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Friday, April 20, 2012

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

April 30, 2001 Archives
 ---eLeasing software
   Classified Ads---Sales
 24th Annual ELFA National Funding Conference
  ---Reported by Bruce Kropschot, The Alta Group
   New Hires---Promotions
    Classified Ads---Help Wanted
  Leasing Conferences 2012---Update
   TCF Has $282.9 Million Loss 1st Quarter
    Key 1st Quarter Up, but Leasing Not
     TimePayment/Microfinancial $2 MM Net 1st Quarter
      Top Ten Beaches in the United States
  Financial Service Internet Attacks Up
    United Capital $1.9MM Multi-Unit Jimmy John’s®
      Border Terrier/Retriever Mix
      ---West Chicago, Illinois Adopt a Dog
         Titanic 3D/Bully
      Mission Impossible/Shame/The Organizer
       Fernando Croce Movie/DVD reviews
New Briefs---
 Operating profit surges as Bank of America slims down
  Sandy Spring Bancorp 1st Quarter Profit $8.5 Million
   Homeowners jump to refinance at low rates
    Microsoft beats forecasts on revenue and profit
     'American Idol' recap: Colton Dixon get boot one

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (collection)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months

The Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
    ---Learn Which Risk Factors You Can Control
     SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
      Sports Briefs---
       Spring Poem
        California Nuts Briefs---
         "Gimme that Wine"
           This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release” and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer. It is considered “bias” as it is the writer’s viewpoint.




April 30, 2001 Archives
eLeasing software

Top eLeasing software companies, as ranked by employees. (Leasing News was in text format)

Rank Company Name Year Founded CEO Employees Number Clients (Users) (Or Units Sold) Major Clients

1 Capital Stream 1995 Stephen Campbell 130 360 Customers/ 40 Customer Subscribers: Bank of America, Siemens Financial Services, Textron Financial
2 Funder Online Corp. 1995 Peter Hyne 60 4500 Clients/Users Major Canadian Banks
3 eFinance Corp 1999 Reid Rutherford 40 10+ Users NEC, Costco, eScout, Navidec
4 1998 Susan S. Franklin 20 25+ Clients N/R
5 2000 Kevin Riegelsberger 15 N/R N/R
6 1988 Bob Rodi 11 1200+ installed users Subway Sandwiches, Quiznos Corp, Mail
Boxes Etc.
7 Summit National Inc. 1977 Ken Duffy N/R N/R
9 Cyberlease
13 Emerson Financial Services
14 Free Decision
15 iLease
16 Isis Systems
17 Lease Point
18 Leasepricing
19 Nova Metric
21 Seismiq
26 Ven Serve

Only seven of the 26 software leasing companies that Leasing News Josh Boucher contacted by telephone and by e-mail responded to our poll. The largest and most successful is Capital Stream. One of the first with an internet program, perhaps even the first, Summit with Millennium did respond.

(Note: most of these companies are no longer around. editor)




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Classified Ads---Sales

(These ads are “free” to those seeking employment or looking
to improve their position)

Aggressive, competitive self-starter with vendor/direct equipment 
leasing and asset-based lending experience. Success in business banking sales and financial planning. 
Email: | Resume

Garfield, NJ
15 years experience small to large ticket sales exp. All types of equipment industries. Vendor & direct. Self motivated. Work with leasing company or broker.
Tony Lio
Montgomery, AL
Individual with 10 years advertising sales exp. & 7 years insurance sales exp. Wants independent contractor situation in Alabama.
Work with leasing company or broker. 334-590-5133

Orange County, CA 
20+ yrs. leasing sales/sales mgmt
Established remote office w/Lessee/Vendor following
Request Salary + commission or partnership w/direct funding source.

Pittsburgh , PA 
Aggressive self starter looking for leasing position w/10 plus yrs sales exp., plus banking experience 814-227-4592

San Francisco Bay Area:
15 year Vendor Program Agreement HUNTER. Currently employed at major IT manufacturer captive supporting direct and channel sales. Must have base, commission and benefit package.

15 year lease vet looking for plact to take business.great references. all major equipment types. open to compensation. please contact if interested.

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


24th Annual ELFA National Funding Conference
Reported by Bruce Kropschot, The Alta Group

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association held its 24th Annual National Funding Conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago from April 17 – 19, 2012. Attendance was an excellent 463 as compared to 419 in 2011, and the turnout was the largest in recent years.

Reflecting the increasing funding availability, the number of funding source exhibitors grew to 38 this year, and there were also 4 service provider exhibitors. As usual, funding sources had booths in the exhibit hall, and attendees pre-scheduled 20 minute meetings with them. Some funding sources opted to hold their meetings in their hotel suites.

The conference began with a two-hour opening reception Tuesday night that was very well attended. These open-bar receptions always provide plenty of networking opportunities. The appointments with funding sources occurred throughout the day on Wednesday and in the morning on Thursday. Most funding sources had full schedules on Wednesday, but attendance was light on Thursday morning. Judging by the reduced attendance at the Wednesday night reception, many attendees apparently left Chicago on Wednesday night.

Several funding sources remarked that the ELFA Funding Conference is not only an opportunity to meet potential new customers but is also important in keeping in contact with existing customers. A number of attendees who were seeking new funding relationships reported that they were pleased with the results of their meetings with funding sources. The mood of the event was quite positive in contrast to some previous funding conferences, and many funding sources are obviously anxious to do more lending.

A highlight of the conference was the Wednesday luncheon, which was moderated by Scott Kiley, Chairman of the ELFA Funding Committee which, along with ELFA staff, was responsible for arranging this successful conference. ELFA President and CEO William G. (“Woody”) Sutton made a presentation on the status of the association. He reviewed the association’s 2011 financial statements (which showed a surplus for the year) and gave an update on ELFA’s advocacy activities. ELFA Chairman Crit DeMent presented statistics supporting the improved state of the industry and discussed market conditions as described in the 2012 Industry Future Council report. According to new statistics prepared for ELFA, equipment financing volume increased to $628 billion in 2011 and is forecast to reach $654 billion in 2012.

The luncheon keynote speaker Ron Elving, Senior Washington editor for National Public Radio, was introduced by William Phelan, President of luncheon sponsor PayNet. Mr. Elving gave a very interesting presentation entitled “2012 Politics: Once More at the Crossroads,” in which he discussed the political climate, the issues, presidential candidates and the dramatic increase in campaign money in this year’s presidential election. He ended with his conclusion as to the presidential election outcome: the winner will be determined by the trend of the economy between now and November.

Recognizing that many bank leasing companies and independent leasing companies would be represented at the Funding Conference, ELFA scheduled half day meetings Tuesday afternoon to appeal to these ELFA members. The Bank Best Practices Roundtable attracted 30 attendees and was moderated by former ELFA Chairman Jim Renner, and the Independent Equipment Finance Summit was attended by 18 members and was moderated by former ELFA Chairman Joe Lane.

In summary, the 2012 ELFA National Funding Conference was very successful and provided value both to the funding source exhibitors and to the leasing companies seeking funding. For those of you who would like to plan attend, the 25th Annual National Funding Conference will be held in the same Chicago location from April 9 – 11, 2013.

Bruce Kropschot, Senior Managing Director and Merger & Acquisition Advisory Practice Leader
The Alta Group, LLC
2352 Clearwater Run
The Villages, FL 32162
(352) 750-3588


New Hires---Promotions

Tracie Byron appointed Communications/Marketing Strategist for Axis41. Previously she was director of marketing and communications, Marquette Equipment Finance (March, 2010-October, 2011), director of business development and marketing, Agenois Group (March, 2009-May, 2010), account executive Blakeslee Advertising/Marketing/PR (March, 2008-March--2009), Account Coordinator, Blakeslee (December, 2006-March, 2008) Michigan State University.

Nicholas Careno is now an account manager at Kforce, Inc.," a permanent placement Finance/Accounting Recruiter with Kforce, Inc. focusing primarily on the greater Boston area and New England regions. If you're looking for either new talent for your organization or you're exploring new finance/accounting opportunities, please feel free to reach out to me regarding your career and organizational needs: Direct Line: 781-359-1743." Previously he was a senior account executive, Harbour Capital Corporation (December, 2006-March, 2012).Southern New Hampshire University Bachelor's degree, Psychology/Business (1999 – 2003), Dover High School 1994 – 1998.

Patricia Clifford has jointed the Equipment Finance group of Huntington Equipment Finance, Columbus, Ohio, as head of Syndication, Structuring and Pricing. Previously she was vice-president, third party origination, First Financial Corporate Services (December, 2008-2012), svp, JP Morgan Chase & Co. (1997-2007), manager, capital markets, Pitney Bowes Capital service (1995-1997)

Bob Kassebaum appointed Senior Vice President and National Strategic Alliance Director for TAB Bank, Ogden, Utah. "Bob Kassebaum (904-687-1227, will be based in Palm Coast, FL and will be responsible for sourcing new business opportunities by providing asset-based and factoring working capital facilities to commercial entities with annual revenues." Previously he was SVP, Marquette Commercial Finance (March, 2006-March, 2012), vp manager referral financial group, Merrill Lynch (1998-2006), SVP Group Manager Small Business Finance; SVP, Group Credit Officer Current Asset Management Group Heller Financial (July 1974 – March 1998).Queens College B.A. Accounting.

Linda L. Walker was appointed Vice President, Healthcare Financial Services at TD Bank Group, West Palm Beach, Florida Area. Previously she was Sr. VP, Presidential Healthcare Credit (May, 2006-December, 2011), vice-president, commercial banking, SunTrust Bank (December, 2004-May, 2006), vp, business development, GE Healthcare (June, 1999-October, 2004), vp, healthcare business development, Heller Financial (June, 1999-November, 2001), vp, healthcare business development, Capital Factors (1993-1999).State University of New York at Buffalo - School of Management MBA, Finance and Marketing.





Leasing Association 2012 Conferences



April 23-25
National Vehicle Leasing Association
Annual Conference
Worthington Renaissance Hotel
200 Main Street
Fort Worth, Texas

Full 2012 Conference Information



April 26-28, 2012
Denver Sheraton Downtown Hotel
Denver, Colorado

6th Annual Women in Leasing Luncheon
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Please contact Melissa Smith
at for more information.
(Members of Women in Leasing LinkedIn Group are invited to attend.
Women who attend are not required to be a member of an association to attend
nor do they have to be a registered attendee at the conference.)

NAELB Announces the Exhibit Hall

is SOLD Out with 37 Exhibitors:

360 Equipment Finance
Allegiant Partners, Inc.
Amerisource Funding, Inc.
Axis Capital, Inc.
Bankers Capital
Baystone Financial Group
Belvedere Equipment Finance
Blackstone Equipment Leasing, L.P.
Blue Bridge Financial, LLC
Bryn Mawr Funding
BSB Leasing, Inc.
Channel Partners, LLC
CLP Foundation
Commerce National Bank
Dakota Financial, LLC
Diversified Lenders, Inc.
Financial Pacific Leasing, LLC
First Federal Leasing
Harbor Capital Leasing, LLC
Maxim Commercial Capital, LLC
Merchant Cash and Capital
MicroBilt Corporation
NAELB Benefits Booth
On Deck Capital
Pawnee Leasing Corporation
Preferred Business Solutions
Quail Capital
Quiktrak, Inc.
RLC Funding a Division of Navitas Lease Corp.
Stalwart Contract Finance, LLC
Summit Leasing, Inc.
TEAM Funding Solutions
Tetra Financial Group
TimePayment Corporation
United States Capital Corporation
Varilease Finance, Inc.

Conference Brochure:
Conference brochure


Registration with fees:


AGLF/ELFA Public Sector Finance Forum
May 9 - May 11
Doubletree Magnificent Mile
Chicago, Illinois


September 7
Eastern Regional Meeting
Westin Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel


September 13—15
Funding Symposium
Rennaisance Washington, DC Dupont Circle Hotel
1143 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037-1522


October 21-23
ELFA 51st Annual Convention
JW Marriott Desert Springs

Palm Desert, California



November 7 - 9, 2012

32nd Annual Fall Conference
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
La Jolla, California

November 9-10
Western Regional Meeting
Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport Hotel
Irvine, California


November 14-16
67th Commercial Finance Conference
JW Marriott Hotel
Phoenix, Arizona


To view Leasing Association Events-Meetings Open to All, please click here.




Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Advance Restaurant Finance

Looking for sales reps to call on small to medium
sized retail merchants nationwide.
Experience preferred in this industry, but open
to ambitious "make sales" self-motivators.
Base salary, commissions,full benefits available.
Email with resume to:

* Fast Approvals
* No Need to Change Credit Card Processors

"When bank financing is unavailable, we are your best alternative for an unsecured working capital loan up to $1,000,000 per location."


Credit and Syndication Manager
Carlsbad, California

Analysis of credits and Syndication to funding partners or
for booking into our in-house portfolio.
Experience with Vision and a plus.
Please click here for more information.
Established in 1986, ILS specializes in small-mid ticket equipment financing and working capital. Our Vendor-centric approach values long term relationships with our Lessee, Vendor
and Funding partners.

Leasing Sales Representative
Long Island, NY

Hiring experienced or new to business sales reps. Transactions in all states / all industries. Send resume to: or fax 631-414-7571.

About the Company: Sterling Capital Leasing, LLC is a national small ticket/middle market leasing company

Inside Sales Manager Irvine, California

First Year Expect $125k with base salary & commission
to direct small ticket sales team.
Click here for more information.

GeNESIS provides game-changing technology, tools and training as well as pre-qualified leads to help great salespeople be more successful and make more money.

For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here:

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.




TCF Has $282.9 Million Loss 1st Quarter

TCF Bank, Wayzata, Minnesota, reported a $282.9 million dollar loss in their first quarter, compared to a $30.2 million profit in the first quarter of 2012. The company attributed the loss to a $295.8 million after-tax charge resulting from the previously announced repositioning of Federal Home Loan Bank borrowings and the sale of certain securities.

Certainly revenue was down in every category:

(page 3, 1st Quarter filing)
click image to view larger

Note first quarter 2011 leasing and equipment revenue was $27,750,000 compared to first quarter of 2012 $22,867,000.

TCF Bank operates Winthrop Resources (high tech-new and used), TCF Equipment Finance (primarily lease programs), TCF Inventory Finance (consumer, lawn & garden industries), and VGM Financial Services (healthcare, golf and club markets).

Except for leasing and equipment finance, the year-end SEC filing shows the majority of business are from three states: Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and perhaps reflects the business and any losses due primarily to geographics. Leasing and Equipment Finance is primarily California, Texas, followed by New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

( page 31, 2011 Year-end)
click image to view larger

TCF is a Wayzata, Minnesota-based national bank holding company with $17.8 billion in total assets at March 31, 2012. TCF has over 430 branches in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, Indiana, Arizona and South Dakota, providing retail and commercial banking services. TCF also conducts commercial leasing and equipment finance business and leverage lending in all 50 states, commercial inventory finance business in the U.S. and Canada, and indirect auto finance business in over 30 states.

TCF 2012 1st Quarter:

TCF 2011 Year-End:


Key 1st Quarter Up, but Leasing Not

Key Corp reports first quarter income of $199 million compared to 1st quarter of 2011 at $184 million.

The revenue for commercial lease financing continues down:


(The last two chart figures are from the year-end and were not available in the first quarter report)

Key Commercial Lease Financing
(dollars in billions)
First Quarter, 2012
Fourth Quarter, 2011
Third Quarter, 2011
Fourth Quarter, 2010

Nonperforming Assets from Continuing Operations

Commercial Leasing Financing (in millions)
4Q11 27
3Q11 31
2Q11 41
1Q11 42
4Q10 64
  FDIC Filing Charge Offs
Lease Financing Receivables

Average Balance Sheet
Commercial Lease Financing

December 31, 2010
December 31, 2009
December 31, 2008
December 31, 2007
December 31, 2006
December 31, 2005
December 31, 2004
December 31, 2003
December 31, 2002
December 31, 2001

First Quarter Report:

2011 Year-End:

Leasing News Year-end Analysis:


Why Choose Advanced Property Tax Compliance?

Dedicated to the leasing industry
click here to learn more.

Hear What Our Clients say about us
click here

Gary DiLillo, President 440.871.0555 or





TimePayment/Microfinancial $2 MM Net 1st Quarter

Microfinancial (NASDAQ-MFI), Burlington, Massachusetts, primarily doing business as TimePayment, specializes in the micro lease ticket, going down to $500 to $15,000, reports a first quarter net income $2,011,000 compared to first quarter of last year of $2,029,000, based on total revenue of $14,244,000 for 2012 first quarter and $13,348,000.

First quarter 2012 net charge-offs increased to $5.2 million from $5.0 million in the comparable period of 2011 while recoveries remained flat from the same period last year at $1.3 million. Depreciation and amortization expense for the first quarter of 2012 increased $0.3 million to $1.0 million as compared to the first quarter of 2011 due primarily to an increase in the number of TimePayment contracts coming to maturity and converting to rentals.

(click image to view larger)

"We are very pleased with our overall financial performance for the quarter and we are encouraged by the growth in our application volume and lease originations, "Richard Latour, President and Chief Executive Officer said.

"Our net investment in leases at the end of the first quarter was approximately $151 million, an increase of approximately 8% over the same period in 2011. Despite this growth, we have continued to maintain a conservative leverage ratio at less than 1.1 times debt to shareholder equity."

2011 year end showed a net income of $9 million, almost a 70% increase from 2011. They also opened a Southern California West Coast office in Westlake Village. They reported a $100 million line with a bank syndicate led by Sovereign Bank.

MicroFinancial yesterday announced that their Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.06 per common share payable on May 15, 2012, to holders of record of MFI common stock at the close of business on April 30, 2012. This dividend represents the same amount per common share as the last dividend paid by MFI in February of 2012.

Microfinancial 1st Quarter:

Microfinancial Year-end 2011:



Top Ten Beaches in the United States

Best Sand Playground: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore (Michigan)

Best Sunrise: Sand Beach, Acadia National Park (Maine)

Best Water Playground: Cape Hatteras National Seashore (North Carolina)

Best Camping: Clubhouse Beach, Everglades National Park (Florida)

Best Swimming: Perdido Key State Park (Florida)

Best Solitude: Matagorda Island State Park and National Wildlife Refuge (Texas)

Best Biking: Santa Monica to Torrance (California)

Best Wildlife: Point Lobos State Reserve (California)

Best Hiking: Olympic Coastal Strip (Washington)

Best Sunset: Polihale State Park (Hawaii)

Don Myerson who lives with his wife Dolly and their six children six months of the year at Poipu Beach, Kauai, within a short walking distance of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Shipwreck Beach, which we just came back from a 12 day vacation, said the Polihale is a "Great beach. We like to go camping there. You can drive right on the beach and park. Great surf this time of year. A little dangerous in the water though. My daughter and a friend almost drowned there a few years back. Easier to get there lately. They did a little work on the road ( it’s still bad). ………You would enjoy it. Bring a picnic."

A helicopter ride and boat ride will find many great beaches on the north coast, but strong undercurrents.

There is a public beach off to the side of shipwreck beach ( and we go here, right in front of Breneke's, a public park and beach:

The Grand Hyatt has a lagoon, primarily for kids, who love it, as well as many pools and a very popular slide (our three year old grandson Scotty went down it 50 times---not kidding, lying down, face down, face up, and his brothers also joined him many times, but not as many as he accomplished) And yes, I edit and write Leasing News when I am on vacation.

Sound note had dinner with Don and his wife at Merriman's, and also Don and I visited one afternoon, where he stopped after his daily running along the beach, and walking with his wife in the late afternoon.

Kit Menkin

Full Story with photo's of the beaches:


Financial Service Internet Attacks Up

Service-denying attacks against financial services websites increased dramatically in quantity and intensity in the first quarter, a security company reported.

A nearly 80-fold increase in packets of malicious traffic was recorded from the fourth quarter 2011 to the first quarter of this year. Prolexic Technologies reported in its quarterly report on distributed denial of service attacks .Mitigated attack traffic targeting the financial services sector was 65 terabytes of data and 1.1 trillion packets. compared to 19 1 TB and 14 billion packets in the previous quarter.

While attacks intensified, their length of time fell to 40 hours in the first quarter from 50 hours in 04. an indication that attackers were using shorter. stronger bursts of traffic in these shut down campaigns. ''The considerable increase in attack intensity also indicates that attackers are evolving their strategies. increasing their firepower and focusing on specific targets such as financial services," the report said.

The team logged a 25 percent rise in the total number of attacks year to year in the first quarter. while the duration Shortened to 28 5 hours from 65 hours.

January was the most active month, accounting for 41 percent of the quarters total number of attacks. March was the least active.

China reclaimed its traditional position as the leading onginator of attacks with the Unites States number two, followed by Russia. Japan. which topped the list last quarter. fell to 26th place Japan's descent was expected, given last quarters ranking was a "one-time anomaly"--- the report said.

In looking at the rest of the year. Prolexic said it expected to see an increase in Mac OS X botnets behind dedicated service attacks now that the Apple platform has gained sufficient market share. This week. Apple went on the offensive against a recently discovered botnet comprised of 600,000 malware-infected Macs. The computer maker said it was searching for the command-and-control servers and asking Internet service providers to take them offline.


(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)


#### Press Release #############################

United Capital $1.9MM for Multi-Unit Jimmy John’s® Operator


HUNT VALLEY, MD –- United Capital Business Lending, a national business lender specializing in franchise finance, announced today that it provided $1,900,000 in financing to Jimmy John’s® Gourmet Sandwiches owner, J.T. & Company Investments, LLC. United Capital refinanced six existing locations for the Florida based franchisee and will also provide funding to open additional Jimmy John’s® locations in the Orlando area.

Trey Grimm, VP

“United Capital recognizes the strong performance of the Jimmy John’s® franchise system,” says Trey Grimm, vice president and business development officer for United Capital. “So we’re pleased to offer its franchisees financing for new store development, acquisitions and debt refinance.”

United Capital Business Lending is a subsidiary of BankUnited (NYSE: BKU), the largest bank headquartered in Florida with over $12 billion in assets.

In addition to Jimmy John’s®, the United Capital team has financed franchisees for Subway®, Denny’s®, Dunkin’ Donuts®, Papa John’s® Pizza, Five Guys® Burgers and Fries and Buffalo Wild Wings® among others.

##### Press Release ############################

John Kenny Receivables Management

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement
• Fraud Investigation
• Credit Investigations
• Asset Searches
• Skip-tracing
• Third-party Commercial Collections

The Solution to Your Credit & Accounts Receivable Needs
John Kenny
315-866-1167 |


(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
and background information provided by John Kenny)


Border Terrier/Retriever Mix
West Chicago, Illinois-- Adopt-a-Dog


Breed: Border Terrier/Retriever (Unknown Type) Mix
Color: Black - With White
Age: Puppy
Size: Med. 26-60 lbs (12-27 kg)
Sex: Male

“I am already neutered, up to date with shots, and good with dogs.”

Hughey's Story...
People figure that I might have been born around the middle of December. All they know about me and my siblings is that someone found us in the beginning of March and brought us down to the shelter in Joplin, MO. A month later I find myself in Illinois. Enough is enough!!! I think that it is time that I find myself a 4ever family so that I can settle down. I am very friendly to humans and enjoy playing with my fellow shelter mates as well. Please put out the word that there is one sweet, handsome, smart and loving pup here that needs a home. That is me, of course.

4 Paws 4 U 4 Ever
Contact: John &/or Shari Casey
Phone: (630) 293-8772
Fax: (630) 293-7143
Address: West Chicago, IL 60185

Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City

Adopt a Pet 


Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croc

New releases both epic ("Titanic 3D") and intimate ("Bully") hit theaters, while nonstop action ("Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol"), raw drama ("Shame") and a classic ripe for discovery ("The Organizer") make for robust DVD releases.

In Theaters:

Titanic 3D (Paramount Pictures): Needing no introduction for movie lovers, James Cameron's legendary 1997 extravaganza returns to the silver screen with the added attraction of 3D technology. The story remains the same: An elderly woman (Gloria Stuart) remembers her fairy-tale romance in the early 1900s as a wealthy lass (Kate Winslet) with a brash, working-class lad (Leonardo DiCaprio). Of course, the only problem is that said romance takes place during the fateful cruise of the titular ship, where nothing less than a giant iceberg comes between the star-crossed lovers. The 15 years since its original release have not dimmed the picture's enormous popular appeal, which benefits greatly from Cameron's shrewd blend of cutting-edge technology and old fashioned melodrama. Revisit it again or catch it for the first time, but either way see this modern classic on a big screen.

Bully (The Weinstein Company): Moving from the epic to the intimate, Lee Hirsch's acclaimed documentary finally arrives in theaters after months of delays and controversy. The hot-buttom issue is the high rates of bullying in schools, a subject examined as the camera follows various young and troubled students over the course of one year. Among them is 12-year-old Alex in Sioux City, Iowa, whose awkward attempts at reaching out to other boys lead to arrowing school bus confrontations, and 16-year-old Kelby from Tuttle, Oklahoma, whose personal problems are shared to other students by her own teacher. Just as telling is the movie's portrait of the adults, from parents to principals, who can at times unvoluntarily add to the problem. Hoping to shed light on a particularly difficult period in life, Hirsch's film makes for powerful, often heartrending viewing.

Netflix Tip: The recent death of British director Ken Russell gives viewers a chance to rediscover this irrepressible provocateur. Ever the bad boy, Russell confronted audiences with such films as "Women in Love" (1969), "The Devils" (1971), "Altered States" (1980) and "Crimes of Passion" (1984). Seek them out on Netflix, and be startled and challenged.


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Paramount): After a rather disappointing last entry, the "Mission Impossible" returns to form with this breathlessly exciting new chapter, which marks the live-action directing debut of Pixar animator Brad Bird ("The Incredibles"). This time around, secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the rest of the IMF team find themselves on the run after they're framed for a mysterious explosion in the Kremlin. Abandoned by their superiors, Ethan and sidekicks Benji (Simon Pegg) and Jane (Paula Patton) must deal with weapon-dealing foes as well as with a new team member (Jeremy Renner) with an enigmatic past. Moving at a breakneck pace and studded with eye-popping stunts, the movie is a satisfying action blast that fully takes advantage of Bird's knack for vertiginous movement and deft visual humor.

Shame (Fox): Continuing his swift rise to full-fledged star, gifted actor Michael Fassbender reteams with director Steve McQueen for another harrowing portrait of a troubled man that aims to outdo even the intensity of "Hunger," their previous collaboration together. Fassbender plays Brandon Sullivan, a handsome New York man whose carefully groomed life and career hide an obsessive center as he reveals himself to be a sex addict. Though successfully kept apart in the past, the two contrasting sides of his life threaten to crumble when Brandon is unexpectedly visited by his needy sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan). With an unrelenting, clinical eye, the picture depicts the protagonist's descent into a purgatory of body and mind. At times rough going, but a trip worth it for McQueen's and Fassbender's ferocious performance.

The Organizer (Criterion): When the Italian classics of the 1960s are discussed, titles like "L'Avventura" and "La Dolce Vita" are the ones that usually come up. Thanks to Criterion, however, this terrific 1963 drama is now available for discovery. Taking place in the 1890s in the region of Turin, the plot chronicles the struggle for better working conditions by a group of textile labourers who are exploited by their bosses. Enter Professor Sinigaglia (the great Marcello Mastroianni), a learned man who befriends the mostly illiterate workers and encourages to go on strike. But is Sinigaflia really who he seems to be? Shot on location, director Mario Monicelli's film combines tough-minded social consciousness with humanistic detail to stirring effect. With subtitles.

News Briefs----

Operating profit surges as Bank of America slims down,0,2263972.story

Sandy Spring Bancorp 1st Quarter Profit $8.5 Million

Homeowners jump to refinance at low rates

Microsoft beats forecasts on revenue and profit

'American Idol' recap: Colton Dixon get boot one


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

The Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
Learn Which Risk Factors You Can Control




Sports Briefs----

Andrew Luck will be No. 1 pick in NFL draft

Video:49ers' groundbreaking ceremony for Santa Clara stadium

Purdy: How the San Francisco 49ers became Santa Clara's team




Spring Poem

   Song of Myself (an excerpt)

    by Walt Whitman

I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
I, now thirty seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.



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This Day in History

     1534 - French explorer Jacques Cartier set sail from St. Malo to explore the North American coastline.
    1657-Asser Levy of New Amsterdam (later New York City) was admitted as a town citizen. Jews were denied the privilege of standing guard and keeping watch, compulsory for all citizens, Asser Levy and Jacob Barsimson objected to the discrimination, after being denied, Levy appealed. He became a prosperous trader, the first Jew to own land in America, and the first to serve on a jury (in 1671, after the colony had been taken over by the English.
    1718- Birth of David Brainerd, colonial American missionary to the Indians of New England. Following his premature death from tuberculosis at 29, Brainerd's journal (published in 1649 by the Jonathan Edwards) influenced hundreds to become missionaries after him.
    1775 - British troops began the siege of Boston.
    1777 - New York adopted a new constitution as an independent state.
    1799-- Napoleon issues a decree calling for establishing Jerusalem for Jews
    1815--- Boston's Handel and Hayden Society which claims to be the oldest singing group in the United States was made up of members of nine Boston churches. It excluded women from membership/ However, the chorus of ninety men "permitted" ten women to perform at its first concert 12-25-1815 of Handel's Creation because it was *written* with women's parts and solos. The barring of women was based on the church's rulings that women were not to lead. 
The melodies were converted to male voices and women were only allowed to sing harmony! Oddly enough, the society hired Miss Sophia Hewitt, the only women they have ever employed as organist and accompanist is its history. She also served as organist at the two major churches in Boston and performed in New York and other parts of New England in concerts and benefits. Following her marriage, the receipts for her pay were signed for by her husband since married women at the time had no legal rights to their own money and could not own property.
    1832 - Hot Springs National Park, the first national park in the United States, was established by an act of Congress. It had been a reservation prior to becoming a national park. 
    1836 - Wisconsin Territory is established. Wisconsin, formerly governed as part of the territories of Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, was established as a separate US territory, with Madison, located midway between Milwaukee and the western centers of population, to be founded as the territorial capital. In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet landed at Green Bay, becoming the first European to visit the lake-heavy northern region that would later become Wisconsin. In 1763, at the conclusion of the French and Indian Wars, Wisconsin, a major center of the American fur trade, passed into British control. Two decades later, at the end of the American Revolution, the region came under US rule, and was governed as part of the Northwest Territory. However, British fur traders continued to dominate Wisconsin from across the Canadian border, and it was not until the end of the War of 1812 that the region fell firmly under American control. In the first decades of the nineteenth century, settlers began arriving via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes to exploit Wisconsin's agricultural potential, and in 1832, the Black Hawk War ended Native-American resistance to white settlement. In 1836, after several decades of governance as part of other territories, Wisconsin was made a separate entity. By 1840, population in Wisconsin had risen above 130'000, but the people voted against statehood four times, fearing the higher taxes that would come with a stronger central government.
Finally, in 1848, Wisconsin citizens, envious of the prosperity that federal programs brought to neighboring Midwestern states, voted to approve statehood. On 29 April 1848, Wisconsin entered the Union as the thirtieth state.
    1841 - "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," Edgar Allen Poe's first detective story, was published. The story featured C. Auguste Dupin, the first-ever fictional detective. Poe considered his work an example of ratiocination - the process of logical and methodical reasoning.
    1850-birth of American sculptor of Daniel Chester French at Exeter, NH. One of the most important artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries as a sculptor of public monuments, French is best known for his 1875 “Minute Man” statue at Concord, MA, and his 1922 statue of the seated Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial at Washington, DC
    1853-Harriet Tubman starts Underground Railroad.
    1854-Capt. Creesy sets a world record by sailing from New York to San Francisco in 88 days.
    1861 - Colonel Robert E. Lee resigns from the United States army two days after he was offered command of the Union army and three days after his native state, Virginia, seceded from the Union. Lee opposed secession, but he was a loyal son of Virginia. His official resignation was only one sentence, but he wrote a longer explanation to his friend and mentor, General Winfield Scott, later that day. Lee had fought under Scott during the Mexican War, and he revealed to his former commander the depth of his struggle. Lee interviewed with Scott on April 18, and explained that he would have resigned then "but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a service to which I have devoted the best years of my life and all the ability I possess." Lee expressed gratitude for the kindness shown him by all in the army during his 25-year service, but Lee was most grateful to Scott. "To no one, general, have I been as much indebted as to yourself for uniform kindness and consideration..." He concluded with this poignant sentiment: "Save in the defense of my native State, I never desire again to draw my sword." But draw it he would. Two days later, Lee was appointed commander of Virginia's forces with the rank of major general. He spent the next few months raising troops in Virginia, and in July he was sent to western Virginia to advise Confederate commanders struggling to maintain control over the mountainous region. Lee did little to build his reputation there as the Confederates experienced a series of setbacks, and he returned to Richmond when the Union gained control of the area. The next year, Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia after General Joseph Johnston was wounded in battle. Lee quickly turned the tables on Union General George B. McClellan, as he would several other commanders of the Army of the Potomac. His brilliance as a battlefield tactician earned him a place among the great military leaders of all time.
    1865 - Safety matches advertised for the first time.
    1871-- Ku Klux Klan Act passed by US Congress. With passage of the Third Force Act, popularly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, Congress authorized President Ulysses S. Grants to use military force against the Ku Klux Klan. Founded in 1865 by a group of Confederate veterans, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) rapidly grew from a secret social fraternity to a paramilitary force bent on reversing the federal government's progressive Reconstruction Era-activities in the South, especially in regard to the region's African-American population. The name of the Ku Klux Klan was derived from the Greek word kuklos, meaning circle, and clann, a Scottish Gaelic word for the traditional tribal units of Scotland that reflected the Scottish ancestry of many of the KKK's founding members. 
Under a platform of philosophized white racial superiority, the group employed violence as a means of pushing back the radical reforms underway in the post-Civil War South. Thriving in counties where the two political parties or races were relatively balanced, the KKK engaged in terrorist raids against African Americans and white Southern Republicans at night, employing intimidation, destruction of property, assault, and murder to achieve its aims and influence upcoming elections.
    1880 - Sacramento, California had its heaviest 24 hour rainfall when 7.24 inches fell.
    1893—Harold Lloyd, a comic genius of early American film, Harold Lloyd began acting at 20 years of age, and his career took off when he teamed with producer Hal Roach in the comic “Lonesome Luke” shorts (1916-1917). Lloyd then created the “glasses” character: the boy-next-door whose distinguishing feature was his round horn spectacles. This character thrilled audiences in “daredevil” comedy featuring dangerous stunts. (Lloyd never used a double). Lloyd’s hits included Safety Last (1923), where he dangled from a building’s clock face. The Freshman (1925) and Speedy (1928), the biggest box-office star of the 1930s. Lloyd survived with lesser success in the talkie 1930s. He was given an honorary Oscar in 1953 for being a “master comedian and good citizen.” Born at Burchard, NE. Lloyd died on March 8, 1971 in Hollywood, Ca.
    1908 – Vibraharp/Bank Leader Lionel Hampton birthday. The jazz great was born at Louisville, KY. Hampton started out on piano and rums, but Louis Armstrong urged him to take up the vibraphone in 1930. Hampton went on to make that his signature instrument. He recorded and played with Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, and other legends, before becoming a bandleader himself. He played almost up until his death on August 31, 2002, at New York, NY.
    1901 - A spring snowstorm dumped very heavy snow over northeastern Ohio. Warren was buried under 35.5 inches in 36 hours and 28 inches fell at Green Hill. Akron established April snowfall records with 15.6 inches in 24 hours and 26.6 inches for the month.
1912 After two days of rain, the first game ever is finally played at Fenway Park with a comeback eleven-inning Red Sox win over the New York Highlanders, 7-6.
    1916--In Chicago, the Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park beating the Reds in 11 innings, 7-6. The ballpark will be renamed Wrigley Field in 1926. 
    1920 - Tornadoes in Mississippi and Alabama killed 219 persons.
    1923-Birthday of Tito Puente, The King of the Mambo—or “El Rey” ---was born Ernesto Antonia Puente, Jr. at Spanish Harlem, New York City, to Puerto Rican parents The legendary Puente had a career that spanned more than six decades, starting in 1937. He popularized the timbale, but played many percussion instruments and was also a composer, arranger and bandleader. His album Dance Mania (1948) was an international bestseller, and he released more than 100 albums. His song “Oye Corno Va” was covered by Carlos Santana and has become a classic. Puente won five Grammies, was inducted into the Jazz and Hispanic halls of fame and received a Smithsonian Lifetime achievement Award. President Jimmy Carter pronounced him “The Goodwill Ambassador of Latin American Music. “ Puente died on May 31, 2000, at New York, NY.
    1931 - On Okeh Records, Louis Armstrong recorded, "When It’s Sleepy Time Down South", which would be his theme song for decades. The song was recorded in Chicago, Illinois. 
    1934 - Child actress Shirley Temple's first major movie, Stand Up and Cheer, was released to New York theaters on this date. It was the beginning of the most-successful child actor's career in the history of Hollywood.
    1939-Ted Williams made his major league debut for the Boston Red Sox, getting one double in four at-bats, as the Sox lost to the New York Yankees, 2-0.
    1939—Billie Holiday records Strange Fruit.
    1939--- New York World's Fair opens
    1939-country-pop singer Johnny Tillotson was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Between 1958 and 1965, he had more than 25 records on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart, including "Poetry in Motion," "Without You" and "Talk Back Trembling Lips." 
    1939-Birthday of Katherine V. Forrest - U.S. novelist and editor whose erotic lesbian novel Curious Wine has sold more copies than any lesbian-centered novel since Well of Loneliness. She crossed over to mainstream novels using some lesbian characters, especially a mystery series that features a Los Angeles detective. The detective series is strong on technical police work.
    1945 --Soviet troops enter Berlin.
    1945 ---US 7th Army & allies forces capture Nuremberg & Stuttgart in Germany.
    1945- Allied bombers cut off German retreat in Italy as Hitler celebrates his birthday. Allied bombers in Italy begin Operation Corncob, a three-day attack on the bridges over the rivers Adige and Brenta to cut off German lines of retreat on the peninsula.
Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler, who has only 10 more days to live, celebrates his 56th birthday as a Gestapo reign of terror results in the hanging of 20 Russian prisoners of war and 20 Jewish children: Of these, at least nine are under the age of 12. All of the victims had been taken from Auschwitz to Neuengamme, the place of execution, for the purpose of medical experimentation.
    1945 - American forces liberated Buchenwald. 350 Americans were imprisoned at Berga, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, following their Dec, 1944, capture at the Battle of the Bulge. Charles Guggenheim's (d.2002) last documentary film was title "Berga."
    1945--*HAYASHI, JOE Medal of Honor
Private Joe Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 20 and 22 April 1945, near Tendola, Italy. On 20 April 1945, ordered to attack a strongly defended hill that commanded all approaches to the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi skillfully led his men to a point within 75 yards of enemy positions before they were detected and fired upon. After dragging his wounded comrades to safety, he returned alone and exposed himself to small arms fire in order to direct and adjust mortar fire against hostile emplacements. Boldly attacking the hill with the remaining men of his squad, he attained his objective and discovered that the mortars had neutralized three machine guns, killed 27 men, and wounded many others. On 22 April 1945, attacking the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi maneuvered his squad up a steep, terraced hill to within 100 yards of the enemy. Crawling under intense fire to a hostile machine gun position, he threw a grenade, killing one enemy soldier and forcing the other members of the gun crew to surrender. Seeing four enemy machine guns delivering deadly fire upon other elements of his platoon, he threw another grenade, destroying a machine gun nest. He then crawled to the right flank of another machine gun position where he killed four enemy soldiers and forced the others to flee. Attempting to pursue the enemy, he was mortally wounded by a burst of machine pistol fire. The dauntless courage and exemplary leadership of Private Hayashi enabled his company to attain its objective. Private Hayashi’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army. 
    1948 -- Labor leader Walter Reuther is shot and seriously wounded by would-be assassins. Reuther was previously victim of an attempted abduction in April 1938. His brother Victor was shot & nearly at his home by police in 1949. In 1949 the UAW’s headquarters in Detroit was bombed .He later died in a plane crash in 1970 (of the media reports apparently only one paper addressed the possibility that he may have been murdered; In October 1968, both Walter and his brother Victor were almost killed in a small private plane near Dulles Airport).
    1949-Willie Shoemaker won his first race as a jockey aboard Shafter V at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, CA -- not far from San Francisco.
    1950---Top Hits
If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake - Eileen Barton
Music, Music, Music - Teresa Brewer
Peter Cottontail - Gene Autry
Long Gone Lonesome Blues - Hank Williams
    1951 - Luther Vandross is born in New York City. His biggest pop hit is ``Power of Love/Love Power,'' which hits No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1991. The album ``Power of Love'' reaches No. 1 on both Billboard's pop and R&B album charts.
    1952 - The tankers Esso Suez and Esso Greensboro crashed in a thick fog off the coast of Morgan City LA. Only five of the Greensboro's crew survived after the ship bursts into flame.
    1957-- Westinghouse first to use FORTRAN computer language. The Westinghouse-Bettis nuclear power plant became the first commercial users of FORTRAN, soon to be the dominant computer language for scientific applications. FORTRAN, or Formula Translator, was the first widely used high-level computer language. Developed by IBM researcher John Backus, FORTRAN greatly simplified programming by translating simple English instructions into machine language, saving the programmer hundreds of steps.
    1957-Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" starts an eight week stay at the top of the US record charts. Songwriter Otis Blackwell would later say that he wrote the tune at the suggestion of an associate who was shaking a bottle of Pepsi. The song went on to be the biggest single of 1957, selling over 2 million copies.
    1958---Top Hits
He’s Got the Whole World (In His Hands) - Laurie London
Book of Love - The Monotones
Don’t You Just Know It - Huey (Piano) Smith & The Clowns
Oh Lonesome Me - Don Gibson
    1959 - CBS-TV's "Desilu Playhouse" presented a two-part show titled, "The Untouchables" starring Robert Stack. When the program became a weekly show in 1959, Stack became a star. 
    1959- 13-year-old Dolly Parton released her first single, "Puppy Love."
    1959--Goldband Records releases "Puppy Love" by Dolly Parton, a song that was recorded two years earlier when she was just eleven years old. The record will flop and Dolly would have to wait until 1967 to make her first Billboard chart appearance.
    1960 -- Elvis Presley's return to Hollywood to film "G.I. Blues" is greeted by tremendous fanfare. Of course, it's the top story on the nightly news & even makes page one of the local newspapers.
    1961 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved FM stereo broadcasting, but it would be another five or six years before FM stations went ‘underground’ to attract listeners tired of poor audio quality on AM stations. Until then, FM stations broadcast in monaural sound. 
    1961 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``Runaway,'' Del Shannon. Shannon is the first artist to take a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney onto the U.S. pop charts. His version of ``From Me to You'' hits the Hot 100 on June 29, 1963, before the release of the Beatles debut American single, ``I Want to Hold Your Hand.''
    1962 - The New Orleans Citizens Committee gives free one-way ride to blacks to move North.
    1963 - The movie soundtrack album of West Side Story hit Number 1 on the pop LP chart and stayed there for 2 weeks.
    1963-Rick Nelson married Kris Harmon, daughter of Tom Harmon, the 1940 Heisman Trophy Winner from the University of Michigan. Six months later, on October 25th, Tracy Kristine Nelson was born at St. John's Hospital near Santa Monica.
    1964 - The Elvis Presley movie ``Viva Las Vegas'' premieres.
    1966---Top Hits
The Ballad of the Green Berets - SSgt Barry Sadler
(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers
Daydream - The Lovin’ Spoonful
I Want to Go with You - Eddy Arnold
    1968-- Pierre Elliott Trudeau sworn-in as Canada's PM
    1968--The Rolling Stones record "Jumpin' Jack Flash", which will reach #1 in the UK and #3 in the US by next July.
    1969 - Ken Harrelson almost quit major-league baseball when he found out he was being traded from the Boston Red Sox, an American League contender, to the Cleveland Indians, a perennial American League non-contender. He stayed for money, and played for Cleveland after all. 
    1969-On the site of a parking lot owned by the University of California, Berkeley a diverse group of people came together, each freely contributing their skills and resources to create People’s Park. This is to be the site of a student revolution.
    1971- The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools.
    1971-- Barbra Streisand records "We've Only Just Begun"
    1974---Top Hits
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) - MFSB featuring The Three Degrees
Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me - Gladys Knight & The Pips
The Loco-Motion - Grand Funk
A Very Special Love Song - Charlie Rich
    1977-The theme song from the TV show Soul Train called TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) topped the Billboard Hot 100. 
    1979 - It was reported Johnny Carson was leaving "The Tonight Show". Newspapers in the United States offered ideas why the comedian and late-night host was unhappy after 17 years on the show. More money, more vacation time and a four-day week (he got Mondays off) was just what ‘The Great Carsoni’ need to stay at NBC for another 12 years.
    1980-84 year old George Burns, who starred in the movie Oh God with John Denver, reaches the Billboard Hot 100 with "I Wish I Was 18 Again".
    1982---Top Hits
I Love Rock ’N Roll - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
We Got the Beat - Go-Go’s
Chariots of Fire - Titles - Vangelis
The Clown - Conway Twitty
    1982-- With a 4-2 win over the Reds, the Braves record their 12th consecutive victory to establish a major-league record for the most victories from the beginning of the season. The previous mark had been set a year earlier by the Oakland A's. 
    1983 --President Ronald Reagan signs a $165 billion bail-out for Social Security
    1984 --a temperature of 106 degrees in Del Rio, Texas set a new record high for April.
    1986 - Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls scored a record 63 points in the NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics. This NBA Playoffs record included two overtime periods. 
    1986 - Pianist Vladimir Horowitz gave his first concert in the Soviet Union for 61 years. He had emigrated in 1925. 
    1987 - "Starlight Express", the roller-skating musical, posted the largest week’s gross in the history of Broadway, earning $606,081 at the box office. The revival of "The King and I" starring Yul Brynner was the old record holder in 1985.
    1987- In Columbus, OH, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was organized, making it the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. It represented the merger of three smaller Lutheran bodies, and was officially born on Jan 1, 1988.
    1987 - Fifty-two cities in the central and eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. The high of 92 degrees at Memphis TN was a record for April, and the high of 94 at Little Rock AR equalled their April record.
    1988--Helen Thayer, New Zealand-born American reaches the North Pole on foot and on skis with no mechanical assists. Using a rope attached to her belt, she pulled a sled which held her tent and all her food (and her dog's food). Her sole companion was a husky who would warn her when polar bears were approaching. (The big bears are absolutely silent when they attack.) Temperatures in storms dropped to minus 100 degrees. The 345-mile, 27-day journey marked the first time a woman had reached the North Pole alone. Thayer, a mountain climber and U.S. Luge Champion in 1975, was 50 years old at the time. In 1990 she would serve as the leader of the first International U.S./Soviet Arctic Women's expedition.
The website at
that explains the arctic trip in detail.
    1988-- Claudell Washington hits the 10,000th home run in Yankee history. 
    1988 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``Where Do Broken Hearts Go,'' Whitney Houston.
    1989 - Hot weather spread from the southwestern U.S. into the Great Plains Region. Twenty-three cities reported new record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 104 degrees at Tucson AZ was an April record, and highs of 87 at Provo UT, 90 at Pueblo CO, and 85 at Salt Lake City UT, equaled April records.
    1990---Top Hits
I’ll Be Your Everything - Tommy Page
Don’t Wanna Fall in Love - Jane Child
Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O’Connor
Five Minutes - Lorrie Morgan
    1990 - A fast moving Pacific storm produced heavy snow in the central mountains and the Upper Arkansas Valley of Colorado, with a foot of snow reported at Leadville. Thunderstorms in the south central U.S. produced wind gusts to 76 mph at Tulsa OK, and heavy rain which caused flooding of Cat Claw Creek in the Abilene TX area. Lightning struck the building housing a fish farm in Scott AR killing 10,000 pounds of fish. Many of the fish died from the heat of the fire.
    1991-Wendy and Carnie Wilson, daughters of The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, along with Chynna Phillips, daughter of The Mamas and Papas' John Phillips, combined their talents to hit #1 on the Billboard singles chart for the third time with "You're In Love". 
    1992-- 100th episode of "Murphy Brown" airs
    1996- In a case that sparked an uproar reminiscent of the Rodney King case in Los Angeles, two Riverside County, Calif., sheriff's deputies were videotaped repeatedly clubbing a Mexican man and woman after a 70-mile highway chase involving a pickup truck suspected of sneaking across the border.
    1997 - Mark McGwire becomes the fourth major leaguer to hit a home run over the left field roof at Tiger Stadium. The A's first baseman joins Harmon Killebrew (1962), Frank Howard (1968), and Cecil Fielder (1990) as the only players to accomplish the feat.
    1998-- Digital TV and Internet over copper wires. US West announced it would deliver digital TV programming and high-speed Internet access using traditional copper telephone wires. The company said it would first offer the service, called VDSL (Variable Digital Subscriber Lines), in Phoenix, providing some 120 television channels, forty digital music channels, Internet access, and telephone services through television sets.
    1999- At Columbine High School, Littleton, CO, students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 other students, a teacher and then themselves. 24 were seriously wounded.
    1999-Billy Joel performs what he says is his last public pop music concert at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. He plans on devoting his efforts to classical music.
    2006 ---Appearing as a pinch hitter at PETCO Park, Julio Franco becomes the oldest major leaguer to hit a home run. The 47-year, 240 days old’s eighth inning blast, which put the Mets ahead in their 7-2 victory over the Padres, surpasses Jack Quinn who accomplish the feat as a pitcher for the Philadelphia A’s at the age of 46 years, 357 days.
    2006-- As the Nationals beat the Phillies, 10-4, Frank Robinson becomes the 53rd manager to win 1000 big league games. The first black skipper, who has also been the dugout leader for the Indians, Giants, Orioles, and Expo, has compiled a 1,000-1,095 in 16 seasons.
    2006 - Up to five feet of snow falls in the Dakotas. I-94 and other highways were closed, power was out for thousands and caused at least four deaths.

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