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Tomorrow, May 5th, is Derby Day, the 144th annual running of Kentucky Derby. “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” is always the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The Derby highest attendance of any stakes race in North America (~200,000). The winning jockey gets $2 million More than $210 million is legally wagered around the world.

Many fans and participants overlook the importance of the jockey in winning the Derby. Their precise handling of the horse, their dynamic direction work and strategy as they move around the track is essential for victory. They must always remain calm and composed, despite the constant looming threat of disastrous injury from falling off the horse. Their job one of the most dangerous and demanding of any athlete.

Get ready for the Kentucky Derby with this video that highlights the important role of the jockeys. This 4 minute video was edited from “Thunder and Reins,” a 47-minute, 2007 documentary produced by thoroughbred Kentucky filmmakers, producer Eleanor Bingham Miller and director Bruce Skinner.

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Chicago Tonight | Jay Shefsky | May 3, 2018

Quest for ‘Lost City’ Leads Chicago Man on Risky Jungle Expedition


The story traces the 20-year quixotic obsession of a few guys that blossomed into a world-renowned scientific, historical and archaeological breakthrough. Pals since the 1970s, Weinberg and expedition leader Steve Elkins and his expert team uncover incontrovertible evidence of a previously unknown civilization.

It includes the author’s private journals written in Honduras, plus more than 180 photographs and Weinberg’s deep reflections on his “Adventure of a Lifetime.”

The reader is brought into the world of the discoverers, complete with dangerous snakes and insects, gorgeous untouched beauty, exhilaration and a rare disease that came with the discovery.

It’s a great read and the pictorial and personal companion to the 2017 New York Times #1 bestseller, Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston (Grand Central, 2017.) Preston calls Weinberg “The Official Chronicler” who wrote on his laptop in impenetrable Mosquitia Jungle.

By his own admission, Tom Weinberg is not the kind of guy you’d expect to embark on a dangerous jungle expedition.

“I was 70 years old, a desk-sitting urban Jewish TV/video guy who never spent a night sleeping on the ground in a jungle.” That’s how Weinberg begins his new book “Chasing the Lost City: Chronicles of Discovery in Honduras.”

The 2015 expedition was the culmination of a 20-year quest by Weinberg, a lifelong Chicagoan and longtime independent video producer, and his longtime friend Steve Elkin, to find evidence of an ancient abandoned city in the Honduran jungle. They are not archeologists or explorers themselves, but they got filmmakers and archeologists, as well as jungle experts and the Honduran government, to help with their search.

They succeeded in entering a part of the jungle believed to be untouched by humans for hundreds of years. And they did find evidence of human habitation as recently as the mid-15th century.

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Tony has tips for you:

  1. Don’t hole up in your house. Get out, mingle and meet people.
  2. Get your spouse out, too. If you have kids, even better.
  3. Don’t make a big deal about what you did previously. Play it down.
  4. Find something in the community that interests you and get involved.
  5. If you have a specialty or skill, offer it up gratis.
  6. Get involved with local sports. Everyone goes to games, a great way to meet people.
  7. Offer to write or report for the local paper.
  8. Take a class or teach a class.

tony vandervarker

Losing a job you love, selling your beautiful home in a vibrant city, and leaving your friends behind to move your family to an entirely different environment can be traumatic. It could also be the best decision you ever made.

 That’s what Tony Vanderwarker, an Ivy League-educated advertising executive living a sophisticated life in fast-paced Chicago, discovered when he relocated to rural Virginia. He shares his life-changing experience in his new book, “I’m Not from the South but I Got Down Here as Fast as I Could.”Tony Vanderwarker cover of I'm not from the South

 “I perceived the South to be a foreign land where people talked funny, drank moonshine, and considered it fun to watch NASCAR racers drive in a circle for hours,” Tony says. “I wasn’t excited when my wife Anne arranged a visit her parents who recently retired to the small town of Keswick, Virginia, but I was taken by the spectacular scenery and the town’s laid-back charm.”

 His in-laws introduced them to friendly and interesting people and a few eccentric ones.  They explored the area including nearby Charlottesville, a world-class city. He was sold. They settled in Keswick in 1993.

Tony Vanderwarker's house and land

 “It wasn’t easy at first,” he admits. “We bought a house in need of major updating, and the contactors were in no hurry. Our children were not happy.   And despite being close to her parents, Anne was not adjusting well.  But once she and our kids made friends and we got involved in the community, everything was great.”

 He developed a political campaign for a woman running for Albemarle County supervisor. She won against all odds on a platform to control development and preserve the natural beauty and historic character of the region.  Later he joined a conservation organization, the PEC, serving on the board for 12 years, six as the chairman. He became a witty and popular columnist for the monthly Keswick Life.

 “I changed from a snobby and cynical Yankee into an easy-going, grits and hominy-loving Southerner.”

 Anne, with her colorful artistry, became a sought-after flower arranger. She made videos of her work, placed them on her website, and began making presentations. Before long, she was speaking once a month up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

 Their son became a high school football and lacrosse star. Their daughter excelled in academics and acted in school plays.

Among their circle of friends was best-selling author John Grisham, who advised Tony on how to write novels.

 In addition to his personal story, “I’m not from the South” includes local history dating back to Thomas Jefferson. His book has plenty of anecdotes, stories and gossip about the characters who define Keswick, and he delights in describing some unusual traditions and fun social events.

 Tony  conveys how much grace and joy there is in a simpler way of life, but tells a series of hysterical stories about country living—confronting snakes and yard-destroying moles, his failed attempt to rid the roads of reoccurring potholes, the elaborate steps needed to prepare for stormy power outages, and problems building his dream house. 

 He is candid and self-effacing in relating a number of common annoyances, such as his claustrophobic experience in a MRI tube, trying to find something in Anne’s purse that contains more items than a drugstore, Anne’s neat-freak obsession, and dealing with the physical and mental consequences of aging.

 He concludes by saying that when you move to an area unfamiliar to you and your family, you need to make friends and get involved.

 Contact: Lynda O’Connor, or Jim O’Connor,

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“The Final Service” the 3rd book by critically acclaimed and award winning author Gary W. Moore.
“He arrived unannounced but where and when she needed him most.”
Sandy Richards, a 40 year old music teacher in Walton Center carries a burden she cannot release. Beloved by her students and family, Sandy’s damaged relationship with her father and her unfulfilled dreams bring her to the brink of her destruction. An unexpected visit from an unfathomable source shakes the core of her belief system and her life forever.

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Elder Abuse Warning Signs and Tips for Keeping Seniors Safe from Fraud
Andrea Guthmann | Kristen Thometz | October 1, 2015

In her book “Stealing Joy,” Glynnis Walker Anderson detailed her account of how her elderly mother was taken advantage of in her final years.

“The attorney who had written up my mother’s will a few years earlier, leaving the estate with me, conspired with a neighbor to have her write a new will just months before she died,” she said. “She didn’t even know she was signing it because she has Alzheimer’s, but she was in Canada, and I was here, making it difficult to do much. Her doctor contacted me when he noticed these two people had power of attorney to make life decisions for her. It’s very hard once someone has power of attorney to contest it.”

After spending several years and thousands of dollars in court contesting the will, Anderson was awarded her mother’s estate per the original will. As difficult as they may be, conversations regarding end-of-life planning are crucial, according to Anderson.

“You should have the difficult conversation about what their preferences are medically and financially, as well as have them write a will and talk to their loved ones about it before age 70, and have these conversations regularly. Alzheimer’s is increasingly affecting younger people. Have the conversation before your loved one is no longer competent enough to make a wise decision,” she said.

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DENVER – As the story of Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger hits theaters Friday, a Denver man is sharing his memories about the five years he spent in the gang. 

Eric Schneider moved to Colorado after testifying against his former partners, sending some to prison. The witness protection program gave him his new alias when he relocated. 

Bulger eluded police for years before he was convicted in 2013 of 11 murders he committed or ordered in the 1970s and ’80s. 

Once America’s most wanted man, he’s now serving two life sentences. 

“The man was a monster. That’s the bottom line,” said Schneider. “I don’t want anybody to take this as ‘Goodfellas’ and get it glamorized. The man was a horrific man who did horrid things.”

7NEWS anchor Anne McNamara spoke to Schneider ahead of the ‘Black Mass’ release. Schneider said no one can play Whitey accurately, but, from what he’s seen in the trailer, Johnny Depp comes close.

“I’m really, really, really looking forward to seeing what Johnny Depp can do with his role with Whitey.”

Schneider met with Whitey at least 50 times between 1986 and 1991. He remembers Bulger’s “Winter Hill gang” had a Robin Hood reputation on the streets of South Boston. 

“When you could kill someone at noon time at an intersection and all you had to do was say, ‘Shhh…’ just do that and everyone knew,” said Schneider. “There wouldn’t be a witness. Fifty people around and no witness to the murder.”

Schneider said he suffered abuse as a child and the mental anguish led him to organized crime. He wrote a book titled “The Choir Boy” to share his story with others who may be struggling. 

Schneider said ‘Black Mass’ is more than a Hollywood tale on the big screen. It’s a reality he’s been trying to escape for decades. 

“Not something I remotely look back on fondly in my life. I’m doing everything I can at this point, and have been for some time, to turn my life around,” he said.

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DENVER — Johnny Depp portrays Whitey Bulger in the movie “Black Mass.” Bulger was a crime boss of the Boston Irish Winter Hill Gang.

Denver resident Eric Schneider, using an alias, would know there is nothing glamorous about the life of a gangster. He was in Bulger’s gang for seven years. “A friend of mine who knew a member of Whitey’s gang, they needed a fourth person for an armed robbery cell that robbed banks and armored cars,” Schneider said. He joined the Bulger gang in 1986. READ MORE…

“Having duffel bags full of money, living in penthouses on the beach and driving fantastic cars. That’s what I was focusing on,” Schneider said.

Schneider’s life of crime came with a very dark side as well.

“I had a 28-foot Sea Ray and Whitey asked me on one occasion to take a body out to sea and sat and watched them dismember it while they sank it piece by piece,” Schneider said.

Eventually, Schneider was caught, charged with multiple counts of armed robbery, made a deal with federal agents and now is under the federal witness protection program. He also wrote a book titled “The Choir Boy.”

Schneider said his book is really three books in one.

“What I went through as a child with the abuse, being involved with the Irish mafia, and what happened with my years in Boston, and then my journey back,” he said.

Back to exactly where he’s not sure. But Schneider hopes it’s a better place than where he’s been.

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People Magazine

‘He Was the Essence of Pure Evil’: Onetime Whitey Bulger Associate Is Haunted by His Years Working for the Boston Mob Boss

The Choir Boy – that chronicles the years of sexual abuse he survived and his life as one of Whitey’s crooks.

Former gun and drug runner Eric Schneider remembers the day he met infamous New England mobster James ”Whitey” Bulger like it happened last week. He was 18, fresh out of high school and had a growing reputation with police patrolling Boston’s suburbs as a petty thug with higher criminal aspirations.  

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