Enter PIX11′s Magical Alaskan Cruise Sweepstakes aboard the Disney Wonder

The magic of a Disney Cruise Line vacation is that everyone in your family, no matter what age, will think it was created just for them. Kids can enjoy cool activities in dedicated spaces. Teens can hang in their own club. Adults can relax by the exclusive, adult-only pool, take in a rejuvenating massage and dance the night away in the ship’s unique nightclubs. Plus, the whole family can experience Disney characters, Broadway-style shows, and world-class service you’ll only find on a Disney cruise.

CLICK HERE for a chance to win the most magical cruise of them all from WPIX!

PLAN YOUR DREAM CRUISE ON DISNEY CRUISE LINE. SEE WHAT FUN AWAITS YOU ON A DISNEY CRUISE. WPIX-TV Magical Alaskan Cruise Sweepstakes 3/10/14 Official Rules

1. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident NY, NJ or CT at the time of entry. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes begins 3/10/14 at 5AM EST and ends 3/14/14 at 9AM EST, (the “Sweepstakes Period”). To enter, watch THE PIX 11 MORNING NEWS on WPIX-TV during the Sweepstakes Period; each day a different code word will be displayed on screen and viewers will be directed to enter the Sweepstakes as described below. Entries must be received by 11PM ET at the end of the sweepstake period (3/14/14).

a. Enter via Facebook: Using the feature on the PIX 11 facebook page, enter with the daily code word. Only entries containing the correct keyword shall be eligible.

b. Enter On-Line: Log onto PIX11.COM and follow the Sweepstakes link until reaching the entry page. Complete the entire entry form, including the daily code word, your name, age, valid email address, telephone or mobile phone number. On-line entries containing attachments, generated by a script, macro or other automated means shall be disqualified. On-line entrants must use their own name. Copies or other mechanical reproductions, facsimiles, entries containing technical or electronic reproductions, entries containing attached files are not eligible and will be rejected.

c. Restrictions: By entering, entrants agree to be bound by and comply with these Official Rules. One entry per person per code word and per entry method per day (for a maximum of 10 entries per person); subsequent entries originating from a unique or from a single e-mail address (in the case of On-Line Entries) will be disqualified. Sponsors are not responsible for lost, incomplete, damaged, illegible, late, or misdirected entries, or for errors in mechanical transmission, unavailability of phone lines or internet connections, or any other technical malfunctions or inability to transmit messages or entries.

2. SELECTION OF WINNERS: One (1) winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries received, and will be tentatively declared a winner by 3/20/14 (subject to verification and compliance with these rules). The winner will be notified by telephone. Failure to timely respond will result in disqualification and possible selection of an alternate winner from remaining eligible entries (at Sponsor’s sole discretion). Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.

3. PRIZES & PRIZE RESTRICTIONS: One Grand Prize winner will receive a 7-night cruise for four (4) aboard the Disney Wonder to Alaska, including four (4) roundtrip coach airfares from a major airport nearest the winner’s residence to Vancouver, Canada (winner must live more than 200 miles from Vancouver in order to receive the air travel portion of the prize), round trip ground transfers from Vancouver airport to the ship’s homeport, one (1) stateroom aboard the Disney Wonder with maximum occupancy of (4) people, all meals onboard the Cruise Ship (with the exception of Palo Fine Dining), Government Taxes and Fees (as defined by Disney Cruise Line). ARV: $_9,500.00 

Crescent Moon

Amazon Dealp>Over here in the Northern Hemisphere, the end of winter is approaching, and to mark the occasion Crescent Moon Games is having a big sale on some of their top games. Three in particular, Neon Shadow, Mimpi and Strike Wing: Raptor Rising, have dropped all the way down to free for the first time ever. Others, like Aralon: Sword and Shadow and Pocket RPG, are seeing pretty significant discounts. So, if there’s something in the Crescent Moon catalogue that you haven’t picked up yet, check out the list of sales below and start celebrating the end of the winter season with some new iOS games.

New Addition:

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MONEY: December sales down across industries | The Sierra Vista Herald


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In December, inflation-adjusted retail, accommodation, and restaurant and bar sales in Cochise County were down, compared to December 2012.

Countywide retail sales were down 12.8 percent in December, after adjusting for inflation. Despite the decline, sales were up 1.5 percent overall for the year. Retail sales countywide have been up in 16 of the past 22 months.

At the state level, retail sales were up 15.4 percent in December. Statewide sales were up 7.3 percent in 2013, considerably outpacing sales performance in Cochise County.

Countywide restaurant and bar sales were down 4.2 percent in December, after the inflation adjustment.

In 2013, sales were down 0.5 percent for the year. Sales have been down in 20 of the past 27 months.

Arizona’s restaurant and bar sales were down 1.2 percent in December. Overall, however, sales were up 2.2 percent in 2013.

Accommodation sales countywide were down 3.8 percent in December compared to December 2012. In 2013, sales were down 12.2 percent. Accommodation sales include hotel, motel, RV Park, and other temporary lodging stays of less than 30 days.

The countywide accommodation industry has struggled in recent years with sales down in 34 of the past 39 months. The decline is due largely to changes in travel policy for military personnel Best Deals temporary duty to Fort Huachuca, requiring many to now be billeted on post, along with defense budget cuts that have slowed temporary duty travel to the fort.

Statewide accommodation sales were down 4.8 percent in December but were up 0.4 percent for the year in 2013.

At the city level, retail sales in Benson were up 4 percent in December compared to December 2012. In 2013, however, sales were down 0.7 percent.

Restaurant and bar receipts in Benson were up 8 percent in December. In 2013, sales were up 17.9 percent for the year. Sales have been up in 12 of the past 14 months, following declines in 26 of 28 months.Benson’s accommodation receipts in December were down 21.8 percent from December 2012. For the year, however, sales were up 29.3 percent. Sales have been up in 12 of the most recent 18 months.

The overall strong performance of Benson’s hospitality industries in 2013 was due largely to completion of highway construction along I-10. While construction was ongoing, it deterred travelers along the interstate from stopping in Benson.

In Bisbee, retail sales were down 8.4 percent in December compared to December 2012. In 2013, sales were down 2.3 percent. Despite the overall drop, sales have been up in eight of the past 15 months, following declines in seven of eight months.

Restaurant and bar sales in Bisbee were up 33.3 percent in December. Sales have been up in seven of the past nine months. In 2013, sales were up 8.3 percent for the year.

Bisbee’s accommodation receipts were up 70.5 percent in December. For the year, however, sales were down 10.8 percent. Sales have been down in 14 of the most recent 20 months.

In Douglas, retail sales were down 1.5 percent in December compared to December 2012. In 2013, overall sales were up 0.1 percent. Restaurant and bar sales in Douglas were down 0.5 percent in December. Sales have been down in nine of the past 13 months. In 2013, however, sales were up 1.3 percent due to strong performance in the months that saw growth. Accommodation receipts in Douglas were down 7.7 percent in December. In 2013, sales were down 13.1 percent. Sales have been down in 18 of the past 24 months.

Huachuca City’s retail sales were up 6.5 percent in December, compared to December 2012. In 2013, sales were up 2.4 percent for the year. Despite the overall increase, sales have been down in 19 of the past 25 months. Huachuca City’s retail sales for 2013 were pushed into positive territory by exceptionally strong growth in the months that saw growth and modest declines in those that saw sales fall. Accommodation and restaurant and bar sales data are not available for Huachuca City. In Sierra Vista, retail sales were up 2 percent in December. In 2013, sales were up 3.5 percent. Sales have been up in 11 of the past 13 months.

Restaurant and bar sales in Sierra Vista were down 10.6 percent in December, compared to December 2012. In 2013, sales were down 5.3 percent. Sales have been down in 27 of the past 35 months.

Sierra Vista’s accommodation sales were up 4.5 percent in December. For the year, however, sales were down 28.3 percent. Sales have been down in 32 of the most recent 35 months.

In Tombstone, retail sales were up 155 percent in December. In 2013, sales were up 9.1 percent. Despite the overall increase for the year, spurred by strong growth in December, sales have been down in nine of the past 15 months.

Tombstone’s restaurant and bar sales were down 21.7 percent in December. In 2013, sales were down 3.9 percent. Sales have been down in seven of the most recent nine months.

Accommodation sales in Tombstone were down 66.6 percent in December. In 2013, sales were down 2.5 percent for the year.

In Willcox, retail sales were down 11.1 percent in December compared to December 2012. For the year, sales were down 9.3 percent. Sales have been down in 11 of the past 14 months. Restaurant and bar sales in Willcox were down 22.4 percent in December. For 2013, sales were down 4.6 percent. Sales have been down in 12 of the most recent 20 months.

Accommodation receipts in Willcox were down 26.9 percent in December. For the year, sales were down 0.1 percent. Sales have been down in six of the most recent 10 months.

Dr. Robert Carreira is director of the Center for Economic Research at Cochise College. If you have any questions on the economy, please contact the CER at (520) 515-5486 or by email at cer@cochise.edu. Check out the CER’s website at www.cochise.edu/cer.

Pandora, Spotify, Rdio And iTunes Radio Competitor Beats Music Now Available On iOS

Ahead of its official launch in the U.S. tomorrow, Beats Music has just been launched on iOS with the App Store release of its app designed for iPhone and iPod touch.

Cofounded by rapper Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine, Beats Music is a new music streaming service that seeks to take on the likes of pandora app, Spotify, Rdio, and, of course, Apple’s iTunes Radio. But it also seeks to differentiate itself from most other apps of its ilk with its combination of human and automatic algorithms that makes for the right music at the right time.

Beats Music offers the following key features:

  • JUST FOR YOU - Your first stop for music that’s right for you. A mix of albums and playlists that have been handpicked by our music experts are always ready and waiting just for you.
  • RIGHT NOW - Make your mix. Change the sentence up to match how you’re feeling or what you’re doing and who you’re with.
  • HIGHLIGHTS - Discover what’s happening in the world of music. Quick access to what’s worth checking out, even if it’s not on your radar.
  • FIND IT - When you’re not quite sure what to listen to, reach for the perfect playlist here. Choose a genre, activity, or curator and we’ll do the rest.
  • SHARE - Get a following by sharing your favorite tracks, albums and playlists with your friends on Beats Music, Facebook and Twitter.

Check back later here on AppAdvice for our full review of Beats Music. In the meantime, you can go ahead and download the Beats Music app for your iOS device.

Optimized for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later, Beats Music is available now in the App Store for free.

Offering a seven-day free trial, Beats Music provides unlimited and ad-free music streaming for $9.99 a month. It will also be available through the Beats Music Family Plan from AT&T, supporting five accounts across 10 devices for $14.99 a month, beginning on Friday, Jan. 24.

Beats Music is also supported on the Web, Android, and Windows Phone.

Home sales in the Santa Fe area saw a 7 percent uptick in 2013 and the total number of homes sold was the most in six years, but the market is still a long way away from where it was prior to the economic downturn. And it may take some time before the local home market fully recovers, says Alan Ball, a real estate broker with Keller Williams Realty in Santa Fe.

Ball keeps track of home sales in the city and county, and posts them Price Compare his blog, alanball2.wordpress.com. While he notes he is neither an economist nor an analyst, he suggests that growth will continue at a relatively slow pace in 2014.

"I don’t know if we’ll see a 7 percent increase this year," he said during a phone interview Monday. "There’s the saying that a higher tide lifts all boats, but not every piece of the economy is improving. As a result, we’ll be working through it painfully one house at a time."

Ball said other factors are likely to depress growth.

"There are some givens. All the so-called experts predict higher mortgage rates this year and that has to slow things down. With every quarter percent you go up, you eliminate people from the market," he said. "Interest rates climbing and more restrictive underwriting standards aren’t going to help either."

Still, a 7 percent increase in the number of homes sold is good news.

"A growth in home sales is a sign that some sellers are finally able to get beyond the burden of owning a home that they formerly could not sell," he writes on his blog. "And since very few new homes are being built, the inventory that did sell had a very high percentage of existing homes."

The increase occurred at the high and low ends of the market. Ball said it’s not unusual to see an increase at the bottom end of the market because those are the most affordable.

"They sell faster than any other price range," he said.

Ball said there were 97 homes priced at more than $1 million in 2013, up from 88 the previous two years, a 9.3 percent increase.

"That’s not a world record pace, but it’s significant," he said.

Also significant is that homes priced between $500,000 and $1 million declined, albeit only by five homes, from 348 to 343.

"It’s significant in that it’s going the wrong way," he said. "What isn’t growing is ‘quality’ inventory in that price range. There are hardly any new homes being built."

In all, 1,757 homes were sold in Santa Fe County, including the city of Santa Fe, during 2013. That’s the most since 1,830 homes were sold in 2007, but still a far cry from when the market peaked in 2005 when 2,798 homes were sold.

In fact, more than 2,200 homes were sold each year between 2002 and 2006 before a three-year decline bottomed out at 1,203 homes in 2009. Since then, sales have increased each year.

The total volume from sales - the amount spent on homes sold for the year - was up to $744 million. That’s the most since 2006.

The average price per home has remained relatively flat since then, as well. In 2013, the average price was $423,472, about $2,000 more than in 2012 and about $3,000 less than when sales peaked in 2005.

White House greeting card made in Michigan

burgoyne christmas cardsp>- The White House greeting card being sent throughout the country has Michigan fingerprints all over it.

President Obama’s 2013 card was designed by graphic artist Chris Hankinson of Hilltop Studios in Grand Rapids, Champion Die Inc. of Comstock Park made the die and Admore Inc. of Detroit made the card, according to The Grand Rapids Press ( http://bit.ly/1dRzH4z ).

The pop-up card has a three-dimensional image of the White House and the Obama’s two dogs.

"I’m deeply honored, to put it mildly," the 52-year-old Hankinson told the newspaper. "It’s something that never crossed my mind that I might be doing someday."

The card was signed by Barack and Michelle Obama and daughters, Malia and Sasha. Calvin Coolidge issued the first official presidential Christmas message to Americans in 1927. President Dwight Eisenhower started sending holiday greeting cards on a large scale 60 years ago.

Hankinson was approached last year to design the 2012 card, but the job was later given to someone else.

"When it didn’t work out, it was kind of a bummer and a disappointment," he said.

The White House contacted him about this year’s card in July.

"What happened is they were going through a number of possible companies to do it," Hankinson said. "Most, if not all, did their manufacturing out of the United States."

Not Hankinson, who ended up working with the Michigan companies to produce the card.

Even the hand folding of the cards was done in state at Handy Bindery Co. in Clinton Township.

"Those people at Handy Bindery are the real heroes," Hankinson said. "It’s easy to design them. It’s another thing to fold them."

The project was not done without hiccups along the way. The White House wanted the family dog, Bo, included on the card, but then the Obamas got a second dog, Sunny, in August.

"They called a week later and said they needed another dog," Hankinson said.

Information from: The Grand Rapids Press:MLive.com, http://www.mlive.com