TAMPA — Kristen and Ryan Yaldor planned an elaborate vacation to South Africa and Zimbabwe complete with safaris, a drum and dinner show, and a canoe trip near Victoria Falls to celebrate Kristen's 37th birthday.What the Odessa couple didn't anticipate was the protective mother hippopotamus and her young calf hiding under the water as they floated down the Zambezi River with two tour guides.Before they could react, the mother hippo swam under the couple's canoe and threw it into the air. Ryan was able to swim to a nearby island, but the multi-ton animal dragged Kristen under the water, its jaws snapping down on her leg and breaking her femur.Kristen was able to escape, but it would be another hour before a medical helicopter arrived, Ryan said, and 13 more before she arrived at a hospital in South Africa. She remains in intensive care.Hippos are notoriously aggressive animals in the water and are protective of their young. Martine Yaldor said her daughter-in-law was lucky the … [Read more...] about A Florida couple planned a dream vacation in Zimbabwe. Then a hippo attacked.
Planning a funeral
ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -- It's not the most comfortable conversation, but thinking ahead for your own funeral, even several years down the line, could save your family thousands of dollars. "No one wants to come in to a funeral home and say, 'I'm ready to make arrangements and speak about what is going to take place.' One thing is that you have to sit down and make those plans," said Joel Gonzales, general manager of Martinez Funeral Home and Crematory. Although the median price for a funeral ranges between $7,000 and $9,000, planning still seems out of the ordinary for most people. "Funeral pre-planning? For myself? No, I'm hoping I don't go away anytime soon," said Tim Cuevas, an Odessa Business Owner. But for Gonzales, this conversation is just part of another day in the office. He has been in the business for decades and said he's seen the costs of funerals rise first hand. He said waiting could mean you pay more. "Of course, its gonna fluctuate on you," Gonzales explained. And … [Read more...] about Save your family a lot of money by pre-planning your funeral
There will be no more funerals at Palm Beach County schools.Partisan political events also will be banned, as will be public swims in school pools.The School Board is set to approve several new policies on Wednesday to limit public use of school facilities. The policies have evolved over the years as planners noticed some renters whose use of the schools after-hours was deemed incompatible, said Kris Garrison, the district’s planning director.There have been several funerals on school property over the past few years, although Garrison said she didn’t have details on when or how many. These parties leased the property for use after school hours or on a weekend, she said.Memorial services, without the deceased, will be allowed under limited circumstances, Garrison said.Partisan events also will be prohibited, although debates that include all sides of an issue will be welcome, she said.School pools, such as the complex at Boca Raton High School, cannot be used for open swims … [Read more...] about Planning a funeral? Holding it on school property no longer an option
Sir Ian McKellen has planned an elaborate "celebratory" funeral in preparation for his death.The 'Lord of the Rings' star - who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 - admitted he thinks about death "every day" and once spent a whole evening planning a memorial service "wish list" he would like to mark his life after he has passed away.Sir Ian, 78, reveals in upcoming documentary 'McKellen: Playing The Part': "I would like the memorial to take place in a celebratory way - in a theatre. Free admission. And I'd want a lot of beautiful people."When McKellen had finished planning his funeral he came to the conclusion that it would be so good that he wants to have a "dress rehearsal" so he can attend himself.He said: "And when I finished this I thought, 'Ooh, I'd love to go to that funeral.' So I hope I might arrange a dress rehearsal before I go."The 'Vicious' actor admits death has started to fill his thoughts on a regular basis as he sees his friends' health and faculties decline, … [Read more...] about Sir Ian McKellen plans theatrical funeral
A memorial service is an honoring of a loved one. It is an opportunity to morn and says goodbye with the support of family and friends. A small group from the family or best friends are usually involved in planning a memorial service. It is best if one person takes the lead in maintaining the contact and setting up conference calls. The spouse or person closest to the deceased should be consulted but not asked to make all the decisions.The group may begin by making a list of relatives and friends to invite and also create a list of the things that were important to the loved one – a favorite song, hobbies, bible verses, poems, etc. that will help with planning the memorial service. The group should also decide if the memorial will be followed by a reception. The receiver typically includes food and drink, and is less formal.Use this checklist to help the group plan the memorial service. The group may go through each item together or each person may choose particular items they … [Read more...] about How To Plan A Memorial Service