6th Annual Tybee Island Pirate Fest Oct. 8-10

Escape the ordinary if only for Columbus Day weekend at the 6th Annual Tybee Island Pirate Fest October 8-10! Featuring a Pirate Victory Parade, Live Entertainment with headliners Eddie Money and Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Costume Contests, Kid’s Activities and the Thieves Market filled with treasures, grog and grub!

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Recession Affecting Every Aspect of American Life

The nation's financial crisis is altering Americans' way of life from the home and the workplace to the highway and the altar, according to 2009 Census data released Tuesday.

Median household income - the level where half make more and half make less - fell 2.9% from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 last year, the second consecutive annual drop, according to the American Community Survey, far-reaching demographic data separate from the 2010 Census.

"The recession has affected every aspect of American life," says Mark Mather, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau. "It doesn't matter if you're lower income or higher income, highly educated or just have a high school degree."

For-Profit Colleges Under Fire Over Value, Accreditation

For Chelsi Miller, the wake-up call came when University of Utah officials said her credits wouldn't transfer from her old school.

Utah's flagship public university accepted her to its pre-med program last fall but said her courses at Everest College, a national for-profit institution with a campus in Salt Lake City, wouldn't count toward her bachelor's degree. That left Miller with a 3.9 grade-point average for an associate's degree that she says did nothing to advance her education and career goals. And, she has more than $30,000 in student-loan debt.

She says Everest misled her when it suggested her credits would transfer and misrepresented what it would cost her.

"I feel as if I had been sold a college experience from a used-car salesman," says Miller, 26, of Midvale, Utah, who last week filed a class-action lawsuit in state court with two other students accusing Corinthian Colleges, Everest's owner, of fraud.

Most Americans Believe in God but Don't Know Religious Tenets

Americans are clear on God but foggy on facts about faiths.

The new U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that although 86% of us believe in God or a higher power, we don't know our own traditions or those of neighbors across the street or across the globe.

Among 3,412 adults surveyed, only 2% correctly answered at least 29 of 32 questions on the Bible, major religious figures, beliefs and practices. The average score was 16 correct (50%).

Key findings:

•Doctrines don't grab us. Only 55% of Catholic respondents knew the core teaching that the bread and wine in the Mass become the body and blood of Christ, and are not merely symbols. Just 19% of Protestants knew the basic tenet that salvation is through faith alone, not actions as well.

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New TV Season Brings New Hits and Duds

Highlights:

DOA. Every season brings a couple of clunkers. Last week brought four: Fox's Lone Star (4.1 million viewers) was the weakest of the bunch — and became the season's first casualty Tuesday, to be replaced by Lie to Me starting next week. But ABC's The Whole Truth and My Generation and NBC's Outlaw, in Friday's time-slot debut, are all on life support.

New Blood Perks Up Florida Panther Population

USA Today - By the early 1990s there were only 20 to 25 Florida panthers left out of what was once a large and thriving population – and those that remained were sickly and inbred, destined for extinction within 20 years, experts estimated. So in 1995 conservation managers moved eight wild-caught female pumas from Texas to the area – a reintroduction so successful that between 1995 and 2008 a total of 424 panther births have been documented.

8th Annual Buddy Walk Benefitting The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville

The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville is excited to announce the 8th Annual Buddy Walk will take place this Saturday, October 2, 2010 at the Jacksonville Beach Pavilion.  The 1-mile walk is the largest fundraiser of the year for the DSAJ and the local chapter’s goal is to raise $150,000.  Brand new this year is the 5K run, which will immediately precede the walk @ 8am.