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How to Change a Life: Prison Fellowship Program Helps an Ex-Convict Turn His Life Around

November 30, 2011 2 comments

After being charged with first-degree murder and serving over twenty-two years in prison, Steven Gunning is now a new man. Gunning spent his sentence at the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility where he experienced a transformation in his life. In the time Gunning spent incarcerated he became a born-again christian and got involved with the Prison Fellowship program.

Gunning’s Path

Steven Gunning was sent to prison on April 17, 1989 for first-degree homicide. He was 32-years-old and faced many years in prison alone. He went in as an angry, difficult  and troublesome man. But through his hard times he found a light that helped him overcome this rough path. He gives the Lord all the credit for giving him the strength and courage to become a better man. And the Lord  lead him to the Prison Fellowship outreach program were he was given support and guidance. Gunning was released from prison on October 6, 2011. He hadn’t seen his family in well over 20 years. Gunning said that being with his family over Thanksgiving was the most emotional and joyful moment of his life.



The Impact and Affect of the Program

The program is formed to connect with inmates and help them overcome the mistakes that they’ve made in the past. Mentors work with different inmates in order to correct their bad behavior and give them the encouragement and support the inmates need to succeed in life and have a positive outlook. Gunning gives thanks to the program for providing him with a spiritual foundation.

What does Prison Fellowship Provide?

Prison Fellowship ministries is a christian-based outreach organization that focuses on criminal justice reform. The program provides the following:

  • Prison visitation
  • In-prison bible studies
  • Seminars
  • Mentoring
  • Educational training
  • Work and life-skills training
  • Counseling

With all that this program has to offer, inmates have the oppurtunity to do something positive with their lives and become more satisfied with themselves by learning what it means to be a better person and making a real connection with the mentors.


Want a College Degree? The University of Minnesota State Mankato Can Help

November 7, 2011 1 comment

When considering where you want to continue your education after high school, keep in mind that the University of Minnesota State Mankato is second in college rankings with a total enrollment of 15,547, and it continues to increase. As of this year, Minnesota State is only behind St. Cloud State as the largest institution of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Minnesota State Mankato Is Growing In Attendance. So, what gives?

Whether you receive a college scholarship or you have to pay for tuition and classes out of your own pocket, we all face the same dilemma. Choosing a college can be difficult. You have to make the tough decision of where you’ll attend the next 4 years of your life, as well as where you’ll receive an education that will set you up for a career that will last you a lifetime.

Minnesota State is a well-known and respected institution. The school has a strong and rich history, dating back to when it was founded in 1868. The school is known for being the first public college in the United States to be headed by a woman, Julia Sears, in 1872. Mankato offers many different courses and career paths, as well as a campus that’s student friendly and maintained in great condition.

MSU Campus

Minnesota State is experiencing a high demand of incoming students each year, and it’s because of this that Mankato has been forced to expand. Located at 7700 France Avenue South in Edina, Minn. lies the satellite campus of Minnesota State that’s only 3-years-old but is growing larger every year. There were about 420 students attending the Edina location when it first opened in 2008 and now there are nearly 700 students, and officials project that the enrollment will continue to increase by 10 percent annually. Up until this fall Minnesota State leased a total of 12,271 square feet of  space, but now the campus has expanded to 27,000 square feet after some renovations were made in order to withstand the increase in student population.


SEO Terms I Used:

  • College Degree
  • College Ranking
  • College Classes
  • College Careers
  • College Scholarship
  • College Tuition

SEO Terms I Considered:

  • College Application
  • Online College
  • Community College
  • College Books

What Makes A Good News Story: Fundementals of Audio Recording

November 1, 2011 2 comments

Developing a news story or interview that is appealing to the listener can be difficult unless you know what you’re doing. I’m  here to offer a view suggestions that can help you become better at organizing, creating and distributing a news story or interview with the use of an audio recorder. I’ll share with you the knowledge I’ve acquired from the “Telling Stories with Sounds” course I took just recently.

Key Points That I Learned

  • Planning the right story: When choosing a story you’ll want to keep in mind that places, people and things are all very important. Discovering stories with strong audio potential can help your story immensely, meaning, find somewhere with plenty of opportunities for sound. Anywhere that has a public event would work well. You want to capture as much voices, music and other noises as possible.
  • Research your subject: Before doing a story on a place, person or thing, you should take the time to do some research on the subject so you have some information that can help you with your story. You want to know as much as you can about what you’re working on so there are no surprises or setbacks.
  • Properly prepare for an interview: Talk to the person that you will be interviewing in advance. Make sure that the person is fully on board and ready for the interview and that they’re also someone who will make a good interview, meaning they’re interesting and have something important to say that will help your story. Have a script ready of what you want to talk about. Discuss when and where the interview will take place, what kind of questions will be asked and also share a little bit about each other, like why you want to interview the person, so you feel comfortable with each other and there’s no awkward tension. You should also remember to not only interview the main subject, but ask other people questions as well, such as family, friends, co-workers, etc. The more perspectives and opinions you can get will enhance the overall depth and quality of your story.
  • Pack the right gear, and enough of it: Bring what is necessary. Bring more than what you think you’ll need. Different jobs call for different types of equipment, so make sure you have the right stuff. Microphones, recorders, cables, headphones, batteries, recording media and a bag to carry it all in. Always double-check you have what you need, and then pack some more. You don’t want to be recording a crucial story only to find out that your battery is dead.
  • Recording in the field: Make sure your subject answers questions thoroughly, that they’re descriptive, and try to only ask open-ended questions so there are no short, dull answers. You want to be aware of your surroundings as well. Refrain from recording in places with unnecessary noises and distractions.  Make sure you and your subject are speaking clear and that the microphone is positioned right.
  • In the studio: Gather all the work you’ve done and finish the final product. Put together your pieces in order, edit sounds and voices, and add any other parts that are needed to complete your story or interview.

The main thing to remember in making a good news story is to plan your work and work your plan. It always pays off to be prepared so that everything can run as smoothly as possible. If you want more help in making a good news story, review the Basics of Audio Reporting for further information.

Google Map: Top 5 Places You Wouldn’t Want To Be Caught Without A Boat

October 27, 2011 1 comment
Categories: Google Map Tags: , , ,

The Social Media Revolution

October 19, 2011 3 comments

Social Media:  “Refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue,” according to Wikipedia. Well I think that Social Media is much more than that. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past several years, Social Media is something that surrounds us all, has evolved into the greatest form of communication and for some, it controls our lives.

After watching Did You Know 3.0 and Social Media Revolution, the information presented seemed overwhelming, so I went back and watched it again. I know that typically a day for me is consumed by Social Media, both on a personal and professional level, but there were some eye-opening statistics that were revealed in these videos. What I found most fascinating were some of the predictions that the “Did You Know 3.0” video made. One that stands out for me is that they predict by the year 2049, “a $1000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species.” Wow, that is simply stunning! Does this mean that computers are to one day take over and rule the world? Well, I don’t know about that, hopefully not in my lifetime. But it makes you wonder how far this revolution of technology can and will go.

I’d also like to point out how Social Media is integrated in our classrooms. I know that Social Media is important for your personal and professional life, but when the “Social Media Revolution” video claimed that kindergartens are teaching on iPads, I was surprised. I can understand why it’s important to have a good grasp on Social Media and technology, especially in the world we live in today, but a kindergartener learning on iPads instead of a chalkboard, really? Where are we going to draw the line folks? Soon enough we’ll get to the point were babies are born, they get their umbilical cord cut and then the doctor hands them an iPad and tells them to start learning. I think by the time kids enter Junior High they can become educated about that sort of thing, but before then is just wrong. That’s the time were kids learn how to be social with one another, like face-to-face, not in front of a screen. I would really hate to see this type of thing grow because I could see kids growing up and being anti-social or socially awkward.

In closing, these two videos made me realize how obsessed people are with technology and social media. I’m someone who appreciates and enjoys it, but at the same time I think there needs to be a balance. What I mean by that is keep it old-school at times, don’t forget how things use to be. Get outside and be active, integrate with the public, and be social with other people by communicating with them in person. Remember the days before computers when you would walk or bike over to a friend’s house and knock on their door to see them, writing letters, and actually using phones to dial and call someone? Don’t let those things slip away. On the other hand, you need to be up to date with social media if you ever want to make it in this world. It’s a fact. It’s just the way it is. Being technologically educated gives you a huge advantage in the professional field, and that’s why our teachers are teaching us about technology. Same thing goes for social media, we are taught about it because it can only help us in our career path as well as our social lifestyles.

Linking: It’s Reader Friendly

October 17, 2011 1 comment

Linking is something that most, if not all websites use. Links are reader friendly because by one click of your mouse you can be sent to another website and find further information of what you’re looking for, as well as different forms of multimedia such as videos or pictures.

3 Different Forms of Linking

There’s 3 types of links that I would like to discuss. Permalinks, main story links and sidebar links. All of them are important but have different functions.

  • Permalinks – Normally a link will take you directly to the top of the page of the web address, but a permalink will take you right to the specific blog post. The link will always direct you to the exact part of the web page that you the user is looking for, and it will never change no matter what is posted on the page, hence the name permalink (it’s permanent!)
  • Main Story Links – This kind of link is often used in a story, report, paper, etc. It’s best used when further information of a certain topic is needed. For instance, if you were to post a blog on the history of the Minnesota Vikings, you would first want to find a credible site, such as or, and then find the exact webpage that has the facts to help your story. Then you would want to link the page directly into the text of your blog by underlining a key word or phrase (no more than 3 to 5 words) and then that would give the reader more information on the topic. The link I used for this (the Minnesota Vikings) is a perfect example of how to properly use a main story link.
  • Sidebar Links– This kind of link is very helpful when additional information that relates to the main story is needed. The term sidebar link is pretty self-explanatory, whereas the links will generally be off to the side. Unlike main story links where the link itself has to be incorporated into the story, sidebar links can be more sufficient in telling what it is. Let’s examine the example of the Minnesota Vikings history blog again. If you wanted to post additional information, like an article about why the Vikings haven’t won a Superbowl, you could use this type of link. A good example of this would be, “Top 10 Reasons Why the Minnesota Vikings Haven’t Won a Superbowl,” and the text would obviously be underlined and colored to inform the reader that it’s a link, and then from there it would take you to your Top 1o List.

In summary you should only use links that you would approve of and that the reader wouldn’t find offensive. Linking to illegal sites is wrong and can tarnish your credibility as a whole, thus ruining your reputation and diminishing your viewers and subscribers. Links should either help support certain topics in your blog or help clarifying and acknowledging something that has importance in your blog.

The Opportunities and Dangers That These Links Provide

Each of the links previously described can be very beneficial to your website or blog. Readers like links because they’re a quick and easy way to explore other information. But you have to be careful when linking because there’s also a negative side to it if links aren’t used properly.

Permalinks are nice because they save you time. If you’re looking for one blog post in particular, the permalink will direct you to the right web address instantly. The reader doesn’t have to go through the hassle of searching the site for the right page. But by using a permalink you’re giving the reader the opportunity to skip right to that page, so he or she is not aware of what else your web site has to offer. So it’s a good idea to also provide the homepage so the reader is encouraged to view the web site as a whole as well.

Main Story Links are helpful because they can give the story an extra boost. You are able to look at the story further when a Main Story Link is used effectively. On the other hand it can be difficult at times to use this type of link. A story should have good informative content that flows well together, and when you want to add a link that clearly states its purpose while not disrupting the overall flow of the story, it can be a challenge. You also want to keep in mind that giving a link in a story informs the reader that what you’re suggesting is important to the context of the story, so you should make sure that were you’re sending the reader is a site that works, has a sense of credibility, has quality information, supports what you’re saying and isn’t bias.

Sidebar Links are great because you have the ability to be much more flexible, meaning you can place your preferred links anywhere on your page and you don’t have to worry about placing and fitting the link somewhere in your story. The title of these links can be much more direct and to the point. This is also good for the reader because at any point he or she can move on to something else that’s relative to the story and then come back when the main story when they want. The link should reveal what information will be presented, and it should “tease” or “sell” to the reader so that they want to click on it. If you fail to word the link properly then that will in most cases hurt the amount of views that the link receives, and ultimately hurt your sites reputation in the long run.

Final Thoughts: Suggestions on Being a Productive Linker

All in all when it comes down to it the best piece of advice I can give is be smart and work hard. I realize it’s easier said than done but you need to put forth the necessary amount of effort if you want you web page or blog to prosper. Do what it takes to find the right links and then place them or word them in ways that make them appealing to the reader. There’s three things that you should always consider when linking. Is it informative? Is the content of what your sharing informative to the reader. If not then you need to re-evaluate what you’re doing. Is it legal? Almost all sites can be linked without any problems, as long as you’re not taking credit or implying that you created the content. And finally, is it ethical? The link should be professional, not bias and it shouldn’t be immoral. Afterall the links, wether or not you agree with them, are a reflection of yourself, so be careful. The last thing you want to do is make yourself or your company look bad. You should also refrain from linking information to your companies competitors, that’s just common sense. If you can digest all this information and put it towards your work then linking can have a positive impact and push you towards a more positive, successful and credible website or blogs.

Categories: Links Tags: , , ,

Auto Dealers are Driven as they see an Increase in Sales and Inventory

October 3, 2011 2 comments

Business Is Good For A New and Expanded Auto Dealership

If you’re looking for a new or used cars for sale, look no further than your local dealership at Luther Honda of Mankato. The auto dealership is experiencing an increase in extra vehicles because it has recently opened a new and expanded location off of Madison Avenue in Mankato.

Sales and Inventory Are Booming at Luther Honda of Mankato

Luther Honda of Mankato has seen it’s inventory double and sales has more than doubled, says Kerry Lindsay, the general manager of the dealership. Since the recession first hit in late 2008, Mankato auto dealers topped the 1,000 mark in auto sales for the first time. This strong bounce back in sale numbers is a good sign for auto dealers. Since many consumers have avoided purchasing a car for the past few years due to the economy, they now want a different vehicle.

You can also sell you car to the dealership if your strapped for cash. They’ve started a program of not only taking trade-ins but also buying used vehicles out right from the public, says Lindsay. This is helpful for those of you who are looking for a cheap car and are trying to get the best deal possible.