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Rob Gilmore

Inauguration Ball a Star-Studded Night

 The Inauguration Ball last night might not have arrived to the national spotlight with the anticipation of four years ago, but the affair was no letdown, with stars like Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder and Beyonce. Michelle Obama once again chose designer, Jason Wu, for the inauguration ball, donning a shimmery red dress made of chiffon and velvet. 
Jennifer Hudson even tweeted before taking the stage, “Right now the president and first lady will dance to Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together,’ to be performed by…… ME!!! Yes! Amazing Night!”
As Hudson belted the tunes of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” the president and first lady slow danced to an anxious crowd, many of whom were armed with smartphones and pocket cameras to capture the special moment.  Millions watched at home.
Alicia Keys also performed, who modified her hit, “Girls on Fire,” to sing, “He’s the President and he’s on fire…Obama’s on fire. Obama’s on fire.”  Stevie Wonder sang at the Inauguration Ball, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” as a group of audience members swayed to the legendary hit.  The crowd chimed in with fun.’s, “We are Young.”
Michelle Obama’s dress is much like many of her other gowns, according to Forbes.  “There’s an easiness to the dress, understated and chic,” showing off her “toned arms and back.”  For President Obama’s first inaugural ball, First Lady Obama propelled the relatively unknown Wu into the spotlight.  Since then his business has grown exponentially, helping him to create pieces for his label and big box retailers like Target. 
With the celebration now over, the president is back to work this morning, as three fiscal deadlines that demand cooperation with Congress loom in the foreground and the gun control debate rages on. 

Second Amendment Groups Propose 'Gun Appreciation Day'

The second amendment is under siege amid calls for stricter gun control laws, according to gun rights groups across the country.  The groups are combining their efforts by calling for a “Gun Appreciation Day,” set for Jan. 19.
Groups behind the proposed Gun Appreciation Day include the Second Amendment Foundation, Special Operations Speaks, Revolution PAC, Conservative Action Fund and Political Media, Inc.
Supporters hope to achieve the same level of support as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” created for the fast-food chain after it faced criticism for opposition to same-sex marriage.  Supporters of the second amendment are ramping up their efforts as Vice President Biden initiated a series of White House discussions to discuss proposing stricter gun control laws.  The talks come just weeks after the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Biden has already met with gun control groups, like Mayors Against Gun Violence, co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 
Second Amendment activists are infuriated over what they see as the government’s strategy to take their guns.  “If the American people don’t fight back now, Obama will do to the Second Amendment what he has already done to the First Amendment with Obamacare- gut it without a moment’s thought to our basic constitutional rights,” said Larry Ward, leader of the Gun Appreciation Day effort and president of the Republican consulting firm Political Media, Inc.
“People need to understand there’s another side, and there is a logic to that side.  This is not just an emotional, ‘Don’t take our guns,’” Ward told an ABC News reporter.
Ward and groups affiliated with the movement to introduce Gun Appreciation Day are calling on sympathizers to visit gun stores and firing ranges to exercise their second amendment rights on Saturday, Jan. 19.  
The National Rifle Association will have their say Thursday, when a representative from the organizations meets with the task force.

Chip Kelly Drops Oregon, Moving Up to the Philadelphia Eagles

 Chip Kelly, the 49 year-old head coach of the University of Oregon Ducks is leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles.  In a sudden reversal, Kelly agreed to work in the National Football League, after first passing on Philadelphia’s offer with whom he met for nine hours after the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3.  He will replace Andy Reid and become the 21st coach in team history. 
Chip Kelly is known as an offensive innovator.  His brainchild, known as the blur offense, has intrigued a league increasingly focused on offense coordination.  All ll six head coaching hires this off-season have been offensive coaches.
Kelly and his Oregon Ducks averaged 49.6 points a game last season.  His overall record with the Ducks is 46-7 over four years.
Chip Kelly has met with the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks, the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers to discuss offensive strategy.  The Patriots have adopted techniques form his “blur offense.”
The Philadelphia Eagles hope Kelly’s signature style and aggressive offensive approach can help them improve from a 4-12 season last year.
“Chip Kelly will be an outstanding head coach for the Eagles,” Jeffrey Lure, the team’s head coach, said in a statement.  “He has a brilliant football mind. He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words. He will be a great leader for us and will bring a fresh, energetic approach to our team.”

Frank Zamboni, the Man Who Made Modern Hockey Possible

As hockey fans celebrate the National Hockey League’s return to bar flat screens across North America, they might take a moment to thank Frank Zamboni, the man who helped make the sport possible.  He is the inventor of the Zamboni, otherwise known as the modern ice resurfacer.
Just as bar flies everywhere tire from watching their fellow chuggers play darts, the NHL has finally brought hockey back, with a tentative agreement reached January 6.  Google took a timely moment today to thank Frank Zamboni by featuring his creation in their doodle.  The inventor of the Zamboni has garnered more than 1,000,000 hits since the drawing posted.
Frank Zamboni invented the ice resurfacer in 1947.  Born in 1901, of Italian ancestry and a Eureka, Utah native, Zamboni founded Frank J. Zamboni & Co. in Paramount California to build his 1949 creation, the Zamboni.
The famed Zamboni transformed a five-man, 90 minute job into a one-man, 15 minute job.  First built by attaching a blade to a tractor, the Zamboni design has evolved from being based on a Jeep chassis to the sophisticated model that just sold its 10,000th vehicle to the Montreal Canadians. 
In 2007 Zamboni was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and in 2009 he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, one of the only inductees to never play hockey.
After a 16-hour talk, with concessions on both sides, that sport is finally back as the NHL and National Hockey League Players Association finally reached a 10-year agreement.  The conflict hinged on a proposed $60 million cap; the hockey players persuaded the League to adjust to $64.3 million by the end of talks. 
A shortened hockey season is expected to begin on Jan. 19 or as early as Jan. 15.  

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. from Coast to Coast

 Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is celebrated across the U.S. today to commemorate what would have been his 84th birthday.  The Baptist preacher from Georgia, who launched a moral crusade against Jim Crow nearly six decades ago, was gunned down on a Memphis hotel balcony in 1968. 
Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory of fighting for equal rights, mutual respect and racial tolerance is seared into the American conscience.  Martin Luther King Jr.’s words resonate with an increasingly tolerant generation who use his memory of peace and justice to guide them in their daily lives.
For many onlookers and supporters of President Obama, Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of tolerance and equality come full circle with the second inauguration of the president on MLK Day 2013.  “President Obama represents the last lap of this unfinished race,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson to a Washington Post reporter.
Chicagoans already started celebrating MLK Day Sunday.  The Chicago Tribune reports that a group of more than 70 people boarded a yellow school bus to visit some key King landmarks on the West Side of the city. 
At another event, 800 people celebrated Dr. King at the West Point Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side.  “We must work in the spirit of Dr. King because children are being killed by guns almost everyday,” the Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, said in a news release to the Chicago Tribune.
In New Orleans the city’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day begins Tuesday and concludes with a series of events Monday, Jan. 21with a march from City Hall to the city’s MLK Memorial.  This year’s event will include a wreath laying ceremony, an educational presentation on  civil disobedience in the civil rights movement, a choral concert and an art exhibition. 
MLK Day will be observed in many different forms across the country, from the president’s inauguration in Washington to a bus tour in Chicago.  This year is also the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic march on Washington D.C.