‘Happiest school in Mobile County’ celebrated at dedication ceremony

About 100 people gathered Sunday afternoon (Oct. 19) to celebrate the dedication of the new Augusta Evans School at the site of the old Hillsdale Middle School. (Courtesy MCPSS)
 

MOBILE, Alabama – About 100 people gathered at the new Augusta Evans School in west Mobile on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 19) to celebrate the dedication of the $10.5 million school built for students with special needs.

“In this school, there is a lot of learning, a lot of joy, a lot of happiness, a lot of activities every day,” said Mobile County Public Schools Superintendent Martha Peek. “I always say Augusta Evans is the happiest school in Mobile County.

“This is a great day.”

Augusta Evans moved this summer from its aged Florida Street location to the site of the old Hillsdale Middle School, which was torn down several years ago. Augusta Evans serves about 270 students between the ages of 3 and 21.

School board President Reginald Crenshaw said the board – which voted unanimously to build a new Augusta Evans with a slate of other projects – is pleased with the new school.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we are here,” said Shelia Martin, director of special programs for Mobile County Public Schools. Martin said it is fitting that the school is named for Augusta Evans, a writer who nursed the sick at Fort Morgan during the Civil War and whose influence led to the establishment of Mobile Infirmary.

The new school has room for more students and is designed to accommodate the students’ special needs. Classrooms are bigger. Hallways are wider so students – some in wheelchairs – will have an easier time moving around. It includes extra classrooms for speech and physical therapy and more room for activities that are unique to the school, such as greenhouses and rooms for sewing and for sorting Mardi Gras beads, which the students do every year as a fundraiser.

The school also has sensory rooms featuring lights, sounds and textures for students to explore.

Supporters of the school – including the Rotary Club – raised more than $250,000 to build a playground to accommodate students with disabilities.

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VectorVest’s Enhanced Mobile App Now Available for iPhone™ and Android™

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

VectorVest, the highly regarded system providing daily market analysis for over 16,000 stocks worldwide, today announced major enhancements in to its new release of VectorVest Mobile. The app will be offered on the iTunes App Store (iPhone™) and also on the Google Play Store (Android™).

Now providing stock analysis and portfolio management capability in the UK, Australia, Singapore, the U.S., Canada, and South Africa, VectorVest Mobile brings independent investors convenient, on-the-go access to proprietary stock analysis, market timing, WatchLists, charts, portfolios and market guidance.

For each market, VectorVest provides its unique market timing analysis, including an instantly recognizable ‘traffic signal’ indicating when it’s safe for investors to buy stocks and when it’s not. In addition to standard quote information, VectorVest supplies the intrinsic value of each stock – how safe it is, and whether to buy, sell or hold based on a combination of its fundamental and technical strengths.

Specialized WatchLists rank stocks, making new trading prospects easy to identify, while user- created WatchLists make managing personal portfolios fast and easy. A stock analysis profile and chart is accessible with one touch from any WatchList, and portfolios allow investors to monitor existing positions. Market guidance is always available in both newsletter and streaming video formats.

A high performance stock analysis system, VectorVest Mobile is designed to maximize the individual investor’s trading experience on both Apple™ and Android™ smartphones. Tablet versions are also available for an even better experience.

VectorVest subscribers can access the app’s full capabilities free of charge. Non-subscribers may receive up to 9 free stock analysis reports of their choice. A five-week trial for $9.95 is available, which includes access to both desktop and mobile platforms. Visit http://www.vectorvest.com/products/mobile.aspx.

About VectorVest

VectorVest combines the insight of fundamental valuation with the power of technical analysis in an easy-to-use stock analysis software package designed for all types of traders. VectorVest provides a Buy, Sell or Hold rating on over 16,000 stocks worldwide each day. With over 26 years of research experience on which to base its ratings, VectorVest is world-renowned for its reliable and comprehensive stock market analysis. To analyze any stock free, visit www.vectorvest.com.

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5 Trends Your Marketing Team Should Budget For In 2015

Divvying up your marketing funds isn’t a fun or easy task, so you’ve likely pushed it off as long as possible. You’ve told numerous vendors, “We’ll look at that for our 2015 budget,” but budget season is quickly approaching — and you need to make a decision.

To help you navigate the overwhelming budgeting process, here are five important marketing trends you should consider:

1. Authenticity will be paramount to a brand’s marketing success.

I recently attended the CMO Club Summit, an event bringing together top CMOs from around the world to solve timely marketing issues. At the summit, YouTube sensations Joey Graceffa, Justine Ezarik and Meghan Camarena were on a panel that brought up the issue of promotion. When companies prioritize promotional plugs over valuable content, they said, nobody wins — but content creators continue to put their own needs first.

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Companies need to invest in marketing vehicles that allow them to establish a level of authenticity with their audience. Understand what’s valuable to your audience. Couple that with magnetic brand messaging, and everyone can get something out of the relationship. Make sure to stay true to your brand image throughout your messaging, or consumers will spot the disconnect.

2. Thought leadership is taking precedence over personal branding.

These terms are often confused because they’re closely related. Some see personal branding as a solely self-serving tactic, which can hurt your image. Evan Greene, CMO of the GRAMMYs, and Drew Neisser, CEO of Renegade, also led a panel that addressed how companies can benefit from positioning key players as thought leaders. Namely, businesses get a boost from the credibility, invested audience, and brand awareness that follow.

3. Inbound marketing can fuel your online marketing initiatives.

The rise of content and online marketing makes inbound more vital than ever. Just ask the 85 percent of marketers practicing inbound marketing. Your audience is searching online for solutions, and without the infrastructure in place to capture those leads, you’re losing opportunities and revenue.

In HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, its study on budgeting for inbound revealed that 74 percent of marketers are allocating the same or an increased budget for inbound this year. And the reason is clear: its continued success and measurable ROI.

Content is the driver of inbound marketing. It’s how you connect with your audience and ultimately drive them back to your website or blog, so investing in both will amplify your results.

4. Leveraging new technologies will put you ahead of the curve.

Brands should constantly be looking at new and growing technology platforms and be OK with leaving some of their traditional marketing practices at the door. Companies like MediaMath and Dynamic Signal stood out to me as examples of fast-growing companies that offer technology to improve typical marketing strategies like ad buying and brand advocacy. These are just a couple of examples, but it’s important for modern marketers to adopt and apply different technologies to their marketing stack.

5. Optimize your mobile websites to match consumer trends.

You’ve heard the term “mobile first” enough times to understand that the mobile revolution is upon us. According to eMarketer, the number of local searches made via the mobile web is growing at a much faster rate than desktop searches.

Plus, consumers who do local searches on mobile are more likely to take action. A study found that half of consumers who conducted local searches via smartphone visited the store within a day, and 18 percent of local queries on smartphones led to a purchase.

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Appgo2market Launches DIY Mobile App Marketing Hub

Appgo2market Launches DIY Mobile App Marketing Hub Appgo2market Launches DIY Mobile App Marketing HubAppgo2market Inc. has just launched a new mobile-app-business hub with a goal of providing the knowledge for Do-It-Yourself mobile app marketing and monetization.

As many mobile app professionals struggle with the evolving industry which is new and highly fragmented, Appgo2market is now billed as the place for app developers, publishers, marketers and professional teams to go to manage their day-to-day business activities.

“We have decided to start Appgo2market after dealing with these very same challenges, as mentioned above, when we worked for global publishers,” explains Tsipi Joseph, Appgo2market Co-Founder.

“We wanted to be successful app marketers and we kept looking for ways to scale our achievements,” Joseph adds. “We were constantly searching for a professional authority that we can trust, that’s dedicated to mobile apps, and can provide us with valuable guidelines, templates to download, and direct access to experienced experts who can offer both advice and impartial reviews of the different tools that are available for app developers. We were struggling to find something like this!”

So by creating something that their industry lacked, Appgo2market is now raising the bar for the DIY mobile app marketing business.

“We are also unique because we don’t stop at the ‘how-to’ training, but also provide downloadable templates as part of the deal (those include visual creative templates such install ad banners, designed screenshots, report spreadsheets, communication materials and more),” Joseph concludes.

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F-Secure Mobile Security for Android review

F-Secure Mobile Security for Android brings you a full security suite that includes reliable anti-theft protection for ensuring your data never gets in the wrong hands — not even if your device is stolen — as well as safe browsing, parental controls, application privacy ratings for quickly reviewing application permissions, and a thorough albeit somewhat slow virus and malware scanner.

Pros

Well made and dependable: Everything about F-Secure Mobile Security for Android, from the no-hassle setup to the professional-looking interface with its clean lines and appealing icons smacks of good quality. This is a polished app.

Powerful anti-theft feature: You can easily locate your stolen or misplaced smartphone and remotely lock it, sound an alarm, or erase sensitive data from it by sending an SMS to the device. These features can work even if the thief removes the SIM card from your device.

Application privacy ratings: The app lists and ranks the apps installed on your device, grouping them into three categories depending on whether they have few, some, or many privacy issues, and enabling you to install any of them with a single tap. For each app you get a privacy/permissions summary that shows you whether the app can read your messages, see or hear you, or know your location.

Cons

Subscription-based service: To enjoy all of its features beyond the initial 31-day free trial, you have to pay $9.99 for a 6-month subscription. On the Play Store you’ll find apps that offer similar features at a better price.

Scanning takes time: On our Nexus 7, a full device scan took slightly over two minutes. Other scanners do their job in 30 seconds or less.

Bottom Line

Because it includes easy-to-use, reliable Parental Controls, Safe Browsing, and Application Privacy Ratings, F-Secure Mobile Security for Android can be a convenient one-stop solution for your essential security needs, so that you won’t have to use separate apps to enjoy these important security features. It’s an especially useful app, if you want to avoid data theft.

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Verizon Cell Phone Bills Are Higher Than T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint — And It …

Source: Verizon

Do you own a cell phone? If you are like most Americans, this question comes across as comical. What seemed to be an optional (albeit useful) device has quickly become a must have in this new connected world. And this love affair continues, a recent Nielsen survey found that U.S. consumers spent 34 hours and 21 minutes on their phones monthly — more than that spent online of 26 hours and 58 minutes.

So it’s not surprising that wireless providers have been the beneficiary of this trend. Although there is an illusion of a fierce price war, revenue per postpaid customer figures have increased nearly 10% since 2010 according to New Street Research. Due to the extreme costs with establishing, upgrading, and maintaining a wireless business, it is a virtual oligopoly between four providers: Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , ATT (NYSE: T  ) , Sprint (NYSE: S  ) , and T-Mobile US (NYSE: TMUS  ) . And when it comes to the most expensive provider, the answer is Verizon.

“We never have and never will lead on price”
A recent study by Cowen and Company confirms what many have always suspected, Verizon is the most expensive wireless carrier. The fourth-quarter survey found that the average monthly Verizon bill was $148, followed by Sprint at $144 and ATT at $141. Young, scrappy upstart T-Mobile, led by brash CEO John Legere, comes in substantively lower at $120.

And if you think Verizon has plans to lower its cell phone bills in order to compete, you’d be wrong. Last year, CEO Lowell McAdam addressed the “pricing war” with investors at a conference by stating, “We never have and never will lead on price.” And to be perfectly honest, as the largest wireless provider, Verizon really doesn’t have to.

A luxury wireless provider?
Instead Verizon attempts to compete on experience by proving the biggest and most reliable network. Right now, Verizon boasts of having the largest 4G LTE network with McAdam stating the development is a year ahead of ATT and three to four years over other rivals. And although ATT generally wins speed tests, Verizon boasts of its reliability and the aforementioned larger network.

Verizon 4G LTE coverage covers 97% of all Americans. Source: Verizon

And having the largest 4G LTE network is important with Verizon’s overall strategy. Verizon seeks to lead wireless companies in providing the best experience for data users and then to monetize the experience. Verizon famously axed its unlimited data plans in 2011 and now seeks to monetize data more than voice and text by treating those two services as loss leaders with its unlimited voice and text plans.

To focus on data is a smart move for Verizon, the growth in data usage is phenomenal. The same Nielsen survey shows U.S. Android and iPhone users 18 and over spend 65% more time using apps than they did merely two years ago. As data growth continues to skyrocket, look for Verizon to continue to charge more for it. And although Sprint and T-Mobile boast of unlimited data, they still are relegated to third and fourth place, respectively, although it’s prudent to mention T-Mobile has experienced substantive growth with its “Un-carrier” initiatives.

We’re worth it
Verizon is the most expensive wireless carrier, but it feels users should pay a premium for its network reliability and expansive 4G LTE coverage area. So to better enrich shareholders, the company decided to focus on plans to better monetize data instead of employing a cost leadership model in which it lowers data prices to acquire new subscribers like Sprint and T-Mobile have with their unlimited data plans.

Can Verizon continue to enjoy its status as the largest wireless provider while others are providing unlimited data plans? Verizon certainly thinks so and McAdam considers unlimited data plans “unsustainable.” As data continues to become an increasing factor to the masses of iPhone and Galaxy wielding consumers, Verizon shareholders should hope McAdam is right.

Forget the iPhone 6, next hit Apple product revealed
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