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200,000 reasons to dial before you dig

200,000 reasons to dial before you dig

It was recently National Safe Digging Month in the United States, when owners of underground infrastructure and others back events around the nation to raise awareness of the national Dial-Before-You-Dig service, which is available to anyone in the US by dialling 811. In other initiatives, Atmos Energy Corporation, which distributes natural gas in Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, launched a “Yard Rescue 811” contest. Residents of its service areas were invited to submit a photo of their yard – which could be a home, church, school or business – and ask friends and family to vote for it on the Atmos Energy Facebook page. The photos garnering the most votes in each state that Atmos Energy serves will win a $2000 prize. Marathon Pipeline, which operates oil pipelines across large swathes of the US, sponsored a poster contest for children. They have been invited to create a poster to raise awareness of the 811 service. The best poster will win a $50 prize. Marathon has also, since 2013, produced three humorous videos that feature an exchange between actor John Ratzenberger and his neighbour ‘Joe’. “While undertaking a do-it-yourself project, Joe finds out the hard way that ‘safe digging always starts with a free call to 811’.” WhaTech Channel: Infrastructure Protection News Submitted by Stern...

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Guest Judging on Hell’s Kitchen

Guest Judging on Hell’s Kitchen

On a recent April episode of Hell’s Kitchen, the teams get creative when they pair spirits with food for special guest John Ratzenberger; and later, the 11 remaining contestants compete to avoid elimination during a gastropub dinner service. As published by Kristine Francis: “Tonight’s guest host was the lovable actor John Ratzenberger. See, John was on the long running hit show “Cheers” and one of the reasons Ramsay brought in him for his expertise was because he needed someone that knew their alcohol. The challenge required the Red and Blue teams to individually cook a dish with at least one form of alcohol. They could either choose beer, wine, liquor. But like always their dishes had to be both appetizing and inventive. So that’s where John came in. John and maître d’ Marino helped each contestants pick out the best complimentary alcohol. Though, tonight, there was surprise awaiting everyone that no one could have predicted even on their best day. Because later during the judging, Megan messed...

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John Ratzenberger Filming Shifting Gears in North Carolina

John Ratzenberger Filming Shifting Gears in North Carolina

Written by Owen Covington, Reporter – Triad Business Journal Click here to read the full article online >> A star from his days as Cliff Clavin in the TV hit “Cheers,” and later as the voice of Hamm the Piggy Bank in the “Toy Story” trilogy, John Ratzenberger is used to everyone knowing his name no matter where he goes. “I go to strange places I’ve never been before, and somebody walks up and all of a sudden you’ve got an instant friend,” Ratzenberger told the Winston-Salem Journal during an interview Thursday. Ratzenberger, 68, has been in the area for the filming of the film “Shifting Gears,” directed by Jason Winn and also starring R. Keith Harris. He visited the Journal Thursday to provide national commentary for Fox Business Network and took time to talk with a reporter with the newspaper while there. The movie, which has been in production since mid-March, tells the story of a man who tries to reconnect with his family by taking over his late father’s business — an old service station in rural North Carolina — and also gets involved in his father’s side business of dirt track racing. Ratzenberger plays Conrad Baines, a rich local who plans to buy the property and tear down the garage so he can build a retail superstore. He told the Journal he’s enjoyed his time in the Triad, and named among his favorite restaurants in the area Mary’s Gourmet Diner and Sweet Potatoes in Winston-Salem, Undercurrent Restaurant in Greensboro and Phil’s Bar-B-Que Pit in...

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Birthday Trivia for John Ratzenberger

Birthday Trivia for John Ratzenberger

John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff on “Cheers,” turned 68 on April 6. Here’s some trivia about him: Born in Bridgeport. His mother worked for Remington Arms and his father drove a Texaco truck. Attended St. Ann’s School in Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. He worked as a tractor operator at the original Woodstock festival in 1969. Moved to London in 1971 and started his career in the performing arts. Played Rebel Force Major Derlin in 1980’s “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back” and 1st controller in 1978’s “Superman.” As published on Rep-Am.com...

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Let’s Bring Back Shop Class to Educate and Inspire

Let’s Bring Back Shop Class to Educate and Inspire

Written by Orion Jones on BigThink.com >> Click here to read the full article online. Millennials are the first American generation who have not been taught how to use tools — wrenches, screws, saws, etc. — and that could have a negative effect on the country’s trade industries. Skilled labor is in increasingly high demand as manufacturing jobs trickle back into the country, but as shop class has steadily disappearedfrom the high school curriculum, there are not always enough skilled laborers to fill the positions, according to the Foundation for America, a nonprofit that invests in creating a skilled labor force. The foundation is run by John Ratzenberger, an actor who has done many voiceovers for Pixar, including Hamm in the Toy Story series. He began his career as Cliff Clavin, the affable postman on the television show Cheers. To demonstrate his commitment to teaching tool use, and the joys of working with one’s hands, Ratzenberger has donated $1 million to the state of Georgia to begin the National Education Initiative. Ratzenberger said in a recent interview that teaching tool skills is about making young people more well-rounded individuals: “It makes you a more well-rounded human being, more capable and self-reliant if you can fix your own screen door. … There are a lot of jobs in manufacturing right now, a lot of jobs in construction, and there’s nobody to fill them because we neglected to teach our children how to use tools and we’ve denigrated the image of...

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“Inside Out” to Premiere in June 2015

“Inside Out” to Premiere in June 2015

“Inside Out” is an upcoming American animated fantasy-comedy film, which follows a girl named Riley and the characterization of five human emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. The emotions live in the control center in Riley’s brain and they help her by giving advice in everyday life. Adjustments must be done since Riley’s family moved to a new home in San Francisco as her father starts a new job. The film voice cast stars Amy Poehler as Joy, hyllis Smith as sadness, Bill Hader as fear, Lewis Black as Anger, and Mindy Kaling as Disgust. Kaitlyn Dias stars as Riley Anderson, Diane Lane as Riley’s Mom, Kyle MacLachlan as Riley’s Dad, and Richard Kind as Bing Bong. John Ratzenberger has an unrevealed role. The film is produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. It will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios and Motion Pictures. Meet the little voices in “Inside Out”, which is slated to premiere in the theaters and cinemas in the United States on June 19,...

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John Ratzenberger Donates $1 Million To Bring Shop Classes To Schools

John Ratzenberger Donates $1 Million To Bring Shop Classes To Schools

Actor John Ratzenberger is donating one million dollars from his foundation to bring back “shop” classes into schools to teach students how to work with their hands and learn a trade. The initiative is designed to help young people learn to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. Ratzenberger stated that, “tradespeople should be given the same amount of respect as doctors or scholars.” He promotes the German model: “Whether you take shop classes or go into academics, you’re given the same amount of dignity and respect. Whether you’re a brain surgeon or a plumber doesn’t make any difference. And that’s crucial,” said Ratzenberger. Mr. Ratzenberger said that it is important for people to learn a skill “that nobody can take away from you.” This empowers a person to earn a living anywhere on the planet. The actor’s non-profit organization, Foundation For America, believes that economic freedom and innovation is possible by investing in America’s people by providing educational resources. The Foundation for America is dedicated to educating the public and policymakers on the growing decline of skilled labor in the United States. Ratzenberger also informs the public about the crisis of American manufacturing’s lack of skilled workers to replace retiring baby boomers through the Center for America, also a nonprofit organization that brings people face-to-face with issues that affect the future quality of life, economic prosperity and freedom in...

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Initiative aims to rebuild image of manufacturing

Initiative aims to rebuild image of manufacturing

Initiative aims to rebuild image of manufacturing Announcement coming Wednesday for project that will launch in Georgia schools By Kristen Oliver, Gainsville Times All of Georgia’s 932 public middle and high schools will soon be the first schools to join a national initiative encouraging careers in manufacturing. Gov. Nathan Deal and celebrity, actor and entrepreneur John Ratzenberger will announce Wednesday the statewide implementation of the National Educational Initiative, designed to redefine the image associated with jobs in manufacturing and to reinforce the importance of the field. Ratzenberger is best known for his role on the television show “Cheers,” but more recently for producing and hosting the television show “Made in America,” which highlights American careers in manufacturing. The Georgia Department of Education and Board of Education both endorsed the initiative and its use of science, technology, engineering and math content. Wanda Creel, Gainesville City Schools superintendent, said the Gainesville school district already encourages students in the STEM fields and offers opportunities for students in manufacturing, including courses in construction, carpentry and masonry. “We have a person at the district level that is dedicated to helping us pursue not only STEM, but STEAM, which is science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics,” Creel said. “And many of our schools have an emphasis on STEM. For example, Gainesville Exploration Academy has a STEM lab.” The district is also putting an emphasis on professional learning opportunities for teachers to help them incorporate these fields in the classroom. Will Schofield, Hall County School District superintendent, said the county schools have helped students to numerous internships in manufacturing. The district has STEM charter and magnet schools starting at the elementary level and programs through the high school level. It offers International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses in the fields and has additional opportunities for students including robotics and engineering clubs. “The best thing you can do to support STEM careers is to offer the most rigorous academic coursework in those areas available to children, and we certainly feel like we’ve done that,” Schofield said. “… Certainly what the governor is saying is very consistent with what we’ve tried to do with our children here locally.” The National Educational Initiative is launching for the first time in Georgia, but may eventually be implemented in all 50 states. The launch in Georgia will reach more than 500,000 students annually. “One of the most critical issues confronting Georgia manufacturers today is the shallow pool of work-ready talent interested in and capable of embarking on well-paying careers in manufacturing,” said Roy Bowen, president of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, in a press release Monday. “Achieving success with this endeavor is absolutely essential to ensuring the long term viability of Georgia’s manufacturers and for Georgia to maintain its distinction as the No. 1 state in the U.S. for...

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Hollywood report: Disney has many big movies planned in 2015

Hollywood report: Disney has many big movies planned in 2015

This news was published by Tony Rizzo on the Fontana Herald News. Click here to read the full article online. HOLLYWOOD — Disney, long the undisputed leader in creating animated films such as “Cinderella,” “Frozen” and “Peter Pan,” and turning them into franchises (Tinker Bell has had six movies without Peter Pan), now is cornering the super-hero and “Star Wars” market. Last year, “Guardians of the Galaxy” grossed $772 million, “Captain America: Winter Soldier” grossed $714 million and “Maleficent” (spun off of “Snow White”) grossed $758 million at the box office alone. Disney is headed for more of the same in 2015: In June, the animated “Inside Out” comes from Pixar, with the voices of Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLaughlan and “Cheers” vet John...

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Superbowl 1997: John Ratzenberger’s Voice

Superbowl 1997: John Ratzenberger’s Voice

In 1997, the #2 Superbowl ad (as rated by the USA Today Ad Meter) was Nissan: Pigeons Fly Over Nissan. Check out the video below and see if you can find John’s voice as a pigeon! As reported on USA Today: There are a bunch of talking pigeons attempting to, well, mess up a Nissan. Also, John Ratzenberger voices one of the pigeons. This spot finished third in the Ad Meter and was the last time a Nissan spot appeared in the Super Bowl – until this year. The car maker will had a 60-second commercial in Super Bowl...

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