Category Archives: National News

Renting Your Own Personal Runway

Rent the Runway. The name speaks for itself. Women no loner have to compromise their love of fashion for a fashionable bank account. Names such as Herve Leger, Lilly Pulitzer and Tibi all grace the homepage of RTR…but for the fraction of the cost. The catch?

Courtesy Rent the Runway
Watch How to Use the Runway Here

There is no catch. Women can rent designer dresses starting at $40 for four days.

The newest trend to hit fashion has now grown to epic proportions within only a span of four years. Started by two Harvard grads, the company has continued to out-grow itself, relocating to larger facilities to accommodate all of their employees and merchandise.

Courtesy Rent the Runway

The website offers the hollywood treatment along with the red carpet attire. Personal stylists are employed at RTR that will style you for any event…for FREE. And of course if you are a fashionista yourself there are numerous categories from event type to designer names that make the search easy.

Courtesy People.com

Breaking news yesterday revealed that two large organizations for women are pairing up: Miss America and Rent the Runway.

Come January Miss America Laura Kaeppeler will not only be turning in her crown, but her gown as well.

According to People Magazine, Kaeppeler recently visited the New York headquarters and was outfitted with numerous gowns that have graced the runway; Badgley Mischka and Diane von Furstenberg to name a few. Gowns that typically run anywhere from $650 to $1400 can be rented for $100 to $175.

Courtesy Rent the Runway

And of course not everyone can be Miss America, but Rent the Runway tries to ensure that every woman they outfit feels like royalty. The newest addition to RTR is called “Our Runway” where regular women send in photos of themselves wearing the dresses they rented. All of the photos are categorized so individuals can filter and see what the dress looks on someone similar to your size and height. Completely removing the guesswork…

University of Kentucky has even began to cash in on the deals Rent the Runway has to offer. The Runway College Rep program offers college students numerous opportunities to learn how to incorporate real-life marketing and the fashion world into one. The Bluegrass state is just now catching onto the renting trend, but it is sure to race across horse country quickly.

From Miss America to the Today Show to the homes of average women, it is safe to say that Rent the Runway is reinventing the catwalk.

Will Superstorm Sandy affect the election?

Photo courtesy of NBC News

By Kelly Adams

Hurricane Sandy devastated the eastern coast last week leaving millions without power days before one of the closest elections in history. The question is, will this superstorm help decide our next president?

According to the Washington Post, 1.4 million people in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are still without power. Officials have been working tirelessly for a week to clean flood damage and restore power in time for the election.

Dennis Kobitz, president of the New Jersey Association of Election Officials, said that the biggest challenge for election officials in his state are logistical. This means mass power outages, blocked roads and flooding.

“We would like to keep one to two polling places in each town,” Kobitz told Alison Brennan of CNN because he doesn’t want to force voters to have to travel to cast their vote.

Some voters have been wondering if the election will be postponed. Jennifer Hale, a pharmacy student at the University of Kentucky has family in Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“I wonder if they should just postpone the election until we get all cleaned up. With millions of people still affected, what is more important, knowing the next president right away or getting people the help they need?”

Hale is not alone, many are worried that those in the hardest hit states won’t even show up at the polls.

However, the date of the election won’t be changed. An 1845 law dictates that the presidential election must be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Changing the date nationally would require an act of Congress, which has ever been done.

“There is some flexibility in the date even with the [1845 law] in place,” says Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of Political Science at Emory University. “But just from a practical standpoint, as inconvenient as this is for folks trying to rebuild houses and rescue people who are trapped, it would be a logistical nightmare to try to postpone this election. It’s probably easier to try to bite the bullet and do it now rather than try to delay it.”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is confident the Garden State will be able to cast their votes on Tuesday.

“I’m sure that as Election Day gets closer, we’re going to find ways to make sure that it’s as functional as possible and people are able to vote,” Booker told CNN’s “Starting Point” on Tuesday.

Because New Jersey and New York were already predicted to go to the President, experts don’t believe the storm will have too big of an affect on where those states’ electoral votes will go.

“I don’t know if [the low turnout] will affect the overall election in part because the few Mitt Romney supporters will cancel out the fewer President Obama supporters,” says Gillespie. “Obama will still win New York and New Jersey as he has always been predicted to do.”

Gillespie also says that there might be a difference in the popular vote, especially since the states that have been hit hardest by the storm are expected to vote for Obama, but she doesn’t believe it will affect the outcome.

Red indicates historically Republican voters and blue indicates historically democratic voters. Photo courtesy of HLNtv.com

Another question for voters is whether each candidate’s reaction to the storm will sway any votes. When there is a crisis, it is an opportunity for the president to show leadership, and many believe he did a great job.

According to this NBC News poll, 67 percent of voters approve of president Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy. In the northeast that number goes up to 80 percent.

Another poll conducted by NBC News asked which candidate shows better leadership qualities. In mid-October, 44 percent said Romney while only 40 percent thought the President showed better leadership. After Sandy, the President’s number has gone up to 45 percent.

NBC poll experts believe Sandy has swayed some undecided voters to believe Obama can be a great leader in moments of crisis. Most however, don’t believe the marginal rise in the poll will have much of an affect on the outcome.

Election Armageddon: Repeat of Bush v. Gore?

The nation heads out to vote on Tuesday for their choice of President, the winner may not be known for a while after Election Day is over.

With such a tie race, according to polls, a tie in the Electoral College could prove to provide the nation with a delay on figuring out who the next President will be.

In a few circumstances, both President Barack Obama and his challenger Republican Mitt Romney, could end up with 269 Electoral votes each, meaning the vote would come down to Congress to select the next President and Vice President of America.

One possible way that both President Obama and Romney could tie with 269 Electoral votes. Click the photo to go a WSJ interactive map and play with the states Electoral votes.

Stephen Voss, Associate Professor of Political Science at UK, said a tie in the Electoral College is the same as no candidate receiving a majority, like in early days of America.

“Once they all fail to (get a majority), then the top three vote getters have to take it into Congress, to settle the competition,” Voss said.

Though is it similar to that of the election of 1824, when John Quincy Adams beat out Andrew Jackson, thanks to Kentucky native Henry Clay, who had his supports back Adams, giving him enough votes to win, it could be more interesting than that election, said Voss.

“One thing that makes a 269-269 tie more interesting, perhaps, … is that it’s hard for people to recognize a sort of expected winner, the way, say, they recognized Andrew Jackson had the most popular vote, when he lost his first Presidential race,” Voss said. “In that case they would both have equal claim to legitimacy of taking the seat.”

“I think the Constitutional crisis would be more severe if we see as 269 to 269 split, because whatever side ultimately loses in the struggle will feel all the more cheated,” he said. “I expect, if you have a slice in this country, that had 269 Electoral votes and was denied (the Presidency), not by court case, but just by that narrow, narrow margin, there would be incentive for people to mobilize.”

The Constitution, in the 12th Amendment, states how the President will be chosen, if no candidate has a  majority of Electoral votes.

“If no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.”

When the votes are read before a joint session of Congress, generally on Jan. 6, when the new Congress has been installed, according to the Constitution, if the tie occurs, the vote by the House of Representatives will “choose immediately, by ballot, the President.”

The Vice President, however, is chosen by the Senate, in a similar manner as the President. Because of this, and how Congress is currently split between parties, America could end up with a Romney-Biden administration for the next four years.

Control of the House and Senate are not expected to change hands to the opposing party during the elections, meaning 33 of the 50 state delegations in the House are majority Republican and there is a majority of Democrats in Senate seats.

“The votes could go along party lines; you sort of expect they would,” Voss said. “That would mean that there was someone of the other party waiting in the wings.”

An option for what would happen with the House and Senate votes, based on their layout of parties in each Chamber, resulting in a split Presidency, which hasn’t happened since 1824 election.

Voss, however, thinks with such a small amount of people determining the election, 435 in the House and 100 in the Senate, that a compromise could be reached on who is elected Vice President.

“You could imagine, let’s say, Romney wins the 269-269 tie breaker in the House,” he said. “You could imagine an attempt among a group of Democrats to team up with Republicans to come up with a compromise Republican. Not Paul Ryan, but still somebody who would be from the Republican party that the Democrats would find more acceptable.”

Voss said the country would be in uncharted territory if a tie occurred, meaning things would be made up as they went along, as long as they followed the Constitution.

Other news outlets, like Yahoo!, have had stories about this since late October, when the race began to tighten.

Polls close at 6 p.m.  and the results will start to trickle in shortly afterward, with a country eagerly awaiting one candidate to reach the 270 threshold to win the White House.

Another possible way both candidates could end in a 269 tie on Election Day. Click on the photo to be taken CNN’s interactive election map.

UK student/small business owner represents minority by supporting Obama

Biology Major, UK Senior and small business owner, Ratul Ahmed.

This year the economy has been a hot topic for the election, more so than any other presidential election with the exception of 1932 in the midst of the Great depression that ruined the image and promises of incumbent President Herbert Hoover.

Jobs and businesses join the cloud, tracked by media, of the most commonly used words in the presidential debates.

Courtesy of Heritage.org

It’s not exactly news that small business owners tend to lean Romney  but the pro-Obama small business owner isn’t such an extinct species as most would have you think.

Senior UK student, Ratul Ahmed has more business experience than most others his age studying it as a career. His family has been buying, renovating, running, and selling hotels since he can remember.

“Growing up it was a very hands on experience and that’s why I saw how the business world works, how guest interactions operate, how customer service operates, how you handle a large entity, how you handle employees and everything—I saw that very early on,” said Ahmed.

For the past few months, he’s had the controlling interest of a Quality Inn in Cave City, Kentucky. The majority of his revenue comes from tourists visiting Mammoth Cave. Managing nine employees and making $10,000-15,000 on the most optimal month, he considers himself the average small business owner. Although he may be younger than most owners, he stresses that he still has all the typical responsibilities.

“It’s as much as you would imagine, I have to obviously do all the management in terms of hiring employees, front desk, house keeping, maintenance. You have to make sure you do all the customer service in dealing with guests, you know dealing with complaints dealing with any issues with rooms, you deal with the franchise because it is a franchise so you make sure your payments are on time and dealing with your superiors in the region.”

Business is not exactly going up for Ahmed. The economic hardships happening across the U.S reflect in his profits.

“Small businesses don’t make heavy income as much as it is—they are able to operate. It can more or less be self sufficient but that’s with a ton of work put into it.”

When asked why would he put that much energy into a business that doesn’t generate much profits, Ahmed says that it’s not the direct profits from customers that serves as the gold pot.

“If you are thinking of profits and losses, it’s not running the property that makes you a profit, it’s owning it.  People make money by buying and selling properties kind of like turning houses—I do it because I enjoy it, I enjoy business, I enjoy every aspect of guest interaction—customer interaction.”

Ahmed’s business makes up part of the larger 30 million small enterprises in the U.S. Politics plays a huge role in how he can run his business. Policies that would help businesses wouldn’t necessarily be the best news for a small business owner. Ahmed recognizes that he’s part of the minority in leaning Obama as a small business owner but says that not everyone understands the consequences of the candidates’ policies.

“Yeah there are some aspects to Obama’s policy that the struggling small business owner wouldn’t be a fan of, for example, in terms of providing benefits to employees which I’m a fan of but at the same time you’re not always able, some months you don’t have the income or the capital to do that. But as a small business owner, at the same time over the last four years, I think Obama has passed something like 18 tax cuts bills for small business owners so that’s really helped out in terms of our tax returns.”

Ahmed says there is a disconnect between public perception and reality when it comes to the definition of a small business owner.

“If you are a large business owner, if you’re in corporate then you heavily lean toward Romney because of his policy, just because of conservative policy but as a small business owner, Obama’s been more or less fantastic—for me personally—in terms of how I interact with the federal government.”

Ahmed also agrees with the Obama administration principle of taxing by the income class.

“I stick to my principles that if you’re blessed enough to make a certain income, you have a certain obligation to others and I’m not saying that the government should force you to give charity but at the same time I don’t think that it’s fair that if—let’s say I made a million dollars a year, I would be okay with paying more taxes than the person that made 50-60 thousand dollars a year and was struggling or even less, you can get by with 50-60.”

Obama’s tax bracket policy has issued fury across the GOP. Many small business owners have reacted with fear and anger, stating that the higher tax rate would stop growth within the company to keep their income level to under the $250,000 bracket. Ahmed says that he understands the policy.

“ I think it’s fair. I think it makes sense that If I was extremely wealthy then I should give back more to my country financially then someone who isn’t as blessed as I was.”

Ahmed admits that he isn’t just a straight Obama supporter. As policies come into effect increasing employee benefits, he struggles more and more but he said that doesn’t stop his personal beliefs.

“It’s a tough compromise to make in terms of what’s good for your business and then what my personal principles are. But, overall though, the pros outweigh the cons for the Obama administration toward small business because he has been very friendly to small business and I appreciate that.”

Ahmed stresses that he doesn’t hate Romney but he has much more to think about than just the business aspect when picking a president.

“Personally as a progressive, Romney is actually the better of the Republican candidates. [However] I’m a fan of universal healthcare, my family—we don’t make enough money to afford healthcare so the ACA is a fantastic bill for us. What Obama did for Medicaid gave my brother and sister health insurance again. We normally have to pay out of pocket whenever we take hospital visits which you can imagine we don’t take our regular yearly check-ups or yearly dental check-ups say every six months or something because we can’t afford it. But under the Republican platform we wouldn’t have that. I know a lot of my policies are dependent on what’s greater for the country but I also have to think about what’s good for me and my family personally. The democratic platform, although I disagree with a lot of the stances, I support healthcare, I support women’s rights.”

Ahmed says that the main reason why he just does not lean for Romney is because he doesn’t think his plan will work.

“I’ve looked at his budget, his method to balance the budget and I also looked at Paul Ryan’s budget plan that he proposed about a year or two ago and both of those basically spends money but doesn’t plan to make up for it in any way. And so that doesn’t make sense to me and so I feel like that money will probably come from the people a.k.a taxes a.k.a the middle class, the lower class because they haven’t said they will not repeal those tax credits that the middle class has right now, if you make less than $250,000 so I imagine that’s what’s gonna happen. And under the Romney presidency I don’t want that because I’m already trying to count every dollar and penny as it is, I can’t afford to have even a few hundred dollars ripped out from under income because it’s hard for business right now.”

Ahmed thinks there is still room for improvement and that the economy isn’t recovering fast enough for him to possibly keep his business afloat.

“Left and right, friends of mine, colleagues of mine, are declaring bankruptcy—it’s ridiculous. It’s still hard for every business owner because we are still recovering and so we don’t get impacted until the larger community becomes impacted. I don’t know what’s going to happen to my property in this coming winter.  Tourism is dead right now; no one is traveling because no one has the money to travel right now. And so, I don’t know if I’m going to have the business within a year. I might have to sell it, I might have to—if I can sell it, which it’s awful trying to sell things right now because it’s a buyer’s market but no one’s buying. That’s a problem, I might have to declare bankruptcy or just absolve the property and give it back to the bank.”

The economy is most definitely the biggest theme to this election. Both candidates have targeted the average Joe as well as the small business owner. Americans can’t tell if they are still in a recession or if fingers can be placed on the current administration. With Tuesday’s upcoming election, we’ll be able to tell by the numbers just how split the citizens are from their definition of progress.

Click here to find out if we’re still in a recession or not.

Click here to find a comparison between Obama and Romney’s healthcare plans.

Click here for small business tax myths.

Finally, be sure to listen to the full interview with Ratul Ahmed.

Prescription drug summit with Kentucky leaders draws to a close

Top health leaders from Kentucky have been meeting in Florida this week with the goal of ending prescription drug abuse and trafficking. The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, which comes to a close today in Orlando, was organized by the Eastern Kentucky anti-drug group Operation UNITE. The group discussed possible policies that could help end prescription drug abuse.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has said the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem is prescription drug abuse, with Kentucky being “ground zero”. Prescription drug abuse kills more Kentuckians than car wrecks.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was one of the lawmakers present, saying that “reducing the prevalence and impact of this problem requires a national response in which states work together with the federal government to create consistent laws and approaches.”

 

 

 

Hansen to run in Bluegrass Stakes

Keeneland is in it’s second week of the spring meet and it looks like derby fever is springing up here in Lexington. Hansen, the favorite for the May 5th race at Churchill Downs, is running his last prep race in Saturday’s Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland.

The colt is considered a gray by breeder’s standards, but his color has gotten brighter with age. The Kentucky bred and born Hansen has a record five starts, with four wins and one place.

In all, 23 horses – four at the Kentucky Association track and 19 at Keeneland – have used the Blue Grass as a path to victory in the Kentucky Derby, most recently champion Street Sense in 2007.

Hansen is the #1 ranked horse going into the Kentucky Derby.

March Madness taking over the workplace

March Madness is officially underway, and with so many ways to keep up with the action online, employers are having a hard time making sure basketball doesn’t take over the workplace.

Social media is making it easier than ever before to trash talk and cheer on teams.

1 in 5 employees surveyed by Career Builder said they’ll spend more than an hour of their workday checking scores.

With so many digital devices in employees’ hands, workers don’t need the company computer to stay in the loop. So rather than fight technology, a few employers are using March Madness as an opportunity to boost workplace morale, even encouraging office pools.

Make sure to check your company’s policy before cheering your way to the Final Four, even if it’s on your own smartphone.