps Parents Manage Kids’ Device Use at Home

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Nearly three quarters of parents wish they had a way to turn off their children’s Wi-Fi access, according to results of a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research for Comcast.
Parents are right to be concerned as device use reportedly rises with the warmer temperatures. In fact, they say that children spend as much as four more hours a day online during the summer months.
Comcast’s latest “Active Time Alert” feature on Xfinity xFi, available with Xfinity Internet, however, can help parents set healthy time limits for their child’s device use at home. Xfinity Internet customers with a compatible wireless Gateway can easily access xFi features for no additional charge online, on their TV via the X1 voice remote, or on the xFi mobile app. Parents simply create and choose a child’s user profile within the xFi app and set time limits on the in-home network for weekdays and weekends.
The survey also found that use of Wi-Fi devices can easily overtake other vacation activities. Over half (56 percent) of the parents of teenagers responded that they thought their teens would prefer to go online rather than play in the ocean during a vacation.
Additionally, according to the survey, 76 percent of parents report that their children are more addicted to their devices than to candy. So what is a parent to do?
Of the parents surveyed, about 73 percent say that they set limits on devices such as computers and gaming consoles, and 51 percent report setting limits on only their children’s devices, such as laptops and tablets.
The xFi platform lets users know exactly which devices are connected to the in-home network at what times and for how long. With “Active Time Alert,” parents can choose to receive a push notification, text or email alert when their child is approaching his or her device time limit. Once parents receive the alert, they can either choose to extend the time or pause the child’s Wi-Fi access. Another xFi feature allows parents to either pause or stop the Wi-Fi connection to a child’s device in the home anytime and to prevent devices from accessing Wi-Fi.
This survey and Comcast’s new xFi feature align with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to prevent device use from interfering with sleep, exercise, and face-to-face family interaction.
The Wakefield Research and Comcast survey include responses from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 parents in the United States aged 18 years and older.
Xfinity xFi is available to Xfinity Internet service customers with a compatible Xfinity Gateway and is limited to the home Wi-Fi network. For more information about the Xfinity xFi platform and availability, visit www.xfinity.com/xfi.

The ABCs of Finance Apps

(NewsUSA) – As back-to-school time sets in, personal finance becomes more complicated for many families. Some have students away from home for the first time, others have expenses for tuition, and of course the many purchases associated with the start of school: backpacks, lunch bags, clothes, books, dorm room furnishings, not to mention the tech gear – phones, tablets, laptops, and don’t forget extra chargers.Banking and finance apps can help make life easier when it comes to tracking family finances and managing education expenses. When deciding on an app, look for features that provide flexibility, security, and ease of use. MovoCash is one example of a mobile finance company that offers a variety of financial options as alternatives to traditional banking services.Consider the ABCs of mobile finance:A is for App: Does the mobile banking or finance company you are considering have a user-friendly app that allows secure spend and send functions from your phone? The free-to-download MOVO app offers FDIC-insured prepaid card accounts that allow customers to instantly pay friends and make purchases directly from their mobile phone.MOVO also offers MovoCoin, a feature that allows users to create instant digital prepaid cards in exact amounts for specific purchases. MovoCoin cards can be used for many charges, including paying bills, placing food orders, purchasing clothes, books, or other items online, or paying for ride-sharing services.B is for Banking: Mobile banking can be used for all aspects of financial management, including direct deposit and online bill paying, without the need for a traditional bank account. Look for apps such as the MOVO app that allow users to set up a direct deposit account to manage incoming paychecks and outgoing payments easily and securely. And timely payments help users avoid late fees and track expenses.C is for Compare: There are many financial apps out there. Use notable review websites such as Nerdwallet, The Balance and The Simple Dollar to help you compare financial apps and digital prepaid cards. For example, for families with students who are starting to manage their own finances, a banking app with the option of a prepaid card provides another layer of security and may help to prevent family friction associated with overzealous student spending.For more information about MOVO’s full range of financial solutions, visit https://movo.cash

Safety App Empowers Students, Offers Peace of Mind for Parents

(NewsUSA) – Sending the kids to college means letting go, but it doesn’t mean disconnecting, especially when it comes to safety.Newly minted college students may think they are invincible, but approximately 4 million young adults arrive in emergency rooms each year because of car accidents, sexual assaults, medical illness, accidental injuries, alcohol poisonings and drug overdoses, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Especially in today’s era of heightened security concerns, parents are eager for ways to ensure their college student’s safety, and the Umergency app can help.The app was created by Gail Schenbaum, the mother of a college student who received a middle-of-the-night phone call from her daughter as she was being taken to the emergency room with a partial amputation. Ms. Schenbaum did not have any emergency contact information for her daughter’s college, local hospitals, police department, or even roommates.That experience inspired Ms. Schenbaum to help college families navigate any emergency or safety situation. Available to download in the App Store and Google Play, Umergency offers a range of safety and security resources for students, parents, friends, and family members.Key features include an Urgent Alert beacon that notifies parents and other trusted contacts when immediate help is needed and pinpoints the student’s GPS location.On the flip side, an "I am safe" function alerts these contacts when the student is out of harm’s way.The app also includes on-campus safety information specific to the student’s school, and allows the student to enter data and choose emergency contacts with whom to share it. Contact information for local police, fire departments, emergency centers, and urgent care personnel are accessible, as well as campus health services, including psychological and other after-hours hotlines.Additional features of the app include the ability to upload and share a secure copy of the student’s health insurance card, as well as a digital medical consent form that allows medical staff to speak with the student’s trusted friends and family and provide confidential information.An app can be an important tool, but it’s not a substitute for conversations about safety basics. Parents can set the stage for a safer college experience by talking to their students before they get busy with dorm-room decorating.The following questions are a good way to get started and open up a dialog:- Do you feel there is enough security on campus?- What are the school’s safety procedures to deal with a campus crisis?- Does the school conduct periodic practice drills to test its emergency preparedness?- How does the campus notify students and parents in case of an emergency?- What type of emergency facilities are available on campus, including mental health services?The Umergency app is currently available for free to college students in the United States, and costs $9.99 per year or $19.99 for lifetime access for parents, family members, or other non-students.To download the app or learn more, go to http://www.umergencyapp.com

Summer Break Means 25 Percent Break for Educators, Administrators

(NewsUSA) – Teachers deserve every break they can get. Reports show that wages for educators have been declining, and some work two jobs to make ends meet. Meanwhile, many teachers pay out of their own pockets for books and supplies. As the new school year approaches, Barnes & Noble wants to make it a bit easier for these dedicated educators and administrators.Year-round, the bookseller recognizes all the wonderful things that educators do by giving them 20 percent off school supplies. Each weekend in August, Barnes & Noble amplifies their thank you with an Educator Appreciation Month. Each weekend in August, Barnes & Noble increases its discount to 25 percent for most books, gifts, games and toys for teachers and administrators, including items in an expanded back-to-school section."Educators do so much for us, our children, and our communities," says Tracy Vidakovich, Vice President, Business Development for Barnes & Noble. "That’s why we try to give back in different ways, including our year-round offers for teachers, as well as special appreciation periods like this August’s 25 percent discount for most merchandise in our stores."While educators are shopping during these August weekends, they can also treat themselves to drinks and food at Barnes & Noble Cafés for 10 percent off. In addition, they can snag educational tech products, such as Code Gamer learning kits, at a 10 percent discount.When it comes to back-to-school shopping, Barnes & Noble has a lot to choose from this year. The bookseller not only has the books, pens, and other school supplies educators need, but it has an expanded collection of back-to-school items that includes JanSport backpacks, S’well water bottles, and Skullcandy headsets."Between grading assignments, communicating with parents, and planning classes, teachers are busy well beyond the school year," Vidakovich says. "That’s why we want to support them and make things easier by helping them save throughout the year, whether they’re teaching or preparing for their next class."Barnes & Noble’s Educator Program has been dedicated to providing discounts to public, private, and home-school educators for about a decade. Sign-up is free. After this August’s Educator Appreciation days, Barnes & Noble’s next major educator deal will come in the fall, with another Educator Appreciation Week from October 6-14, 2018.To take advantage of these discounts, educators can enroll in-store, or by completing the Educator Application online and bringing it to their nearest Barnes & Noble location. Educators can also find more information at www.bn.com/h/bn-educators

How to Afford a Pricier House in the Neighborhood You Love

(NewsUSA) – When Danielle and Jimmy returned to their home state after three years in Germany, they spent the next six months looking for their first home."Location was so important to us. We got used to walking everywhere while we were in Germany. Grocery stores, restaurants, beer gardens and pubs were all within walking distance of our apartment. We wanted to find a neighborhood like that," explains Danielle, an employee relations attorney.They found the perfect neighborhood: Bay View, Wisconsin. They also found a house in a perfect location, right across from a park, with a lovely view of Lake Michigan.But the house itself wasn’t so perfect: it needed about $20,000 worth of renovations. And the sale price was on the high side of their price range."We looked at other homes in the neighborhood that were cheaper and in better shape. But we kept coming back to this one. It was in the perfect spot. And when we found out there is a beer garden in the park in summer, it was a done deal!" Danielle says.They successfully closed on the house in January and spent a month painting, installing a new kitchen floor and remodeling the master bath before they moved in.So how did Danielle and Jimmy manage to buy a more expensive home and have money left over to fix it up? With direction from their loan officer, here’s how they did it:1. They were pre-approved before starting the house hunt, so they knew their price range.2. They used conventional financing with private mortgage insurance, which allowed them to put down 5 percent instead of 20 percent. Their mortgage payment is higher, but still within their monthly budget.3. The lower down payment made it possible to buy the more expensive home.4. Putting less money down also allowed them to keep cash for the renovations.For more information on how to purchase a home with conventional financing and a low down payment, check out the articles and videos on this website, created especially for first-time homebuyers: readynest.com

Aim for Compliance by Design, Not by Accident

(NewsUSA) – While a global economy is an advantage for many companies that operate internationally, compliance with the multitude of complex and ever-changing laws and regulations can be a burden to doing business, and the penalties of non-compliance can be severe. This is particularly true when it comes to environmental, health and safety (EHS) laws that can impact everything from public opinion and stock prices to your employees’ well-being and safety. As multinational companies are faced with heavy scrutiny by many different governments cracking down on importing and exporting violations, increased regulations and heftier fines, it is clear that businesses need to consider compliance as a key tool for surviving in a global economy.To underscore how costly non-compliance can be, a recent case study of one global steel company showed that EHS-related violations cost the company almost $2.7 million dollars over a five-year period. Compliance challenges for global businesses include not only the complexity and fast-paced changes of laws and regulations all over the world, but also tighter enforcement of these regulations, not to mention potential language and cultural barriers. An ongoing compliance management approach at a multinational company is a proactive and practical solution for businesses juggling the demands of sites around the world.Besides the wide scope of expert coverage, other advantages of an outsourced approach to EHS compliance include:- Increased Efficiency. Outsourcing the details of ever-changing compliance allows multinational companies to spend their time doing business rather than being bogged down in regulatory paperwork.- Cost savings. Companies that are not in compliance with overseas business regulations may lose money to hefty fines and even jail time. In addition, accidents as a result of noncompliance may lead to extensive legal fees and decreased shareholder value.- Industry insights. Compliance intelligence companies like Enhesa constantly monitor the latest developments in global business regulations to keep their clients up-to-date. In addition, Enhesa provides global businesses with blog posts, downloadable publications, articles and webinars about the latest news in EHS so they can plan accordingly.- Almost unlimited coverage. With more than 75 EHS regulatory analysts from more than 40 nationalities covering more than 285 jurisdictions, global companies can profit in many ways from Enhesa, as opposed to trying to manage their EHS compliance in-house.For more EHS-related news, tips and information about maintaining compliance with EHS regulations globally, visit enhesa.com

Bitcoin Gains Can Become “Tax-Free”

(NewsUSA) – The 2017 Reform Act of 2017 is starting to gain traction as former United States Congressman Mark Schauer (MI-07) suggest that the "Opportunity Zones created under the tax bill incentivize capital flow to businesses in low-income neighborhoods all over the nation. Investment of even a portion of unrealized capital gains will have an historic, transformative effect in distressed communities."Yet the challenge is how to find, research, track, manage and trade these tax-exempt investment over the ten years of the tax incentive.The Entrex Capital Market is one of the leaders building state by state Opportunity Zone Trading solutions, typically for the state economic development teams. Working together with local and state representatives, Entrex brings each opportunity zone to the forefront and can even allow investors to perform tax-free 1031 type of exchanges (including qualified bitcoin gains) into qualified assets in each Opportunity Zone, all through regulated market constituents.One company taking advantage of the new tax "opportunities" is Webco Dental, a Disabled Veteran-qualified small business. Webco has gained significant exposure from building their company in a Pasco County, Florida Opportunity Zone. Christopher Cooley, CEO of Webco, suggests;"Being in an Opportunity Zone and being a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, or SDVOSB, allows us to help investors support our veterans, while focusing on the economic and employment growth our communities need – all on a potentially tax-free income and capital gain basis."Entrex helps to bring exposure to investors by offering the ability not only to buy debt and equity of companies, but also the potential of liquidity. "It’s like the eBay or real estate’s MLS for private companies," says entrepreneur Craig Rutkai of Florida.Similar to the way they managed over 200 transactions for companies in 2017 – each reviewed by the regulators – Entrex now offers a variety of alternative investors from real estate, gold and silver commodities, Opportunity Zones, and consumer debt. And potentially is there for government-backed airlines leases.Stephen H. Watkins, CEO of Entrex, suggests: "Back in 2015, when our Broker/Dealer managed the Overstock.com TIGRcub Bond – we helped manage the first security to ever trade on the Blockchain. Now every trade and interest payment we service can be pushed out.""It is an exciting time and the beginning of the democratization of private companies."To learn more about the Entrex Alternative Trading Portal capabilities, technologies and opportunity zone investments, visit www.EntrexCapitalMarket.com

New Bedding Line Boasts Recycled Materials

(NewsUSA) – Global interest in socially conscious, eco-friendly products has exploded over the last two decades. Now it extends not only to paper and packaging, but to high-end sectors such as clothing and home goods.Enter the REKOOP collection, a line of bedding products made of recycled material, including sheets, pillowcases, and pillow shams, made its debut in the spring of 2018 at Home Fashions Week in New York.REKOOP was launched by GHCL Limited, an India-based textile company, to appeal to consumers seeking socially responsible home goods that are comfortable and functional as well. Market data suggest that Millennial shoppers in particular want to know the origins and environmental impact of the products they purchase."With all things being equal or even nearly equal, consumer preferences today will be skewed towards products that are eco-friendly and recyclable," says Manu Kapur, president and CEO of GHCL Home Textiles."Consumers will continue to support and buy products like REKOOP that are good for the environment with the understanding that the materials used to make those products are renewable, re-useable and recyclable," he says.The REKOOP collection contains the most eco-friendly recycled PET fiber called "Recron Green Gold," which is manufactured by the Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited, from post-consumer PET bottles. The REKOOP manufacturing process results in fewer greenhouse gases and a smaller carbon footprint than the production of traditional polyester bedding. Recycling the PET also reduces landfill space and crude oil consumption.The recycled material used in REKOOP is source-verified thanks to unique technology from Applied DNA Sciences in Stony Brook, New York, a company that uses a platform known as CertainT to embed molecular tags in fibers, PET fibers in this case, so that they can be traced throughout the fabric manufacturing process."Many raw materials look the same, so it’s a big advantage to have your own molecular tag on your product and have it verified through forensic testing and tracking," says MeiLin Wan, vice president, textile sales at Applied DNA Science.GHCL is one of India’s leading home textile makers, and handles the full manufacturing process for REKOOP, starting with spinning the fiber to be used in the products, followed by weaving, dyeing, and printing the finished sheets, duvets, and other items for export to countries globally.The company received the Golden Peacock Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance in 2017 and for National Quality in 2018. It has also been recognized as India’s 67th "Great Place to Work" across sectors in 2018.For more information on the REKOOP collection, visit https://rekoop.pet/.