Michigan man killed by grizzly in Yellowstone

By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park rangers are trying to capture a grizzly they say killed a hiker from Michigan last week, the second fatal bear attack this summer at the famed park, authorities said Monday.
The body of John Wallace, 59, was discovered Friday along a trail near an area of the park known for its high population of bears. An autopsy concluded he died from injuries in a bear attack.
"We know of no witnesses" to the attack, park superintendent Dan Wenk said. "We think we provide visitors with pretty good knowledge and techniques to keep them safe in the backcountry. Unfortunately, in this case it didn't happen that way."
Rangers set traps and plan to kill the animal if they can establish through DNA analysis that it was the one that attacked Wallace, Wenk said.
Wenk said park officials do not believe the bear was involved in the other mauling this summer several miles away from where Wallace's body was discovered. In July, a female bear with cubs killed a hiker from California. Officials did not kill the sow grizzly because they concluded it was defending its cubs.
In the latest case, there were no sign of cubs in the area where Wallace was killed.
Wallace, of Chassell, Mich., was apparently traveling alone and had pitched a tent in a developed campground sometime Wednesday, park officials said.
Authorities said Wallace likely was killed Wednesday or Thursday during a hiked along the Mary Mountain Trail. He was about five miles from the nearest trailhead and authorities said he was not carrying bear spray — mace-like canisters of pepper spray that can be used to defend against bear attacks.
Investigators found a snack bar in his closed backpack, but authorities said it did not appear the grizzly tried to get at the food.
Rangers also found grizzly tracks and scat, or bear droppings, near Wallace's body. The body was discovered in an area of the park that rangers close from March to June because it is considered "high-density" grizzly country.
In the case of Wallace's death, Wenk said there was too little information to know if it was a defensive attack or not. As a result he said the bear would be killed if it can be positively identified as the culprit.
"We're going to err on the safe side of caution since we'll never really know the circumstances in this case," he said.
Two trails and a section of the Hayden Valley west of Yellowstone's Grand Loop Road have been closed to hikers. Park officials asked hikers elsewhere in the park to stay on the trails, to hike in groups of three or more and carry bear spray.
Wallace's death was the fourth in the greater Yellowstone area since June 2010.
Chris Servheen, grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said there are "a lot of bears" in the area where Wallace was killed. He said only a portion of the animals have had prior DNA testing.
Yellowstone and surrounding areas are home at least 600 grizzlies. Once rare to behold, grizzlies have become an almost routine cause of curious tourists lining up at Yellowstone's roadsides at the height of summer season.
In June 2010, a grizzly just released after being trapped and tranquilized for study killed an Illinois man hiking outside Yellowstone's east gate. Last July, a grizzly killed a Michigan man and injured two others in a nighttime campground rampage near Cooke City, Mont., northeast of the park.
Despite the killings, Wenk said dangerous encounters remain rare between grizzlies and the more than 3 million people who visit the park each year. The July killing was the first inside the park first since 1986.
"We've averaged one encounter that has caused injuries a year for the past 25 years," Wenk said. "The record speaks for itself."

Nathan Osmond release's new single, "The Tailgate Song"

WRLTHD Music News
August 26, 2011 - Nashville, TN - Question: What do Tailgating and Country music have in common? Answer: Nathan Osmond. Already hitting number one this year on the Independent Country charts and number eight on the major Country charts with his single "SWEET," Pretty World Records is proud to release what they feel is another solid Country hit, "The Tailgate Song."

This toe-tapping, true to Country roots, sports-nut anthem was written by Grammy award winning songwriters, Gary Baker ("I Swear", "I'm Already There"), Frank Myers ("I Swear", "My Front Porch Looking In") and Matt Johnson. It tells the story of Billy, a straight-laced accountant who seems to be living a double life. He has his daily, boring routine at the office, but come Saturdays around September, "he's not the guy you remember." He seems to be the biggest super fan of all! Osmond will be shooting the music video on September 3rd in Carthage, TN, just outside Nashville with director Matt Houser who is credited for helping to shoot Rascal Flatts & Natash Bettingfield's latest video, "Easy." When asked about the video Osmond said, "I am thrilled to have Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer as the official sponsor of the video and am looking forward to working with the city of Carthage, TN." The video will feature cheerleaders, rednecks, hottie referees, marching bands, football players, face-painted-super-fans and Billy the straight-laced accountant who is the life of the tailgate party.

Osmond recorded the song at the infamous NoiseBlock Music Group studios in Florence, AL. Gary Baker, who also produced the song, brought in Nashville's top musicians to play on Osmond's track. The song is hitting radio stations around the globe and is available to radio stations for download at: www.AirPlayaccess.com.  For more information, go to www.NathanOsmond.com or contact Nathan Osmond's manager, LeeAnn Lallone (L&L Management) in Nashville, TN. (615) 310-0718 or leelallone@comcast.net and Tom Roach (812)827-4003 toroach@insightbb.co

For more information visit:

Gibson Guitar raided by feds!

The Commercial Appeal/Zuma Press

Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pore through the workshop at the Gibson Guitar factory on Wednesday morning.

Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.

It isn't the first time that agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service have come knocking at the storied maker of such iconic instruments as the Les Paul electric guitar, the J-160E acoustic-electric John Lennon played, and essential jazz-boxes such as Charlie Christian's ES-150. In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name "United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms."

The question in the first raid seemed to be whether Gibson had been buying illegally harvested hardwoods from protected forests, such as the Madagascar ebony that makes for such lovely fretboards. And if Gibson did knowingly import illegally harvested ebony from Madagascar, that wouldn't be a negligible offense. Peter Lowry, ebony and rosewood expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden, calls the Madagascar wood trade the "equivalent of Africa's blood diamonds." But with the new raid, the government seems to be questioning whether some wood sourced from India met every regulatory jot and tittle.

It isn't just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next.

If you are the lucky owner of a 1920s Martin guitar, it may well be made, in part, of Brazilian rosewood. Cross an international border with an instrument made of that now-restricted wood, and you better have correct and complete documentation proving the age of the instrument. Otherwise, you could lose it to a zealous customs agent—not to mention face fines and prosecution.

John Thomas, a law professor at Quinnipiac University and a blues and ragtime guitarist, says "there's a lot of anxiety, and it's well justified." Once upon a time, he would have taken one of his vintage guitars on his travels. Now, "I don't go out of the country with a wooden guitar."

The tangled intersection of international laws is enforced through a thicket of paperwork. Recent revisions to 1900's Lacey Act require that anyone crossing the U.S. border declare every bit of flora or fauna being brought into the country. One is under "strict liability" to fill out the paperwork—and without any mistakes.

It's not enough to know that the body of your old guitar is made of spruce and maple: What's the bridge made of? If it's ebony, do you have the paperwork to show when and where that wood was harvested and when and where it was made into a bridge? Is the nut holding the strings at the guitar's headstock bone, or could it be ivory? "Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever," Prof. Thomas has written. "Oh, and you'll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration."

Consider the recent experience of Pascal Vieillard, whose Atlanta-area company, A-440 Pianos, imported several antique Bösendorfers. Mr. Vieillard asked officials at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species how to fill out the correct paperwork—which simply encouraged them to alert U.S. Customs to give his shipment added scrutiny.

There was never any question that the instruments were old enough to have grandfathered ivory keys. But Mr. Vieillard didn't have his paperwork straight when two-dozen federal agents came calling.

Facing criminal charges that might have put him in prison for years, Mr. Vieillard pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of violating the Lacey Act, and was handed a $17,500 fine and three years probation.

Given the risks, why don't musicians just settle for the safety of carbon fiber? Some do—when concert pianist Jeffrey Sharkey moved to England two decades ago, he had Steinway replace the ivories on his piano with plastic.

Still, musicians cling to the old materials. Last year, Dick Boak, director of artist relations for C.F. Martin & Co., complained to Mother Nature News about the difficulty of getting elite guitarists to switch to instruments made from sustainable materials. "Surprisingly, musicians, who represent some of the most savvy, ecologically minded people around, are resistant to anything about changing the tone of their guitars," he said.

You could mark that up to hypocrisy—artsy do-gooders only too eager to tell others what kind of light bulbs they have to buy won't make sacrifices when it comes to their own passions. Then again, maybe it isn't hypocrisy to recognize that art makes claims significant enough to compete with environmentalists' agendas.

Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, 35, and his beloved and loyal dog Hawkeye

Aug. 25, 2011

They say that a dog is a man's best friend, and for Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, 35, and his beloved and loyal dog Hawkeye, not even death could break this powerful bond.

At Tumilson's funeral in Rockford on Aug. 19, his beloved canine lay at the foot of the casket throughout the ceremony. Tumilson's cousin Lisa Pembleton took the heart-wrenching photo of the devoted dog, known to Tumilson's family and friends as his "son."

"I took this picture and that was my view throughout the entire funeral. I couldn't NOT take a picture," Pembleton said. "It took several attempts since every time I wasn't crying and could focus on taking it, there was a SEAL at the microphone and I didn't want to take a picture with them for security and respect reasons. Our family is devastated to say the least."

Petty Officer Tumilson, from Rockford, Iowa, was one of 22 Navy SEALS who died when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by Afghan insurgents, claiming the lives of 30 Americans.
Dog Teaches Disabled How to Surf Watch Video
Military Dog Hurt in Afghanistan Watch Video
Gadhafi Surrounded: Unconfirmed Reports Watch Video

More than 50 SEALs were in attendance at the funeral. Though the funeral was taped, most of it was only audio so as not to disclose the identity of the SEALs.

"From a young age, J.T. wanted nothing more than to be a SEAL," said an attendee, possibly a SEAL, in a speech at the funeral. "I didn't realize the depth of his desire until I stepped into his bedroom at his parent's house for the first time. His room was a shrine … pictures, paintings, books and videos all related to being a Navy SEAL."

Tumilson joined the Navy in 1995 and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Defense Meritorious Service Medal, in addition to numerous medals he won throughout his service. He is survived by a large family, including his parents, two sisters and many extended relatives.

"Even though you were the baby of the family, I want you to know how much I looked up to you," said one of his sisters, speaking through tears at the funeral. "You always showed so much strength, courage, determination and selfless love."

In a statement, Tumilson's family said that he "died living his dream as a Navy SEAL."

"Jon was a Navy SEAL and he was proud to die this way—for his country and for the people he loved so much," his family wrote. "We respect the nature of their jobs and the need to protect these men and women so they can continue to serve our nation; therefore, we will not provide details of Jon's military service."

Hawkeye is being cared for by a friend of Tumilson's.

Tumilson's family has started a memorial fund and contributions can be made to Frogman 238 Memorial Fund, First Security Bank and Trust, 201 West Main Ave., Rockford, IA 50468.

CSI: NY will Flashback to 9/11

by Matt Webb Mitovich

The CSI: NY Season 8 premiere, as previously reported, will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks by in large part flashing back to that tragic day, showing viewers how Mac, his ill-fated wife, Claire (played by Eureka‘s Jamie Ray Newman), and others were individually impacted.

TVLine has acquired a first look photo — featuring Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Flack (Eddie Cahill) — from the emotional episode, the idea for which was in large part shepherded by series lead Gary Sinise.

Matt’s Inside Line: Learn More About the CSI: NY Season 8 Premiere

As executive producer Zack Reiter explains, “Gary Sinise came to me and the other writers wanting to do something that revolved around 9/11 — specifically featuring the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance, a project that Gary had an enormous involvement in.”

Conceived as a memorial to the 416 first responders who died in New York City on 9/11, “Apparently they were about halfway through building it when they ran out of money,” Reiter relates, “and Gary and his Lt. Dan Band were instrumental in helping to raise funds to complete the project.”

Already poised to mark the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks, and nudged by Sinise with the idea for a specific touchstone, “It all seemed to come together in that moment,” says Reiter.

US Air Guard members in Norway

Fifty members team from the Vermont Air National Guard are in Norway this week and next on an exchange program. This US Air Guard members  trip that will include construction projects on a Norwegian air base and training exercises.
The relationship between the U.S. Air National Guard and Norway's Air Force has been in existence since 1991. The Vermont Air National Guard is the air force militia of the U.S. state of Vermont. It is, along with the Vermont Army National Guard, an element of the Vermont National Guard.

Irene in Bahamas and headed to northeast U.S.

Dale Eck, Director of the Global Forecast Center,
The Weather Channel
Aug 24,  2011 4:54 pm ET


- Irene will have significant effects to the Bahamas, eastern North Carolina, and up through the northeast U.S.

- Irene is currently a major category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph moving through the Southeast Bahamas.

- Irene is centered about 215 miles southeast of Nassau and moving NW at 12 mph.

- A hurricane warning is in effect for the Bahamas

- A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

- Irene will now move northwestward through the Bahamas through Thursday.

- Rainfall of 6 to 15 inches is expected throughout the Bahamas.

- A dangerous storm surge could raise water levels by 5 to 8 feet in the southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands and 7 to 11 feet in the central and northwest Bahamas as Irene moves through.

- After departing the Northwest Bahamas Thursday night Irene should parallel the Florida and Georgia coasts Friday and pass off the South Carolina coast Saturday.

- Even though Irene is expected to miss Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to the east, it is a larger-than-average hurricane, so coastal residents will still see some impacts, including gusty winds, showers, dangerous surf and strong rip currents.

- Irene is expected to be a major hurricane have significant impacts to eastern North Carolina Later Friday night and Saturday

- Continuing up the East Coast, Irene is then expected to bring extreme impacts to the eastern portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with damaging winds, power outages, flooding rains and coastal surge Saturday into Monday.

Indiana State Fair: First hand account!

by Cheryl Reed, Indianapolis.
When you're in a situation where people die or are hurt and you are not in danger yourself, pretty much anything you have to say is meaningless. But here I am, still reeling from watching that stage rigging collapse at the Sugarland concert. And I can't seem to stop thinking about it. 

Going to the show was my birthday splurge. Jeff spent a lot of time and a fair amount of money getting seats that would make it great: not in the Sugar pit because I wanted to wear big-girl-shoes and wouldn't want to stand that long in them; not in chairs on the ground because I'm too short to see over anyone standing in front but not so far away so we couldn't see anything. Being old, short and lazy were good things last night. 

We were in Section 5 -- nearly dead center and just 18 rows up. We were actually 17 rows up but another couple was in our seats, so we agreed to take theirs, one row up. Then, the couple next to us at the last minute, found a way to go lower so we actually had four seats on the bleacher with a railing in front of us. Room to kick off my shoes and dance around if I wanted. There was a fence between the grandstand and the track, with the stage beyond that. 

We were close enough to see everything but the detail work on Sara Barellis' dress (opening act) but far enough, as it turned out, to be out of danger. We were also out of reach to get through to help after the steel fell. 

Jeff noted the lightning off in the western distance before I did. I was hoping the weather predictions were wrong and refused to acknowledge it at first. I love Jennifer Nettle's crazy big voice, and I wanted to witness Jeff coming into the fold. Kristian Bush is an amazing guy and it's always a happy surprise to hear his voice because he's great, too, and I think people sometimes forget that. 

The stage was huge. I counted at least six semi-tractor trailers that were parked behind the set up along with buses and other big vehicles. Just the carriers took up huge room. We talked about how elaborate it was and how much work it would be to set it all up. 

Anyway, we were waiting, me less patiently than Jeff, for the band to take the stage. Jeff was watching the weather. I was watching the Indiana State Police guys who seemed to be on patrol. I idly wondered if they were looking for some criminal because they seemed on edge and watching for something. But I knew I had no outstanding warrants, was pretty sure Jeff didn't, and I was focused on the band. 

There was an announcement that bad weather seemed to be coming and they were hoping the crowds would wait out the rain in buildings nearby should it come down. People all around us in the grandstands were filing out to try to stay dry. No one down on the track seemed to care. I think those of us who stayed were all just hoping so much to hear the band that we ignored our good sense. 

The nice man left the stage. The lightning got closer. The sky darkened to a color that was deeper than indigo but not quite purple. There was a slight breeze, which was nice after the heat. And then, all of a sudden, it wasn't. 

We watched as what we thought was a wall of rain come whooshing at us. But it was dirt from the track, not rain that was blowing at us with the force of a freight train. 

We saw the rigging tilt to the east. I remember grabbing Jeff's shirt and saying, "Jeff, I think that's going to fall. Those people there." And then, as if we were stuck in a silent, slow-motion movie, the rigging creaked and kept tilting until it all crashed onto the ground. 

Jeff grabbed me, told me to get my shoes. He dragged me down the bleachers, skipping the walkway 28 seats to our left. It wasn't chaotic as much as shocked in our area. No one shoved or screamed or was crazy. We all made room for those in wheelchairs, and everyone exited in the ways we'd come in. As we came to the stairs down -- away from the track, I looked over for a way to go left and get down to help hold up the rigging as I could see folks on the ground were doing. 

But there was no way to get to the track. In my head, I knew we'd be in the way and that a barefoot, short girl wouldn't be much help even if we could have gotten down there. But I wanted to. 

Instead, thanks to my taller, stronger, smarter husband, we got out of the way and didn't add to the confusion. As we ran for our car, parked on the infield behind the staging area, the wind kept blowing. I think I have State Fair dirt embedded in my scalp. It was like being in a sandstorm in the Gobi. 

We live only a few miles from the fair and I've been in and out of that thing for years. But I don't think I could have gotten us out of there. The phone lines were jammed. The one thought that did get through was that Alison was at the Ogdens and she might see news coverage. We were headed there when Jeff's phone went through. 

If Ali has a bad dream, it's usually about Jeff or me dying. She worries about it a lot. We talked with her on the phone, she said she wasn't worried anymore but had wanted to hear our voices. After we talked, she was OK and wanted to keep with her sleepover, so we went home.

It was hard to settle down. Liquor helped a bit. But as the news coverage of the collapse rolled out, our fears were confirmed, and it just got more and more sad. 

My heart goes out to the families of those who lost loved ones, and to the Sugarland family, too. I was at the gym this morning, cycling away and listening to the Incredible Machine album. I heard Jennifer Nettles sing, "Stand up, stand up you boys and girls. Stand up and use your voice." and I had to fight back tears. It was so awful. 

I just kept pedaling and telling myself "There's no crying at the gym. There's no crying at the gym." But it's so sad. So awful. 

Thank you for all the check-in phone calls and posts and texts and tweets. We are so thankful to have been out of the line of danger. But so terribly sad for those who weren't. 

Oh. Deep breath. Keep Indianapolis in your hearts, everyone.

Thanks Cheryl Reed for sharing your first hand account of this tragic story!

Indiana State Fair: Wind gust topples stage Saturday night, killing five and injuring dozens

Indiana State Police released a timeline of events connected to the stage collapde at the Indiana State Fair, which killed five people and injured 45 or more.
The chronology of events is being reconstructed as part of an exhaustive investigation of the catastrophe, which took place prior to a scheduled concert by the country band Sugarland. Participating in the investgiation are the Indiana Attorney General's Office, the Marion County Coroner's Office, the Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office and the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration, according to a report by Channel 6 News in Indianapolis.
The timeline, which begins at 5:30 p.m Saturday evening, outlines communication between fair officials and the National Weather Service. It demonstrates that while fair officials were conscientious in preparing for severe weather, the storm which contributed to the stage collapse was no surprise.  Still, the stage collapse is believed to have been largely a result of a dramatic gust of wind that was a relative anomaly.
"It really wasn't the issue of the weather as it was with the high gust of wind," Indiana State Police 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said in a local news conference Sunday morning. "What's remarkable about this is virtually throughout the rest of the fairgrounds, the midway particularly, there was no damage to structures, which is leading us to believe that this was an isolated, significant wind gust."
According to the timeline, the NSW told fair officials at 7 p.m. that a thunderstorm with heavy rain, lightning, strong winds and large hail was expected to hit the fairground area between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The same or similar warning was re-issued at 8 p.m.
At 8:30, police were brought to the grandstand, ready to assist security with a possible evacuation. At 8:45, an emcee took to the stage, warning the audience of impending severe weather and instructing them "how and where to seek shelter."
The stage collapsed four minutes later, at 8:45.
The five killed include Tammy Vandam, 42, of Wanatah; Glenn Goodrich, 49, of Indianapolis; Alina Bigjohny, 23, of Fort Wayne; Christina Santiago, 29, of Chicago; and Nathan Byrd, 51, of Indianapolis. Byrd, who was a spotlight operator, died on Sunday morning, while the other four were pronounced dead shortly after the collapse.
So far, 45 others have been reported to have injuries. Burstein said that some injuries are so severe that be believes the death toll could rise.

The Band Perry is mining gold!

Story and photo's by Ray Tharaldson, WRLTHD
The Band Perry started their fair season at the Goshen County Fair. Sister and brothers trio Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry took the crowd captive with their first hit, "Hip to my Heart" and never let go.

This relatively young group has roots that run deep in country music with a helping of rock & roll for flavor. They have their parents to thank for a perfect marriage of country and rock & roll.

"Daddy rocked us to sleep with Rolling Stones and Mama woke us up with Loretta Lynn, so we get it honest," Kimberly shares with the crowd.

By all accounts its a formula that works. Earlier this year fans voted The Band Perry "Top New Group" at the Academy of Country Music awards and their single "You Lie" has become Certified Gold.

The trio enjoys tremendous cross over appeal with pop stations. As you look out over the crowd you'll notice fans of all age groups, the perfect storm for promoters and record companies.

 The Band Perry broke out their newest song, "All Your Life," set to hit the airwaves soon.

"Give your sweetheart a sweaty hug, they'll thank you," Kimberly says as they launch into the ballad.

Commemorating their first fair of the season the group played "Last Song." It had only been played live one other time.

“I hope we can get from the top to the bottom without too many missed chords,” Kimberly joked.

The Tennessee natives perform what they call “American” music - the crossroads of rock and country music. Proving the point, “Independence” featured their fiddle player and included an interlude of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin.” A roll coaster of music styles followed.

Kimberly's moving rendition of "Amazing Grace" turned the packed grandstands into a sing along. The trio then broke into a medley of American songs. “American Pie,” “Jack & Diane” and “Bobby McGee” had the audience singing and tapping their toes. “Fat Bottomed Girls” let Neil take the microphone.

 Their latest hit single, "You Lie," has now earned Gold certification from the RIAA for sales exceeding 500,000. "You Lie" was written by Aaron, Brian and Clara Henningsen and recently rose to #2 on both the Billboard Country Albums Chart and the USA Today/Country Aircheck powered by Mediabase Chart.

"‘You Lie' is full of spitfire and it's our high-five to everyone who's been the victim of a cheatin' heart," explained The Band Perry. "Only in Country music could a song about feeling fed-up be so much fun to sing. When we perform this one, we get a big ‘amen!' back and we thank everyone who has joined in."

"Plain and simple…this song has more hooks than a tackle box!" said Jimmy Harnen, Republic Nashville President.

The Band Perry is on course to be Platinum by year's end. We think they will get there. They deserve it.

Meanwhile, The Band Perry remain on tour with Tim McGraw.

Gov Rick Perry enters race.

Texas Governor Rick Perry joined the 2012 Republican race for president Saturday, lambasting Barack Obama's handling of the economy and declaring "it is time to get America working again."

"America isn't broken; Washington, D.C., is broken," Perry, a staunch conservative beloved by the tea party movement, told an audience of supporters in South Carolina.
"A renewed nation needs a new president."
Perry criticized Obama for "apologizing for America" on foreign policy and said he would do better at creating jobs than the president, whose administration is struggling to revive the U.S. economy in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
Emphasizing "hard work and personal responsiblity," Perry outlined his guiding principles of government, which includes keeping taxes low, balancing a budget through spending cuts and minimizing government involvement.
"In [former British Prime Minister's] Margaret Thatcher's words: we will not stand for a state that takes too much from us to do too much for us," said the politician, who added that the U.S. was experiencing an "economic disaster" with more than nine per cent unemployed and thousands who have simply given up looking for a job.

Give Obama 'pink slip,' tea party favourite urges

Perry, who has spent three terms as governor of Texas, also highlighted his state's success, saying that more than 40 per cent of the new jobs created in the country since 2009 have come from Texas.
"It's time to give the pink slip to the current residents of the White House," he declared in his 30-minute speech.
Perry was an early backer of the tea party movement and enjoys the support of social conservatives because of his opposition to abortion and gay rights. He is also an evangelical Christian who organized a well-attended prayer rally in Houston last week
Some Republicans worry that Perry's hard-core conservatism and Texas style may not play well in a 50-state contest, particularly so soon after another Texas governor, George W. Bush, served in the White House. Bush had record low approval ratings when he left office in 2009
The governor's announcement came only a few hours before the release of results from the straw poll in Iowa, the nation's first caucus state. Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and U.S. representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota are expected to top that poll.
Perry, 61, is expected to visit New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, later Saturday before stepping onto Iowa soil Sunday.
The leading Republican candidate so far has been Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor making his second run for the nomination. But no one in the field has managed to raise the kind of enthusiasm among conservatives that seems to surround Perry.
Among the others in the race are former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and businessman Herman Cain.