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Indiana animal shelter urging 'Pokemon Go' players to walk dogs

An animal shelter in Muncie, Indiana, is asking "Pokemon Go" users to walk shelter dogs while they play the game.

>> Read more trending stories  

The augmented reality game encourages players to get up and out while they hunt for Pokemon characters.

"Pokemon Go" collects GPS information from players' smartphones to place Pokemon in locations that are within walkable distances. Many characters are placed in public places.

>> What is 'Pokemon Go?'

The Muncie Animal Shelter started the volunteer program Tuesday after the shelter director, Phil Peckinpaugh, was inspired by his 6-year-old daughter, Ruthie, and his 7-year-old nephew, who both play the game, ABC News reported.

"I started playing with Ruthie, and it was actually pretty fun," he told ABC. "Then the other day, while on my way to work, I noticed droves of young people walking around playing this game. I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if all those people were walking with our dogs?'"

Peckinpaugh created the program Pokemon Dogs to push his idea. 

He created a flier and posted about the program on the shelter's Facebook page.  The Facebook post has been shared more than 25,000 times.

Come out to the Muncie Animal Shelter between 10am-5:30pm any day and walk an adoptable dog as you hunt for Pokemon and hatch eggs!Posted by Muncie Animal Shelter on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Peckinpaugh said lots of people have already begun participating in the Pokemon Dogs program. 

"There's been an incredible response, and it's just kind of taken off," he said. "We even had to go and buy more leashes this morning."

Peckinpaugh said about 75 adoptable dogs can be taken out for walks.

"Just swing by and come to our front desk and ask for the Pokemon Dogs," he said. "And then, you know, maybe you even fall in love and come back and adopt that dog one day."

Church says no-go to ‘Pokemon Go'

A Renton, Washington, pastor wants to opt out of the new "Pokemon Go" game because of safety concerns.

Mark Kilcup is senior pastor of East Renton Community Church. He told KIRO 7 that cars have been loitering around the play structure behind his church on 156th Avenue Southeast since the popular game debuted last week. Tuesday morning, a pickup truck Kilcup didn’t recognize parked near the structure, so he snapped images of it on his cellphone and then confronted the driver. In cellphone video he shared with KIRO 7, Kilcup asked the driver “What are you up to?” The driver responded “We’re just playing 'Pokemon.'”

>> Read more trending stories  

“We are concerned about people we don’t know that are near our play set because the safety of these children is our No. 1 priority,” Kilcup said.

Kilcup said he called the Renton Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office -- not because he wanted anyone arrested for playing "Pokemon Go," but because he wanted to know if there was a way he could prevent the game from being played on church property.  He said both law enforcement agencies told him to take the issue up with staff at The Pokemon Company International’s office in Bellevue. So Kilcup drove to Pokemon’s office on 108th Avenue Northeast, where he said he was told to go, and was told the company’s legal department would be in touch.

So far, Kilcup said he has not received a response.

Meanwhile, "Pokemon Go" players continue to show up at the play structure.

“We would like to opt out of this "Pokemon Go" game,” Kilcup said, believing his request shouldn’t be a difficult one to honor. “They should have anticipated problems like this. They should have a team of people ready to resolve a conflict like this, if they’re a responsible gaming company.”

KIRO 7 has also contacted Pokemon and a representative from its media relations company, Triple Point, in San Francisco, for comment but has received no response so far.

What is 'Pokemon Go?'

"Pokemon Go" is everywhere. It's being talked about on television, all the online news outlets are writing about it and either your child, family member or some other person you know is playing it. 

But what is "Pokemon Go?"

>> Read more trending stories 

"Pokemon Go" is a game that can be downloaded via a free app on any smartphone -- either iPhone and Android.

The game collects settings from users' phones, including GPS and the local time, to detect where and when they are active in the game. With that information, developers have generated Pokemon that appear around users and in the environments near them.

The combination of the game and the real-world element is called augmented reality.

As users move around and seek out the characters, Pokemon appear depending on where they are and what time it is, Vox reported.

The game instructs the user, referred to as a Pokemon trainer, to track down and capture the Pokemon characters in public places.

The game encourages players to get up and out, taking users to different locations. Some have said that the game encourages users to exercise and see other things beside their phone screens.

A lot of people who play the game say it's fun and that they have created meet-up groups to play the game with friends and strangers.

Read more here.

'Pokemon Go' keeps tabs on you as you chase down Pikachu

Facebook feeds are filling with quests to collect them all, but how much information are you willingly, albeit unknowingly, giving to the app's developers?

Millions of users are allowing the "Pokemon Go" app to access to their personal data and location, all in an effort to collect the virtual Pokemon characters.

And you have no choice if you want to play the popular game.

>>Related: 'Pokemon Go' may have access to your full Google account

The company then has the right to share any and all of the data it collects with third parties, including people who pay companies for your information, as well as law enforcement, USA Today reported.

>> Read more trending stories  

Tech watchers are now concerned about the massive database the game is compiling on everyone who is playing worldwide.

So how can you educate yourself on what you're giving to companies?

You know that privacy policy you have to accept on nearly every app? The details are buried in the fine print, USA Today reported

But are there risks to "Pokemon Go" collecting the data?

Jason Hong, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said that it depends on how Niatic, the company that developed "Pokemon Go," uses it.

If the company uses it to monetize data for advertising, it could be a larger privacy threat than using it for in-app purchases.

For more on the data being collected, as well as what the privacy policy says, click here.

If you think Pokemon Go is taking over, you may be right

Augmented reality is starting to take over real reality in the form of Pikachu and the rest of the Pokemon characters.

The wildly popular video game series, normally the realm of children, has taken over the lives of adults thanks to "Pokemon Go."

And if you think that the game has taken over your friends' and even your life since its release last week, you may be right. 

>>Related: Teen finds dead body while playing 'Pokemon Go' smartphone game

According to web watchers, "Pokemon Go" is bigger than Tinder, Business Insider reported.

By July 7, it was installed on more US Android-based phones than the dating app, Similar Web found.

>>Related: Google revealed 'Pokemon Go' 2 years ago, and we thought it was a joke

It's also giving Twitter a run for its money when it comes to engagement.

Similar Web said that the number of Daily Active Users is nearly as high as Twitter and could overtake the social media platform.

The game is only available officially in the US, Australia and New Zealand for now, but it is available through back channels using an apk, or Android application package used to bypass the company's app store.

CELEBRATE AMERICA IN KENNETH CITY

Saturday

Jul 2, 2016 – 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

JAMES ERNST PARK

4600 58th St. NSaint Petersburg, FL 33709 Map

MORE INFO Celebrate Pinellas Park and the Town of Kenneth City partner up on this fantastic, small-town parade and festival! Celebrate America in Kenneth City on July 2nd from 10am – 3pm. Celebrate Pinellas Park has presented a fun filled community parade since 1972. New this year, parade viewers are invited to follow the parade to Community Hall, where the Town of Kenneth City will feature a patriotic family friendly festival complete with food vendors, an art & craft show, kid’s games & activities, rock wall & bungee jump rides, hula hoop contests and more. Admission is complimentary and some fees will apply for various vendors and activities. As always, the community parks 3000’ square foot playground is available for public use.Registration for this year's parade is now OPEN! The parade begins at 10:00AM at 62nd Street and proceeds eastbound on 54th Avenue until it reaches 58th Street at which point it turns right and heads southbound on 58th Street coming to an end at the Kenneth City Community Hall (4600 58th Street). Register for the parade here: http://www.celebratepinellaspark.com/registration/

GULFPORT'S 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION -JULY FIREWORKS

Monday

Jul 4, 2016 – 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Saint Petersburg, FL 33707 Map

MORE INFO The City of Gulfport invites everyone to celebrate this 4th of July celebration all day long with an amazing line-up of fun and exciting activities in the City’s downtown waterfront district!Complimentary activities include; The Kid’s Fishing Derby sponsored by the Gulfport Marina, at the Recreation Center seawall. Registration for the derby will start at 7:30 a.m. Please bring your own fishing pole and the Marina will supply bait from 8 – 11 a.m. The Family Sand Sculpture Contest, sponsored by the Gulfport Recreation Division, on Gulfport Beach, from 10 A.M. to Noon with registration starting at 9:45 a.m. Keeping with tradition, the theme will be “Patriotic.” Bring your own tools and supplies. Recreation staff will be on Gulfport Beach for the kids from noon to 5 p.m. with water slides, balloon entertainment and concessions available. Local vendors offer a variety of arts, crafts, food delicacies and patriotic knick-knacks for your enjoyment, from 2 – 10 p.m. On the main Casino Stage, live music of Solar Exposure will entertain downtown Gulfport beginning at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., the community parade will make its way (southbound) down Beach Boulevard to the Gulfport Casino, then turning west on Shore Boulevard to 58th Street South. Make sure to grab a good viewing spot! Interested parade participants can easily fill out the online form at http://www.mygulfport.us/july-4th or visit Gulfport City Hall to complete the form. Deadline to register is Friday, June 26.At 9:00 p.m., a phenomenal fireworks display, celebrating the July 4 holiday, will close the day’s festivities on Gulfport Beach. The open air event trolley will be running from Noon- 5:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. to pick up passengers from remote parking spots to make your journey more convenient to Gulfport.For general information regarding the day’s events, contact Gail Biron at gbiron@mygulfport.us or call 727-893-1118.july fireworks

THE 8TH ANNUAL SAFETY HARBOR 4th OF JULY PARADE

Safety Harbor, FL - Grab your lawn chair, the kids and find your favorite viewing spot along the parade route!  The Auxiliary Unit of American Legion Post 238 in Safety Harbor is pleased to announce that we will host our 8th annual old fashioned Fourth of July parade on Monday, July 4, 2016.  The route will be directly down Main Street from Phillippe Pkwy and Bay Shore Drive to 9th Ave South.  Step-Off is scheduled for 10:00 A.M. 

win a VIP experience at The Late Late Show with James Corden in LA!

A summer karaoke sweepstakes is hitting McDonald’s! 

 

To get started singing and winning for a chance to win a VIP experience at The Late Late Show with James Corden in LA or one of hundreds of $250 StubHub gift codes, stop by your favorite McDonald’s now through August 1st and pick up one of the specially marked cups featuring a microphone.  

 

To enter, use the Shazam app and microphone image on the specially marked cup to create your karaoke video from one of the listed songs! Or, post a selfie of yourself singing into the microphone cup on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #SipShareWin AND #Sweepstakes.

 

So pick your favorite jam, crank up the volume and Sip – Share – WIN!

 

Follow @MCDTampaBay for all the tasty details.

Magic @ Ulele Father's Day Walk/Run!

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