Multiple-GRAMMY® nominee, American Music Award and Billboard Music Award winner Matthew West has released a brand new Christmas single titled "A Christmas to Believe In." Available now by visiting this link, the song's lyric video will be available Dec. 2. Written by West, "A Christmas to Believe In" is featured on Family Christian's exclusive holiday CD of the same name, which is available in stores now.
"Christmas is my favorite time of year," shares Matthew West. "I'm that guy who starts listening to Christmas music long before Thanksgiving even hits. The single 'A Christmas To Believe In' began with the thought that for some, Christmas may feel more like a season to merely try and get through or survive. But, my hope is that this song paints a warm picture of all the things that truly make this the most special time of year and a reminder not to miss it."
In 2011 West released his first full-length Christmas project titled The Heart of Christmas. The album, which features duets with Vince Gill, Amy Grant, and Mandisa, is also available in stores and online.
On the heels of releasing the "A Christmas to Believe In," this award-winning singer, songwriter and storyteller is currently writing for his upcoming new studio album. Slated for release in the spring of 2015, Matthew West continues to look to his fans to share stories that will inspire the new record. His critically-acclaimed releases The Story of Your Life (2009) and Into The Light (2012) were inspired by thousands of personal stories submitted, garnering attention from CNN Online, The New York Times, Fox News, Billboard, Country Weekly, American Songwriter, among others. The Story of Your Life featured the multiple week No. 1 song "Strong Enough." Into The Light produced the No. 1 singles "Forgiveness" and "Hello My Name Is," which was No. 1 on the National Christian radio chart for 17 weeks straight. It officially broke the record for the most weeks at No. 1 as well as "Do Something," which charted in the Top 5 at radio.
This fall West is performing at Women of Faith events around the country, along with various other appearances. Check out his site for the most current dates.
Popular CCM band The Katinas recently released its new album, Sunday Set. The project, featuring signature arrangements of popular worship songs, is available at iTunes (digital) and thekatinas.com (physical CDs).
“We are excited to release a collection of some of our favorite worship songs,” said John Katina. “With Sunday Set, we want to honor modern day psalmists who have given the church-at-large great anthems in which to honor our Lord. And though these songs are primarily performed in a corporate worship setting, we believe that worship is a lifestyle. When you live a life that honors God and His Word, then you are a worshipper! Sunday Set is a tribute to a worship-filled life.”
The new CD, featuring 10 songs, including “10,000 Reasons” and “Lead Me To The Cross,” was produced by Todd Collins, who was one of the producers on the first three albums released by the Katinas on Gotee Records. Steve Lotz mixed the new project.
“While the songs on the new CD likely are familiar, we wanted to give the listener an opportunity to hear some of these favorites with a different perspective through our arrangements,” James Katina says. “The songs are definitely fused with a good dose of vocal sensibility.”
The first single, “10,000 Reasons,” will go for adds to Christian radio in January 2015. The video for the single, featuring The Katinas’ worship-filled arrangement of the Matt Redman song, can be viewed at youtube.com/Katinas-10000Reasons.
A full song listing follows:
1) “Beautiful Things”
2) “10,000 Reasons”
4) “Lead Me To The Cross”
6) “Forever Reign”
7) “Our God”
9) “Here For You”
Grammy and Dove Award winning singer John Schlitt's new Christmas single, "Little Drummer Boy," is available for free download this week in a special Christmas promotion byNew Release Tuesday. The single is from the rock 'n' roll legend's first-ever recording of holiday music, The Christmas Project.
The beloved Christmas classic is transformed into something fresh and exciting when interpreted through Schlitt's signature vocal stylings.
"I'm very happy to partner with New Release Tuesday," says Schlitt. "It's a great opportunity to let folks hear a sample of a project that I'm very proud of."
To download the free single, visit NRT.cc/NRTChristmasV1.
Cleveland Metroparks took over management of Cleveland Lakefront Parks in June, 2013. The Park District is working on a multi-year strategic plan for the future of the lakefront parks and is enlisting input from the community at a series of public meetings scheduled for the first week in December.
The public is invited to attend any of the scheduled meetings to provide input on the proposed improvement projects, including plans for a new beach house at Edgewater Park, renovations to the pier at Euclid Beach Park and the proposed new pedestrian bridge over Euclid Creek linking Villa Angela and Wildwood parks. Additionally, attendees will have access to the latest Cleveland Metroparks updates and are encouraged to provide feedback on their recent visitor experiences at the lakefront parks.
All three of the public meetings are open house style from 5-7 p.m., with special presentations at 5:15 and 6 p.m. The first meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 2 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in the gymnasium, 1355 W. 70th St., Cleveland, followed byWednesday, Dec. 3 at Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Management Center, 8701 Lakeshore Blvd. NE, Cleveland, and then Thursday, Dec. 4 at the Collinwood Recreation Center, 16300 Lakeshore Blvd., Cleveland.
Show Hope, founded in 2003 by multi-award winning Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth, a New York Times' best-selling author, is a nonprofit organization that helps restore the hope of a family to orphans in distress. One of the organization's primary objectives is to mobilize individuals, students, families, and communities to join them in caring for the world's most vulnerable children.
Each year, Show Hope hosts a fundraising banquet to raise funds and awareness of the global orphan crisis. Held in November to promote National Adoption Month, their 11th Annual Fundraising Banquet took place at Nashville's Music City Center on Nov. 8. With hundreds of supporters from around the country in attendance, Show Hope surpassed their goal of $1 million by raising more than $1.2 million to help bring orphans into forever families! The generous donations are a huge step toward Show Hope's annual fundraising goal of $12 million.
The event's success was due in part to hosts Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman (Show Hope's President and Vice President, respectively), guest speakers Max Lucado who shared about the power of prayer, Dr. Karyn Purvis who was recognized for her life-changing work with Show Hope's Empowered to Connect conferences, and Robin and Joyce Hill of the New Hope Foundation who spoke about their work with orphans in China and their partnership with Show Hope. Chapman then closed out the evening with a special musical performance.
Columbus Crew SC announced that it is hosting its second annual College Combine event, bringing in a group of draft-eligible college players for an evaluation of some of the top young talent in the region ahead of the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The event – by invitation only and not open to the public or media – is being run by Crew SC’s First Team technical staff on Dec. 14 from 4-7 p.m. at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at The Ohio State University.
“We are lucky to be located in an area with so many quality college programs,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “As we experienced with Adam Bedell last year, the combine provides a great opportunity for players coming out of these programs to be evaluated by our technical staff and potentially earn a roster spot and playing time with the Columbus Crew SC First Team.”
Players are selected based on Columbus Crew SC First Team scouting, consultation with youth staff and local college coaches.
At the inaugural club combine held last December, the club’s technical staff identified University of Detroit Mercy forward Adam Bedell, a player who had not been invited to the MLS Combine in January. Bedell was then selected in Third Round (45th overall) in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. In his rookie season, Bedell saw significant playing time, making 16 appearances and scoring two goals.
High winds and heavy rains from the severe storms this week have some Ohioans wondering what is, and isn’t, covered by a homeowners insurance policy. Common losses that are typically covered by insurance include damage caused by downed-trees and damage to roofs, walls and ceilings caused by wind and downpours. Some losses are covered under a homeowners policy and others may be covered by policy endorsements. The Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) advises checking with your insurance agent or company regarding coverage questions and limitations, especially those related to water. Some weather-related damages are covered under a standard homeowners, renters or auto insurance policy; some are covered to a specific limit; while other coverages may be excluded but can be added through a policy endorsement or a separate flood insurance policy.
OII provides the following insurance coverage information.
WATER COVERAGE – HOME
Coverage for sewer drain backup is available through many insurance companies as a homeowners or renters policy endorsement. Coverage limits and costs vary by carrier so it’s important to understand what is – and isn’t – covered under this endorsement. Note that the water backup endorsement does NOT cover damage from flood water causing a backup.
Based on a 2012 OII survey, most insurers offer a water backup endorsement. Coverage limits range from $1,000–$100,000 with costs varying from $30–$485 annually depending on the type of coverage and limits selected. Some insurers offer options for this coverage with a basic endorsement covering major appliances (furnace, water heater/softener, washer/dryer, sump pump) while a broader endorsement extends coverage to finished basements including carpeting, furniture and electronics.
Wall and ceiling water leaks
If roofs and gutters have been damaged by a covered loss (i.e. wind, tornado, hail) interior wall and ceiling leaks from seeping rain are covered by homeowners insurance. Deductibles apply.
Damage caused by flooding is excluded from homeowners and renters insurance policies. This protection is available through the purchase of a flood insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent or company for specifics or visit www.floodsmart.gov to assess your flood risk, estimate the cost for a flood insurance policy and locate a flood insurance agent in your area. There’s a 30-day waiting period before new or modified flood insurance policies go into effect. Click here for additional info on flood insurance. Note that flood insurance does not cover water backup in the basement from non-flood related events.
WIND (TORNADO) COVERAGE – HOME
Damage caused by high winds, tornadoes and hail are covered by homeowners, renters and commercial insurance policies. Homes or belongings damaged as a result of a fallen tree due to wind or lightning strikes – whether it’s your tree or a neighbor’s tree – are covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Tree removal costs are also covered when being removed from the damaged structure. Deductibles apply.
Typically the cost associated with removing a fallen tree (or trees) is covered up to $1,000 ($500/tree) under the following circumstances:
• The tree was uprooted due to windstorm, hail, or the peril of weight of ice, snow or sleet, or a neighbor’s tree was downed under the same circumstances and
• The tree damaged a covered structure such as the roof, garage or shed, or
• The fallen tree has not damaged covered property but blocks the insured’s driveway or handicap access ways.
Costs incurred from taking measures to protect against further damage (such as placing plastic over a damaged roof, covering windows to prevent further rain damage, etc.) are likely reimbursable under your homeowners policy. Save these receipts.
Damage to trees
Residential trees, shrubs, plants or lawns are not covered when damaged by wind or hail. Limited coverage is provided if damages are caused by fire, lightning, explosion, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, nonowned vehicles, vandalism, malicious mischief or theft. The limit is typically 5% of the dwelling amount, but no more than $500 for any one tree, shrub or plant.
If severe weather threatens, move your car under cover to prevent damage from high winds, flying debris and hail. Vehicles pot-marked by hail or damaged by flooding are covered under the “other-than-collision” (comprehensive) portion of an auto insurance policy. This is optional coverage that protects insured vehicles in situations other than a collision or overturn. Deductibles apply.
Consumer insurance tips
• Closely inspect property and cars for damage.
• Photograph any damage and inventory losses, especially if heavy, widespread damage has occurred.
• Secure property from further damage or theft (save receipts and provide to your insurer).
• Contact your insurance agent regarding coverage clarification and damage assessment regarding a potential claim.
• Consider obtaining a written repair estimate prior to filing a claim as repair costs may not exceed your deductible. If the loss amount is close to your deductible, you might consider absorbing the loss on your own.
• If required to seek temporary housing due to a covered loss, check your policy for “additional living expense” or “loss of use” coverage. Many policies cover additional expenses (like motel & dining) up to a stated amount.
• Create a home inventory and keep it up-to-date. A free downloadable program is atwww.knowyourstuff.org – there’s even an app offered.
• Schedule an ‘annual insurance checkup’ with your insurance professional. Review all your insurance needs (such as a new teen driver in the household or new home improvements/remodeling, etc.). Be sure to ask what’s not covered by the policy to avoid confusion should a loss arise in the future.
Preventing Water Damage
• Never store perishables or valuables in basements that you can’t afford to lose or replace (i.e. photos, clothing, electronics, collectibles, etc.).
• Do not store items near basement drains.
• Check storm drain lines to make sure they’re clear of debris, like roots and dirt.
• Make sure your sump pump and/or dehumidifier are in working order.
• Use shelving to store items several inches above the potential water level.
• Make sure your home’s downspouts are extended far enough away from the foundation to prevent water from entering your basement through the walls.
• Grade the property around your home to drain water away from the house.
• If you have water seepage following storms, take corrective measures to alleviate future problems. For instance, install a sump pump or have a waterproofing expert take a look at your situation to see what can be done to eliminate the potential for major water damage losses.
Hiring a Home Contractor
• Beware of rip offs. Carefully check the background of contractors and others who promise “cheap” repairs. OII suggests checking with family and friends for referrals and contact your local home builders association or the Better Business Bureau.
• Obtain several estimates and request customer references. Be sure estimates include all contractor info, including the contractor’s name, address and phone number. Click here to view OII’s home repair tip sheet.
Homeowners insurance policies differ, but food spoilage is normally excluded if the cause of loss is an off-premises power outage (downed power lines, etc.). Some insurers offer a “refrigerated property coverage” endorsement that provides coverage – typically up to $500 – for frozen/refrigerated items due to loss of power. Contact your insurance professional to see if coverage applies. The Ohio State University offerssuggestions for proper food handling in the event of power outages.
The OII is a trade association representing insurance companies and agent groups for the property/casualty insurance industry. Its primary objective is to help Ohioans achieve a better understanding of insurance and safety issues.