Robbery 101: Don’t pocket dial in the middle of your robbery

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Today in dumb criminals, we tell the story of 29-year old Kyle Scott James of Mankato, 38-year old Jeramie Jason Ites of Mankato, and 29-year old Jessica June Friedrichs of Mankato, as they attempt to rob a business in North Mankato, Minnesota.

One of the members of the group dialed 911 via their smartphone in their pocket allowing police to track down their location while their 34-minute pocket phone call was going on.

“One of our dispatchers took a 9-1-1 call at 3:42 a.m. and she heard two voices on the other end.” said Blue Earth Sheriffs Department Captain Rich Murry.  The dispatcher listened in on the call and heard them mention things like  ‘I think I see the police’ as the police tracked them down.

The suspects were tracked down to the Sheriffs and Police Department Gun Range north of town, where they were arrested.

via KTOE

Outdoor workout tips to enjoy these warmer, but not hot months

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Spring time is one of the best times in Florida to get outdoors and workout.  The temperature is just right during the day to get a nice workout in without overdoing yourself.  Get outdoors now before summer comes and it is too hot to do anything outdoors.

Here are some tips to make your outdoor workout effective and safe:

  • If you are doing a short workout, plain water is fine.  But if you are doing an extended workout, be sure to to bring a sports drink, such as a Gatorade to replenish your electrolytes.
  • If you are planning a heavy workout in the morning, eat a lot of complex carbohydrates the night before, they will turn to glycogen, which will help your body retain moisture.
  • Think clothes keep sun off of you?  Think again.  Polyester fabrics will provide you with more protection than cotton, but it is still best to apply the sunscreen.  They even make sunscreen-treated fabrics for you to purchase.
  • Speaking of sun care, be sure to also wear a hat while you’re exercising outdoors.  The top of your head is one of the top spots for skin cancer to form.
  • Protect your eyes from harmful UV by purchasing quality sunglasses, especially here in Florida.
  • Get acclimated to working out outside.  Take your time beginning with small workouts and progressively getting more and more intense.  Your body may be used to working inside a gym vs. working out outdoors in the heat.  Take your time and drink lots of water.
  • Be sure you are wearing proper shoes for the type of terrain you are running on.  Are you used to running on the sidewalk and roads?  If you switch to trails and dirt paths, a new pair of running shoes may be in order to provide the best comfort while running.
  • Pay attention to pollution.  If you are running outdoors, pay attention to pollution reports and avoid high areas of traffic and pollution.
  • If you have allergies, pay attention to areas with high pollen.  Pollen is usually at its highest in the morning, so plan on running after 10 AM.
  • The bottom line, take your time and have fun.  Working out outdoors can be fun when done properly with the right care.

Do you have any outdoor workout tips?  Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

via Mens Fitness

 

It’s that time of the year. Time for Spring Cleaning!

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Winter has come and gone, and now once again spring is upon us.  Time to purge the closet and kids toys to make way for all-new stuff in 2015!

We’ve surfed the internet and found some great spring cleaning tips to help you get the most out of your spring cleaning:

  • Adding a lazy susan to your fridge after you clean it will allow easier access to what you are looking for. It will also help prevent spills.
  • If you are using a sponge for your cleaning, be sure to sanitize by squeezing out the excess water and placing it in the microwave for a minute to disinfect it.
  • Have a garbage disposal? Clean it by tossing in a piece of lemon, some salt, and a few ice cubes to give it a thorough cleaning.
  • Looking to save time?  Time yourself!  A timer can be a great way to get more done in less time.
  • Not only is lemon a great way to clean your garbage disposal, it is also a great way to clean your stainless steel faucets.  It’s acidic nature will remove any hard water stains and rust left behind from months of use.
  • Cleaning your windows?  Do it on a cloudy day.  If you clean your windows on a sunny day, it will dry quickly preventing you from getting a good cleaning.  Use equal parts white vinegar and warm water to clean your windows.
  • Dusting?  Use dryer sheets instead of those expensive electrostatic cloths.  They work just as good and cost a lot less.
  • Clean your dishwasher by placing a cup of vinegar on the top shelf and run the hottest cycle.  After that cycle, sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run it on a short but hot cycle.
  • A great way to clean your shower head is by placing a baggie full of vinegar over the top of the shower head to remove grime and calcium build-up.  Leave it overnight and remove it in the morning.

What are some spring cleaning tips you have?  Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

via Mental Floss

A few Irish facts to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day is a day to celebrate Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

With today being St. Patrick’s Day, we figured we would dig up some interesting facts you could share with your friends or co-workers today:

  • The very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade happened on March 17, 1762, in New York City.  The parade today is still an annual tradition.
  • As of 2013, there are 33.3 million people with Irish ancsetry in the U.S. according to the  U.S. Census Bureau.
  • That makes it the second most popular European ancestry, beaten only by German.
  • There are a total of 18 places named Dublin, the capital of Ireland, in the U.S.  They are in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
  • A total of 21.2% of people claimed Irish ancestry in Massachusetts, which is one of the highest in the nation.
  • 22.1% of people from the Boston metropolitan area claimed Irish ancestry, another one of the top Irish ancestry areas.

Do you have some interesting Irish facts?  Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

via Syracuse

Irish soda bread recipe in honor of St. Patrick’s Day

 

A great way to kick off St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow is with some traditional Irish Soda Bread.

Irish Soda Bread is an American invention, whereas in Ireland, they eat a more traditional brown bread.

There are several ways to spruce up the recipe, including adding caraway seeds and raisins, and you can even throw in a little green food coloring for a festive St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Here is the recipe for Irish Soda Bread via PennLive:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375. Grease 2-quart casserole or cast-iron skillet.
Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in caraway seeds. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in raisins.
Combine buttermilk, egg and soda, then stir into flour mixture until just moistened.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape into ball.
Place in casserole or skillet. With sharp knife, make a 4-inch cross, 1/4-inch deep, in center. Beat egg yolk, adding water if needed, then brush onto dough with pastry brush.
Bake 70 minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from casserole or skillet.

Do you have a favorite Irish dish you like to cook up on St. Patrick’s Day?  Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

Top Spring Break destinations for 2015

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With Spring Break 2015 in full swing, many are looking for that quick getaway.  From lush tropical beaches to the nightlife, there are plenty of affordable travel options for those looking for that perfect Spring Break getaway.

Florida as we know it is one of the top destinations for Spring Break’ers to travel to.

The sun is out, the temperatures are on the rise, so let’s take a look at the top Spring Break locations of 2015:

  • Daytona Beach – This is the obvious choice.  Daytona remains the Spring Break capital attracting thousands of visitors each year.  Plus it is in our own backyard and is within driving distance for many locals here in Florida!
  • Puerto Rico – This is a great option for those looking to get away and not have to worry about a passport or currency exchange.  Plus it is surprisingly affordable too.  Travel to Puerto Rico now to avoid the high summer travel prices.
  • Cancún – The incredibly clear blue waters of Cancún are a huge draw for Spring Break’ers, especially those in college.  Worried about a language barrier? No worries.  Many of the locals speak fluent English.

Where is your favorite location to spend Spring Break?  We have it pretty good right here in Florida as the temperatures climb into the 80’s!

Tips on how to survive the impending allergy season

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With spring upon us, that means battling allergies for millions of Americans.  The rain begins to fall and the pollen begins to an abundance of pollen in the air.

The symptoms of allergies can range from congestion, sneezing and even headaches, diarrhea and depression.

How do you deal with allergies?  Here are a few tips from Everyday Health to help you battle those pesky allergies:

  • Check the pollen count.  Before you leave for work in the morning, check your phone or the local news station for the pollen count to see just how bad it will be.  Pollen is usually at its peak between 5 to 10 a.m.
  • Shut your windows.  In Florida, we usually dive right into hotter temperatures and have to kick on the air conditioning.  Close the windows to avoid pollen from getting inside your house.
  • Have to go outdoors?  Go on a rainy day.  A good rainy day will wash away the pollen in the area.  Do not go out on windy days, that is when pollen is at its worst.
  • Doing outdoor chores such as mowing?  Once inside remove your clothes and take a shower.  This will rinse pollen from your hair and body.
  • Dry your clothes indoors.  If you use the warm Florida sun to dry your clothes, it’s best to dry them indoors during spring to avoid getting them covered in pollen.
  • Use a high-end air conditioning filter.  When it comes time to replace your AC filter, spend the extra money and get a good high-end filter.  It will trap dust and pollen better than the cheaper less expensive brands.
  • Take care of yourself early.  The best way to stop allergies to prevent them before they even happen with a prescription or over-the-counter medicine.  It is best to consult with your doctor or allergist to see what option is best for you.

These are just a few steps you can take to ensure an enjoyable spring and allergy season.

What are some tips

 

St. Patrick’s Day safety tips to ensure a safe holiday

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St. Patrick’s Day is meant to be a celebration of the Irish heritage around the world.  Where we all wear green and celebrate the life of Saint Patrick himself.

But alcohol is unfortunately a big part of St. Patrick’s Day, and if you are not careful, you can get yourself into trouble.

Here are some safety tips via the NHTSA that will hopefully make your St. Patrick’s Day safer and more enjoyable for everyone:

  • Before leaving for your St. Patrick’s Day party, plan a route home
  • If you plan on drinking, leave your keys at home and assign a designated driver
  • If you become heavily intoxicated, there are other options than risking your life and getting behind the wheel, such as a  taxi, sober friend or family member, or use public transportation or community sober-driver program
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, pull over and call the police immediately.  It could be a matter of life and death and you could save someones life.
  • Do the same for your friends.  If you see your friend is intoxicated, take their keys and offer them an alternative to getting home.

These are just a few tips to help make your St. Patrick’s Day a little more safer.  Please drink responsibly this holiday and use common sense when in an environment where alcohol is at play.

Tips to get an early start on lanscaping for spring

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Photo credit: Lowes.com

 

With winter pretty much behind us here in the sunshine state, many are preparing once again to get their yard looking great.

From fertilizer to insect control, there are many things you can do now to prevent more headaches later.

Here are a few tips to help you get a jump start on your yard:

  • Test Your Lawn’s pH.  Many lawn experts recommend you test the pH level in your yard every 2-3 years to ensure it has the proper level of minerals in it.
  • Don’t over fertilize your yard.  Many people have the idea that throwing down a ton of fertilizer at first is a great idea, when in actuality, that can hurt your yard.  Start with a small amount now, and progress as the summer months continue.
  •  Choose the Right Grass Type for Your Lawn.  If you are doing any resodding, be sure to select the right type of grass for Florida climate.  This considering there are over 9,000 different types of grass.
  • DO NOT mow short.  When it comes time to begin mowing, keep it long.  Grass grows best at 2 inches or higher.  This will help to ensure a healthy lawn later in the summer.
  • Control and prevent Crabgrass now.  If you’ve had issues with Crabgrass before, NOW is the time to put down a Crabgrass preventer to help prevent the spread of Crabgrass.
  • March is still too early for insect control.  If you are looking to begin insect control, don’t.  March is still too early for insect control.  March is still considered cold to many bugs and have not yet made the move out of their winter burrows. April and May is when you will begin to see those pesky bugs emerge and then you can begin insect control.

What are some yard care tips you have?  Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

via Hicks Landscape

Tips for a healthy diet during National Nutrition Month

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March is National Nutrition Month, so what better way to start it off then with some great healthy eating tips!

  • Know the foods you eat!  You can utilize great tools like the USDA’s SuperTracker to look up nutritional information about thousands of food items!
  • Take your time eating.  Eat slowly and pay attention to how full you are so you don’t overeat.
  • If you are going out to eat, be sure to look at the healthy section of the menu, some restaurants indicate nutritional items with a special symbol or logo.
  • Have a sweet tooth?  Instead of eating that cookie or ice cream, eat a sweet piece of fruit
  • Thirsty?  Try drinking water 100% juice, fat-free milk or calorie-free beverages instead of sugary soda.
  • Save sweet treats for special occasions.  If you MUST have that cookie or ice cream, save it for a special occasion, such as a birthday party or get-together.

What are some ways you eat healthy?  Let us know on our Twitter handle @inscofls and Facebook at Facebook.com/insurancecompanyofflorida

These and more great tips can be found on the USDA website Choose My Plate.

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