Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grant boosts ADOT crash-data gathering Grant helps data collection and management

PHOENIX – A grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is helping the Arizona Department of Transportation collect fuller and more accurate vehicle crash data that, in turn, will help transportation engineers, law enforcement and researchers examine trends and causes of fatalities and serious injuries.

The $389,520 grant provides critical financial support for ADOT’s Crash Records Unit, including annual licensing fees to use Traffic and Criminal Software (TraCS), a data collection and management tool. Through this grant money, ADOT provides access to TraCS to Arizona law enforcement agencies at no cost.

“TraCS is considered to be one of the best software platforms in the nation for managing electronic forms associated with traffic stops and crash reports,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Support from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Director Alberto Gutier is invaluable to collecting crash data and identifying trends, helping make Arizona’s roads safer.”

ADOT is responsible under state law for compiling crash data and creating comprehensive reports that government agencies, nonprofit groups and other entities statewide use to improve traffic safety. That includes annual Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts reports.

The Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety is the focal point for highway safety issues in Arizona. The cabinet agency provides leadership by developing, promoting and coordinating programs; influencing public and private policy; and increasing public awareness of highway safety.

For more information about the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, please visit: azgohs.gov.

For more information about ADOT, please visit: azdot.gov.

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(reluctantgourmet.com) Here are a few fun facts related to Thanksgiving and some of the main ingredients that may be on your table this year. If you have your own "fun facts" please add them in the comments section below. Happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Facts:
  • The original cornucopia was made from a curved goat's horn 
  • Thanksgiving was not declared a National Holiday by Congress until 1941 
  • The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe Native Americans in 1621 and lasted for 3 days. 
  • At the original Thanksgiving, there was no milk, cheese, bread, butter, mashed potatoes, corn or pumpkin pie. 
  • President Thomas Jefferson did not like the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day. 
  • The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts" "where the Plymouth Pilgrims were building on the land. 
  • The famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade began in the 1920's. 
  • The presenting of the live turkey to the President has been a tradition since 1947. The President then pardons the turkey, allowing it to live out its remaining years on a farm. 
  • Thanksgiving is also celebrated in Canada- on the second Monday in October. 
  • According to the American Automobile Association, 38 million Americans traveled an estimated 50 miles or more from home during Thanksgiving weekend 2009. 
Turkey Facts:
  • Scientists have found fossils suggesting that Turkeys roamed North America 10 million years ago 
  • When Columbus discovered North America, he thought the turkey was a type of peacock, which roam India. 
  • 90% of American homes eat Turkey on Thanksgiving 
  • 50% eat Turkey on Christmas 
  • Abraham Lincoln chose the last Thursday in November for Thanksgiving 
  • More than 45 million turkeys are eaten on thanksgiving, over 675 million pounds (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture) 
  • The average Thanksgiving dinner has 4,575 calories 
  • It is rumored that the outfit Big Bird wears on Sesame Street is made of turkey feathers 
  • Wild turkeys can run up to 20 mph and fly for short distances up to 55 mph 
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, one of his biggest arguments being that it is native to America. 
Potato Facts:
  • An American will eat approximately 140 pounds of potatoes each year 
  • In 1995 the Space Shuttle "Columbia" took a potato plant into space, making it the first food to grow in space. 
  • A potato is 80% water 
  • Yams and Sweet Potatoes are NOT in the same family, they are in separate botanical families. 
  • Sweet potatoes have been around since prehistoric time 
  • The potato is the 4th most important crop in the world- after wheat, rice and corn. 
  • The potato produces more food per acre than any other crop. 
  • Potatoes are grown in every state in the United States. 
  • Royals used to wear potato blossoms on their clothing as a fashion statement 
  • Potatoes, contrary to popular belief, were not part of the original Thanksgiving. They had not been introduced to North America at that time.
Stuffing Facts:
  • About 50% of Americans stuff their birds with stuffing (or "dressing") 
  • There are regional differences with stuffing- in the South cornbread stuffing is popular, and white bread is common is most other parts of the country. Although, there are many variations to ingredients added with the bread. 
  • Stuffing dates back to the Roman Empire, where the ancient cookbook "Apicius de re Coquinaria" had recipes that called for stuffed chicken, rabbit, pork and more. 
  • The brand Stove Top introduced their famous boxed stuffing in 1972. 
  • Stove Top now sells around 60 million boxes of their stuffing around Thanksgiving. 
  • There is no evidence to support that stuffing was served at the first Thanksgiving. 

Green Bean Facts:
  • An estimated 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving 
  • Campbell's Green Bean Casserole recipe (using their cream of mushroom soup) was developed in 1955. 
  • There is only around 40 calories in one cup of green beans. 
  • The first to put green beans on their menu were the French. 
  • China is the largest producer of fresh green beans. 
  • Green beans are also called snap beans because of the sound they make when being broken. Green beans are also called string beans because many varieties used to have a long string that ran along the seam of the bean. 

Cranberry Facts:
  • An estimated 20% of cranberries eaten in the year are eaten on Thanksgiving 
  • Native Americans not only ate cranberries, they also used them for their fabrics, pottery and medicinal purposes. 
  • There was approximately 709 million pounds of cranberry produced in the United States in 2009. 
  • The top cranberry growing states are Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. 
  • The Pilgrims named the fruit "craneberry" because their drooping heads in the spring reminded them of a crane. 
  • A cranberry is most ripe when it is able to bounce. 
  • The Cape Cod Cranberry Company produced the first canned Cranberry sauce in the early 1900s. 
  • Only 5% of cranberries grown are sold fresh, the remaining percent are sold as cranberry juice, cranberry sauce, etc. 
  • A cup of fresh cranberries is about 50 calories whereas a cup of cranberry sauce is around 400. 
Pumpkin Facts:
  • The top pumpkin growing states are Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York. 
  • Those states together produced around 1 billion pounds of pumpkin in 2008. 
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest Pumpkin Pie ever baked weighed in at over 2,000 pounds and measured over 12 feet long. The pie was baked in October 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers from Ohio. 
  • Pumpkins are 90% water. 
  • Approximately 90% of the pumpkins processed in the United States in a year are grown in Illinois. 
  • Early colonial settlers used pumpkin for the crust of pies rather than the filling. 
  • Pumpkin is a fruit. 
  • Pumpkins grow on 6 of the 7 continents. 
  • The world's fastest pumpkin carver is Steve Clarke of Havertown, Pennsylvania. In 2000 he carved a 27-pound pumpkin in 1 minute 14 seconds, beating the old record by 19 seconds. 
  • Pumpkins come in a variety of colors including: green, red, yellow, white, blue, tan and of course orange.


We interrupt your holiday parties to give you this sobering statistic: The average person gains about one pound between Halloween and New Year's Day. Just one pound, you say? Party on! Wait. The problem is that we don't lose that pound. Ever. Fast forward 20 years, and you have a weight problem you can blame solely on eggnog, stuffing, cranberry sauce and Christmas cookies. "Lack of sleep, an abundance of decadent food and the stress of the holidays are the perfect storm for weight gain," said Kari Kooi, a registered dietitian at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. "Implementing a personal wellness plan will get you through the holiday season without adding to your waistline."

Kooi offers these 10 tips to avoid holiday weight gain:

1. Wear something fitted.
If you wear form-fitting clothing, you are less likely to overeat because the tighter fit will remind you not to eat to the point of discomfort. Wear something that makes you feel attractive, giving you a sense of empowerment.

2. Eat breakfast.
Eating a substantial breakfast can keep you from overeating later on in the day and it revs up your metabolism. Be sure to include a protein-rich food item such as low-fat Greek yogurt or natural peanut butter spread on whole-wheat toast.

3. Avoid mindless munching.
Don't arrive at a holiday event hungry or resistance will be futile. Have a light, protein-rich snack, such as a small handful of almonds with a piece of fruit before going to a holiday event. Make it a priority to spend more time with the other guests than grazing at the buffet table.

4. Rethink your drink.
Liquid calories do not satisfy hunger and can quickly lead to weight gain when consumed in excess. What's more, sugary holiday drinks like cocoa, eggnog and apple cider can cause blood sugar swings that leave you feeling even hungrier. Sip on hot spiced teas instead.

5. Limit alcohol.
As for alcohol, moderation is the key because its inhibition-lowering effect can quickly lead to overeating. What's more, many creamy holiday drinks can easily pack 500 calories. Cut calories with a wine spritzer made from wine and sparkling water.

6. Keep exercise a priority.
This is the worst time to abandon your exercise routine. Make time to hit the gym or the basement treadmill so you can reap the stress-busting and calorie-burning benefits that will empower you to stay the course. Set a goal of just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. In addition, be sure to get in two strength-training sessions a week to tighten and tone.

7. Get plenty of sleep.
Getting less than six hours of sleep a night causes cravings for starchy, sugary foods (hello frosted Santa-shaped cookies) and dissolves your resolve to make healthy food decisions. Most health experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep a night to feel fully rested.

8. Enlist the support of a friend or family member.
Apart from socializing, getting together with a friend to walk and talk will burn calories, relieve stress and help with accountability. Having an accountability partner can empower you to be more successful than you would be on your own.

9. Awareness is power.
The wide selection of decadent foods can be very tempting. Don't deprive yourself, but do splurge selectively and practice mindfulness by being aware of what you are eating, the portion size and why you are eating. Keep portions in check by sticking with a sliver of dessert or just a couple of rich hors d'oeuvres. Keeping a food journal is the best way to raise awareness of food intake.

10. Free yourself of guilt.
Feeling guilty for indulging often leads to a downward spiral. Instead, channel those emotions in a more positive way by going for a brisk walk. Start fresh the next morning by recharging your motivation with a positive self-talk. Gain perspective and realize that one day of overeating doesn't have to sabotage your best laid plans.


Consider this fact presented by Women's Health magazine: The average American eats 600 additional calories per day between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Translation: That's an extra six pounds. Yikes! But if you know which foods are the worst culprits for your waistline, you can battle back more effectively:

Worst Classic Holiday Drink: Eggnog
At 350 calories and 19 grams of fat, eggnog, even without the booze, is on the naughty list because it consists of milk, cream and eggs. If you want a festive seasonal drink, choose homemade hot chocolate instead. Just limit how much whipped cream you squirt on top.

Worst Holiday Appetizer: Crab Cakes
When crab is blended with mayonnaise and then rolled in bread crumbs and cooked in a vat of bubbling fat, you end up with an appetizer that weighs in at 400 calories and 19 grams of fat. Each. That's more calories than three dozen shrimp.

Worst Holiday Party Cocktail: Gin and Tonic
It may taste light, but a gin and tonic has 210 calories and 22 grams of sugar, thanks to the tonic water. Choose Champagne instead for one-fourth the amount of sugar.

Worst Holiday Party Snack: Spinach and Artichoke Dip
In addition to the spinach and artichokes, this dip has mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese, which add up to a whopping 285 calories and 17 grams of fat per serving. And that's without the crackers or chips! If you simply must have some, limit yourself to dip on one cracker.

Worst Holiday Entree: Prime Rib
This coveted holiday cut of beef comes from one of the fattiest parts of the cow, which means you're ingesting 750 calories and 45 grams of fat with just one serving. Beef tenderloin is a tasty alternative at a fraction of the calories and fat.

Worst Holiday Dessert: Pecan Pie a la Mode
There is no pie that has more calories, fat and sugar than pecan. Even though some of the 810 calories and 65 grams of fat come from the healthy nuts, most come from the corn syrup and sugar filling. A better alternative after a filling heavy meal is angel food cake. Made from egg whites, it's virtually fat-free.


29 percent of us are late for work at least once a month, while 16 percent admit it's a weekly occurrence. With that kind of track record for tardiness, we have to think up new and better excuses besides the tried-and-true ones. Somehow getting stuck in traffic is just so overused. The Harris Poll and CareerBuilder.com surveyed more than 2,600 hiring and human resource managers and more than 3,400 employees across industries to find out the most outrageous excuses for being late.

The top 10 most bizarre -- but real -- excuses for being late to work:
  1. I forgot it wasn't the weekend. 
  2. I put petroleum jelly in my eyes. 
  3. I thought Flag Day was a federal holiday. 
  4. The wind blew the deck off my house. 
  5. I overslept because my kids changed all the clocks in the house. 
  6. I was cornered by a moose. 
  7. My mother-in-law wouldn't stop talking. 
  8. My mother locked me in a closet. 
  9. The sunrise was so beautiful that I had to stop and take it in. 
  10. My dad offered to make me a grilled cheese sandwich, and I just couldn't say no. 
The five most common excuses for being late to work:

Traffic: 49 percent
Oversleeping: 32 percent
Bad weather: 26 percent
Too tired to get out of bed: 25 percent
Procrastination: 17 percent


When it comes to money -- whether we most enjoy spending it or saving it -- we all have a money personality. Olivia Mellan, author of "Money Harmony: Resolving Money Conflicts in Your Life and Relationships," has identified five distinct money personalities. Do note that each type has good qualities and shortcomings, and most of us are a combination of several types.

The five money personalities:

1. The Money Hoarder
You really enjoy saving money, and your financial goals are carefully prioritized. You not only have a budget you faithfully follow, but also one of your favorite pastimes is creating and fine-tuning that budget. Spending money is difficult for you--be it for yourself or your loved ones--because purchases seem frivolous. Spending money on entertainment and vacations is especially unnecessary in your mind. When you invest money, it is for the future. "Saving for a rainy day" is your personal slogan. Extreme money hoarders will even keep a stash of cash in secret places in their home.

2. The Money Spender
Money is meant to be enjoyed and to make life better. You get a real kick out of buying things and services for your immediate pleasure, as well as buying gifts for others. You have a hard time saving money, so it can be difficult to put aside enough to meet your long-term financial goals. You may spend so much money that you have some debt--perhaps, significant debt. (Do note that many people who are in debt are not necessarily Money Spenders; instead, they just don't make enough money to meet their basic needs.)

3. The Money Monk
Money is dirty. And if you have too much of it, it will corrupt you. You believe that money really is the root of all evil. You avoid investing money because you don't want to become wealthier, since that can lead to greed and selfishness. If you do invest, you look for socially responsible investments that reflect your personal values.

4. Money Avoider
Who wants to think about money? And that's why you procrastinate balancing your checkbook, may not pay your bills on time and delay doing your taxes until the last minute. You probably don't make a budget or keep any kind of financial records. You have no idea how much money you actually have, how much you owe or how much you spend. Investing is way too much work. Many people who are money avoiders feel incompetent or just overwhelmed by money tasks. Extreme money avoiders have so much money anxiety that they can be paralyzed when faced with money tasks.

5. Monday Amasser
Having large amounts of money at your disposal to spend, save or invest is what makes you happiest. Because you equate having lots of money with self-worth and power, you feel like a failure if your bank account balance drops too much. You are a high-risk investor, seeking high rates of return so you can make a lot of money quickly.


(from Cosmopolitan)

Treat your romance like a friend and your friends like a romance.
Release pressure from a romantic relationship by acting like you would with a friend. You will be more authentic and relaxed. And prioritizing friendships by making dates and putting in effort also takes pressure off the romance by making you less emotionally needy.

Leave a good-energy imprint.
Measure the success of your date by how much fun you have, not by how cool or hot you were. When you have a great time, the other person feels that, which creates a positive-energy imprint.

Have a sober date.
Physically active dates produce memories from the experience, which last longer and create a bond.

Forgive your past relationships.
If you are carrying resentment from your last relationship, it will get repurposed in your current one. Letting go of those past dramas allows you to get rid of your baggage. Forgive your exes to give your current or future boyfriend a chance.


(Cafemom.com) Do you want to be romantic? Do you want to get those butterfly feelings in your stomach just like you had on your first date long ago? To help you keep that flame burning, here's a list of 8 things couples need to do every single day.

Complement each other
Whether it's the way they calm the kids down or fix the DVD player or decorate the house, take a moment to praise your significant other for something they've done.

Nobody should ever go a complete day without laughing. It truly is the best medicine all around. Share a laugh with your partner at least once a day (and hopefully lots more), even on the worst, most depressing days. Actually, especially on those days.

Say those three words
No, not "pass the salt." Regardless of the fact that you should be watching your sodium intake, what I mean, of course, is "I love you." Go on -- say it to your wife (or husband) every single day. It's a must. Even if you're beyond furious with them for leaving the toilet seat up for the 99th time, you still love them. So say it.

Notice the little things
Could be your wife's new haircut or outfit. Or simply the way your husband takes his coffee. Noticing and remembering the little details in life show your spouse that you really do pay attention to them. More than they think.

Put things in perspective
Whatever you may be upset about or just feeling lukewarm about in terms of your relationship, take a step back. So you need to move; at least you have a loving wife and kids. Maybe money's super tight; at least you're all healthy. In the end, no matter what troubles you're dealing with, just remember you're not in it alone and your family is all that truly matters.

Dream big
The most powerful emotion in the entire universe is hope. Nothing is impossible. (The Cubs will eventually win another World Series. One day.) So dream big and share those dreams with your spouse. Even if they never come true, it's still something worth hoping for.

Share something new
Remember when you first started dating and EVERYTHING was fresh and new -- from details of family history right down to favorite pizza toppings? But after being married for years (or gasp... decades) you may feel there's nothing left to uncover. That's just bull. There's always something new you can share with your spouse. Could be a movie you just watched, a fantastic article you just read (like this one!), or some favorite childhood memories. Share and share alike.

Lock lips
It goes without saying but you should start and end each day exactly the same way. With a gentle kiss on the lips.


If you're in your 40s, you should be sleeping between seven and nine hours every night, but the chances are fairly good that you don't. How much sleep we need so we function at the top of our game varies by age. Obviously, a toddler needs more sleep than his 30-something parents. But how much more? The National Sleep Foundation tapped the wisdom of six sleep experts, as well as 12 experts from several medical associations, including the American Neurological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Physiological Society, to update its guidelines on how much sleep we need based on our age.

This is how much sleep we need by age:

Newborn (0-3 months): 14-17 hours (previously: 12-18 hours)
Infant (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (previously: 14-15 hours)
Toddler (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (previously: 12-14 hours)
Pre-school (3-5 years): 10-13 hours (previously: 11-13 hours)
School age (6-13 years): 9-11 hours (previously: 10-11 hours)
Teen (14-17 years): 8-10 hours (previously: 8.5-9.5 hours)
Young adult (18-25 years): 7-9 hours (new category)
Adult (26-64 years): 7-9 hours (no change)
Older adult (65+ years): 7-8 hours (new category)

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Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grant boosts ADOT crash-data gathering Grant helps data collection and management

PHOENIX – A grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is helping the Arizona Department of Transportation collect fuller an...