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Archive for the ‘Michigan Tattoo’

The Flower Tattoo Trend That Merged With The Body Positivity Movement – The List12.28.21

The body positivity movement has been a huge undertaking in recent years. Many around the world are working to help others and themselves feel more comfortable than ever in their skin. Our current global society shames people for being too thin or too large, but this movement works to undo that ideology. This movement is about meeting yourself where you're at and loving yourself for who you are, no matter your physical appearance (via Verywellmind). Every human body deserves love and to be embraced.

This is how and why the "roll flower" tattoo trend was born. According to Allure, this trend is specifically for people with larger bodies and involves flowers being tattooed where their bodies have rolls. The roll's crease then acts as the stem of the flower when the tattoo is placed correctly. Other "roll" tattoos are popular too, including designs of ocean waves and other plants, too. It's a way of embracing one's body and highlighting it, never hiding from it. All bodies are beautiful.

"I have been tattooing professionally for eight years and in that time I noticed that tattoo designs that were made to compliment someone's body were always for thin or muscular body types," Carrie Metz-Caporusso, a Michigan-based tattoo artist, told Allure. "Never have I seen anyone come up with anything particularly for fat bodies."

In a world where fat is too often seen as unattractive, embracing one's fat body in any way, including getting a tattoo that highlights it, is an act of political resistance. You don't need to lose weight or get fit to get a tattoo no matter if you opt for the "roll flower" tattoo or any other design. You can rock it.


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He Spent the Night With a Married Woman and Wound Up Dead in a National Park – The Daily Beast12.15.21

The wife of a U.S. Coast Guardsman in Virginia drove her husbands car to Cleveland, where she spent the night with a 31-year-old father of two, then executed the aspiring musician in a nature preserve with a bullet to the back of the head before heading to Detroit to get a tattoo, a newly unsealed federal complaint alleges.

Chelsea Perkins, also 31, is accused of fatally shooting Matthew John Dunmire, whose body was found last March near a haunted cemetery in Ohios Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Perkins, who is now charged with murder, was arrested Thursday in Pensacola, Florida.

I think about a week prior to all of this, Matthew was so excited because he was trying to stop drinking, a former coworker of Dunmires, 30-year-old Jaimee Magyaros, told The Daily Beast shortly after the charges against Perkins were unsealed. He was really proud of himself, he was turning his life around. I remember he made a comment about having his whole life ahead of himand then this happened.

On March 5, 2021, four days before Dunmire was found dead, he was out at a local bar, the Tiki Underground, with a group of colleagues from the screenprinting shop where he worked. While there, Dunmire, an avid guitarist who was originally from Virginia, told his supervisor that he was planning to meet a woman from out of town who was staying over in the Cleveland area. The exact relationship between the two, or how they met, is unknown, and no apparent motive has been revealed by authorities.

At around 6 p.m., Dunmore got a text. Shes here, he announced to his coworkers, and walked out of the Tiki with his supervisor, the complaint states.

The supervisor, who is not identified by name in the complaint, watched Dunmire get into a white Smart car with Virginia plates and a brown-haired woman behind the wheel. There was a Coast Guard sticker on the rear window, along with a Bauhaus sticker and a third sticker, reading Virginia is for Lovers, beneath the rear license plate.

Perkins and Dunmire drove to a nearby Airbnb that Perkins had booked using a credit card under her own name, according to the complaint. Along the way, video surveillance from a nearby BP station showed Dunmire entering the gas station convenience store, where he bought cigarettes and a bottle of Aquafina water.

At roughly 8 p.m., the two stopped at a nearby sandwich shop. Surveillance footage from a neighboring Verizon store showed the pair, both in dark clothing, walking down the avenue together, the complaint says. Dunmire then headed back to the Airbnb with Perkins to spend the night, according to the complaint. While there, Perkins contacted a tattoo artist in Detroit via Facebook Messenger and made plans to get inked the following day after making a stop first, the filing states.

On the morning of March 6, 2021, [Dunmire] texted his girlfriend, identified herein as A.W., that he had just woke [sic] up, was going to donate plasma, and would come back to their apartment, the complaint continues. [Dunmire] asked A.W. not to be upset and said he did not sleep with her. At approximately 8:39 a.m., [Dunmire] texted A.W. again saying that he was guessing that she (his girlfriend) did not miss him and was mad at him last night. [Dunmire] said further: Well I pissed this chick off anyway so I hope yer happy.

About 20 minutes later, Dunmire and Perkins left the Airbnb and headed south on Brecksville Road, according to GPS data from their phones, the complaint says. Dunmires phone was used to search for the location of the Terra Vista Natural Study Area, a scenic butterfly habitat within Cuyahoga Valley National Park. They arrived around 9:45 a.m., and left Perkins car in the parking lot. Approximately 45 minutes later, Dunmire texted his girlfriend again, saying, OK. Ill see you in a little while.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 11:50 a.m., a couple enjoying the peaceful nature preserve heard a gunshot and decided to leave the area, and spotted the white Smart car in the parking lot on their way out, according to the complaint.

A second couple said they had been hiking near the Terra Vista Study Area that day, and encountered a young woman in the woods, alone. They added that the woman, who had dark shoulder-length hair, told them she was looking for the Terra Vista Cemetery and became lost, states the complaint. The two found it odd that the woman was not dressed in hiking attire; rather she was wearing all black clothing, black knee-high boots, and a black hoodie, according to the complaint, which says the couple described the woman as confused, and that she expressed no emotion.

They told investigators that they walked with the woman for a short distance until their path split, and the woman headed toward the direction of the cemetery.

Perkins left Cleveland around 1 p.m., according to EZ-Pass records, which showed the Smart car getting on the Ohio Turnpike and heading west toward Toledo. There, the carwhich was registered in Perkins husbands nameturned north toward Michigan, and eventually arrived at a Detroit tattoo parlor called Family Ink.

A Family Ink employee said Thursday that she didnt remember Perkins or anything about her.

The FBI came down and questioned me, and I told them the same thing, the employee, who did not want to be identified, told The Daily Beast. I dont know anything about it, man.

In the early morning hours of March 7, the white Smart car left Michigan, heading east. It again traveled through Ohio, and exited the turnpike in Somerset, Pennsylvania, the complaint states, citing EZ-Pass records.

Around 11 a.m. on March 9, officers with the Valley View Police Department in Ohio responded to the Terra Vista Cemetery regarding the discovery of a deceased male by a group of hikers. An ID card in the dead mans pocket identified him as Dunmire, who was wearing black fingerless gloves, a black leather jacket, a black hoodie, black jeans, and black boots. A plastic Aquafina water bottle was found next to Dunmires body.

Forensic testing identified Perkins and Dunmires DNA on the mouth and cap of the Aquafina bottle. Perkins DNA was found on Dunmires pubic hair, and under his fingernails. An autopsy determined the cause of death to have been homicide by a single gunshot wound to the back of Dunmires head.

Later that month, investigators searched the Virginia home Perkins and her husband shared. They seized three 9mm pistols, one of which was inside a womans purse/backpack, which also contained an identification card for Chelsea Perkins, states the complaint. A ballistics test linked one of the guns to the bullet recovered from Dunmires skull, it says.

The complaint does not account for the time period between the slaying and Perkins arrest today in Pensacola. She does not yet have a lawyer listed in court records, and her husband was unable to be reached for comment.

Dunmires father, John McQuillen, acknowledged that an arrest had been made but said he didnt have any details. He told The Daily Beast on Thursday, I really don't want to talk about it. I cant discuss anything about it at this time.

Magyaros, Dunmires former coworker, said Dunmires kids were back in Virginia and that he had moved to Ohio to better his life.

He always seemed so happy, and it just made my day, Magyaros told The Daily Beast. Im pretty picky about the people who I become friends with, and he was one of the people I felt like I could really connect with. The night that it happened, my coworkers and he were at the Tiki lounge Im kicking myself, [because] I ended up not going. I wish I was there, it would've been the last time I could have spent time with him. You cant predict these things. Its just very sad and unfortunate. But Im so glad the person who did this was caught.

Perkins faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

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Spartan Football Essentials: Plowing Through to Protect the Woodshed – Spartan Nation11.30.21


Late it the week word leaked that MSU was hit with a big time flu bug. Before the game the accumulating snow gave you an idea of what kind of game to expect. It had the looks of a low scoring battle in the trenches, but thats not how it went for the MSU Offense. For the eighth time in 2021 the Spartan Offense scored 30-points or more. This one featured the playmakers that put up so many of those points: Payton Thorne, Kenneth Walker, and Jayden Reed.

Thorne shined early and often with big throws at critical times, and kept the Offense from becoming too one dimensional and predictable. Thorne started hot again, flashing his unique combination of poise and precision. He gave MSU a comfy 14-0 lead with a slick Touchdown to Tre Mosely, not even half way into the 1st Quarter. It looked pretty easy.

Thorne was 19 for 30 on the day, with one shaky looking interception, but hit for many major conversions again, including the clinching 4th and 15 for the Touchdown to Jayden Reed. Thorne ran the ball well too, 8 times for 39-yards and a Touchdown, but beyond that he managed the game well and put MSU in position to score enough to stay undefeated at home and get to 10-wins. Thorne needs to learn how to slide more, get out of bounds when he can, and avoid taking dangerous hits like he faced today, but those are small issues for the out of season review. The big story is the Spartans have found a Quarterback thats likely to rewrite a lot of the MSU history books before hes all done.

Kenneth Walker and Jayden Reed were among many playing at less than 100%. Both had huge days when MSU needed it most, making plays from beginning to end. Walker broke some runs, carried it 30 times, and went pass 100-yards for the eighth time this year. He probably booked a trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy Award too, and brought himself back into that discussion with another gritty and effective performance in a Spartan win.

Reed caught six balls but none bigger than the deciding play of the day when he secured another Touchdown pass from Thorne to put MSU up 30-20. Walker and Reeds efforts were as gutty as you could find, but truly the norm for an Offense that fought essentially used the final game of the year to recap how well the MSU Offense produced in 2021. The future looks bright for MSU as the Offense should only get more talented and better up front, and much deeper. As great as Thorne, Reed, and Walker were this year, the 2021 Offense would not have done much without serious improvement up front. It all starts up front in the Big Ten East, and it all started again for Michigan State up front in 2021.

Before the year many around the vast Spartan Nation knew the MSU Offense would only go as far as their Offensive Line permitted. To our pleasant surprise, the first play of the season was a sneak peak at how things would go, and the Offensive Line came a lot further than anyone could have honestly expected. There is a lot to look forward to for the Michigan State Offense.

Coming off their worst performance in years, and hopefully the worst or the entire Mel Tucker era, the Defense wanted to bounce back and finish the year strong. They did just that while surviving the weather and making their best plays late. The weather may have said run, but Penn State threw the ball anyway, and a lot. Sean Clifford threw it well for Penn State when he was not pressured, carving MSU up for more than 300-yards and three passing scores. But this Defenses bend but dont break mantra held up at the end, one more time.

The Spartan Defense did a lot more good than bad today, as they frankly have all year. Theres no other way to win 10-games with their schedule. MSU opponents to 21-points or less seven times this year, and nearly an eighth today. That is not easy and nothing to balk at. Passing yards matter, rushing totals can be huge, but no stat tops the points left hanging on the board when the game clock hits zero. Scottie Hazelton and company have plenty to celebrate tonight, a good bit to build on for the future, and some real lessons to carry forward from their phenomenal Spartans 10-2 regular season.

Hazelton and staff found ways to optimize their 2021 roster. Today was no different. The Defense caused and recovered the big turnover of the game with 8:29 left in the 4th. When Drew Beesley popped it loose from the Lions Keyvone Lee and Cal Haladay hopped on to recover, the game started to tilt towards MSU. It was 23-20 MSU at the time and completely up for grabs, but seven plays later Thorne and Reed bookmarked the takeaway with the 4th Down score to put MSU up 30-20.

This Defense may not look much like some coming to East Lansing in the years ahead, but they earned serious credit for keeping points off the scoreboard as often as they did. You are as good as your record says you are, so along with all the grief they took for the Ohio State scoreboard, the 2021 Defense deserves credit for keeping so many teams under three-scores, and for making some big plays on time like the Spartans Seniors did today.

After the game, Tucker talked about the resilience of his team and their never quit attitude. Both of those were on display as the Defense made enough plays in the 4th Quarter when the game was hanging in the balance. This Defense earned their share of credit for the fine 10-2 season, and the future looks only brighter for this side of the ball. Mel Tucker will push the Spartans Defense to make a big jump forward next year like the Offense did in 2021, but for the next few weeks the Spartan Nation should keep tipping their hat to Scottie Hazelton and staff for finding a way to make the most possible of bend but dont break Defense.

So many new names found playing time for this Defense, with a good number of young players showing real development that will make a difference in 2022. Of course, there are serious issues to address defending the pass, but Tucker and Hazelton clearly know that. Spartan Football will start working on that next week as recruiting ramps up and bowl prep begins in the coming weeks. The Defense that did enough to get MSU 10-wins in 2021 should only get better and we get into 2022 and beyond.

Matt Coghlins 56th game as a Spartan featured another big Field Goal against Penn State, but far sooner than his walk off in 2017. Coghlins 22-yard low rider put MSU back up 17-14, but sent the injured super-senior to the bench for good with an ongoing hip injury. Evan Johnson came from deep in the roster to try a PAT in the 2nd Half, which only confirmed how hard kicking the ball had become. In many ways, Coghlins final kick in Spartan Stadium was perfect cap to a very long and successful career at MSU that featured a good number of highs, lows, and big ones against Penn State.

Kicking only got harder as the snow added up. Both teams made 4th Down decisions with that in mind, and even the Spartans fine Punter Bryce Barringer was left perplexed by the snow after his 4th Quarter Punt went only 24-yards. Barringer found success earlier, as did Penn States Punter Jordan Strout, but kicking the ball off the ground was just brutal for both sides by the end.

On the kick after MSU went up 30-20, Maa Gaoteote forced a fumble that looked like it would be the clincher for MSU. The Offense couldnt keep the ball, but that fumble and recovery by Justin White shrunk the game even more for Penn State. As we have discussed in this space all year and for many years before that, its more often the massive gaffe that costs you in Special Teams than anything else. Just ask Nebraska, and on the flip side of that, MSU.

The Spartans made plays all over the field from literally the first snap of the year, but maybe the most important play all year was thanks to Special Teams. Nebraskas misdirected Punt turned into a Jayden Reed Touchdown that gave MSU a shot to steal a win. Michigan State was 3-0 at the time, and took full advantage of that Special Teams game changer by pushing it into Overtime and then closing out the win with another Coghlin game winner. 2021 was a solid year for this unit with some really big plays at big times. All signs point towards better Special Teams in the future but MSU looks to have a lot to replace in the kicking and return games.

Its one thing to bounce back from your worst loss of the year, another to bounce back from a loss that cost you a shot at the Big Ten East. But as we discussed a few weeks back, MSU was going to play all twelve games. Whether they won or lost against Michigan, MSU had a look at 10-wins. And regardless of the 1st Half at Ohio State last week, this team would have to find a way to finish against Penn State. Thats what the best programs in the sport find a way to do.

When word leaked that Michigan State could be down as many as two-dozen players for todays finale a lot of folks scrambled to lower expectations, rationalize a loss to Penn State, and preemptively look ahead to whatever Bowl opportunity MSU would have to win a 10th game. MSU players did not. They dug as deep as they have all year, stretching and straining through the entire printed roster, if not beyond, to find the grit that makes their Gruff Sparty logo shine so bright. This was a true program builder for the 2021 Spartans and Head Coach Mel Tucker. They kept chopping all the way.

Ten wins is a big deal in major College Football. How big? Just look at the company Spartan Football rides with these days. Michigan State now has 10-win seasons in seven of their last twelve. How does that stack up with other name brands in that span? Check the numbers.

Florida did it four times, Texas once, Nebraska twice, and USC four times. Those flashy Oregon Ducks have seven 10-win seasons in their last twelve, Wisconsin and Notre Dame too, but Michigan only five, and Penn State just three. Florida State and LSU have six, Auburn only three, and upstart Cincinnati has five. Are you getting the full picture? Oklahoma has ten, and Ohio State has 10-wins or more in all but two of those seasons, one thanks to the pandemic and the other thanks to the fallout from the Tattoo Benefits scandal. Thats how well Spartan Football measures up around the world of College Football right now, winning 10 games or more a pretty consistent basis.

Yet, as Mel Tucker reminded the Spartan Nation after the impressive 10th win today, with snow melting on his head, the 2021 Spartans are not done. The Spartans will take a shot to win an 11th game for the sixth time in twelve years in the coming Bowl Game. Thats how good Spartan Football has been over the last dozen years, and 2021 is just the start for Mel Tuckers era of Michigan State Football.

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Magnificent Mile Lights Festival 2021 to be live again with Kool & the Gang, Deborah Cox, Tag Team – Chicago Sun-Times11.13.21

Kool & the Gang, an American Idol finalist and the Whoomp! There It Is guys will join Mickey and Minnie Mouse at next weeks BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

The 30th annual fest, an adrenaline shot for the Chicago holiday season, returns as a live event after the COVID-19 scare last year limited the festivities to just a TV broadcast.

The two-day extravaganza culminates with the traditional Michigan Avenue parade beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at Oak Street. As the Disney mice light more than a million lights along, the crowd will be entertained by Kool & the Gang (performing their hit Celebration), Tag Team (the rap duo best known for Whoomp!) and Grace Kinstler, the Crystal Lake singer who finished third on American Idol earlier this year.

R&B and Broadway star Deborah Cox will do double duty, performing at a tree lighting ceremony at the Wrigley Building plaza (4 p.m. Nov. 19) and then the next day in the parade, which ends with fireworks at Wacker Drive.

Leading up to the parade will be a variety of free events starting at 11 a.m. at 401 N. Michigan Ave., including pet adoption, a temporary tattoo booth, photos with Santa and DJ entertainment.

Visitors are asked to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Highlights from the parade will air in a TV special premiering at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 on WLS-Channel 7.

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Magnificent Mile Lights Festival 2021 to be live again with Kool & the Gang, Deborah Cox, Tag Team - Chicago Sun-Times

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These 8 Michigan Tattoo Shops Are All Women/Non-Binary Owned – wkfr.com11.13.21

When it comes to planning out a tattoo, there are several things you need to double-check:

As far as tattoo shops are concerned, there are plenty to choose from in Michigan. However, if you're in the market for a woman-owned or non-binary-owned shop there are several acrossthe state that you can choose from.

Here are 8 women/non-binary owned tattoo shops that you can visit in Michigan:

1. Relevant Tattoo & Piercing

Relevant Tattoo & Piercing, located in Coldwater, is a female-run and operated tattoo shop. They offer private rooms and, according to their Facebook page, cater to all walks of life. They can also offer services in English, German or Spanish. Like most tattoo shops, appointments fill up fast and tend to be booked a couple of months in advance. You can contact Relevant Tatoo & Piercing at(517) 227-5880 or on their Facebook page.

2. Heirloom Arts LLC

All of the artists at Heirloom Arts LLC are either non-binary or women. Located in Kalamazoo, they focus on upholding a higher standard for quality design with compassion, according to their Facebook page. Currently, they accept clients by appointment only. You can book an appointment on their website, by, or by messaging their Facebook page.

3. Balm

Balm is located on the west side of Grand Rapids. They take special care to educate themselves about working with those who have been a victim of trauma so they can provide a compassionate and safe experience. Specifically, Sarah is the artist who is trained in trauma-focused practices. Balm also offers a community fund where "sliding-scale" tattoos are offered with no questions asked. You can read more about the community fund and booking appointments on their website.

4. Splash of Color Tattoo & Piercing

Splash of Color, in East Lansing, has been in business for over 20 years. The owner, Kris Lachance, has been running the operation since 1997 and focuses on delivering the highest standard of cleanliness and safety for their clients, according to their Facebook page. Splash of Color can be contacted at(517) 333-0990 or by messaging their Facebook page.

5. Lucky Monkey Tattoo

Lucky Monkey Tattoo, in Ann Arbor, claims to be world-famous. At least, that's what it says on their Facebook page. Their artists are also said to be award-winning which should instill confidence for whichever artist you choose. Appointments seem to be open. All that they ask is that you don't DM to inquire about an appointment. Instead, they ask that you send an email to Make sure you include your design idea, approximate size, location on your body, and your contact information.

6. 7 Chakras Piercing and Tattoo Studio

7 Chakras Piercing & Tattoo Studio is located in Kalamazoo. They work to ensure their clients have the safest and most friendly experience ever. It seems to be working. Their reviews speak very highly of the shop including one that says,

This place is amazing!! Jasmine was a wonderful tattoo artist she made such a comfortable environment and did an amazing job!! 10/10 I would recommend getting a tattoo from here.

Read more reviews and request a quote on their website.

7. My Little Needle Tattoos

Claiming to be Plymouth's oldest tattoo shop, My Little Needle Tattoos was established in 2008. The owner,Latricia (Trish) Horstman, has been making art since she was a little girl and has been tattooing since 2004, according to their Facebook page. For inquiries about appointments visit their Facebook page, give them a call at 734-883-9996, or at

8. Sei Bella Tattoo

This tattoo shop in Muskegonoffers what they call "spirit guided tattoos." Besides tattoos, you can find metaphysical treasures and tarot readings all in one spot. Sei Bella works to provide a tranquil and safe space for you to explore beautiful tattoo art from any one of their artists. See the work from their artists and find information on booking appointments here.

As someone who has a number of tattoos, I understand the importance of feeling 100% comfortable with your tattoo experience. If you've been looking for a woman or non-binary artist specifically, hopefully, the above list will help point you in the right direction.

Jennifer Gifford, from Flint, has recently found a unique hobby: finding and sharing photographs of payphones that are still standing in Michigan.

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What its really like to give blood – Michigan Medicine11.02.21

Tips for a successful blood donation1. First, figure out if youre eligible to donate blood

Its true, the Red Cross and other blood-gathering agencies dont take just anyones blood. They must make sure its safe for donors to give, and safe for the recipients to get.

Still, while about 38% of Americans meet all the criteria to give blood, only 10% actually do it. Thats why shortages happen.

So its time to check the blood donation eligibility guidelines if youre assuming you wont qualify, or if you didnt qualify in the past because of a tattoo or piercing you got, a trip you took, or a medicine you were taking. Guidelines have changed!

If youre a member of the LGBTQ+ community, see the special page for you (and note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with the Red Cross to evaluate potential changes to its donation guidelines for gay and bisexual men.)

If youve recently gotten vaccinated against COVID-19, with a first, second or third dose of any of the vaccines approved for use in the U.S. or Canada, you dont have to wait before donating blood. The waiting period was removed earlier this year. You also dont have to wait after getting a flu shot or most other vaccinations (check the eligibility criteria to be sure.)

If youve recently had COVID-19, you need to wait until youre a few weeks after your positive test or symptoms before donating.

SEE ALSO: Feeling Helpless as the Pandemic Continues? 26 Things You Can Do to Help

One of the eligibility criteria that has tripped me up from time to time is the level of hemoglobin in my blood, which relates to levels of iron. In fact, this is pretty common, especially for women, and the Red Cross offers information about why its important and what you can do.

Each donor gets a rapid hemoglobin test as part of the pre-donation process, but you dont want to make the trip to a donation site only to find out your level is too low.

So, I take an iron supplement and a vitamin C supplement to help my body absorb the extra iron, and I try to eat iron-rich foods in the weeks before a donation. If you think you might have low iron, talk to your health care provider about whether you should take a supplement.

Like Podcasts? Add the Michigan Medicine News Break oniTunes, Google Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

The Red Cross has an easy-to-use online scheduling system that lets you find a blood donation time and location thats convenient for you (you may live in an area served by another blood-gathering organization, but they likely have one too.)

Most donations take about an hour from start to finish, but with COVID precautions and staff shortages this can stretch out a bit longer at peak times. So dont book a donation time that starts an hour before a crucial meeting or when you have to pick someone up.

I try to pick donation times after lunch, so I can have a meal about half an hour to an hour before I arrive. This gets sugar into my bloodstream so Ill be less likely to feel woozy after I give. But no matter what time you give, make sure to have at least a snack before you go.

The day before your appointment, youll get an email nudging you to take care of the pre-donation questionnaire and get a digital Rapid Pass that will speed your way through the donation process. This just takes a few minutes and includes important information about eligibility that might be specific to your area (such as whether you were informed you ate at a local restaurant associated with a hepatitis A outbreak).

This tip is crucial: Start drinking extra water a few days before your appointment. Getting fully hydrated will plump up your veins and make your donation go more smoothly.

By the day of your appointment, you should be so well-hydrated that your urine is nearly colorless and you find yourself needing bathroom breaks more often than usual. Also, avoid coffee, tea, cola or other caffeine-containing drinks and foods on the day of your appointment, since they make your body get rid of water faster.

Plan your outfit: Short sleeves, or sleeves you can unbutton and roll to above your elbow, are a must. You can wear a sweater or jacket before and after you donate. Dont wear a skirt or dress because its not easy to get on and off the high donation cot in one. (I found that out the hard way. Never again!) Super-tight jeans or waistbands arent a great idea either.

If you want a great detailed explanation of what happens at a blood donation appointment, the Red Cross offers a full blow-by-blow.

Check out the list below for a quick run-down of what you can expect along the way.

Bring your ID, so they can make sure youre you. If you have a donor card from a past donation, bring it, too.

Wear a mask. Blood donation drives are health care settings, so its likely required, though that could change depending on local COVID case rates.

Bring your smartphone or something to read in case you have a bit of a wait.

If you didnt do the Rapid Pass in advance, be ready to go over all the eligibility questions about your health and travel history, and other topics, on the computer of the staff member assigned to you.

Even if you did do the Rapid Pass, you will still have a few more questions to answer. Be honest about everything they ask they will keep the information confidential.

If youre with a friend and get deferred from donating because of how you answered a question, but you dont want to tell the friend the reason, you can say it was low iron or something.

If youre concerned you might have low iron, ask them to test your hemoglobin first before you invest too much time in the appointment. This involves a pinprick on one of your fingertips to get a drop of blood. If your level is too low on the first try, they can test it one more time from a different finger.

Youll get your temperature, pulse and blood pressure taken so basically, giving blood includes a free health screening!

Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor, your body relaxed and your breathing calm when they take your blood pressure.

If youre anxious about needles, use distraction to keep yourself from worrying. Enjoy the sound system thats playing upbeat music. Trade stories or crack jokes with the staff (they have a long day on their feet). Do some patterned breathing. And tell the staff that youre not a fan of needles so they can help you through the process.

Theyll ask you which arm you want to give from. Some people prefer to try to give from their non-dominant arm, but honestly there is no pain afterward so it should not matter. And sometimes the easier-to-access veins are on your dominant arm, so using it might make things go more smoothly to use that one.

The staff will put a blood pressure cuff on you and narrate every step of the process, from using a marker to outline the vein theyll use, to cleaning your skin to prevent infection, to inserting the needle and telling you when to squeeze or roll the soft roller or squishy ball theyll put in your hand.

The needle goes in on the inside of your elbow, and staff are excellent about doing it as quickly and painlessly as possible. Thankfully there really arent many nerve endings in that spot, so its more like a moment of discomfort than pain.

Once youve started the actual donation, youll be surprised at how quickly it goes 15 minutes or so depending on the size of the vein and how hydrated you are. You need to keep rolling that object in your hand to keep the blood flowing. You can read something on your smartphone in your other hand to pass the time.

A key tip: Dont talk or laugh much while youre actually donating; this will deplete the oxygen in your blood and make you more likely to get woozy when youre done and you sit up.

Theyll stop your donation after theyve collected about 500 milliliters of blood, which is about 2 1/3 cups. Since your body has about 1.5 gallons of blood, this is an absolutely safe amount to take.

Most of the blood goes into a bag, but before youre done they will also collect small amounts in a few vials, for testing.

When youre done, theyll take the needle out painlessly, put gauze over the needle site, and have you press on it and elevate your arm to accelerate the clotting off of the insertion point. Then theyll put a bandage on it and use red gauze wrap to hold it in place. Wear that red wrap with pride for the next hour or so! Keep the bandage in place a while longer.

If youre squeamish about seeing your own blood in the collection bag, dont worry it hangs down the side of the cot while youre giving, and once theyve clamped it off and laid it on the cot, you can easily pivot out of the way once you sit up and not ever see it.

Listen to the instructions they give you about avoiding alcohol or caffeine that day, as well as lifting heavy things or exercising. Theres a reason for these instructions! Consider this a free pass to take it easy for the rest of the day but be sure to keep drinking water to replace the fluids youve lost.

Keep the paper they give you, which has a unique bar code specific to you and a number you can call if you develop any symptoms. For instance, if a cold or COVID-like symptoms start the day after you donated, you need to tell them right away so they dont give your blood to someone who might be much more vulnerable to those infections.

If you feel faint or not quite right, tell them. You can sit on your cot a bit longer, or go to the recovery cot near the snack area.

Thats it!

Now you can enjoy those snacks and juices that the nice volunteer will offer you in the recovery area. Dont feel greedy if you want a second helping.

Sitting at the snack table for 15 minutes, with both your feet on the floor, is important to making sure youre OK before going back to your day. It also gives time for some of the sugar from the snack and juice get into your bloodstream.

And when you do leave, pat yourself on the back. You just gave enough blood to save up to three lives.

You can even trace the journey of your donated blood through the Red Cross app, and get an alert about which hospital it ended up at after testing and processing.

And while youre on the app, make your next donation appointment, for at least two months from now, or longer if your iron levels were on the low side.

And thats how you can keep the cycle of giving blood and saving lives going.


What its really like to give blood - Michigan Medicine

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Prolife supporters need to be prepared if Roe is overturned, speaker says – Monroe Evening News10.20.21

If the Roe vs. Wade court case that legalized abortions in 1973 is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court next year and Michigan becomes an abortion-free state, pregnancy centers like Heartbeat of Monroe will need much greater support to provide for womens needs.

That was one of the key messages stressed by Genevieve Marnon, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan and the keynote speaker at the annual Joy of Life Banquet held Friday night at the Monroe Golf & Country Club to benefit Heartbeat.

If Roe is overturned next June… our pregnancy centers are going to need a lot more support, Marnon told about 120 guests at the dinner. In Monroe County, there are no abortion clinics to turn to. We, the prolife community, need to begin to prepare now for that very likely scenario.

There were almost 30,000 abortions performed in Michigan last year, which equates to 95 babies, or three kindergarten classrooms full of children, dying every day, she said. Although no abortions were done in the county, a total of 238 women from the county had an abortion last year, an abortion rate of 9 percent, Marnon said. The rate is based on the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in the county.

Thats far below the state average of 14.9 percent in large part because of places like Heartbeat, but the rate is up from 6.5 percent just three years ago, she said.

Overturning Roe will have the biggest effect on Heartbeat and the 150 other pregnancy resource centers around the state, but there are other laws that will affect the centers, too, she said. Things like parental consent laws that have helped drop teen abortions by 75 percent since their all-time high, which means pregnancy resource centers will likely see far fewer teens than they once did. Another is the safe delivery law that allows a woman to legally surrender a newborn to a hospital, fire department or police station. Marnon has been working to get a baby box law introduced in Michigan. The measure would allow for an anonymous surrender of a baby into an incubator attached to the outside wall of a hospital or police department.

In 2012, Right to Life was instrumental in getting a clinic licensing law passed. Before that time, abortion clinics in Michigan were not inspected by the state.

Restaurants are inspected and licensed, your hairdresser is licensed, your tattoo artist is licensed, but abortion clinics went 39 years without any state inspections or licensing, she said. Once the law passed, nearly half of all the clinics closed primarily due to their unsatisfactory condition we went from 42 clinics down to 26. Elections have consequences, and we have a pro-abortion executive branch whose department is likely looking the other way at the clinics.

If Roe is overturned, our work will intensify, she said. Pregnancy centers (in Michigan) will have perhaps 29,000 new clients and Right to Life, along with prolife grassroots people, will need to defend our law at the ballot box, because make no mistake, if Roe goes, Michigan will be ground zero for the abortion industry and we will have to fight against the millions of dollars worth of campaign money that will flood the state to elect pro-abortion lawmakers.

The married mother and grandmother said that even if the Supreme Court does not overturn Roe, my work and your work will continue. Heartbeat of Monroe will continue to reach out to women in need, and Right to Life will continue to fight to educate people and strengthen prolife laws.

Margaret Horvath, executive director of Heartbeat located at 123 W. First St., said the agency will mark its 50th year in 2023 of assisting women and men who are dealing with a pregnancy or parenting an infant. In 2020, Heartbeat aided more than 1,670 clients and gave away over 23,600 items. She had some of the more than two dozen volunteers for the agency stand and be recognized.

They are on the front lines and give out 35,000 diapers a year, Horvath said. Its amazing the things that are happening there.

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Crime Stoppers Press Conference on Michigan Teen Missing 1 Year – wkfr.com10.20.21

Crime Stoppers and the family of 16-year-old Shane McLaughlin mark the 1-year-anniversary since anyone has seen or heard from the missing teen.

On top of offering a reward of $2,500 for information that leads to the safe return of a missing 16-year-old, Crime Stoppers of Michigan held a press conference releasing video footage from the night Shane went missing.

In the emotional press conference above, Shane's mother can be seen tearfully pleading forjust a phone call from her son. Shane's mother says even ifShane does not want to return home, just a call sayingso and stating that he is safe would be enough.

After so much time with no word from the missing teen, his family just wants to know that he is alive. Of course, they would prefer he returned home but just knowing he is alive and well could end the nightmare that the past 12 months has been for Shane's family.

At the time Shane went missing he was described as a 15-years-old white male, standing 5 feet and 6 inches tall, weighing approximately 180 pounds, with blonde hair, and brown eyes. His family says that he may have longer or shorter hair now compared to the photos included. Shane has a heartbeat tattoo on the inside of his left arm and has both ears pierced.

Anyone with information on Shane's whereabouts or disappearance is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP or go online By contacting Crime Stoppers you can remain anonymous and would be eligible for the $2,500 reward.

Thanks to the American fascination with confounding unsolved cases, mystery is among the most popular genres of books, movies, and television. From heists and capers to murders and robberies, the worlds greatest unsolved mysteries spark media frenzies that grab headlines around the globe. Some cases compel so much public intrigue that the facts and theories surrounding them become the basis of books, movies, plays, and documentaries decades or even centuries after the cases go cold.

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Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention is a big draw, but is ink still taboo in the mainstream? – The Intelligencer09.04.21

Video: 'Return To View' podcast preview - Lisa Todd forensic sculpture

Det. Chris McMullin talks about the moment he first was aware of the Lisa Todd/Publicker Jane Doe case as he saw her forensics sculpture.

Cole Johnson, Bucks County Courier Times

Tattoo collectors, fans and artists alike have a mantra in common: Love the skin you're in.

And that old adage will come into vibrant focus as the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention comes to the region this month, bringing with it thousands of tattoo aficionados and dozens of tattooists over the three-day convention that starts Sept. 10.

"I will be there and I plan on having a booth there as well," said Joe Thomas, owner and lead artist of Philly Joe Tattoo Studio in Bensalem. "It will be extraordinary to see all the people that have tattoos and want tattoos."

As trendy and fashionable as tattoos have become, the ink-on-skin subculture still has many obstacles in the business world and academia to overcome before it can enjoy mainstream acceptance.

Ivona Hideg, associate professor andAnn Brown chair in organization studies at the internationally top-rated Schulich School of Business at York University, said overall, tattoos are embraced more in some fields and less in others.

"Mainstream society has indeed become more accepting of tattoos and thats especially true in some industries such as more creative industries and arts where tattoos may be seen as a sign of ones creative identity," Hideg said. "Moreover, tattoos are more common and more accepted in blue collar versuswhite-collar jobs.

"As such, tattoos are still not widely accepted in particular in white collar professional jobs and occupations," Hideg added."White collar professions are also more conservative and in more conservative spaces tattoos are less accepted."

The sporting of tattoos was and is generally regarded as habits of counterculture expressionism, and perhaps as such,the exhibiting of tattoos has never gained much of a foothold in the business world.

Now tattooing professionally for six years and operating his shop at 2339 Bristol Road for the previous three, Thomas said he has tattooed individuals from a wide range of professions, including nurses, teachers and law enforcement officers.

For him, the professional and mainstream worlds are slowly embracing employees with tattoos.

"It is now a new era and a new world that continues to get more advanced and grow. So it isn't thathaving tattoos are 'OK,' it's just became more acceptable," Thomas said. "If I were [before] a judge and walked in with a tattoo on my neck, I know what it does and looks likefor me, especially to older.

"But there's not many [instances] like that anymore; now, people are more open to tattoos because of style, character and one's own free will."

Fellow tattooistDon "Don Juan" Salleroli, the owner and lead artists of Floating World Tattoos in Philadelphia, agrees, but adds that tattoos that display hate and criminal activity are and should be considered taboo.

"Mainstream society has certainly become more accepting of tattoos in general, but there are some narrow-minded people that look down upon them, not realizing that a tattoo is not going to change your work performance in any way shape or form," Salleroli said. "Obviously if you're wearing something lewd or some kind of blatant anti-Semitic tattoo, that would be a case where I as an employer wouldnt hire you, but as for artistic tattooing, I believe you should be able to have it with no judgement by anyone."

Still, the lingering stereotype applied to tattooed individuals is hard to shake, especially when tattoo collectors are now embracing bolder designs and getting inked on parts of the body such as the face, forehead and on a bald head that were once off-limits to all except those in thehardest of hardcore tattoo circles.

Salleroli, a veteran artist who has dozens of tattoos and has inked thousands of clients from his shop on South Street, said he still has to deal with the shock, awkward glances and second looks he receives.

"I think you will always have people that associate tattooing with criminals or sailors or a million other stereotypes.Ive had people clutch their purses when I get on an elevator or walk by them on the street, and Ive been followed in stores by security guards," Salleroli said. "But I just laugh to myself and think how narrow-minded people can be.

"I chose to tattoo myself so Im willing to deal with narrow minds, and quite frankly I just try and be a normal courteous person and not really let it bother me."

Helping the cause, Salleroli said, is that pop culture has embraced tattooing by literally "bringing it into your living room" with several television shows and reality TVprograms that focus on the word of tattoos.

"Tattooing used to be mystical and almost magical and dangerous to me growing up;when I got into tattooing it certainly wasnt mainstream at all," Salleroli said. "And Ive watched it change over the years, and its definitely not mystical or dangerousanymore, but I still find it to be magical and amazing."

Hideg and other leaders ofbusiness programs say more students with tattoos are enrolling in business and law programs, but those fields aren'tnecessarily pivoting towardtattoo acceptanceat the rate of society on the whole.

Andrew R. Timming, professor of human resource management and interim director of theDepartment of Management, International Business, and Entrepreneurship at RMIT University, said he is noticing a loosening of societal norms regarding tattoos.

"Universities are seeing more and more students with visible tattoos, although these tend to be concealablewith a long sleeved shirt," Timming said."It is rare, but not unheard of, to see students with tattoos on the face and hands. Generally speaking, there is an increase of visible ink at both universities and within the workforce."

Angela Hall, associate professor of theSchool of Human Resources andLabor Relations at Michigan State University'sCollege of Social Science, saidin some of theprofessions in which tattoos were historically taboo, like law enforcement, "we are increasingly seeing more" workers with visible tattoos.

"I believe that the reason is two-fold. First, we are seeing more millennials in the workforce. In fact, millennials are now the largest age demographic in the U.S. workforce," Hall said."This generation does not share the same attitudes toward tattoos as those from previous generations. Second, there has been more of an overall societal acceptance of tattoos."

Hall though, noted thestigma of tattoos is hard to break, especially when they are judged by older eyes or looked at through the scopeof illegal behavior.

"Having the wrong type and/or excessive tattoos can be associated with the stereotypes of being from a lower class and/or being related to criminal activity," she said.

Timming mostly agreed, but added the caveat that the world of tattooing itself has counterculture roots.

"Even front-line retail employees can display tattoos these days. However, there will always be certain genres of tattoos, including those with explicit sexual or offensive imagery, that will always be frowned upon," Timming said. "Tattoos still signal a risk-taking and anti-social personality, but these perceptions are changing rapidly. Gone are the days when tattoos were only displayed by delinquents and deviants."

Jonathan Warnerworks as a paralegal in Philadelphia and has "more than a dozen" tattoos. Hesaid the general workforce doesn't mind tattoos, but that in his arena of law and jurisprudence, tattoos can telegraph a sense of negatively and lawlessness.

"My tattoos never get in the way, but I often cover them up with a long-sleeved button-down. And that works for me, since in my job I never wear short sleeves. I also have a tattoo on my neck that I cover. I know what I bring and my worth, but I don't want a client or my bosses to get the wrong idea or impression," Warner said. "I guess there has to be a line; one can express themself, but I'd give pause before getting a tattoo on my face or on a shaved part of my head.

"But I will never knock anyone who does decide to get that [type of work] done; just that if you are getting those types of tattoos, you have to accept what comes with it, including the reaction from so-called mainstream society."

The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention, now in its 23rd year, runs Sept. 10-12 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where it is expected toe bring in thousands of patrons, dozens of tattoo artists doing on-the-spot tattoos (reservation required formost) and a handful of special appearances by renown tattoo aficionados.

Renown tattoo artists joining host Villian Arts Tattoo for the three-day affair will be"Skizzy" Scott Barker, Vegas Dixon/Ladies of Ink Tour, Aaron Diaz,Aaron Reyes Antonio, Ali Kat, Alicia Thomas and many others.

Friday's session will feature performances and appearances byMagic Brian,James Maltman, theSnow Cone Burlesque, Captain and Maybelle Sideshow and will close with a performance by burlesque performer and instructorAngelica Lavalier.

Saturday's lineup includesMagic Brian,James Maltman,Captain and Maybelle Sideshow,Magic Brian,James Maltman, Snow Cone Burlesque,Captain and Maybelle and closes once again with Angelica Lavalier.

Magic Brian,James Maltman andCaptain and Maybelle will close out the convention on Sunday. There will also be various tattoo prizes award for tattoo of the day.

"I am looking forward to attending this convention in particular, because I started attending just as a fan of tattoos and culture," said Jacob Stallion, and independent tattoo artist from Bensalem. "There is always something for everyone. Not everyone likes burlesque, but everyone there likes tattoos, and it will be good to see other artists and talk with them and exchange ideas."

Stallion said newbies are welcomed at the convention, but should be prepared for some possible sensory overload.

"It can be intimidating for a first-timer to absorb the sights and sounds; it is a little 'in your face,'" Stallion said. "But everyone there will be on the vibe. It will be a glorious time for our world."

Pandemic precautions will be in place, including astate-of-the-art automated escalator handrail sanitation system and a touch-free bathroom system and an upgraded HVAC system that goes well beyond industry standards at the convention center, said Kelvin Moore, the regional general manager for ASM Global,the agency contracted for the general management of the convention center.

"We worked closely with the Philadelphia Convention and VisitorsBureauin developing a plan to think ahead as best as anyone could for what the building would need to have to welcome people back and make them feel safe," Moore said, noting that the convention center has already hosted several high-profile events, including the ballot count for the most recent presidential election and various Grand Jury seatings. "During the shutdown, we were able to demonstrate our capabilities to the local health department, and the Department of Health reviewed our plan andtrusted our plan...we have hospital-grade health and safety protocols, and we feel very confident in our infrastructure and capital improvements."

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St. Johns metal artist to be featured on new Netflix show – WSYM-TV09.04.21

ST. JOHNS, MI Youve might have seen some of Ivan Iler's Sculptures around mid-Michigan. From Portrait of a Dreamer in downtown Lansing all the way to the Ledges out in Grand Ledge.

Now the metal worker and sculptor is showcasing his talents on the small screen.

Tianna Jenkins, WSYM, August 2021

The St. Johns artist is a contestant on a new Netflix show called Metal Shop Masters. Season one kicks off on Sept. 10 and is all about putting talented metal artists together and seeing who can come out on top.

Netflix, August 2021

"You're giving them certain things they have to work with and they have certain ideas of what they have to build and then they go ahead and build it," Iler said.

He says he was discovered to be on the show through social media. Someone saw his work and knew he had to have a spot.

"I thought it was a joke at first. I was like quit screwing with me. They were like, "No we're serious. We're going to fly you out to California and putting you on the show,'" Iler said.

Tianna Jenkins, WSYM, AUGUST 2021

With elimination on the table, sparks are flying, torches are lit, and the competition is on to see who will take home a trophy, $50,000, and a chance to be crowned the best.

According to Iler, you will be entertained.

"There are a lot of really talented artists there. Making a lot of really amazing things out of nothing. Just the materials in front of them," Iler said.

Known for his larger-than-life sculptures, Ivan says being an artist is something he's always wanted to do.

Adam Fakult, WSYM, August 2021

It started when he was a kid. Whether it was with Play-Doh or crayons he was always trying to make and create something.

"When I was in high school still I knew I didn't have the money for college and there wasn't really anything I could think of that I wanted to do so I actually became a tattoo artist. I did that for a few years," Iler said.

That didn't really work out for him. So he worked factory jobs, even at a gas station, and then eventually opened up a motorcycle shop.

"Seemed like a way I can do my artwork and still make money at the same time. I'm building metal things. I'm doing leatherwork. I'm painting and being able to create things," Iler said. "Then I started making sculptures out of scrap metals and putting them outside and from there it just kind of took off."

Adam Fakult, WYSM, August 2021

He even started winning Scrap Fest in Old Town. Fast forward to 2021, he's living his dream.

"The fact that somebody actually decided to make this show and then ask me to be a part of it and to get to put my stuff out there and let the world see what I can do...very humbled by it. It's going to be awesome," Iler said.

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