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This Morning's Weather – March 19, 2011

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Long Range ForecastToday: Partly sunny, with a high near 82. Southeast wind between 5 and 10 mph.Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 55. Calm wind becoming south southeast between 5 and 10 mph.Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming south between 15 and 20 mph. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.Sunday Night: Clear, with a low around 53. South wind between 10 and 15 mph.Monday: Sunny, with a high near 83. South wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 57. South wind between 10 and 15 mph.Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 80. South wind between 10 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 81. Windy, with a south southwest wind between 15 and 25 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.Wednesday Night: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55. Chance of precipitation is 20%.Thursday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Sunny, with a high near 77.Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 49.Friday: Sunny, with a high near 69.]]]]> ]]>

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News

Your old cellphone isn’t a toy, plus: tips for emergencies

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(Photo by Jaskarn SH SD - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64758740)

Several times each week, area first responders are dispatched on calls when children dial 911 from disconnected cellphones.

By law, phone carriers must allow these calls to go through. This allows people whose service has been disconnected a way to call for help.

Unfortunately, many people give their old phones to children to play games or use as a toy. Remember: If they dial 911 on your old phone, you could get a visit from law enforcement and be held responsible for a false alarm.

Here are some tips on using cellphones in an emergency:

Use a landline if possible. Cellphones can’t accurately pinpoint your location. FCC rules require nationwide carriers to provide tracking capabilities to 911 dispatchers that are accurate within 50-300 meters (164 to 984 feet), depending on the technology the carrier uses.

That could mean up to a 984-foot radius (not quite three times the length of a football field), which could result in a difficult search in high-density areas. FCC rules also allow up to six minutes to determine a location. If you can imagine how far a car can travel in six minutes, you’ll see how that could be problematic.

Recent updates to Android and iPhone operating systems have improved smartphones’ ability to automatically share exact locations with emergency dispatchers, but this technology doesn’t cover older or non-smart phones.

If you call 911 from a cellphone and hang up, operators will attempt to return your call to follow up. If they can’t retrieve your number, they are likely to send an officer to your estimated location, which may not be accurate.

If you do use a cellphone to call 911:

  • Provide your location as near as you are able and the type of assistance you need.
  • Try to stay calm and speak clearly.

If you need to call 911, you can use any smartphone even if you can’t unlock it. Here’s how:

  • Press the home button to launch the screen that asks for a passcode or fingerprint.
  • In the bottom lower left of the screen, tap “Emergency”
  • Dial 911

In some areas, you can text 911. Hinds county added the service in 2015. If you think you might need to text 911, contact the local police department to see if the service is provided.

Smart speakers, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home cannot call 911, but iPhone’s Siri and Android’s Google can. Check with your carrier or vendor to see if you have tie-in options for your home system.

 

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DIY

New Year’s resolutions will have you looking forward to reaching a goal

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The coming of the New Year means room for new opportunities, new ideas and maybe, a new you.

New Year’s resolutions trace to ancient Roman mythology and the god Janus, where we get January. Janus had two faces. One of the faces looked to the future and the other face looked to the past. Romans believed that Janus could forgive them for their past actions while blessing them for the future. 

Over 66 million people make New Year’s resolutions in the United States, and those personal promises can lead to big improvements. Whether the resolution is to save money, get better grades or work out more often, looking forward to a goal can make each day purposeful. Making a promise to reach the goal makes it more likely that you will get there.

Here are a few tips to making resolutions and sticking to them:

  • Be realistic. Make the goal specific  and achievable. Big goals are great, but don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • Start with one goal, not several.
  • Make a plan. What steps do you need to take to achieve your goal?
  • Tell someone about your goal. Don’t keep it a secret. People will want to support you.
  • Track your progress. Keeping a daily journal is one way to keep the journey real.
  • Celebrate milestones along the way.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Change is hard, and slip ups are human. Instead of seeing them as failure, try to see them as learning opportunities.
  • Keep trying. Take it a step at a time, recommitting to the goal every day.

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Crime

Beware the porch pirates

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Holiday shopping season is upon us and your (not-so) friendly neighborhood porch pirates are gearing up to pilfer the holiday treasures being delivered to your doorstep.

We’ve all seen the familiar footage from a home security camera: a fish-eye view of a home’s front porch sporting a stack of smiling Amazon Prime boxes. An unexpected car pulls up. A stranger approaches the cardboard booty. He or she looks to the left, looks to the right, scoops up the bounty and runs back to the car, ruining the holidays for those in the home.

The holiday season can be stressful enough with arranging travel or hosting overnight guests; baking; cleaning; shopping and wrapping gifts. You don’t need the extra burden of crooks stealing your joy and peace of mind.

Here are some ways you can conquer the porch pirates and lay claim to the best holiday ever.

Have your packages delivered elsewhere

If you have the luxury of being able to have your packages delivered to your office, this is one of the best options. As a bonus, you can easily hide the gifts from your family.

If this isn’t an option, have your orders shipped to a neighbor or family member who is home during the day.

FedEx packages can be picked up at one of their offices or a local participating Walgreens location.

UPS packages can be received at a local UPS Store, CVS or Michael’s stores or you can arrange to have them delivered on a day when you are home.

Let the delivery person in

Most respondents to a recent PC Magazine survey of 1,500 people said they are willing to spend an average of $110.86 on home protection gadgets. A total of 28 percent said they have a security camera, 25 percent have a video doorbell, and 17 percent have a smart lock.

Smart locks allow you to unlock your door from your smartphone or computer. Video allows you to see who is at your door. You can instruct delivery people on where to drop the packages and then lock up after they leave.

Smart locks range in price from $100-$300, which is worth it to keep your family safe and happy.

Have packages delivered to your car

Key by Amazon allows Amazon Prime members to have their packages left in their home, garage or even their cars.

Download the app to have your items shipped to your car within hours. Check the app or website to see if your product, vehicle and address of the vehicle are eligible for delivery. Pick a delivery time, and you’re set. You will receive notification of when your package is out for delivery and when the driver is en route.

According to the Amazon website, “Key In-Car Delivery is available with select makes and models. It is available with model year 2015 and newer Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Volvo vehicles and requires an active connected car service plan, such as OnStar and On Call.”

Key In-Car Delivery is available on tens of millions of Amazon items and works with Same-Day, One-Day, Two-Day and Standard Shipping. They cannot deliver heavy or bulky items weighing more than 50 pounds.

Track your packages

If high-tech gadgets aren’t your thing, simply use your low-tech skills to track your packages. UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, Amazon and FedEx all offer tracking online.

Sign up for USPS Informed Delivery to automatically get a daily email containing scans of the mail being delivered and tracking numbers of expected packages.

UPS offers the My Choice program. and FedEx’s Delivery Manager also helps keep track of deliveries.

Tracking information for Amazon and many other online retailers’ shipments can be found in your order details.

Your special deliveries are at risk, and the porch pirates are sure to be marking their spots of opportunity this holiday season. Use these tips from Mutual Credit Union, and ensure your gifts are received by those you intend.

This story originally appeared on the Mutual Credit Union blog and is being reprinted here with permission.

 

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