Beau Lund FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailChris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Daniel Sturridge, who made 18 appearances last season with Liverpool F.C. in England’s top soccer league, is pleading for the return of his beloved Lucci, who apparently was stolen from his home in The Hollywood Hills.“I’m not even trying to find out who did it. It doesn’t matter to me. I just want the dog back,” Sturridge said in an interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I know there’s a lot of dog lovers out there … dogs are considered family members.”Sturridge said that when he walked into his home he was surprised not to be greeted by the pup, and then he noticed broken glass while walking around his kitchen.“Walked into the house, didn’t see the dog greeting us at the door,” he told GMA, “and everyone was like, ‘Yo where’s Lucci?’”Sturridge and his girlfriend checked upstairs and noticed that some of her bags and purses were missing.“You know,” he added, “if you break into a house, why would you take the dog?”Sturridge, a forward, has 76 goals and 21 assists in 218 career appearances in the English Premier League.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. July 10, 2019 /Sports News – National Soccer star Daniel Sturridge pleads for return of missing pup Written by
Gun sales have increased drastically in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.Gun shop owners claim that many of the gun buyers are first-time gun owners.WPTV, 850 WFTL news partner, obtained records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and found March 2020 was the highest month on record when it comes to background checks for gun purchases. FDLE keeps data as far back as January 2004.It was a 23 percent increase from the second highest month on record, which was December 2015.
Facebook363Tweet0Pin0On Saturday March 9, South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) will be invaded by approximately 350 sixth through eighth grade girls for the 30th annual Expanding Your Horizons Thurston County event. The goal of the event, hosted by SPSCC, is to show girls that not only can woman have careers within the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, but just how many options there are in each field.“When I was that age, I had a really limited view of what was available within the sciences,” says Joy Hobbs, co-chair of this year’s event and a past workshop teacher. “I want girls to see all the possibilities that are really out there for them.”The event draws girls from 6 counties including Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific, and Pierce. Kelly Green, Chief Communications Director and Legislative Affairs Officer for SPSCC and Expanding Your Horizons co-chair, says they have marketed the event a lot to parents, students and teachers in rural areas. The event has grown 30 percent in the last few years.The event costs $15 and scholarships are available “If money for transportation or registration is the only reason why a girl can’t attend, we will take care of it,” says Kelly. “We receive donations from local businesses that make scholarships possible and we have never had to say no to a girl yet.”Throughout the day, students will rotate through a variety of activities of their choice. Photo courtesy: Kylie Phillips“It’s very important for the girls to come the conference and see 300 other girls that are just like them – wearing the same hoodies, same sneakers, having the same haircut,” she says. “Maybe even recognizing girls they are aren’t friends with at school, but seeing that they have the same taste in fashion as them and are also interested in learning about STEM. It makes the girls not feel lonely or nerdy when they see so many other girls with the same interests.”New Workshops & Old FavoritesThis year’s keynote will be given by Telissa Wilson, a molecular biologist, and Tiffany Bachtel, a Master of Envorimental Studies Graduate student. They will be discussing their experiences studying the deep sea including introducing girls to the strange and beautiful creatures they have discovered.During the event, each girl attends three workshops, all taught by female experts who volunteer their time. “One of the things I am most excited about is that this year we have thirty-six workshops for the girls to choose from,” says Katya.“It’s so important for girls to see female professional in these roles and get to interact with them,” she adds. “And the fact that these women work right here in our own community.”The professionals come from all over the county, from many different fields – state patrol, colleges, scientists from state agencies, faculty from all the local colleges and more. “The mentors make or break the conference,” Kelly says. “If we didn’t have these women to teach the classes, there would be no conference. They volunteer their entire day and they do an amazing job.”“For me, it was really exciting to talk to girls at this age,” says Joy of her teaching experience with STEM. “They were really excited and had lots of questions. I am use to talking to students at the undergrad and grad level, so it was really interesting for me to talk to younger girls and get them excited about the field I am in.”Each year, new workshops are added. New workshops this year include “Training Dogs to Save Endangered Wildlife”, where girls learn how dogs are helping save endangered species and stop poaching, and “Can You See the Polar Bear?”, in which infrared light is discussed.At just $15, the Expanding Your Horizons STEM conference provides a wealth of experiences to area youth.Perennial favorites include “Chocolate Asphalt,” where girls make a road out of chocolate, and “Chemistry in Art”, where girls will use chemistry to create their own piece of art.All workshops are hands-on. “We make sure the girls aren’t just sitting and listening for a whole day, but really getting in there and experiencing things for themselves,” Kelly says. “It’s fun at the end of the day to see them all coming into the gym with things they made – like a lump of metal they’ve welded, a polymer ice cream cone, boats.”Workshops are offered for parents, too, for an additional $15. Topics include college prep and funding as well as issues tween and teen girls face today.Opportunities for Older Students Girls who may have missed the opportunity to attend while in middle school are welcome to become volunteers helping with sign in, in the classroom or mentoring younger girls. To volunteer, visit the event website.And, if you have a job in a STEM field, the group are always looking for more women to volunteer to inspire girls. “We are only limited by the number of teachers we have,” explains Katya. “The more teachers we, have the more workshops we can offer and the more girls can join us.”Above all, they want girls to have fun and open their mind to possibilities. Maybe one of these girls will go on to bring drawings to life through 3D imaging or discover a new planet.Visit the Expanding Your Horizons site for more information and to register.
By The Nelson Daily SportsA pair of Nelson Selects Rep squads made the short trek across the 49th parallel to compete in the Coeur d’Alene Youth Soccer Tournament this past weekend.The Nelson U14 girl’s and U15 boy’s experienced mixed results at the two-day event.U14 Girl’s DivisionThe Nelson Selects found it very difficult to find goals in Coeur d’Alene, going scoreless in three games.“(Two games) Nelson dominated . . . but could not get the ball into the net,” said a team spokesperson.The Selects opened the tourney with a scoreless tie against Helena Arsenal of Idaho.Game two was against an impressive North Idaho Avalanche squad, consisting mostly of 15-year-old players.Nelson was definitely up against it against the Avs, losing 7-0.In game three, the Nelson defence turned up the tempo but the offence failed to produce once again as the Selects played to a scoreless tie against Sandpoint Strikers.U15 Boy’s DivisionThe Nelson Selects, coached by Scott Lewis, tied two and lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to finish out of the playoffs in the U16 Boy’s Division in Coeur d’Alene.The 1-0 loss came thanks to a controversial call by the referee, awarding the opposition a penalty shot.The week before in Trail, the Selects edged Cranbrook 2-1 to claim the top prize in the Kootenay South Tournament.Dylan Whiffen and Daniel Rodman scored for Nelson.The Selects advanced to the final by stopping host Kootenay South 1-0 and a much-improved Creston team [email protected]
The Selkirk Saints solidified its net for the upcoming B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League season by inking two-time Cyclone Taylor netminder Aaron Oakley to a playing commitment.Oakley joins Selkirk following an outstanding three-year career in the Pacific Junior Hockey League with the Richmond Sockeyes and Abbotsford Pilots. The of Richmond product appeared at back-to-back Cyclone Taylor Cups in 2011 and 2012 with the Sockeyes and Pilots respectively, and went on to win the Keystone Cup with Abbotsford to conclude his 19-year old season.”Aaron’s performance and accomplishments over the past three seasons match-up favourably against any Junior B goaltender in the province,” said Saints head coach Jeff Dubois, fresh off leading the Saints to the 2013 BCIHL title.”He comes from a winning program in Abbotsford that demands excellence from its players, so we expect him to be well-prepared to make an impact at the college level.”Oakley led the PCHL in a number of statistical categories during the 2012/13 season as a member of the Pilots, including games played (33), minutes played (1941) and wins (23).The 20-year old also finished second amongst PJHL netminders with a 2.01 goals-against average and fourth with a .918 save percentage. His overall totals spanning three seasons in the PJHL include 58 wins and 21 losses with a 2.27 GAA and a .914 SV%.He has also earned a number of individual accolades, including the PJHL’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2012/13 season. He was an all-star in all three years played in the league and was the recipient of the Top Goaltender award as a rookie with the Sockeyes in 2010/11. The addition of Oakley brings Selkirk back to three goaltenders on the roster for the 2013/14 season after former Nelson Leafs Marcus Beesley and the team agreed to defer his commitment by one year. Oakley is the ninth player to commit to the Saints for the 2013/14 season. He joins forwards Darnell Dyck (Langley, BCHL), Markus McCrea (Youngstown, USHL) and Garrett Kucher (Osoyoos, KIJHL), blueliners Stefan Gonzales (Aldergrove, PJHL), Arie Postmus (Beaver Valley, KIJHL), Ryan Procyshyn (Delta, PJHL) and Tanner Lenting (North Delta, PJHL) and goaltender Myles Hovdebo (LaRonge, SJHL).
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed IngredientsThere are so many factors that could affect the corn futures market. It’s easy to rationalize why the market could be headed for a rally or a decline at any given time. Following lists several reasons to be bullish or bearish corn right now.Reasons To Be Bullish Corn:Exports have been really strongUS projected carryout is the tightest it’s been since 2014World projected carryout has been getting tighter the last couple of yearsRumors of Chinese interest in buying US cornUS feed demand is expected to remain steady or be higher for the next year based upon animal numbersThe ethanol mandate makes it likely demand for corn in this sector will remain steadyBasis values are significantly higher than during the harvestReasons To Be Bearish Corn:Money managers are buying corn and prices haven’t increasedEthanol plants complain they aren’t profitable and no additional needs beyond the mandate are neededThe South American crops looks good so far and exports will start soonUkraine continues to compete with the US on price, potentially hurting additional US export demandTechnical indicators suggest corn futures could drift lowerMarket Action – How I Collected 29 Cents Of Premium On 10% Of My 2018 Corn ProductionThis week I heard an analyst who was against selling options even if the odds were 85% that the options would expire worthless. When someone sells an option and it expires worthless, they keep the premium and the buyer is out the premium of the option. I’ve sold quite a few CORN calls and straddles this year and I have had a significant success at doing it, which has allowed me to generate some premium during this prolonged sideways market.The analyst warned farmers against selling calls because of their high risk exposure. I agree, any time I sell an option I’m very careful to fully understand EVERY possible outcome and I have to be willing to accept all possible scenarios (i.e. up, down or sideways). Still, it’s hard to dismiss that a large portion of options expire worthless, which means those selling calls keep the premium most of the time and the buyers lose most of the time. In my opinion, the odds are pretty good that I should at least consider alternative solutions and strategies during this tough time.I had two trades expire this week and captured 29 cents of premium on 10% of my ’18 production. Rather than waiting and hoping for a price rally to come, it gives me piece of mind knowing I have a chance to generate some premium I can later add to my corn prices to make sure I have the best chance at selling all of my corn at profitable levels. Following are the details.Sold Corn CallOn 10/2/18 when March corn was near $3.80, I sold a January $3.80 call for 10 cents – expiring 12/21/18 on 10% of my ’18 production.What Does That Mean?If corn is trading below the strike price when this option expires – I keep the 10 cent premium and add it to another trade later.If corn is trading above the strike price when this option expires – I have to sell corn for the strike price PLUS I keep the premium. This means a price of $3.90 on March futures.My Trade Thoughts And Rationale On 10/2/18Since I still need to sell some of my remaining ’18 corn, but I don’t want to sell $3.80 March futures, this trade allows me to get higher values than are available today. If the market stays sideways, I keep the 10 cent premiums and can make this type of trade again to add even more premium. There isn’t downside protection with this trade, but that isn’t the goal for this trade.What Happened?The price of March corn was $3.78, which was under the $3.80 strike price I sold so the option expired worthless and I will keep the 10 cents to add to my pot of premium.Sold Straddle:On 10/2/18 when March corn was around $3.77, I sold a January $3.75 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 23 cents total on 10% of my 2018 production.What Does This Mean?If March corn is $3.75 on 12/21/18, I keep all of the 23 centsEvery penny corn is below $3.75 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.52.Every penny higher than $3.75 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.98$3.98 or higher – I have to make a corn sale at $3.75 against March futures, but I still get to keep the 23 cents, so it’s like selling $3.98$3.52 or lower – I have to take a loss on this trade penny for penny below $3.52.My Trade Thoughts And Rationale When Placing the Trade:This trade is most profitable in a sideways market, which I think is the most likely scenario right now. If the market goes nowhere on 12/21/18, I’ll profit similar to the trade above. With what I know today (10/2/18), I’ll be happy to sell corn for $3.98. I’m a little concerned with the downside risk right now but, it’s the middle of harvest and historically once harvest is over, and grain is stored, there is usually a modest price recovery.What Happened?On 12/20/18, the day before the option expired, corn was trading around $3.75, so I bought back both sides of the straddle for just over 3 cents with commissions included, and made about 19 cents I can add to my pot of premium. The reason I bought the straddle back with one day to go was that I feared that the market could move more than 3 cents that last trading day for those options. I knew that regardless of the results on the last day of trading I would have to buy at least one side of the option back and it would likely result in me having to spend at least 1-2 cents. With the market being down 4 cents on the day before options expiration I felt it prudent to reduce my risk, collect my guaranteed profits and move on. With the market closing at $3.78 on option expiration day I would have had to spend 3 cents to get out of the straddle anyway.New Trades – Another Sold Call And StraddleKnowing that I was likely to get a sizeable amount of premium with my sold call and straddle positions above, and fearing that the sideways market could continue in the near term, I sold another call and straddle. Following are the details.Sold Call:On 12/17/18 when March corn was near $3.85, I sold a February $3.85 call for just over 7 cents – expiring 1/25/19 on 10% of my ’18 production.What Does That Mean?If corn is trading below the strike price when this option expires – I keep the 7 cent premium and add it to another trade later.If corn is trading above the strike price when this option expires – I have to sell corn for the strike price PLUS I keep the premium. This means a price of $3.92 on March futures.My Trade Thoughts And Rationale On 12/17/18Since I still need to sell some of my remaining ’18 corn, but I don’t want to sell $3.85 March futures, this trade allows me to try and get higher values than are available today. If the market stays sideways, I keep the 7 cent premiums and can make this type of trade again to add even more premium. There isn’t downside protection with this trade, but that isn’t the goal for this trade.Sold Straddle:On 12/17/18 when March corn was around $3.85, I sold a March $3.80 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 19 cents total on 10% of my 2018 production.What Does This Mean?If March corn is $3.80 on 2/22/19, I keep all of the 19 centsEvery penny corn is below $3.80 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.61.Every penny higher than $3.80 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.99$3.99 or higher – I have to make a corn sale at $3.80 against March futures, but I still get to keep the 19 cents, so it’s like selling $3.99$3.61 or lower – I have to take a loss on this trade penny for penny below $3.61.My Trade Thoughts And Rationale When Placing the Trade:This trade is most profitable in a sideways market, which I think is the most likely scenario right now. If the market has gone nowhere on 2/22/19, I’ll profit similar to the trade above. With what I know today (12/21/18), I’ll be happy to sell corn for $3.99. While downside risk is present with this trade, I’m not very concerned with that risk because end users seem to be buyers below $3.75. Harvest is over, the grain is stored, and there is usually a modest price recovery over the next couple of months.Final ThoughtsFor me the prolonged sideways market at unprofitable levels is making me consider trades I may not have in the past. The market has been trading sideways for a long time and looks like it will continue, so rather than waiting for a rally, I’m doing trades that according to one analyst have an 85% chance of collecting premium while still being willing to accept all possible outcomes if the market goes up, down or sideways.I’m pleased to collect the 29 cents of premium from the first two trades. With this added premium, if the market goes down unexpectedly, I have some cushion to protect me from significant loss on the second two trades that are now in place. A rally would allow me to sell 20% of my 2018 production for an average price of $4.10 against the March futures, which with what I know today I would be happy to accept. Plus, if it rallies further, I have even more corn to sell to take advantage of a bigger rally. If the market does nothing, I generate some more premium to add to a later trade.As long as I understand all possible outcomes, I’m comfortable considering alternative strategies with a PORTION of my production where I’m profitable when the market goes nowhere.
San Antonio’s Rudy Gay reached the 15,000-point mark en route to 14 points after missing the last five games with a sprained left wrist.“Individual things, it is what it is,” Gay said. “I’m past that. Right now, I’m just trying to win. Early in my career, I wanted these things. I just realize that things are more feasible when you don’t worry about it.”TIP-INSSpurs: Belinelli came back after missing one game with a left knee contusion.Mavericks: The team sold out its 700th consecutive regular-season game, dating to Dec. 15, 2001. … Matthews became the sixth player in Mavericks history to make 600 3-pointers when he drained one at 9:06 of the first quarter.UP NEXTSpurs: At Minnesota on Friday.Mavericks: At Indiana on Saturday. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Stephen Curry scorches with 41 as Warriors hold off Pelicans San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) breaks away between Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes (40) and forward Luka Doncic (77) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)DALLAS — Gregg Popovich is glad NBA games are 48 minutes long.His San Antonio Spurs needed every last one Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The Spurs spotted the Dallas Mavericks an early 19-point lead, clawed back to even in the fourth quarter, then survived a see-saw finish for a 105-101 victory.Davis Bertans and DeMar DeRozan scored 17 of the Spurs’ 30 points in the fourth quarter, with Bertans hitting a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:41 left. The Spurs blew a six-point lead in the final period, but Bertans made his third 3-pointer of the quarter for a 99-96 lead, and San Antonio led the rest of the way.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We spotted them 12 minutes and didn’t really compete, just followed them around,” said Popovich, whose team was behind 23-4 just eight minutes into the game. “I thought in the second, third and fourth quarters, we competed.”Bertans finished with 12 points. Six Spurs scored at least 12 points, led by Marco Belinelli’s 17. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LATEST STORIES After Bertans’ 3, LaMarcus Aldridge scored on a tip shot with 1:07 left to extend the lead to five. Wesley Matthews’ 3 brought Dallas within two, but DeRozan hit a 20-footer at the other end and Belinelli sealed it with free throws.DeRozan finished with 14 points and nine assists, scoring or assisting on nine of the Spurs’ 12 field goals in the final quarter.“I get caught up in just trying to find guys while my first natural strength is to score the ball,” DeRozan said. “It was on me to be aggressive first and try and score, then make reads from there.”Luka Doncic led Dallas with 25 points, adding eight rebounds and eight assists. He became the first rookie since Stephen Curry in 2010 to score 25 or more points in five straight games.“Every day I know the league more,” Doncic said. “At the end of the day, it’s just basketball.”ADVERTISEMENT TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss After trailing by 19 during the first half, San Antonio tied it at 80 on Belinelli’s driving layup with 11:06 to play. DeRozan gave the Spurs their first lead 27 seconds later, setting up a three-minute stretch in which the lead changed hands seven times.DeRozan hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers for a 94-90 lead, and he fed Aldridge for a dunk that extended the Spurs’ advantage to six. Doncic answered with two baskets and an alley-oop pass to DeAndre Jordan that tied it.Dallas has lost five of seven, and three of its last four at home after losing only three of its first 18 at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks are also 0-6 in games without J.J. Barea, who is out for the season after Achilles tendon surgery.SMITH OUT AGAINMavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed his fourth consecutive game amid trade rumors, this time with coach Rick Carlisle saying Smith was sick and away from the arena. Smith missed the previous three games with what was listed as back tightness.Told of a Twitter exchange between Smith and a couple in a restaurant at lunch earlier in the day, Carlisle said, “I don’t have any knowledge of that. My trainer told me he was sick and he’s going to be out tonight. I’ve told you what I’m going to tell you about it.”DONCIC TO DIRKThe 19-year-old Doncic assisted on both of 40-year-old Dirk Nowitzki’s field goals – a pair of 3-pointers. They were the first two times Doncic assisted on baskets by Nowitzki.“I knew he was going to make it when I passed to the corner (for the first 3),” Doncic said. “It was very special.”15K FOR RUDY GAY
SASKATOON – A radio ad airing in Saskatchewan is asking listeners whether Canadians are being told the whole truth about residential schools.The radio spot, which aired recently across multiple private radio stations, was made by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Winnipeg-based think tank.“We have been told that the residential school system deserves the blame for many of the dysfunctions in Indigenous society — abuse of alcohol and drugs, domestic violence and educational failures can all be blamed on the school system which did not finally end until the 1990s,” veteran prairie broadcaster Roger Currie says in the ad.Currie says it was a myth that residential schools robbed Indigenous kids of their childhood because the average stay was less than five years and the radio piece claimed most Indigenous children never went to the schools.The two-minute-long spot also suggested it wasn’t true that residential schools robbed Indigenous children of their language and culture, and it disputes that the harm of residential schools was passed on through generations.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard from more than 6,000 witnesses over six years and its final report in 2015 found that residential schools amounted to cultural genocide. Around 150,000 Indigenous children went to residential schools and it’s estimated around 6,000 children died.In 2008, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized to former students saying it was a sad chapter in Canada’s history and the policy of assimilation was wrong.Tammy Robert said she was shocked and appalled when she heard the spot on the radio while sitting a restaurant in small-town Saskatchewan.“In my mind, the implication of that piece is that residential school survivors and their families are lying, or at the very least exaggerating and not telling the truth,” said Robert, a communications specialist.Robert, who wrote a blog post about the radio commentary Sunday, said misinformation around residential schools not only exists but is being perpetuated in Saskatchewan.“It’s no secret that there is all kinds of racial tension and there has been forever, but it has been amplified lately,” she said, pointing to a farmer’s recent acquittal in the death of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man.“I have to question what the point of (the radio commentary) is.”No one from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy agreed to be interviewed about the radio spot.The commentary, posted on the centre’s website Sept. 14, was removed Monday afternoon after an online backlash. It was replaced by an edited print version of the comments and included a link to an essay published by the centre in August titled “Myth versus Evidence: Your Choice” by Mark DeWolf, who has previously written about his time as a non-Indigenous residential school student.The Winnipeg radio station where Currie volunteers issued an apology Monday for any implied connection with the centre’s radio commentary. CJNU said it did not air the piece and the station is investigating.Currie was paid for the voice work but had no editorial control, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy said in a written message. The Frontier Centre has purchased air time for the commentary program which has been running across various stations since 2004. The Centre said stations have zero control of topics or content.But Robert said radio stations should still be aware of what they are airing. She said it’s important to allow for differing opinions but it has to be rooted in fact.“The impacts of residential school, they aren’t up for debate anymore,” she said.— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg
As Jiten Grover prepared to open his first Dipped Donuts storefront in Toronto, he knew the power social media stars possess to boost the profile of a business in the food industry.When Grover opened the doors to the doughnut shop earlier this summer, a self-proclaimed local foodie posted a photo and rave review after trying the new spot. A prominent local blog reposted her snap and nearly 3,000 people proceeded to like it.It’s impossible to say how much sales the publicity generated, but Grover’s convinced there’s a positive correlation. Several people came into the eatery and said they’d seen the Instagram post, he said.“Our Instagram just blew up,” Grover said. “Influencers do have a big role, at least a significant impact, on a person’s business.”Instagram stars can deem an eatery trendy and send their hefty following through its doors simply by posting a photo of a menu item, and the makers of a new app want to monetize the influencer-restaurant relationship.Food creates amazing content and people are driven to it, said Armin Faraji, co-founder of the Node app, which launched about a month ago.The app aims to connect micro-influencers with restaurants in the province.Instagram users with a public account and more than 1,500 followers can sign up to redeem so-called nodes, essentially free food or drinks from restaurants in exchange for a post.Businesses pay a $100 monthly subscription fee and can create as many nodes as they wish. Companies can specify how many followers influencers should have, as well as suggest several hashtags to use in the caption.About 200 influencers and some 20 businesses are on the platform now, and about 50 are in the pipeline, Faraji said. The team is adding a maximum of five new establishments to the platform each week. So far, all the eateries are in Ontario, though the app may expand across Canada in the future.Grover decided to try Node to capitalize on the power of influencer posts to boost foot traffic and sales. He offered a half-dozen doughnuts and, at the time of writing, eight influencers had claimed and redeemed the offer.Pastry shop Bobette & Belle also recently used the service and at least two influencers came into the shop to receive their feature dozen macarons.It signed up for a year-long subscription, said Anne Cerutti, an administrative assistant at the bakery, and the system is already providing some relief in terms of time spent creating social media content for its nearly 40,000 Instagram followers.The influencers who redeemed the offer photographed the colourful French delicacy with professional equipment rather than just a smartphone, she said. Bobette & Belle then had access to high-quality images it could repost on its account rather than using staff time to stage shoots.“We found that’s just paying off already in terms of time,” said Cerutti.The app also makes sponsorship easier for those who may lack the high follower counts to receive payment for promotional posts.Natalia Corredor and her fiance co-manage the Wooedbyfoodblog Instagram account.The couple claimed two Node offers so far, she said, and finds the app gives them motivation to keep exploring the city’s food scene and sharing with their nearly 1,800 followers.Joshua Lowe used to reach out to restaurants individually on social media to seek out partnerships for his Instagram account, To.masticator, before joining the Node platform.The app allows him to visit these places when it works for him, he said, and saves him time he once spent trying to arrange such freebies himself.Despite the advantages of streamlining the relationship, the businesses still expressed some doubts about the platform.Dipped Donuts owner Grover anticipates he’ll launch another Node offer in the future, but isn’t certain whether he’ll use the app regularly or intermittently after the trial period.Cerutti said Bobette & Belle is planning its second offer, but said if the app gets a lot of traction, it may be helpful to limit the number of people who can redeem an offer so the business isn’t on the hook for too many free products.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.