MUNCIE, Ind. – A new study from Ball State University reveals one in 10 Americans may suffer from severe weather phobia that causes them to lose sleep or have feelings of helplessness.The college surveyed 300 people in 43 states. About 85 percent of respondents reported having at least some degree of severe-weather fear while 46 percent described their fear level as “a little bit.”About 10 percent of participants classified themselves as having an overall fear level as both “extreme” and “quite a bit” categories, possibly indicating severe-weather phobia.Three percent of respondents reported seeking professional or self-help treatment for severe-weather phobia or specific inclement weather events.“Severe weather phobia is very real,” says Jill Coleman, a Ball State geography professor and lead author on the study, which was recently published in the American Meteorological Society Journal. “Some people will get physically ill or lose sleep while others will start watching weather forecasts on a more regular basis.“Overall, we found that people simply love to talk about the weather. In the West, it’s about high winds and wildfires, and here in the Midwest it’s all about tornados, thunderstorms and blizzards. On the East Coast, people are more likely to talk about hurricanes than regular thunderstorms.”The study also found that 11.7 percent of participants reported they know someone who surfers from severe-weather phobia.She also believes the study lays the groundwork for a better understanding of severe weather phobia phenomena as well as the role that weather knowledge and anxiety plays in the minds of individuals across the country.
Not that talent won’t factor in. Bourdais has plenty. “We do not know who is going to be strong yet,” Bourdais said Thursday in between test runs at Laguna Seca. “It’s too early to say. Especially since we have had a pretty rough start with bad weather and reliability issues. “It’s definitely hard to know who is going to be strong for the first two races of the season. Our team put in enough hours and hopefully, it is going to be rewarded. But we don’t have the safety of mind, to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got the car that’s won the last three straight championships.’ The series opener is April 8 in Las Vegas. It continues April 15 in Long Beach. Things have not gone spectacularly during testing. In late January at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, it rained half the time. During testing in the middle of February in Houston, it was worse. “It Houston, it rained just horribly throughout the test,” driver Paul Tracy said. The consensus was, out of four days combined at Sebring and Houston, drivers got about 1 1/2 days of dry testing. SALINAS – Champ Car’s new ride could bring a new series champion. Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais is coming back to try and become the first driver to win four consecutive series titles. But with the arrival of the new vehicle that includes paddle shifters, a new chassis and a new exhaust system, the playing field has instantly become more even. Not ideal conditions for the testing of a new vehicle. Drivers having difficulty downshifting with the new paddle shifters – located on the backside of the steering wheel – were among the complaints. There appears to be no question that the new vehicle is going to make it more difficult for Bourdais to four-peat. Almost everything on the car, except for the engine, is new. “The most important thing about the new car is it is specifically designed for the kind of races that we’ve got, like Long Beach,” said Kevin Kalkhoven, series co-owner and tri-owner of Team PKV Racing. “And it’s going to be an opportunity for all the teams to start off on the same footing. New additionBourdais races for the popular Newman/Haas Racing team, which, as of Thursday, became Newman/Haas/Lanigan. It was announced that Mike Lanigan had become partners with actor Paul Newman and Carl Haas, who started Newman/Haas in 1982. Newman, looking good at 82, walked into the media room with a twinkle in his eye. He sat at the dais, then told reporters why he and Haas decided to add Lanigan. What about Rahal? Newman/Haas/Lanigan, it appears, is on the verge of formally announcing that Graham Rahal will be its second driver. Newman seemed perplexed about not being able to confirm that Thursday. “Apparently, lawyers have to eat, too,” Newman said. “As far as I’m concerned, it was a done deal two weeks ago.” Rahal, a senior in high school, is 18. He took second place at the Atlantic Series last year and now has moved up to Champ Car. His father, Bobby Rahal, finished second four times at Long Beach and won several series titles. Cali. in the house Pacific Coast Motorsports of Oxnard is the only Champ Car team from California. It formally competed in Gramd Am but has moved up to Champ Car. The new team unveiled its two cars Thursday and also introduced its first Champ Car drivers in the names of rookies Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel. Figge, of Colorado, and Dalziel, of Scotland, are former Grand Am and Atlantic Car racers. “To think that we could actually show up here and put a ‘W’ on the charts would be a pretty impressive thing, I think,” said team director Tyler Tadevic said. “We’re just glad to be here and to be perfectly honest, this is a long-term plan and to have our name said in the same sentences as Newman-Haas and Forsythe, it’s just a dream come true.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
WHITTIER – Authorities arrested a man in connection with a carjacking incident in which the victim chased down the person who stole his vehicle, Whittier police said Thursday. The incident began 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, when Whittier officers spotted two men fighting near the main gate of the Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary. When they tried to stop the fight, one man got into a vehicle and drove off. Police later stopped the vehicle at Workman Mill Road and detained the driver. A short time later, several California Highway Patrol officers arrived. At that point it was determined that the man detained had earlier carjacked a Toyota pickup truck using a simulated handgun. The carjack victim had chased the man to Rose Hills, where the two fought. VFW post to host fundraiser tonight LA MIRADA – The Ladies Auxiliary from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9148, 13932 Valley View Ave., will host a fundraiser dinner at 6 tonight. A pepper steak dinner will be served. A donation of $7 per person is requested. For more information, call (562) 941-4097. Church plans Walk for Life WHITTIER – The Whittier Life Center will host its 11th annual Walk For Life at 9 a.m. Saturday, beginning at St. Bruno’s Catholic Church, 15740 Citrustree Road. The walk will end at the Whittier Life Center, 7743 Painter Ave. A raffle and barbecue will be held following the walk. For more information, call (562) 693-8803. Fundraiser to benefit veterans SANTA FE SPRINGS – Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3752, 11912 Rivera Road, will hold a fundraiser dinner from 5:30 to 8 p.m. tonight. Corned beef and cabbage will be available for $5.95 per person. For more information, call (562) 698-9059. Register Monday for rec programs LA MIRADA – Registration for spring recreation classes offered by the city begins Monday. Classes range from arts and crafts to music to dance to sports and fitness. Several city sponsored trips also are planned. A listing of all the classes, trips and events can be found in the city’s La Mirada Living newsletter, available at City Hall, the Resource Center, the Activity Center and the Communty Gymnasium. For more information, call (562) 943-7277. Drive-in movie group to meet INDUSTRY – Beginning at 6:45 p.m. Saturday, fans of drive-in movies can share their favorite drive-in memories and view display items and videos at the Southern California Drive-in Movie Society’s first 2007 “Night Out” at the Vineland Drive-In, 443 N. Vineland Ave. Admission is $7.50 per person. Children 11 and younger are free with adult admission. For more information, call (626) 961-3416 after 6:30 p.m., or visit www.socaldims.com. La Mirada Easter egg hunt set LA MIRADA – The city’s annual Easter egg hunt will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 7 at La Mirada Regional Park, 13701 Adelfa Ave. The free family event will feature an egg hunt, arts and crafts, games, live music, face-painting and photos with the Easter Bunny. The event kicks off with a $4-per-person pancake breakfast put on the by local Kiwanis Club. For more information, call (562) 943-7277. – From staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!