“Robbers hide and target their victims. They watch their would-be victims and wait for the right opportunity to make their move,” says Kevin.Residents now fear for their lives. Schoolchildren regularly use the shortcuts near Egerton and LHS, and parents are worried something terrible is going to happen to them. A Ladysmith Gazette journalist recently walked up the 100 Steps to take some photos of the area and found clothes dumped along the pathway. Kevin is fed up with the constant crime in the area and says that a petition has been signed by many residents to close off the shortcut.However, the municipality has not done anything about the situation.“Not only is this pathway a danger to all who use it, but it also serves as an escape route for criminals. Something should definitely be done about it in the interests of people’s safety and curbing crime in the area,” adds Kevin. The ‘100 Steps’ shortcut that leads up from Ladysmith High School (LHS) to Shearer Road near Egerton Primary School has again come under the spotlight for criminal activity.There was once a time when this hillside pathway was considered perfectly safe to use by pedestrians, including schoolchildren, but this is no longer the case. Shortcuts around town seem to be crime hotspots, with predators known to pounce on “unwitting walkers” and steal their personal belongings.The most recent incident involved a 16-year-old and his friend, who were robbed of their cell-phones while on their way to school on Thursday, February 26. The two teenagers were walking down a hill in the Egerton area when they were approached by two people who asked them for the time.The 16-year-old took out his cell-phone to see what the exact time was and the two suspects snatched the phone out of his hand. They also took the friend’s cell-phone before fleeing on foot.Police searched the area, but could not find the suspects. According to police, a case of common robbery has been opened.Local resident Kevin Prinsloo, who lives right next to the 100 Steps, says the Egerton area has become a danger zone due to the many criminal activities that have taken place recently. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
Plex today is launching a new desktop application for Mac and Windows, with the goal of eventually replacing Plex Media Player as the company’s only desktop solution. The app’s arrival also signals a change in direction for the company, which will also now remove its existing Windows Store application and end support for the traditional home theater PC setup — the latter which involves a desktop computer connected to a TV or home theater.The company explains this decision was made after examining how people were using Plex today, and found that most would have an equal or even better experience with a streaming device and its new players.“It marks the end of an era for us, and we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t a little bittersweet,” the company wrote in a blog post about the change.Home theater PC-style configurations are today a bit of a holdover from an earlier era where there were fewer resources to stream personal media from your PC to your TV. Today, however, Plex’s apps for streaming devices are fairly capable, and a heck of a lot simpler to set up and use by mainstream consumers.The company also noted that the new Apple TV and Android players support nearly all the same formats and that Plex’s app for streaming devices has come a long way in recent years.“Modern streaming devices don’t need as much care and feeding as desktop computers. They don’t need to sleep (much), they use a tiny amount of electricity…and they don’t require nearly as much effort to get up and running. They have remotes that work wonderfully out of the box (no more fiddly custom key mappings!) In short, they’re designed for the environment in which you’re using them, and it shows,” the company explained, in hopes of fending off any backlash.Meanwhile, the new Plex desktop app includes all the capabilities of Plex Media Player along with support for offline access. Previously called “Sync,” this feature has been renamed to “Downloads,” and lets you take your media with you. Similar support for offline media will come to Plex’s mobile apps, too, at a later date, the company said.To use the Downloads feature, you’ll need a Plex Pass subscription. But otherwise, the new desktop app is free.Though the desktop app is meant to replace Plex Media Player, the company says it will continue to update the software until January 2020, to allow time for everyone to make the transition.Plex’s overall business has been changing, in recent years, to become more than just a home media organizer. Today, Plex is a DIY streaming solution that allows users to watch not just their own media across platforms, but also stream podcasts, news, web series and music from TIDAL, as well as capture and record live TV from a digital antenna.This change has led to other closures, including Plex’s decision last year to shutter Plugins, Cloud Sync and its “Watch Later” bookmarking feature, in addition to the technically challenging Plex Cloud.It’s unclear how successful Plex’s changes have been as the company doesn’t disclose its number of paying subscribers. However, last year, Plex said it had 15 million registered users — meaning both free and paid. In January 2019, it upped that number to 20 million and noted it had “millions” of people using Plex on a monthly basis.
The elderly residents at Juana Maria Old Age Home have to battle the ‘horrific’ pavement at the side of Francis Road on a daily basis. There are huge potholes along the pavement and right outside the home is a large hole where water works are being done.The elderly are suffering as a result of this state of affairs. Some use ‘walkers’ to get around, and they are opting to walk on the road rather than battle the potholes and bumps in the pavement. Most of the senior citizens use the pavement to walk between the home and Spar to do their shopping. Many do not drive and some do not have family who can do their grocery shopping for them. Di Williams from the home commented that, “It’s just horrendous! The pavement is in a terrible state and our residents are really battling. Many are walking in the road so as to avoid the difficult bumps and holes. If they are in the road, they could get hit by a car, but if they walk on the pavement, they could fall and hurt themselves. Older people are a lot more fragile and they could seriously injure themselves; they could even break a bone.”The large hole in the pavement where water works are currently underway has not been worked on in over a week and there is rubble lying in a large pile under a tree.Di Williams added that she has contacted the municipality to try and get the pavement fixed, but has not yet had a meeting with them. At the time of going to press, the municipality had failed to comment. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Public Safety officers were seen in Helpmekaar Road on Friday morning doing speed timing.Protection officers Jaco van der Merwe and Amit Badri were there using an Ultra Lyte Laser Speed Timing Machine that is able to tell them at what speed a vehicle is travelling. If a vehicle is found to be going over the legal speed limit, the driver is pulled over and fined accordingly.The fines issued vary depending on how fast a car is ‘clocked’ at in a given speed limit zone. If a vehicle is travelling way over the speed limit, the driver may face arrest. One resident commented that, “These officers, along with other members of Public Safety, do such a great job in making sure the roads are safe and that those who do break the law are held accountable.”
Data Reveals Stabilization Among Mortgage Fraud Risk in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News June 29, 2015 573 Views Share Interthinx, Inc., a subsidiary of First American Financial Corporation and a leading provider of comprehensive risk mitigation solutions for the financial services industry, has released its annual interactive Mortgage Fraud Risk Report, which includes data collected in 2014 from loan applications processed by the Interthinx FraudGUARD system.“Taking pre-emptive action against fraud, and the losses related to fraud, is critically important to protect mortgage lenders and consumers,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American. “As real estate and mortgage markets continue to move toward the new, post-crisis normal, fraud remains a concern that is ever-changing and requires detection methodologies that account for a variety of risk types. Rising property fraud prevalence is not surprising given the economic conditions and rising prices we see today.”The report found that the 2014 Annual Mortgage Fraud Risk Index value decreased by 4 percent from 2013 to 100. This is a sign that the gradually rising trend observed in the previous four years has come to a stop. Of the four type-specific fraud risk indices Interthinx tracks including property valuation, identity, occupancy, and employment/income, only property valuation risk saw an increase of 17 percent.“After three years of increasing fraud risk, the 2014 data show both an overall decrease and a shift to more localized concentrations of specific fraud types,” said Jeff Moyer, chief product and strategy officer at First American Mortgage Solutions. “In no way diminishing the imperative for lenders, servicers and investors to remain vigilant, overall market stabilization does allow our industry to focus on more highly targeted strategies to address specific fraud threats.”Mortgage Fraud Risk Report Facts:Overall, mortgage fraud risk has appeared to normalize.Less overall real estate market volatility with stabilization of real estate prices and inventory across the nation.Geographic distribution of fraud risk continues to become even more dispersed in 2014, shifting from entire states towards regional, MSA, and ZIP code level concentrations.Property valuation and occupancy fraud risk are main drivers of risk among top 10 riskiest states.With the exception of California, the riskiest states exhibit a corresponding weak housing market. First American Financial Corporation Interthinx Mortgage Fraud Risk Report 2015-06-29 Staff Writer
Go back to the enewsletterLocated in the heart of Los Angeles, Beverly Center is the premier fashion, food and lifestyle destination, designed and curated to celebrate the creative spirit of LA. The recent reimagination of Beverly Center has brought bright new, contemporary design; perfectly curated retail; an enviable line-up of dining options and experiential offerings that, when combined, make for a singular lifestyle destination perfect for the creative class who move LA, and the rest of the world, forward.“Room Service” is a unique VIP lounge that launched in 2018 for high-end customers.Members can relax, watch movies, dine, conduct business meetings and try on their newly purchased designer clothes. The idea is to make the Beverly Center feel like a second home.The list of benefits and amenities that come with the Room Service membership include:Intimate workspace with bespoke programming and eventsComplimentary valetAccess to concierge service designed for stylistsMessenger serviceVIP entranceTailoring servicesStorage lockersVIP backdoor entranceUnlimited access, seven days a weekHigh-speed internetFood and bar serviceExpress food menus from local restaurants – 15 min or lessBookable conference room and styling suite, fitting roomsOpportunity to host events and partner with Room Service for content and programmingFor more information, see beverlycenter.comGo back to the enewsletter
19Mar Joint MSP/DHS effort leads resolution of nearly 2,000 arrest warrants and removal from welfare State Reps. Peter MacGregor and Mike McCready today applauded an initiative to get criminals off the street and off public assistance rolls.The Michigan State Police and the Department of Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General worked together to cross-check names of individuals collecting public assistance against an electronic database of outstanding felony warrants. As a result, nearly 2,000 criminals were arrested or turned themselves in, and DHS is in the process of removing these individuals from public assistance.The lawmakers, who lead the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Department of Human Services and Michigan State Police respectively, cited the effort as a prime example of creating an improved government for the people.“Finding and eliminating fraud and tax dollar waste in government has been a main goal of mine since taking office,” said MacGregor, R-Cannon Township. “I applaud DHS and MSP for collaborating in such a common-sense manner to make sure our state dollars are used properly while putting criminals behind bars.”The collaboration began after a state law created last year required the state to create an automated system to cross-check names of individuals collecting public assistance against a database of people with an outstanding warrant to ensure felons do not receive any benefits. Prior to this law, the departments had to check the list manually which was time consuming and ineffective.“This is an excellent example of good government at work and I hope we find other opportunities where state departments can work together to save taxpayers money,” said McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills. “Ensuring that only those in need are accessing public assistance, and getting criminals off the streets are both worthwhile efforts. I commend the MSP and DHS and encourage them to keep up the great work!”The initial cross-check was done in January and February. Law enforcement from throughout the state assisted with the warrant sweep that led to nearly 2,000 arrests.#### Categories: McCready News,News
Categories: Leonard News,Leonard Photos Rep. Tom Leonard, right, stands with Richard Jolliff, pastor of Amazing Grace Church in Wheeler, and House Speaker Jase Bolger at the rostrum on the floor of the state House of Representatives. Leonard invited Jolliff to the Michigan Capitol to deliver the invocation before today’s legislative session.### 13Mar Leonard invites local pastor to deliver House invocation
Categories: Johnson News 12Feb Rep. Johnson to hold office hours later this month State Rep. Joel Johnson invites residents of the 97th House District to join him during local office hours later this month.“I hope you can join me for my office hours later this month,” said Johnson, R-Clare. “I look forward to using this time to personally meet with you and answer any questions you may have.”His office hours schedule is:Monday, Feb. 23Arenac County:Standish City Hall399 E. Beaver St. in Standish10-11:30 a.m.Gladwin County:Gladwin County Library402 James Robertson Drive in Gladwin12:30-2 p.m.Friday, Feb. 27Osceola County:Evart City Hall200 S. Main St. in Evart5-6:30 p.m.Clare County:Clare Municipal Airport10843 S. Eberhart Ave. in Clare7:30-9 p.m.No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend.For those unable to attend, Johnson’s legislative office can be reached at any time by phone at (517) 373-8962 or by email at JoelJohnson@house.mi.gov.
03Nov Rep. Victory: auto insurance reform debate not over State Rep. Roger Victory said he would continue the fight to lower auto insurance rates for all Michigan drivers.Victory voted in favor of House Bill 5013, which would guarantee lower rates for all drivers in Michigan – the state with the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. The bill would have offered personal injury coverage options, fought fraud and abuse and addressed medical costs.The bill fell short in a vote late Thursday.“It’s disappointing to see how the vote ended up,” Victory, of Hudsonville, said after the vote. “This could have saved drivers in Ottawa County and across Michigan a lot of money – especially our seniors.”Michigan’s costs are so high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through auto insurance. The House plan allowed those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options.“This will not be the last time we fight to reform auto insurance,” Victory said. “Everyone agrees our insurance costs are out of control, the current system is unsustainable and unfair for Michigan drivers. Changes must be made.”The bill remains in the House. Categories: Victory News
Rep. Glenn says local officials should put public interest first The House Energy Policy Committee today heard testimony on legislation introduced by state Rep. Gary Glenn to prevent members of local planning commissions from voting on wind farm land leases for which they or their families would personally financially benefit.Glenn (R-Williams Township), who chairs the committee, said planning commissioners should always serve the public’s interest and members should recuse themselves from voting on issues were they could have personal financial benefits. People testifying today discussed the lengths wind power developers take to bypass local ordinances or opposition to their plans.“We heard very strong and emotional testimony from people who have witnessed local planning commissioners vote on issues that will financially benefit them or their families directly,” Glenn said.Under the bill, a planning commissioner will be required to disclose any conflict of interest in an energy project and will be disqualified from voting on the issue. Failure to recuse themselves from voting constitutes malfeasance in office, which is a misdemeanor.The committee continues to consider the legislation, which is House Bill 4968,##### Categories: Glenn News,News 27Feb Energy Policy panel continues to hear testimony on conflicts of interest in wind farm deals
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares January 19, 2014; New York TimesEven after the national health insurance reform gets fully underway, some immigrants, such as Mery Martinez in Philadelphia, will be left out of coverage. Martinez is one of the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., as many as 11.7 million, who won’t be able to take part in the healthcare benefits of the Affordable Care Act.Like many undocumented immigrants, Martinez has had to rely on the availability of low-cost or free health clinics. With their omission from Affordable Care Act coverage, undocumented immigrants might find themselves going to nonprofit clinics that specialize in reaching out to and treating this population. Facing some health issues, Martinez went to the nonprofit Puentes de Salud, which uses a consulting room at the University of Pennsylvania medical school for patients like her. The co-founder of Puentes de Salud, Steve Larson, a professor of emergency medicine at Penn, says that his clinic is different from others because it also tries to address “the underlying causes of illness, like poor nutrition, illiteracy or urban violence.”This article in the New York Times summarizes the problem for undocumented immigrants:“The new federal healthcare law does not provide assistance to illegal immigrants, who are generally ineligible for Medicaid, cannot get federal subsidies for private insurance and cannot use the new insurance exchanges to buy unsubsidized insurance with their own money…Under the federal Affordable Care Act, such immigrants are exempt from the requirement to have insurance.”The future of access to healthcare for undocumented immigrants for the moment is going to depend on nonprofit clinics like Puentes de Salud. The clinic currently operates with a $350,000 budget and only two full-time employees, supplemented by volunteer services provided medical students and community volunteers. Larson is now trying to raise money to open a 7,000-square-foot clinic, with half its space dedicated to clinical services and half to preventive and educational services like nutritional services, literacy training, and sex education.Part of the challenge remains the insecurity of people like Martinez. A Honduran immigrant, Martinez crossed the Mexican border into Texas in 2003, worked as a house cleaner, and is now unemployed without income. To avoid being picked up and deported by immigration authorities, she doesn’t even go to food pantries.That the Affordable Care Act would omit over ten million people in need of healthcare, an idea that was one of several sops offered by the Democratic sponsors of the Affordable Care Act in the vain and fruitless hope of winning over Republican opponents, is just one of several elements of the legislation that make it fall far short of universal coverage.The problem of providing healthcare coverage to undocumented immigrants isn’t just due to the lacunae in the Affordable Care Act, but differences even from county to county in some states. For example, in California, where there are an estimated 2.8 million undocumented immigrants, all ineligible for the ACA’s coverage and even for the coverage offered by the state Medi-Cal program, the counties set their own standards regarding who can get treatment in programs offered by county governments—for example, no coverage in San Bernardino County, but coverage in nearby Los Angeles County. State Senator Ricardo Lara earlier this month introduced a bill to make health insurance available to all residents, irrespective of their immigrant status, noting that a person’s immigrant status should be irrelevant if the objective is to provide all Americans with decent, affordable coverage.“Puentes de Salud” is Spanish for “bridges to health.” For people like Mery Martinez, these nonprofit health clinics offering low-cost or no-cost treatment for undocumented immigrants, they are also “puentes a la justicia.”—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share30Tweet7ShareEmail37 SharesBy Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia CommonsMarch 5, 2018; San Francisco Examiner“San Francisco will take down the controversial ‘Early Days’ statue depicting Native Americans in a demeaning manner after the Arts Commission voted unanimously to have it removed Monday,” reports Joshua Sabatini in the San Francisco Examiner. The commission, in a memo supporting its action, noted that it did so due to “the allegorical sculpture’s depiction of the degradation and genocide of [American Indian] peoples, utilizing visual stereotypes common at the turn of the twentieth century to depict all [American Indians] which are now universally viewed as disrespectful, misleading, and racist.”The statue, notes Sabatini, “is part of the larger bronze and granite Pioneer Monument located between the Main Public Library and the Asian Arts Museum.” It depicts an American Indian on the ground, cowering before a mission priest and a cowboy, both of whom tower over him.The statue’s removal was supported, Sabatini writes, “by the late Mayor Ed Lee, as well as by Mayor Mark Farrell and Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the Civic Center area where it is on display.”The statue will be placed into storage. “It’s possible, Sabatini adds, “that it could one day find a home in a museum.”Tom DeCaigny, who directs cultural affairs for the Arts Commission, says the vote is “a very significant and historical moment” for the city and the country.“There have been lots of conversations about appropriate representation of monuments in the public realm,” says DeCaigny. “I have heard feedback that in some way we are looking to revise history or forget history. I would argue quite the opposite. This is us recognizing history and the evolution of history and doing the right thing on the right side of history.”Art Commission Chair J.D. Beltran adds,One of the justified objections to it being on public land, in a public place, is that by it continuing to be there it signals any city’s or municipality’s implicit endorsement of the racism within the statue. Whereas when it is in a place where it is recognized as being historical and being able to be surrounded by other historical artifacts and put into context then that endorsement disappears.The Arts Commission first voted in October 2017 to initiate the process for the statue’s removal. The Historic Preservation Commission voted February 21st to allow the statue’s removal, conditional on a plaque being placed at the site explaining why it was removed. A staff analysis found that removal of the statue would “not affect the integrity of the Civic Center Landmark District as a whole.”The Arts Commission estimates the cost for removal of the statue could range between $160,000 and $200,000, which includes $60,000 for 10 years of offsite storage. Arts Commission staff said removal should occur within months.The statue’s origins can be traced to a $100,000 gift made to the city by real estate investor James Lick upon his death in 1876. American sculptor Frank H. Happersberger completed the sculpture in 1894.“In the early 1990s,” Sabatini notes, “there were unsuccessful calls for removing the statue when the monument was relocated from Hyde and Grove streets to its current site on Fulton Street between Larkin and Hyde streets to make way for construction of the Main Public Library.” According to Sabatini, the renewed calls to remove the statute were prompted in large measure by San Franciscans’ disgust with the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville last August.—Steve DubbShare30Tweet7ShareEmail37 Shares
UK authorities have scrapped plans for a report into the UK media sector and now plan to hold a series of seminars that will shape changes to the country’s new Communications Bill. Under previous plans a tentative report, or green paper, was to have been published.This plan has now been shelved in favour of five seminars covering: investment in TV content; competition in the content market; the consumer perspective; maximizing the use of spectrum; and supporting the radio sector.The changes will feed into a white paper, an official, authoritative report, which will be published early next year. The new Communications Bill will then be introduced before the end of the current parliament in 2015.“We have the largest independent television production sector in the world while the UK is the second largest music exporter in the world,” said UK communications minister Ed Vaizey. “Through these seminars, we will look in detail at how best to drive investment and competition. We want to shape the Communications Bill so that we have the right framework to secure our place as Europe’s tech hub.”[advert_brand]
Telekom Austria’s domestic A1 operation saw TV subscribers climb 10% year-on-year by 10% to end the first quarter with 225,000 customers.In the same period Telekom Austria added 50,000 fixed broadband customers in the Austrian market.Overall, Telekom Austria Group had 1.584 million fixed broadband customers at the end of March, up 6.8%. Overall group revenues for the quarter were €1.049 billion, down 0.6%, and like-for-like EBITDA was €336.9 million, down 6.8%.
Turkish pay TV broadcaster SinemaTV has inked an output deal with NBCUniversal.The programming agreement gives the Turkish channel operator a raft of the studio’s TV and movie content. The deal covers TV and digital rights allowing Sinema to make the content available on its linear services as well as connected digital devices.TV shows covered by the output agreement include Downton Abbey (pictured) and Grimm, which have already started airing, and Sinema will also get popular sci fi series Defiance, which it will launch later this month.Movie titles include Battleship, Fast Five and Snow White and the Huntsman.Fatih Oflaz, president of SinemaTV, commented, “We have been collaborating with NBCUniversal since the launch of our first channel and we are ecstatic to expand our business with them. As a result of this deal, we have the opportunity to introduce various recent NBCUniversal movies and TV shows to our subscribers.
Russian service provider Akado has introduced a new range of unlimited internet tariffs. The Moscow-based operator has launched a 15Mbps offering with unlimited downloads for RUB349 (EUR7.20), along with a 30Mbps offering for RUB399.Higher speed offerings comprise a 60Mpbs service for RUB499, 90Mbps for RUB599 and 140Mbps for RUB999.The cable operator said that over half of its subscribers are planning to move to a tariff plan that includes higher speed internet, according to its own research.
Tom KerberSome 37% of US broadband households intend to buy one or more smart devices in 2015, according to research firm Parks Associates. Parks’ smart home and internet of things research claims that 26% of US broadband households already own a streaming device, with 34% owning a smart TV and 16% a smart home device.The average household spend on subscription internet video services stands at more than US$6 per month, according to Parks.“This year will feature expansion of the smart home and further refinement of business strategies in these markets,” said Tom Kerber, Parks Associates’ director of research for home controls and energy.“As we saw at CES last week, companies from previously separate channels are now competing in the smart home ecosystem, meaning both differentiation and cross-platform interoperability are critical to success.”
Vodafone Spain is set to expand ONO’s TV service and upgrade its TiVo platform, following its takeover of the Spanish cable operator last year. TiVo said that the Spanish TV platform will be upgraded “to take advantage of TiVo’s latest generation of capabilities” and that current ONO customers will get a refreshed TiVo user experience.Vodafone will also start marketing TiVo-powered ONO set-top boxes in its Spanish retail stores.“Throughout our working relationship with ONO, now part of Vodafone, their commitment to innovation has always been impressive. We are pleased to continue supporting these efforts by improving and extending the TiVo offering in Spain,” said vice-president, general manager, international at TiVo, David Sandford.The news comes after Ono expanded its TiVo deployment in September by using TiVo’s cloud service APIs to offer consistent integrated search, browse and discovery capabilities across any screen.Announcing the move at IBC, Ono said it would integrate TiVo’s service capabilities into its TV everywhere mobile and web apps, including search and discovery and remote PVR recording management functionalities.