Online Features
Easy tips to create the perfect outdoor living room
(BPT) - It's that time of year - time to dust off your patio furniture, fill your planters and set up to spend the spring outdoors. While expanding an outdoor space is a top renovation project for homeowners and renters alike, it does not have to induce a state of pre-spring stress. With a few simple tips, you can create...
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The road to happy: tips to boost happiness on vacation
Do vacations make you more happy or less happy? The answer, according to new research: It depends. In theory, vacations should equal happiness. After all, taking time off work and time away allows us the opportunity to share experiences and memories with our families and friends. It gives us the chance to look at the wor...
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Will your vacation reduce stress or create it? [Infographic]
Have you ever felt worse after your vacation? There may be a reason. Learn how to alleviate stress and generate more happiness on vacation.
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Build a better bath on a budget
(BPT) - Do you cringe every time you step into your bathroom? If so, it may be time to remodel. Bathroom remodels are the most popular remodeling project, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders. But remodeling doesn't have to be a budget buster. You can simply improve what you already h...
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Increasing your resale value is easy when you save smartly
(BPT) - Investing in home improvements is a smart idea when you're thinking of putting your home on the market. So where is the best place to spend your money? While it may be tempting to make cosmetic home improvements including decorating touches or fresh coats of paint, upgrading vital home systems such as heating and...
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Reaching new heights: 4 tips for finding a skilled roofing contractor
(BPT) - Purchasing a new roof is one of the most important - and biggest - investments you can make in your home. That's why it's crucial to have a knowledgeable professional on hand to guide you through each step of the process. In fact, choosing the right contractor is just as important as choosing the right roofing co...
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New moms guide to going back to work
(BPT) - Going back to work for new moms can be challenging. Learning to balance work and family while facing many new stressors can be overwhelming. Jill Smokler, author of the New York Times bestselling book 'Confessions of a Scary Mommy' and 'Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies),' shares tips and tricks ...
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The key to a summer vacation full of amazing surprises: The Texas Gulf Coast
(BPT) - Summer vacation season will be here before you know it, and to ensure yours is full of family-friendly fun, you'll need to move quickly and be creative. You need some out-of-the-box thinking, and a location that's dependably exciting, affordable and amazingly diverse. One word: Texas. The phrase ' Texas vacation ...
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Tips for making the most of your wedding registry
(BPT) - As you busily prepare for your walk down the aisle and make countless decisions regarding every flawless detail, one task on your to-do list will help you see beyond your wedding day and into your future life together - the wedding registry. And though few things could be more enjoyable than a day of shopping wit...
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Wood is good: The must-have material for your spring home spruce-up
(BPT) - Thinking of sprucing up your home for spring? You're not alone; one in three homeowners say they'll take on at least one home improvement project in the first half of 2014, according to a recent survey by Burst Media. And it turns out, freshening your home for spring is a smart investment. Home sales and prices a...
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Beyond cool: How ceiling fans offer energy efficiency, decor and function
(BPT) - Savvy interior designers know that items that are both fashionable and functional are in high demand. One of the best examples of a stylish, hardworking home fixture is also one of the most overlooked: the ceiling fan. In 2014, more homeowners are realizing the potential this classic technology has not only on th...
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From floor to fixtures: Top spring home decor trends add style and personality
(BPT) - Spring is in the air, which means it's time to refresh your indoor spaces to reflect the energy and optimism of the season. The top home decor trends of spring 2014 take a fresh approach to traditional design elements to create an aesthetic that is fresh and full of life. Best yet, the trends are easily accessibl...
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national news

In this photo taken Saturday, May 19, 2012, Pavel Durov, founder of Russia's leading social network site VKontakte, or "in contact", stands in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. Creator of Russia's leading social network Durov left his post as CEO on Tuesday April 22, 2014, and is understood to have left Russia, one week after he posted online what he said were documents from the security services demanding personal details from 39 Ukraine-linked groups on VKontakte. (AP Photo/Roman Kulik)Social media wunderkind quits post after Putin cronies stage ownership takeover.


2014-04-23 14:18:24 -0600

FILE - In this undated file photo provided by Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification, Kelvin Melton is shown. A North Carolina prosecutor was the intended target of an elaborate kidnapping plot, but the kidnappers looked up the wrong address on the Internet and abducted the prosecutor's father instead, according to an indictment released Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Authorities have said the kidnapping was retaliation for Colleen Janssen's prosecution of Melton for his involvement in a 2011 shooting. Melton, a high-ranking member of the Bloods gang, orchestrated the abduction from behind bars using a cellphone, the indictment said. (AP Photo/Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification, File)Part bumbling, part dead serious, the sprawling jailhouse plot to kidnap a North Carolina prosecutor who put a seasoned gang member in prison for life has shaken a US justice system already enduring a slew of deadly attacks. A federal indictment released Tuesday details a complex plot said to be orchestrated by Kelvin “Dizzy” Melton, a North Carolina prison inmate and alleged higher-up in the Bloods street gang, to pay $10,000 to a group of henchmen on the outside to kidnap and kill his defense attorney and the prosecutor who put him in prison for a 2011 murder.  The plot led the group of nine accomplices first on a goose chase in March from Atlanta to New Orleans, and then to the small town of Wake Forest, N.C., where the group on April 5 grabbed Frank Janssen, the father of Wake County prosecutor Colleen Janssen, after stun-gunning him on the threshold of his home. Ms. Janssen, the actual target, was part of the team that put Mr. Melton away last year.


2014-04-23 14:31:59 -0600

This 2013 image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows a multi-beam sonar profile view of the shipwreck of the iron and wood steamship City of Chester. In 1888 on a trip from the San Francisco bay to Eureka, the Chester was split in two by a ship more than twice its size, killing 16 people and becoming the bay's second-worst maritime disaster. Now, more than a century later, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration team has found the shipwreck. The team came upon the wreckage in 217 feet of water just inside the Golden Gate while it was charting shipping channels. (AP Photo/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The first images of the newly discovered wreckage of a steamship that sank in San Francisco Bay in 1888, killing 16 people, were released Wednesday by federal ocean scientists.


2014-04-23 13:59:59 -0600