Before Headlining Hedwig, Darren Criss to Star in 17 Again Musical

first_imgDarren Criss is headlining a private developmental reading of 17 Again, a musical based on the 2009 Zac Efron film, on March 6. Under the direction of Hairspray film director Adam Shankman, the Glee star will join Craig Bierko, Jackie Hoffman, George Wendt, Jennifer Damiano, Steve Rosen, Taylor Louderman, Leslie Kritzer and Andy Mientus in the New York reading, which features a score by First Date songwriters Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner and book by TV writer Marco Pennette.17 Again tells the story of Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry in the film), a former high school basketball player who regrets a choice he made to leave the most important game of his career to propose to his pregnant girlfriend, Scarlet. When the depressed Mike loses his job, he returns to his old high school, where a janitor asks him if he wishes he could be 17 again. Answering “yes,” he magically jumps back in time to his former self (Efron) and gets a second chance to fix his life.A Audience Choice Award winner for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Criss is headed back to Broadway as the star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on April 29.This closed presentation is one of multiple projects Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures currently has in development to create new works for first class productions, professional and regional tours and amateur licensing. View Comments Star Filescenter_img Darren Crisslast_img read more

Boosting lending with digital prequalification

first_img continue reading » USALLIANCE Financial wanted to make a change. The $1 billion, tech-savvy credit union in Rye, N.Y., needed to find a way to match consumers to loans without subjecting them to a full application process and hard inquiry credit check that would affect their credit scores.Before the change, consumers were required to submit a full loan application when they showed interest in a line of credit—everything from auto loans to personal loans to credit cards. And if they didn’t qualify, they still had to absorb a potential negative credit score impact because of the hard inquiry. Even more, USALLIANCE Financial loan officers had to complete a lengthy manual decisioning process for each inquiry, which tied up resources.Defined GoalsUSALLIANCE Financial envisioned an online tool that ideally would:automatically prequalify member and non-member website visitors for USALLIANCE Financial loan products without a hard inquiry that could affect a consumer’s credit score;create a positive educational interaction for applicants discouraged by previous declines or who have little or no knowledge of their credit status; andreduce the workload of loan officers by creating efficiencies with the loan application queue. 24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Coronavirus outbreak is ‘global pandemic’: German health minister

first_imgThe coronavirus outbreak has turned into “a global pandemic”, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Wednesday, warning that worse was to come.The situation in Germany and across Europe had changed drastically in recent days, he said, with Germany reporting a sharp uptick to 240 cases.”The coronavirus outbreak in China has become a global pandemic,” Spahn told German lawmakers. “The situation is changing very quickly,” he said. “What’s clear is that we have not yet reached the peak of the outbreak.”The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far stopped short of declaring a pandemic — defined as an epidemic that spreads throughout the world through local transmission.But it has urged countries to prepare for a potential pandemic.The number of novel coronavirus cases in the world has now risen to more than 93,000, including 3,201 deaths across 81 countries and territories. In Germany, Spahn said efforts remained focussed on containing the disease and slowing its spread, including through quarantining people ill with COVID-19 and cancelling large gatherings such as trade fairs.”When in doubt, the safety of the public comes first, including before economic interests,” Spahn said.He added that the government was also updating its medical guidelines to make sure that overstretched health workers concentrate their efforts “on the most acute” cases if the outbreak worsens.That could also mean that non-urgent surgeries might be postponed, he said, stressing however that “we aren’t there yet”.Earlier on Wednesday, the German interior ministry announced a ban on exports of medical protective gear to avoid a shortage of masks, gloves and other supplies for medical workers.”The next days and weeks will be challenging. There will be restrictions on everyday life in affected areas and that can cause some stress,” Spahn said.But he said the government was working closely with regional states and European partners to respond to the virus “in a cool-headed way” and take “appropriate measures”.Topics :last_img read more

Jakartans called to work from home during outbreak. Not everyone has the option.

first_imgWhile many Jakartans are staying in their houses and working remotely to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak, home office is not even an option for many other workers in the capital and its satellite cities.Lesmana, an employee of a Jakarta-based oil and gas company, was among those still doing their morning commute to the office on Monday, even though a state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic had been declared in the capital city — the hardest-hit area of the country.The 60-year-old said the company, which had employed him at its logistics department for 12 years, still required him to come in to work, as some tasks needed to be done in person. Radita Nur Aini shared a similar experience, as she still had to take a public minibus from her rooming house in Cimanggu district in Bogor, West Java, to her office in Parung district, an area southwest of South Jakarta, on Monday.The 25-year-old, who works as an administrative staff member at a leasing company, said she could not do anything but follow her company’s policy that still required her to do her job from the office despite the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly since she had just been working there for a month.She realized that taking the minivan might not be the wisest thing to do right now, but the cost of travel was much lower than if she took an app-based taxi, which could cost her Rp 50,000 (US$3) per ride.”It takes 45 minutes to travel with two changes and costs Rp 9,000 per trip,” she said.The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has continued to surge in the capital over the past weeks, with Jakarta alone reporting 356 positive cases out of 579 infections nationwide as of Monday. Forty-nine people have died from the virus to date, including 31 in Jakarta.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan declared a two-week state of emergency on Friday, urging all stakeholders to take drastic measures to slow the transmission of the disease, as concerns mount that COVID-19 could spread in offices, public places and public transportation.Read also: Jakarta declares emergency, but doubts persist over compliance with social distancing directiveCorporations have been urged to stop operations for 14 days starting Monday or introduce work-from-home policies and reduce the number of employees working in the office to a minimum if the companies were unable to close their offices.Authorities also advised the public to stay at home whenever possible and maintain social distancing as hospitals scrambled to treat coronavirus patients.As of Monday, at least 1,512 companies across the capital have put in place work-from-home policies for some 517,743 of their employees in response to the outbreak, according to the Jakarta Manpower and Transmigration Agency.Rahma, another worker in Jakarta who still had to go to work on Monday, expressed hope that the manufacturing company she works for would heed the Jakarta administration’s call.The 25-year-old said she had to endure anxiety while commuting to work using the Transjakarta bus from Slipi to Kalideres in West Jakarta but had no other option, as the company said it would not meet production targets if employees did not come to work.”The virus has taken lives, and I guess we should follow the government’s call […]. I actually disagree with my company’s policy that prevents us from working from home, but all I can do now is just follow the company’s rules,” she told the Post. (trn)Topics : As usual, he took the Transjakarta bus on the route connecting Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta with Cililitan Wholesale Center (PGC) in East Jakarta and got off at Kebon Nanas Station on Monday morning.Although the city-owned bus company only allowed four to five standing passengers in line with the social-distancing order, Lesmana admitted that he was concerned about getting infected while commuting to work as the coronavirus spread rapidly.”Of course I am worried, but what can I do? I have no other [transportation] option,” Lesmana told The Jakarta Post on Monday.Read also: COVID-19: Does Indonesia need a lockdown? It depends on how you define itlast_img read more

‘Corona is like your wife’: Minister Mahfud slammed for ‘sexist’ comment

first_imgCoordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD has caught flak for his recent statement that likens the country’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 to a husband’s control over his wife.Women’s NGO Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity) chief executive Dinda Nisa Yura said Mahfud’s remarks exposed casual misogyny and sexism among public officials.“[His] statement not only reflects the government’s shallow thought process in resolving issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also exposes public officials’ sexist and misogynistic mindset,” she said in a statement on Wednesday. “I got a meme from [Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister] Pak Luhut yesterday that goes, ‘Corona is like your wife. You try to control it then you realize that you can’t. Then you learn to live with it’,” he said in jest during an online event on Tuesday as quoted by statement has also been met with a less-than-enthusiastic response from the public, with many social media users expressing their disappointment in Mahfud’s blatant display of sexism.Prominent scholar Ariel Heryanto took to Twitter to publicly pan Mahfud’s statement. “Disgusting. I’ll wait for a clarification!” @ariel_heryanto tweeted on Tuesday.Meanwhile, investigative journalist Febriana Firdaus tweeted sarcastically in reference to Mahfud and Luhut’s inside joke.“If they don’t like their [wives], why don’t they marry each other?”As of Wednesday, Indonesia had confirmed 23,851 COVID-19 cases and 1,473 deaths linked to the disease.Topics :center_img Dinda went on to say that Mahfud’s remarks had explicitly conveyed an intention to subjugate women as a mere object by rendering them analogous to coronavirus.“A joke that casually objectifies women will only normalize violence against women,” she said, adding that Mahfud’s outlook had also demeaned women as inferior to men.“When a public official says something condescending to women, it becomes a challenge for us as we continue to push the government to fulfill and protect women’s rights.”It was previously reported that Mahfud compared the country’s efforts to adjust to the post-coronavirus reality to being married to a woman.last_img read more

Computers ‘do not improve’ pupil results, says OECD

first_imgBBC News 15 September 2015Investing heavily in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils’ performance, says a global study from the OECD.The think tank says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results.The OECD’s education director Andreas Schleicher says school technology had raised “too many false hopes”.Tom Bennett, the government’s expert on pupil behaviour, said teachers had been “dazzled” by school computers.The report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development examines the impact of school technology on international test results, such as the Pisa tests taken in more than 70 countries and tests measuring digital skills.It says education systems which have invested heavily in information and communications technology have seen “no noticeable improvement” in Pisa test results for reading, mathematics or science. read more

Euthanasia supporters shouldn’t rely on slammed survey

first_imgMedia Release Euthanasia Free NZ 2 June 2017Family First Comment: This is the last survey that supporters of assisted suicide should rely on! Already completely debunked.“This particular study, the subject of a 2016 TVNZ story, did not even verify that respondents were indeed New Zealand medical professionals or prevent a respondent from completing the survey  multiple times. In the May 2016 NZMJ paper on the same study the researchers disclosed that four days’ of responses were removed due to notice of two faked responses by a TVNZ journalist’.”Two-thirds of doctors oppose ‘assisted dying’ according to slammed surveyMembers of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society claim in a NZMJ paper that 37% of doctors and 67% of nurses support ‘assisted dying’, that is, legal voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide.“I am skeptical of self-selected online surveys with relatively small sample sizes, with questions based on euphemisms such as ‘assisted dying’,” says Renée Joubert, executive officer of Euthanasia-Free NZ. “The term ‘assisted dying’ is vague enough to mean different things to different people.”This particular study, the subject of a 2016 TVNZ story, did not even verify that respondents were indeed New Zealand medical professionals or prevent a respondent from completing the survey  multiple times. In the May 2016 NZMJ paper on the same study the researchers disclosed that four days’ of responses were removed due to notice of two faked responses by a TVNZ journalist’.“For all we know, the study may have been rigged by Voluntary Euthanasia Society members,” says Ms Joubert.The study’s many flaws were analysed by a group of eight experts.“Much of the new paper seems to consist of pro-euthanasia propaganda,” says Ms Joubert.“The authors engage in wishful thinking that ‘assisted dying’ may be legalised in New Zealand soon, likely based on their own bias as members of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.“Any ‘practical and professional support’ to perform euthanasia or assisted suicide, as recommended by the authors, is ridiculously premature.”After extensive media coverage, New Zealanders have clearly expressed their overwhelming opposition to changing the law. Parliament’s Health Select Committee received a record number of about 21,435 unique submissions in response to the petition by Maryan Street and 8,974 others.A full analysis, confirmed by an independent research company, found that 77% of submissions (16,411) are opposed to the legalisation of ‘assisted dying’ while only 19.5% (4,142 submissions) were in favour.In January to May 2017 ‘assisted dying’ bills have been stopped or defeated in eight jurisdictions: In Tasmania, Australia, as well as the US states of Maine, Hawaii,Utah, New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Maryland. In several other states, bills were introduced but lacked support to even be debated.The authors presume that under a future New Zealand law both doctors and nurses would be performing euthanasia.However, there is significant opposition to the medicalisation of ‘assisted dying’, the recent article by Ron Jones being a case a point.A growing list of New Zealand doctors (see are calling for doctors to be left to focus on healing and providing real care for the dying. They argue that doctors are not necessary for the execution of euthanasia and are drawn into the debate only to provide a cloak of medical legitimacy.ENDSlast_img read more

Rosemary B. Holtel

first_imgRosemary B. Holtel, age 100 of Batesville, died Saturday, December 9, 2017 at St. Andrew’s Health Campus. Born April 7, 1917 in Batesville, she is the daughter of Maria (Nee: Ollier) and Clarence Kerker Sr.  She married Ambrose Holtel June 28, 1941 at St. Louis Church and he preceded her in death September 7, 1985.  She worked 10 years as a linotype operator for the Batesville Herald Tribune and was a member of St. Louis Church and the Batesville V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary.According to the family, Rosemary was an excellent cook and an even better baker.  Her fried chicken was pretty hard to beat, as were her coffee cakes and pies.  She was the official pie baker for family functions and her favorite saying was “everyone needs lots of love and lots of coconut cream pie.”  If she wasn’t in the kitchen, you’d find her outdoors.  Rosemary enjoyed tending to her flowers, especially her roses and working around the yard.  The truth is she just delighted in growing things.  Her family gave the example that although she disliked tomatoes, she still raised them.  Family was also important to her.  She and her siblings would meet monthly for lunch and she dearly loved spending time with her grandchildren.She is survived by her daughters Mary Jo Youngman of Antioch, Tennessee, Debbie Lamping of Batesville; son Jack Holtel of Brookville, Ohio; sisters Barbara Heidlage of Batesville, Betty Waters of Cheviot, Ohio; five grandchildren; nine great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren.  In addition to her husband and parents, she is also preceded in death by sister Rita Goldsmith and brothers Jerome, Robert and Clarence Kerker Jr.Visitation is Friday, December 15th, from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Weigel Funeral Home.  Funeral services follow at 11:30 a.m. at St. Louis Church with Rev. Stan Pondo officiating.  Burial will follow in the church cemetery.  The family requests memorials to the Oldenburg Academy or Margaret Mary Health Foundation Hospice.last_img read more

Wisconsin earns Frozen Four bid with 3-1 victory

first_imgAlex Rigsby stopped 28 of Mercyhurst’s 29 shots on net in the NCAA quarterfinal game Saturday night at the Kohl Center.[/media-credit]Tournament time calls for top players to step up big time, and for the Wisconsin women’s hockey team, that’s exactly what happened in a 3-1 victory over Mercyhurst Saturday night.The Badgers will head to Duluth, Minn., for the Frozen Four nextweekend against Boston College. A win Friday would send Wisconsin to the2012 National Championship game Sunday.With the stakes raised significantly, the Badgers (32-4-2) came out strong and with two key goals coming from senior players, they were able to defeat the Lakers (23-8-3).The Badgers started off the game with energy and offensive dominance, keeping Mercyhurst without a shot on net for the first 15 minutes. Senior forward Carolyne Prevost gave Wisconsin a 1-0 lead at 11:48 in the first period. After her linemate, junior forward Brianna Decker, made a move around a Laker defenseman, Prevost received a pass across the slot and buried the puck in the back of the net.“At this time in the season and these type of games, your upperclassmen, your seniors, your best players have to be your best players if you are going to have a chance to be successful,” Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson said. “It was nice to see [Carolyne] get the opening goal. They made a great read.”Mercyhurst did not show signs of letting up and came out strong in the second period, tying the Badgers in shots at 10 each. With 40 seconds left in the second period, Lakers forward Kelley Steadman shot the puck past UW goaltender Alex Rigsby from inside the right circle. The goal sent both teams to the locker room tied 1-1 with one period left to play.“I think our second period was our best, we put a lot more shots on net and we had a lot more scoring chances,” Steadman said. “Obviously when that goal went in it was a bit of a turning point for us.”However, the energy Mercyhurst gained was quickly dissipated by Wisconsin at the beginning of the third period. Knowing her team needed a goal, senior forward and captain Hilary Knight stepped up big for Wisconsin.After creating a turnover during a penalty kill, Prevost rushed the puck up the ice and saw Knight crashing towards the net. Prevost slid the puck across the crease, allowing Knight to tap it in, giving UW a 2-1 lead with 8:42 left to play.Knight’s shorthanded goal was her ninth game-winning goal for UW this season. She leads the nation in game winners, as well as tying for the top spot in short-handed goals with four.“[Prevost] was able to see Hilary coming down and they made a great play, a great pass, and those are the differences between maybe winning a game, and not winning a game,” Johnson said. “It was a big play at a key time in the game.”The Lakers fought on, but after pulling their goaltender in the final minutes to try and tie the game up, Decker was able to put in Wisconsin’s third goal on an open net and sealed in the UW victory.“I think we did a lot of good things,” Johnson said. “I think as coaches you are looking for perfections so. … I don’t think we played an entire 60-minute game, but we did what we need to do to win the game. That is what we are looking for right now.”For Knight, Prevost and the three other Badger seniors, Saturday’s game marked their final time playing in at home in Madison. The senior class has made an undeniable impact on the UW program, being a part of the national championship team last season.“It is hard to really put it into words, but this place is so special,” Knight said. “Covering my four years here, it is a pretty incredible experience. I’m just happy to be apart of something great, and I am really grateful.”last_img read more

Badger volleyball celebrates Senior Day

first_imgThe Wisconsin volleyball team has had its share of ups and downs this season. The Badgers are 16-13 overall and sport a 4-12 record in the Big Ten.But the Badgers will look to send off its three seniors – Alexis Mitchell, Mary Ording and Bailey Reshel – with victories this weekend, when the three seniors will be honored for Senior Day at the Field House.The Badgers are looking to improve upon a string of rough matches last weekend in which they fell to Michigan and Michigan State by scores of 3-0. Those losses took UW’s skid to five straight, the longest such streak of the season. “I thought there were some times when we were doing some good things,” head coach Pete Waite said. “But the challenge is just to stay in it until the end and finish off. We got to about 20 points each time, but we need to close the door and fight even harder to finish.”The Badgers first face Iowa (10-19, 2-14 Big Ten) Friday night. The Hawkeyes have lost 10 straight matches, including eight in a row by a score of 3-0.Wisconsin has controlled the all-time series with Iowa, especially in Madison, where the Badgers are 23-9 all-time against the Hawkeyes. UW won the first meeting between the two teams earlier this season, a hard-fought 3-2 win.Iowa is led by sophomore outside hitter Alex Lovell, who leads the team with 3.17 kills per set, and junior outside hitter Rachael Bedell also adds 3.01 kills per set. Junior setter Nikki Dailey leads the team in assists (9.39 per set) and also in service aces (24).Iowa is the only unranked opponent left on the schedule for Wisconsin, making it crucial for the Badgers to earn the win Friday.“I think it’s important to beat them, not only for momentum, but for ourselves,” senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell said. “It’s more important to beat a team we know we can beat, and beat them on our home court.”Sunday’s match will be a much tougher test for the Badgers, as ninth-ranked Nebraska comes to Madison.The Cornhuskers (20-5, 12-4) have won two consecutive matches after dropping two in a row to Michigan and Michigan State. Earlier this season, Nebraska dominated the Badgers in Lincoln by a score of 3-0.Nebraska is led by senior outside hitter Gina Mancuso, who leads the team with 3.44 kills per set and service aces with 28. Senior outside hitter Hannah Werth also adds 2.89 kills per set and is tops on the team with 3.28 digs per set.Senior setter Lauren Cook averages 10.95 assists per set while ranking second on the team with 2.89 digs per set. Waite said he is hoping for a stronger effort from his team its second time out against one of the Big Ten’s top squads.“We need to have a more balanced attack,” Waite said. “We had a couple people get good numbers, and a couple others didn’t. If we ball handle well and run the offense correctly, then we’ll balance the attack a little better and make it tougher for them.”Friday night will be Senior Night as the Badgers conclude their final home weekend series of the season (UW’s final home match comes against Minnesota Wednesday night).Many of the players’ families will be in attendance, something Mitchell said will add to the atmosphere.“It’s not our last match here so that will help [with emotions],” Mitchell said. “But with having our families here, and the fact that they’re recognizing us will make it pretty emotional.”last_img read more