JT Thomas introduced to the Minor League Football News Hall of Fame

James "JT" Thomas, former West Virginia Mountaineers linebacker, will be featured at the Minor League Football News Hall of Fame on Thursday, December 6, 2007 at the Oasis Resort Hotel & Casino in Mesquite, Nevada.

Thomas's nomination was reviewed by the MLFN Board of Directors and received notice of his acceptance on July 30.

"It's really an honor to receive this award," said Thomas. "I owe a big thank you all for supporting me over the years."

Thomas has used strong leadership skills, tireless work ethic and passion for the game to become a driving force in developing and promoting minor leagues and semi-pro football throughout the Midwest.

JT Thomas's football career history can be divided into three distinct chapters: player, coach and executive. Thomas's collegiate career began at Fort Scott Community College (Kansas) in 1992. After his second season, Thomas moved to West Virginia University (WVU).

In two seasons at Fort Scott – both as team captain – Thomas earned two All-Kansas Jayhawk Conference honors as an off-line defender and defensive player of the 1992 game at the Valley of the Sun Bowl. In the WVU internal linebacker, Thomas received two Mountaineer Club Awards for field excellence, won two All-Big East team honors, and defeated the game's defensive player at the 1994 CarQuest Bowl. He also led both teams in clashes each season.

A successful college career led Thomas to the semi-pro football circuit in 1996 with the Charleston Rockets, where he was able to play with former WVU Major Harris. Returning to the external striker, Thomas led the team in attacks and became an All-Star league when the Rockets finished their regular 11-game season 10-1. Thomas tried to bring his semi-pro ball success to the Arena Football League in 1997 with Albany Firebirds, but suffered a career that ended with a leg injury on the third day of training.

Instead of a helmet and pads, the next step in Thomas's career was a headset and clipboard. After a spell as a Defensive Coordinator for a 13- to 16-year-old championship team, Thomas returned to semi-professional football in 2000 as West Virginia WHAM Head Coach! Located in Morgantown, WV, Thomas has compiled a winning percentage of .695 (41 wins, 18 losses), won three head coaches of the year, and coached three league all-star games in six seasons as WHAM! head coach.

In 2001, Thomas also led WHAM! for the Mid-Ohio Football League (MOFL) championship.

During the 2003 season, Thomas took full ownership of WHAM! When he left WHAM! In 2005, he decided to shift his focus full-time to developing the success of semi-pro football and WHAM! franchise. In the two years he stopped training, Thomas held executive positions at the Ohio Valley Football League and the MOFL. In January 2007, Thomas was promoted to MOFL Commissioner.

Thomas currently oversees the daily operations of MOFL – an expanding 10-team semi-professional league in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. His love for semi-professional football is matched only by his desire to see MOFL – and all minor league football organizations – produce a competitive, organized, developed and entertaining football product for players in the game and fans in the game. soccer. stands.

Thomas also serves as a semiprofessional sports consultant for League Level, LLC, a company that provides marketing and promotional strategies for organizations with an emphasis on amateur and semiprofessional athletics.

He currently resides in Morgantown, West Virginia, with his wife Rochelle and two children, Jared, 3, and AJ, 10 months. Thomas also has a son, JT Thomas III, from a previous relationship.

Beyond the First Birthday – A Practical Gift Guide for One-Year-Old Girls

So you are the good friend or family member of a person whose child is celebrating his or her first birthday. You want a gift that is out of the box because God knows the child has a room full of stuffed animals and a closet that would embarrass any fashion diva or hotel heiress. Here are some gift ideas for the little diva that you will feel good about giving and parents will really enjoy receiving.

Bedroom accessories

I know it was my case that my girls were ready to get out of their cribs and into their "little girl" beds right after making one. I suggest contributing to the decor with something practical and not too extravagant, such as a set of princess sheets or a lamp (princess theme, of course). Always a hit is a custom tapestry, remember that it doesn't have to be anything big and removable stickers may be the best. Be sure to talk to parents about this so that the color selection and items are appropriate.


You may have a confused feeling about this, but I found that my kids loved it when I read to them. I liked it when I took one of their books off the shelf and someone wrote "from the Smiths, happy 1 year anniversary". It made me feel all hot and confused inside. Board books are great for this age because she herself can handle them without the risk of torn pages. My one-year-olds also liked interactive books, where they could flip flaps or pull tabs to reveal "surprises." Some books I enjoyed reading for my girls include: Give them a gentle pat, good night, moon, runaway rabbit, I will love you forever, please my toes and where the wild things are.

Toy storage

Stick with a shelf or toy boxes. I like it better than the toy box that was full of stuff on top and no one knows what's really on the bottom. I bought a shelf with boxes a long time ago at Toys-R-Us for under $ 50. You can also search online for the pastel or primary color boxes to match your room decor.

Seasonal Items

Now I know this may sound weird, but I like to buy rain gear, umbrella and / or rain boots for summer birthdays. Remember that you want to buy more than your current size and hopefully it will get more than one rainy season. Western Chief makes a whole line of themed raincoats that are affordable and well made (I bought mine from Amazon.com).

Remember to buy items for next season. For a winter / spring birthday, I suggest swimwear, a diaper pack, waistcoat or floating ring and sunscreen. I personally have mixed feelings in swimwear. A more conservative piece offers totally greater coverage of the sun, but I like the little bikinis because they are cute and easy to change bath diapers.

On my fall birthdays, I like to check with parents and see if they need boots, hats and gloves (I live in Michigan; we never have enough gloves). Stick to gloves instead of gloves for any child under three, and one-year-old hats need to tie or Velcro® under the chin if you want to keep it. My personal preference for hats is the most colorful or crazy pattern, it is easier to identify my child. One of my kids has a hippo hat, another has a fuzzy yellow highlighter hat, and the last one has a pink and purple zebra print.

Personalized photo gift

One of my friends made a scrapbook for my first year daughter. Unbeknownst to me, she used some of her own photos from the tours we did together and then added a bunch of my own Facebook photos. I was so deeply touched. My niece also received a photo collage from her first year, which was a great success. There are several photo printing sites online, and you can print and remove most collages and paper posters from major drugstore chains with same-day or next-day photo services.

Location Settings

I know, it sounds silly, but my kids loved having their own little plate, cup and bowl. I always seemed to be missing the corresponding cutlery. Make it even more special by choosing the child's favorite character or color. If you really want this to be a parent favorite; Find one that is not only for dishwashers, but also for microwaves. Before you spend hours looking for the perfect set, let me share that almost every child # 39; Favorite character sets will come in melamine, which is not microwave safe. If you search for microwaves and no BPA as your keywords, there may be more out there as the movement for safer materials continues. One of the best I've found so far is the Philips AVENT BPA-free cymbals for young children.

That is all, at least for now. Hope you find something for the little princess that will be very helpful and a big smile from mom and dad too!

Amish Christmas Fiction: A Simple and Fancy Christmas by Cynthia Keller – Wrong Birth Mistakes Again

If you received a true anonymous letter stating that you were mistakenly changed at birth and biologically belong to Amish parents, would you seek to find them? This is the premise of the new book of fiction, A simple and extravagant Christmas by Cynthia Keller.

Two babies were born several days apart in a hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, thirty years ago. Both were named Rachel, one of the Kings, a local Amish family. The other Rachel (aka Ellie) was born to Gil and Nina Lawrence from New York City. Nina had gone into labor while traveling around town.

Violet, a neonatal nurse, became romantically involved with, and eventually married, and then fifty-year-old assistant pediatrician Paul Thornton. A closed alcoholic, he flagrantly changed both babies at the hospital. Both were silent for the sake of their career.

Now, after Dr. Thornton passes by and faces her own mortality, Violet writes a cathartic letter informing the two women what happened thirty years ago: "Two women in two different states would receive the same letter. So she could breathe freely. lastly, knowing that she had done what she should have done so long ago. "

Discovering their lineage, each woman confirms things about her essence. Ellie abhors clutter and clutter, a key feature of the Amish. Rachel has always questioned the way her family lives, her faith, and her place in the world.

Rachel Yoder (Rachel's husband Jacob died three years ago of cancer, and she and eleven-year-old daughter Katie have returned to live on King's farm) are impressed by the letter's revelations; still chooses to remain silent.

Ellie Lawrence, however, is intrigued by her genealogy; and decides to continue to know his biologically amish parents.

Rachel receives a letter from Ellie about her intentions; and she is forced to expose the hospital accident to her family.

The kings agree with Ellie's visit. Wanting to spend more time with the kings later, Ellie asks for a week's stay at the farm. The kings oblige. While there, she finds herself dressing more simply, wearing less makeup, and participating in the milking of cows at 4:30 am. She also enjoys the respite from her position as vice president at a Manhattan public relations firm: "No office politics, no gossip, no pleasing people she couldn't stand."

Rachel is shamefully aware of her jealousy of Ellie; and realizes that she is also free to explore her heritage. The Lawrences welcome your midweek visit with your dear new granddaughter, Katie.

The pair are watered with adoration by the Lawrence clan as they sip tea at the Plaza Hotel and tour the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

After her weeklong visit with the kings, Ellie determines that she wants more time with them. She meets Rachel and reveals her intentions, a bold act strange to Rachel. "I wish we were friends. Ellie's tone was melancholy. But it doesn't seem to be working that way. Why pretend?"

Ellie suggests that Rachel and her daughter Katie rent their Manhattan apartment and relate to the Lawrences. After much contemplation, Rachel agrees, to the dismay of her parents, that they oppose taking Katie off to live in the big city.

Katie's exposure to life in the cities proves less than ideal. On the other hand, Rachel realizes her dormant desire for education beyond the standard eighth grade schooling at Amish.

Ellie's new Amish life offers continuous new experiences, including a new occupation and romance.

Many authors write fiction based on the Amish culture, but few capture the depth of the plot like Keller. A simple and extravagant Christmas Creatively combines the stories to produce an enriching reading of the holiday.

Discover the Internet radio program dedicated to Amish Shapes at: http://toginet.com/shows/amishwisdom.

Where is the biggest neon sign in the world?

Where is this giant sign? It's exactly where it should be. There is only one logical place in this country where it could be. No, it's not in New York City. A neon sign of this size needs a lot of space. He also needs to advertise somewhere popular enough that this gigantic signal can pay off. This means a place that attracts millions of visitors annually. New York City catches them.

But where could they put it? Times Square does not have enough space. Also, the company that owns this neon sign has properties on the Big Apple, but there is not enough space for this sign, which is not a sign that you can hang or attach to a building. The only place that meets all the requirements, if you haven't guessed it yet, is "The Strip" in Las Vegas. This location is ideal because the money generated here far surpasses any income New York can produce, and once you see the price, you'll know why Las Vegas received the approval. The most obvious reason, the size of this neon sign, points to Las Vegas.

This neon sign was the idea of ​​the Hilton Hotel Corporation. The company that was supposed to build the original sign planned to build a 364-foot-high sign on the site when they started in 1994. However, this neon sign was virtually destroyed during construction by a windstorm in July of that year. Luckily, however, the undamaged steel foundation and structure could be used when the new sign's base was laid in 1996. It has become the largest and tallest freestanding sign in the world. Las Vegas, known as The City of Lights, received the brightest neon sign in the world.

What makes this neon sign the brightest star in town? It is powered by intermittent reactors and neon transformers. The lights are supplied by more than 1,500 flashing signal reactors. The total area of ​​the board is over 70,000 square feet. This neon is capable of producing up to 64 shades of variable colors. The hotel's name, Hilton, is done in rebox style letters 164 feet wide and 29 feet tall and uses 9,310 feet of lighting. The sign is double-sided and features four bulbs deep bulges all the way.

The sign features a "Star Trek: The Experience" logo and a programmable reading sign. This double-sided reading board is 40 feet high and 80 feet wide and is filled with 32,000 color lamps per side. The Star-Trek part of the sign took 6,944 linear feet of neon to illuminate. The sign's flashing ballasts are used to turn colors on and off, move light across the screen, and control the sign's flashing activities efficiently and effectively. Intermittent signaling reactors are high voltage and 120 volts, allowing reliable shutdown at low temperatures. They support up to three lamps and have preheated cathodes to improve lamp performance. Reactors are good for about 20,000 hours. The sign proved to be very popular with visitors. There is another title that could undoubtedly be applied to this sign, for at a price of approximately $ 9 million it could easily be the most expensive neon sign in the world.

Interestingly, Saginaw, Michigan claims to have the largest neon sign in the state. It is 35 altura tall and 50 # in length and is considered the largest figurative sign in the whole country. A figurative sign is based on human or animal figures.

Neon signs are things we see every day. From our largest cities to the smallest, they display their colorful glow day and night in all kinds of weather. Although their primary function is to advertise, they add warm lights to illuminate many dark areas. They add color to monotonous buildings.

The US has its Times Square and Las Vegas, both displaying impressive neon signs. London has its Piccadilly Circus, a well known sign. Some of the other places with sparkling centerpieces are Tokyo's Ginza and Shibuya, Osaka's Do Ton Bun, Shanghai's Nanjinj Road (the world's largest shopping street) and Bankok's Soi Cowboy neighborhood, named after a American who opened a go-go bar there In the 1970s. He made the list because of his so-called nasty weirdness, which showed pink elephants marching through the pink neon streets.

Neon signs are found all over the world. Although they proclaim their messages in hundreds of languages, their purposes and benefits are the same as here.

Detroit Travel – First Impressions, A Car Ride, and Dinner at Sinbad's at Waterfront

After my Windsor explorations, I had about an hour and a half to explore Detroit on my own before my drive through the city. With its impressive twentieth-century architectural heritage, Detroit fascinated me for a long time and it would take me the next four days to explore this city up close.

One of the buildings that make up the Detroit skyline that has always captured my imagination is the Michigan Central Depot, an imposing 18-story Beaux-Arts rail terminal dating back to 1913. Somehow, the rail terminals have always retained that aura of excitement and excitement. mobility, connecting people with distant places. Although now long gone, sadly degraded and surrounded, I wanted to see firsthand the beauty of this magnificent building. I immediately located it on my map and drove there to see it up close. This imposing and stunning building has been empty since 1988, when the last Amtrak train left here, and the devastation of time and human vandalism took their toll. However, the Michigan Central Depot remains a dazzling component of the Detroit skyline and is a must for any architecture fan. Even in its present condition, it is easy to imagine the former glory in this now defunct transportation hub.

After my first exposure to Detroit's magnificent architecture, I drove through the city to Belle Isle, a 982-acre (4 km2) island park on the Detroit River, east of downtown. It has a variety of attractions: the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the beautiful James Scott Memorial Fountain with three levels of water displays and numerous sculptures designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert.

I returned downtown for my meeting with Jeanette Pierce, co-founder of Inside Detroit, a nonprofit organization that runs the Detroit Welcome Center and offers numerous themed tours of Detroit and sells various products created by local Detroit artists. Jeanette is one of Detroit's most vocal defenders and has begun to show me various destinations along Detroit's eastern waterfront.

Along the way, Jeanette told me a little more about herself: along with her friend Maureen Kearns, Jeanette founded Inside Detroit in 2005 with the intention of introducing locals and outsiders to the city. Maureen and Jeanette offer a variety of personalized city tours and tours that connect participants not only with the city's history and architecture, but also with pubs, bars, theaters, art galleries and other interesting points of the city. Some of the tours are site oriented to show you how to make the most of life, work and fun in Motor City. These two entrepreneurs even came up with a concept for the Detroit Scavenger Hunt, which takes participants from all over downtown Detroit in search of information.

Obviously, I couldn't have found a better local expert and urban enthusiast than Jeanette Pierce, so we set off on our car ride through "the D", one of Detroit's nicknames. Heading east from the downtown business district, we made stops at Stroh River Place, a 25-acre, mixed-use campus that brings together business amenities and sophisticated villas. All the while, Jeanette gave me an overview of Detroit's history and background. Further east we stop at Belle Isle, the urban park of the island of Detroit.

Located as an island on the Detroit River, Belle Isle is connected with the mainland by the MacArthur Bridge. One of the highlights is the impressive James Scott Memorial marble fountain, designed by renowned architect Cass Gilbert in 1925. James Scott was a controversial businessman who left $ 200,000 for the city of Detroit to create a fountain in his name. From here, we embark on a leisurely stroll past the island's main sights, including Belle Isle Casino and the Nancy Peace Brown Carillon Clock. On the north side of the island, we stopped to take a look at the Detroit Yacht Club, which began in the late 1870s. The imposing current club cost more than $ 1 million when it opened in 1923.

From a luxury Indian village, we came to a working-class area that featured many run down houses. Since the 1950s, the city of Detroit has experienced a large population decline as the advent of an extensive highway system has led many urban dwellers to move to the outlying suburbs. As a result, a large number of residential houses and apartment buildings were abandoned and demolished to contain the crime. What is left behind is a phenomenon called "urban grasslands," large expanses of empty grasslands in the middle of the city that often remain unused.

Jeanette wanted to introduce me to an innovative use of some of these vacant urban lands. Next to the Gleaner Community Food Bank, there is a community garden that uses empty green spaces for urban agriculture. The Gleaner Community Food Bank helps feed hungry citizens, and some fresh vegetables and fruits come from the community garden in front of the warehouse.

Our next stop was focused on a truly unusual venue: the Heidelberg project, an open-air art installation in an African American neighborhood on the east side of Detroit.

This extraordinary environment includes an entire city block, as well as several houses and integrates bright colors of paint and a large collection of discarded objects found. Creator Tire Guyton grew up on Heidelberg Street and was unhappy with the deterioration in his neighborhood. As a form of social protest, he painted his grandfather's house with shiny balls and created the now famous "Dotty-Wotty House" in 1986.

Together with his grandfather and ex-wife, Tyree Guyton began cleaning up the neighborhood and turned the collected garbage into huge art installations. From the beginning, many other homes and outdoor creations followed. Even city-ordered demolitions in 1991 and 1999 failed to prevent the success of the Heidelberg Project. Creator Tyree Guyton has been featured on several television shows (including Oprah) and has won numerous awards for his work.

During our brief tour of Heidelberg Street, we saw a group of runners and several international visitors from Toronto and Boston. Another example of creative use of space in Detroit, the Heidelberg Project today attracts about 275,000 visitors a year, and creator Tyree Guyton travels around the world giving presentations on this project. We even reached the artist himself, who graciously spoke to us and told us about the meaning of this project that transformed empty lots into meaningful colorful urban art.

After unsuccessfully trying to reach some friends of Jeanette, artists who live in a local loft, we stopped short at Detroit's Eastern Market, which really comes alive on Saturday mornings. We stopped at R. Hirt Jr. store, which features cheese and delicacies from around the world. Market activities have been going on here since the mid-nineteenth century and sales seen today date back to 1891. Detroit's Eastern Market is the largest historic public market district in the United States.

From here, we drive north through downtown Detroit, also known as the Detroit Cultural Center, which is anchored by Wayne State University, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Science Center, the Science Center, the Detroit Historical Museum, the African American Museum. History as well as the Max M. Fisher Music Center. We stopped at the Bureau of Urban Living, a local urban general store. Right next door is Motor City Brewing Works, a microbrewery with a bar and upstairs deck. Jeanette has successfully demonstrated that Detroit is a hub for young urban entrepreneurs who are taking the opportunity.

Further north, we visit the New Center area, the highlight of which is the historic Fisher building, an ornate 1928 skyscraper and Art Deco jewelry designed by renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn. The structure was originally designed for Fisher Body Company, which had become General Motors' internal bodybuilding division in 1926. Forty different types of marble decorate the luxurious three-story vaulted lobby, which today hosts a shopping contest with several cool shops and cafes. The Fisher Theater, with its luxurious Aztec-style interior, is a popular destination for theater lovers.

Then Jeanette took me across the street to Cadillac Place, another striking example of 1920s architecture. Designed by Albert Kahn in 1923, it was the second largest office building in the world. It was the headquarters of General Motors from 1923 to 1996, when GM moved to the center of Renaissance Center. This ornate office building has 31 lifts and is a designated national landmark since 1978.

After Detroit's extensive overview of the subject, we thanked Jeanette and dropped her off at the Detroit Welcome Center. By now it was late and I had nothing to eat since breakfast, so it was time for an early dinner. I wanted a beachside dining experience and had done some research at home on Detroit's riverside dining options. A place called "Sindbad's at the River" has caught my attention since it was located by the river and has been a family business for almost 60 years.

Then I went east again to locate Sindbad's restaurant for a seaside dining experience. Owned by the Blancke family since 1949, Blanckes' second generation, Marc, Denise, Linda and Brian, runs this riverfront restaurant as a team. I sat at a cozy table and was waiting for a chance to chat with the owners and find out more about this culinary landmark in Detroit.

Denise and Marc sat down with me and began telling me about this venerable institution. In 1949, the brothers' father, "Buster" Blancke, along with his brother-in-law "Van" VanHollebecke, opened Sindbad's in a disorganized building on the Detroit River. (In true Belgian tradition, the gentlemen's real names were Prudent Octave Blancke and Hilaire VanHollebecke, but the shorter nicknames were much easier to pronounce.) "Van" worked for Hiram Walker and handled distillery sales in Detroit. Grandpa Boudewyn Blancke owned a meat market and had lent the young gentlemen some money to set up his new business.

In the early years, the restaurant served mainly hamburgers, sandwiches and steaks, but over time the restaurant developed a seafood expertise. Marc added that he only buys the best ingredients and explained to me that the scallops come from George's Bank, 160 kilometers from Cape Code. He added that they are full of nutrients and always perfectly fresh. His menu still carries a fiercely named creature called the "sea wolf" (loup de mer). Sunday brunch is also very popular and offers a variety of eggs, made to order, plus smoked salmon, fish, pasta and chicken dishes.

Sindbad's customers come mainly from Detroit and neighboring counties, and because of its riverside location and the fact that Sindbad also functions as a marina, many of the restaurant's customers arrive by boat. Sindbad's is particularly popular at special events such as the Detroit Grand Prix and the Red Bull Air Race, an exciting high-speed lightweight obstacle course. Hundreds of weddings and special events are held at Sindbad's every year.

To give me an idea of ​​Sindbad's seafood experience, Marc set up a seafood dish for me, consisting of local fish such as perches and picks, as well as the famous scallops that simply melted in my mouth. Campeche shrimp and coconut completed the seafood dish. Accompanied by deliciously spicy Jalapeno Poppers, I had a very satisfying meal and could start relaxing a little after a full day with a very busy schedule.

After a rich mix of seafood and a good chat with Marc, I went for a good night's sleep at the reopened Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, my home for the next two days. After being closed for about 24 years, this stunning 1924 Art Deco jewel underwent a complete makeover at a cost of about $ 200 million. I was already looking forward to seeing more of this historic hotel in the coming days.

Gagne with a spoon

I didn't "always wanted to be a lawyer". I suppose most doctors probably wanted to cure the sick since they were children. Teachers certainly had a desire to develop young minds from the moment they were school-age children. I think it's different for lawyers. Many have not grown up with a burning desire to defend a corporation's exclusive right to use a talking chihuahua to sell Mexican fast food.

My own decision to go into law came after the following dialogue:

Father: "Son, I'm proud of you. This year you graduated in Political Science. Ready to go out and face the real world?"

Son: "I must not say".

Dad: "Well, have you considered law school yet?"

Son: "How long does it take?"

Father: "Three more years of school."

Son: "Uh. Okay."

As inauspicious as I came to this office, and however misinformed (I was accepted into law school before entering a court, even as an observer), when I was young, I had vague notions about the legal system. These notions were, at the time, pretty much what any layman could have learned by watching Lewis Stone playing Judge Hardy in the old Mickey Rooney films of the 1930s and 1940s. That the legal system was fair, just and human, and what the results would look like. ultimately "right" for the common man on the street. Everyone can understand that the law must protect those who behave correctly.

Even after many years, many experiences and many cases, I still think the naive notions of my youth are very good. I wish I could explain to clients, friends, acquaintances and strangers that the results obtained through the legal system of this great state are reasonable, fair and just. It is very difficult to do this today. Judge Hardy, if he were still alive, could be scratching his head.

On February 28, 2006, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided the Gagne / Schulte case (# 264788). The decision was not published and there were no oral arguments. Presumably the case was dealt with on the "fast track", "rocket", "express train for perdition" or any euphemism currently used to describe the superficial treatment received by many recurring cases today.

The decision itself is not very enlightening. In a case of automatic negligence, the opinion has only five paragraphs. There are a few sentences in the first paragraph that indicate how the case got there. Following are three cliché paragraphs, saying absolutely nothing specific about the facts. In the last paragraph, the Court rejects the case, stating that there was no evidence that Mrs. Gagne's injuries (her name is never mentioned): "… affected her life so extensively that it altered the trajectory or course of the entire life." your normal life ". Mr Schulte has not been held responsible by Mrs Schulte Gagne.
A typically unspecific and innocuous decision these days. One that would have gone completely unnoticed (except for Mrs. Gagne) had it not been for the dissent written by Judge Peter O'Connell, bless him. Judge O Connell gives us many facts about the case. It seems that the accident happened because Schulte, while driving drunk, drove his truck down the center line to the oncoming traffic, causing a frontal collision with Gagne. She suffered a concussion, with a loss of consciousness when she hit the windshield. His torso bent the steering wheel and his knee hit the dashboard. She tore her ACL and medial meniscus. This injury required extensive reconstructive surgery, which occurred ten months after the accident. The dissent describes in detail the operation, including drilling several "tunnels" in Gagne's shin and thigh, which were then filled with donated tissue, filled with bone plugs and fixed with screws. This was described by the surgeon as "a very large surgery". As for the meniscus, the torn portion could not be repaired and had to be removed. It would not be regenerated, according to the surgeon.

The dissent describes the treatment received before and after surgery and goes on to say that even seven months after surgery (nearly a year and a half after the accident), the surgeon did not feel that his atrophied muscles had strengthened enough to allow Gagne to return. working as a cleaning lady. Gagne, 21 at the time of the accident, was unable to return to the work she was doing at the time of the accident. Likewise, she remained restricted to a variety of recreational activities, including ice skating, rollerblading, gymnastics and dancing, which Gagne enjoyed before the accident. Evidence showed that she had permanently lost a measure of knee stability. For the sake of brevity, I have summarized Judge O. Connell's excellent account of Mrs. Gagne's injuries, treatment and restrictions.

Notwithstanding all this, the majority decided that, as a matter of law, without even having the opportunity to tell her story to a jury, Ms. Gagne had not met this state's minimum standard of injury, serious enough to require that the negligent party responds in damages to the victim. The drunk driver has no liability to Gagne for injuries caused by his conduct.

Try to explain the meaning of this to John Q. Public. When I talk about the Gagne affair with people who are not sophisticated enough to understand the judicial system (that is, the good citizens of this state), I get the kind of slanted-head appearance that usually comes from the family dog ​​when the housekeeper does something that canine senses are particularly stupid. I think they (the citizens, not the dogs) are not smart enough to understand that Gagne is not a victim. It is only a small part of the Michigan Courts' primary mission to eliminate frivolous actions in this state. Frivolous suits like, apparently, those of Krysta Gagne.

To eliminate such actions, the courts held that while pain is real because it cannot be objectively measured, it must be considered irrelevant. Unless you have subjectively complained of pain ten years before your car accident. In this case, it is conclusive proof of a pre-existing condition.

Now, if a member of my family were hit by a drunk driver, had serious surgery, could never return to work before the accident, and had the kind of waste that prevented him from making a list of recreational activities he had previously enjoyed. , I don't think it would be much comfort if I told you, "Thank God, according to the state of Michigan, you haven't been seriously injured." Imagine if we, as high-powered lawyers, lost as little as ninety days of our practices. Many of us would have no business to return to. Not significant, according to our courts.

Now there is an answer to all this. Our financial liability laws, or more commonly known, our flawless system. That totally protects Mrs. Gagne, or I think, as much as the courts think she deserves it. However, let's take a closer look. Our flawless system requires us to get crash coverage on our own cars if we want to have any. So, in this case, it is not unreasonable to speculate that Gagne, as a very young person with a relatively low job, drove a vintage car, where maintaining collision coverage would be a reckless investment. Our flawless system could have Mr. Schulte fully compensated for the collision damage caused to his car by his negligence, and left Mrs. Gagne without transport. Just speculating.

Now, our no-fault laws specify a minimum liability coverage that we must all have to protect ourselves if we are sued for the pain and suffering of an accident caused by our negligence. One would think that the state would set this minimum high enough, so we received protection against most claims that meet the severe commitment threshold. Not all but most. That would make sense. If Krysta Gagne's injuries are not serious enough to meet the minimum standard, our coverage will only come into play for very, very serious injuries. So what does the legislator wisely determine to be the minimum coverage that the citizens of this state need to protect themselves (as a matter of law)? $ 20,000. This is not a typo. If Krysta Gagne's injuries are not serious enough for a jury to hear the evidence on the threshold issue, how far will $ 20,000 go to protect you or me from the claims that meet the threshold in today's environment. The act without fault makes the negligent party liable for loss of salary after three years. How far will $ 20,000 go to protect us?

So who goes to bed feeling safer in this state after Gagne's decision and after revising our law without guilt? Mr. Schulte, certainly. Insurance companies? Drunk drivers, usually? The average citizen of this state should not. Our streets are no longer safe because of this decision and our insurance rates do not fall because of this.

I wish we could bring Judge Hardy back and have him talking to our judges and legislators. You know, the kind of conversation he'd have with Andy at the end of every movie, when Andy just couldn't figure out the right thing to do. Much common sense in these conversations. Lots of humanity. We need both now. Seriously.


On a semi-related note, in today's environment, it is advisable for a lawyer to consider diversifying his practice. In this regard, I made some attempts to write questions for the next bar exam. I don't know how much it pays. Here is my first attempt in the area of ​​facilities liability law.

Question: Identify any viable causes of action in the following factual scenario, according to current Michigan Law.
A grocery store clerk is stocking shelves in a hallway displaying fruit juice. Opening a cardboard box, he cuts a plastic bottle of apple juice, causing it to fall to the floor. The employee notices the leak, but is too busy to clean it and is then called to another corridor. He forgets the leak and never comes back.
Thirty minutes later, a customer, pushing a full cart, enters the aisle. She looks at an ad on the top shelf, talking about two for an apple juice sale. While pushing the cart into the juice section, it slips and falls into the juice, falling back into a display of light bulbs, breaking many. By hitting the floor, it sustains a severely fractured wrist and severe lacerations of broken lamps. It is operated by the fracture and as a result loses its job in the factory.
Answer: The store owner can sue the customer for the cost of the broken lamps.

Better not quit my daily job.

* Although I do not know Ms. Gagne, for the purposes of this article, I assume she pronounces her surname Gag-nee (as Greg Gagne of Minnesota Twins instead of Gon-yay, as the winner of the Cy Young League Prize 2004).

Mike Butler is a lawyer at Bernstein and Bernstein (not Sam) in Southfield.

Remembering RFK 50 years after the murder: Bobby Kennedy was America's moral conscience

The last time we saw Robert Francis Kennedy, he was a 42-year-old presidential candidate half a century ago. Twentieth of the millennium. However, the light of your memory still shines.

Most of the world's population cannot remember June 4, 1968, a day that began for Kennedy with a tragedy avoided only to culminate in his own murder shortly after midnight.

This harrowing day began while I was at Hollywood Director John Frankenheimer's beach house in Malibu. Kennedy, his 12-year-old son, David, and his three-year-old son, Max, played on the edge of the surf. David took a cold dive into the ocean and was submerged and trapped by a torn hangover. His father ran to the beach and dived headfirst into the turbulent waves to rescue his son from drowning. Both emerged from the ocean scraped and bruised by the deep sea and the Pacific torrent, but the tragedy was anticipated.

Frankenheimer, who had a great deal of makeup experience, brushed up Kennedy's forehead before the candidate later appeared in front of the national press and television cameras.

Kennedy's arduous presidential campaign was in full swing as he watched the results come from the California primaries. It would be a great victory for the New York senator, and the celebration would be held at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. His victory speech was full of vigor, humor and enthusiasm. The all-important Democratic National Convention in Chicago appeared and Kennedy encouraged himself, encouraging his followers to move on: "Now, let's go to Chicago and let's win there."

The hotel Embassy's overwhelming crowd continued to grow as the victorious candidate was led down a ramp through the double doors of a kitchen. Fifteen minutes past midnight, between the ice machine and the stainless steel heating tables, quick shots fired. Kennedy was hit four times (including pasture) by 22 caliber bullets fired by a 24-year-old Palestinian. Supposedly dissatisfied with Kennedy's vote to support Israel following the senator's speech in a Polish synagogue a week earlier, the killer emptied his weapon, injuring five others.

Just two months after spontaneously addressing an astonished crowd in Indianapolis shortly after the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy himself would be killed by a lone assassin. The 1968 turmoil peaked as the Vietnam War continued and the body bags full of American soldiers continued.

Many historians suggest that this spring of 1968 was the lowest point in the nation's collective psyche since the Civil War. Civil rights progress was halted dramatically with the two murders, and the prospect of an eternal war in Indochina seemed assured. It seemed that the country was crumbling as racial riots and mass marches were ubiquitous.

The Democratic National Convention following the Kennedy assassination 12 weeks later demonstrated the breach in the country more than any other event. Anti-war protesters clashed with Chicago police and national guards at Grant Park, Michigan Avenue, and the Chicago International Amphitheater in front of a national television audience.

The long, creeping Kennedy funeral train that transported his coffin from New York to Washington on June 8, recalls Abraham Lincoln's railway journey more than 100 years earlier. Thousands of people mourned the trails that wished to bid a final farewell to the man who most embodied representation for the poor, underprivileged and unprivileged.

Always in love with literature and poetry, Robert Kennedy liked to attribute George Bernard Shaw's words to his own ideals. Many of Kennedy's speeches included his vision: "Some people see things as they are and say why. I dream of things they never were and say, why not."

Robert Kennedy's public service has certainly evolved over the years. He began his career in Washington as Chief Advisor to the Senate Racket Committee, where he fought Jimmy Hoffa and other underworld characters. He left the committee to run his brother's presidential campaign when he honed his own image as a loyal, ruthless, and determined organizer.

After being appointed Attorney General of the United States, RFK turned his attention to fighting rampant organized crime, improving the injustice of segregation and addressing widespread poverty in this country. He was a leading catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement and served as President Kennedy's most trusted and valuable advisor on domestic and global issues.

It was the wise advice of Robert Kennedy that helped neutralize the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 that threatened the entire world with nuclear war.

Kennedy, the father of 11 children, was a man of great patience and compassion. He identified with and empathized with those suffering from poverty, disease, or oppression, despite growing up in a family of exorbitant wealth. He took to the streets of Mississippi to get a close look at impoverished people who had no political voice. Bobby learned the sorrows of firsthand people, whether in America's slums or apartheid South Africa, and took their sufferings seriously.

He was by the side of Civil Rights leaders when it came time for the nation to rewrite its policies of segregation and prejudice. He was the main agent of change that allowed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to come to fruition.

It was Robert Kennedy who teamed up with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union to give farmers and migrant workers representation and voice as they struggled with low wages, dehumanizing treatment and poor working conditions.

And of course, he built his political platform around the end of the Vietnam War, which waged nearly five years after his death.

Brother Ted Kennedy at St. Patrick's Cathedral praised his dead brother in discreet words that Robert himself could have chosen.

"My brother need not be idealized or raised in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw the wrong and tried to correct it; saw the suffering and tried to cure it; war and tried to stop it. "

Five decades have passed since Robert Francis Kennedy was removed and, unfortunately, we have not seen people like him since.

A Practical Look At The Solution Versus Judgment After Negotiating A Personal Injury Claim

It is an old question, with no clear answer. Should I settle my personal injury claim or go to trial? First, I have to precede this article by stating the obvious. All cases of personal injury are unique. Therefore, this is not meant to be strict rules of engagement. In addition, it is a fact that most cases of personal injury are resolved before the jury verdict. However, with that said, there are a number of factors that a lawyer and client consider when deciding when to settle and when to bring a case to trial.

Let's explore some examples of the dilemma. I think it would be helpful to look at two different case scenarios to help understand the problems. The first to be called, the civil liability case. This is the situation where the negligent party is 100% guilty. In Michigan, the rules differ depending on whether it is an auto accident or facilities liability claim. But for our purposes, we will assume that the defendant is responsible and will pay some damages.

In this 100% liability situation, the question is how much compensation is worth the loss. After all, insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for the claim. So let's say the insurance company makes an offer of $ 50,000 and no more to settle the 100% liability case. No process has been opened. Your lawyer has determined that there is a wide range of values ​​in the case and should be worth between $ 60,000 to $ 100,000. So what does the customer do, take the money or fight?

The first thing you do is present the offer to the customer. No doubt they will ask your advice. What should I do? I would tell them that they have minimal expenses right now. If they accept the offer, the money will be available immediately. There is no risk of getting less in judgment. Money is tax free and removes stress on the process. If they file a lawsuit, the upfront expenses will be the filing fees and the process service. The insurance company will hire a lawyer and they will have 21 days to respond to the claim.

Then the discovery process begins. The discovery consists in answering interrogations and testimonials. Ultimately, the client will have to pay for expert and medical testimonials of settlement proceeds. They will be required to appear in court. The lawyer on each side will prepare summaries and proceed to mediation. The case itself may take another year or two to resolve. However, there is always a chance that the filing of the process could produce a 10% or 20% higher offer right away. However, you cannot count on it. In that case, I would not try to direct the customer in any direction. I would tell them that $ 50,000 is close enough if they want to finish now, they must accept the offer. But I would not encourage acceptance of the offer.

The second scenario is the case where the defendant is claiming that it is not his fault or that his client contributed to his own injury. In this case, the insurance company may be a little more stubborn about settlement. Now the lawyer needs to consider how much validity should be given to the defendant's claim that his client was partially guilty. If your lawyer believes that the defendant is just blowing smoke and has no credibility, the value of the case should be analyzed in the same way as the first case.

However, if the lawyer believes that there is a possibility that the defendant is not liable, you should consider the likelihood of a lessor's verdict or cause for no reason.

A cause is not a complete loss. If the client's injuries are very serious, it may be necessary to file a complaint because the offer is not high enough.

For example, say the lawyer believes his client's damages are $ 500,000 and the insurance company offers only $ 50,000. Then the customer is in a difficult situation and will probably not accept the offer. The client will probably do better pushing the case to trial. In such a case, the attorney may be seeking a $ 250,000 pledge agreement as a reasonable settlement, due to the potential of the defendant's nothing verdict.

Finally, there are some cases where the insurance company is unwilling to pay the reasonable amount of a claim before the dispute. This may be due to several factors, such as the adjuster is overloaded or unreasonable. In some cases, the insurance company simply has a policy of never offering a reasonable solution until it is forced into litigation.

The bottom line is that the decision to settle or take action depends on many factors. Some of these factors are personal to the customer. The important thing is that the client be well compensated for their injuries.

Getting Pregnant After Miscarriage – Is Stress A Factor?

Trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage can be daunting and confusing. Your second attempt at pregnancy may be marked with more pessimism than hope, because you fear it will end in miscarriage as well. Although it is perfectly normal to feel this way, keep in mind that you have at least a 70% chance of getting pregnant after an abortion. You can increase your chances of success by arming yourself with information – what caused your miscarriage and what you can do to prevent it.

Many women consider past stress a cause of miscarriage, especially if they have never had a stressful life before becoming pregnant. However, stress due to work or physical activity is not the only risk factor for miscarriage; The emotional stress of a previous miscarriage can make the next one more likely. Taking care of your emotional, mental and spiritual health can increase your chances of conceiving successfully.

The science behind stress and abortion

Because lifestyle and environmental factors impact fertility, it makes sense to say that the stress we experience can affect our body system, including the reproductive system. There is a lot of scientific evidence to support this. When you are feeling stress, your brain releases several stress hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is known to affect production and inhibit the performance of sex hormones, which can delay menstrual cycles or cause contractions that make implantation difficult. A team of doctors at the University of Michigan found that 90% of the pregnancies studied had miscarriages during the first three weeks of pregnancy. When blood tests were done, they found that 90% had high cortisol levels.

More definitive evidence on stress and abortion was found by a team of researchers at Tufts University. The study, published in the June 2003 issue of the journal Endocrinology, aimed to find a cause of unexplained miscarriages to help prevent them. It turns out that in addition to cortisol, the body releases a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) during times of stress. Previous studies have shown that women who have had premature births or low birth weight babies have high amounts of CRH in their blood. Unlike cortisol, produced by the hypothalamus, CRH is also produced in the uterus and placenta in order to contract the uterus during labor.

Researchers have found that CRH can also be released in other areas of the body where it attacks mast cells. These are the cells responsible for triggering allergic reactions, and it turns out that the uterus contains a number of mast cells. In times of stress, the presence of CRH allows mast cells to release substances that can induce miscarriage. This was discovered when 23 women who had multiple miscarriages had very high CRH levels in their uterine mast cells.

Take care of your emotional health

Trying to relax after an abortion may seem easier said than done, especially if you're still going through the maze of loss. However, there is a lot you can do to reduce stress the next time you conceive.

*Acknowledge your feelings and talk about them. It is perfectly normal to be afraid, pessimistic, or worried that your next pregnancy will not work. But it's no use denying those feelings or keeping them inside you. Talk to your spouse about what you are going through or see a therapist to help you cope with your loss. A support group can also provide the encouragement and healing you need.

*Distract yourself with a new hobby. Instead of worrying about your next pregnancy, why not waste your energy on a creative endeavor? If there's a particular project or hobby you've always wanted to pursue, now is the perfect time to do it. Keeping busy with a rewarding activity will help you heal and relax.

*Pamper yourself. It's okay to spend on small luxuries if it makes you feel better. Get away from the stress of everyday life and locate yourself in a quieter place. Go to the spa and have a relaxing full body massage or spend a weekend with your wife in a cozy hotel outside the city.

The Amazing Truth About Talking To Strangers

As a child you were probably warned about talking to strangers, but now you may want to break these rules. Studies show that small talk can make you smarter, healthier, and happier.

University of Michigan researchers found an increase in problem-solving skills following casual social conversations. They also found that these interactions can lower the risk of heart attacks. Another study found that passengers said their train travel was much more enjoyable when they got involved with other passengers, and these good feelings lasted for hours.

You may still feel a little uncomfortable talking first, but the rewards are worth it. If you are ready to brush up on your small talk, try these tips.

Small Talk Benefits

1. Extend your network. Informal conversations can lead to job opportunities and business connections. You can meet a future customer at the airport or in the cafeteria.

2. Make friends. Friendships and close romance also need to start somewhere. Sharing a note or extending a compliment can help you find companionship and love.

3. Develop new ideas. There is a natural tendency to surround ourselves with people who have similar backgrounds and share our views. Reaching beyond your comfort zone presents new perspectives and greater knowledge.

4. Increase your attention. Is it hard to focus on the present moment because you are overwhelmed with your to-do list? Talking to someone face to face draws your attention to what is happening now.

Tips for breaking the ice

1. Evaluate the situation. Of course, some occasions are better suited for small conversations than others. Someone who is focusing on their golf swing will probably not laugh at your jokes. On the other hand, strangers who are making eye contact while trapped in a long, boring line have excellent prospects.

2. Find common ground. Start small. Search online for something interesting to talk about. Weather and optimistic news are generally safe topics.

3. Look affordable. If you still feel embarrassed about taking the first step, you can encourage others to come to you. Put a smile on your face. Upload an art magazine or science journal. When in a hotel lounge or coffee shop, choose a seat facing the crowd.

Tips for keeping a conversation

1. Listen carefully. Show others that you are interested in what they have to say. Focus on their message rather than rehearsing their response.

2. Tell stories. Prepare fun anecdotes to answer common questions about what you do or where you are from. The details create hooks that facilitate the conversation progress.

3. Ask questions. Relevant questions also keep a discussion flowing. Ask your open questions so that the answers demand more than yes or no.

4. Go deeper. What's more satisfying than small talk? Research shows that we enjoy small talk, but we tend to feel even better after heart-to-heart talk. While you may want to be wise about how much personal information you disclose, you can also risk opening up a bit.

5. Express your gratitude. It's easy to like others when they seem to like us. Tell someone if you think it's funny or insightful.

6. Follow up. Now that you're excited, find a way to stay in touch if you're doing well. Introduce yourself and hand out your business card, if appropriate. Look forward to meeting again if you attend the same race track or schedule a coffee date if you want to be more proactive.

Running with scissors is still a bit risky, but talking to strangers is good for your health and career. Contact us and see what difference a small conversation can make in your daily routine.