Furthermore, Meredith chairman and CEO Stephen Lacy, who would lead the proposed new entity created under a Media General/Meredith merger, reiterates that the company’s board of directors still believes the agreed-upon merger agreement with Media General is in the best interest of Meredith and its shareholders. Even as negotiations with Nexstar begin, Media General’s board of directors continues to recommend following through with the Meredith acquisition under the terms established in September. Media General first announced an agreement to buy Meredith for $2.4 billion in September. Weeks later, Nexstar submitted an unsolicitied proposal to buy Media General, a deal that, if made, would jeopardize the yet-to-be completed Meredith takeover, an acquisition Nexstar described as “ill-conceived.” Media General’s board of directors reached two unanimous decisions, according to a company statement. The first was to formally reject Nexstar’s initial, $4.1 billion proposal, saying that it “significantly undervalues” the company. The second was to enter negotiations with Nexstar over the suitor’s non-binding, unsolicited proposal. Media General was granted a waiver by Meredith to pass on non-public information to Nexstar in evaluation of the deal, which Nexstar claimed would offer Media General greater value, both immediately and long-term. The cloud of uncertainty cast over Media General’s proposed purchase of Meredith Corp. grew a shade darker Monday, as Media General announced that it will officially open negotiations with its own proposed buyer, Nexstar Broadcasting Group. “We are surprised that Media General’s Board considers the value of our proposal to be inadequate today,” said Perry Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar, in a statement. “However, we are willing to engage with them to hear their perspectives.” Meredith released a statement of its own in response to the announcement, saying, “Meredith understands Media General Board’s fiduciary responsibility to respond to the Nexstar proposal consistent with our binding merger agreement announced on September 8, 2015. However, Meredith still remains confident that the combination of Meredith and Media General will generate superior shareholder value … as compared to a potential Nexstar transaction.”
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The hearse leaves San Nicola Vescovo church after the funeral service for Alessandro Giancaterino on 24 January, 2017 in Farindola. Photo: AFPThe death toll from an avalanche that swamped an Italian mountain hotel rose to 15 Tuesday, with 14 still missing, as a nearby helicopter crash left six people dead and dealt another blow to a region reeling from earthquakes and the heaviest snowfall in decades.The emergency response helicopter came down in thick fog near Campo Felice, a popular ski resort 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Rome, during the evacuation of an injured skier.There were reports of a loud explosion being heard.“Rescue teams have reached the wreck of the helicopter and they found the bodies of the six deceased in the snow,” a police spokesman told AFP.Campo Felice, located at 710 metres (2,330 feet) altitude but with pistes up to just over 2,000 metres, is close to the epicentres of earthquakes that struck the region last Wednesday and were followed by the killer avalanche.Police said there was no apparent link between the crash and the seismic activity or the avalanche.But it came as firefighters and mountain police grappled with their aftermath.A team of first responders who had been helping the rescue effort at the Hotel Rigopiano was dispatched to the helicopter crash site but would not have been able to get there before news of the deaths came.The tally of bodies found in the ruins of the Rigopiano rose to 15 on the sixth day of an increasingly forlorn search through the snow-covered wreckage.Eleven staff and guests survived the disaster, two men who we outside when the avalanche struck and nine people, including four children, who were found on Friday.Rescuers have refused to give up hope of finding more people alive with morale amongst the exhausted rescuers having been boosted on Monday when three puppies were retrieved alive from under the rubble.Italian authorities are investigating the chain of events leading to the avalanche to see if the tragedy could or should have been avoided.A preliminary manslaughter investigation has been opened with the prosecutor in charge looking into whether environmental risks were properly taken into account during the construction and subsequent renovation of the hotel.Events on the day of the disaster itself, when guests were unable to leave because of snow-blocked access roads, are also in the spotlight.Tunnelling into wreckage -The local council had only one functioning road-clearance vehicle and had deployed it to reach isolated hamlets with elderly residents rather than clearing the road to the hotel.A second snow plough had broken down earlier in the month and staff were awaiting authorisation to get a 25,000-euro ($26,800) repair done.The hotel, a four-star spa facility where George Clooney once stayed, was built into a hillside at 1,200 metres altitude on the eastern slopes of Monte Gran Sasso. Campo Felice is on the other side of the near 3,000-metre peak that dominates the region.The survivors pulled from the ruins on Friday were all treated for mild hypothermia, suggesting anyone still alive nearly four days later would have had to have found some way of keeping warm.Rescuers have not ruled that out because they believe some rooms they are trying to reach by tunnelling through thick stone walls may be almost intact.New routes have been dug into the rubble but progress remained painfully slow with the first responders often digging with their bare hands because of fears of masonry or snow slides.The avalanche occurred three hours after the last of four magnitude five earthquakes shook the region in the space of four hours.Police have calculated the force of the impact on the three-storey stone and wood structure as being equivalent to it being hit by 4,000 fully-loaded trucks.The first funerals for the victims were held Tuesday.
Kolkata: In view of decreasing PLF of the thermal generating stations, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is relooking the current two-part tariff structure and seeking feed back from stakeholders to replace it with a three-part tariff structure. This in turn could encourage signing of long term PPAs by the state owned power distribution companies as it may decrease some of the stress in the power sector for units unable to complete the project or remain idle due to lack of long term power demand agreements, an utility company official told PTI. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsDue to low demand, coal based power plants are running at a PLF of around 60 per cent. PLF in 2017-18 was 59.68 down from 77.5 per cent in 2009-10, while the government forecasts the same to go lower to 56.50 by FY22′.Consequently, the states have not been coming forward for long term power purchase to avoid fixed cost liability and they have been resorting to short term power purchase to meet their demand, the CERC said in its latest tariff consultation paper. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe two-part tariff system structure is suitable when the demand for power ensures utilization of capacity or around the target availability, CERC has said in its new 2019-2024 tariff consultation paper.Two-part tariff operates well in power deficit scenario.The CERC seeks feedback on three parts tariff-fixed charge (for recovery of fixed cost consisting of depreciation for repayment, interest on loan and guaranteed return to the extent of risk free return and part of operation and maintenance expenses), variable charge (incremental return above guaranteed return and balance operation and maintenance expenses) and energy charges (fuel cost, transportation cost and taxes, duties of fuel). The recovery of fixed component could be linked to target availability, whereas variable component could be linked to the difference between availability and dispatch. Fuel charges could be linked with dispatch, it said.CERC consultation paper on ‘2019-2024’ tariff will remain open for comments and suggestions till July 15.The CERC has also mooted consultation on increasing extension of useful life for very old thermal power plants which is now restricted at 25 years, giving a new lease of life to several power units.”It is to be noted that performance of a unit does not necessarily deteriorate much with age, if proper O&M practises are followed,” the regulator said.Extension of useful life is one of the options among others like phasing-out, renovation and replacement with super critical plants.According to central electricity authority, the capacity of coal based thermal power plants more than 25 years old is about 37,453 MW, out of which around 35,506 MW capacity pertains to state/central sector, as on March 2016.
Kolkata: A report submitted to the Election Commission by the District Magistrate of North 24-Parganas in connection with the detention of Rujira Banerjee, wife of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee at Kolkata Airport, says that there is no mention of any gold in the seizure list by the Customs.The report has validated Abhishek Banerjee’s claim who had categorically stated during a press conference on Sunday that his wife had not been carrying any gold when she was intercepted by Customs officials inside Kolkata Airport on the night of March 15. He had also challenged the Customs officials to produce CCTV footages, if they had any, to prove that his wife was carrying gold. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataFollowing the incident, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state sought a report on the entire incident from the District Magistrate of North 24-Parganas Antara Acharya, who is also the District Election Officer (DEO). After being instructed by the commission, the DEO on Tuesday submitted the report to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on Tuesday, which apparently validates Banerjee’s claim. The incident had triggered a political slugfest in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Banerjee had expressed strong objection after many news portals and some national news channels reported the incident without verifying the authenticity of the allegations. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe commission had also received several complaints in this regard from various political parties. Banerjee’s lawyer had filed a complaint with the CEO’s office against BJP’s MP from Asansol Babul Supriyo, for making false statements regarding the issue, on his Twitter handle. The fake news related to the incident was also mentioned in the complaint by his lawyer. A senior official of the CEO’s office has confirmed that the report has been received. After going through the report, the CEO’s office will finally send it to the Election Commission of India (ECI) in Delhi. The CEO’s office will act according to the instructions of the ECI in this regard. It has been learnt that the DEO has submitted the report on the basis of inputs provided by Bidhannagar Police. The CEO’s office has no jurisdiction to intervene in the Customs related matter and hence it is up to the ECI to take up the matter with the Central agencies if it feels so. “We have received a factual report from the DEO of North 24-Parganas on the matter. We are looking into it,” a senior election official from the CEO’s office said.
Kolkata: South Eastern Railway and Eastern Railway cancelled a number of trains on Friday considering the safety and security of the travelling passengers in view of the severe cyclonic storm Fani, which has already struck Odisha and is likely to hit Bengal late on Friday night.The Howrah-Puri Sri Jagannath Express, Howrah-Yesvantpur Express, Howrah-Puri Express, Howrah-Chennai Mail, and Howrah-Puri Shatabdi Express were cancelled on Friday. The Howrah-Bhubaneswar Jan Shatabdi Express and Bangriposi-Bhubaneswar Express scheduled on May 4 and the Santragachi-Tirupati Express scheduled on May 5 have also been cancelled by SER. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMeanwhile, Eastern Railway cancelled the Puri-Sealdah Duronto Express scheduled to leave Puri on Saturday and Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Express scheduled to leave Muzaffarpur on Monday. The Secunderabad-Guwahati Express scheduled to leave Secunderabad on May 5, Puri-Kamakhya Express scheduled to leave Puri on May 4 and Kamakhya-Secunderabad Special scheduled to leave Kamakhya on May 6, will all remain cancelled according to a statement by Eastern Railway. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSix local trains from Sealdah/Barasat to Hasnabad and four locals from Hasnabad to Sealdah/ Barasat were cancelled by ER authorities for the sake of passenger safety in view of the gust and heavy rainfall, as a precautionary measure. A group of people obstructed train movement at Barasat station, protesting against cancellation of trains at around 4.10 pm. Normal services were resumed at 6.10 pm, when the obstructions were withdrawn. Four Sealdah-Bongaon locals had to be cancelled, while 16 locals (8 Up and 8 Down) lost punctuality.
Carrington Carrington Mortgage Holdings Company News National Mortgage Servicing Association. Rick Sharga 2018-02-26 David Wharton Carrington Welcomes Back Rick Sharga as EVP in Featured, Headlines, journal, News, Servicing California-based Carrington Mortgage Holdings has announced that Rick Sharga has rejoined the company as an EVP. In this role, Sharga will serve as the primary spokesman for Carrington, and will be responsible for public relations and communications, as well as branding and marketing strategies for all of the Carrington Companies.“We’re glad to have Rick back at Carrington,” said Kevin Cloyd, Chief Administrative Officer for Carrington Holding Company. “Carrington has numerous products and services, from our rapidly growing loan origination and servicing platforms, to our consumer-facing online services such as Carrington Connects, which manage every step of the home ownership and mortgage journey, and Rick is uniquely qualified to deliver our messages successfully in all of our markets.”Sharga has long been one of the country’s most frequently quoted subject matter experts on all aspects of the mortgage and real estate industries and has appeared regularly in major broadcast, print, and online media. Prior to rejoining Carrington, Sharga served for five years at Ten-X, first as EVP of the company’s Auction.com business unit, and most recently as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for re-branding the company and helping position it for its successful 2017 sale to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.“Carrington’s mix of products and services is as diverse as it is unique, and the company has a great deal to offer to consumers, agents, and brokers,” Sharga said. “The market is looking for the kinds of products and services that Carrington offers, from loan products that enable credit-challenged borrowers in underserved communities to buy a home, to the new Connects platform that provides homebuyers an integrated solution for finding a home, getting a loan, and closing the transaction. It’s great to be back, and I’m looking forward to building the Carrington brand across all of our audiences.”Sharga is a member of the Corporate Board of Governors of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Advisory Board of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, and the Five Star Institute’s National Mortgage Servicing Association. He was included in Inman News’ Inman 100, an annual list of the most influential leaders in real estate, in both 2013 and 2014. Share February 26, 2018 621 Views
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Last week after the Arizona Cardinals suffered their second straight loss, coach Bruce Arians assured fans the sky is not falling.With Sunday’s news that starting running back Andre Ellington will miss the rest of the season with a hernia, a majority of fans are echoing the coach’s sentiment.In our Sanderson Ford Poll Question of the Day — which can be found midway down the right-hand column of our home page — we asked: How badly will Ellington’s absence hurt the Cardinals? The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments Share After nearly 600 votes, more than three-fifths of respondents (61 percent) believe other Cardinals will adequately step up in Ellington’s place. Just over a quarter (26 percent) of fans think the Cardinals will miss Ellington “immensely.”Ellington was placed on injured reserve Monday and had successful surgery Tuesday morning. The second-year pro rushed for 660 yards and three touchdowns while racking up 395 receiving yards and two TDs in 12 games this season. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Despite cameras everywhere, not every superstar moment makes the broadcast of the Golden Globes.Here’s a look at the happenings inside the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom that you didn’t see on TV.COMMERCIAL SOCIALIZING: The ballroom isn’t as big as it appears on TV, and most of the A-listers are crammed into a small space right in front of the stage. That makes it easy for stars to schmooze during commercial breaks.Frances McDormand introduced Steven Spielberg to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” writer-director Martin McDonagh. Barbra Streisand kibitzed with Oprah Winfrey cohorts Gayle King and Stedman Graham.Nicole Kidman said, “Shirley, I love you!” as she brought husband Keith Urban over to say hi to Shirley MacLaine. Sharon Stone introduced her son to Debra Messing. Denzel Washington caught up with Mary J. Blige. Jason Bateman greeted Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. Christian Slater congratulated Sam Rockwell.“The Handmaid’s Tale” actress Samira Wiley stopped “Lady Bird” star Saoirse Ronan to say, “I don’t know you, but I love your work.” Wiley also said Ronan’s dress was one of her favourites of the night.Helen Mirren took in the scene with her husband, director Taylor Hackford, who sat at a corner table with his arm around her shoulders.BATHROOM BANTER: Stars are just like us — when it comes to waiting in line for the restroom. There’s no way around it, even at the Golden Globes. Meryl Streep stood behind “black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross.Actress Emma Watson considered ducking into the kitchen to avoid the bathroom queue, but eventually resigned herself to the inevitable.Geena Davis held onto her dress as she waited.“I keep stepping on my fringe,” she said.Once inside, Davis chatted with actress Michelle Williams.Actress Pamela Adlon posed for a selfie with a fan in the ladies’ room.“Thank you so much for watching,” Adlon said as she left.Kerry Washington used the space to make a quick phone call. And actress Sarah Paulson used it to declare her love to “The Crown” star Claire Foy. After gushing to Foy directly, Paulson declared to anyone within earshot: “Ladies and gentlemen, Claire Foy is here and nothing else matters. We don’t have to pretend we don’t all feel the same way.”HUNGER GAMES: Only very early arrivals to the Golden Globes get dinner. Plates are whisked away 30 minutes before the telecast begins, while most stars are still winding their way down the red carpet, leaving only magnums of Champagne on the tables.An alcove adjacent to the ballroom is the only place with food during the three-hour show, and stars flocked to its offerings of finger sandwiches, fruit and crudites.Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal nibbled a chocolate-covered strawberry as she assembled a plate of veggies. “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot dug into a package of Lindt chocolates.Natalie Portman was jubilant after securing a full plate of snacks.“I finally got food!” she said, sharing her plate with table-mate America Ferrera.___For full coverage of awards season, visit: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason Sharon Stone attends the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) by Sandy Cohen And Lynn Elber, The Associated Press Posted Jan 8, 2018 6:43 am PDT Last Updated Jan 8, 2018 at 7:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Behind the scenes at the Golden Globes: schmoozing, snacking
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Wendy Williams returns to show, addresses health, marriage by The Associated Press Posted Mar 4, 2019 9:25 am PDT NEW YORK — Wendy Williams talked about her health and marriage as she returned to her talk show for the first time since December.The audience on Monday gave the 54-year-old a standing ovation.Williams said she was off because of continued thyroid issues, which are associated with Graves’ disease. She said doctors were adjusting her medication and she’s doing “swell.” She also said she’s going to the gym seven days a week.She addressed rumours that her marriage to Kevin Hunter is in trouble. Williams said she’s still “wearing my ring” and “it ain’t going anywhere.”Williams said “marriages have ebbs and flows” and it isn’t easy. But she said her husband is her “best friend” and “lover.”Guest hosts during her absence included Jerry O’Connell, Sherri Shepherd and Jason Biggs.The Associated Press
18Apr Governor, legislators announce plan to reform no-fault Categories: News Gov. Rick Snyder joined State Sen. Joe Hune, State Rep. Pete Lund and business leaders to announce a plan for no-fault auto insurance reform that will lower the cost of insurance for Michigan drivers, continue to provide the best catastrophic injury protection in the nation and ensure a fair and sustainable system into the future.“Michiganders have seen their auto insurance rates rise faster than any other state in the country,” said Gov. Snyder. “It has been 40 years since the no-fault system has been implemented and it’s long overdue for review. These changes will create a policy that continues to cover accident victims far better than any other state and will create cost controls that stem the tide of rising insurance premiums while also providing immediate relief for families.”The plan calls for an end to the requirement that consumers purchase unlimited lifetime medical coverage, the only state to mandate such. Under the proposal, Michigan’s mandatory coverage for catastrophic accident victims would continue to be the best in the nation, providing $1 million in coverage, more than 20 times the next highest state. Creating responsible, sustainable cost controls is estimated to lower insurance premiums by $250/year for the average Michigan family.“Michigan has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and it’s our own fault,” said House Insurance Committee Chairman Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township. “We have an outdated, expensive and unsustainable insurance mandate that puts an incredible burden on Michigan families trying to make ends meet. The hard-working people of this state need and deserve relief.”The legislation will end the practice of medical providers charging more for auto-related injuries, limiting payments to the same average fees they charge other insurances. The average auto insurance medical claim in Michigan is more than $45,000, twice as high as the next closest no-fault state. These additional costs have been passed on to consumers through higher insurance premiums.To combat the prevalence of auto insurance fraud that leads to increased costs for everyone, a fraud authority will be established, funded by insurance providers. The authority will provide grant funding to agencies charged with combatting fraud and will establish a central repository for fraud data.The ever-increasing auto insurance rates have put the mandatory coverage out of reach for many citizens. Nearly one in every five drivers in the state does not have proper insurance, another contributor to high premiums.“I have been working on this issue since 2003 and I hope that the citizens of MI will finally see some relief in their auto insurance premiums,” said Sen. Hune.Michigan has three cities in the top ten highest auto insurance premiums in the nation and the rate of uninsured in urban areas is estimated as high as 50 percent. Proposed companion legislation by Sen. Virgil Smith will help tackle the need for affordable insurance in Michigan cities by establishing a pilot program for eligible low-income drivers to purchase a low cost policy. The program would allow medical coverage to be purchased at $50,000 to lower the cost even further.The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) would be phased out and replaced by a non-profit entity that would be subject to full transparency. The existing MCCA will continue to ensure that all current accident victims receive unlimited, lifetime benefits from their insurance company.The legislation will also include a solution to the Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) shortfall by including a $25 assessment per premium for Medicaid that will provide $1.2 billion in total funding, ensuring the state can pull down the federal Medicaid match. This ensures a strong safety net for vulnerable Michiganders.Legislation is expected to be introduced in the next week.Fast Facts• Michigan is the only state to require unlimited lifetime medical benefits. At $1 million it would continue to provide the most generous benefits in the nation, 20 times higher than the requirement in the next closest state, New York at $50,000.• The lack of cost controls has led to a MCCA payout averaging more than $78 million a month. The yearly payouts increased by over $200 million/year in the past five years.• Michigan’s average premium is more than $261 above any neighboring state and as much as much as $400 higher in some cases.• The average auto insurance medical claim in Michigan has increased 230 percent in the past 12 years and is now more than twice as much as the next closest state.• Medical providers often charge auto insurers more for covered services, sometimes as much as 300 to 400 percent higher than what they accept from health insurers.
29May Michigan’s first lady names Rep. Cox to assist with initiative to prevent campus rape Categories: Cox News State Rep. Laura Cox has been named by Michigan first lady Sue Snyder to help develop methods to end sexual assault on college campuses.The Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault initiative was formed by Snyder in an effort to research ways to uniformly work with victims. The program intends to end campus sexual assaults by changing the culture that leads authorities to dismiss allegations, encouraging victims to report the crime, and developing uniform punishments for offenders.“This issue has affected us on a nationwide level, and I’m extremely happy to see that Michigan is taking the initiative to be the first to take action,” said Rep. Cox, R-Livonia. “We have a chance to change the way our fellow citizens view this issue, and I will do everything in my power to encourage victims to be fearless in reporting the horrible acts committed against them.”Snyder also named three other Michigan lawmakers—state Sens. Tonya Schuitmaker and Rebekah Warren and state Rep. Marilyn Lane—to assist with the initiative.“I’m excited to collaborate with my colleagues and discuss all of the alternative methods in which we can finally provide assurance to the victims that their situations will not go unnoticed or ignored ever again,” Rep. Cox said. “My heart goes out to all of those who have been assaulted and feel they have few options in seeking help. Together, we can ensure that attackers are brought to justice.”The initiative is the first of its kind on a statewide level.###
Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, issued the following statement today following the House’s passage of legislation to reform Detroit Public Schools:“The package we approved today will provide the fresh start needed to move Detroit Public Schools in the right direction. It creates a new, debt-free Community District that ensures children in Detroit get the quality education they deserve without taking funding away from children in other districts across our state. “In addition, our plan includes measures to hold the district accountable for providing students with a quality education. To ensure financial responsibility, the new Community District board will be required to take training in finances and governing.” Categories: Sheppard News 09Jun Rep. Sheppard: DPS reform plan a step forward for children in Detroit
State Rep. Mike McCready will host an open office hour on Monday, Jan. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Meeting Room 3 of the Bloomfield Township Public Library, located at 1099 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Township.“I’m honored and committed to serve as the state representative to the 40th District,” Rep. McCready said. “Being accessible and accountable to the people in our communities is one of my top priorities as a legislator.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. McCready at 517-373-8670 or via email at MikeMcCready@house.mi.gov. Categories: McCready News 11Jan Local residents can meet with Rep. McCready on Jan. 29
Categories: LaFave News 01May Upper Michigan legislators support President Trump’s call to rebuild Soo Locks LANSING, Mich. — President Trump mentioned the Soo Locks in his address to supporters at a rally in Washington, Michigan Saturday, saying he would help get the locks fixed with support from the Army Corps of Engineers.“For decades, the federal government has acknowledged the need for restorations, and I am pleased that President Trump understands the urgency of fixing our aging infrastructure at the Soo Locks,” said Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering. “Not only are the locks an extremely important economic asset to Sault Ste. Marie and the Upper Peninsula, they are also vital to our state and national economies and significant to national security.”The Soo locks, which connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron, have been a critical shipping connection between these bodies of water for over 160 years. The modern locks still in use, named the Poe lock and MacArthur lock, transport nearly 7,000 vessels per year carrying 75.5 million tons of cargo.“About half of the cargo that travels through the locks is iron ore from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” said Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba. “This material is necessary for the manufacturing of cars, tools and all manner of iron and steel products that are used throughout the country. The giant ships that transport this material rely on the locks to get to the refineries. Any downtime at the locks due to maintenance can be very costly for the entire iron industry.”Despite their economic importance to the region, major renovations to the locks have not been performed in 50 years. Longstanding plans for upgrades have been delayed because of cost and construction planning difficulties.“For years there have been discussions about replacing the current Davis and Sabin locks with a new lock that can accommodate larger ships,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “Of the four locks, only one is large enough for today’s massive freighters to navigate. I’m happy to hear the president address the need for an upgrade, and I hope we can finally start acting on these drawn-out discussions.”Trump lightheartedly stated that he would call the Army Corps of Engineers immediately after the rally ended, or at the latest, the day after. Infrastructure upgrades have been a consistent theme in Trump’s addresses, with roads, bridges and airports often getting mentioned as examples. However, this is the first time the president has mentioned the Soo Locks.“I want to thank the Michigan representatives at the federal level who brought this to President Trump’s attention during his visit,” said Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain. “We’re going to continue working with stakeholders from industry and at all levels of government to see this project through to fruition. Hopefully now we’ll see a greater cooperation to finally fix up the Soo Locks.”###
Categories: News,Webber News Proposals address current technology, allow consumer choiceTwo separate plans authored by state Rep. Michael Webber, of Rochester Hills, making vehicle platooning easier for semi-trucks, and purchasing insurance bundles easier for consumers in Michigan were recently signed into law.House Bill 5749 exempts semi-trucks operating in a platoon from a requirement that they keep a certain distance from each other. Vehicle platooning refers to cars or trucks that are electronically linked to coordinate speeds in order to enhance safety, save time and energy, and reduce emissions. It is already legal on Michigan roads.“Michigan is a powerhouse of technology for autonomous vehicles throughout the country,” said Webber, of Rochester Hills. “Vehicle platooning increases the safety of self-driving vehicles on Michigan roads and enhances the transportation of goods and services.”House Bill 6432 allows health insurers to bundle multiple types of insurance, such as life insurance or auto insurance, and sell it as a single package for the convenience of consumers. Webber’s measure strikes a 1986 law, which prohibited health insurance agents from selling any type of insurance other than health insurance.“Rather than fulfilling their insurance needs through multiple sellers, Michigan families would rather purchase an insurance bundle through an insurer they already know and trust,” Webber, who serves on the House Insurance Committee. “Michiganders will now have an easier time bundling together crucial insurance services that protect them and their families.”House Bills 5749 and 6432 are now Public Acts 377 and 430 of 2018.### 20Dec Pair of Rep. Webber plans recently signed into law by governor
Categories: Mueller News,News 09May Rep. Mueller votes for lower car insurance rates for Michigan drivers State Rep. Mike Mueller today cast a historic and vital vote to bring lower car insurance prices to residents and families in Genesee and Oakland counties, joining House legislators in approving a bipartisan plan to reform Michigan’s broken no-fault system.The House plan guarantees lower rates for all drivers in Michigan, reducing what currently is the highest average car insurance premium in the nation. The bill also gives drivers a choice on car insurance policies, stops price gouging on medical services for car accident victims and combats fraudulent claims to help lower costs.“I’ve talked to a lot of people across the district and lowering the out-of-control nature of car insurance rates is a popular issue they want remedied,” said Mueller, of Linden. “I’ve taken that to heart and worked in my first five months in Lansing to bring this demanded rate relief to Michigan drivers. Having worked as a sheriff’s deputy for 19 years, people driving without insurance is a real issue. The extraordinary cost for car insurance is a big factor in that and I hope this fix lessens the financial burdens residents are facing.”Michigan’s costs are high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The House plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – all while providing more affordable options with a mandatory rate reduction.The sweeping legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesApril 29, 2013; The BlazePhilanthropist Bill Gates is drawing awareness to the deadly disease of malaria, which takes over 600,000 lives every year, by declaring the week “Mosquito Week” and has crafted a clever infographic. The graphic alludes to the popular Discovery Channel event of “Shark Week,” which has gained a large following, by showing how miniscule shark killings are compared to the deadly mosquito:Gates is taking advantage of his large social media following and the popularity of Shark Week to draw attention to the urgency of preventing the spread of disease via mosquitos. This week, he tweeted: Hey @SharkWeek, sharks are cool, but they’re not even close to being the deadliest animal: http://t.co/bvE7TuaBZF pic.twitter.com/aWjbnw46N4— Bill Gates (@BillGates) April 29, 2014 Gates has also branded his Twitter background and header photo for the campaign, and has written several blogs on what malaria feels like, how to fight it, and, oddly enough, recounting how the billionaire allowed a cage filled with mosquitoes to feed on his arm to aid in the discovery of innovative ways to combat dengue fever virus. (In his blogs, he draws attention to a local nonprofit and foundations, which are expanding research on the disease in Indonesia.) Gates has stretched this cause-marketing campaign across all channels, from this infographic to sharing short videos on his YouTube channel.Malaria is also a top priority of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has committed approximately $2 billion in grants to combat malaria. There are many noteworthy digital marketing steps taken here which could be valuable for nonprofits looking to launch a cause-related or fundraising campaign.—Aine CreedonShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share22TweetShare30Email52 SharesEvicted / Linh DoDecember 12, 2016; San Mateo Daily JournalThe Daily Journal, which serves San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County in California, profiles a new study of evictions by the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County and Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA). The study analyzed 3,145 eviction cases handled by the two nonprofits over the course of just three years.This is an unusual and important undertaking for legal service organizations, which primarily focus on case-by-case representation. Daniel Saver, a housing attorney with CLSEPA, said:This report verifies the anecdotal data we’ve been hearing for the last several years that in San Mateo County we indeed have an eviction crisis and displacement crisis. I hope this data will be useful to policy makers to help folks understand the scale and scope of the problem and as such, inform decision-making and motivate our decision makers, our policy makers and other important stakeholders to tackle the crisis head on.Hard data can help practitioners detect patterns in the midst of poignant personal stories and can provide a basis for a cost-benefit analysis of various interventions or reforms. In spotlighting the Legal Aid study in San Mateo County, the Daily Journal cites Legal Aid’s Shirley Gibson as noting, “It’s important to provide hard data to cities or county officials who are hoping to make a difference, particularly when working against a defensive market.”Large-scale, data-only studies are less useful in identifying solutions. A new study by Redfin, an online real estate agency, illustrates some of the problems. Redfin’s study looked at rent burden, defined as area median rent divided by median monthly household income, and compared the growth in rent-burdened households with the percentage of evictions per 1000 rental households. Redfin acknowledges two different problems may lurk in the data:Different parts of the country will require different solutions. In many coastal cities, where a shortage of homes for rent and for sale is a prime driver of high housing costs, more housing supply could make housing more affordable and ease the eviction rate. Rezoning certain districts in these cities for developers to build more housing would be a start. In contrast, much of the Rust Belt has ample supply and lower housing costs, but many rental households have seen stagnant wage growth. Here, an expansion of the Voucher Program, which has been little changed over the past decade, could ensure that more low-income households gain access to the program. Currently, only about a quarter of those eligible receive any assistance.Even this geographic explanation demands more local data. Looking at Redfin’s chart, for example, raises the question, “Why do three Ohio cities, each with a very different rental market and all with declining rent burden have higher eviction rates than Seattle, famous for its on going affordability crisis?”Solutions to the rising problem of eviction are numerous, but only two are national. Expanding legal representation in eviction court and increasing housing subsidies for low-income households are two obvious solutions that will help everywhere. (Both are recommendations by Matthew Desmond in his book, Evicted!) Legal reforms like “pay to stay” or “just cause” protections, the expansion of self representation tools, and the use of eviction navigators may make sense in particular jurisdictions, too.Court reforms may also provide some answers. Reform of Baltimore’s Rent Court has been on going since a series of articles profiled the dysfunctional system originally designed to protect tenants. In Cleveland, Judge Pianka has instituted a working relationship with a network of social service agencies to blunt the impact of involuntary displacement. Other court reforms could include exclusion of “eviction by affidavit,” a practice where landlords are not required to testify and answer questions, and exclusion of “conditional writs,” wherein a tenant agrees to usurious payback provisions in order to prevent a set-out.Being able to match solutions to local needs is a great reason to expand local studies like the one profiled in the Daily Journal. During the foreclosure crisis of 2008–2014, Congress authorized additional funding for Legal Service Organizations to represent homeowners at risk of foreclosure. One of the byproducts of this initiative was the identification of patterns of abusive lending and, in some cases, reform of state foreclosure laws. A similar “mini-moon shot” focused on today’s rental affordability crisis could incentivize legal and social service providers to identify ways to mitigate involuntary displacement of families and seniors. While local solutions may vary, the admonition of Matthew Desmond’s study is clear: “Without a home, everything else falls apart.”—Spencer WellsShare22TweetShare30Email52 Shares
Share482Tweet2ShareEmail484 Shares February 4, 2019; Common DreamsAt the end of January, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman highlighted the underlying issue keeping the nation from providing healthcare for everyone.Why is American politics so dysfunctional? Whatever the deeper roots of our distress, the proximate cause is ideological extremism: Powerful factions are committed to false views of the world, regardless of the evidence.This unwillingness to let fact overcome bias was evident in the last few days, as another look at the data on the cost of Medicare for All clashed with the bias of its opponents.Not long ago, for instance, we were informed by two potential 2020 presidential candidates—former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz—that the US cannot “afford” to extend Medicare coverage to provide universal access. CNN reports that Bloomberg said, “Replacing private, employer-provided health insurance was financially impossible, and a Medicare for All system, a popular progressive policy, would not work in the US…we are talking about trillions of dollars… to replace the entire private system where companies provide healthcare for their employees would bankrupt us for a very long time.”For Schultz, the problem with expanding Medicare is not even its feared cost; changing the current system is wrong, from his perspective. “That’s not American,” he said. “What’s next? What industry are we going to abolish next, the coffee industry?…The Affordable Care Act should stay and be refined. To think to get rid of the insurance industry…this is the situation, it’s far too extreme from both sides.”As NPQ’s earlier coverage has pointed out, the challenge for the nation’s healthcare system to provide universal coverage doesn’t come from a lack of US spending: “The United States spent 17.8 percent of its GDP on healthcare in 2016. In contrast, the average spending of 10 other high-income countries—Canada, Germany, Australia, the UK, Japan, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark, all of which have mostly public healthcare—was only 11.5 percent. Per capita, the United States spent $9,403. That’s nearly double what the others spend.” And of course, all of those other listed countries spending less than the US provide universal healthcare coverage.Using 2017 data, a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that the US healthcare expenditure per person had risen even higher, to $10,224, compared to $4,826 in Canada. That’s a $5,398 per person difference!—and not in the direction of US healthcare being more cost-effective.This week, Public Citizen published its new report presenting the case for the affordability of universal care. According to Common Dreams, it details “how Medicare-for-All would significantly cut healthcare costs, increase systemic efficiency, and improve coverage—while expanding it to everyone.”Public Citizen’s president, Robert Weissman, places the organization’s work in context when he says, “For people who care about evidence—not ideology—the facts are clear: Medicare-for-All is the most efficient and most just approach to provide health care for everyone in America.”“The Case for Medicare for All” presents a data-driven case for universal healthcare:The United States spends the most per person in the world for health care while leaving a much greater share of its population uninsured and experiencing the worst health outcomes of any wealthy country. On almost every measure of life expectancy, the United States ranks at or near the bottom.Using available analysis, Public Citizen demonstrates that an expanded Medicare system could “save money by reducing administrative costs by $500 billion per year and allowing the government to negotiate for more affordable medicines…paid for using a progressive funding mechanism.”Medicare-for-All would cost patients less than employer-sponsored insurance and improve access to community-based services, including home healthcare.The expanded system would need to be able to handle significant transitional issues of moving away from private insurance and employment-based systems. Transition to a universal healthcare system would also require significant reprogramming of how our very large healthcare expenditure is put to use, and every user of the current, private systems would have to adjust. But it is not unaffordable. Indeed, the country may not be able to afford not making that transition.—Martin LevineShare482Tweet2ShareEmail484 Shares