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  • Thu, January 21, 2021 2:30 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    From the desk of Vanessa Gagne:
    January 21, 2021


    This week is a little quiet with the transition of power from President Trump to President Biden. 

    Joe Exotic did not get pardoned by President Trump before he left office.  There was a stretch limousine waiting for Joe in the prison parking lot and all the local news crews were set up to catch him on camera. 

    Good news for an alternative vaccine:  Nasal Spray COVID Vaccine Shows Promise in Animal Trials


    BC SPCA launches petition to end international trade of exotic birds, wild animals

    Explaining the mystery about mountain lions in Oklahoma

    New owners of Tiger King zoo ordered to surrender cubs

  • Wed, January 20, 2021 9:11 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)
    U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices*(dollars per gallon)full history XLS
    Change from
    01/04/21 01/11/21 01/18/21 week ago year ago
    U.S. 2.640 2.670 2.696 0.026 -0.341
    East Coast (PADD1) 2.667 2.719 2.747 0.028 -0.328
    New England (PADD1A) 2.665 2.700 2.764 0.064 -0.368
    Central Atlantic (PADD1B) 2.857 2.891 2.924 0.033 -0.324
    Lower Atlantic (PADD1C) 2.540 2.608 2.627 0.019 -0.321
    Midwest (PADD2) 2.592 2.606 2.632 0.026 -0.305
    Gulf Coast (PADD3) 2.398 2.429 2.461 0.032 -0.336
    Rocky Mountain (PADD4) 2.586 2.590 2.603 0.013 -0.407
    West Coast (PADD5) 3.116 3.139 3.155 0.016 -0.419
    West Coast less California 2.771 2.793 2.804 0.011 -0.402
    California 3.404 3.427 3.448 0.021 -0.418
    *prices include all taxes
  • Thu, January 14, 2021 4:04 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    From the desk of Vanessa Gagne:

    January 14, 2021


    The Big Cat Public Safety Act has been reintroduced as US HR 263.

    Indiana has introduced the Cub Protection Act, IN HB 1398, which “prohibits a person that owns or possesses a specified animal from allowing a member of the public to come into direct contact with the specified animal and establishes a criminal penalty for a violation of the law.”

    Siegfried Fischbacher of famed magic act 'Siegfried & Roy' dies of pancreatic cancer at 81


    Two gorillas at San Diego Zoo test positive for COVID-19

    APHIS funds animal disease programs

    Thank animal research for COVID-19 vaccines

    Circus Sarasota cancels its 2021 shows at Nathan Benderson Park

  • Wed, January 13, 2021 3:37 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    OABA member and longtime NICA Member and Concessionaire, Joseph “Joe” Blume, 56, of Stuart, Florida, passed away unexpectedly on December 29, 2020. 

    Joe was born in Newark, New Jersey to Frederick and Jacqueline Blume where he was raised in Rockaway Township, NJ. He graduated from Morris Knolls High School and after graduation, Joe held the position of management in the food industries. In 1994 Joe decided to move to Florida and start a new beginning and met Todd Desgranges, his soul mate, in 1999. Joe’s career flourished when he began working with the Outdoor Amusement Business with Todd, Irvin and Evelyn Deggeller, operating Stuart Confections, Inc. which opened a whole new world to him for over 20 years. 

    Joe’s love of life and his larger-than-life personality was always a huge hit with all who knew him, along with every friendship he made during his journeys when traveling. His never-ending wit and humorous joking were continuously non-stop. Joe’s love of family became the glue to which he bonded with all. He lived life to the fullest, enjoying every single day and always with a smile on his face.  Joe’s greatest passions were entertaining, cooking, and traveling. He loved to feed everyone, no one was a stranger at his table, and all were always welcomed. Joe and Todd LOVED their traveling from state to state especially New Jersey, Las Vegas, the Bahamas, and their many cruises they took.

    Joe was a devoted member of the Loyal Order of Moose in Stuart, FL and Atlantic City, NJ.  His mission was to help all those in need without any hesitation.

    Joe is survived by his husband Todd, the “Love of his Life” along with his mentors in life, Evelyn Deggeller and her late husband Irvin, his three loving sisters; Debra Fiorello (and late husband Richie), Linda Miller and husband Lenny, Donna Hon and husband Michael, and his sister-in-law Joan Blume. Joe is also survived by his adoring nieces and nephews: Nicholas, Michelle, Pamela, Michael Jr., Amanda, Samantha, Jayden, and Jessie, his cousins, his Aunt Roxann Blume, his furry companions Lola and Leo and all his friends. He is predeceased by his parents Frederick and Jacqueline Blume and his loving brother Frederick Blume.

    A “Celebration of Life” will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Joseph Blume, to the Loyal Order of Moose, 2454 SE Indian Street, Stuart, Florida, 34997.

  • Wed, January 13, 2021 2:56 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Congratulations to OABA member and NICA Past President Dominic Palmieri, CCE, and Kim Palmieri, Odyssey Foods and Sanitized Now, who were awarded the Barham Award during the WFA Virtual Convention's Industry Awards Presentation on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, surrounded by their family. Rey O'Day, NICA Executive Director, introduced Dominic and Kim by sharing some of her favorite stories about them.

    The prestigious Barham Award is presented in recognition of Hot Dog on a Stick Founder, Dave Barham, and recognizes innovation, quality and leadership in WFA's Service Member Division.

  • Wed, January 13, 2021 2:32 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Hitch-Hiker / Personal Protected
    How One Amusement Industry Leader Innovated Its Way
    Through The Pandemic

    By: Ron Weber
    Wednesday, January 13, 2021

    As the saying goes — “When life gives you lemons — make lemonade”. That's easier said than done for most, and especially during this past year which posed so many challenges for the outdoor amusement industry.

    Jeff Swartz of Hitch-Hiker Manufacturing was just recovering from February 2020 hip surgery when the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic began to be felt.  Swartz delivered 3-4 trailers in late March and early April as customers hoped for only a short pause, but discussions of new builds and pre-orders began to slow and then altogether stopped, as amusement industry closures continued and the future became less and less uncertain.

    Some customers who were in production on trailers asked to put the progress on hold while others, remaining hopeful, pushed to open.  But as the situation became more dire, even the most optimistic of customers asked to hold back on new equipment production.

    As Swartz ruminated on the pandemic and what it would take to reopen, Daily media and Governor briefings were encouraging everyone to wash hands, stay 6ft. apart and wear a mask, a refrain that is now all too familiar to us.

    It occurred to Swartz, while discussing the news in a casual office meeting, that two of those items, hand washing and social distancing, were something his company could assist with. 

    An idea quickly came to mind and Swartz retreated to his office to sketch out his idea for getting businesses open.  His idea addressed not only combined hand washing and social distancing aspects, but also brought into play an element he is constantly aware of with his amusement business experience — volume.

    With a sketch in hand, Swartz showed the rendering to the office staff in his office and from their reaction — he knew he was on to something that could provide a much needed solution for businesses during the pandemic and beyond.

    He immediately went to work on fabrication, repurposing personnel to the new project.  

    About a week later, they had drawings prepared, patent applications filed and their first new prototype — a four person hand washing station that provided distance barriers between users and quick, easy access to keeping hands clean.  Best of all, it could provide these services to large numbers of people per hour — up to 720.

    Swartz reached beyond the amusement business for his first customer, showing it to former OSU football coach and now Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel. 

    In late April and May, Tressel visited the Hitch-Hiker facility and quickly saw this was the solution and tool for helping get students back on campus.  Tressel envisioned the units being featured at entrances to large gathering areas such as the student halls, and Tressel placed an order for the first 10 units, supporting a local manufacturer in the process.  Positioned in high volume areas, the 10 units can wash 7200 sets of hands per hour!

    Swartz realized that the market for this equipment reached well beyond the amusement business so he decided to start a new company that better reflected the product's target.

    Personal Protected was born.

    Full article and photos on carnivalwarehouse.com

  • Wed, January 13, 2021 2:30 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices*

    Change from
    12/28/20 01/04/21 01/11/21 week ago year ago
    U.S. 2.635 2.640 2.670 0.030 -0.394
    East Coast (PADD1) 2.659 2.667 2.719 0.052 -0.392
    New England (PADD1A) 2.652 2.665 2.700 0.035 -0.431
    Central Atlantic (PADD1B) 2.850 2.857 2.891 0.034 -0.400
    Lower Atlantic (PADD1C) 2.534 2.540 2.608 0.068 -0.376
    Midwest (PADD2) 2.585 2.592 2.606 0.014 -0.359
    Gulf Coast (PADD3) 2.393 2.398 2.429 0.031 -0.381
    Rocky Mountain (PADD4) 2.588 2.586 2.590 0.004 -0.475
    West Coast (PADD5) 3.113 3.116 3.139 0.023 -0.454
    West Coast less California 2.770 2.771 2.793 0.022 -0.448
    California 3.399 3.404 3.427 0.023 -0.445
    *prices include all taxes
  • Thu, January 07, 2021 5:11 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    From the desk of Vanessa Gagne:
    January 7, 202


    Aquarium agrees to delay beluga whale delivery amid lawsuit

    Last September, an agreement was made to move the 5 belugas from a Canadian facility to the Mystic Aquarium with approval from NOAA and both countries.  The lawsuit was filed last year.

    Lawmakers take second shot at ‘Preventing Future Pandemics Act’

    First introduced in September of last year, this bill aims to end the potential for the spread of zoonotic disease and wildlife trafficking.


    Rare ferrets get experimental COVID-19 vaccine

    PETA labeled an LSU researcher a bird-killer. She's pushing back against the 'lies'

    Animal welfare assessment contest goes virtual

    Two North Carolina Men Charged in Gunpoint Robbery of Puppies from Lancaster County Breeder

  • Tue, December 22, 2020 11:27 AM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Contact Information: 
    Semcor Manufacturing 
    Pat Wiseman
    219-362-0222 ext 226

    Semcor Manufacturing Announces Strategic Brand Acquisition
    In Agreement With Owen Trailers


    La Porte, Indiana (December 7, 2020) – Semcor Manufacturing (www.Semcor-Mfg.com) is pleased to announce they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Owen Trailers, Inc. (www.OwenTrailers.com) The sale will ensure that Owen Trailers’ legacy of manufacturing affordable, dynamic and eye-catching double deck fun houses, mirror mazes and dark rides for portable amusement operations will continue for decades to come.

    “We’re very committed to the vision of a stable and prosperous future for the mobile amusement industry,” said Scott Siefker, President of Semcor “Even during the terrible pandemic year that we’ve all experienced in 2020, we’re steadfast in our belief that expanding Semcor’s offerings with Owen’s equipment is the right path for us and for the customers we serve.”

    While manufacturing portable attractions might seem out of step given Semcor’s traditional role in building power generation and distribution equipment, it’s a horizontal integration that makes a lot of sense to Semcor’s affiliated management team. “Owen Trailers’ customer base is largely the same core group that Semcor Manufacturing has served for years” said Jason Skurow, general manager at Semcor’s affiliate, Showmen Supplies. “We’re broadening Semcor’s product line while injecting vitality and cost savings into a well-loved brand.”

    Once the transaction closes, the existing management team of Ross, Jeff and David Owen, will continue their support of Owen Trailers as consultants to Semcor. According to Ross Owen, “Our family has a longstanding relationship with Semcor’s leadership. As we’ve gotten to know additional members of their team over the past year and seen how they do business, we’re excited for the quality and innovation that Semcor can bring to the product line first established by my father nearly 75 years ago.”

    The Owen business will be spearheaded by Pat Wiseman, chief project manager for Semcor. “We plan to shift production from their current location in Southern California to our existing facility near Chicago.” said Wiseman. “Trucks have already begun rolling to move inventory and equipment and we expect to be in production by early spring. Next steps moving into 2021-2022 will include work on product updates such as hot dip galvanizing of structural elements and theming updates for several of the most popular pieces” he continued.

    Owen Trailers is based in Riverside, California and is led by Ross Owen, a well-respected industry veteran with more than 50 years of experience building specialty trailers and attractions for the mobile amusement industry including the Magic Maze, Cuckoo Haus, Surf Shack and others.

    Semcor Manufacturing is based in La Porte, Indiana and is an affiliate of Showmen Supplies and other Siefker Group companies. Semcor’s business is primarily focused on packaging portable generators ranging from 100kW to 1,000 kW, as well as producing electrical distribution equipment for temporary power applications and specialty lighting for the amusement industry.

  • Tue, December 22, 2020 11:18 AM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    article courtesy of carnivalwarehouse.com
    by Ron Weber
    Friday, December 18, 2020

    The Florida State Fair announced its decision to postpone the annual Florida State Fair to April 2021. Originally scheduled for February 11-22, 2021, the Florida State Fair competitions, entertainment, carnival and other attractions and activities will now be rescheduled for some time in April, "pending COVID-19 health status”. Agricultural competitions such as the Market Steer and Swine show competitions will still be held in February however.

    The South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach is still scheduled to run in January and the Florida Strawberry Festival is scheduled March 4 - 14, followed by the Miami-Dade Fair, March 18 - April 11, so the Florida State Fair will likely follow that event.

    Ironically, the Florida State Fair and Florida Strawberry Festival were some of the last large events to be held in 2020, drawing approximately 900,000 people between them in the greater Tampa area. Interestingly, without mitigation strategies in place, the Tampa area was not a source of large spread for the Covid 19 after the events. Other large events that have run in 2020 have also been able to operate safely, with no reported “super spreader” events connected with a large fair.

    “The Florida State Fair is truly a community event that our guests look forward to each and every year,” said Cheryl Flood, Executive Director of the Florida State Fair. “With the evolving health situation and risks associated with mass gatherings of people, our Board of Directors made the decision to move the 2021 Fair from February to April, with the exception of our Market Steer and Swine shows.

    We remain dedicated to fulfilling our mission to support Florida youth and hosting a long-time Tampa tradition.”

    The Florida State Fairgrounds remains open for business and is hosting non-fair events including the upcoming Gold and Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Shows scheduled for December 27 – January 7 and the Florida RV SuperShow scheduled for January 13 – 17.

    "I understand and respect Executive Director Cheryl Flood and the State Fair Authority's Board of Directors for making the difficult decision. I know how challenging it will be for all that plan and participate in this great annual family tradition. My attitude is simple. What is best for the fair and community is best for Wade Shows," said Frank Zaitshik, President and CEO of Wade Shows. Wade Shows has served as the midway manager for the fair since 2015.

    Guests who pre-purchased fair tickets on the Florida State Fair's website will be given the option to transfer tickets for the rescheduled dates or receive a refund.

    “We are thankful we are rescheduled not cancelled. It is a been a tough year for everyone and our prayer is that 2021 is brighter.”, Flood added.

    Earlier this month, another top 50 fair, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced it would be moving its event to May, also hoping for improvements relating to the pandemic.

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