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Prince Dies at Paisley Park

Chanhassen, Minnesota – People around the world were shocked to hear that Prince had died.  A continual line of people have been coming out to Paisley Park compound to pay their respects and leave memorials along the fenced area.  Thousands filled the streets outside the nightclub Thursday night in front of First Avenue.  First Avenue was where Prince filmed “Purple Rain.”  Dan Lacey, known as The Painter of Pancakes was placing the finishing touches to a painting of Prince that he had started earlier in the day under one of the trees lining the compound.  A number of families brought their children and left flowers, notes and art work as a tribute.


Prince had a medical emergency a week before his death and had to force his private jet to divert and land in Illinois for treatment.  Thursday morning Price was discovered non-responsive in the elevator at Paisley Park compound and died shortly after the emergency team arrived.  An autopsy has been performed and details will be known within a few days to a couple of weeks.


Prince Rogers Nelson left a legacy that will last forever with 7 Grammys, sold over 100 million records.  The song Purple Rain in 1985 won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and Prince gave one of the greatest live performances at the Super Bowl 2007.  At the age of 19 Prince released his first album in 1978, “For You.”

Trump and Clinton win big in New York

New York – Tuesday was a strong show for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the New York primary.  The polls closed with an immediate defining strength of Donald Trump taking command of the New York primary.  Trump captured the majority delegate votes of 95 with Ted Cruz with no delegates and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio picking up only a couple delegates.  Hillary Clinton walked away with a strong win over Senator Bernie Sanders.  Mrs. Clinton said, “Today, you proved once again, there’s no place like home.”  Mrs. Clinton won easily with black and Hispanic voters in New York City and the boroughs over Mr. Sanders.


Donald Trump gave a victory speech in the Trump Tower lobby.  Trump’s remarks were toned down and referred to Ted Cruz as “senator” instead of the normal name of “Lyin” Ted.  Hillary Clinton gave her victory speech at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown New York City.  Both Donald Trump and Mrs. Clinton will be focused on the next presidential races on the East Coast:  Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Rhode Island.

Hillary Clinton at Harlem’s Apollo Theater

New York – Hillary Clinton’s supporters wrapped around the blocks of the Apollo Theater as they waited to get in to hear her speak.  The US representative for Harlem’s congressional district Charles Rangel walked across the stage before the introductions began for Ms. Clinton.  Renee Elise Goldsberry, the star for the musical “Hamilton” on Broadway, sang the national anthem.  Chuck Schumer brought Hillary Clinton out and gave the introduction to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.


Hillary Clinton spoke about equal pay, how she fought for benefits for the 9/11 Ground Zero workers, gun lobby and listening to the voices of the people.  “We need to have a woman president.  Vote for me at the primary April 19th.”  Ms. Hillary spoke about having nearly nine million votes, one million more that Donald Trump.  Ms. Hillary said, “I’m not taking anything or anyone for granted.”

New York International Auto Show 2016

New York - The MAZDA MX-5 was named the 2016 World Car Design of the Year (Finalists Jaguar XE, Mazda CX-3) and also named the 2016 World Car of the Year (Finalists Audi A4 Sedan, Mercedes-Benz GLC).    Masahiro Moro, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation accepted the award on behalf of the company saying, “This is a wonderful honor and I accept the award on behalf of all the Mazda employees…..”  The MX-5 roadster is approaching one million units of production.


2016 World Luxury Car of the Year Award was BMW 7 Series (Finalists Audi Q7, Volvo XC90), 2016 World Performance Car of the Year Award was Audi R8 Coupe Honda Civic Type R, Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe), 2016 World Green Car of the Year winner: Toyota Mirai. (Finalists Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius).

The World Car Awards are made up of 73 distinctive automotive journalists from all parts of the world.  The winners were presented the awards at a press conference sponsored by Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest rubber and tire company.


The New York’s Javits Center is the focus of attention when it comes to innovation and technology for the premiering of the latest new cars and trucks.  The New York International Auto Show is encompassing 1,000 vehicles for an expected million people that are anticipated to view the show through April 3rd.

St. Patrick’s Day NYC “Inclusive”

New York – Fifth Avenue was packed with over 550,000 fans celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  The field of green was strengthened in vibrancy by 200,000 marchers with bagpipes, bands, police, fire department, many schools and other organizations.  The largest St. Patrick’s parade dating all the way back to 1762 for the first time allowed the LGBT to march under their own banner in the nation’s oldest Saint Patrick Day parade.  Mayor Bill de Blasio who removed his boycott that he held strong on until the ban was lifted after being inaugurated joined the Lavender and Green Alliance founder Brendan Fay for the LGBT banner.


Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell of Maine was the Grand Marshal of the Saint Patrick’s parade.  This is the year of the centennial of Ireland’s Easter Rising against British rule and the former Senator Mitchell helped to negotiate the peace accord for Northern Ireland.  His Eminence Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archdiocese of New York greeted dignitaries and mingled among the marchers in front of the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Church.  Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan was the Grand Marshal of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in 2015.

Wedding & Portrait Photography – WPPI

Las Vegas – The MGM Grand conference center was intense with new innovations, ideas and excitement in both the Grand Ballroom and Marquee Ballroom for the continual positive enhancement of creativity for wedding and portrait photographers of all levels of experience. 


Awards for the Honors of Excellence was presented on the final evening after a widely attended conference of Wedding & Portrait Photography (WPPI).  Close to 14,000 attended the largest WPPI convention in North America for photographers and filmmakers specializing in portrait and weddings.  The conference had 300 exhibitors showcasing their products and services as well as educational seminars throughout the week.


Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Honors of Excellence Awards was Skip Cohen.  Vicky Papas Vergara, received the Bill Hurter Excellence Award.  Caitlin and Jeff Lazo received the WPPI/Rangefinder Humanitarian Award.

Donald Trump Rally’s Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada – South Point Arena was over-flowing with supporters for GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump.  The overflowing crowd was ecstatic as Trump entered the arena and approached the podium to get his message out. Trump is the frontrunner in Nevada with the caucus Tuesday night and is expected to win by a wide margin.  The message was straightforward with no holding back on his plans and aggressive changes for the country.  Trump told his supporters, “Get out and vote, OK?”


Nevada is the fourth state for voting of the GOP with 30 delegates up for grabs.  Trump has won the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina with Ted Cruz winning the Iowa Republican caucuses.  The Republican rivals are in Nevada and are strongly campaigning against Donald J. Trump.  Momentum is strong in the state of Nevada where Trump has a high business presence.  Within the next few weeks dozen of states will be placing their votes and the intensity will continue to get stronger between Trump and his rivals. 

Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

 New York City – Madison Square Garden was filled to capacity with intense excitement as the naming of the Best in Show was announced by Richard Meen, the judge.  C.J. (short for California Journey) a German shorthaired pointer was awarded the prestigious award Tuesday night.  C.J. is a 3-year-old male and is the third dog of his breed to be awarded the top prize.  Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, C.J.’s handler was estatic with joy and brought to tears as the announcement was made.  Nunes-Atkinson said that C.J. was born with the qualities needed to achieve the title of Best in Show.


Valerie Nunes-Atkinson spoke at the news conference about when C.J. is competing he is all business but is an ordinary fun loving dog at home; “C.J. is a regular house dog and runs and plays with other house dogs and rips around the property with them.  His favorite snack might be carrots and chicken.” 


Reserve Best in Show was the Borzoi, named Lucy and registered name My Sassy Girl, handler Shota Hirai.  Lucy in Japan was the best dog of all breeds.

Fargo AirSho featuring Blue Angels

Fargo, ND - The Blue Angels gave an unbelievable performance as they are noted for to a record-breaking crowd.  Weather was hot by the end show on Sunday without a cloud in the sky.  History was made this year when the Blue Angels took flight with the first time having a woman in the cockpit.  U.S. Marine Corps Captain Katie Higgins was the first female pilot in a 69-year history. 
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels flew Boeing F/A 18 Hornet fighter jets.  The Blue Angels are the national first oldest flight team and world wide the second oldest flight team.

Albuquerque Balloon Ascension and Competition

Albuquerque, New Mexico – Monday was the third day that the International Balloon Fiesta gave a go to the mass ascension.  The sky was cloudy but the winds were right to be given the green light to ascend.  Cliff Keller was the pilot of balloon “Lily” and lifted off on the second wave thinking at first the flight might be short but lasted way over an hour with a great landing that encompassed his thirty plus years of experience and teamwork with his wife Jude.  The Chase Crew was made of members that have been with the Keller's for years creating lasting friendships and trust.


Rolling Stones at TCF Bank Stadium “Satisfaction”

Minneapolis, MN - Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones rocked the TCF Bank Stadium with over 50,000 fans.  The rain stopped minutes before the Rolling Stones took the stage and fans stood throughout the two hour plus concert absorbing music that the band has been performing over 53 years.  Mick Jagger remains strong with his iconic dance form that everyone has become accustomed to seeing along with playing the harmonica to “Midnight Rambler.” 


New York Spring Spectacular 2015

Donald & Melania Trump
  New York City - The Red Carpet was lined with celebrities before Radio City Music Hall opened up a seven-week performance.  New York Spring Spectacular takes audiences on a whirlwind adventure across New York City while telling an inspiring and hopeful narrative about New Yorkers who change each other’s lives in unexpectedly wonderful ways. 
Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti, Emmy Award-winner and current pro on Dancing With the Stars, Derek Hough; Lenny Wolpe; Jared Grimes and the Rockettes will be joined by co-creative directors Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner on the red carpet.

Moondance jammin Country Fest weekend

Justin Moore
Walker, MN – A temperamental weather pattern gave way to a large double rainbow over the main arena as Moondance jammin Country Fest was in full swing with a packed arena of fans.  Friday went off like clockwork with the well-defined organization that Moondance has been noted for.  Entertainers began with Dallas Smith, Jon Pardi, Rodney Atkins and Justin Moore.  Saturday will be filled with performances by Lost Highway, Sarah Darling, Joe Nichols and Hunter Hayes.

Obama in New York Fundraising

New York – President Obama landed in New York on Air Force One and was immediately greeted by a small group of people before boarding Marine One to attend two fundraisers.  Along the route Obama made a brief stop at a Gap store to shop for his wife, Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha.  Gap Inc. is a business that responded to Obama’s request at the State of the Union address to increase wages.


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