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Jalesa Hall

PGA Tour Championship extended

The partnership between PGA Tour and FedExCup will be extended for another five years.

The PGA Tour’s four event season finale has been officially extended for an additional five years, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Starting in 2007, the FedExCup playoffs, offers $35 million in total bonus money to participants based upon their performance. The winner receives a $10 million prize.

Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that FedEx will continue with their sponsorship until the end of the 2017 season.

Finchem said, “We’ve seen it grow, it’s become a big part of what the PGA Tour is all about. It has had the effect of pulling our season together. We’re going to try to make some adjustments in the next couple of years to do that with the FedExCup in an even more impactful way.”

While no financial details were disclosed, Finchem hinted at a potential growth over the upcoming years.

“How that plays out in terms of the distribution of dollars we’re not sure, but we’re certainly going forward, not backwards during this term, Finchem says.

The PGA Tour Playoffs schedule has been posted on the website and includes:

Aug 20-26 The Barclays: Bethpage State Park;Farmindale, New York
Aug 27-Sep. 3 Deutsche Bank Championship: TPC Boston; Norton, Massachusetts
Sept. 3-9 BMW Championship: Crooked Stick Golf Club; Carmel, Indiana
Sept. 10-16 Off Week
Sept.17-23 Tour Championship by Coca-Cola: East Lake Golf Club; Atlanta, Georgia.

What there is to know about Lent 2012

Ash Wednesday marked the first day of Lent, and some churches have made it easy to participate during this very special year.

Never has Ash Wednesday been so easy to participate in.

Ministers in Ohio have decided to offer a drive-thru Ash Wednesday blessing. Reverend Patricia Anderson Cook of Mt. Healthy United Methodist Church in Cincinnati is offering services this evening held in the church’s parking lot.

Cook told the Cincinnati Inquirer, “Some people are very busy and some people get a little intimidated walking into a church, this is for them.”

In New Jersey, two Episcopalian ministers are offering “ashes to go” for people commuting at a local train station. 

One of the reverends involved, Reverend Andrew Butler said, “More and more, people’s schedules keep tem from attending church, especially those who commute into NYC, so we are taking the ashes to them.”

According to Catholic.org, Ash Wednesday starts the beginning of the Season of Lent. It allows Catholics a time of “penance, reflection and fasting” that will prepare them for Easter Sunday.

Ash Wednesday occurs 40 days before Easter and falls on different dates each year, depending on the date that Easter follows on for the year.

This year, Catholics will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, a French priest who had ties to Jesus’ mother Mary and created the Total Consecration.

The Total Consecration, which is made up of prayers and spiritual practices, occurs on the same day that Lent starts this year. Father Ryan Wayne Erlenbush told LA Times that the next time this will happen will be 2075.

Erlenbush said, “It’s a unique opportunity to do both, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make it our best Lent ever.”

For those interested, St. Louis-Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration can be followed through Erlenbush’s blog.

to read more: click here

Twitter feud between Chris Brown and CM Punk escalates

After a tweet from CM Punk, this Twitter feud between CM Punk and Chris Brown is getting progressively worse and far more personal.

In a recent twitter feud, Chris Brown has decided to go up against WWE wrestler CM Punk.

The WWE wrestler responded to Brown’s latest attacks with a video where he calls the R&B singer, “a sad, cowardly little boy.”

The video starts off with Punk saying, “I never intended to include Chris Brown’s name in one of my tweets to start some sort of controversy or to get publicity or anything like that. But now that he’s thrown accusations my way about using steroids, I feel the need to reply, so please allow me to retort.”

Punk then goes on to stress how Brown and he are from “different worlds.”

“I don’t have an assistant; I had no need for a PR team to tell me what to tweet and when to delete tweets. And I don’t hit women. Period. You don’t hit women.”

Brown has a history of tweeting irrationally on Twitter and then rapidly deleting his “in the heat of the moment” comments. 

Punk also criticizes Brown’s reactions that followed after the incident with singer Rhianna and how picking up trash off the side of the highway was not enough.

This video came to life after Brown personally attacked Punk on Twitter by questioning his manhood and openly suggesting that the wrestler uses steroids.

Punk started this fight Monday night when he tweeted about wanting to “stomp” on Brown.

The singer responded with “ @CMpunk needs more followers. He’s such a leader! Not to mention the roids hes on has made it utterly impossible for him pleasure a women.”

The wrestler is suggesting that Brown step up and “put some gloves on.”

To read more: click here

"Seinfield" Star Daniel von Bargen makes it through suicide attempt

The 62-year old actor shot himself in the head and then called 911.

Daniel von Bargen, famous for his role as Mr. Kruger on “Seinfeld,” is in critical condition after shooting himself in the head Monday, according to TMZ.

Bargen, now in a Ohio hospital, shot himself in what seems to be a failed suicide attempt.

On the 911 operator tape, Bargen tells the operator, “I’ve shot myself in the head … and I need help.”

The operator proceeds to ask if it was an accident and Bargen replies, “I was suppose to go to the hospital, and I didn’t want to.

Bargen also tells the operator that he shot himself in the temple.

When police arrived to Bargen’s apartment complex, they can be heared in the 911 tape, instructing Bargen to keep his hands where they could see them.

Bargen also had roles in “The Silence of the Lambs, ‘O’Brother, Where Art Thou? And All My Children.”

No word on his condition, other than it’s critical.

Listen to the 9-11 call at your discretion:

President Obama sings "Sweet Home Chicago"

In his second time serenading the nation, the President joined blues greats B.B. King and Buddy Guy in a White House performance dedicated to the blues.

In a series to celebrate the American songbook, blues legends B.B. King and Buddy Guy performed at the White House on Tuesday with President Obama joining in on the event.

Buddy Guy urged the President to sing by saying, “I heard you singin’ Al Green, so you done started somethin’! You gotta keep it up now.”

Obama then, while smiling, serenaded the crowd with a few lyrics from “Sweet Home Chicago.”

Because of Black History Month, the Obamas have been honoring the blues, a genre that has influenced many aspects of music today.

Tuesday’s performers included B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger and Jeff Beck.
The Rolling Stones’ front man tweeted about his tour of the White House and posted pictures.

His first tweet: had first rehearsal at #whitehouse today and had a lovely tour of the West Wing followed by: Met President Obama who listened to a few tunes during rehearsal he seemed really relaxed and happy!

The performance titled “Red, White and Blues,” will air on PBS on Monday.

To read more: click here.


Sony introduces PlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Vita is the newest of portable handhelds from Sony.

Sony launched their newest video game handheld called the PlayStation Vita today in North America, Europe and Latin America.

According to Yahoo, Sony’s intent is that this device will create a more well-rounded experience for gamers that currently use Nintendo and Apple.

CEO Jack Tretton said, “PlayStation Vita is the most powerful and connected portable gaming system ever created. For the first time ever, consumers will find compelling PS3 console-like gameplay experiences on the go from the most popular PlayStation franchises as well as titles unique to PS Vita, while staying connected with their favorite entertainment and social networking applications through 3G and Wi-Fi support.”

The system, which has a 5inch OLED screen, dual thumbsticks and front and rear touch pads, had “strong sales during its Japan launch period, only to watch those numbers nosedive in the weeks thereafter, according to Yahoo.

Reviews in the United States have been positive so far with CNET, Time and Venturebeat, calling the handheld, “the best portable ever conceived.”

With competitors like the iPads and the Amazon Kindle, the Vita has some serious competition, but Tretton seems confident.

“For us, success is defined by mass market penetration, meaning not just the core gamer but young, old, male, female, causal and core, and being relevant on a worldwide basis, not being incredibly strong in one market but non-existent in another.”

The Vita is selling for $250, but the 3G version will run for $299 plus the cost of a monthly data plan.

Chuck E. Cheese turns 35

Today marks the 35th birthday of the restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese.

Today, Chuck E. Cheese turns 35.

The kid-centered restaurant began back in 1977, bringing children and adults a world of arcade games, animated rodents and cheesy pizza.

According to Yahoo, they currently have over 500 stores around the world and bring in quarterly revenues around $200 million.

The man behind the mouse is Nolan Bushnell, who is also infamous in the video game world. Bushnell helped co-found Atarti in 1972.

Bushnell said about his restaurant chain, “I guess that I have never been surprised that the chain has lasted this long. There will always be a place for kids, and I’m proud that it has given so much joy to so many young kids, though not always to their parents.”

Though Bushnell is no longer involved with the restaurant, he reflects on how Chuck E. Cheese was imagined as another animal and not the mouse he is today.

“The project started as Coyote Pizza. We thought that a Coyote would be a great mascot. I purchased what I though was Coyote costume from an amusement park walk-around costume vendor and had it shipped to the company. When it got here it was obvious to everyone but me that it was a rat costume.

Chuck’s reputation started off as a mouse with a New Jersey attitude that interrupted his guest, but over the years, his image has softened.

Due to the various tokens that the restaurant has gone through over the years, some of the tokens like one from 1994 can be appraised up to $15.

The most common misconception with Chuck E Cheese is that it’s strictly for children.
Justin Bieber and girlfriend Selena Gomez were spotted at one of the restaurants last weeks, and one Virginia couple made it the place to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Bushnell says, “An unintended result of the chain is that it became the perfect place for divorced or widowed parents to meet a new mate. There have been thousands of marriage by people that met at a Chuck E. Cheese’s.”

Elizabeth Smart Gets Married

With a quick engagement, Elizabeth Smart and fiancee married February 18.

Elizabeth Smart and fiancée Matthew Allan Gilmour decided to void a media frenzy surrounding their wedding and wed February 18, according to Hollywood Life.

Elizabeth told “People” that she “couldn’t be happier.”

Elizabeth and Matthew finalized their love with a traditional Mormon ceremony at the Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii with close friends and family.

The destination was not chosen for its exotic location or beautiful scenery. Oahu is where Elizabeth came to reunite with her family after being kidnapped in 2002.

Elizabeth told “People,” “Oahu is a very special place for me, very different than what I was used to. I guess you could say it was kind of a refuge.”

10 years ago, Smart was taken from her own bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah by Brian Mitchell David. Nine months went by before she was finally rescued. Smart was 14 at the time.

The advocate for children’s safety met Matthew in Paris, France in January of 2009. He says that he knew she was “the one” from the beginning.

“I’d known for a long time that I was in love with her. The thing that attracted me the most to her-at the beginning and now- is how confident she is, especially considering everything she has gone through,” Matthew said.

Elizabeth insists that the wedding was traditional with her wearing a white-laced Alita Graham dress and Matthew wearing a kilt.

At the end of the night, Elizabeth closed the ceremony with this statement:
“Nine years ago I said I was the luckiest girl in the world. I definitely feel that way today. Spending my wedding with the people I love the most has been unbelievable. I love you all. Aloha.”

To read more and see pictures click here.

IRS's "Where's my refund?" tool has problems for users

The IRS has apologized for glitches with their “Where’s my refund?” tool and promised that the situation is temporary.

It’s the beginning of the year and across the country, Americans are filing their taxes in hopes to get money back. However, finding out exactly when their refund is coming has proven to be more difficult than usual.

The Internal Revenue Service’s “Where’s my refund?” page has been sending a message saying that the IRS has no information about returns, leaving some Americans in a panic.

The glitch was caused by the IRS taking safety measures against refund fraud, according to the Huffington Post. The IRS also struggled in the beginning of the tax season when they issued refunds to taxpayers a week later than the tool told them.

The new e-file system has some defeats but has also been helpful with refund fraud. In Sylvester, Georgia, some residents had their refunds swiped after their identities were stolen and the thieves got their refunds through Turbo Tax.

The IRS has assured the public that this problem is merely temporary and expects “to resolve the matter in a few days,” according to their website.

From changing dates to telling Americans they had never filed a tax return, the IRS “Where’s my refund?” tool is having trouble. The best thing is to just be patient.

To read more: click here

J.R. Smith is going to the New York Knicks

J.R. Smith has announced via Twitter that he will be coming back and playing for the Knicks.

J.R. Smith, who is currently a free agent, has hinted that he would be joining Jeremy Lin at the New York Knicks.

Smith tweeted Friday morning, “New York Knicks It Is!”

Smith played for the Denver Nuggets last season but during the lockout decided to play in China. There was no opt-out clause is his contract, forcing him to stay there and finish out his Chinese team’s season.

Not known for his consistent shooting, Smith averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals in the 24.9 minutes off the bench last season, according to USA Today.

Allegedly to make room for Smith, the Knicks made the decision to release forward Renaldo Balkman. Balkman tweeted Friday morning, “New York was great love da big apple #imout.”

The Knick have recently been in the news because they are currently in the best season with newly discovered sensation Jeremy Lin. The Knicks have won the past seven games.

All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony has been out with a strained right groin, but may potentially return Sunday for the Knicks game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Amare Stoudemire has missed the past four games because of his brother’s death due to a car accident and will return Tuesday for their game against the Toronto Raptors.