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10 tips for Black Friday shopping

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 12:07 PM

Black Friday 2017 Deals

The Thanksgiving turkey isn’t on the table yet, but retailers and shoppers are gearing up for Black Friday sales.

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Here are 10 tips on how to make the most of your Black Friday shopping:

1. Start tracking now

Gone are the days when being the person asleep in front of the store at 2 a.m. meant you were the most dedicated shopper. Black Friday is now a month of big deals.

Those prices shift throughout the holiday season, though, so if you really want to judge how good the sales are, you’ll need to track the deals leading up to Black Friday.

The same goes for Cyber Monday, which now stretches into a week of online specials.

2. Get a sneak peek at the ads

If you want to get the best deals, get a look at the ads. You might think they haven’t been released yet, but the retail industry has more leaks than Washington.

You’ll find tons of leaked Black Friday ad scans at bfads.netbestblackfriday.comdealnews.comgottadeal.com and theblackfriday.com.

>> Related: Black Friday 2017: Dell announces deals on laptops and more

3. Compare prices

While it’s tempting to grab the last one of a product on the shelf, take a minute and make sure you’re getting the best deal on it.

There are plenty of websites and apps to help you with this. Start with PriceGrabber.comPriceWatch.comShopping.comShopzillaGoogle Shopping and NexTag.com.

You may not be able to do direct model-to-model pricing, but you can at least see what the best deal available on all the 46” TVs, for example.

4. Figure out your priorities

On the big day, figure out what you want to buy, which store you want to hit first and the importance of each present. This helps put your “must haves” near the top so you’ll prioritize getting those first.

>> Related: 10 holiday activities that don't have to involve eating

5. Remember your usual haunts

If you’ve got a favorite retail outlet, you should be signed up for their loyalty program. (But don’t go as far as wearing their colors -- wearing red to Target on Black Friday is like putting their bullseye on your back).

If your store has a Black Friday shopping alert, it will help you get the first word on promotions, coupons and discounts. In some cases, you can even find out whether the products you want are in stock or eligible for a buy online/pick up at the store option. That’ll save you shipping costs.

6. Monitor the social channels

Retailers often use Facebook and Twitter for releasing deals and promotions. They can also give customers who like or follow them special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives.

>> Related: Black Friday 2017: 10 stores offering biggest Black Friday discounts this year

7. Put your phone to work

There are few days when your phone is more important than Black Friday, whether it’s coordinating with others in your party or comparison shopping.

Make sure you have some comparison-shopping apps such as ShopSavvyBuyViaFlippRetailMeNot and SlickDeals. You should also have apps from the stores you’re visiting.

8. Stick to your budget

Rule No. 1 of saving money during the holiday season is stick to your budget. But walking into a store on Black Friday is walking into a retail carnival, and impulse buying opportunities are everywhere.

Take a deep breath, focus on your list and try not to let the deals overwhelm you. A popular option is to try buying with cash, so you can see firsthand how much you are spending.

9. Beware the price match

While many stores usually have price-match policies, those can go out the window during Black Friday.

Check the fine print on their price-match policies. Also check the return and exchange policies to make sure that the store won’t charge a restocking fee for any item you bring back.

>> Related: Thanksgiving 2017: The best and worst times to drive and fly this Thanksgiving

10. Accessorize carefully

Those great deals on TVs get you in the door, but there won’t be deals on accessories such as HDMI cables.

If you know you’ll need an HDMI cable, look at discount online stores, such as monoprice.com or bluejeanscable.com.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about HDMI cables, but you can get a cable that is much more reasonably priced than the $35 for a 6-foot cable at a store.

>> Related: 10 ways to save money during the holidays

More Than 55 Stores Will Be Closed On Thanksgiving Day 2017

Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:17 AM

Brian Fogg was arrested on Jan. 13.
Waldo County Jail.
Brian Fogg was arrested on Jan. 13.(Waldo County Jail.)

Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported.

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Police suspected Brian Fogg, 27, of Belfast, to be intoxicated when they were called to a residence on Jan. 13 and found Fogg’s vehicle stuck in a ditch, police said. Belfast police said Fogg and a homeowner had gotten into an argument, and Fogg allegedly struck and dented the homeowner’s car.

After Fogg failed a sobriety test, police took him to jail and attempted to give him a Breathalyzer test, the Daily News reported.

As officers were explaining the testing process, Fogg allegedly punched himself in the face several times, the Daily News reported.

Belfast Detective Sgt. Gerry Lincoln said that Fogg “took that option (punching himself), which wasn’t one of the ones we gave to him.” 

He added that because people had option of declining to take a Breathalzyer test, it was unusual for someone to injure himself to avoid it.“We took that as a refusal to take the test,” Lincoln told the Daily News.

Fogg was charged with operating under the influence anyway, in addition to criminal mischief and falsifying physical evidence. He was released on bail, police said.

NFL championship games 2018: What time, what channel, odds for Jags vs. Patriots and Vikings vs. Eagles

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:15 AM

The Most Memorable Super Bowl Halftime Performances

We are one day out from “Championship Sunday,” where the teams who will play in the Super Bowl will be determined.
The Minnesota Vikings will take on the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC Championship, while the New England Patriots play the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC title.

If the Vikings win, they will be the first team to ever play in the Super Bowl at their home stadium. If Philadelphia wins, it will be the first time in the team’s history.

If New England wins the AFC Conference championship, no one will be surprised. It will be the Pats 10th trip to the big game. If the Jaguars win, a lot of people will be surprised – New England is currently favored by 7.5 points.

Here’s a look at what time the games kickoff on Sunday, what channel, where they are livestreamed and the latest odds.

The AFC Championship Game

Jacksonville (12-6) at New England (14-3)

What time: 3:05 p.m. ET

What channel: CBS will broadcast the game

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.

LivestreamCBSSports.com According to CBS, “you can stream via desktop, the CBS Sports App on iOS and Android tablets as well as on Roku, Apple TV, tvOS, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Chromecast and Windows 10 devices.”

Weather at game time via NFLWeather: 42 degrees, skies overcast;  with winds west at 2 mph 

Line: New England -7.5

The NFC Championship Game

Minnesota (14-3) at Philadelphia (14-3)

What time: 6:40 p.m. ET

What channel: Fox is broadcasting the game

Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Penn.

LivestreamFox Sports Go

Weather at game time via NFLWeather: 44 degrees, skies overcast, with winds SSW at 3 mph

Line: Minnesota -3 

Super Bowl LII

When: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018

Who: The winners of the two championship games

Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.

Halftime entertainer: Justin Timberlake will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show

What time: 6:30 p.m. ET 

What channel: NBC will broadcast the game 

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady warms up during an NFL football practice, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship on Sunday in Foxborough.(AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Government shutdown: What will close; will you get your Social Security check; what will happen to SNAP, WIC

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:35 PM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

Update: While the House passed legislation on Thursday to fund government  services, the Senate on Friday failed to vote on a continuing resolution that would keep the government up and running. With no bill to fund the government, non-essential services have been shutdown. 

Below is the original story that explains what will happen now that the government has been shut down.

The fight over a border wall, the fate of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, and the wrangling over the funding of an insurance program for children could force a U.S. government shutdown after midnight on Friday if Congress does not pass legislation that would keep the government running.

While negotiations on a temporary spending bill, called a continuing resolution, are ongoing, House Republican leaders said late Wednesday that  they lacked the votes to prevent a shutdown, but that they are pressing members to back Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, (R-Wisconsin), on the  temporary spending bill.

“I think it passes,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, (R-North Carolina), told reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s overwhelming, but I think it passes.”

>>Read more trending news

What would happen if no bill is passed and the government “shuts down?” Here’s what to expect:

First, a government shutdown doesn’t mean the government completely shuts down. Employees and services deemed “essential” would remain in place. About half of the federal employee workforce, however, could be furloughed – sent home without pay.

Government agencies would shut down because of the lack of a bill that funds services those agencies provide. What Congress will be considering Thursday night and Friday is a continuing resolution, a way to temporarily fund the government.

What is a continuing resolution?
A continuing resolution, or “CR,” is legislation that funds government operations at the current spending level. In normal years, a bill that funds government operations is signed by Oct. 1, which is the end of the fiscal year. That didn’t happen this year.

CRs can fund the government for days, weeks or months. The CR that could be considered Thursday would fund the government through Feb. 16.

Here is a list of services and how they would be affected if a CR is not passed by Friday night:
Air travel
Air travel would not be affected as federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and Transportation Security Administration screeners would remain in place.
Federal court
For about two weeks, federal courts would continue operating normally. After that time, the judiciary would have to furlough employees not considered essential.
Food safety
The Food and Drug Administration would handle high-risk recalls. Most routine safety inspections would be halted.
Health
Patients in the National Institutes of Health would continue to be treated. New patients would not be accepted until a funding bill is in place.
International travel 
You could still get a passport and visa applications would still be processed by the State Department. Fees collected when someone applies for a visa or a passport fund those services.
Loans 
The Federal Housing Administration, the agency that guarantees about 30 percent of all American home mortgages, wouldn't be able to underwrite or approve any new loans during a shutdown, causing a delay for those using one of those loans to purchase a home. 
The mail
You would still get mail, as the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars for everyday operations.
Military
Active-duty military personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed.
National parks
All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums. Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park.
School lunches, SNAP and WIC
School breakfasts and lunches funded by the federal government would not be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, could be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which used to be called the Food Stamp Program, would continue to be funded and SNAP benefits would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate.
Science
The National Weather Service would keep forecasting weather.
Social Security
Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits would be paid, but new applications for those payments could be delayed. 
Veterans services
Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs would continue.

Sources: The Associated Press; Politicothe Congressional Research Service

  

5-foot tapeworm wiggles out of California man after eating sushi

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 8:39 PM

Man Infected with 5-Foot Tapeworm After Eating Sushi

sushi-loving California man with a habit of consuming raw salmon recently pulled out a 5-foot tapeworm from his own body.

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According to Dr. Kenny Bahn, who treated the man in August and revealed the case on a Jan. 8 episode of the medical podcast “This Won’t Hurt a Bit,” his patient thought he was dying.

"He asked me for worm treatment and I was like, 'Oh, not an everyday request,'" Bahn said on the podcast, skeptical about the patient’s self-diagnosis.
It started with abdominal cramps and escalated to bloody diarrhea. Then, the man told Bahn, when he went to the bathroom, “I looked down and it looked like there was a piece of intestine hanging out of me.”

Though the visual is horrifying, the man was relieved to find it wasn’t a part of his own intestines.

Instead, it was a 5-and-a-half foot tapeworm “wiggling” out of his body, likely a result of the man’s daily consumption of raw salmon, Bahn said.

In January 2017, experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that eating raw or undercooked fish heightens the risk of developing an infection from parasites, including Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, or the Japanese broad tapeworm. And wild salmon caught in Alaska had also been infected.

Doctors warned that eating raw salmon in the United States, particularly along the Pacific Coast, may increase risk of those Japanese tapeworm parasites.

According to the CDC, the Japanese tapeworm and related species can grow up to 30 feet long.

Not everyone infected with the tapeworm will have symptoms, but some common signs and symptoms of a Diphyllobothrium infection can include abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.

In some cases, complications can lead to intestinal obstruction and gall bladder disease, according to the CDC.

Once diagnosed, a health care provider prescribes an effective medication, typically a pill, to kill the parasite.