News on Natalee Holloway Remains: Search Looking Dim


The world has no official word as to whether or not Aruban divers continue the search for Natalee's Holloway's remains. According to, divers worked over the weekend and into Monday, but are they still searching? If so, Aruban officials are keeping quiet about it, and so are American officials.

Many wait for the news they long for, but may find themselves disappointed in the end. According to reports, the idea that divers will find Natalee Holloway's remains looks dim, even before Aruban divers have even located the image in the picture. Why is this so? First, divers may not even be able to locate the image in the picture.

According to, a spokesperson tells that the angle may play a crucial factor in locating the image. Even more, a spokesperson says that it looks like something is on top of the image, weighing it down. So, are divers looking for something that could serve as a weight?

If the image is that of human remains, Natalee's remains, will whatever is weighing it down give some clue to solving this case? Did someone weigh Natalee Holloway's body down as she went into the water? Did something just happen on top of the image? If this isn't an image of human remains, what is it?

Even if it is human remains, it may not be Natalee Holloway's human remains, according to Good Morning America. A woman by the name of Angela reports that it is "not uncommon to find human remains off the coast," so this means that this could be the human remains of someone else.

Authorities seem to feel that this image is not that of a skeleton. Still, some points don't quite match up. According to the Good Morning America article, "Angela couldn't reveal the identity of the person who recognized the underwater location of the photo but said it was likely a local who dives often and knows the waters around the island well."

The language in this statement seems to hold some contradictions. "Angela couldn't reveal" suggests that she knows who "recognized the underwater location." The word "likely" suggests that she's not sure. So, is Angela speculating? If so, why? Or, are the Aruban authorities blocking her from revealing the person?

Even more, why is this person receiving hush-hush time, if this is the case. Do Aruban authorities feel that this person is of interest to Natalee Holloway's case, or are they protecting this person from being of interest in Natalee Holloway's case? The statement's language calls up more questions than it answers.

According to reports, the possibility of Aruban divers finding Natalee Holloway's remains looks dim. However, the ideas of the image having something on top of it, and the possibility of clothing offer onlookers some hope. Every day is a waiting game, so why do Aruban authorities not invite American authorities in to help with the search?



"Good Morning America (from, Have Find Natalee Holloway's Remains Been Found?", "Search for Holloway's Remains"


Texas Universities on Newsweek's Best Colleges Lists


Kaplan and Newsweek just released a summer 2011- Finding the Right College for You guide. It contains "exclusive Newsweek rankings". Instead of ranking every American college 1 to infinity, this list breaks them down to the top 25 colleges in each category, such as the best schools for jocks, sun worshippers, do-gooders and future power brokers.

Several Texas universities made the lists:

Rice University (23% acceptance rate)

#25 Most Desirable School

#10 Most Desirable Urban School


#20 Brainiac Schools


University of Texas at Austin (44% acceptance rate)

#12 Most Desirable Large School


Texas A&M; University (70% acceptance rate)

#24 Most Desirable Large School


Surprisingly, Texas school did not make the list for the school where students can get a "great education and a great tan". Most of the schools on that list were in California and Arizona.


Researching Newspaper Archives


How many of us check the morning newspaper and read the obituaries? If you are a genealogist you do it all the time. When doing research, newspaper archives are an extremely helpful resource. By checking the newspaper archives for the town you are doing research on you will uncover all sorts of information about your ancestors and the lives they lived.

Newspaper archives have columns on social events, court cases, military appointments, business dealings, inclement weather and other local news snippets. In addition to the date and place of death, newspaper obituaries usually contain information on surviving and predeceased family members. Often there is information regarding employment, membership in clubs and associations or military service. Death notices will usually give the name of the mortuary or funeral home and many times the address of the deceased. Use the date of an event such as a death as a starting point for your research. Often your ancestor's demise was recorded in the local newspaper even if you thought their life was unremarkable. Often obituaries will give the names of all those who attended the funeral service, giving you new clues to follow. Did your relative commit a crime? Newspapers that are local to the area can provide a wealth of information covering trials and sentencing.

As with all forms of research, remember to back up your sources. If you find reference to a court case, try to locate records to prove your findings. If you have an obituary with names and addresses of properties try to locate those mentioned on census records, manorial records and land grants. If you find reference to a military career, search for military records, appointments, information on the battles that may have been fought, medals awarded, injuries suffered and living conditions during military campaigns. You may be able to find details of probate based on the names of the siblings named in an obituary or even the notice of probate in the daily paper.

Newspapers of yesteryear are a great source to discover how our ancestors lived. Local papers had extensive coverage of day to day happenings including local celebrations, bankruptcies, probates, market days, politics, church happenings and the mention of out of town visitors. Imagine how wonderful it would be to read an account of a party given by one of your family members. Social events were very important to small villages and were covered extensively by the local newspaper. Have you ever looked at the classified ads in an old newspaper? Our ancestors used these ads to find governesses, servants and to advertise their businesses. It is also a lot of fun to look through the ads to compare the cost of good then and now. All these things give added colour to your story and help you understand how your family went about their daily lives.

If you are doing research on a family who immigrated to foreign parts you may be lucky to find mention of your family in passenger lists that were printed in the newspapers of the day. Often there is added information about the voyage that might not be given in other passenger records such as which town or city the person was traveling to.

The first place to check for archival material is the newspaper offices in the …

Florida News Briefs


Fort Lauderdale – Four unfortunate people died in a car accident Friday when a car that had been going the wrong way crashed into a car going the right way. The four victims who have yet to be identified were all adults and had to be extracted from their cars. Police officers are investigating whether or not alcohol played part in the car going the wrong way. At one point there was almost 24 firefighters on the scene of the accident, the AP reports.

Northwest Dade – A gunshot body was found on the side of the road located at Northwest 17th Avenue and 158th Street. The body which was found by the police around 7:00 am Friday morning has yet to be identified. Homicide detectives are seeking out clues regarding the crime, the Miami Herald reported.

Lauderdale Lakes – Quest Comm located at 3939 West Oakland Park Boulevard got a little more business then they wanted according to an employee who decided to take matters into his own hands. Sheriff deputies stated that Urel Barrett, 22, and Steven Peets, 21, went into the business and allegedly robbed an employee of his wallet and cellphone. The two then allegedly demanded an undisclosed amount of money. According to officers, both men were carrying guns and once the robbery had occurred the ran outside. Another employee who had a gun as well, ran outside and starting shooting at the suspects. Unfortunately the two got away. Detectives have yet to locate Barrett and Peets. They are considered armed and dangerous as reported by the Miami Herald.

Sarasota – Jacquelyn Ann Ferguson, 51, is accused of allegedly shooting a co-worker at the medical office she worked at. The victim who’s name has not been released died at the scene. 10 other employees who were at the medical office when the incident occurred came out of the building with their hands raised in the air. No other information has been released, AP reports.

Florida Statewide – According to data that was released Thursday, Florida ranks number five in sexual predator arrests. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested 544 sex offenders in Florida since they launched Operation Predator in 2003. Among the cases, a federal judge sentence a Miami Beach father, Kent Frank who traveled back and forth to Cambodia in 2004 to have sexual relations with underage girls. Frank faces at least 30 years in prison. Another well know offender is a Miami Beach pornographer who was sentenced to 100 years in prison after being convicted of running a child pornography business. Rafael Mariscal was having sex with underage girls on videos that had been shot in Cuba and Ecuador the Herald reports.

Orlando – Zabdiel Santiago Balaguer of Kissimmee, Florida plead guilty to federal charges that he smuggled drugs and guns aboard commercial flights to Puerto Rico. Balaguer who was an employee for Comair a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines told U.S. District Judge John Antoon II ” I was smuggling guns and marijuana through the airport as an airline employee”, as stated by AP.

Jacksonville – A cellphone tower worker, Nicholas Fischer, 21, was working 75 feet up when he lost his grip and fell to his death. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration was investigating the death since …

North Carolina News Weekly


North Carolina has been steaming up lately, but not by weather alone. Here are some of the news stories you may have missed and today's Tea Party you still can catch!

Enterococci, a common bacteria, has been climbing all summer long and closing North Carolina lakes temporarily. First it was Falls Lake beaches that were closed in July due to high levels of enterococci. They were re-opened only to be closed on numerous occasions again. Falls Lake is open at this time, but Lake Wheeler Lake has been the latest to join in the high level enterococci scare. Enterococci can cause infection and diarrhea. Catch this story.

John Edwards, former U.S. senator from North Carolina and two-time Democratic presidential candidate, has been known for many accomplishments, but being fathering a mistress's baby is not one of them. The National Enquirer claims that the DNA tests are in! John Edwards is the father of Frances, an 18-month-old baby girl. John Edwards baby seems to reach new heights on Google Trends. Rielle Hunter, Edward's former mistress and mother to Frances, arrived in Raleigh's federal courthouse last Thursday with her New Jersey attorney, an FBI agent and a member of the IRS. Catch this story.

North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan may or may not be in the office today at 3:45 p.m. since a Tea Party protest is scheduled to occur over the health care reform bill. Conservative groups are said to reach up to 1,000 in attendance in front of her New Bern Avenue office. Follow the latest that has been unfolding all week long in North Carolina. Catch this story.

North Carolina has 100 counties and as of 2008 it has been recorded as the fourth-fastest growing state in America. Amongst the tax-free holiday Gov. Purdue signed for tax-increases. With over 9 million citizens in North Carolina, that's a pretty penny to gather. However, outside of North Carolina's financial woes and debt, the down and dirty news, North Carolina citizens, for the most part, wake up each morning turning a new page.



US News and World Report College Rankings: Hot Off the Press, Controversial as Ever


US News and World Report released its annual college rankings online today and will publish them in next week’s print issue. If the US News and World Report College Rankings can be counted on for just one thing, it’s stirring up contoversy. The US News and World Report College Rankings attempt to establish a hierarchy among United States colleges and universities. Like any hierarchical system, the US News and World Report College Rankings are subject to interpretation and dispute. “Best” is not an objective term, after all, even when predicated on objective standards.

Already the winners are boasting, the losers are posturing, and the wannabes are claiming victory in their dubious standings. Some schools boycotted the peer review process that contributes to the rankings, disenchanted with the process and its anticipated results.

The US News and World Report College Rankings actually comprise several related lists. There’s a list for National Universities, one for Liberal Arts Colleges, and one for up and coming schools. US News and World Report also compiles Quick Comparisons to enable list users to identify schools offering the best values, those with the most ethnic diversity, economic diversity or foreign students, or the highest freshman retention rate.

US News and World Report College Rankings: Who’s on Top?

The complete US News and World Reports College Rankings can be read online here.

US News College Rankings for National Universities

US News and World Report identifies these universities as the top 10 national universities: 1. Harvard, 2. Princeton, 3. Yale, 4. MIT and Stanford, 6. CIT and Penn, 8. Columbia, Duke, and Chicago. My own alma mater, Boston College, ranked a not too shabby 34.

US News College Rankings for Liberal Arts Colleges

The top 10 liberal arts colleges according to US News and World Reports are: 1. Amherst and Williams, 3. Swarthmore, 4. Wellesley, 5. Middlebury, 6. Bowdoin and Pomona, 8. Carleton, 9. Davidson, 10. Haverford.

US News College Rankings for Best Value

US News and World Reports College Rankings for best value consider the amount of financial aid typically available in the form of need based grants to reduce the cost of attendance. Accordingly, the list of Best Value schools is not even close to synonymous with the nominally least expensive schools.

According to US News and World Reports, the top 10 Best Value schools include: 1. Harvard, 2. Princeton, 3. Yale, 4. MIT, 5. Stanford, 6. CIT, 7. Dartmouth, 8. Columbia, 9. UNC-Chapel Hill, 10. Rice. I was pleasantly surprised to find my alma mater Boston College on this list in 38th place.

US News and World Report College Rankings: Are they Useful?

Overall Quality

US News and World Reports College Rankings are one tool for evaluating a college or university’s status. Upon graduation, the status of the college or university attended is a relevant factor to many employers. So while the difference between the #2 school and the #6 school may not be significant, the difference between attending a top 20 school and a bottom 20 school may have some significance among the many factors that contribute to a graduate’s success.

Admission Rates

The College Rankings provide a quick index for comparing admission rates. An applicant may find this information helpful in narrowing the list of schools to which he will submit applications. If …