Man steals womans purse in Downtown Miami parking garage

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Police are searching for a man seen on surveillance video stealing a woman’s purse in a Downtown Miami parking garage, last week.The thief is seen waiting in the parking garage, then grabbing the victim’s bag when she gets out of her car. She chased after him, but he got away.It happened at the Perez Art Museum at 11th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, in Downtown Miami, last Wednesday.If you recognize the thief, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Twitter beefs up reporting feature to protect personal information

first_imgTwitter has come under fire multiple times in recent years for not doing enough to combat harassment on the platform. The new personal information feature enhances a set of tools Twitter introduced in 2014 to combat the vitriolic or abusive messages its members send to each other.Twitter’s update comes a day after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a framework the social media giant plans to use to build a more “privacy-focused platform.” They include encrypting people’s messages, making sure their messages and posts aren’t stored for longer than necessary, and letting people communicate across any of the apps Facebook owns.Social media companies have been under pressure to better protect their users’ private data after revelations surfaced a year ago that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million users without their permission. We want to move faster in reviewing reported Tweets that share personal information. Starting today, you’ll be able to tell us more about the Tweet you are reporting.— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) March 7, 2019 0 Twitter is updating the process for reporting tweets that share personal information, allowing users to specify what type of content violates their privacy.The update was announced Thursday in a Twitter Safety channel tweet that included a GIF demonstrating the process step-by-step. Users will now have the option to specify whether a tweet reveals their contact information, home or physical address, financial information, a government-issued ID, or ID numbers.Twitter said in the tweet the new feature will help it “move faster in reviewing reported Tweets that share personal information.” Privacy Twitter Internet Tech Industry Tags Share your voice Post a commentlast_img read more

Cricket selections for GHMC staff from today

first_imgTank Bund: GHMC Deputy Commissioner Advaith Kumar said that the selection of GHMC employees cricket team which will participate in A category league matches conducted by Hyderabad Cricket Association 2019-20 would be held at Victory Play Ground in Chaderghat from July 16 to 18. This was stated by the commissioner through the press note issued by GHMC on Monday. Interested GHMC employees and officials should reach the playground wearing white dress between 6.30 am and 9 am on all the three days for selection trials. For other details, they can contact games inspector K Srinivas Goud (9701362844).last_img read more

Fan succeeds in preordering Fallout 4 with bottle caps

first_imgOne superfan managed to successfully pre-order Fallout 4 using bottle caps as legal tender.As many players of the Fallout series may know, bottle caps (or caps) is currency used in post-apocalyptic society. The Fallout enthusiast in question, known as Seth, came up with the idea after he played Fallout 3. So, like any rational person, he started saving up caps to purchase the next game. After 7.5 years of undergrad and graduate schooling, he managed to do enough drinking to send developer Bethesda somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,240 caps. “That ought to cover it, right?” he wrote in his letter to Bethesda. Of course, he only saw the “prices listed in pre-war dollars,” so he “wasn’t exactly sure what the exchange-rate [was] these days.”That number of bottle caps, he said, amounted to something like 11.2 pounds in shipping boxes. “You don’t want to know how much it cost to ship it to Maryland,” he wrote in an Imgur post, documenting the experience.Bethesda Softwork’s Global Community Lead, Matt Grandstaff, received the shipment, photographing the huge two-box haul and posting it on Twitter.Yes, my office smells like beer #Fallout4— Matt Grandstaff (@gstaffinfection) June 24, 2015However, to any Fallout fans thinking they might be able to snag a copy of the game with just some caps as legal tender, Grandstaff tweeted, “For being first, he deserves the recognition.” I’m sure the developers would rather not deal with a deluge of old, beer-smelling bottle caps a second time around.Image credit: Matt Grandstafflast_img read more

Brady Sold Belichick on Kicking the 4th and 1 Field Goal to

first_imgProbably the most crucial single coaching decision in Super Bowl LIII came with Patriots up 7 and facing a 4th and 1 in Rams territory with under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Bill Belichick appeared to contemplate going for it to seal the game with a first down  – the Rams had no timeouts remaining – but game audio captured by NFL Films shows that Tom Brady helped him decide to kick the field goal to put them up 10.After some lobbying by Brady, Belichick sent out Steven Gostkowski, who nailed the 42-yarder to effectively put the game away. Belichick gets credit for making the right call, but Tom should get an assist.Stephen Gostkowski with the opportunity to ice the game. Nails. #Patriots— Casey Baker (@CaseyBake16) February 6, 2019last_img read more

3 Things to Know About Microsofts New Office 365 for Business

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read February 27, 2013 Listen Now How Success Happens Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Today, Microsoft has finally released its Office 365 Small Business Premium edition — the online version of Microsoft’s suite of office productivity tools with a focus on online collaboration.The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant announced its new Office 2013 package and the consumer-friendly Office 365 Home Premium service last month. But today’s general release of Small Business Premium edition means Microsoft’s full-featured office software experience is now widely available online for cloud-savvy small businesses.At $15 per month, or $150 per year, per user, the web-based version of Microsoft’s popular for-business office software suite goes a step further than the company’s basic small business hosted email and calendaring package. Office 365 offers access to both web and desktop versions of Word, Outlook and Excel, as well as website creation tools and other business apps for up to five devices per user.We spent about two weeks combing through the software package, looking at its strengths and weaknesses. Here are three insights for small-business users who are considering an upgrade to the Office 365 Small Business Premium edition:Related: 8 Reasons Microsoft’s Surface Is Better Than the iPad1. Heavy users of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are ideal users.PowerMicrosoft Office software users — with installed versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint — should find that files are easier to share, administrate and manage by using this latest version of Office 365.Some of the new features include customizable email addresses, website naming tools, the ability to track contacts and staff on social media like LinkedIn and Facebook, and integration with mobile apps — particularly for Windows Phones. The package also comes with enhanced security, including password management and centrally administered identities for easy adding and removing of staff.Additionally, Microsoft promises that it won’t scan emails or documents and share the data for advertising purposes, as some claim other web-based office software companies do.2. Smaller firms might want to try Office 365 Home Premium instead.All this capability comes at a price. Depending on the package of Office 365, users may need both a paid per user license for Office software — which can cost $399 per seat — as well as pay the monthly paid Office 365 service.While not specifically aimed for small-business use, Microsoft’s Home Premium Edition rolled out a few weeks ago. For $99 a year, up to five PCs or Macs gain access to reasonably full-featured versions of Word, Excel and many other Microsoft programs. You also get access to the SkyDrive cloud service as well as other web apps.The drawback is that Office 365 Home Premium lacks some features in collaboration tools like Lync for online meetings and SharePoint for managing documents and projects, among other things.3. For collaboration, a pure web app might be best.Microsoft tries to blur the line between the web and the PC by making a product that attempts to deliver the best of both worlds — but that line still exists. Revising documents in Office 365, for example, can be a surprisingly complex process that requires additional steps to make sure updates are accepted and changes are confirmed by each user.Office 365 simply does not offer the same kind of speedy, real-time editing environment you find in pure web apps such as Google Apps, Zoho and any number of others.Related: One Big Problem for Windows Phone Userslast_img read more

Siren Communications now repping St Regis Toronto coming this winter

first_imgSiren Communications now repping St. Regis Toronto, coming this winter TORONTO — The luxury St. Regis hotel brand is gearing up for its big Canadian debut in Toronto this winter by appointing Siren Communications as its agency of record.Located at the corner of Bay and Adelaide, the 65-storey St. Regis Toronto will resonate with Canadians, said Ann Layton, Founder and CEO of Siren Communications. “One of the most dynamic and fastest growing cities in the world, Toronto is a key hub for both business and leisure travel, and an exciting destination for St. Regis to establish a presence.”Currently operating as The Adelaide Hotel, and originally the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto when it first opened in 2012, St. Regis Toronto is undergoing an extensive renovation, which upon completion, will unveil a brand new lobby and lounge, specialty suites and the much-anticipated LOUIX LOUIS grand bar and restaurant on the 31st floor.Plus, it enjoys an enviable location, close to Toronto’s top attractions.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perks“There is a cultural corridor that has emerged downtown in the past few years, and The St. Regis Toronto is ideally positioned within easy walking distance of Toronto’s preeminent shopping, live theatre, sports and entertainment venues as well as the city’s most distinguished landmarks, including the CN Tower, Union Station, Toronto International Film Festival, Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Arena,” added Layton.When it opens, the new hotel will also boast the highest percentage of suites of any luxury hotel in Canada, with 124 of its 258 rooms offering fireplaces, living areas and wet bars.“While the hotel will be popular amongst business travellers, this high concentration of suites means the hotel is also uniquely well suited for VIPs, leisure visitors and families,” said Layton.Other selling points include butler service and St. Regis’ famous rituals that have defined the hotel collection since its founding by John Jacob Astor IV over a century ago. These include the Bloody Mary, Afternoon Tea, Midnight Supper, and the evening ritual during which champagne is sabered in the lobby lounge. Friday, October 19, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bycenter_img Tags: Openings & Renovations, St. Regis Share Travelweek Group last_img read more

Qantas announces Hugh Jackman as Global Ambassador

first_imgQantas and Hugh Jackman have sealed a new partnership, announcing the actor as the Global Ambassador for the airline. He will also work with them on diverse community based projects to create opportunities for Australians to learn, work and travel to the U.S. to reach their potential.One of Australia’s most successful and highly regarded performers, the superstar has expressed immense pride in acquiring the new position and is looking forward to teaming up with Qantas to highlight the best of Australia.“I travel a lot and like all Aussie’s, I get a buzz whenever I see the familiar red tail and the kangaroo logo, no matter where I am in the world. Qantas is a great airline with great people and represents the very best of our wonderful country,” Jackman said.Jackman is particularly passionate about encouraging Americans to travel to his homeland to experience the unique land, beauty and people for themselves.Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who is extremely thrilled to welcome the actor said, “Hugh represents everything that the world loves about Australians and he has used his enormous international success to promote Australia as well as highlight causes that are close to his heart. We will build on the work both Qantas and Hugh are already doing and together, we believe we have the capacity to create some truly life changing opportunities.”Qantas is also co-sponsoring Jackman’s upcoming ‘Broadway to OZ’ arena shows across Australia in November and December.last_img read more

Housing Demand Surges as Market Expands

first_img February 10, 2017 488 Views AEI International Center on Housing RIsk 2017-02-10 Mirasha Brown Share Housing Demand Surges as Market Expandscenter_img Housing demand continued to surge and loan volumes were on the rise in the latest National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI) release by AEI. The healthy trend has continued since 2012 with an average of 12 percent increasing yearly since then. Nationally, the report indicated the continuation of a sellers’ market for the 52nd month.  November agency first-time buyer purchase loan volume also swelled, rising 31% over November 2016. Repeat buyers who’ve profited from the spike in prices have managed to lower their combined loan to value ratios (CLTV). The ratio of sales price for first-time to repeat buyers has move up substantially to 74.5 percent, signaling that repeat buyers used their added buying power from looser lending to buy more expensive homes.  Many potential home buyers are looking for starter homes, but a Market Mismatch Report by Trulia found that these homes are becoming more difficult to find, particularly in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina. The report examined market mismatch (which is interest versus available listings) in a side-by-side comparison of inventories. The competition for starter homes has ramped up with 26.9 percent of searches looking for 21.2 percent of listings.Although inventories are declining throughout much of the country, the impact of the decline impacts local shoppers differently. The market disparity is the largest it has been in two years and it means that Americans are searching for homes in a market with dwindling options. in Data, Headlines, Newslast_img read more

More Efficient Effective and Accountable Changes Underway at CFPB

first_img Share “More Efficient, Effective, and Accountable”: Changes Underway at CFPB CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s tenure at the head of the regulatory organization has been defined by a reexamination of the Bureau’s priorities and purpose. That trend continued this week with the issuance of a new memo written by Mulvaney and distributed to CFPB staff. The memo, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, highlights an increased focus on considering the cost-benefit analysis of both regulations and regulatory enforcement imposed by the CFPB.According to the WSJ, the memo outlines Mulvaney’s plan to create an “office of cost benefit analysis” that will be tasked with evaluating the Bureau’s oversight and enforcement from a financial standpoint. That move will likely find support among critics of the Bureau who believe its regulatory actions can be overly burdensome on the industries the Bureau oversees. It is also consistent with the arc of Mulvaney’s tenure at the CFPB—a long-time critic of the Bureau before his appointment as Acting Director, Mulvaney in February issued a memo vowing to hew to the Bureau’s statutory responsibilities but go “no further.” In that memo, Mulvaney explained that “pushing the envelope in pursuit of other objectives ignores the will of the American people” and “also risks trampling upon the liberties of our citizens.”The CFPB strategic plan for 2018 – 2022 laid, issued in February, laid out three goals:Ensure that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services.Implement and enforce the law consistently to ensure that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.Foster operational excellence through efficient and effective processes, governance, and security of resources and information.You can read the full CFPB strategic play for 2018-2022 by clicking here.The WSJ also reports that the new memo formally installs Brian Johnson and Kirsten Sutton as aides who will serve as Mulvaney’s “representatives in each division.” The WSJ reports that, per Mulvaney’s memo, Johnson will serve as the “final stop on all things policy related” for Mulvaney and Sutton will serve as Mulvaney’s “lead on management issues.”Leadership of the CFPB was thrown into question last fall, following the surprise resignation of Director Richard Cordray. On his way out, Cordray named his Chief of Staff, Leandra English, as Deputy Director of the CFPB. However, President Trump then appointed White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to head the CFPB. This kicked off a series of legal challenges between the two over who was the rightful leader of the organization, with Mulvaney eventually prevailing.On Tuesday night, ex-CFPB Director Richard Cordray officially clinched the Democratic nomination for the governorship of Ohio. Campaigning on both his history at the CFPB and a promise to focus on economic matters affecting Ohioans, Cordray defeated five other contenders during the Ohio Democratic primary, including former Congressman and Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, journal, Newscenter_img May 10, 2018 641 Views CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney 2018-05-10 David Whartonlast_img read more

Excited to finally release this awesome collaborat

first_imgExcited to finally release this awesome collaboration between me & the @azcardinals! We spent countless hours perfecting a fragrance that captures everything it is to be a Savage. Join the Savage revolution & Purchase today while supplies last —>— Patrick Peterson /P2 (@P2) April 1, 2018The Coyotes took their gag to another level.They actually issued a press release that said former Phoenix Suns star Charles Barkley would join the NHL team as a special adviser.Companies make up all kinds of positions to honor well-known stars, so there could be something believable about that until reading the press release, which detailed that Barkley would oversee hockey strategy and analytics.The press release did included these very believable quotes from Barkley.“Anything can happen in the NHL, and anything can happen with this team, so I’m excited to help this organization realize its full potential,” Barkley said. “At first, I thought this idea was just terrible, but after giving it some more thought, I think this could be something really special. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling We are excited to announce a new line of fragrances.For more info, please visit ➡️— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 1, 2018 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Beautiful day for a ball game. Who’s ready for more #Dbacks baseball?— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 1, 2018 “I want to teach these kids that you’ve got to believe in yourself,” Barkley added. “I believe I’m the best-looking guy in the world, and I might be right.”Over on the D-backs’ Twitter feed, the team tried to casually prepare for a Sunday baseball game that did not exist. Top Stories Patrick Peterson has a cologne, Charles Barkley joined the Arizona Coyotes’ front office and the Arizona Diamondbacks had a game on Sunday.Spoiler: All of these things were false.Sunday was April Fools’ Day (and Easter), and social media became a dangerous place for those who forgot. In the Arizona sports scene, there were a couple fake April Fools’ reports dropped by the teams themselves.The Cardinals and Peterson joined forces to release a new “Savage” cologne. Unfortunately, you can’t actually smell like a savage, but a link to a supposed shop to buy such a thing gave Arizona fans a discount code for the team shop. 0 Comments   Share   Your Chase Field roof status for today. 😎— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 1, 2018 Ready to rake.— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 1, 2018 We didn’t fool you did we?Enjoy the rare Sunday off day and we’ll see you tomorrow. #GenerationDbacks— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 1, 2018The lesson here: Don’t get on the internet on April Fools’ Day. Speaking of raking.We’ll have today’s #Dbacks lineup for you shortly.— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 1, 2018 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Jess Moskaluke performs during the Country Thunder

first_img Jess Moskaluke performs during the Country Thunder Humboldt Broncos tribute concert in Saskatoon, Sask., on April 27, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards Jess Moskaluke, Brett Kissel stand even as more women get nods for CCMAs by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 11, 2018 10:30 am PDT Last Updated Jul 11, 2018 at 3:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img TORONTO – Country music is often knocked for giving its female musicians a smaller spotlight, but if the nominees for this year’s Canadian Country Music Association awards are any sign, women might be making some inroads to industry equality.Two of Canada’s country favourites — Jess Moskaluke and Brett Kissel — are neck and neck with six nominations each, the CCMAs announced on Wednesday, marking a rare instance when the women of country are standing tall alongside the men.In some categories Moskaluke and Kissel are vying for the same trophy. Three women are also nominated in the album of the year category.It’s a moment that CCMA president Tracy Martin doesn’t want to go unnoticed.“We’ve had a huge year in Canada for females,” she said of the country genre.Martin promises this year’s CCMA Awards telecast will “organically” recognize the influential women from various generations of song.Shania Twain is hosting the event, while Terri Clark will be inducted into the hall of fame, and then there’s Moskaluke, the 28-year-old songstress whose career has been on a steady trajectory helped by a number of CCMA accolades and a Juno Award win for country album.Moskaluke, born in Langenburg, Sask., got her break in 2011 after being picked as the “Next Big Thing” at a contest sponsored by a Regina radio station. Several months later she was part of a new artist showcase put on by the CCMAs.The attention helped draw more ears to her debut single “Catch Me If You Can,” and garner significant accolades in the years that followed.She’s won the CCMA award for best female artist three times over the past four years — losing to newcomer Meghan Patrick last year.Her album “Kiss Me Quiet” won the 2017 Juno Award for country album, which boosted her status on Canadian country radio.The awareness helped her single “Drive Me Away” crack the top three of the Billboard Canadian country music airplay chart — making her the first woman to do so since 2008, when Terri Clark climbed to No. 1 with “In My Next Life.”“Drive Me Away” is now contending for single of the year at the CCMAs alongside fellow nominees that include Patrick’s “Country Music Made Me Do It,” James Barker Band’s “Chills,” Aaron Goodvin’s “Lonely Drum” and Dallas Smith’s “Side Effects.”Both Moskaluke’s “Past the Past” and Kissel’s “We Were That Song” are in the running for album of the year alongside Patrick’s “Country Music Made Me Do It,” Lindsay Ell’s “The Project” and The Washboard Union’s “What We’re Made Of.”Kissel, 28, was last year’s big winner at the CCMAs, picking up four awards that included male artist and video of the year. The singer insists he shares a similar affinity with Moskaluke for rural Canadian life, having grown up in Flat Lake, Alta.“We’re both very proud, small-town people,” he said.“It’s a very special feeling because we came from humble beginnings … so there’s a lot of small-town pride that I know Jess feels and I echo that. I certainly feel it too.”Even the fan choice award is looking decidedly more female this year, after a number of years without a single woman among the list.The CCMAs doubled the number of contenders for its fan choice award to 10, opening the doors to an array of artists competing for the prize.Twain and Moskaluke are the first women to be considered for fan choice award in six years, which is when female-led band Hey Romeo was in the running, and the first solo females since 2011 when Terri Clark was up for the award.In the best male artist category, the nominees are Kissel, Smith, Gord Bamford, Chad Brownlee and Bobby Wills.Best female artist nominees are Moskaluke, Patrick, Ell, Madeline Merlo and Shania Twain.The CCMA Awards will take place in Hamilton on Sept. 9 hosted by Twain and be broadcast on the CBC.Follow @dfriend on Twitter.last_img read more

IMF mission visits Cyprus for contacts concerning financial stability

first_imgAn International Monetary Fund mission is visiting Cyprus in the context of the cooperation between the Fund and the Central Bank of Cyprus on issues concerning financial stability.Sources told CNA that in the next three days two IMF technocrats will holding contacts with the CBC, the financial stability division of the Cyprus Finance Ministry, the Cyprus Banks Association and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.The mission is in Cyprus for a fact-finding mission aiming to provide technical support aiming to further strengthen the CBC’s capacity on issues relating to financial stability, a Central Bank official told CNA.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Property sales fall 6 per cent in November

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesThe number of property transactions fell in November 6 per cent island-wide to 370 compared to the year before and for the first time since March, as the number of property sales in Limassol and Paphos, the main areas of buyer interest, fell by a double digit rate, the department of lands and surveys said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Price welcomes breast cancer survivor to Capitol

first_imgState Rep. Amanda Price joins Gov. Rick Snyder and Marcia Lievense during the signing of Public Act 207 of 2013, which helps raise money for breast and cervical cancer screening for low-income women through the sale of Pink Ribbon license plates. Lievense is a two-time breast cancer survivor. 20Feb Price welcomes breast cancer survivor to Capitol Categories: Newslast_img

Rep Howrylak introduces Fourth Amendment protection bill

first_img Categories: Howrylak News 29Mar Rep. Howrylak introduces Fourth Amendment protection bill Rep. Martin Howrylak introduced House Bill 4430, which will help safeguard the Fourth Amendment rights of Michigan residents. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure, recognizing the fundamental right to property and privacy.“If the federal government continues its mass warrantless surveillance programs, it should get no help carrying them out from the State of Michigan,” said Rep. Howrylak of Troy. “My bill will certify that the State of Michigan will not assist the federal government in any data collection unless it is 100 percent consistent with the U.S. Constitution.”Under HB 4430, state and local governments would be prohibited from assisting, participating with, or providing support to the federal government in the collection of data unless there is a search warrant or the approval of the targeted party.“In 1975, Sen. Frank Church warned us about the surveillance state, saying it created the potential for ‘total tyranny,’” said Mike Maharrey from the Tenth Amendment Center. “That was before widespread public access to the Internet, before cellphones and before the proliferation of email. Today, the technological capacity of the NSA and other federal agencies exceeds anything Church imagined. And yet 40 years later, Congress hasn’t done anything to rein in the surveillance. It never will. That’s why it’s up to states to take action. There is no reason for Michigan to support unconstitutional spying on its own people.”Similar legislation has been introduced in other states in the last few years. HB 4430 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for review.###last_img read more

House unanimously approves bill to help solve missing person cases

first_img Rep. Brann bill calls for sharing information on a national databaseThe state House on Thursday unanimously approved state Rep. Tommy Brann’s bill to have Michigan law enforcement officials share missing person information on a national database geared toward the specialized cases.The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) gathers information from medical examiners, law enforcement officials, and general public into its three databases involving missing, unidentified and unclaimed persons, then compares cases and evidence for matches.“This is an opportunity for our law enforcement to use a tool that is focused on finding people who are missing or unidentified across the country,” said Brann, of Wyoming. “These types of cases can be very difficult for the police and the families involved, because it may take years to get answers. If use of NamUs solves one Michigan case a year, it’s worth the effort.”Police officers and detectives across Michigan commonly use national services such as the Law Enforcement Information Network or National Crime Information Center for information relating to a specific individual or crime. Brann cited that NamUs takes it a step further by comparing case information.The Michigan State Police support the legislation with Sgt. Det. Sarah Krebs, who leads MSP’s Missing Persons Coordination Unit, testifying in support during a House Law and Justice Committee in February.“Using this database could save lives and provide closure for families and loved ones of missing persons,” Brann said. “The fact that this bill got unanimous support in committee and House shows this is necessary.”House Bill 4633 advances to the Senate for its consideration.##### 05Mar House unanimously approves bill to help solve missing person cases Categories: Brann News,Newslast_img read more

LaFave renews top priority following State of the State address

first_img12Feb LaFave renews top priority following State of the State address Categories: LaFave News State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, weighed in on Tuesday night’s State of the State Address by reiterating the need for crafting a solution to Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation car insurance premiums, and holding the governor accountable for her promises made.Michigan’s highly controversial no-fault car insurance system forces more than seven million motorists into paying out-of-control rates nearly twice as much as in neighboring states such as Wisconsin. LaFave has been a strong advocate for reform, and has recently been appointed to the bipartisan House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates to pursue a solution, with the authority to report legislation directly to the House floor for consideration. LaFave said the governor has failed to provide any meaningful plan on how to save Michigan drivers money.“Governor Whitmer designated just one sentence of her address to talk about the need for reducing car insurance rates for Michigan drivers,” LaFave said. “The governor couldn’t have been clearer reforming our state’s car insurance system is at the bottom of her to-do list. While she spent 20 minutes talking about the $562 the average driver faces when repairing their damaged vehicles from the pesky potholes scattered across our roadways, she seemed to have forgotten about how much Michigan drivers pay just to drive on our roads insured.”During the address, the governor reaffirmed her promise to “fix the damn roads,” yet failed to elaborate on how she actually plans to repair the state’s roadways. Michigan is projected to spend more than $4 billion on roads and bridges overall in this budget year – the most in state history. While more can be done, LaFave said he’s curious to see where the governor expects to draw out more funding when the Legislature approved an additional $600 million in road repair funding in 2018.“The state allocated record funding toward our roads and bridges just this year,” LaFave said. “For the governor to say the Republican-led Legislature should start prioritizing in fixing our state’s roadways – without even laying out her own specific plan when she has had the past two years and a delayed address to come up with one – is disappointing.”last_img read more

Food Stamp Cuts Threaten Success of Supermarkets in Food Deserts

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesDecember 19, 2013; PlanetizenBenjamin Chrisinger argues in Planetizen that the cut in food stamp benefits that took effect in November when a stimulus-related boost in food stamps sunsetted “strip[s] low-income neighborhoods of buying power…thwart[ing]…efforts to address the nation’s food desert problem.”According to the federal government, 80 percent of food stamp dollars are spent at supermarkets or supercenters, not neighborhood groceries or other stores that don’t offer a comparable package of goods and services to consumers. Getting new supermarkets to open up in “food deserts” has been a priority for governmental authorities, but Chrisinger suggests that the food stamp cut hurts supermarkets in food deserts that might be counting on food stamp-generated cash flow. He says that in some neighborhoods, retailers might count on food stamps for more than 30 percent of their total sales.One of the challenges to opening supermarkets in food deserts is the perception that low-income neighborhoods have insufficient purchasing power. The cut in food stamp benefits could make some people think that the already limited purchasing power in these neighborhoods is being reduced further. Although nonprofits such as the Reinvestment Fund and the Food Trust, both Philadelphia-based groups, have been promoting the market viability of low-income neighborhoods, Chrisinger implies that the food stamp cut might disrupt the “undeniably delicate financial balance” that keeps supermarkets operating in former food deserts. Despite a variety of possible coping strategies that food stamp recipients might try, “we cannot deny the most likely—and tragic—outcome, where individuals and families cut back on the amount of food purchased,” Chrisinger writes. “With reduced buying power in the communities they serve, supermarkets in low-income areas, including former food deserts, must expect reduced sales.”Advocating against prospective food stamp cuts are food banks, one of which predicts “a SNAP-generated ‘Armageddon’” if they happen, and the grocery industry, which of course benefits from families with more food-buying power. Chrisinger questions why food-access advocates haven’t been equally as vocal on the food stamp cuts, given how their efforts to bring supermarkets into food deserts might be affected.Chrisinger’s perspective is interesting. Most of the discussion of food stamps is about the impact of the cuts on individuals and families. His article turns a place-based, community-based lens on the food stamp issue, with a lesson to all of us to make sure that in public policy analysis, we examine proposed changes from both the individual recipient and cumulative community perspective.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

RenttoOwn Its Expensive to be Poor

first_imgShare2TweetShareEmail2 SharesOctober 16, 2014; Washington PostMore and more people are living paycheck to paycheck and finding it impossible to save for big-ticket items. Without access to credit and no money saved, they are forced to turn to rent-to-own stores for these purchases. These stores often charge customers two to three times more than traditional stores for the same items, leading to more purchase defaults and low-income consumers remaining locked in their current income quagmire. Consumer rights organizations continue to fight against this industry with only moderate success.The Great Recession increased the gap between the upper 2% and the lower 98%. More and more of these families depend on minimum wage jobs as their only sources of income. During the recession, many lost their homes, destroying their credit and denying them access to traditional loan or credit opportunities. Since these families’ incomes are barely enough to pay for rent, food, and transportation, most live on the financial edge, with little left over for a rainy-day fund.Rent-to-own stores have been in existence for over fifty years, but have exploded since the recession. According to an industry trade group, there are over 8,600 rent-to-own stores in the United States, serving over four million customers and generating over $7.6 billion in revenue every year. They target customers with little credit and no savings. The stores sell a large assortment of big-ticket items and durable goods, including jewelry, electronics, and home appliances.The purchase is a hybrid between a rental agreement and a purchase on installment. Customers pay for the right to use the item as they pay it off. Payments are made once a month, every other week, or even weekly. Unlike installment or credit purchases, a credit check is not required. The customer can terminate the agreement at any time by returning the item—that is, however, less common than repossession of the item by the store for lack of payment. Once the item is repossessed, the customer does not get any credit for payments made. Customers can also exchange items before the agreement is complete. In this case, the customer does not receive any credit for funds paid toward the returned item unless they enter into another agreement for a new item.According to a law review article on the industry, about seventy-five percent of purchases from these stores were terminated within the first four months of purchase. The industry uses this risk to justify the extremely high fees and interest charged. For example, a $450-600 computer can have a final cost of $1,943.28.Current state laws depend on whether the agreements are characterized as installment contracts or lease agreements. Many states mandate full disclosure of the agreement’s terms and require the store to identify full purchase price before the consumer enters into the agreement. Others require prior purchase history to be carried over to new purchases, so long as purchases are returned to the store and the new purchase is made within a certain period of time. Additionally, many states’ attorneys general have filed lawsuits against these stores for harassing customers, relatives, and neighbors during debt collection efforts, scaring children by telling them their parents will be jailed for failure to pay, and breaking and entering into customers’ homes to repossess items.Consumer advocates have made modest gains against this industry, but have failed to stem the growth of these stores. In some states, consumer advocates are filing and winning suits against specific stores and practices. In 2007, consumers in New Jersey won a $109M settlement after the N.J. Supreme Court ruled rent-to-own contracts were illegal and violated the state’s 30% criminal usury law. Allied with the Consumer League of New Jersey, along with N.J. Public Interest Research Group, N.J. Public Advocate, AARP, and others, individuals collaborated to advocate for citizens in the lower income bracket. Further, only two weeks ago, the second-largest rent-to-own furniture store, Aaron’s Inc., agreed to pay $28.4 million to California customers after their Supreme Court found the store violated the state’s consumer protection and privacy laws by overcharging consumers. Overall, these intimidating business tactics and high prices are similar to activities in the payday loan industry. Although consumers’ rights organizations continue to advocate for more protective laws and file suits in states with more protective laws, in the end, as long as more traditional methods of purchasing these items are closed to this growing group of consumers, most have little choice but to continue using this risky and extraordinarily expensive option.—Gayle NelsonShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shareslast_img read more