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Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon partners with Cleveland Cavaliers to start race in front of Quicken Loans Arena

BY Michael Johnsen

 

CLEVELAND — The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on Tuesday announced a partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers that will allow the start of the 38th annual race to take place Sunday, May 17 outside Quicken Loans Arena.
 
Event organizers are planning to keep much of last year's course similar for the 10K, half marathon and full marathon events, which all run on Sunday. Pending city approval, the course will begin at the "Q" followed by a visit to the renovated Playhouse Square before heading west to weave through Tremont and Ohio City, two fan-favorite areas from past years. Full marathoners will again head to Lakewood and Rocky River. Both cities were new to the course last year, and received high marks from runners for the crowd support.
 
"We're very excited to be able to start this year's race at the 'Q,'" stated Ralph Staph, race director for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. "Participants and spectators loved having indoor facilities when we started at Browns Stadium, and since that venue has been unavailable due to construction, we've been hoping to find another venue with similar comforts. We think participants will really enjoy starting at the 'home of LeBron' and the Cavs."
 
Currently, the planned finish line is the same as 2014, outside Cuyahoga County Courthouse on Lakeside with finishing festivities on the grassy areas of Mall B and Mall C around the newly renovated Convention Center. While still exploring a few other downtown landmarks to pass on the course, event organizers are hoping to receive city approval on the proposed course this fall and will make a formal announcement of the final course at that time.
 
With construction on the Cleveland Convention Center now complete, the Health & Fitness Expo for the race can again be held downtown on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16. All participants are required to attend to pick up their packet and bib and with nearly 100 vendors, the public is welcome to attend the free event to shop for health and fitness products and services. Many participants stay in downtown hotels, so a short walk to the Convention Center is convenient for the 20,000 plus runners and walkers.
 
The Kids' Run and 5K events will continue to be held on Saturday and will be held in Edgewater Park again this year. Though the 5K will leave park grounds, it will start and finish within the park. Both events were held there in 2014 and provided a spacious location and scenic view for participants and their families.
 
Both the 10K and full marathon courses will be USATF certified and the full marathon is an official Boston Marathon qualifier. One of the 50 oldest races in the country, the 2015 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon will take place May 16-17. The following opportunities are available for people to participate in the event: full marathon, half marathon, 10K, full marathon walking division, half marathon walking division, 10K walking division, 5K (run or walk) and Kids' Run. Online registration and further information is available at ClevelandMarathon.com.
 
More than 20,000 participants have competed in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon weekend events for the past three and race organizers are expecting a similar number this year. Caps will be in place for all of the races and runners and walkers are encouraged to register early to avoid a sold out race. 

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Survey: 4-in-5 Americans report condom use is important

BY Michael Johnsen

EWING, N.J. — According to new research released Wednesday by Church & Dwight, 80% of American adults say condom use is important to them, however, only 35% report always using a condom. 
 
The study, which examined condom attitudes and behaviors among American adults, found that among those with a repeat partner who reported not using a condom each and every time, close to 50% stopped using them regularly by month one and 62% stopped by month two. The research also found that while 75% of those surveyed agreed it's a shared responsibility for men and women to bring up condom use, the man is largely relied on to purchase and provide them.
 
In addition to the early drop-off rate, the research showed that nearly 40% of people who didn't use a condom during their last sexual experience reportedly did so without discussing it first. 
 
When asked why they stopped using condoms, study participants cited commitment, trust and exclusivity as the top reasons for discontinuing the use of condoms. However, according to the research, 60% indicated they had not been tested for STDs, two-thirds indicated their partner had not been tested and more than 1-in-3 are not using another form of hormonal birth control.
 
Findings show that 60% of adults experience regret and stress after having sex without a condom due to worrying about STDs and/or pregnancy.
 
"Trust and respect for a partner are two important aspects in any relationship," stated Matthew Hussey, relationship expert and Trojan spokesperson. "Even though your relationship status may change, your sexual health status doesn't, so it's essential to have an honest conversation about using condoms, which ultimately shows your partner that you respect them and leads to a more enjoyable and healthy sex life."
 
Realizing the importance of encouraging more conversations about condoms, especially in light of the high drop-off rate of condom use within two months of a relationship, Trojan has partnered with MTV on a three-part content series that encourages the condom conversation between couples and reinforces the importance of continued usage. Created in collaboration with MTV's long-standing "It's Your (Sex) Life" responsible sexual health campaign, the "Co Zone Convos" series, which will begin airing on MTV on Wednesday, Sept. 10, portrays realistic condom conversations between couples among friends, helping to ease the moment of decision and remind viewers of the positive benefits of consistent condom use in a relationship.
 
"Condoms should play an important role in relationships, as they are the only contraceptive method that protects against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and are 98% effective at preventing unintended pregnancy when used consistently and correctly," said Bruce Weiss, VP marketing for Trojan Condoms. "But condoms are exiting relationships early, with little to no discussion about the decision. Trojan wants to make this discussion easier and empower women and men to speak up, have the conversation and take charge of their sexual health."
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Dollar General takes $9.1 billion offer directly to Family Dollar shareholders

BY Michael Johnsen

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General on Wednesday announced that it has commenced a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Family Dollar stores for $80.00 per share in cash. This represents a premium to the closing price of $78.70 per Family Dollar share as of Tuesday. 
 
The offer is scheduled to expire at 5 p.m., EST, on Oct. 8, unless the offer is extended. 
 
Dollar General also will promptly file for clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which will allow the company to begin the antitrust approval process with the Federal Trade Commission.
 
"Our offer provides Family Dollar shareholders with significantly greater value than the existing agreement with Dollar Tree, as well as immediate and certain liquidity for their shares," stated Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO of Dollar General. "By taking this step, we are providing all Family Dollar shareholders a voice in this process, and we urge them to tender into our offer."
 
"Additionally, we now can begin the antitrust review process and will have an opportunity to present our position directly to the FTC. As we previously have stated, we are confident in the results of our antitrust analysis, and we look forward to a constructive dialogue with the FTC," Dreiling said.
 
According to Dollar General, Dollar General's all-cash offer of $80.00 per share provides Family Dollar shareholders with a substantially superior valuation to the $74.50 per share cash / stock offer announced by Dollar Tree on July 28, 2014. Dollar General's offer provides Family Dollar's shareholders with approximately $640 million of additional aggregate value over Dollar Tree's offer and represents a premium of 31.9% over the closing price of $60.66 for Family Dollar stock on the day prior to the Dollar Tree announcement.
 
The offer is not conditioned upon any financing arrangements. Dollar General has received written financing commitments that are in full force and effect from Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Citigroup Global Markets for all of the financing necessary to consummate the proposed all-cash transaction.
 
Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as financial advisor to Dollar General. KKR Capital Markets and MCS Capital Markets are advising the company on the financing. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is acting as its legal counsel.
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