Aging farmers, dying farmland

December 6, 2021

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Aging farmers, dying farmland

Credit to Farmers

The expansion of the farm or ranch involves an investment in capital, and is especially challenging for those who are only beginning their journey in business. We have designed loan programs for farmers that are younger than of 35 or who have more than ten years of experience. They are comparable to our loan options that have modified the criteria for approval of credit in order to accommodate this need in the following manner. This program will allow you to get the money you require like this, while also aiding you to improve your financial position.

“At present, the production of eggs is the thing I’m most interested in and also something my grandfather was interested in. About 90 percent of eggs that are produced in the United States [are produced by the 60 farms that are owned by the company” Spencer explained.

Montana along with Montana and the United States of America are not the only countries that are experiencing a shift towards industrialization. As America shifts away from farms that were owned by families and towards growth, corporations are have a greater say in and control of the agricultural sector, using central processing facilities as well as manufacturing cheap products to satisfy the needs of the consumer. Shipping is available throughout in the United States and internationally A increase in the number of farms controlled by companies according to USDA statistics, occurred between 2012 and 2017. The increase was around 10 percent between 2012 and 2017. The amount of farms that are owned and operated by private individuals or households has declined by about the same amount during the same time.

Spencer is a real person in this sense. “I’m not certain if there’s any issue with this. This is just how things are at the moment “he explained. “There always is food to be found. Which do you believe it could be? Are you more a fan of family-owned farms to corporate farms? The agricultural sector will be increasingly controlled by corporate. Since a long time the big firms have attempted to consolidate their control over their businesses in operations and industries.”

The evolution of the American agriculture system however it has its own set of consequences. Small farms and ranches make important economic contributions to local economies, investing money into the local economy selling their products to communities, as well as also creating jobs for the local community. Rural communities are harmed when the longevity is at risk as well as when the employment opportunities available for the agricultural sector are cut down.

“Isn’t it the case that when you purchase something from Walmart there’s no transaction cost and there is no investment in our economy? The location is Walmart’s headquarters “The Community Food & Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) is an organization based in Missoula which works to create regional and local food infrastructure According to Bonnie Buckingham, executive director of the group. It’s feasible in the western part of Montana. “Community and value” is created in the sense that people are connected with their local communities through food, purchasing products from farmers, or by participating in events that bring people together. For producers, these kinds of events help strengthen bonds between the participants in the community.

The smaller farms also are green, as they tend to not use an excessive amount of toxic pesticides and will be more likely to aid in the protection of the species diversity in the agricultural and ecological realm as well as other advantages. They also have a higher ethical standard from an animal’s point viewpoint than most people. Spencer is a great example. He feeds his chickens a 100 100% vegetarian diet and keeps in cages which he claims is the most humane approach.

It is possible that farms like Spencer’s could be destroyed completely due to development, which will result in irreparable erosion of soil. Only a small amount of Montana’s topsoil could be utilized for agriculture however, only in small amounts. As per the CFAC the CFAC, just 8 percent of the land of Missoula County, for example has soils suitable for the production of agricultural crops. It would take about 1000 years to make three centimeters of topsoil out of the soil developed over the course of many thousands of years.

The majority of the soil is in the lower part of Missoula Valley, which happens to be the exact location that developers are currently eyeing to develop. If the soil isn’t properly prepared for paver and paving, it will not be able to carry out vital ecological functions like food production or water retention. It is also able to absorb carbon dioxide, which is a vital service to the ecosystem, and becomes more important as policymakers try to slow the progression of global warming.

“It is possible that the soil could be lost forever should we not safeguard it today. This kind of soil might be located in a field that can be grazed with horses, or just left to grow grass. It could be possible to obtain viable productive, productive, as well as productive soils near term which can be protected similar way as described in this article “Buckingham stated. If there’s a structure or industry located on it, or the land is dispersed and divided, we will never be able cultivate food on the soil.

In the course of addressing certain issues that confront the state, non-profit organizations and officials from government have come up with inventive ways to broaden its activities and engage more people.We’ll be in the process of ending our current state of things if we don’t safeguard it in its current shape.

One example of this could be Trust Montana. Trust Montana is a non-profit entity committed to the preservation of the agricultural land across the state. The organization was previously focused around the protection of low-cost housing However, in May 2020, the organization partnered along with other organisations, such as the Agrarian Trust and the Vilicus Training Institute in order to create the Montana Agrarian Commons, which is currently at its third year in operation. To stop the development of land that is not agricultural communities will be granted conservation easements that permit the parcel of land to remain an estate of trust to be used by the community, and it will be let to new farmers at a reasonable cost. Agrarian Commons is a program which can offer a unique selling opportunity for farmers and ranchers who have retired who wish to see their land be managed and developed with respect for the environment.

“Agrarian commons are designed to protect land for agriculture use in perpetuity to benefit of the future generations. Farmers also have leases for long-term tenure of their land “King-Ries explained. “And we’re seeking ways to assist farmers in earning cash and creating equity in a way similar to the way owners or landowners achieve this without the property getting sold for market value , and without the property becoming a commodity in its own.”

CFAC has adopted a unique approach to establishing a website named Farm Link Montana, which is designed to aid those who are new to farming, retiring and those who want to sell their farm land. The website, according to Mary Ellis, the new Farm Programs Coordinator of the coalition’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program is an “kind match service.” She described it as such.”The retired farmer may be able collaborate with them to help them move gradually to larger areas or make a deal to sign a lease or a partnership together for a specific duration and for a limited time period,’ Ellis explained. So, I’m hoping to make it easier for farmers looking to get started. ”

According to Ellis the range of matches is from two to five games every year go over the normal investigation phase in the procedure. Even though that it is an insignificant amount, “in our program, we believe it is an impressive achievement when compared to other aspects to be taken into consideration,” she explained.

“This item has been tested on the field. Farmer-approved. The program offers grants of between $5,000 and $5,000 to farms in order to aid new farmers at the beginning stages the process of establishing their farms. A collaboration with Kiva which is a non-profit organisation which provides loans to those who make the difference in their community, allows the organization to provide small loans to farms and other agriculture-related enterprises.

Zach Brown of the Gallatin County Commission has been working with the Gallatin County Commission to aid farmers who are just beginning in their careers as farmers and face financial challenges. This legislation, dubbed the Montana Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program legislation that he wrote was approved by the year of 2019. The new farmers and ranchers could get up to 50 percent of their student loan payments through this scheme, managed through the State Department of Agriculture. Individuals who decide to work in the field could discover that the debt is an enormous obstacle to their dreams.

“Essentially the thing it’s doing is creating a process by which a prospective farmer or rancher could submit an application to government officials for loans aid program.” writes the book’s author. Brown has shared his ideas. Therefore that when they return to their ranches or farms they aid in the payment of students’ loans

MORGAN ROSE was one of the first organizations to be granted assistance with the repayment of loans from The Ministry of Agriculture’s Repayment Assistance Program. Dillon, Montana, is the home of Rose who is a fourth generation Montana breeder birthed and raised in the tiny town of only a few hundred people located in the southwest region of the state. It has the estimated number of people residing there at 5,000. “There isn’t any moment that I was contemplating pursuing a job in any other field than the field of production agriculture,” she said emphatically.

‘She’s Assignment’ Still Impacting NJ Women in Workforce: Report

May 22, 2022

Montana Economy

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Unlike other recessions, the downturn caused by COVID-19 has hit women harder than men economically.

And a new report from Rutgers suggests that women are struggling to regain their status in the workforce, and could continue to do so for some time.

Female unemployment, which peaked at 18.4% in April 2020, has exceeded that of men through the end of 2021, according to the Rutgers Center for Women and Work report.

Most of these women are back at work, but not necessarily back to normal – making significant sacrifices related to the way they work, usually due to childcare issues.

“It’s the part of the ‘She-cession’ that nobody talks about,” said Debra Lancaster, the Center’s executive director. “Thousands of women are sacrificing full-time jobs, higher wages, health insurance and other benefits for the ability to care for young children and aging parents.”

In the last six months of 2021, despite the return to in-person school instruction, 23.1% of families experienced childcare disruptions, according to the report. Women of color and those with low incomes have shouldered the greatest burdens.

At the end of 2021, 5.2% of women held multiple jobs, compared to 4.1% of men, the report notes. In 2018, 4.4% of men held more than one job, compared to 4.3% of women.

“We’re also seeing people cut back on their working hours or having to watch their kids while they work,” said Sarah Small, the report’s co-author and an economist at the Center. “The child care crisis has never gone away for many low-income families.”

The report also highlighted the gender pay gap among those in front-line positions and showed how policies such as federal stimulus payments and the child tax credit have helped families low income – those who received the payments – to afford the essentials in times of uncertainty.

The report makes a number of recommendations to improve conditions for women and their families in New Jersey, such as ensuring the longevity of the child tax credit, strengthening housing protections, improving access and affordability of child care and improving access to mental health services.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

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States with worst foreclosure rates this year – 24/7 Wall St.

May 22, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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Part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March 2020, included temporary foreclosure and eviction protections for homeowners holding federally guaranteed mortgages. This emergency regulatory safeguard kept millions of Americans at home during the pandemic’s most economically crippling time. (These are the states where most people own their homes.)

Thanks to the continued spike in home prices nationwide, many of these borrowers are holding more equity in their homes than before the global virus outbreak. But not everyone emerged above the water from this abstention lifeline.

According to recent analysis by real estate data provider ATTTOM, foreclosure filings hit a post-pandemic high in the first quarter of 2022 at 78,271, up 39% from the previous quarter and 132% from the same period. period last year. To find the states with the most foreclosures, 24/7 Wall St. looked at 2021 and 2022 foreclosure data provided by ATTOM Data Solutions. States are ranked by the number of foreclosures per 100,000 dwellings.

Foreclosure activity is still 57% lower than it was in the first three months of 2020, but the return to normal is fast approaching. Foreclosures have declined in the 12 months to March 2022 in just three states – Alaska and the Dakotas – while foreclosure activity has jumped more than 200% in five states – New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada and Michigan. Foreclosure activity jumped nearly 500% in Nevada and Michigan. Nationally, foreclosure activity increased by 135%.

Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia had the highest number of foreclosures. For cities with populations under 200,000, the highest foreclosure rates were in Cleveland, Ohio; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Jacksonville, North Carolina; Rockford, Ill.; and Columbia, South Carolina. (See also the city with the highest housing costs of any state.)

In three states — Wyoming, Louisiana and Mississippi — underwater mortgages accounted for between 10% and 17% of all mortgages, the most among the states. An underwater mortgage is when a home is worth less than the money owed on the mortgage.

Here’s the state with the worst foreclosure rate this year

7 stocks reporting profits the week of May 23, 2022

May 21, 2022

Montana Lending

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InvestorPlace – Stock market news, stock advice and trading tips

Tough week for traders. Big wins missed by walmart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Kohls (NYSE:KSS) left investors in shock and contributed to a strong sell off in the stock marketsincluding the biggest one-day drop in two years on May 18.

Wall Street will be looking for better results in the week ahead as we get first-quarter impressions from the latest major retailers to report, as well as some notable tech companies.

Taken together, earnings reports for the next few days should provide more evidence of how the consumer and economy are holding up as inflation continues to hit a 40-year high and the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates at its next meeting on June 14 and 15. Here are seven stocks reporting profits the week of May 23:

  • best buy (NYSE:BBY)
  • petco (NASDAQ:FRAME)
  • Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)
  • Dick Sporting Goods (NYSE:SDKs)
  • Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW)
  • Ali Baba (NYSE:BABA)
  • Costco (NASDAQ:COST)

Stock reporting earnings: Best Buy (BBY)

Source: Bob Noah / Shutterstock.com

First out is consumer electronics and appliance retailer Best Buy. The Richfield, Minnesota-based company could benefit from some good news. Year-to-date, BBY stock is down 26% to $75.68 per share. The stock price was pulled down along with the wider market. However, the company was recently appointed to investment banking Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) safety margin listcomposed of stocks that have attractive valuations and strong balance sheets.

For his winnings next week, analysts expect that Best Buy will report earnings per share (EPS) of $1.64 on revenue of $10.44 billion. Anything better than that, and BBY stock could bounce higher. Currently, the stock is trading near its 52-week low of $72, providing an attractive entry point for investors before or immediately after its results. the median target price on Best Buy stock among 21 analysts who cover the company is currently $120, implying a 57% upside.

Petco (WOOF)

The front of a Petco (WOOF) store in Los Angeles, California.

Source: Walter Cicchetti / Shutterstock.com

Pet retailer and animal welfare company Petco releases its first quarter figures on May 24. Wall Street expects the San Diego, Calif.-based company will report EPS of $0.16 on revenue of $1.46 billion for the January-March period. The company recently announced a retail partnership aimed at attracting dog owners who are also outdoor enthusiasts and particularly enjoy camping.

The partnership is with Backcountry, an online retailer specializing in camping, hiking and outdoor gear. The two companies create a collection of outdoor gear for dogs that participate in outdoor experiences with their owners. Called “Backcountry x Petco,” the collection will be sold at Petco stores as well as the Petco.com and Backcountry.com websites. WOOF stock is down 14% this year at $17.26 per share.

Stock reporting earnings: Nvidia (NVDA)

Nvidia (NVDA) logo and sign on corporate headquarters.  Blurred foreground with green trees

Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

Semiconductor and microchip giant Nvidia announces its earnings on May 25, and the results will be closely scrutinized on Wall Street. NVDA shares have been hammered this year along with shares of all semiconductor companies as concerns grow over supply chain issues and slowing demand. So far in 2022, NVDA stock has fallen 42% to trade at $175.78 per share. Most analysts say Nvidia stock is a shout buy at current levels. the median target price on stocks is $332.00, suggesting an 89% upside from current levels.

Gaming, artificial intelligence, data centers, self-driving cars and 5G wireless are expected to continue to propel Nvidia’s product sales. The company’s revenue has grown from $4.3 billion in 2013 to $26.9 billion today, making it the world’s largest chipmaker. Analysts seem to agree that Nvidia can keep growing at a steady pace despite current supply chain issues and market volatility. For the first quarter of this year, Wall Street planned that Nvidia will report EPS of $1.29 on revenue of $8.12 billion.

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS)

Exterior of Dick's Sporting Goods retail store, including sign and logo.

Source: George Sheldon via Shutterstock

Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods fell sharply last week, along with the wider retail sector. On May 18, DKS stock fell more than 12% after Walmart and Target sniffed out their first-quarter numbers. The company’s stock price is now down 30% on the year to $80 a share. At its current level, and with a price/earnings ratio (P/E) of just 5, most analysts believe Dick’s stock is undervalued and ripe for the picking. the median target price on the stock price is $137, which would be 70% higher than where the stock is currently trading.

Analysts are looking for Dick’s Sporting Goods will report EPS of $2.46 on revenue of $2.61 billion when it reports quarterly results on May 25. investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MRS) recently named DKS one of the most “unappreciated post-COVID stocks” and urged investors to add it to their portfolios. As the pandemic settles firmly in our collective rear-view mirrors and summer is fast approaching, Dick’s Sporting Goods should see sales increase.

Stocks Reporting Earnings: Snowflake (SNOW)

Snowflake symbol and logo at the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley.  Stock of SNOW.

Source: various photographs / Shutterstock

Snowflake, another big tech stock that announces its first quarter next week, is the cloud computing data warehousing company. Shares of the Bozeman, Montana-based company were hit harder than most stocks during the market selloff this year. Year-to-date, SNOW stock is down 54% to $151.31 per share, and is now 63% below its 52-week high of $405 per share. Analysts expect the company reports EPS of $0.01 on revenue of $41.76 million for the first quarter of this year.

SNOW stock has also been hit in recent weeks by revelations that another cloud computing giant Selling power (NYSE:RCMP) possesses left his entire position in the business. Salesforce had invested $250 million in Snowflake at the time of the software company’s initial public offering (IPO) in 2020. However, as of the end of the first quarter, Salesforce held no Snowflake shares, according to a regulatory filing, selling all his actions. as the market weakens and falls.

Alibaba (BABA)

Alibaba (BABA) logo on the side of a glass-walled building.

Source: test / Shutterstock.com

Is the worst over for Chinese tech giant Alibaba? After two years of a punitive government crackdown, analysts and investors are cautiously optimistic that authorities in Beijing may finally be drop listed companies, especially large-cap tech stocks. The Chinese government has pledged to support the country’s tech sector and said it backs plans for new internet companies to go public. Many investors are keeping their fingers crossed that e-commerce giant Alibaba can get its business back on track.

Granted, the BABA stock could use a lift. Shares of the Hangzhou-based company are currently trading at $89, down 61% from a 52-week high of $230.89. Investor confidence in Alibaba shares has also been shaken by the prospect that more Chinese companies could be forced to delist from US stock exchangeseither by Chinese authorities or by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which applies more rigor to Chinese companies trading in New York. Analysts expect Alibaba reports first-quarter EPS of $1.09 on revenue of $29.53 billion.

Stocks Reporting Earnings: Costco (COST)

Short-term profit taking can lower Costco stock price

Source: Helen89 / Shutterstock.com

Finally, we’ll hear from big-box grocery retailer Costco next week. The major retailer’s earnings are all but certain to influence markets when the Seattle-based company releases its report on May 26. alone to trade at $424 per share. The title is now down 25% over the year. Analysts expect that Costco will report EPS of $3.04 on revenue of $51.38 billion.

The big question for Costco as earnings approach is whether it has been able to pass on the higher costs to its customers? While some retailers, like Home deposit (NYSE:HD) have succeeded, others, such as Walmart, have not.

Costco has been looking for ways to raise prices at its more than 800 locations around the world, including to increase the price of its famous cheap hot dogs. However, the company decided against the move after encountering backlash from customers, who appreciate being able to purchase a hot dog and soda at Costco outlets for $1.50 since the launch of the combo in 1985.

Disclosure: As of the date of publication, Joel Baglole held long-standing roles at MS and NVDA. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com Publication guidelines.

The post office 7 stocks reporting profits the week of May 23, 2022 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

DC Dispatch: Lawmakers disagree on how to address formula shortage | News, Sports, Jobs

May 21, 2022

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Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, addresses a crowd of about 100 people in Denison on April 20.

Iowa officials joined in bipartisan support to help veterans and members of the armed forces re-enter the workforce, as well as advance breast cancer treatment technology for female veterans.

Before the House took a two-week recess, lawmakers also passed legislation to allocate additional funds to address the baby formula shortage.

Shortage of infant formula

Iowa lawmakers disagreed on how best to address a national infant formula shortage.

All Iowa lawmakers supported the Access to Baby Formula Act. The bill directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that those dependent on the federal Women, Infants, and Children’s Assistance (WIC) program receive formula at an affordable price.

Sen. Chuck Grassley was one of the co-sponsors of the bill, which passed the Senate unanimously on Thursday and is heading to the president’s desk.

“Today and in the future, we must ensure that all families are able to buy the formula milk needed to feed their infants. That’s why I was proud to support the Infant Formula Access Act, which will help families use the WIC program while taking the necessary steps to prevent a dangerous infant formula shortage from happening again. “Grassley said in a statement.

Rep. Cindy Axne, the only Democrat on the delegation, was the only one from Iowan to support the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriation Act, which passed the House this week. The bill would allocate $28 million in emergency funds to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to deal with the crisis and prevent future shortages. In Iowa, more than 50% of formulas are out of stock.

“As a mom, I know firsthand how critical it is for families to have access to safe baby formula and the current crisis is leaving families in Iowa and across the country with no one to go to. to turn. I’ve heard stories of parents in my district spending hours trying to find formula, and it’s unacceptable,” Axne said in a press release.

Rep. Ashley Hinson has proposed an alternative plan that would take $5.7 million from unused pandemic funds to address the formula shortage. His plan would also require the FDA to report to Congress on the supply chain shortage.

“The Biden administration ignored warning signs that a formula shortage was imminent, sitting on its hands until the shelves were empty,” Hinson said in a press release. “Their incompetence underscores the need for funding with safeguards and accountability for FDA failures. Throwing extra money at a problem is the wrong approach.

Supporting veterinarians to develop small businesses

A bipartisan bill introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst to help veterans develop their entrepreneurial skills passed the Senate Small Business Committee on Wednesday. Ernst sponsored the Veterans Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Act with Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat and veteran. The bill creates trade training for serving members of the armed forces and veterans.

In 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 386,000 veterans were unemployed, but that number has been declining over time. The VET law would codify the “Boots to Business” program for four years.

“Our service members and their families sacrifice themselves to defend and preserve our country, and for many, the years following their time in uniform can be difficult,” Ernst said in a press release. “We want to create ways to make this transition to civilian life easier by providing them with opportunities that will allow them to succeed not only in the job market, but also in their everyday lives.”

Create health services for female veterans

The Senate and House passed two bipartisan laws to support female veterans. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks co-sponsored the SERVICE Act with Republican and Democratic members of the Senate.

The bill would require Veterans Affairs to inform the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees of the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer who serve in the armed forces. It would also require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide mammography screenings to veterans who have been exposed to combustion fireplaces or other toxic exposures. Miller-Meeks told the House on Wednesday that female veterans have a 20 to 40 percent higher risk of breast cancer, and the risk increases when exposed to toxins and burns.

Miller-Meeks also joined Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, in introducing the MAMMO for Veterans Act, which passed unanimously in the Senate. This bill would upgrade all 3D mammograms at Veterans Affairs to the highest level of imaging technology and expand research for the treatment of breast cancer.

“Our veterans risked their lives and health in the service of our country. Female veterans are at particular risk for several types of cancer, particularly breast cancer,” Miller-Meeks said in a press release. “As a physician, I have always told my patients that early detection is the key to successful treatment of all types of cancer. I am thrilled to see my two bipartisan bills pass the House today and look forward to seeing them become laws to support female veterans across the country.

Axne to expand affordable post-secondary education for veterans

A bill introduced by Axne in January, the Veteran Student Work Study Modernization Act, passed the House 370-43 on Tuesday. The bill is intended to help part-time student veterans earn certifications or a degree without taking on excessive debt.

“I am thrilled that my legislation passed the House with broad bipartisan support, as our veterans received their benefits while serving,” Axne said in a press release. “We don’t need to put limits on the education of veterans when they have families to support or mortgages to pay.

Iowa Republicans sponsor awards for responsible farming practices

The House Agriculture Committee unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Hinson to create a conservation loan program to adopt environmentally friendly farming practices and technologies. The PRECISE Act (Producing Responsible Energy and Conservation Incentives and Solutions for the Environment) was co-sponsored by Rep. Randy Feenstra and Miller-Meeks.

“This legislation will make it easier for Iowa farmers to access precision farming technology through USDA programs they already know and trust,” Hinson said.

Grassley introduces bill to improve public safety

Grassley joined Democratic Georgia Sen. John Ossoff in introducing legislation to create training for law enforcement officials and first responders called in to deal with mental health cases. The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act builds on an existing mental health program for people who come into contact with the justice system.

DC Dispatch: Iowa lawmakers disagree on how to address infant formula shortage



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Republican candidates in the final debate for the US House District 1 seat | ABC Fox Missoula

May 21, 2022

Montana Economy

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WHITE FISH, Mont. – Like your hometown election Headquarter, we are counting down to the primary elections in June. RRepublican candidates or the seat of the United States House district in Congress discussed issues affecting ranchers and farmers during their final debate at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center this Friday night.

Each contestant was asked to answer questions about various issues affecting farmers and ranchers in Montana, one of them being mental health.

In one question, candidates were asked how they would address this lingering crisis among farmers and ranchers, especially in rural Montana.

Here’s what they had to say.

“We in the room can do better on the scene, the political scene, the economic scene, we can do better and I also think when you go into the economy they face an economy that we never have been faced before. if they go to a school and work at the job for 10 years, that job may never exist, which actually creates more tension and questions, they go to bed more anxious than ever before,” said Matt Jette, (R)House District candidate.

“It’s a crisis on every level and it comes out of desperation and so it comes down to education and I think again when an individual is cross-trained and self-sufficient they can be successful in another area if a guy company is closing down. they have one backup and go to another,” said House District (R) candidate Mitch Heuer.

“As the only physician in the state legislature for the past 8 years, my role was to push, shoot, kill and carry bills that supported suicide prevention and education that worked on substance abuse and mental health. What we’re learning is there’s a lot we can do at the state level, but the big issue comes down to reimbursement,” said district candidate Al Olszewski. of House (R).

“When they’re told they have to do things with their bodies, I think that’s wrong, it’s overreaching government and we need to look at the bigger picture to find out why the suicide rate is so high. and I really think it’s because of government-reach and people have to go back to managing their own lives, managing their own issues and not being dependent on government,” said Mary Todd (R) House District candidate.

To see the answers to all the questions posed to candidates, you can head to our streaming news channel.

Financial literacy courses could become a requirement in Montana schools next year | News

May 20, 2022

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When Butte resident Mike Paffhausen graduated from Carroll College in 2009, he received a thin, purple school book that he says changed his life. It was called “Life After Graduation: Your Guide to Success”.

Paffhausen then made a to-do list on a few blank pages at the back of the book, filled with items the book recommended. The list spanned a page, plus a few, and included items such as “buy life insurance”, “create a budget” and “make a will”.

Today, he still has the book and has crossed off every item on the list within the first two years of reading it.

The book and the lessons learned from it were pivotal in Paffhausen’s life, he said, and after that he became determined to have other young adults benefit from those lessons.

“Finances are like sex, religion and politics,” Paffhausen said. “We don’t talk about it at the table anymore; it’s inappropriate and taboo, and it shouldn’t be. And that’s really inappropriate in those families where they’re not good at money. So we perpetuate poverty.

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Paffhausen’s many efforts to improve financial literacy in the community include working with Carroll, local high schools, through his church, and even fundraising to continue buying books for future seniors.

In the summer of last year, he told the board of directors of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors of Montana, of which he is a member, his goal of getting guaranteed personal finance courses for every high school student in Montana. Paffhausen and other proponents refer to it as guaranteed rather than mandatory — like all high schools, students are guaranteed a financial literacy course.

Paffhausen has connected with Next Gen Personal Finance, a nonprofit that he says has worked with him and the NAIFA MT board for almost the entire year to make their goal a reality. Paffhausen was introduced to Carly Urban, an economist with a Ph.D. in economics and associate professor at Montana State University in Bozeman, via Next Gen.

In October 2021, Paffhausen spoke at the Montana Association of Business Professionals of America’s Fall Leadership Conference as part of NAIFA MT. Paffhausen said he spoke at a roundtable with teachers about the organization of guaranteed financial literacy classes in high schools in Montana, and they were all “resoundingly supportive,” which he said. urged him and the NAIFA MT Board to continue.

He became president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Montana in January.

On Tuesday, Urban, who is a senior researcher in the field, presented her findings on guaranteed personal finance classes in schools at the 2022 NAIFA MT State Convention at the Fairmont Hot Springs Conference Center near Anaconda, where NAIFA MT members who were not on the board were present.

About Literacy Classes

The idea behind financial literacy in schools is that high school graduates have to make many very important financial decisions when they graduate and should educate themselves about money before they start doing so.

The case for financial literacy, Urban said during his presentation, is in his favorite thing: data. According to his research, only 27% of 23-28 year olds can correctly answer three basic questions about interest, inflation and diversification.

“And when I say basic questions, I mean, ‘You have $100 today, the interest rate is 2%, how much money will you have next year? Will you have more than $100, exactly $100 or you don’t really know? Said Urban.

She said her research also revealed that 54% of student borrowers did not calculate their future monthly payments before choosing a loan and, one statistic she found very telling: 38% of 18-34 year olds said they had used alternative financial solutions. services, such as payday loans, over the past five years.

Urban called these alternative financial services a “debt trap for young people”.

“If you want to make sure you can never start a small business as a young adult, or in your life, start the payday cycle,” she said.

When his research looked at states that guaranteed financial literacy courses as a condition of graduation, it showed that the first class had no change in credit scores by age 23 and had a decrease 1.4% of unpaid bills over 90 days. The second cohort achieved a 16 point improvement in credit score and a 3.4% decrease in delinquency over 90 days, and the third cohort experienced a 32 point increase in credit score and a decrease in 5.8% of delinquency over 90 days according to age. 23. Urban called the results of the third cohort of high school students “enormous.”

His research also shows that people want financial literacy courses in schools, with 88% of respondents to a 2022 survey saying high school students should be required to take a semester or year-long course on financial literacy. personal finances.

Student loan repayment rates for first-generation and low-income students and the shift from high-cost to low-cost borrowing methods have also increased with guaranteed financial literacy courses, and payday loans have declined. Students who had guaranteed financial literacy courses in high school were also 21% less likely to have a credit card balance. Moreover, his research found that students from low-income families were helped the most by this requirement.

However, Urban said, there is no evidence that guaranteed financial literacy courses increase the likelihood of opening a retirement account, non-retirement savings account or owning a home.

She said it’s because at 16, 17, and 18, most students think about what’s going on right now, like car loans and student loans, and they’re not ready to think yet. retired or owning a home.

The guaranteed personal finance courses also do not change graduation rates, college attendance rates, college completion rates, income, or work location.

According to Urban’s presentation, eight states across the country are guaranteeing financial literacy classes to every high school student, and five more are in the early stages of implementation.

The reason these courses should be required instead of optional, Urban said, is because research shows that making it optional makes no difference to students’ future credit scores, borrowing habits, and more. or delinquency rates.

Paffhausen said that in addition to the other sought-after benefits of guaranteed financial literacy classes, another good thing is that it’s a non-partisan cause that everyone he’s spoken to supports.

State of courses in Montana

Eight schools in Montana currently require financial literacy to be taught, including Absarokee High School, Anaconda Sr. High School, Box Elder High School, Hamilton High School, Polson High School, St. Ignatius High School, Sweet Grass County High School, and Victor High school, according to Urban’s presentation.

About three weeks ago, Paffhausen said, the efforts he and the NAIFA MT board put in paid off. Paffhausen and Urban were able to meet Elsie Arntzen, Superintendent of Public Instruction of Montana, and found her a home for their cause.

According to documents from the Montana Office of Public Instruction, updated Montana Administrative Rules Chapters 55, 57, and 58, which include guaranteed financial literacy classes for high school students, would go into effect in January 2023. they were adopted.

Currently, four units of English Language Arts, three units of Mathematics, three units of Science, three units of Social Studies, two units of Career and Technical Education, two units of Arts, one health, two units of world languages ​​and two units of electives.

Proposed rule changes include adding a required half-credit of civics or government education in all three social studies units and adding a required half-credit of economics and financial education in all three social studies units or both vocational and technical study units. education, according to OPI documents.

Urban’s research shows that social studies is actually the best course for implementing financial literacy, not math, as some people might think.

There will be challenges, said Paffhausen, and these will mostly be “strategic and tactical issues” of course implementation, such as training existing teachers to teach personal finance and finding space for new content in the secondary program.

According to research on required personal finance courses in Peru, course teachers also benefit. The instructors involved in the Peru study saw their savings increase after teaching the class because they, too, learned about personal finance in a more fun and digestible way than personal finance is sometimes explained to adults.

The cost to schools can also be free, Urban said, with Next Gen Personal Finance offering free, high-quality teacher training and certification, as well as a free curriculum.

Arntzen also said she will make personal finance units available as part of the 60 units teachers must complete every five years to maintain an active teaching license.

Paffhausen said NAIFA MT is the right organization to champion this cause. “Which organization is best suited to bring this conversation to the fore? ” he said. “Everyone in this room has had clients in front of us who we wish we had had a better start and had a simple, fundamental education about how money works.”

And while NAIFA MT is an advocacy organization, Paffhausen said promoting guaranteed personal finance courses does not directly benefit them.

“Society doesn’t know who NAIFA Montana is and never will,” he said. “We have no discernible earnings advantage in this area.”

As for his own children, he said, they will learn financial literacy anyway. But he said he believed in this cause for all the other kids who might not, and ultimately because it’s a good thing to do.

Allow taxes to rise, then give credits to some

May 20, 2022

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TRENTON — Taxes that businesses pay into the unemployment fund are set to rise in July and again next summer, but the legislature could take steps to ease that financial bite.

A bill (A3683/2152) advanced by the Assembly’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development on Thursday would not eliminate a projected $216 million tax increase due in the fiscal year that begins in six weeks. Instead, it would give certain companies tax credits equal to the increase, offsetting the impact.

Assemblyman Roy Freiman, D-Somerset, said more than 70 percent of New Jersey businesses would benefit from the bill, which offers no respite for large employers.

“What we’re doing here is good for our business community,” Freiman said. “We’re telling them, listen, we realize that the increases that are currently planned will have a negative effect, and with this bill, we will in effect give them a tax credit for all these increases that they may incur. »

Assemblyman Bob Auth, R-Bergen, said the bill is unnecessarily complicated and some small businesses won’t have time to deal with the appropriations.

“They’re just going to drop him through the cracks. That’s not what we want to do here. You don’t want to do that here either,” Auth said. “You want to bring immediate relief to these people. And that’s what we should be doing, so this particular aspect of this bill is flawed.

The bill would provide tax credits that business owners could use to lower their corporate or income tax bills over the next seven years. They would be available from tax years 2023 and 2024, based on potential increases in unemployment insurance premiums seen between July 2022 and June 2024.

The bill also puts $375 million into a fund that would be used to repay federal loans used to pay unemployment benefits. This loan currently has no balance, but further borrowing is planned – which could lead to increased federal business taxes, if the loan has a balance in the last seven weeks of 2022.

Business groups pushing the state to use billions in federal funds to avoid payroll tax increases support the scaled-back alternative.

“Understanding the art of compromise, there is no perfect bill,” said Michael Egenton, executive vice president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “Would we rather have seen other components of this one?” Sure. But at the same time, it is something that is desperately needed.

Sheila Reynertson, senior policy analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspective, objected, saying the bill was unnecessary given the state of the economy and that the legislature was paying too much attention to corporations.

“Essentially another giveaway to cover a modest cost that they’re already being charged to pay and diverts resources that people, especially those who are still laid off, need right now,” Reynertson said.

Under the bill, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development would have to provide at least 30 days notice to employers when the unemployment insurance tax rate changes. They were told after last year that the hike had already started – although they knew more than six months earlier that a hike was coming, but not their exact rate.

The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

Michael Symons is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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NJ AG warns of price gouging and fraud involving infant formula

May 19, 2022

Montana Economy

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On Thursday, New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin clarified what the state of emergency Governor Phil Murphy declared on Tuesday due to an ongoing shortage of baby formula means for merchants who may want to increase their profits with this coveted and essential item.

In a statement, the attorney general’s office said Murphy’s order enforces the state’s predatory pricing law, prohibiting for the duration of the state of emergency and 30 days after any increase in price higher than 10% of what the price was before. urgency.

The OAG said the state Consumer Affairs Division has received “approximately” 16 consumer complaints about the infant formula price hike to date, about half of them in less than three days since publication of the decree.

Each individual sale is considered a separate violation, according to the OAG. A first offense carries a civil penalty of up to $10,000, with the fine increasing to $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses.

Violators may also be subject to the payment of restitution to consumers, as well as attorney and investigation fees, according to the statement.

The OAG said specific scams to watch out for include offering or selling expired infant formula, or any transaction that requires a wire transfer.

As the state Poison Control Center also suggested earlier Thursday, parents should consult with their baby’s pediatrician before changing the formula.

Price gouging of infant formula in New Jersey can be reported by filling out an online form or by calling 1-800-242-5846 to request a complaint form by mail.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

Voting for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2022

These are the nominees for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2022. They come from all walks of life, spanning generations dating back to colonial times. The nominees span the categories of arts and humanities, business, performing arts and entertainment, public service and sports.

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Broker confidence in New York fell in the first quarter

May 19, 2022

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Broker confidence in New York fell for a third consecutive quarter but remained in positive territory, according to the latest survey from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

But the drop was largely due to the outlook for brokers in the residential market: the current confidence index for the sector fell from 50.63 to 31.41 in the first quarter, while the current confidence index for businesses was essentially stable.

Contrary to the latest reports, however, COVID-19 was not solely responsible for the decline in confidence. Residential brokers suggest that the residential market may moderate on the back of rising interest rates and mortgage rates; the latter metric hit 5% for 30-year mortgages in March, a record high since the fall of 2018.

On the trading front, brokers have expressed concern about a delayed return to work as well as quality of life issues, despite large employers recently signing up and executing first-quarter return-to-work plans. . Office occupancy in New York was 37% in mid-April, according to Kastle Systems, compared to 22% at the end of January. However, this figure still lags behind the average occupancy among the 10 largest metropolitan areas monitored by Kastle.

Six-month expectations were even gloomier, down 17% for commercial brokers and 20% among residential professionals, but the overall outlook was still better than at the start of the pandemic, when commercial and residential indices of REBNY were -33.74 and -64.32, respectively. .

Some factors suggest a positive trend for New York, including a narrowing of the gap between subway and bus ridership and ridership on the LIRR and Subway North and a doubling of gross ticket sales for Broadway shows between the last week of January and mid-April. Restaurant occupancy has improved from 70% below pre-pandemic levels in January to around 40% below new pandemic levels now.

Brokers say critical issues that need to be addressed to sustain progress this year include tackling quality of life issues such as crime, transit safety and sanitation management, local incentives supporting companies and the control of inflation.

“The major challenges facing the brokerage community have thankfully moved away from unprecedented public health concerns,” Keith DeCoster, REBNY Marketa’s chief data and policy officer, said in a statement.. “Economic momentum and broker confidence should remain in positive territory, particularly if policymakers continue to prioritize quality of life issues and empower homeowners and businesses to invest more in New York City. “

A “more consistent and sustained” returning to the office will also be necessary to boost the minds of trading brokers, according to the survey, but despite this, the demand for Class A assets and trophies with updated equipment remains high.

“Although the New York office market is experiencing significant headwinds, including a historically high availability rate, and many workers are still hesitant to return to the office, there is undeniably very strong occupant demand for space in the best office properties in premium locations,” said Bill Montana of Savills.

Politeness a winning strategy on Idaho primary day

May 18, 2022

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I remember hearing the story of a man who moved to Idaho and took a job in school administration. During his first weeks in town, he was amazed when he walked the streets and strangers greeted him. They made eye contact, said hello, and often asked how her day was going. It was a culture shock. He had come from an urban environment where people rarely looked each other in the eye and as if to remind you that they were aware of your presence. Like a defense mechanism.

Fact cool idaho also applies to politics? Perhaps we have new evidence.

A smile opens doors

Raul Labrador was right. He said Monday he had seen three polls and one had him winning a primary for state attorney general by 14 points. It was perfect. He also refrained from calling his opponents. He represents a wing of the party that I wouldn’t call the establishment. Yet in other statewide races, his team has failed on every level. Was it because they weren’t positive?

Over the past two years, I have heard many non-establishment candidates call Governor Brad Little a tyrant or Little chicken. First, it sounds childish coming from a candidate. Brad Little can be a lot of things his opponents don’t like, but his public persona is very jovial. His campaign ads were all positive and he was generally smiling.

Positive campaigns and positive thinking

I received about 14 tons of political mailings before Primary day (a slight exaggeration) and every time I saw a mailing from the Labrador campaign, he always beamed with a smile.

As of this writing, Glenneda Zuiderveld has a narrow lead over Jim Patrick for the State Senate in District 24. She told me last week that the two get along very well at candidate forums. . Both are people who smile easily. She had a TV ad where she stood on the steps of the Capitol and calmly explained her faith and conservative roots. She did not speak ill of the holder. There may be lessons here for future candidates.

I jokingly told Labrador on Monday that name-calling should be left to the talk show hosts. He’s laughing.

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US States Struggle to Replace Tax Revenue from Fossil Fuels | News, Sports, Jobs

May 17, 2022

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AP Photo/Jeri Clausing, File Oil rigs sit in the Loco Hills field along US Highway 82 in Eddy County near Artesia, NM, one of the busiest areas in the Permian basin.

SANTA FE, NM (AP) — Government budgets are booming in New Mexico: Teacher salaries are up, residents can go to state college tuition-free, mothers will get medical care for a year postpartum and criminal justice initiatives are funded to reduce urban violence.

The reason behind the spending spree – oil. New Mexico is the second largest producer of crude oil among US states and the top recipient of US remittances for fossil fuel production on federal lands. But a budget filled with oil cash has a side effect: it also highlights how difficult it is to turn state rhetoric about fighting climate change into reality.

State governments in key regions of the country for oil, natural gas and coal production have by far the highest per capita reliance on fossil fuels – led by Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska and the New Mexico. Revenue funds essential public services, from road maintenance to prisons. In Carlsbad, New Mexico, property taxes on oil infrastructure are securing a high school performing arts center, expanded sports facilities and elementary school renovations.

None of this would be possible without oil revenue, said schools superintendent Gerry Washburn.

“We can’t slow down on this and what we’re doing to fund schools until we have a legitimate replacement” for oil and natural gas revenues, he said. “Whether you’re in the middle of the oil patch or in an area with no oil and gas drilling, these policies will impact the revenue of every school district in the state.”

Federal, state and local governments receive about $138 billion a year from the fossil fuel industry, according to a study by nonpartisan Washington-based economics group Resources for the Future, which does not advocate energy policies. This equals the annual spending of New York State and Texas combined.

Cash flow is dominated by retail taxes on gasoline and diesel in each state, but energy-producing states are most dependent on fossil fuel revenues through a range of taxes, levies, rental and fee sales. Because these revenues help pay for government services, they tend to tax residents less, said Daniel Raimi, a fellow at Resources for the Future and co-author of the study.

“It’s a really difficult dynamic if you’re thinking about moving away from fossil fuels,” he said. “They are going to be faced with the question: are we going to increase our taxes on our residents or do we have to reduce the level of services that we provide? »

In New Mexico, oil and gas make up 42% of state government revenue, a share rising amid war in Ukraine and record oil production in the Permian Basin that stretches across southeastern New Mexico and western Texas. Additional oil revenues are paid into a new interest-bearing trust for early childhood education.

Skyrocketing profits from the fossil fuel industry have also given the Democratic-controlled New Mexico Legislature a chance to try to tackle the nation’s highest unemployment rate and the persistence of a high poverty. Lawmakers gave $1.1 billion in tax breaks and direct payments of up to $1,500 per household to offset inflation.

At the same time, lawmakers have balked this year over climate initiatives that could curb oil production. They rejected a bill to limit pollution linked to global warming in the production and distribution of transportation fuels, a measure taken by West Coast states. New Mexico also avoided a state constitutional amendment for the right to clean air.

Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, re-elected in November, said her administration was working to contain methane pollution from oilfields and diversify the economy. New mandates provide for the production of electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources. But she warned the federal government against deep restrictions on oil exploration and production, which are still the cornerstone of the state budget.

“We can work very effectively with oil and gas producers to meet clean energy standards…while managing some pretty incredible fossil fuel exploration to meet the world’s current energy demands,” the governor said in April.

Preserving revenue from oil, natural gas or coal production while acting on climate change can be especially tricky in blue states where Democrats often campaign to fight global warming.

Colorado Democratic Governor Jared Polis is pursuing an ambitious clean energy plan while trying to preserve $1 billion in annual tax revenue from oil and gas production. To justify air pollution restrictions, Polis cited real-time evidence of climate change, drought and fires.

But Polis, a wealthy tech entrepreneur, threatened last year to veto a proposal that could impose a per-tonne emissions fee on polluters. William Toor, executive director of the governor’s Colorado Energy Office, said the state is not targeting fossil fuel production, only emissions from industry.

On the plains of northeastern Colorado, Weld County Commission Chairman Scott James said state regulations are stifling new drilling needed to support production and government revenues, especially for the schools. The county is centered on a vast oil field stretching from the Denver area to Wyoming and Nebraska.

“I agree with the overall mission to reduce greenhouse gases, but there is an environment that exists in the State Legislature where we have to electrify everything, we have to mandate it, we have to do it now”, said James. “And these technologies are not ready for prime time yet. We just don’t have the capacity to do that.

Rural and economically isolated communities may have a harder time adjusting to a low-carbon economy, said Kristin Smith, a Montana-based Headwaters Economics researcher and economist who studies public finance in the Bakken oil region. , North Dakota. She anticipates “Very difficult decisions” on cuts to areas like public health care and policing.

Some major oil-producing states are moving forward with their climate programs.

Pennsylvania in April became the first major fossil fuel state to adopt a carbon pricing policy, joining an 11-state regional consortium that sets a falling price and limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s move comes without the approval of the Republican-controlled legislature in the nation’s No. 2 state for natural gas production — and a major exporter of gas-generated electricity. A per-well drilling royalty on the booming Marcellus shale gas industry has rained cash on rural counties and municipalities for nearly a decade.

South of Pittsburgh, Washington County has raised more than $100 million over the past decade. This equates to $500 per capita — a “game changer,” said County Council Chairwoman Diana Irey Vaughan. The manna paid, among other things, for the improvement of parks and bridges.

Democratic State Representative Greg Vitali, an advocate for stronger action on climate change, said local governments dependent on gas drilling money will simply have to use traditional tools such as property taxes to make it out.

Republican-dominated Wyoming, the top coal-producing state, has bold goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions to below zero, even though fossil fuels make up more than half of its revenue.

This vision hinges on eventually capturing carbon dioxide from coal and gas-fired power plants and pumping it underground, possibly to increase oil production in aging fields in the center of the state. Wyoming leaders are also turning to alternative fuels like hydrogen and nuclear power, using reactors that produce less waste.

Meanwhile, a decade of declining demand for coal has sapped government revenue. Republican Gov. Mark Gordon signed a coal tax cut in March, giving up about $9 million a year to help the coal industry remain economically viable.

The state – one of only two that does not tax personal income, corporate income or gross receipts – must eventually come to terms with its dependence on fossil fuel money, said Jennifer Lowe, executive director of the Equality State Policy Center, a government watchdog group.

“At some point, there is going to have to be a time for Jesus to come,” Lowe said.



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A little spring cleaning – NMP

May 16, 2022

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* Moving on, the article I wrote about criminals (October 2021) plying their trade in the housing industry has been widely read. And the scammers keep giving. Here are some of their latest gambits:

A former Miami realtor, formerly of Century 21, has been charged with the murder of two homeless people last fall and the attempted murder of a third in December. He was filmed at several stages of the murders, including shooting one man and then another. He was driving a car registered in his name. “We literally followed in the suspect’s footsteps,” Deputy Police Chief Armando Aguilar told the Miami Herald…

Tamara Dadyan, a Los Angeles real estate broker, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to her role in the Payment Protection Program fraud, the small business relief program, to the tune of nearly of $20 million. Dadyan and his compatriots used dozens of fake or stolen identities to apply for loans, including those of elderly or deceased people. And they used the proceeds to buy luxury homes, designer handbags, clothes, and even a Harley. Now, as she sits behind bars, she awaits trial for state mortgage fraud…

A disbarred Massachusetts attorney and his wife have pleaded guilty to running several mortgage fraud schemes. In a ruse, Barry Wayne Plunkett Jr. and his wife, Nancy, both of Barnstable, defrauded six lenders and 14 refinance homeowners and kept $900,000 for their own purposes. They also used various names, entities and false documents to obtain three successive mortgages on their own house in Hyannis Port for amounts of $412,000, $470,000 and $1.2 million…

Pastor Brandon Huber, a part-time agent at Windermere Real Estate in Missoula, Montana, withdrew his congregation’s support for the local food aid program because it was promoting LGBTQ+ pride and rights week. Someone filed an ethics complaint with the Missoula Organization of Realtors, alleging a violation of the Nation Association of Realtors’ Code of Ethics. And Huber sued MOR right away.

It’s not a crime in itself, but the pastor’s attorney said: “The real estate agent hate speech rule is meant to purge Christians from the real estate industry. If you’re a Christian who believes like tens of millions of American Christians, that homosexuality is wrong, there’s simply no way you can participate as a real estate agent, with the kind of ban on hate speech that exists.

This guy should move to Florida…

Maybe he had nothing else to do. John MacMillan Cameron, a broker from Port Orchard, Washington, whose license is currently inactive, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges related to the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection. It appears that he posted this message on his site to believers: “The least safe I felt was when I was coming back to catch a train…I was told FU by a little antifa BLMer on a Vespa going in the opposite direction…”

Thank you Zillow for helping build a case against former Green Beret and former Florida congressional candidate Jeremy Brown for attacking the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Brown had previously been on the FBI’s radar as a potential leader of the Oath Keepers. But to prove their case, authorities focused on listing his Tampa residence on the popular search engine. A listing photo showed a whiteboard listing all sorts of listings allegedly related to the riot.

FBI agents raided the house, where they discovered a short-barreled shotgun, a sawed-off shotgun, over 8,000 rounds of ammunition and two hand grenades…

* I warned of inflation, the mortgage market’s equivalent of a four-letter word, last July. As an economist, which I am certainly not, I could have been right or wrong. Turns out I was the latter.

In mid-March, the Federal Reserve Board made the first of what are expected to be many increases of a quarter point or more this year in the federal funds rate. With inflation nearing 8% at the time of this writing, Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said of the widely expected initial 25 basis point increase: “It’s what the Fed needs to do to control inflation. ”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in prepared remarks to the National Association for Business Economics that “inflation is way too high.” And for what it’s worth, the central bank doesn’t expect inflation to drop below 2% until “after 2024” at the earliest…

* When I last looked at the Latino market (June 2021), I reported that most of Hispanics’ wealth came from real estate. Now, the latest State of Hispanic Homeownership report, released in early March, shows Latinos added 657,000 homeowner households between 2019 and 2021, bringing their homeownership rate to 48.4%.

This is still on the low side compared to other demographics. Worse still, it only accounted for 20.6% of total ownership growth over the two-year period.

At the same time, however, “significantly” more Hispanics are looking to buy their first home than the population as a whole, according to a survey by Realtor.com in conjunction with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. NAHREP also produces the State of Hispanic Home Ownership report.

* Last month’s article focused on the influx of institutional investors into the housing market. I’ve since found these stats buried in an ATTOM Data report: Institutional investors nationwide accounted for 6.9%, or one in 14 single-family home and condo sales in 2021, the highest level since 2013.

Meanwhile, there is an upward trend among investors to build as well as buy homes for rent. According to the National Rental Home Council, homes purposely built for rental rather than sale accounted for 26% of properties added to investors’ portfolios in the fourth quarter. This represents an increase from just 3% in the third quarter of 2019. At the same time, purchases of existing single-family homes by investors fell from 81% to 57% over the same two-year period.

“Providers have increasingly turned to new housing development over the past two years as a way to respond to housing market supply constraints and a corresponding increase in demand for single-family rental housing,” the trade group said in a press release…

* A Naples, Florida property management company sued for embezzlement by several of its homeowners’ association clients could also come into Uncle Sam’s crosshairs for taking nearly a quarter of a million dollars in federal COVID relief funds. When American Property Management Services requested PPP money, the request required certification that it was not “engaged in any activity unlawful under federal, state, or local law.” According to some legal beagles, the feds can sue, even if the company wasn’t involved in criminal activity when it applied for a PPP loan…

That’s all for the moment. My basket is full.

Spadea’s Small Business Monday – Your Local Favorites

May 16, 2022

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Every Monday we celebrate New Jersey’s small businesses.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy with nearly a million people working accounting for half of the workers in the Garden State.

For years, New Jersey has ranked bottom for the business climate with last year, earn a good last place.

There is no doubt that we need a major upheaval in Trenton to bring about serious and lasting change. Lower taxes, reverse the governor’s current trend of placing the burden of replenishing the unemployment insurance fund on local businesses. This resulted in a billion dollar corporate tax hike instead of using the federal stimulus dollars that other states were using to replenish the fund.

The government of New Jersey is definitely working against people and family businesses. The bag ban has made shopping inconvenient and imposes excessive burdens on elderly and disabled shoppers. And, as I wrote before, it all came without any solid scientific or logical reason for its implementation.

In addition to outrageous and unnecessary taxes and regulations, there is the constant drumbeat of fear based on nonsensical discussion of “COVID transmission” rates. Much of this is based on the constant testing of “asymptomatic” (i.e. healthy) people who really have no public health implications. Yet the fear campaign continues to make the public climate even more difficult for businesses that rely on foot traffic.

That said, I will continue to do my part by dedicating Monday’s shows to promoting small businesses and helping out as best I can before we are able to change the climate and make this state a safe haven for small businesses. companies. Stay tuned.

Here is a list of businesses that have come to our attention through the free New Jersey 101.5 app!

Princeton Inquiry Health in Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Noblo umbrella packaging from Eatontown, NJ

Tuzio’s Italian cuisine in Long Branch, New Jersey

Fire station restaurant and pub in Rahway, New Jersey

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of Bill Spadea, host of New Jersey talk show 101.5. All opinions expressed are those of Bill. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6-10 a.m., speaking from Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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NJ Beach Tag Guide for Summer 2022

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New England single mother is speechless after receiving gigantic tip

May 16, 2022

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According to UPI.comJennifer Vernancio has been a waitress at a pizzeria in Cranston, Rhode Island called Big Cheese & Pub for three and a half years.

She is a single mother of a 16 year old daughter and a 3 year old son.

She told the news site that caring for her children and earning an income amid the pandemic has been difficult, to say the least.

It turns out that she had a particularly stressful day. Her 3-year-old felt sick, which meant he couldn’t go to daycare. This left Jen scrambling for a babysitter, which made her late for work. Fortunately, the pizzeria where she works is incredibly accommodating and helps her whenever she can.

Jen arrived at work exhausted and her very first table of the day changed everything. A husband and wife were warm and kind and asked Jen about herself. They ordered a few sandwiches, salads and drinks. As they walked out, they thanked Jen and told her to have a great day! She went over to where they were sitting and saw that they had left her an $810 tip on a check for $48!

She was absolutely speechless. The amount of money was extremely generous, but beyond that, the act of kindness from complete strangers left her overwhelmed and so grateful. When you’re unlucky and life seems really hard for you, if someone shows you a little humility, it can completely change things.

Jen used the money to buy her daughter a new pair of shoes, and her son is getting a toy police truck. She will use the rest of the money to pay the bills. She never got the couple’s name, but it’s safe to say she’ll never forget what they did for her when she needed it most.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

Common Ground of New Jersey helps those who lose a loved one

May 15, 2022

Montana Economy

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No one can deny that the past two years with the pandemic have caused major disruption and upended our lives for what seemed like an eternity. Our hospitals were full and some of our patients succumbed to the virus and died.

It was reported this week that the death toll from the covid virus has soared to 1,000,000. That’s an incredible number.

Tero Vesalainen

Tero Vesalainen

The Common Ground Grief Center located in Manasquan provides support in a safe place where grieving children, teens, young adults and their families can come together and share their experiences as they begin the grieving process. They have many programs that provide this support and volunteers to help those grieving a death.

Common Ground provides just that, common ground for those who have experienced death close to them, and their programs offer the opportunity for those who are grieving to share and discuss their inner thoughts with others going through similar pain. It is necessary therapy.

Most of us have experienced the loss of someone very close to us and often when we hear of the death our friends or associates say, “I know how you feel”. After the funeral and the celebration of life, it becomes awfully quiet and lonely without the loved one who has passed away. That’s when Common Ground is needed and they provide the help needed to cope.

You can help Common Ground continue to provide these necessary programs. On Thursday, 6/16/22, Common Ground will hold its
2nd Annual Clam Cook with music provided by the very talented Eddie Testa Band taking place at Martell’s Tiki Bar from 5:30-9:30pm. It will be amazing food, raffle prizes and a cash bar. The food is awesome.

Help Common Ground Grief Center help those in need when they need it. You can buy clam cooking tickets or donate here:
commongroundgriefcenter.org and click on News and Events
As always thank you for your support.

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. All opinions expressed are those of Big Joe.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

Visit Big Sky shifts focus from marketing to management

May 13, 2022

Montana Economy

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By Gabrielle Gasser ASSOCIATE EDITOR

BIG SKY – On the eve of another busy tourist season in Big Sky, the marketing and community management organization is shifting from relentless efforts to sell the destination to educating visitors on how to enjoy their Stay responsibly.

Today at the annual Visit Big Sky Marketing Outlook luncheon, presenters discussed the growth of Big Sky’s and the state’s tourism economy, and how that growth can be responsibly managed. About 60 business owners from a variety of industries came together to hear five speakers on topics ranging from how to use social media to drive business, what the state of Montana is doing to attract tourism, and how Big Sky can improve the visitor experience.

Brad Niva, CEO of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and VBS, shared in his presentation that in order for VBS to move away from marketing efforts, he plans to invest in projects to manage Big Sky as a destination and to improve the visitor experience.

Niva shares a quote from John Muir to kick off her presentation. PHOTO GABRIELLE GASSER

“As Big Sky has grown, we’re having a capacity issue,” Niva said. “All our hotels are full, our restaurants are full [and] lift lines are longer. …our change… does not mean that we stop marketing, but we must continue to communicate with our visitors and thus educate them on how to be a good visitor.

Some of this communication will take the form of new wayfinding signage which Niva says is being updated, as well as the new “Love Big Sky Like a Local” education campaign which gives tourists advice on how to be respectful. He also announced that VBS was part of an effort to update Google Street View in Big Sky, which currently uses photos taken in 2015. Over three days in the first week of June, the 32-mile route of Big Sky will be recaptured to help visitors find their way around today’s Big Sky.

To support local businesses, Niva said it is working on a new website and tourism industry newsletter that will be distributed monthly to businesses and provide them with up-to-date Big Sky data to help inform staffing decisions.

In an effort to create visitor services and to more firmly play the role of destination manager rather than marketer, VBS in its FY23 application made a request for $333,600 to the Big District Council Sky Resort Area to get funds to build new public restrooms in Fire. Pit Park in the city center.

“We don’t use any resort fees for traditional marketing,” Niva said. “It will only serve the infrastructure and betterment of our community. »

After Niva’s presentation, Haley Walter, campaign director for Visit Montana, said the state is seeing record numbers in bed tax collections as well as growth across all regions.

The state’s goal based on that growth, Walter said, is public education and spreading the “responsibly recreate” messages.

Additionally, Walter said Visit Montana is working to promote the spread of tourists throughout the state to relieve pressure on high-traffic areas. The state will also transition to an “always on” marketing model, intended to support visits during the shoulder seasons.

Big Sky is the largest collector of the 4% lodging facility use tax in the state, according to data from the Montana Office of Tourism, raising a total of $4,948,727 million in 2021 , Bozeman in second place by raising $4,455,700.

Big Sky has “enough visitors,” Niva said, and now is the time to step back from marketing and focus on communicating with those visitors.

Niva said the Big Sky community has already done a good job of marketing and managing it as a destination and he wants that to continue in the future.

“It’s our job,” he said, “to continue to inspire people to take the time to work on their business and work on our experience, make sure our visitors leave here saying: ” I can not wait to return “.”

28-year-old NJ man admits stabbing student roommate’s death

May 12, 2022

Montana Lending

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JERSEY CITY — A 28-year-old city resident has admitted to the stabbing death of his 23-year-old roommate nearly two years ago.

Tong Cheng pleaded guilty to manslaughter, Hudson County District Attorney Esther Suarez announced Wednesday.

On August 8, 2020, the Jersey City Police Department responded to a call about a suspicious condition at a New York Avenue apartment near Hutton Street.

Yuting Ge was found in the apartment the two men shared, unresponsive with multiple stab wounds.

Ge was a student at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Cheng is an alumnus of Stevens Institute of Technology Graduate School.

He was arrested at a hotel in Weehawken two days later.

When Cheng is sentenced in late July, the state will recommend a 30-year prison sentence, subject to the No Early Release Act.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

Inside Whitney Houston’s $1.6 Million Home and Studio

Take a look at the late Whitney Houston’s longtime New Jersey home and studio, now for sale.

Incredibly expensive divorces

Voting for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2022

These are the nominees for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2022. They come from all walks of life, spanning generations dating back to colonial times. The nominees span the categories of arts and humanities, business, performing arts and entertainment, public service and sports.

NJ County Fairs are making a comeback: Check out the schedule for 2022

UPDATE 4/10: A current list of county fairs happening in the Garden State for 2022. From rides, food, animals and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographic order from South NJ to North NJ)

Missoula Justice of the Peace Alex Beal on running for re-election

May 12, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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Outgoing Department One Justice of the Peace Alex Beal appeared on KGVO Talk Back on Thursday to answer questions from listeners about his re-election bid for a second four-year term.

Beal discussed the tumultuous state of the justice system when he was elected four years ago and his efforts to “right the ship” with fellow justice of the peace Landee Holloway.

“The first month we were there, we got to all the staff together,” Judge Beal began. “We have a new Independent Trustee who is in charge of personnel and this is something we have been working on with the County Commissioners Office. Judges should be in charge of the courtroom and responsible for making decisions about things. No one elects us to be a group of managers.

Beal acknowledged that Justice Court is often the first experience a member of the public has with the criminal justice system.

“I try to treat the court professionally,” he said. “We handle it cleanly, but in a friendly way and it can be a scary process. I want you in and it doesn’t have to be scarier than that. We will walk you through the process. I’ll let you know what your options are, and we’ll go from there. There are consequences for people’s actions. These consequences are addressed. We issue sentences, fines, jail time, whatever is appropriate in the circumstances, but I try to explain to people, “this is why we are doing this.”

He explained what the Court of Justice can and cannot do in the criminal justice system.

“I think it’s important to understand what the Court of Justice does and doesn’t do,” he said. “And so we’re not doing the whole thing on a crime. People who are on their 13th DUI the only time we’re going to see it is if they’ve been arrested and that first hearing and what kind of bail should there be and then the rest but as and as this case progresses, like jail, it’s all up to the district court. We don’t care about that. »

Beal said criminal cases tend to get attention, but that’s only a small fraction of what happens in court every day.

“We’ve talked a lot today about violent crime, criminal crime, things like that, but that’s about half a percent of what we do on a daily basis,” he said. “The remaining 49.5% are misdemeanors. 50% is civilian stuff. No one thinks of us in terms of civilians (cases) but half of our work is about people being prosecuted. People getting kicked out, all those little things and just being able to provide a fair and reasonable experience for people to come and settle their differences, and that makes me happy.

Beal is opposed in the primary by Bill Burt and Daniel Kaneff, both of whom have extensive military and police experience.

WATCH: What are the main laws passed in the year you were born?

The data in this list was acquired from reliable online sources and media. Read on to find out which major law was passed the year you were born and find out its name, vote count (if any), and its impact and significance.

25 real crime scenes: what do they look like today?

Below, find out where 25 of history’s most infamous crimes took place – and what these places are used for today. (If they remained standing.)

Popular Downtown Missoula Bars For Sale

See photos of iconic Missoula bars The Badlander, Locals Only, The Golden Rose and Three in the Side. The businesses went up for sale with an asking price of $3,200,000.

Resilient Butte program sees potential for green energy in mining town

May 11, 2022

Montana Economy

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BUTTE – The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is partnering with Montana Tech and Butte-Silver Bow County to bring renewable energy ideas and solutions to the impacts of climate change.

“We’re going to work with experts across the country who know climate trends and climate projections to say what issues Butte is facing? So we can be tough on Butte going forward,” said NCAT Director Steve Thompson.

The Resilient Butte program creates a plan to stimulate local business development, develop green energy, and protect the community and its natural resources from the impacts of climate change. This includes health and environmental issues such as drought, forest fires and rising temperatures.

“A lot more wildfire smoke, most summers we get more wildfire smoke. It’s a health concern for particularly vulnerable people,” Thompson said.

The plan also involves investing in new clean energy sources such as solar, energy storage systems or green hydrogen industries.

“One of the opportunities we have in Butte is to put solar panels on the mining lands and that would be really cool, and it’s such an interesting and specific project for Butte,” said Resilient Butte coordinator Rylie Yaeger. .

Some city officials see it as preparing Butte for a new economy.

“How do we adapt as a community to future energy, power, water needs, whatever it is, we have to come up with a plan for that,” Butte general manager JP Gallagher said.

The group is soliciting community feedback with a poll on the Resilient Butte website.

The Downside of Solar Farms on the South Coast

May 10, 2022

Montana Loans

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To twist Joni Mitchell’s hit song “Big Yellow Taxi” I’ll say “They paved heaven and set up a solar farm” because people are paying close attention to whether some of the solar farms are creating problems that harm the environment.

In Wareham, townspeople are worried about the felling of all the trees to accommodate nearly 20 solar farms on 300 acres of land and at least nine more, totaling another 500 acres planned. Even those who value clean energy worry that cutting down forests and altering natural habitats to make room for solar panels is going too far, according to a piece in the boston globe magazine by Emma Foehringer Merchant.

At the Acushnet town hall this week, the same reservations surfaced when residents voted to impose a 180-day moratorium on the issuance of any new solar farm permits until officials could review the current regulations.

“There are 20 permits right now, but the neighbors have a lot of questions about any possibility of hazardous materials in 20 to 25 years, and to be honest, I don’t think we need all these solar farms,” said said Town. Meeting with Elector Norman Fredette.

“Solar electricity is no cheaper than natural gas or oil to power factories and manufacturing,” the licensed contractor said.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources estimates that about 2,500 acres of trees have been felled to install solar panels over the past 10 years.

“I’m old school on this. If solar power was so important, there would be a lot more people jumping on the bandwagon,” Fredette said. “Furthermore, the felling of trees and forests negatively affects our environment and our local vegetation and wildlife, and have you seen the interference with rainfall and drainage they cause?”

It is not a question of being for or against the production of solar energy. It’s about doing the right thing. I don’t think it’s “old school” to take a break as a community, like Wareham and Acushnet, and look very closely at all the issues here.

I also don’t think it’s old school to find out if solar farms harm the environment, so it’s not worth it, in many cases, but not all.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

North Shore Roast Beef Places Worth Visiting

Côte-Nord roast beef is a special sandwich in its own right. From thinly sliced ​​rare beef to a toasted bun, it might sound easily repeatable, but not very much a roast beef sandwich is a North Shore roast beef sandwich. The best way to order one is a “three course” with James River barbecue sauce, American cheese and mayonnaise. Here are some of the spots that our listeners think do it best.

First Interstate BancSystem (FIBK) – Weekly Investment Analyst Rating Changes

May 9, 2022

Montana Loans

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First interstate banking system (NASDAQ: FIBK) recently received a number of price target changes and ratings updates:

  • 03/05/2022 – First Interstate BancSystem has been updated by analysts at StockNews.com from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 05/03/2022 – First Interstate BancSystem has been upgraded by Janney Montgomery Scott analysts from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a price target of $42.00 on the stock.
  • 02/05/2022 – First Interstate BancSystem has been upgraded by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods from a “market performance” rating to an “outperformance” rating. They now have a price target of $45.00 on the stock.
  • 04/25/2022 – First Interstate BancSystem Downgraded by Analysts at StockNews.com from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 08/04/2022 – First Interstate BancSystem has been updated by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a price target of $39.00 on the stock. According to Zacks, “First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. is a financial and banking holding company. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Interstate Bank, it offers a range of banking products and services to individuals, businesses, municipalities and other entities in all of its markets. The Company’s banking products and services include demand, term, checking and savings deposits. The Company’s loan portfolio consists of a mix of real estate, consumer, commercial, agricultural and other loans, including fixed and variable rate loans. Its real estate loans include commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and other loans. It also provides a range of trust, employee benefits, investment management, insurance, agency and custodial services to individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. is headquartered in Billings, Montana. “
  • 07/04/2022 – First Interstate BancSystem has been updated by analysts at StockNews.com from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 03/30/2022 – First Interstate BancSystem downgraded by analysts at StockNews.com from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 03/22/2022 – First Interstate BancSystem has been updated by analysts at StockNews.com from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.

Shares of NASDAQ: FIBK opened at $34.73 on Monday. First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. has a 1-year low of $32.40 and a 1-year high of $47.87. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.16 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 18.09 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a quick ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 0.67 and a debt ratio of 0.10. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $36.52.

First interstate banking system (NASDAQ: FIBKGet a rating) last announced its results on Thursday, April 28. The financial services provider reported ($0.36) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analyst consensus estimates of ($0.31) by ($0.05). First Interstate BancSystem posted a net margin of 29.28% and a return on equity of 8.40%. During the same period a year earlier, the company posted EPS of $0.83. As a group, analysts expect First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. to post earnings per share of 2.61 for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 20. Investors of record on Monday, May 9 will receive a dividend of $0.41. This represents an annualized dividend of $1.64 and a yield of 4.72%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 6. First Interstate BancSystem’s dividend payout ratio is currently 85.42%.

Separately, insider Philip G. Gaglia sold 1,921 shares in a trade on Wednesday, February 23. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.94, for a total value of $74,803.74. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via this link. Also, insider Philip G. Gaglia sold 1,863 shares in a trade on Thursday, March 10. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.70, for a total value of $72,098.10. Disclosure of this sale can be found here. In the past three months, insiders have sold 21,634 shares of the company valued at $841,767. 6.40% of the shares are held by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently changed their stakes in the company. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Interstate BancSystem by 11.1% in the 4th quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 83,533 shares of the financial services provider worth $3,397,000 after acquiring an additional 8,374 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA acquired a new stake in shares of First Interstate BancSystem in Q3 valued at $46,266,000. Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new stake in shares of First Interstate BancSystem in Q3 valued at $276,000. Heartland Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Interstate BancSystem by 83.7% in the 4th quarter. Heartland Advisors Inc. now owns 292,187 shares of the financial services provider worth $11,883,000 after acquiring an additional 133,089 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Credit Suisse AG increased its position in shares of First Interstate BancSystem by 12.1% during the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 37,879 shares of the financial services provider worth $1,526,000 after buying an additional 4,096 shares in the last quarter. 69.42% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

First Interstate BancSystem, Inc operates as a bank holding company for First Interstate Bank which provides a range of banking products and services in the United States. It offers various traditional deposit products, including checks, savings deposits and term deposits; and repurchase agreements primarily for commercial and municipal depositors.

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Many More NJ Cities Should Switch to the Legal Weed Market

May 8, 2022

Montana Lending

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When the deadline arrived in August 2021, about 70% of New Jersey municipalities had passed ordinances stating that no business related to the state’s legal recreational market could operate within their boundaries.

But the number of cities opting out has dwindled since last summer as municipalities learned more about New Jersey’s cannabis rules. And experts expect dozens, if not hundreds more cities to green light marijuana operations over the next two years.

“I think a lot of cities will start signing up because they’ll see it’s a compliant business, there really isn’t a lot of drama…and they’ll also see the opportunities economic,” said Rob Mejia, lead instructor for University of Stockton Minor in Cannabis Studies.

The market doesn’t just translate into tax revenue for the city, Mejia said — there are great opportunities for building a dispensary, for example, as well as jobs.

“Cannabis is currently the fastest growing industry in the country, and every time you move from a medical market to an adult market, your cannabis job market grows up to 10 times what he was,” he said.

On April 21, the day the New Jersey market opened, 12 dispensaries took in a total of about $1.9 million.

Cities that have opted out are free to participate at any time, by modifying an existing ordinance or adopting a new one. Municipalities that chose to allow cannabis operations in town, however, would have to wait 5 years before abandoning the industry. Cities are not allowed to refuse delivery.

“Several municipalities that have opted out of their options are currently evaluating these regulations and market development to determine their best next steps,” said Michael Cerra, executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

Dover, Maplewood and South Orange are just a few cities that had passed temporary bans against the legal sale of cannabis, but have since decided to go into the market.

“A lot of towns pulled out just to find out what was going on,” said Morristown Fox Rothschild partner Fruqan Mouzon. “Because it’s brand new, a lot of people were hesitant.”

Mouzon noted that unsubscribes aren’t just an inconvenience to potential consumers; they also prevent potential business owners from obtaining a “microlicense”, specifically designed for small family operations majority-owned by a local resident.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

NJ Beach Tag Guide for Summer 2022

We are coming another summer to the Jersey Shore! Before you lose yourself in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we calculate how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach beacons will cost you, and pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

A medical mystery has arrived in North Dakota

May 6, 2022

Montana Loans

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It’s a mystery in North Dakota that even the Associated Press has picked up on.

So here are some questions for you, how does an individual get hepatitis? What exactly is hepatitis? I just want to make sure to quote the health experts – according to line-sante.com “Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Alcohol use, several health conditions, and certain medications can all cause this disease. However, viral infections are the most common cause of hepatitis” Now I know that part , because I worked in a restaurant years ago, THE most common rule for employees was to ALWAYS wash their hands. So there are many ways to catch hepatitis.

So why is this case in Grand Forks, North Dakota involving a young child with hepatitis so mysterious?

They call it “hepatitis of unknown origin” – simply put, all the usual causes of hepatitis have been ruled out, so of course the mystery falls on how this child (recovering at home) got it. has contacted. usnews reported “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has investigated cases of sudden liver disease in children that has led health authorities around the world to search for clues. The disease is called hepatitis of unknown origin”

My final question is, are there any symptoms someone might experience that relate to hepatitis?

I’m guessing there’s a stomach problem or nausea? Maybe some aches? “Symptoms may include cold symptoms, fever, sore throat, pneumonia, diarrhea, or pink eye,” usnews.com added. Let’s hope the mystery doesn’t spread to other cases.


WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

Trade School or College – Which is Better for NJ?

May 6, 2022

Montana Lending

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If you’ve been to high school in New Jersey in the last 30 years, you’ve probably faced the same pressure as kids today regarding what to do.

High schools are geared towards producing middle schoolers, plain and simple. There’s a cultural stigma that seems to be placed on kids who don’t want to go to college.

Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Tim Gouw on Unsplash

We even have massive government programs to deal with the “crisis” of not being able to afford college. We now have politicians spending taxpayers’ money to pay illegal immigrants to attend college for free. And a White House focused on paying off a certain amount of student debt. This is wrong and wrong policy.

We need to change direction and recognize that young people need options and opportunities.

PTTI EDU through Unsplash

PTTI EDU through Unsplash

Why should every child go to college? Why should taxpayers subsidize elite academics who charge families hundreds of thousands of dollars for an education that may have no positive impact on their future careers? Billions of dollars to these institutions and billions of debt to working families.

We heard stories throughout the morning of kids graduating from high school, going to trade school, joining a union, and hitting six figures in their twenties.

Maybe it’s time to stop measuring high school success by the percentage of kids who go on to college. What about the percentage of kids who buy a house within five years of graduating? Or just a note from those employed after high school? Certainly, a more accurate representation of success in the real world.

It’s time for taxpayers to stop subsidizing “Big College” and start investing our resources to help our local economy grow and lift people to the next level of success. It starts with changing the way we evaluate our secondary schools.

Let’s completely change the conversation and give kids better choices.

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of Bill Spadea, host of New Jersey talk show 101.5. All opinions expressed are those of Bill. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6-10 a.m., speaking from Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

Voting for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2022

These are the nominees for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2022. They come from all walks of life, spanning generations dating back to colonial times. The nominees span Arts and Humanities, Business, Performing Arts and Entertainment, Public Service and Sports.

Broadband Champions Needed to Combat Barriers and Boost Public Funding, Panelists Say: Broadband Breakfast

May 6, 2022

Montana Economy

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HOUSTON, May 4, 2022 – Those considering using public funding opportunities should communicate with all levels of stakeholders and worthwhile partnerships to get the most out of the Infrastructure Investment Act funding and the ‘job.

Funding plans live or die by stakeholder involvement, said Tom CoverickCEO of Keybanc Capital Markets.

“Every project needs a champion,” he said during the Broadband Breakfast’s Digital Infrastructure Investment mini-conference at the Broadband Communities Summit on Monday. “We are looking at higher interest rates and [rising] labor costs. Without local champions, these local projects would have a hard time moving forward.

“The reality is that these champions in local regions will know everyone who needs to be involved, and if they don’t know, they’ll find out how it is pretty quickly,” Coverick said.

“Some communities are ahead of others,” said Illinois Broadband Office Manager matt schmit mentioned. “There are a lot of great role models across the country who have [created] community engagement and outreach programs.

Schmit used Illinois’ “Accelerate Illinois” partnership between the state and Heartland Forward. He explained how this program has helped guide communities who are committed to obtaining public funding for broadband, but who may not have concrete goals or a vision of how to achieve them.

“[These communities] haven’t had this inclusive conversation at the community level, or they may not know exactly how to prepare a grant application, or [how to] find the ideal private supplier partner.

Schmit also emphasized the importance of communication and emphasized a three-legged stool for access, adoption and use. “Be available [to community leaders – to that local champion –] is really important,” Schmit said. “It’s going to make or break a lot of our investment in the United States.”

CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund Sunne Wright McPeak said communication should be encouraged from all stakeholders, from top to bottom. She spoke in particular of state leaders informing local community leaders of the opportunities available to them through grants.

Part of this coordination helped generate intermediary investments to connect eligible communities, she said.

“It is essential to systematically contact the public bodies that must approve the projects and give the permits, and those who will develop the project and apply for the financing[essential”saidMcPeak[iscritical”McPeaksaid[estessentiel”adéclaréMcPeak[iscritical”McPeaksaid

“People who are really on the ground in adoption are what we call trusted messengers,” she added. “It’s the community organizations that can do outreach – in language and culture – and increase that turnout.”

“Where there is a will, there is a way”, said the CEO of UTOPIA Fiber Roger Timmerman. “If you have elected officials or community groups or leaders and you want to solve the broadband problem in your area, you need to organize that effort and find good partners.”

Information on the presentations made during the “Public Funding” panel is available on the Digital Infrastructure Investment page.

What impact will the Fed’s rate hike have on consumers and inflation? Here’s what we know

May 5, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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Following through on its promise of aggressive action to contain record US inflation, the Federal Reserve raised its key rate by 0.5% on Wednesday, the biggest gradual jump in 22 years.

US inflation hit a 12-month rate of 8.5% in March, according to the latest report from the US Department of Labor.

While the 8.5% inflation rate is the overall US average, Utah and other Mountain West states including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada , New Mexico and Wyoming, recorded an annual increase in inflation to 10.4% in March.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the rate hike, which is expected to be followed by further upward adjustments of 0.5% in the coming months, has a “good chance” of slowing rate hikes. inflation-induced consumer prices that are currently at 40-year highs.

“We need to do everything we can to restore stable prices as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Powell said at a press conference on Wednesday, according to CNBC. “We think we have a good chance of doing that without a significant increase in unemployment or a really sharp downturn.”

But, Powell also acknowledged that the Fed’s monetary toolkit is imprecise at best and that the hoped-for outcome of controlling inflation is by no means guaranteed.

“We don’t have precision surgical tools. We basically have interest rates, balance sheet and forward guidance and those are… notoriously blunt tools,” Powell said at the press conference.

“Nobody thinks it will be easy. No one thinks it’s simple. But there is certainly a plausible path to that,” he added.

Here’s how rising rates could impact the average US consumer:

I am considering buying a house. Will mortgage rates continue to rise?

Home loan rates have skyrocketed over the past few months, mostly in anticipation of the Fed’s actions, and will likely continue to rise. On Wednesday, Freddie Mac announced that the average interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.27%, the highest in more than a decade.

“Mortgage rates resumed their ascent this week as the 30-year fixed rate hit its highest level since 2009,” Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a press release. “While housing affordability and inflationary pressures pose challenges to potential buyers, house price growth will continue but is expected to slow in the coming months.”

Mortgage rates don’t necessarily go up at the same time as Fed rate hikes. Sometimes they even move in the opposite direction. Long-term mortgages tend to follow the yield of the 10-year treasury bill, which, in turn, is influenced by various factors. These include investor expectations for future inflation and global demand for US Treasuries.

For now, however, accelerating inflation and strong US economic growth are pushing the 10-year Treasury rate up sharply. As a result, mortgage rates have jumped more than 2 percentage points since the start of the year.

How will this affect the housing market?

If you’re looking to buy a home and you’re frustrated with the lack of available homes, which has sparked bidding wars and exorbitant prices, that’s unlikely to change any time soon.

Economists say higher mortgage rates will discourage some potential buyers. And average home prices, which have been climbing at an annual rate of about 20%, could at least rise at a slower rate.

Soaring mortgage rates “will temper the pace of home price appreciation as the price of potential buyers rises,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.

Yet the number of available homes remains historically low, a trend that will likely frustrate buyers and keep prices high.

What about car loans?

Fed rate hikes can make car loans more expensive. But other factors also affect these rates, including competition between car manufacturers which can sometimes reduce borrowing costs.

Rates for buyers with lower credit scores are the most likely to rise following Fed hikes, said Alex Yurchenko, chief data officer for Black Book, which monitors vehicle prices in the United States. Since the prices of used vehicles increase on average, the monthly payments will also increase.

Right now, new vehicle loans are averaging around 4.5%. Used vehicle rates are around 5%.

What about other prices?

For users of credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other variable-interest debt, rates would rise by roughly the same amount as the Fed hike, typically within one or two billing cycles. That’s because those rates are based in part on the banks’ prime rate, which moves in tandem with the Fed.

Those who don’t qualify for low-rate credit cards may end up paying higher interest on their balance. The rates on their cards would increase as the prime rate does.

If the Fed decides to raise rates by 2 percentage points or more over the next two years – a distinct possibility – it would significantly increase interest payments.

Will I be able to earn more on my savings?

Probably, although unlikely. And it depends on where your savings, if you have any, are parked.

Savings, certificates of deposit and money market accounts generally do not follow Fed changes. Instead, banks tend to take advantage of a higher rate environment to try and boost their profits. They do this by charging higher rates to borrowers, without necessarily offering higher rates to savers.

Contributor: Associated press

Many NJ stores still distribute paper bags, but that’s okay!

May 5, 2022

Montana Loans

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Now that New Jersey’s toughest bag ban has been launched at supermarkets and big box stores are not allowed to give shoppers any type of plastic or paper bag, but that’s not the case for many other retail establishments.

The new law says all types of regular plastic bags are banned, but Eileen Kean, director of the New Jersey chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said some small stores weren’t sure what was allowed.

A paper bag is fine

The law allows paper bags in any retail establishment under 2,500 square feet. This excludes supermarkets and big box stores, but not small retailers.

“Many small boutiques have their own stylish paper bags with handles that become popular when you become a customer and you like the little bag because you use it once you get home,” Kean said.

Kean said it could get a bit confusing.

“There is a learning curve involved and business owners, NFIB members are trying to embrace the new world they live in,” she said.

Catalin205/Billion Photos/Townsquare Media photo illustration

Catalin205/Billion Photos/Townsquare Media photo illustration

Cities can’t make their own bag laws

She stressed that it’s important to understand that municipalities must follow state bag law and cannot impose their own regulations.

“It’s really good news for Main Street because what had happened was municipalities were coming up with their own restrictions and it was definitely confusing,” she said.

Kean noted that while plastic bags are banned, there is an exemption for dry cleaners.

“Dry cleaners can still use plastic bags that they use to protect clean clothes when delivered to a customer.”

Violators are fined $1,000.

“I think the business community is okay with it, not necessarily happy with the extremes of this ban, but they have no choice but to comply with the new law,” Kean said.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

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One Person’s Junk Fee is Another’s Treasure | Alston and bird

May 4, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has asked for feedback on how best to crack down on what it calls “unwanted charges.” Our Financial Services and Products group examines how mortgage services are distinguished and why mortgage servicers should be aware that their fees will be closely monitored.

  • Republican attorneys general urge greater federal-state cooperation
  • Democratic attorneys general want to add convenience fees to list
  • Takeaway: Now is the time for service agents to review their fee structures

On January 26, 2022, Rohit Chopra, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on the fees which “are not subject to competitive processes ensuring fair pricing”. The director said when consumers don’t select their provider, as in loan servicing, “it can lead to stagnation, unwanted fees and poor treatment.” Chopra also said the CFPB would launch other initiatives to identify ways to lower barriers to entry and increase the pool of companies competing for customers based on quality, price and service. .

By the close of the comment period on April 11, the CFPB had received thousands of responses. While the broad RFI extends to providers of consumer financial products and services, the mortgage service is isolated and should alert mortgage servicers that their fees will be closely monitored. In fact, Chopra indicated in a blog post that the CFPB will use this information to review existing rules and to develop new ones “to stimulate competition and transparency” and to identify “illegal practices through… . supervision and enforcement”.

The CFPB has sought comment on what the CFPB pejoratively calls “junk fees” and “operating, back-end and excessive fees”. Examples of such mortgage service charges cited by the CFPB include late fees, insufficient funds (NSF) fees, payment processing convenience fees, and delinquency-related fees such as monthly fees. property inspection, new title fees, legal fees, appraisal and appraisal fees. , broker price opinion fees, forced insurance, foreclosure fees and corporate advances. Comments received by the CFPB include those from attorneys general (AGs) in both Republican and Democratic-leaning jurisdictions.

Republican AGs: How about federal-state cooperation?

To date, GAs in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, ‘Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Texas and West Virginia have all called for the CFPB to drop its plan to regulate fees and instead , to coordinate and cooperate with states to determine where federal action is “duplicated or unwarranted.” Republican AGs argue that the CFPB is trying to establish itself as the primary regulator in the consumer financial products pay-for-services space and, therefore, infringing on states’ right to regulate business practices within their borders. . These AGs argue that the CFPB’s RFI on “Undesirable Charges – Exploitative, Indirect, Hidden or Excessive” suggests that the CFPB is “predisposed to create a subjective standard for identifying problematic charges”.

And these AG Republicans argue that the CFPB fails to recognize that state laws already regulate many such fees in consumer financial products and that federal regulation would be duplicative. According to AG Republicans, states are better able to assess the needs of their citizens as well as the impact of royalties on state markets. They point to the fact that states specifically allow many types of fees, such as late fees, NSF fees, filing fees, administrative fees, amendment and deferral fees, and title fees. They also note that states are prepared to enforce their laws if a consumer financial services provider fails to comply with or take action under the state’s Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP) provisions when a consumer is misled. AG Republicans also expressed concern that the CFPB would seek to use its UDAAP authority to regulate fees and questioned the use of that authority for fees that are “disclosed pursuant to state law. or federal, in some cases permitted by state law, and agreed to by a consumer in writing.

This is a dominance concern – Republican AGs are concerned that the CFPB sees itself as the primary regulator and intends to limit states’ power to regulate fees. Of course, the CFPB’s retort may simply be that it fixes the ground and states are free to go further. The real question is where the CFPB draws the line – and if that line goes further than some states have, will that raise preemption concerns.

Democrat AGs: Go get them, Director Chopra!

The AG Democrats praise the CFPB’s RFI and call for comment and limit their comments to one issue: convenience fees charged by mortgage services. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania GAs , Rhode Island and Washington, along with the Hawaii Consumer Protection Bureau, consider convenience fees (along with overdrafts and NSFs) to be “harmful unwanted fees” and urge the CFPB to prohibit managers from mortgages to impose a convenience fee or, alternatively, to restrict mortgage lending services from charging a convenience fee that exceeds the documented actual cost of the service.

It’s ironic: not too long ago, many of these same blue states allowed convenience fees with restrictions in a multi-state settlement agreement with a large loan servicer.

Now the AG Democrats argue that because lenders are supposed to earn their profit for mortgage servicing through the interest rate and other fees originally, managers have already been compensated for the costs of accepting mortgages. payments (a core function of managers) and therefore are compensated twice for accepting payments. The CFPB should recognize that this argument reflects a fundamental misapplication of basic service business practices.

In fact, the CFPB recognized fee structures for servicing activities in its 2013 Mortgage Servicing Rules. loan owners usually negotiate prices with the manager, usually a monthly management fee. Repairers also receive ancillary fees, late fees and, as the CFPB acknowledged in 2013, “telephone payment processing fees”. It should be noted that the CFPB did not prohibit convenience fees in its 2013 Mortgage Servicing Rules. The CFPB also declined to address convenience fees in its recently enacted Bylaw F, although this issue has been raised during the CFPB’s Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act review process.

Mortgage managers will argue that borrowers enter into a contract, in the form of a promissory note, and agree to repay the borrowed money in monthly installments. The borrower also agrees to pay late fees if their payments are not received by the end of the grace period, usually 15 days after the contractual due date. Typical mortgage agreements don’t require managers to offer expedited payment options, such as online and phone payments, for borrowers waiting until the last day to make their payment.

Nevertheless, many mortgage servicers choose to make these payment options available to borrowers, even if these accelerated options come at a cost to the servicer. For example, expedited options often require the use of third-party payment processing providers such as Western Union, and among other costs, the mortgage servicer typically must hire and train customer service agents to receive payments over the phone and hire computer programmers to build and maintain the systems necessary to accept payments online or through interactive voice response telephone technology. It should also be noted that managers do not assess convenience fees without the knowledge and consent of borrowers. Rather, the fact and amount of the convenience fee is disclosed to borrowers at that time, before borrowers choose to continue with that payment method.

The GA Democrats argue that “like refinancing, this so-called choice is actually delusional for many borrowers,” noting that “convenience fees actually work like alternative late fees — maybe cheaper, but with a delay.” shorter grace period, and in breach of contract the terms of most mortgages which outline the exact amount and timing of late fees, so rationally the consumer chooses the cheapest option and accepts the convenience fee But the simple fact of choosing the least bad option does not mean that the consumer really has a choice Does the borrower have no choice to make his payment on time, or at least contractually agreed grace period?Borrowers who choose a modest, fully disclosed convenience fee leave themselves much better off financially than incurring considerably more expensive late fees (not to mention avoiding ra negative credit reports, which can negatively impact the consumer even more broadly).

Penalizing mortgage servicers by eliminating their ability to charge clearly disclosed and agreed fees for services – those they are not required to provide – will, at a minimum, reduce their incentive to offer such options, limit the choice of consumers and discourage future service innovation. for the benefit of borrowers.

Take away food

In 2013, the CFPB recognized that repairers are not really subject to market discipline from consumers, as consumers have little opportunity to change repairers. The CFPB acknowledged, however, that “service agents compete for contracts with loan owners (investors, assignees and creditors) and that, therefore, competitive pressures tend to cause service agents to lower the price of services and to adjust their investments in the provision of services to consumers accordingly”. .” Chopra seems to challenge this premise. While service portability is something to consider in the future, now is the time for services to take a close look at the fees charged to consumers to ensure these fees are legally permitted and properly disclosed.

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Visit Montana celebrates the future of travel

May 3, 2022

Montana Economy

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National Travel and Tourism Week highlights the Collective strength of the travel industry in the United States

HELEN, Mont., May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Montana joins tourism partners across the state to celebrate the travel and tourism industry – the state’s second largest industry – during National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTT) May 1-7, 2022.

“Tourism plays a vital role in from montana economy,” said Scott Osterman, director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “This week celebrates the work of the hospitality industry across the state and the thousands of local Montanese employed in various travel industries.”

Celebrated the first full week of May each year, this year’s theme is The future of travel and focuses on workforce, sustainability, connection building and more as the industry looks to future growth and success after the challenges of the past two years.

A key driver of the state’s economy, tourism has a huge impact on Montanawith data from the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) showing an impact that includes:

  • Montana welcomed about 12.5 million non-resident visitors in 2021
  • Non-resident visitors spent approximately $5.22 billion in 2021
  • that spending by non-resident visitors supported $4.42 billion of economic activity in 2021
  • Travel, tourism and hospitality supported 68,630 jobs and contributed $2.038 billion in employee compensation

Montana is a place that remains at the top of the wish list of many travellers,” said Jan Stoddard, bureau chief of the Montana Tourist Board. “Year after year, we see the positive impacts of non-resident traveler spending as it touches every community across the state.”

Destination Analysts reports that nearly 90% of Americans have a trip planned for 2022, with family travel, solo travel and meeting travel being a high priority.

“NTTW takes on special significance this year as the travel industry looks to a bright future,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the US Travel Association. “This NTTW is an opportunity to recognize the collective strength of the travel industry in the United States and how we are rebuilding ourselves to be more vibrant, innovative, sustainable and inclusive in the months and years to come.”

For more information on from montana tourism industry and marketing efforts, visit MarketMT.com.

About Visit Montana
To visit Montana markets from montana spectacular untouched nature, vibrant and charming small towns, breathtaking experiences, relaxing hospitality, and a competitive business climate to promote the state as a place to visit and do business. For more information, visit VISITMT.COM.

SOURCE Visit Montana

Hoeven and Daines bill tackles chronic wasting disease

May 2, 2022

Montana Loans

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On April 28, U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Steve Daines (R-MT) unveiled bipartisan legislation to provide $70 million a year to equally support research and management of the debilitating disease. (CWD), which the federal government says is a fatal neurological disease occurring in North American members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose.

Since its discovery in 1967, CWD has spread geographically and its prevalence has increased locally, according to the US Geological Survey.

“CWD is a growing threat to wildlife and livestock, impacting sportsmen, ranchers and the local ecology of regions across the United States,” Senator Hoeven said. “Our legislation would enable state and tribal governments to better manage and prevent outbreaks of this deadly disease, while advancing new methods to detect CWD and limit its spread.”

Senator Hoeven proposed the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act of 2022, S. 4111, with eight original cosponsors, including Senator Daines and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) to authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to administer funds allocated through cooperative agreements with state and tribal wildlife agencies and departments of agriculture, according to a summary of the bill provided by the senator’s staff. Hoven.

“By threatening Montana’s wildlife and ecosystems, chronic wasting disease also threatens the legacy of our sportsmen and our outdoor way of life,” said Sen. Daines. “My bipartisan bill will support Montana’s ongoing efforts to research, manage and contain the spread of chronic wasting disease among wildlife populations.”

If enacted, S. 4111 also includes authorization for the USDA and state and tribal agencies to develop educational materials to inform the public about chronic wasting disease and would direct the USDA to review its certification program. herds within 18 months, among several other provisions, according to the summary. .

The measure is supported by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, National Wildlife Federation, Boone & Crockett, National Deer Association, North American Deer Farmers Association , the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Mule Deer Foundation.

Wonderland Pier worker in Ocean City, NJ, dies after fall

May 2, 2022

Montana Lending

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UPDATE: KYW-TV identified the worker who was killed while Robert W. Sanger, 62, of Pittsgrove, Salem County. Our original report continues below.

An employee of a subcontractor at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier in Ocean City died Monday after falling while working there.

A brief statement from Gillian’s as posted on social media reads,

We are saddened to report that a contractor employee working on an elevator at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier suffered a fatal injury on Monday morning.

According to a first report of the Atlantic City pressthe accident happened around 10:30 a.m. while work was underway on the park’s Ferris wheel.

Attraction operators say they are cooperating with authorities as an investigation into the accident is ongoing.

This is a developing story that will be updated when more information becomes available.

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You decide: How well has North Carolina handled COVID-19? – The Coastland Times

May 2, 2022

Montana Economy

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By Mike Walden

Even if COVID-19 continues with its variants, medical experts hope the virus becomes less deadly and disruptive. In other words, we learn to live with it.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that an increasing number of studies are being published on how we coped with COVID-19 and what we can learn if we face another pandemic. One way to do this is to compare how states perform during COVID-19 on a number of important metrics.

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A recent study was written by three economists and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The NBER is not a national agency. It is a non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1920. It is one of the most prestigious economic “think tanks” in the country. So when the NBER publishes a study, I pay attention.

While there have been numerous federal government policies, programs, and funding to combat the pandemic, our federal system has enabled all 50 states and Washington, D.C.. customize some of their own policies, including masking, closures, school operations, and vaccine availability. Therefore, there were 51 different localities (50 states plus Washington, DC) that the authors had to compare for their results in the fight against COVID-19.

The authors focused on three categories of outcomes: economy, education, and deaths. For the economy, the authors used two measures: the total number of months of unemployment per worker in the state from April 2020 at the start of the pandemic through the end of 2021, and the depth of the recession caused by the pandemic.

The impact of the pandemic on education was measured by the percentage of public education in each state that took place in person at schools rather than remotely. This measure was used because many experts and parents argued that remote learning for children during COVID-19 was not as beneficial to students’ academic outcomes as in-person learning.

For deaths, the per capita death rate over the past two COVID-19 years was used, but only after adjusting the figures for age and health factors, such as the prevalence of diabetes and obesity in the state.

So what did the study find, specifically for North Carolina? On both economic measures, North Carolina ranked 17and on measuring unemployment and 19and for the depth of the COVID-19 recession, where higher ranking means better performance. Translated, the results mean that among the 51 states plus Washington, D.C..North Carolina had the 17and the lowest total number of months of unemployment per worker and the 19and mildest COVID-19 recession. Montana had the best unemployment performance and South Dakota had the least severe recession. At the other end of the spectrum, New Jersey had the worst unemployment performance and Connecticut had the deepest recession.

North Carolina’s ranking on in-person student teaching was not as impressive. State ranked 34and, meaning 33 other states had a higher percentage of students receiving in-person instruction during the pandemic. Wyoming had the highest percentage of in-person instruction, while Washington, DC had the lowest percentage.

North Carolina’s highest ranking was in age- and health-adjusted COVID-19 deaths per capita, where the state ranked 7and, meaning only six states had lower adjusted COVID-19 deaths per capita. The best performing state for deaths was Hawaii, while the worst performing state was Arizona.

The authors also combined the individual rankings for each measure into a single overall ranking. North Carolina’s overall ranking was 13andmeaning the state had the 13and best performance during the pandemic among the fifty states and Washington, DC using all measures developed by the authors. Utah placed first in the combined standings and New Jersey came in last.

With 51 locations, North Carolina’s 13th place ranking puts the state in the top 25%. Among North Carolina’s immediate neighbors, only South Carolina ranked 12th. Georgia placed 19th.andTennessee was at 24and position and Virginie placed 36and.

As the economy progresses, ranking state performance during the pandemic can become very important. Rankings could become a major factor in business and household location decisions. It will take years, if not decades, for the memories of the COVID-19 pandemic to fade. Households and businesses will be motivated to move to states that have weathered the pandemic well compared to other states. The study published by the NBER strongly suggests that North Carolina is in the “coping well” category.

Economists agree that the future economy will go through major changes in what businesses do, how people work, and how and where people live. Being in a state that has handled the pandemic better than most other states should give that state an edge in dealing with these changes. Is North Carolina such a state? You decide.

Dr. Mike Walden is William Neal Reynolds Professor Emeritus at North Carolina State University.

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Colstrip case shows results of botched law | Editorial

May 1, 2022

Montana Loans

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A group of high school students visited the Russell Smith federal courthouse last week and likely came away better educated than many state lawmakers.

Although they were unable to participate in the Portland General Electric Co. et.al. against NorthWestern Corp. et al. cases, their presence indicates that they were studying the basics of American civics. Judging by Federal Magistrate Kathleen DeSoto’s questions from the bench last Tuesday, some separation of powers lessons need corrective coverage at the state Capitol.

The case involved two bills by Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, R-Great Falls, that passed last year. SB 265 would rewrite a 40-year-old contract so NorthWestern could have home court advantage in arbitration disputes with its co-owners of two aging coal-fired power plants at Colstrip. These co-owners wondered what right the Legislature had to rewrite an agreement that NorthWestern signed with eyes wide open when coal was king in Montana.

Now that the voters and taxpayers of these Washington and Oregon co-owners have legally decided to end investments in future coal burning, they have exercised their right to terminate the agreement through arbitration, as specified in the contract.

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This would effectively close the plant, unless NorthWestern and current operator Talen Energy find other investors. This is not likely, as Talen is already seeking loans to fund its bankruptcy proceedings. Nationally, about half of the coal-fired electric fleet has retired. In 2022 alone, operators will shut down about 15 gigawatts of coal-fired power due to age and growing incompetitiveness with the production of natural gas or renewable energy.

SB 265 moved the arbitration site from Spokane to Helena, changed Washington law to Montana law, and changed a sole arbitrator with demonstrated expertise to a three-person panel with no specified background.

The lead attorney for the Northwest Side argued that legislatures make such decisions about where and what the rules are all the time. DeSoto pointed out that the new rule was very different from what everyone had initially agreed. If that was OK, she asked, could the Legislative Assembly simply pass a law prohibiting the closure of Colstrip? Why not force a private company to ignore its own contract, its own local laws and its own self-interest with the stroke of a governor’s pen?

We would all like to avoid business gone bad. In this time of catastrophic climate change, there are many agreements committing us to burning fossil fuels that we need to find ways to break. But when we taxpayers, ratepayers and voters, in fact have an agreement that allows for such an improvement – ​​signed by all owners in good faith – then the rule of law should not be subject to a rule change.

Which made the SB 266 debate even more incredible. This bill gave the Attorney General of Montana the power to impose daily fines of $100,000 on any co-owner of Colstrip who refused to pay its operating expenses without the consent of all owners. This was not in the original deal, which only required a majority decision from the owners (those currently suing NorthWestern).

DeSoto called the SB 266 “incredibly broad status”. Its wording appeared to make even the defense against payment “an unfair or deceptive practice in the conduct of business” subject to fines of $100,000. Several attorneys in the audience dropped their jaws when North West’s lead attorney replied that it was the court’s prerogative to clarify the law. For example, a judge might declare that “conduct” does not include “recommendation”. DeSoto called it “rewriting the statute”.

In other circles, it is also called “judicial activism” or “lawmaking from the bench”. Some in these circles have demanded big changes in the way judges are selected and the courts conduct their internal affairs to better reflect the will of the legislative or administrative branches of government. In the course of civic education, it is the chapter on the separation of powers.

Too bad the high school students couldn’t watch all of this in real time last week. They wouldn’t have found a seat – all the pews were full. But the only elected official in the room was the mayor of Colstrip, who was there as a ‘friend of the court’ arguing for letting NorthWestern break a deal it was not a party to, to force private companies to bail a near-bankrupt industry for its local benefit. DeSoto said that sounded like “the definition of economic protectionism.”

Those who insist on the rule of law and judicial independence should consult the transcript for some guidance on the consequences of botched legislation.

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Financial comparison: First Interstate BancSystem (NASDAQ: FIBK) and First Business Financial Services (NASDAQ: FBIZ)

May 1, 2022

Montana Lending

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First business financial services (NASDAQ: FBIZGet a rating) and First Interstate BancSystem (NASDAQ: FIBKGet a rating) are both finance companies, but which stock is superior? We’ll compare the two companies based on valuation strength, profitability, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for First Business Financial Services and First Interstate BancSystem, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sales Ratings Hold odds Buy reviews Strong buy odds Rating
First business financial services 0 1 1 0 2.50
First interstate banking system 0 2 1 0 2.33

First Business Financial Services currently has a consensus price target of $34.00, indicating a potential downside of 1.93%. First Interstate BancSystem has a consensus price target of $45.00, indicating a potential upside of 38.38%. Given the higher possible upside of First Interstate BancSystem, analysts clearly believe that First Interstate BancSystem is more favorable than First Business Financial Services.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

58.3% of First Business Financial Services shares are held by institutional investors. By comparison, 66.8% of First Interstate BancSystem’s shares are held by institutional investors. 6.1% of the shares of First Business Financial Services are held by insiders of the company. By comparison, 22.0% of the shares of First Interstate BancSystem are held by insiders of the company. Strong institutional ownership indicates that hedge funds, endowments, and large fund managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and risk

First Business Financial Services has a beta of 0.81, meaning its stock price is 19% less volatile than the S&P 500. In comparison, First Interstate BancSystem has a beta of 1.03, meaning its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500. .

Benefits and evaluation

This chart compares the revenue, earnings per share, and valuation of First Business Financial Services and First Interstate BancSystem.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net revenue Earnings per share Price/earnings ratio
First business financial services $124.10 million 2.36 $35.76 million $4.05 8.56
First interstate banking system $656.00 million 3.08 $192.10 million $1.92 16.94

First Interstate BancSystem has higher revenue and profit than First Business Financial Services. First Business Financial Services trades at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than First Interstate BancSystem, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares the net margins, return on equity and return on assets of First Business Financial Services and First Interstate BancSystem.

Net margins Return on equity return on assets
First business financial services 28.81% 16.00% 1.33%
First interstate banking system 29.28% 10.07% 1.04%

Dividends

First Business Financial Services pays an annual dividend of $0.79 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. First Interstate BancSystem pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.0%. First Business Financial Services pays 19.5% of its profits as a dividend. First Interstate BancSystem pays 85.4% of its earnings as dividends, suggesting it may not have enough earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. First Business Financial Services has increased its dividend for 10 consecutive years and First Interstate BancSystem has increased its dividend for 9 consecutive years.

Summary

First Interstate BancSystem beats First Business Financial Services on 10 out of 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About First Business Financial Services (Get a rating)

First Business Financial Services, Inc. operates as a banking holding company for First Business Bank which provides commercial banking products and services to small and medium-sized businesses, business owners, executives, professionals and high net worth individuals. The Company offers deposit products, such as non-interest bearing transaction accounts, interest bearing transaction accounts, money market accounts, term deposits and certificates of deposit, as well as credit cards. It also offers lending products, including commercial real estate loans, commercial and industrial loans, small business administration loans and direct finance leases, as well as consumer and other loans comprising the value net of property, first and second mortgages and other personal loans for business and executive clients. The company offers commercial lending, asset-based lending, equipment financing, accounts receivable financing, vendor financing, floor plan financing, cash management services and employee retirement plans. business ; trust and estate administration, financial planning, investment management and private banking; and investment portfolio administration, asset-liability management, and asset-liability management process validation services for other financial institutions. First Business Financial Services, Inc. was founded in 1909 and is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin.

About First Interstate BancSystem (Get a rating)

First Interstate BancSystem logoFirst Interstate BancSystem, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for First Interstate Bank which provides a range of banking products and services in the United States. It offers various traditional deposit products, including checks, savings deposits and term deposits; and repurchase agreements primarily for commercial and municipal depositors. The Company also offers real estate loans including commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and other real estate loans; consumer loans including direct personal loans, credit card loans and lines of credit and indirect loans; variable and fixed rate commercial loans for small and medium sized manufacturing, wholesale, retail and service businesses for working capital needs and business expansion; and agricultural loans. Additionally, it provides a range of trust, employee benefits, investment management, insurance, agency and custodial services to individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. In addition, the Company provides marketing, credit review, loan servicing, credit card issuance and servicing, mortgage sales and servicing, indirect purchase and processing of consumer loans, loan collection and other operational services, as well as online and mobile banking. It serves individuals, businesses, municipalities, and other entities in a variety of industries, including agriculture, construction, education, energy, government services, healthcare, hospitality, housing, l mining, professional services, real estate development, retail, technology, tourism and wholesale. Trade. As of December 31, 2021, it operated 147 banking offices, including individual drive-through facilities in communities in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. The company was incorporated in 1971 and is based in Billings, Montana.



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How have states handled the COVID-19 crisis? New analysis shows Utah, Nebraska and Vermont were the best with Montana and Florida close behind

April 30, 2022

Montana Economy

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The Committee To Unleash Prosperity (CUP) has released the most comprehensive analysis to date on how states have handled the COVID-19 crisis. These results were also published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Picture/CUP

The State Report Card measures and compares state performance on three metrics: economy, education, and virus mortality. It answers the question: how have states managed to balance the health of their citizens, keep their economies functioning and limit job losses, and keep their schools open so that the children of school age do not suffer long-term educational setbacks.

Each of these three measures was weighted equally. The states that received an F grade were New Jersey, New York, California, Illinois and Washington, DC. These states scored poorly on every measure. They had high age-adjusted mortality rates; they had high unemployment and large GDP losses, and they kept their schools closed much longer than almost any other state.

The top performers were Utah, Nebraska and Vermont with Montana and Florida close behind.

The study verifies other studies that found the lockdown of businesses, stores, churches, schools and restaurants had almost no impact on health outcomes in any state. States with strict lockdowns performed almost no better on Covid death rates than states that remained mostly open for business.

The study also found that keeping schools closed had almost no impact on child or adult death rates, but had serious implications for students’ academic progress.

Learn more about CUP

You can read the full study here: https://committeetounleashprosperity.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Which-States-Handled-the-Covid-Pandemic-Best.pdf

Meet Bill Spadea in New Jersey — May 2022

April 29, 2022

Montana Loans

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As you know, following the successful launch of my group common sense clubI decided to hit the road and meet as many New Jersey families, workers, business owners, and first responders as possible.

(Photo: Marla Snyder Rudich via Facebook)

(Photo: Marla Snyder Rudich via Facebook)

Fresh off of an energetic and jam-packed inaugural event”A seat at the table“, which we co-hosted with several New Jersey bands and the National”Conservative Political Action Conference“, we are looking at a full schedule of public events in May.

Hope to see you on the trail as we fight to restore freedom and prosperity to the Garden State!

Speech on Westfield NJ PBA / Golf Outing

Echo Country Club in Westfield, NJ

Monday, May 2; 6 p.m.

For more information, email [email protected]


First Responder Appreciation Event

Chesapeake Tavern in Long Valley, NJ

Monday, May 2; 7 p.m.

For more information, email [email protected]


Meet and Greet Morris County with Curator Tom Mastrangelo

Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park, NJ

Wednesday May 4; 6 p.m.

For more information, email [email protected]


Speech by Montclair and Meet & Greet

Greek Tavern in Montclair, NJ

Thursday, May 5; 7 p.m.

For more information, email [email protected]


Bergen County Speech and Meeting

Bergen GOP Headquarters in Hackensack, NJ

Monday, May 9; 7 p.m.

For more information, email [email protected]


Morristown Parental Rights Town Hall

Morristown, New Jersey

Saturday May 14; 11 a.m.

Email [email protected] for address and details.


Forum on parental rights and Meet & Greet

Flemington, New Jersey

Saturday May 14; 1 p.m.

Email [email protected]


Rally and speech on parental rights

Cypress Tavern in Kinnelon, NJ

Tuesday May 17; 6:30 p.m.

Email [email protected]


Somerset Couty 200 club speech

The Palace in Somerset, NJ

Wednesday May 18; 12 p.m.

For more information, click HERE.


Franklin Township Speech and Meeting

Monday, May 23; 7 p.m.

Email [email protected] for location and details


Atlantic City Speech and Meet

Tuesday, May 24; 7 p.m.

Email [email protected] for location and details

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of Bill Spadea, host of New Jersey talk show 101.5. All opinions expressed are those of Bill. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6-10 a.m., speaking from Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

NJ Beach Tag Guide for Summer 2022

We are coming another summer to the Jersey Shore! Before you lose yourself in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we calculate how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach beacons will cost you, and pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

Bird flu is suspected cause of death of six geese in Rochester Park

April 28, 2022

Montana Lending

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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) – Avian flu is the suspected cause of death for six Canada geese found in Silver Lake Park.

City officials said a Rochester resident reported six dead Canada geese in the park. The Minnesota DNR has removed the remains and is testing for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

If the geese test positive for HPAI, City of Rochester employees who potentially had contact with the infected birds will be monitored by the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) Zoonotic Disease Unit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infections in people are rare. However, the disease can spread when enough of the virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled. The spread of bird flu viruses from an infected person to close contact is rare, and when it has occurred has not led to continued spread among people.

Kim David/TSM

Kim David/TSM

“It’s rare to find a number of dead geese in the park with no apparent injuries,” Rochester Parks and Recreation Director Paul Widman said. We are taking precautions and working with county and state authorities to prepare for bird flu.

Widman said Rochester city parks will continue to be open to the public, but attendees should follow guidelines provided by Olmsted County Public Health (OCPH).

“Keeping away from wildlife is always recommended. Since the geese are currently in their nesting season, they tend to be a bit more aggressive than usual,” Widman said. “Park participants are encouraged to stay away from geese and other waterfowl.”

Kim David/TSM

Kim David/TSM

When bird flu is detected in Minnesota, a response zone is created around the infected premises to control movement and establish an area for testing and surveillance protocols to be performed. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health will determine if other birds near the park are infected.

Although people are not susceptible to bird flu, advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent exposure includes:

  • Avoid direct contact with wild birds and observe them only from a distance.
  • Avoid contact with poultry that appear sick or dead.
  • Avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with the droppings of wild or domestic birds
  • Wear gloves and wash your hands with soap and water if you must handle wild birds or sick or dead poultry.
  • Wear respiratory protection, such as a medical mask, when handling birds.
  • Change clothes before contact with healthy poultry and domestic birds.

Residents who keep chickens, ducks or other birds at risk for HPAI should follow guidelines provided by the Minnesota Department of Animal Health.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

A political record in Sri Lanka as the economic crisis deepens

April 28, 2022

Montana Economy

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sherry Fonseka joined millions in 2019 to elect President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a military strategist whose brutal campaign helped end Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war 10 years earlier.

Now he is among thousands of people who for weeks have protested outside the president’s office, calling on Rajapaksa and his brother, Mahinda, who is prime minister, to step down for leading the country into its worst economic crisis since his independence from Great Britain in 1948. .

With the island on the verge of bankruptcy, Fonseka, who owns a small garment business in the capital, Colombo, has had to spend her own savings to pay the salaries of her 30 employees. But he knows he will have to let them go soon and knows clearly who is to blame.

“We all thought we made the right decision (to elect Rajapaksa), but we realized we were wrong. We should have the backbone to tell people and the world that we made a mistake,” he said. he declared.

In recent weeks, protests have erupted across the country demanding that Rajapaksa step down.

The protests highlight the dramatic fall of the Rajapaksas from Sri Lanka’s most powerful political dynasty in decades to a family seeking to retain power. Despite accusations of atrocities during the civil war, Gotabaya and Mahinda, who previously served as president, remained the heroes of much of the island’s Buddhist-Sinhalese majority and were firmly entrenched at the pinnacle of Sri Lankan politics. Lankan before the revolt of former supporters like Fonseka.

“The pendulum has swung from ‘it’s all about the Rajapaksas, it’s the people who saved this country’ to ‘it’s because of the Rajapaksas that the country is now ruined,'” said Harsha de Silva, economist and MP of the opposition. .

Rare admission of errors

The collapse of the Sri Lankan economy was rapid and painful. Imports of everything from milk to fuel have plummeted, leading to severe food shortages and power cuts. People were forced to queue for hours every day to buy basic necessities. Doctors have warned of a crippling shortage of lifesaving drugs in hospitals, and the government has suspended payments on $7 billion in foreign debts due this year alone.

“The Rajapaksas, like an octopus, have clung to every aspect of public life in Sri Lanka,” de Silva said. “They ruled it like it was their kingdom. They wanted it and they did it – it was like that and the people were with them.”

President Rajapaksa has defended his government, partly blaming the pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. “This crisis was not created by me,” he said in a speech last month, adding that his government was working hard on solutions. They include the approach of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to get help, after repeated calls for it.

But as protesters seethe, the president and prime minister have changed tact in recent weeks. They have admitted mistakes they have made which have exacerbated the crisis, such as the introduction of a short-lived ban last year on the import of chemical fertilizers which has seriously harmed farmers and the admission that they should have requested a bailout sooner.

Influential Buddhist monks have urged Rajapaksa to form an interim government under a new prime minister, signaling a further decline in the family’s image as protectors of the country’s 70% Buddhist-Sinhalese majority. Some observers say it is too early to gauge how much support for the Rajapaksas has dropped among their hardcore base, but for many their response has been too weak and too late.

“The government now recognizes several missteps, but this one comes at a huge cost to the people,” said Bhavani Fonseka, senior fellow at the Colombo-based Center for Policy Alternatives.

Tax cuts spur credit downgrades

The Rajapaksas were a powerful landowning family who for decades dominated local elections in their rural southern district, before taking the helm of national politics in 2005 when Mahinda was elected president. He remained in power until 2015, overseeing the end of the civil war against Tamil rebels in 2009, before losing to opposition led by his former aide.

The suicide bombings that killed 290 people on Easter Sunday in 2019 paved the way for the return of the Rajapaksas, this time as Gotabaya launched an acute nationalist campaign that sparked outrage and disillusionment with the previous government over the attacks.

He vowed to return to the tough nationalism that had made his family popular with the Buddhist majority, and also to lift the country out of an economic slump with a message of stability and development.

Tourism had fallen sharply after the bombings and Sri Lanka badly needed to boost its revenue to service a series of foreign loans for splashy infrastructure projects. Some involved Chinese money and were commissioned during his brother’s presidency, but failed to create profits, instead collecting debts.

Just days into his presidency, Rajapaksa imposed the biggest tax cuts in Sri Lanka’s history to boost spending, even as critics warned it would squeeze government finances. According to Nishan de Mel, executive director of Verité Research, Sri Lanka’s tax base has fallen by 30%.

“When you do something like that, you have some sort of internal analysis or document that shows why those cuts might help the economy. There was nothing like that,” de Mel said.

The move triggered an immediate sanction from the global market as creditors downgraded Sri Lanka’s ratings, preventing it from borrowing more money as its foreign exchange reserves continued to dwindle. Then the coronavirus hit, further crushing tourism as debt snowballed.

The middle class takes to the streets to demonstrate

Analysts say the Rajapaksas’ response to economic challenges has underscored the limits of their strongman politics and their family’s virtual monopoly on decision-making, relying heavily on the military to enforce policy and enact laws to weaken independent institutions.

Three other members of the Rajapaksa family were in Cabinet until early April, when the Cabinet resigned en masse in response to protests.

“Their whole political ideology and credibility is in serious crisis,” said Jayadeva Uyangoda, a seasoned political scientist.

But many fear that things will only get worse before they get better. A divided and weak opposition without a majority in parliament kept the Rajapaksas in power. An IMF bailout could see austerity measures intensify hardship for people before there is relief.

Meanwhile, the focus remains on protests, which attract people of all ethnicities, religions and social classes. For the first time, middle-class Sri Lankans took to the streets in large numbers, Uyangoda said.

Among them, Wijaya Nanda Chandradewa, who joined the crowd outside the president’s office on Saturday. A retired government worker, Chandradewa said he succumbed to Rajapaksa’s promise to rebuild a Sri Lanka scarred by the 2019 attacks.

“He said there would be a country and a law – now there is neither the law nor the country,” Chandradewa said, adding that the only option now is for Rajapaksa to step down.

“He showed us a fairyland and deceived and misled us,” he said. “We have to fix our mistakes and build a system to bring in the right leader.”

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The popular New Jersey brunch restaurant will now offer franchises

April 26, 2022

Montana Lending

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Apparently, the concept of a restaurant that only serves breakfast, lunch and brunch is proving popular, as Turning Point announced its first franchise deal.

There are already 21 Turning Points in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware (13 in NJ).

The upcoming 22 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, specifically in Upper Dublin, will be the first franchise location.

In a statement, the company said Turning Point is reinventing the breakfast, brunch and lunch experience by offering unique, creatively designed seasonal options in an environment that feels like home.

The restaurants are open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The company says the limited hours make owning a franchise even more attractive, providing a better quality of life for the owner as well as the employees. “Our franchisees can say goodbye to 80-hour workweeks and say hello to spending more time with loved ones and in control of their financial destinies.”

Some of Turning Point’s menu offerings include Avocado Smash Benny, Yankee Shrimp & Cheddar Grits, ‘OMG’ French Toast, as well as French pressed coffee ground by order.

Kirk Ruoff founded Turning Point in 1998 in Little Silver.

“Over the past 23 years, we’ve honed our skills to create this special concept, and we’re looking for talented, hard-working people to help us grow,” Ruoff said. “We are looking for successful, family-oriented restaurateurs with strong community ties to represent and implement the values ​​of Turning Point.”

If you want to be a franchisee, it is better to have a lot of money; according to a release, the initial investment to become a Turning Point franchisee ranges from $695,000 to $1,195,000, which includes an initial franchise fee of $45,000.

The opening of the new site is scheduled for May.

The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On demand! Listen to New Jersey’s favorite radio show every day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen now:

Inside Scarlett Johansson’s $1.8 Million Penthouse in New York City

Take a look inside Scarlett Johansson’s longtime New York penthouse, which she sold for $1.8 million.

NJ Beach Tag Guide for Summer 2022

We are coming another summer to the Jersey Shore! Before you lose yourself in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we calculate how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach beacons will cost you, and pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

Asian stocks rise on the back of Wall Street rally | national news

April 26, 2022

Montana Economy

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Asian stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday after U.S. stocks turned from steep losses to post solid gains.

Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced while Sydney fell.

Shanghai retreated on renewed concerns over pandemic shutdowns that could further weigh on the world’s second-largest economy and hamper global economic growth.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9% to 2902.46, giving up early gains. On Monday, it fell 5.1%.

China’s capital, Beijing, has started mass testing of more than 3 million people and restricted residents of part of the city to their compounds, raising concerns about a wider lockdown similar to Shanghai. This city has been closed for more than two weeks and this has already prompted the International Monetary Fund to revise downwards its growth forecasts for the Chinese economy.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which lost 3.7% on Monday, was trading up 0.7% at 20,000.69.

The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.5% to 2,669.41 after the government announced that South Korea’s economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1% in the first quarter of the year, up from 0.7% compared to the previous quarter.

Economy rebounds from pandemic woes as government lifts COVID restrictions as case numbers dwindle after surge of omicron variant.

“This should lead to a rebound in downtrodden parts of the service sector. And a further decline in precautionary savings should provide an additional boost to consumption,” Alex Holmes of Capital Economics said in a commentary. “With private consumption still well below pre-pandemic levels, it there’s plenty of room for a rebound,” he said.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.4% to 26,700.11 and India’s Sensex gained 1.2% to 57,254.49.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.9% to 7,331.30.

WE. Benchmark oil gained 92 cents to $99.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost $3.53 to $98.54 on Monday.

Brent crude, the standard for international oil pricing, gained 1.23 cents to $103.39 a barrel.

The dollar slipped to 127.89 Japanese yen from 128.14 yen on Monday night. The euro fell from $1.0713 to $1.0727.

On Monday, the S&P 500 climbed 0.6% to 4,296.12 after erasing an early 1.7% loss. The rally was led by shares of internet-related companies, including Twitter, which jumped 5.7% after agreeing to let Tesla CEO and tweeter extraordinaire Elon Musk buy it.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.7% to 34,049.46, while the Nasdaq composite rose 1.3% to 13,004.85.

The S&P 500 is coming off a three-week losing streak, plagued by concerns over the Federal Reserve’s plans to accelerate interest rate hikes to rein in high inflation.

Gains in several large tech-related stocks were the strongest forces to lift the S&P 500 on Monday, including a 2.4% gain for Microsoft and a 2.9% rise for Class A shares of the Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

Both are expected to release their latest quarterly results on Tuesday.

Wall Street is in the midst of one of the most important periods of earnings season. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and parent company Google are all on deck to report this week. As they are among the largest companies by market value, their movements have the most influence on the S&P 500.

Concerns are also high about a sharp slowdown in the US economy or even a recession due to the large interest rate hikes the Fed is expected to impose.

Besides their bottom line, investors are also looking for a better view of how big companies in technology, manufacturing and retail are handling rising inflation and supply chain issues. .

Inflation remains a major concern for investors. Investors are worried about whether the Fed will be able to raise rates enough to stifle inflation, but not enough to cause a recession. The Federal Reserve Chairman indicated that the central bank may raise short-term interest rates to double the usual amount at upcoming meetings, starting next week. The Fed has already raised its overnight rate once, the first such hike since 2018.

Wall Street will also receive key economic data this week. The Conference Board will release its consumer confidence measure for April on Tuesday. The Commerce Department will release its first-quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Late buying push pushes stock indexes up on Wall Street | national news

April 25, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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NEW YORK (AP) — A late wave of buying left major indexes higher on Wall Street after another day of trading up and down. A rebound in tech stocks helped turn the tide in the final hour of trading on Monday. The S&P 500 closed 0.6% higher and the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.3%. Dow Jones industrials rose 0.7%. The S&P 500 is coming off a three-week losing streak amid concerns about high inflation and the rapid increase in interest rates the Federal Reserve is likely to prescribe for it. Bond prices have risen. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.83%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks on Wall Street erased their steep morning losses and are holding relatively steady on Monday, the latest in a string of upside trades.

The S&P 500 was virtually unchanged, as of 2:46 p.m. EST, coming back from an early loss of 1.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 94 points, or 0.3%, to 33,905 after erasing an earlier loss of 488 points, and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.8%.

Stocks have been fragile recently, with the S&P 500 emerging from a three-week losing streak, amid concerns about high inflation and the rapid hike in interest rates the Federal Reserve is likely to prescribe. Strong earnings reports for the first three months of the year from major US corporations had offered some support, but even that looked less robust after several mixed forecasts last week.

Investors are now in the middle of one of the most important periods of earnings season. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and the parents of Facebook and Google are all on deck to report this week. And because they are among the largest companies by market value, their movements have the most influence on the S&P 500.

Earlier in the morning, US stocks were on course to follow global markets lower, particularly in China, on fears that strict lockdown measures there could jeopardize the world’s second largest economy and potentially damage the global economic growth. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 3.7%. The Shanghai Composite fell 5.1%.

China’s capital, Beijing, began mass testing of more than 3 million people on Monday and restricted residents of part of the city to their compounds, raising concerns about a broader lockdown similar to Shanghai. This city has been closed for more than two weeks and this has already prompted the International Monetary Fund to revise downwards its growth forecasts for the Chinese economy.

Prices for ultra-safe US government bonds rose as traders feared the risk. The 10-year Treasury yield, which affects rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell to 2.82% from 2.90% on Friday evening.

Energy companies were among the biggest losers as US crude oil prices fell 2.9%. Exxon Mobil fell 3.4%.

Banking and industrial stocks also fell. Bank of America fell 1.1% and Lockheed Martin 1%.

Communication actions were in the lead. Twitter jumped 6% after the social media company agreed to be taken private by Tesla CEO Elon Musk for $54.20 a share, or about $44 billion.

Rising inflation remains a major concern for investors. Investors continue to focus on the measures taken by central banks to contain it. The Federal Reserve Chairman indicated that the central bank may raise short-term interest rates to double the usual amount at upcoming meetings, starting next week. The Fed has already raised its overnight rate once, the first such hike since 2018.

Wall Street will also receive key economic data this week. The Conference Board will release its consumer confidence measure for April on Tuesday. The Commerce Department will release its first-quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.

It’s also a busy week for US corporate earnings reports. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and General Motors will release their results on Tuesday, along with Microsoft and Visa. Boeing, Ford and Facebook parent Meta are on deck to report results on Wednesday. McDonald’s, Amazon and Apple report Thursday.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Stocks fall on Wall Street, extending market losses | national news

April 25, 2022

Montana Loans

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell broadly in morning trading on Wall Street on Monday, as worries about rising inflation and interest rate hikes weighed on investors and prolonged market losses.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2% at 10:19 a.m. EST, and more than 90% of stocks in the index lost ground. The drop follows a weak end last weekend that sent the benchmark index sinking for a third straight week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 371 points, or 1.1%, to 33,440 and the Nasdaq fell 0.6%.

US stocks are trailing global markets lower, particularly in China, on concerns that strict containment measures it could crimp the world’s second largest economy and potentially harm global economic growth. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 3.7%. The Shanghai Composite fell 5.1%.

China’s capital, Beijing, began mass testing of more than 3 million people on Monday and restricted residents of part of the city to their compounds, raising concerns about a broader lockdown similar to Shanghai. This city has been closed for more than two weeks and this has already prompted the International Monetary Fund to revise downwards its growth forecasts for the Chinese economy.

Prices for ultra-safe US government bonds rose as traders feared the risk. The 10-year Treasury yield, which affects rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell significantly to 2.78% from 2.90% on Friday evening.

Energy companies were among the biggest losers as US crude oil prices fell 5.6%. Exxon Mobil fell 5.2%.

Banks and technology stocks also fell sharply. Bank of America fell 3.2% and Apple 1.6%.

Twitter rose 3.4% and was one of the few bright spots in the market. The social media company and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly negotiating a takeover offer.

Rising inflation remains a major concern for investors. Investors continue to focus on actions taken by central banks to mitigate the impact on businesses and consumers. The Federal Reserve Chairman indicated that the central bank may raise short-term interest rates to double the usual amount at upcoming meetings, starting next week. The Fed has already raised its overnight rate once, the first such hike since 2018.

Investors have a heavy week of corporate earnings ahead. Reactions to the latest round of corporate report cards were mixed, and several disappointing earnings reports last week rattled what was the market’s main pillar of support.

Beverage giant Coca-Cola was virtually unchanged on Monday after reporting strong financial results. Parent company Google, Alphabet and General Motors will release their results on Tuesday, along with Microsoft and Visa. Boeing, Ford and Facebook parent Meta are on deck to report results on Wednesday.

Thursday is a particularly busy day and will include reports from industrial giant Caterpillar, McDonald’s, Amazon and Apple, among others.

Wall Street will also receive key economic data this week. The Conference Board will release its consumer confidence measure for April on Tuesday. The Commerce Department will release its first-quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Bitcoin miners go green

April 24, 2022

Montana Economy

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HELEN, Mont. – Over the past year, a company that “mines” cryptocurrency had what seemed like the perfect place for its thousands of power-thirsty computers working around the clock to verify bitcoin transactions: the lands of a coal-fired power plant in rural Montana.

But with the cryptocurrency industry under increasing pressure to limit the environmental impact of its massive electricity consumption, Marathon Digital Holdings made the decision to pack up its computers, called miners, and move them to a wind farm in Texas.

“For us, it comes down to the fact that we don’t want to run on fossil fuels,” said company CEO Fred Thiel.

In the world of bitcoin mining, access to cheap and reliable electricity is paramount. But many economists and environmentalists have warned that as the still largely misunderstood digital currency rises in price – and with it in popularity – the mining process that is central to its existence and value is becoming increasingly more energy-intensive and potentially unsustainable.

Bitcoin was created in 2009 as a new way to pay for things that would not be subject to central bank or government oversight. Although it has yet to widely catch on as a payment method, it has seen its popularity increase in speculative investing despite volatility that can swing its price wildly. In March 2020, one bitcoin was worth just over $5,000. This hit a record high of over $67,000 in November before dropping to just over $35,000 in January.

The core bitcoin technology is the process by which transactions are verified and then recorded on what is called the blockchain. Computers connected to the bitcoin network race to solve complex mathematical calculations that verify transactions, with the winner earning newly minted bitcoins as a reward. Currently, when a machine solves the puzzle, its owner is rewarded with 6.25 bitcoins, with a total value of around $260,000. The system is calibrated to release 6.25 bitcoins every 10 minutes.

When bitcoin was first invented, the puzzles could be solved using an ordinary personal computer, but the technology was designed so that the problems became harder to solve as more and more more miners work there. These mining operations today use specialized machines that have no monitors and look more like a high-tech fan than a traditional computer. The amount of energy used by computers to solve puzzles increases as more computers join in the effort and the puzzles become more difficult.

Marathon Digital, for example, currently has around 37,000 miners, but hopes to have 199,000 online by early next year, the company said.

It is difficult to determine the amount of energy used by the industry because not all mining companies report their use and some operations are mobile, moving storage containers full of miners across the country in search of energy. Low cost.

The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index estimates that bitcoin mining has used about 109 terawatt hours of electricity over the past year, nearly the amount used in Virginia in 2020, according to US Energy. Information Center. The current usage rate would be 143 terawatt hours over a full year, about the amount used by Ohio or New York State in 2020.

The Cambridge estimate does not include the energy used to mine other cryptocurrencies.

A key moment in the debate over bitcoin’s power consumption came last spring, when just weeks after Tesla Motors said it was buying $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would also accept digital currency as a medium. payment for electric vehicles, CEO Elon Musk joined critics in calling out the industry’s energy use and said the company would no longer take payment.

Some want the government to intervene with regulation.

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul is under pressure to declare a moratorium on the proof-of-work mining method — the one bitcoin uses — and to deny an air quality permit for a power plant project. modernized coal-fired electric that runs on natural gas.

A New York state judge recently ruled that the project would not affect the air or water of nearby Seneca Lake.

“Refueling or expanding coal and gas plants to make play money in the midst of a climate crisis is literally insane,” Yvonne Taylor, vice president of Seneca Lake Guardians, said in a statement.

Anne Hedges of the Montana Environmental Information Center said that before Marathon Digital arrived, environmental groups expected the coal-fired power plant in Hardin, Montana to shut down.

“It was a death watch,” Hedges said. “We received their quarterly reports. We were looking at how well they worked. We saw it continue to decline year after year – and last year that totally changed. It would have disappeared without the bitcoin. The cryptocurrency industry “needs to find a way to reduce its energy demand” and needs to be regulated, Hedges said. “That’s all there is to it. It’s unsustainable.” Some say the solution is to switch from proof-of-work verification to proof-of-stake verification, which is already used by some cryptocurrency companies. currencies. With proof-of-stake, the verification of digital currency transfers is left to computers, rather than having them compete. Individuals or groups who bet more on their cryptocurrency are more likely to get the job – and the reward.

Although the method uses much less electricity, some critics claim that proof-of-stake blockchains are less secure.

Some companies in the industry recognize that there is a problem and commit to achieving net zero emissions – without adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere – from the electricity they use by 2030 by signing a crypto climate accord, modeled after the Paris climate accord.

“All crypto communities should work together, as a matter of urgency, to ensure that crypto does not further aggravate global warming, but instead becomes a net positive contributor to the vital transition to a low-carbon global economy” , states the agreement.

Marathon Digital is one of many companies pinning their hopes on harnessing excess renewable energy from solar and wind farms in Texas. Earlier this month, Block-stream Mining and Block, formerly Square, announced they were opening a small off-grid mining facility in Texas using solar panels and Tesla batteries.

“This is a step to prove our thesis that bitcoin mining can fund zero-emission power infrastructure,” said Adam Back, CEO and co-founder of Blockstream.

Companies say cryptocurrency mining can provide an economic incentive to build more renewable energy projects and help stabilize power grids. Miners give renewable energy producers a guaranteed customer, making it easier to get financing for projects and produce electricity at full capacity.

Mining companies are able to contract for cheaper power because “all the power they use can be shut off and returned to the grid at any time,” Thiel said.

In Pennsylvania, Stronghold Digital is cleaning up hundreds of years of coal waste by burning it to create what the state classifies as renewable energy that can be sent to the grid or used in bitcoin mining, depending on demand. of electricity.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is a partner in the work, which is using relatively new technology to burn coal waste more efficiently and with fewer emissions. Left alone, piles of coal waste can ignite and burn for years, releasing greenhouse gases. When wet, waste coal releases acid into local waterways.

After using the waste coal to generate electricity, what remains is “non-toxic fly ash,” which is state-registered as clean fertilizer, said Stronghold Digital spokeswoman Naomi Harrington. .

As Marathon Digital gradually moves its 30,000 miners out of Montana, it leaves behind tens of millions of dollars in mining infrastructure.

Just because M a – thon no longer wants to use coal power doesn’t mean there won’t be another bitcoin miner to replace it. Thiel said he assumed power plant owners would find a company to do just that.

“No reason not to,” he said.

When bitcoin was first invented, the puzzles could be solved using an ordinary personal computer, but the technology was designed so that the problems became harder to solve as more and more more miners work there.

Supermarket car parks targeted by thieves

April 22, 2022

Montana Lending

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POHATCONG — There may be evidence of an ongoing scam in the parking lots of grocery stores and supermarkets in Warren County, according to police responding to the latest such incident on Thursday.

Pohatcong Township Police Department said on facebook that one of its agents was dispatched to the parking lot of Aldi to speak with an elderly victim who claimed her wallet had been stolen – but it did not happen outside that store.

Instead, the woman told police she was in her vehicle outside the ShopRite in nearby Greenwich Township earlier on Thursday when she was approached by someone she described as a hispanic man.

Police said the woman told them the man showed her lug nuts from a vehicle tire and explained, in broken English, that the pieces had come loose from his car.

When she rolled down her window, according to the inquest, the man took her wallet and fled on foot.

Pohatcong police say they have seen “several similar cases” this year which are “very alarming” and have already made one arrest.

Police Chief Scott Robb confirmed in an email to New Jersey 101.5 that the arrest stemmed from an incident about a month ago at the Pohatcong Stop & Shop.

Police say all of the encounters involved a Hispanic male, and the police department said it will release photos soon.

Anyone with further information is urged to contact the authorities.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

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Municipal tax bill for every city and town in NJ, filed

Just under 30 cents of every $1 of property taxes collected in New Jersey supports municipal services provided by cities, townships, boroughs, and villages. Statewide, the average municipal tax bill alone in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from over $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to the $9.22 billion in taxes for municipal purposes, special tax districts that in some locations provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development collected 323, $8 million in 2021.

How the World Seen New Jersey—1940s to 1980s

This is how New Jersey saw the world from 1940 to 1980. All of these photos are from AP and Getty publications, which means they were used in a magazine or newspaper. There have been many inventions and stories made in New Jersey. Check the photos below.

‘Mistake’ to limit opening hours at border ports as economy suffers

April 22, 2022

Montana Economy

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HELENA — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) says he may not have the medical skills, but sees the continued economic impact along the border of the pandemic restrictions.

He is once again calling for U.S. border crossings to resume full service. Tester has been pushing for a return to normal border operations over the past year, citing diminishing COVID-19 concerns that forced the United States and Canada to restrict crossings in 2020.

As traffic resumed with an ever-changing list of requirements, U.S. border crossings continue to limit hours of operation, which Tester said is hard to fathom.

“I’m a land farmer. I’m not a doctor, but I’ll tell you, for people who’ve been vaccinated, it doesn’t make a difference,” Tester said. “And for those who haven’t been, go out and get vaccinated and open the border.”

Noting that Montana had nearly $700 million in Canadian exports in 2018, Tester says full reopening is essential for agriculture and tourism.

“All of these things have impacts. They have economic impacts. They have impacts,” Tester said. “Be able for businesses to succeed. And I just think if we really want to get the economy back on track, and it’s going pretty well right now, but making sure those ports are open is really important. “

It is important for individuals as well. Eureka’s Brandy Carvey sent us photos of her family trying to enjoy an Easter Sunday gathering at Lake Koocanusa, roasting hot dogs through the barbed wire fence. The tester says reopening would help ease the ongoing financial and emotional pinch for residents living “across the border”.

“I think it’s the right thing to do, especially if you want to do certain things to try to influence inflation,” Tester said. “Because the supply chain is a major cause of the inflation we are currently experiencing.”

There have been past fights with Customs and Border Patrol over cutting operations at some of the remote border crossings. The tester says he’s not concerned about this, but he offered a warning.

“If you want to talk about closing ports or permanently reducing hours, let’s have this debate. We’ve had this before. We’ve won. And we’ll have it again, and we’ll win again.” the tester. “But the main thing is to close the ports to keep the hours down because the pandemic, I think, is a mistake.”

Tester also opposes efforts to lift the immigration provisions of “Title 42” without having a better staffing and security plan along the northern border.

USDA invests nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure for Earth Day

April 22, 2022

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In honor of Earth Day 2022, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure (PDF, 587 KB) in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. These investments will strengthen the health and livelihoods of people in rural America. They include the financing of 165 projects aimed at increasing access to drinking water and/or clean energy for people living in disadvantaged communities.

The announcement is part of the Biden-Harris administration Build a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour, in which Biden administration officials travel to dozens of rural communities to talk about the impact of investments in the bipartisan infrastructure law, as well as President Biden’s broader commitment to ensuring that federal resources reach every community in rural America. This announcement also advances the President’s Justice40 initiative, which commits to providing at least 40% of the benefits of federal climate and clean energy investments to underprivileged communities.

Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack. USDA photo by Tom Witham

“People in rural America are experiencing the impacts of climate change in many ways. This includes more severe droughts, more frequent wildfires, and more destructive and potentially deadly storms,” Vilsack said. “When we invest in rural community infrastructure, we invest in our planet, and we also invest in peace of mind for families when children drink clean, safe tap water in their homes. The USDA is proud to celebrate the Day Earth and the many ways we are fighting climate change and investing in local solutions to bring clean water and renewable energy to people in rural areas around the world.

USDA Rural Development is taking several steps to mitigate the impacts of climate change in rural communities.

Advancing Equity in Rural Communities

USDA Rural Development is prioritize projects that advance the Biden-Harris administration’s top priorities of investing in rural communities to ensure people have equitable access to critical resources and address the climate crisis. Investments in these communities will impact generations to come.

For example, 165 projects announced today will help advance equity in rural communities, especially those that have been socially vulnerable, distressed and underserved for far too long.

Clean energy infrastructure and energy efficiency improvements

The USDA is investing $787 million in renewable energy infrastructure in 36 states to help agricultural producers, rural small business owners and residents reduce energy costs and make energy efficiency improvements. The Department makes investments under the Electric Loan Program and the Rural Energy Program for America (REAP).

Through REAP, the Department is helping 157 rural businesses and agricultural producers gain access to clean energy, while reducing their carbon footprint to make their business operations more profitable.

For example, in South Carolina, Limelight Solar I LLC will use a $2.1 million REAP loan to purchase and install a 2.5 megawatt solar system. The system is expected to produce 3.9 million kilowatt hours per year, enough electricity to power 362 homes in the city of Spartanburg.

Electric program funding includes nearly $67 million for smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.

For example, in Pennsylvania, REA Energy Cooperative Inc. will use a $16 million power program loan to connect 635 customers and build and upgrade 186 miles of power lines. This loan includes $6.5 million in smart grid technologies, including 35 miles of aerial fiber.

Infrastructure improvements for communities affected by extreme weather conditions

USDA is investing $12 million to help rural communities affected by severe weather. The funds will benefit people living in 17 states, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico. The Department makes investments under the Community Facility Disaster Grants program and the Disaster Loan and Grant Program for Water and Waste Disposal.

The funds will help communities build back better by mitigating health risks and improving access to safe and reliable drinking water and sanitary waste disposal services. The funds will also purchase emergency response equipment to help communities be better prepared and more resilient to disasters.

For example, in Puerto Rico, Acueducto Rural Comunidades Especiales Bayamocito Inc. will use a $30,000 disaster water and waste disposal grant to purchase a new 20 kilowatt generator with an automatic transfer switch. This grant will help ensure residents of Aguas Buenas, a community hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017, have access to safe and reliable drinking water in the event of a future natural disaster.

The City of Graceville, Minnesota will use an $11,000 Community Disaster Facility Grant to purchase and install an emergency storm siren. The siren will alert residents of the community to a risk of severe weather.

The USDA is announcing awards today under multiple programs in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi and Montana. , North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia , Wyoming, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.

Background: Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA and its federal partners in the Infrastructure Implementation Working Group work with rural communities to deliver on their promise to support rural America.

The Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour is a multi-faceted outreach effort involving cabinet and sub-cabinet representatives from federal agencies as they travel and learn from key rural communities. These tours will highlight new federal funding and investments already underway through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, a once-in-a-generation investment that will support rural communities and their infrastructure needs.

The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the US food system with greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe food, healthy and nutritious in all communities, creating new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in the rural America, and committing to equity across the department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

Under the Biden-Harris administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunity, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This aid supports the improvement of infrastructure; Business development; lodging; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed Internet access in rural, tribal and very poor areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Climate-smart infrastructure

NJ Can’t Get Enough Legal Weed…Yet

April 22, 2022

Montana Lending

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The first day of legal recreational weed sales saw long lines and fast sales. Many people who took the time to go said it was worth the trip even though the prices are high. It was a historic day, and most people went to take a selfie while queuing to be able to post it on social media.

On the first day, traffic backed onto Route 1 on Route 295 north to the Zen Leaf Dispensary in Lawrenceville.

Photo Dennis Malloy

Photo Dennis Malloy

Zen Leaf has three locations in New Jersey and dozens across the country. That’s a lot of overhead that businesses need to operate. There is marketing, rent, payroll, legal, etc.

The guy named Noz you met in the parking lot at Wawa or who pulls up in your driveway twice a month has none of those expenses. It can keep the price low and offer about as much variety. We had a few calls from dealers this week who said they would drop their price as low as necessary to stay competitive.

It’s a coincidence that a story came out this week warning people that drug dealers were mixing some of their products, including marijuana with fentanyl, theoretically to give their customers a bigger high and more business. . It’s definitely a danger and can happen with stronger drugs, but unlikely with weed.

New Jersey Recreational Cannabis

PA

Was this story started this week to encourage weed smokers to ditch their street vendor and head to state-regulated dispensaries? You can form your own opinion on that.

The other reason your dealer may offer it for less besides overhead is taxes. And we know the state of New Jersey is more addicted to tax money than a heroin addict. They didn’t legalize recreational weed because they wanted to advance the cause of freedom for consenting adults.

The reason most often cited is social justice, most citing the impact of drug laws on minorities. Nice cover, but IT’S THE MONEY, STUPID! They want everything they can grab to keep the government growing.

The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On demand! Listen to New Jersey’s favorite Best Friends anytime, anywhere, and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen now:

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Eagle Bancorp Montana (EBMT) – Financial Analyst Ratings Weekly Updates

April 22, 2022

Montana Loans

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Eagle Bancorp Montana (NASDAQ: EBMT) recently received a number of rating updates from brokerages and research firms:

  • 04/19/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana is now covered by analysts at StockNews.com. They have placed a “holding” rating on the stock.
  • 04/12/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana has been updated by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a price target of $24.00 on the stock. According to Zacks, “Eagle Bancorp operates as a holding company for the American Federal Savings Bank which provides retail banking services in south central Montana. The company offers a variety of deposit and loan products and services. The Bank is a federally chartered savings bank, engaged in typical banking activities: acquiring deposits in local markets and investing in loans and securities.Eagle Bancorp also offers real estate loans for construction; consumer loans including auto loans, RV loans, boat loans, personal loans and lines of credit, and custodial account loans; and business loans. Headquartered in Helena, Montana, the company’s mission is to effectively increasing value for its customers, shareholders, employees and communities.”
  • 04/11/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana is now covered by analysts at StockNews.com. They have placed a “holding” rating on the stock.
  • 03/04/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana is now covered by analysts at StockNews.com. They have placed a “holding” rating on the stock.
  • 03/31/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana has been upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Eagle Bancorp operates as a holding company for the American Federal Savings Bank which provides retail banking services in south central Montana. The company offers a variety of deposit and loan products and services. The Bank is a federally chartered savings bank, engaged in typical banking activities: acquiring deposits in local markets and investing in loans and securities.Eagle Bancorp also offers real estate loans for construction; consumer loans including auto loans, RV loans, boat loans, personal loans and lines of credit, and custodial account loans; and business loans. Headquartered in Helena, Montana, the company’s mission is to effectively increasing value for its customers, shareholders, employees and communities.”
  • 03/26/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana is now covered by analysts at StockNews.com. They have placed a “holding” rating on the stock.
  • 03/18/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana is now covered by analysts at StockNews.com. They have placed a “holding” rating on the stock.
  • 3/10/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana is now covered by analysts at StockNews.com. They have placed a “holding” rating on the stock.
  • 03/02/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana is now covered by analysts at StockNews.com. They have placed a “holding” rating on the stock.
  • 02/22/2022 – Eagle Bancorp Montana is now covered by analysts at StockNews.com. They have placed a “holding” rating on the stock.

Shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana Stock opened at $21.96 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $147.02 million, a PE ratio of 10.17 and a beta of 0.66. Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. has a 12-month low of $21.50 and a 12-month high of $25.56. The company has a quick ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt ratio of 0.22. The company’s fifty-day simple moving average is $22.16 and its two-hundred-day simple moving average is $22.52.

Eagle Bancorp Montana (NASDAQ: EBMTGet a rating) last announced its quarterly results on Tuesday, January 25. The bank reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.26 for the quarter, missing analyst consensus estimates of $0.56 per ($0.30). The company had revenue of $21.76 million in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $24.00 million. Eagle Bancorp Montana had a return on equity of 9.28% and a net margin of 14.79%. As a group, sell-side analysts expect Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. to post earnings per share of 2.57 for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 4. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 11 received a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a dividend of $0.50 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.28%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 10. Eagle Bancorp Montana’s payout ratio is 23.15%.

In related news, the director Kenneth M. Walsh sold 10,000 shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana in a trade dated Tuesday, February 1. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.40, for a total transaction of $224,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available via the SEC website. Insiders of the company own 7.40% of the shares of the company.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings of Eagle Bancorp Montana shares 1.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,194 shares of the bank worth $1,429,000 after buying an additional 1,009 shares last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana by 35.6% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 5,996 shares of the bank valued at $138,000 after buying 1,575 additional shares last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 378,780 shares of the bank valued at $8,704,000 after purchasing an additional 5,281 shares last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp increased its stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana by 11.3% during the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 75,000 shares of the bank valued at $1,724,000 after buying an additional 7,639 shares last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Holdings Inc. increased its stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana by 274.2% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. now owns 5,639 shares of the bank valued at $129,000 after buying an additional 4,132 shares last quarter. Institutional investors hold 41.33% of the company’s shares.

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc operates as a bank holding company for Opportunity Bank of Montana, which provides various retail banking products and services to small businesses and individuals in Montana. It accepts various deposit products, such as individual checking, savings, money market and retirement accounts, as well as certificates of deposit accounts.

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New Jersey lawyer and a judge dig into cops getting high

April 21, 2022

Montana Lending

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He’s a New Jersey State Senator by day, but by night Jon Bramnick is known as “New Jersey’s Funniest Lawyer” and this Saturday night he’ll be appearing at Catch A Rising Star at the Princeton Hyatt Regency with Vince August, a Municipal Court judge who ditched the bench to do stand-up.

Bramnick and August were guests on my radio show New Jersey 101.5 and the controversial topic of “Now that we’ve legalized recreational marijuana, should the New Jersey police be able to get high on their day off?”

You can listen to the request from 0:59:30:

Original photo source Adobe Stock by Iarygin Andrii

original photo source Adobe Stock Iarygin by Andrii

“It’s new because how to tell someone that you can not do something legal?” said August. “We say this because marijuana remains in your bloodstream longer, unlike alcohol, but it does not necessarily mean you harm. »

August, who tours with Trevor Noah, continued with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.

“Here’s the thing about cops getting high. They eat a lot of donuts like that already. Do we really want these guys to really take that aspect of their lives to the next level?”

“What I do not understand,” said Bramnick, “is if they are allowed to drink alcohol and get drunk as much as they want on Saturday night. How do you claim that they should not marijuana, which is now legal, “I understand that there are demands for it but I do not understand simply. I do not really understand what the difference between them drinking on Saturday night or smoking marijuana. I lost it. “

Photo provided by Jon Bramnick

Photo provided by Jon Bramnick

“The biggest problem here,” August says, “is having cops who are DREs (Drug Recognition Experts) in marijuana because that’s a new thing. That’s a thing with alcohol. , you can pretty much tell when somebody’s drunk. But with pot, you’re gonna have to give these guys all kinds of training. Now anyone can arrest somebody for DWI, but with marijuana, these guys will all need specialized training.

The month of August relativized

“A lot of people I know, I think they’re stoned half the time anyway. And they’re not. They’re just stupid. So we have to be careful with this thing.”

Photo provided by Trevor Noah

Photo provided by Trevor Noah

August then put his tongue back in his cheek.

“If we’re going to have cops, stoned, with guns. We’re going to have guys arresting dragons, we’re going to have guys arresting dinosaurs. We can’t have cops imagining or hallucinating while they’re drive the car shooting at imaginary things. We did it with kids a few years ago with pokemon on their phones chasing imaginary things in the park. Cope is going to do pokemon only they are going to get their ass kicked.

For tickets to see Jon Bramnick and Vince August with a Q&A afterwards, click here.

The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

You can now listen to Steve Trevelise – On demand! Learn more about the personalities of New Jersey and what makes the Garden State interesting. Download the issue of Steve Trevelise wherever you get podcasts on our free app, or listening to now:

NJ Beach Tag Guide for Summer 2022

We reach another summer at the Jersey shore! Before you get lost in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we calculate how much cost you seasonal beach tags / weekly / daily, and offers pre-season you can still enjoy!

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Mortgage Advisory Firm Vice Capital Markets Promotes Shawn Ansley to CIO | national news

April 21, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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NOVI, Michigan, April 21, 2022 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Vice Capital Markets, a leading mortgage advisory firm for independent lenders, banks and credit unions, today announced that it has promoted Shawn Ansley as Chief Information Officer (CIO). As CIO, Ansley will be responsible for the continued development of information technology and deepening integrations with agencies and major lending systems and leading the development of new tools to improve the customer experience. .

“Since joining our firm, Shawn has tirelessly pushed Vice Capital to continuously evolve and stay current with ever-changing market and execution environments. This promotion is really more of a formal recognition of leadership and guidance exaggerations that he had already shown in the past few years,” said Chris Bennett, founder and director of Vice Capital.

Joining Vice Capital in 2005 after earning his master’s degree in mathematics, Ansley rose through the ranks at Vice Capital, most recently serving as a managing director. He leads the quantitative analytics that underpins the firm’s hedging advisory services and is credited with revolutionizing the attraction of Vice Capital through modeling for more accurate pipeline management.

Ansley is also responsible for automating many of Vice Capital’s day-to-day processes to improve operational efficiency and eliminate opportunities for human error, including overseeing several LOS integrations to allow information to flow between Vice Capital and customers transparently. Ansley has also developed proprietary APIs with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to facilitate direct data pricing requests and loan commitments with GSEs, dramatically speeding up this critical process.

“Having had the privilege of working with Chris, Troy and the team at Vice Capital for over 15 years, this promotion is truly an honor,” said Ansley. “I look forward to leading the next phase of our software development initiatives, which will help to further enhance the client experience while significantly enhancing the value, advice and services that Vice Capital offers to the market.”

Founded in 2001, Vice Capital serves independent mortgage lenders and financial institutions of all sizes, with monthly mortgage production volumes ranging from $10 million to $5 billion per month. Last year, the company set a new record for internal trade volume, transacting more than $202 billion on behalf of its full-service clients, and experienced a marked increase in its customer base, including growth of more than 50% in the credit union space. Today, one in 15 mortgages issued in the United States is negotiated by Vice Capital or covered using its proprietary software.

About Vice Capital Markets

Since 2001, Vice Capital Markets has successfully managed interest rate risk and maximized profitability in MBS transactions and mortgage-related transactions for banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders of all sizes. With an average of over 10 years of experience behind each of the traders on our team, Vice Capital has helped clients achieve, on average, a 25 to 55 basis point improvement over their best execution, and patterns Vice Capital’s proprietary risk management capabilities and complex investor and agency best execution platform have consistently generated safe and efficient profit maximization for its clients. To learn more, visit https://www.vicecapitalmarkets.com/ or call (248) 869-8100.

SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Vice Capital Markets

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Public education is a national birthright

April 21, 2022

Montana Economy

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Located directly between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, Montana residents are proud to recognize our land of natural splendor as the “last best place” in the country.

Our pride is justified, even if it is not of our making. One idea, however, which is a creation of the human mind and which is of incalculable importance, is our historically unique system of public education.

Early in our development as a free people, Thomas Jefferson observed that freedom and self-governance depended on an educated and free-thinking society.

In keeping with Jefferson’s vision, Congress has repeatedly renewed national support for public education. Examples are the Land Grant Act which provided significant support to Montana State University as well as the University of Montana and Montana Tech; the Enabling Act which established Montana’s statehood and, in doing so, struck down Sections 16 and 36 of each township within state boundaries for the support of common schools; and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which since 1965 has provided broad federal support for public education in all states. In Montana, a coordinated system to provide a base of support for all Montana public schools has been in effect for three-quarters of a century.

Undoubtedly, there has been a firm and ongoing recognition both in our nation and in our state that education is a human right. In no other part of the world has such a commitment been made.

Free, public education was one of the main reasons why millions of European immigrants fled a hopeless existence of ignorance and poverty in the old world to seek opportunities in the new world. The key to opportunity here was public education. The booming American economy of the 1800s had an overwhelming need for literate workers. Those who could cipher and read the language were much more productive than those who could not. They would soon become not only the backbone of the American labor force, but also the creators of countless private enterprises that resulted in perpetual job creation, and thus a continuous cycle of opportunity and prosperity.

This land of the American dream could not have existed without the universal opportunity for education. Most of the old world elite hated the concept of public education. Prosperity there was reserved for the heirs of wealth and power. The privileged classes alone enjoyed the possibility of learning. If the masses were educated, they feared, the resulting questioning spirits within the working class would pose a direct threat to the perpetual domination of the ruling class.

As an alternative to the competition for the wealth and power that an educated workforce would inevitably create, the European nobility decided to create a welfare state, the prototype of which took place under the leadership of the German “Iron Chancellor”. Otto Von Bismarck. By providing for basic human needs at state expense, Bismarck concluded that the masses would have little reason to overthrow the existing system as they had done in Europe since the guillotine days of the French Revolution.

The concept of public welfare has been adopted to some extent in much of the rest of Europe. It is no accident of history that systems of public education producing social ascent only appeared there after the upheaval of the two world wars.

Although we have our inequalities and “the American way” remains a work in progress, Americans retain our autonomous freedom to adapt and reform. We have a high standard of living and a “social safety net”. Our productivity generates tax revenue, which makes our public services possible. The foundation of it all – universal public education – has made creating and sharing the American Dream a tangible reality for those fortunate enough to live here.

Particularly isolated from a less fortunate world, we Montananese have more than most humans to be grateful for. Our happy circumstances are due in large part to our continued commitment to public education. On May 5, we will have the opportunity as free people to renew our commitment to our time-tested educational birthright once again by supporting our public schools.

Bob Brown is a former Montana Secretary of State and President of the State Senate. He lives in Whitefish.

NJ cops won’t be banned from smoking weed

April 20, 2022

Montana Loans

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New Jersey police officers are unlikely to be banned from using recreational cannabis as legal sales begin this week in the Garden State.

New Jersey State Senate President Nick Scutari (D-Union) said regulating people’s behavior while free was a “very dangerous slippery slope” and that it was “not unwilling to come down”. Scutari made his comments at an event held at Rowan University.

This effectively kills any attempt to prevent law enforcement from enjoying cannabis recreationally when off duty.

Governor Phil Murphy said he was “open-minded” talk about such a ban. Murphy said if there were “reasonable steps” to ban cannabis use by police and all first responders, he would “absolutely” consider it.

MP Beth Sawyer (R-Gloucester) has previously proposed such a ban, saying law enforcement must be held to a higher standard.

Our men and women in law enforcement have a responsibility to make life-changing decisions every day, for themselves, their partners, for the public,” Sawyer said, “I want to be sure they are at their best when they do. ”

Democratic Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) has also proposed a “zero tolerance” policy for the use of marijuana for law enforcement.

Without Scutari’s support, however, no ban would ever make it to Murphy’s office to be enacted.

Before Murphy made his comments, Attorney General Matthew Platkin had already sent a memo to police departments across the state.

The memo stated that departments “cannot take any adverse action against an officer because he or she does or does not use cannabis while off duty.” This includes whether officers test positive for weed use on drug screens.

However, this does not mean that they can come to work under the influence of any substance.

Murphy made that clear when he spoke at an event on Monday, saying anyone who shows up for work while impaired “will be treated aggressively.”

Eric Scott is the senior policy director and anchor of New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

New Jersey Nets 2002-2003: The last time the NBA Finals went through NJ

In 2012, the Nets made their debut in Brooklyn, but before that, New Jersey had been the home of the Nets since 1977.

The franchise was born in 1967, under the name of New Jersey Americans. They played their games at Teaneck as part of the American Basketball Association. A year later they moved to Long Island, becoming the New York Nets.

It was there that the team won two ABA championships in 1973-74 and 1975-76. The following year, the Nets, along with three other basketball franchises, were absorbed into the NBA in a merger agreement, abolishing the ABA.

When the Nets first moved to New Jersey, they played their home games at Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway. Then, in 1981, they moved into the house many of us remember most, the Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford (later named Continental Airlines Arena, then Izod center).

After years of losing, the Nets reached back-to-back NBA Finals in 2001-02 and 2002-03. In 2002-03, the last time they sniffed the championship, the team lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

It would be the last time the Nets would sniff out the title, but their efforts added them to New Jersey lore forever.

New Jersey’s New Legislative Districts for the 2020s

The boundaries of the 40 legislative districts for the Senate and Assembly elections from 2023 to 2029, and possibly 2031, were approved in a bipartisan Allocation Commission vote on February 18, 2022. The map continues to favor the Democrats, although Republicans say it gives them a chance of winning a majority.

A “housing shortage” amid a building boom that is outpacing household growth?

April 19, 2022

Montana Lending

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Something has to give.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Builders began construction of 147,400 private homes of all types in March, the biggest March since 2006. Housing starts are highly seasonal and peak in the summer. This included:

  • 99,100 single-family homeswhich was lower than March 2021 (102,800 homes), but both were the largest March starts since 2007.
  • 46,700 units in buildings with 5+ units, such as rental apartments and condos. It was the biggest month — any month, not just March — since 1986, as the boom in multi-family building construction continues, undisturbed by rumors of some sort of urban exodus.

In terms of seasonally adjusted annual rateBuilders began construction at a pace of 1.79 million housing units of all types in March, the highest for any month since June 2006.

Single-Family Homes vs. Units in Multi-Family Buildings.

Single-family housing starts, on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, fell from February to 1.20 million in March, in the same relatively high range that has prevailed since the end of 2020 and is measured up there with 2007 (red line in the graph below).

Housing starts in buildings with five or more units reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 574,000 units. This and the January 2020 spike were the largest multi-family housing starts since 1986 (purple line):

Construction and the industries it supports are important parts of the US economy. A downturn in the construction industry can significantly contribute to an overall economic recession.

Prior to the Great Recession, housing starts peaked in 2005 after years of overbuilding, then entered a long period of slowdown. The Great Recession didn’t begin until December 2007, by which time housing starts had plunged. Housing starts bottomed out in early 2009 and sat in the trash for another two years before starting to recover.

Today, housing starts are booming and there are no signs of a slowdown in construction, beyond the problems imposed on the industry by shortages of materials and labor that are delaying construction projects.

The “housing shortage?

On a theoretical level, let’s compare the annual rate of housing starts to the annual rate of increase in the number of households. It’s not 100% on target because housing starts alone don’t include the (relatively few) housing units demolished to make way for new housing units. But this serves as a rough indication of the trend over time.

In the chart below, the horizontal purple line marks the average annual increase in the number of households since 2000, according to Census Bureau annual data through 2020, an average increase of 1.17 million households per year. Annual household growth varies from year to year. In 2020, household growth actually turned negative for the first time in annual data dating back to 1948.

A household is defined by the people living in a dwelling (an address), whether it is a single person or a multigenerational family or a group of roommates. As long as they live in the same dwelling, it is a “household”.

Where the red line – the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAR) of housing starts of all types – is above the purple line, housing units were built faster than households were added in mean.

As the chart shows, during the housing construction boom up to 2005, there was significant overbuilding, which later contributed to the housing slump.

Even as the housing crisis took hold and the land was flooded with vacant and newly built housing units, housing starts continued to outpace household growth until 2007, when housing starts had plunged enough that there were fewer housing starts over the next few years. than average household growth, and these additional households began to absorb housing units (purchased or rented).

Between 2015 and 2019, housing starts and household growth were roughly in balance. But they’re not in balance now – with housing starts significantly outpacing average household growth, especially in light of negative household growth in 2020.

The much-quoted “housing shortage” picture is clouded by many factors, including the building boom that is outpacing household growth. Many households have acquired more than one dwelling, while the other dwellings are vacant most of the time, if not all of the time. It could be a second home or third home, a vacation rental, or a home they haven’t sold yet after moving in order to ride the market all the way and resell it (I know a few people who do precisely that).

However, when investors buy homes and then put them on the rental market, there is no impact on the overall “housing shortage”. It is when someone buys a second home or vacation home that sits mostly unoccupied, or is converted into a vacation rental, that a dwelling is retired as a dwelling.

What there is, however, is a shortage of housing that is so priced that people can actually afford to live in it, renting or buying, after the massive price increases in recent years. years and rent increases in many cities.

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Tech stocks rally after early loss, leading market higher | national news

April 19, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks overcame a weak start and ended broadly higher on Tuesday, giving Wall Street’s major indexes their best day in nearly five weeks.

The S&P 500 rose 1.6%, enough to recoup nearly all of its losses from last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.5% and the Nasdaq 2.2%.

The last time the indices mounted a larger rally was on March 16. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq entered this week with two consecutive weekly losses, while the Dow Jones fell three weeks in a row.

Equities have mostly struggled this year amid uncertainty about how the US economy and businesses will be affected as the Federal Reserve decides to reverse low interest rate policies that have helped markets to soar in recent years.

“We’re just picking up a bit of a rebound after a tough few weeks,” said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at US Bank Wealth Management.

The S&P 500 rose 70.52 points to 4,462.21. The Dow Jones recovered from a 17-point slump and climbed 499.51 points to 34,911.20. The Nasdaq gained 287.30 points to 13,619.66.

Nearly 90% of stocks in the benchmark S&P 500 index rose. Tech stocks helped propel the broad gains. The expensive valuations of many of the biggest tech companies give them more leverage to steer the broader market up or down. Microsoft rose 1.7%.

Retailers and healthcare companies also helped lift the market. Amazon rose 3.5%. Johnson & Johnson rose 3.1% after reporting surprisingly strong earnings while increasing its dividend.

Banks have gained ground alongside rising Treasury yields, allowing them to charge higher interest rates on loans. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.94% from 2.85% on Monday evening. Bank of America rose 1.9%.

Shares of small companies outperformed the broader market, a sign of confidence in economic growth. The Russell 2000 rose 40.63 points, or 2%, to 2,030.77.

Energy values ​​were the only laggard. US crude oil prices fell 5.2% and natural gas prices fell 8.2%.

Wall Street is shifting its focus to the latest round of corporate bulletins as more big companies report their earnings. Signature Bank jumped 8.1% after beating analysts’ expectations.

Dental products maker Dentsply Sirona fell 13.4% after laying off its CEO without giving a reason, while posting current-quarter profit forecasts well below analysts’ estimates.

Netflix fell 25% in after-hours trading after the video streaming giant reported its first loss of subscribers globally in more than a decade. Netflix said it was preparing for things to get even worse with an expected loss of another 2 million subscribers in the April-June period. As of Tuesday’s close, Netflix had already lost half of its value since hitting an all-time high last November.

Railroad giant CSX will report results on Wednesday, along with Tesla. American Airlines and Union Pacific will release their results on Thursday.

The latest round of earnings comes as investors try to gauge how businesses and consumers are coping with rising inflation that has made everything from food to clothes and gasoline more expensive.

The conflict in Ukraine has added to these price pressures. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday downgraded the outlook for the world economy this year and next, blaming Russia’s war in Ukraine for disrupting world trade, pushing up oil prices, threatening food supplies and to increase the uncertainty already heightened by the coronavirus and its variants.

Rising prices prompted the Federal Reserve and other central banks to raise interest rates to lessen the impact of inflation. The Fed has already announced a quarter percentage point rate hike and Wall Street expects a half percent rate hike at its next meeting. Currently, investors expect rate hikes to push the benchmark interest rate into a range between 2.5% and 2.75% by the end of the year, according to the tool. FedWatch by CME Group.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how quickly they increase rates from meeting to meeting,” said Shawn Cruz, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. “How we come to the end of the year will have a lingering effect on market uncertainty and continued volatility.”

Bond yields rose as Wall Street braces for higher interest rates. The 10-year Treasury yield is the highest since the end of 2018. Rising yields have also added pressure to an already tight housing market, with mortgage rates rising and making borrowing more expensive. Wall Street will get more details on that impact when the National Association of Realtors releases its March home sales report on Wednesday.

———

Veiga reported from Los Angeles.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

11 movies to see in Bay Area theaters during SFFilm 2022

April 17, 2022

Montana Lending

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Cicero Lucas plays a teenager who dreams of traveling to space in “Mars One”. Photo: SFILM

For the first time since 2019, the San Francisco International Film Festival will be held in theaters across the Bay Area, bringing together numerous films between its opening drama “Stay Awake,” screened Thursday, April 21, and its closes April 30. “Cha Cha really smooth.”

Here are some of the highlights of the festival’s lineup:

“March One”

A teenager dreams of one day joining a colony on Mars, while his family here on Earth struggles but strives in this lively Brazilian drama that observes not only the daily life of the clan, but also their individual ambitions and the secrets they hold. are hiding.

8:45 p.m. Friday, April 22. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., SF; 7:45 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St., Berkeley.

French volcanologists Maurice and Katia Krafft in “Fire of Love” by Berkeley filmmaker Sara Dosa. Photo: Sandbox Films

“Fire of Love”

If ever a movie demanded to be seen on the big screen, it was this documentary from Berkeley filmmaker Sara Dosa, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The story of French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft, told through the couple’s images and photos of lava flows and ash plumes, captures the majesty and danger of an earth in motion.

Dosa, with the help of narrator Miranda July, tells a story steeped in science and romance, tracing the couple’s passion for their work and for each other.

1 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Castro Theater, 429 Castro St., SF; 5 p.m. April 24. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Era Balaj, Flaka Latifi and Andi Bajgora in “The hill where the lionesses roar”. Photo: Hugo Paturel / SFFILM

“The hill where the lionesses roar”

Franco-Kosovar actress Luàna Bajrami (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”) was only 18 when she made this film, her writing-directing debut in which three young Kosovar women refuse to accept the hopeless future that awaits them and star in spectacular scenes. fashion.

2:45 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Vogue Theater, 3290 Sacramento St., SF

Filmmaker Christine Choy in “The Exiles”. Photo: SFILM

“The exiled”

More than 30 years ago, Oscar-nominated director Christine Choy sought out the exiled leaders of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, but abandoned the project. Now she’s handing over the reins to two of her former New York University students, Violet Columbus (daughter of ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ director Chris Columbus) and Ben Klein for this gripping documentary – winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary American Sundance – blending old and new footage in an examination of the aftermath of a strangled revolution.

3 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St., SF; 2:00 p.m. 24 April. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is the subject of the documentary ‘Navalny’. Photo: SFFilm

‘Navalny’

When a would-be assassin poisons Russian politician Alexei Navalny, Daniel Roher’s documentary becomes as much a taut thriller as it is a profile of a man with the temerity to oppose Vladimir Putin.

Essential viewing in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “Navalny” – winner of the Audience Awards and Festival Favorite at Sundance – provides foreshadowing and context to current events rocking the world.

4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Castro Theatre.

Martin Miller as an aspiring musician and a teenager pining for his best friend in the Argentinian coming-of-age drama “Sublime.” Photo: SFFilm

‘Gorgeous’

A teenager grapples with new erotic feelings for his childhood best friend and bandmate, as they prepare to put on a show, in this compelling Argentinian coming-of-age tale.

In his feature debut, writer-director Mariano Biasin elicits strong performances from his young cast in a winning drama that captures youthful aspirations, all set to a seductive garage rock beat.

9 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. Victoria Theatre.

John Boyega stars in the hostage drama “892,” the 65th SFFilm Festival’s flagship film on April 27 at the Castro Theater. Photo: Courtesy of SFFilm

‘892’

This slow-burning, headline-ripping thriller – the festival’s flagship film – stars John Boyega as an Iraqi war veteran who takes hostages at a Georgian bank in his campaign for Veterans Affairs to do what it takes for him.

Nicole Beharie and Selenis Leyva as hostages, and the late Michael Kenneth Williams as police negotiator, provide strong support. But that’s Boyega’s show, and it’s fascinating.

7:30 p.m. April 27. Castro Theatre.

Haley Lu Richardson and Owen Teague play estranged siblings in “Montana Story.” Photo: SFILM

“History of Montana”

Former San Franciscans David Siegel and Scott McGehee (“What Maisie Knew”) visit the land of Big Sky for their first film in nearly a decade.

Against the natural beauty of rural Montana, an ugly tale of family dysfunction emerges as their father’s impending death forces the estranged siblings (both terrific Haley Lu Richardson and Owen Teague) to come together and confront the issues that separated them.

8:30 p.m. April 28. Victoria Theatre.

Jeremy Irvine as Ivor Novello and Jack Lowden as Siegfried Sassoon in Terence Davies’ ‘Benediction’. Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz / Road Attractions

‘Blessing’

Terence Davies’ first feature film since the 2016 Emily Dickinson biopic “A Quiet Passion” pays homage to fellow poet, Siegfried Sassoon, in a drama that draws a stark contrast between his fiery youth and muted old age.

Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi star as Sassoon in a gorgeous film that uses the writer’s verse as the story weaves through time.

4 p.m. April 29. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; 3:30 p.m. April. Castro Theatre.

Oakland filmmaker Reid Davenport films from his wheelchair-bound perspective in “I Didn’t See You There.” Photo: Reid Davenport / SFFilm

“I didn’t see you there”

Oakland filmmaker Reid Davenport won the American Documentary Achievement Award at Sundance for this documentary shot entirely from his point of view as he navigates everyday life in a wheelchair.

A circus tent popping up near Davenport’s apartment inspires commentary on freak show history and attitudes towards those seen as ‘freaks’, while blocked railings and other obstacles underscore the recklessness and the microaggressions of today’s world.

6 p.m. April 29. Victoria Theatre; 3:30 p.m. April. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant, in the documentary ‘Black Mothers Love and Resist’. Photo: SFILM

“Black Mothers Love and Resist”

The activism of Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant’s mother, in the years following her death in 2009 on a BART platform is at the forefront of this documentary, focusing on mothers left behind when their children are killed by the police.

While depicting families’ emotional wounds and survivors’ efforts to change laws and institutions, the film also depicts Johnson helping Angela Williams, a woman from Troy, Alabama, whose son survived a beating by the police. police, fight for justice.

8:30 p.m. April 29. Roxie Theatre.



Opportun Financial (NASDAQ:OPRT) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by BTIG Research

April 16, 2022

Montana Loans

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Opportunity Financial (NASDAQ: OPRTGet a rating)‘s stock had its “buy” rating restated by research analysts BTIG Research in a report on Thursday, TipRanks reports. They currently have a target price of $27.00 on the stock. BTIG Research’s target price indicates a potential upside of 100.00% from the company’s current price.

Several other equity research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Loop Capital launched a hedge on the shares of Oportun Financial in a research report on Monday, March 14. They set a “buy” rating and a price target of $24.00 for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Oportun Financial from a ‘neutral’ rating to an ‘overweight’ rating and cut its price target for the company from $27.00 to $23.00 in a report research on Wednesday, January 19. Barclays cut its price target on Oportun Financial shares from $28.00 to $27.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday January 10. To finish, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Oportun Financial from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a Wednesday, March 2, report. One financial analyst gave the stock a sell rating and five gave the stock a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Oportun Financial has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $25.50.

Shares of NASDAQ OPRT opened at $13.50 on Thursday. Oportun Financial has a fifty-two week low of $12.65 and a fifty-two week high of $27.95. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $14.90 and a two-hundred-day simple moving average of $19.60. The company has a market cap of $432.27 million, a price-earnings ratio of 8.71, and a beta of 1.28.

Opportunity Financial (NASDAQ: OPRTGet a rating) last announced its quarterly results on Thursday, February 24. The company reported earnings per share of $0.82 for the quarter, beating Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.10. The company posted revenue of $194.10 million in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $184.52 million. Oportun Financial had a net margin of 7.56% and a return on equity of 12.00%. The company’s quarterly revenue increased by 37.9% compared to the same quarter last year. In the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.42 per share. As a group, research analysts expect Oportun Financial to post 1.54 earnings per share for the current year.

Separately, director Louis Miramontes sold 5,357 shares of Oportun Financial in a trade on Monday, March 14. The shares were sold at an average price of $13.76, for a total transaction of $73,712.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, accessible via this link. Insiders of the company hold 12.60% of the shares of the company.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently increased or reduced their stake in the stock. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Oportun Financial by 0.5% during the third quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 3,343,835 shares of the company valued at $83,696,000 after purchasing an additional 17,173 shares last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Oportun Financial by 1.6% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,736,185 shares of the company valued at $68,486,000 after acquiring 42,644 additional shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in Oportun Financial by 37.9% in the third quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 2,225,454 shares of the company valued at $55,703,000 after acquiring an additional 611,601 shares in the last quarter. Ashford Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Oportun Financial by 16.8% in the fourth quarter. Ashford Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,693,764 shares of the company valued at $34,299,000 after acquiring an additional 243,874 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ribbit Capital GP III Ltd. acquired a new stake in Oportun Financial in Q4 worth $11,283,000. Institutional investors hold 74.52% of the company’s shares.

Oportun Financial Company Profile (Get a rating)

Oportun Financial Corporation provides financial services. It offers personal loans, car loans and credit cards. The company serves its customers online and by telephone, as well as through point of sale. It operates in 24 states in the United States, including Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia.

Further reading

Analyst Recommendations for Oportun Financial (NASDAQ: OPRT)



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Live Updates | Russians strike 8 Ukrainian cities and hit a depot | national news

April 16, 2022

Montana Economy

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KYIV, Ukraine — Russian forces shelled an oil refinery in the Ukrainian city of Lysychansk on Saturday and a major fire broke out, a regional governor reported.

Lugansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said it was not the first time the refinery had been targeted and accused the Russians of trying to “exhaust” local emergency services. He pointed out that there was no fuel at the refinery at the time of the attack and that “remnants of oil sludge” were burning.

Ukraine’s presidential office reported on Saturday that missile strikes and shelling in the past 24 hours have occurred in eight regions: Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv in the east, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Kirovohrad in central Ukraine and Mykolaiv and Kherson to the south. The strikes underscored that the whole country remained under threat despite Russia’s pivot to mount a new offensive in the east.

In Kharkiv, nine civilians were killed and more than 50 were injured on Friday, while in the wider region two were killed and three injured, the report said.

The southern Mykolaiv region was beaten on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s airstrikes left five people dead and 15 injured, according to the presidential office. The president of the regional legislature, Hanna Zamazeyeva, said on Saturday that 39 people had been injured in the past 24 hours.

Zamazeyeva said the targets included several residential blocks “where there are no military installations”.

The besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol still holds, but the situation there is critical.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:

— War in Ukraine far from over as Russia renews strikes in kyiv

— “We pray for you”: Ukrainian Jews celebrate Passover, if they can

— The Ukrainian port of Mariupol resists against all odds

— War Crimes Watch: The Woman Who Would Make Putin Pay

– The pain of a Ukrainian mother watching her daughter’s funeral on the phone

— Go to https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine for more coverage

———

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

————

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a televised address on Saturday that 700 Ukrainian soldiers and more than 1,000 civilians – more than half of them women – are currently being held captive by the Russians.

Vereshchuk said kyiv intends to swap the captive soldiers, since Ukraine holds roughly the same number of Russian soldiers but demands the release of the civilians “without any conditions”.

————

ROME — Italy is banning all Russian vessels from its ports from Sunday, as part of expanded EU sanctions announced earlier this month. Ships already in Italian ports must leave immediately “after completing their commercial activity”, according to a notice sent to port authorities across the country.

————

BERLIN — Peace activists took part in Germany’s traditional Easter marches on Saturday, calling for an end to the war in Ukraine but also, in at least some cases, opposing helping Ukraine defend itself with weapons .

An event in Berlin drew 400 people and one in Hanover 500, the dpa news agency reported, citing police. Marches took place in cities such as Munich, Cologne, Leipzig, Stuttgart and Duisburg. The banners included “End the war in Ukraine” and “Whoever sends arms reaps war”.

The country’s Vice Chancellor, Green politician Robert Habeck, warned protesters against sending the wrong message, saying “there will be peace only when Putin stops his war of aggression”. He said in an interview with the Funke media group that it was “clear who the aggressor is and who defends himself in an emergency and who we must support, also with weapons”.

Ukrainian officials said Germany had sent anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons as well as night vision equipment, body armor and machine guns.

Locally organized peace marches date back to the Cold War era and focus on issues such as disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons.

————

KYIV, Ukraine – Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person died and several others were injured in Saturday morning airstrikes on the capital’s Darnytsky district as Russian forces resumed scattered attacks on the capital in the west of Ukraine.

“Our air defense forces are doing everything they can to protect us, but the enemy is insidious and ruthless,” Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging app.

The attacks, which the Russian Defense Ministry said targeted an armored vehicle factory in the Ukrainian capital, were a searing reminder to Ukrainians and their Western supporters that the whole country remains under threat despite pivoting Russian forces towards the east, where a new offensive is to be feared. .

Klitschko urged Ukrainians not to return to Kyiv just yet in televised remarks on Saturday, warning that strikes on the capital were likely to continue and its suburbs were packed with explosives. “We do not rule out further strikes on the capital,” Klitschko said. “We cannot prohibit, we can only recommend. If you have the opportunity to stay a little longer in the cities where it is safer, do so.

The mayor of Kyiv added that because of the mines, Kyiv residents are not allowed to visit the parks and forests of the northeastern regions that border the liberated territories once occupied by the Russians.

————

MOSCOW — Russia has banned the British Prime Minister and a dozen other senior British officials from entering the country in response to British sanctions imposed on Russia for its military operation in Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced the decision on Saturday targeting Boris Johnson, a number of British ministers and former Prime Minister Theresa May.

The ministry statement cited “unprecedented hostile actions by the British government, expressed, in particular, in the imposition of sanctions against senior officials” in Russia.

“The Russophobic course of the British authorities, the main objective of which is to stir up a negative attitude towards our country, the reduction of bilateral relations in almost all areas is detrimental to the well-being and interests of British residents. Any attack on sanctions will inevitably backfire on their initiators and receive a decisive rebuff,” the statement said.

On Friday evening, the ministry announced the expulsion of 18 European Union diplomats from Moscow, in retaliation for the bloc’s declaration of 19 diplomats from the Russian mission to the EU and the European Energy Community. atomic persona non grata.

The European Union said the expulsions were groundless and that the EU diplomats targeted were working within the framework of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

———

KYIV, Ukraine – Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in an online post that Kyiv was struck early on Saturday in Darnytskyi district in the eastern part of the capital, saying there were “explosions “.

He said rescuers and paramedics were on the scene and details of the victims would be released later.

Klitschko urged residents to heed air raid sirens and warned those who fled the capital not to return just yet for their safety.

Thick smoke rising from the site on the east side of Kyiv could be seen from parts of the city center near the Dnipro River.

———

WASHINGTON — Ukraine is sending top officials to Washington for next week’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, where discussions will focus on the Russian invasion and its impact on the global economy.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko and Central Bank Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko will attend the rally, according to a World Bank official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the visit had not not officially announced.

———

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday that existing sanctions against Russia were “painful” but not yet enough to stop the Russian military.

Zelenskyy called on “the democratic world” to ban Russian oil. As US lawmakers and US President Joe Biden have enacted such a ban, Europe is becoming more dependent on Russian energy supplies and the US is working to prevent India from ramping up its use of Russian energy.

“In general, the democratic world has to accept that Russia’s money for energy resources is actually money for the destruction of democracy,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to his nation.

He also said: “The sooner the democratic world recognizes that the oil embargo against Russia and the complete blockade of its banking sector are necessary steps towards peace, the sooner the war will end.”

———

TIJUANA, Mexico – A Russian man and a Ukrainian woman have married in the Mexican border town of Tijuana after being unable to travel to the United States together

Daria Sakhniuk was allowed to enter the United States as a Ukrainian refugee, but her partner, Semen Bobrovsky, was unable to travel there after Russia invaded Ukraine. They left Ukraine at the start of the war.

Bobrovski told El Sol de Tijuana that he thinks Thursday’s wedding will boost his chances of entering the United States with his new wife. The United States only allows Russian nationals with family members in the United States to enter the country.

“Without it, we cannot cross because, again for the official US government, we are strangers to each other,” he said.

———

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he discussed the fate of the beleaguered port city of Mariupol during a meeting on Friday with the country’s military chiefs and heads of its intelligence agencies.

“Details cannot be made public now, but we are doing everything we can to save our people,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation.

Elsewhere in southern Ukraine, he said Russian troops occupying areas around Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were terrorizing civilians and searching for anyone who had served in the army or government.

“The occupiers believe this will make it easier for them to control this territory. But they are very wrong. They are wrong,” Zelenskyy said.

He added: “The problem with the occupiers is not that they are not accepted by certain activists, veterans or journalists. Russia’s problem is that it is not accepted – and never will be accepted – by all Ukrainian people. Russia has lost Ukraine forever.

Equity loans help create new owners

April 15, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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Great Falls will welcome 10 new owners through the NeighborWorks Great Falls Owner Built Homes program. U.S. Senator Jon Tester attended an event Friday at one of the newly built homes touting the program’s success and discussed the ongoing housing crisis both in the city and across the state.

“I have to be honest with you when I walked into the house, I thought, you know, just another house,” Tester said at the top of his remarks. “But that’s not it, just look around you. It’s damn nice.

Cascade County is expected to need 450 new homes per year over the next 10 years, about 190 rental units and 250 owner units, according to the Great Falls Development Authority’s housing study earlier this year.

Tester explained that 70 percent of Great Falls’ housing stock was built before the 1980s: “And that’s higher than any other market in Montana. »

“It’s just too difficult for too many families to find quality, affordable housing without literally breaking the bank,” Tester said.

How the program works

NeighborWorks Great Falls executive director Sherrie Arey explained that qualified applicants receive a “502 loan” from the US Department of Agriculture to build their home, which later turns into their mortgage. Then people commit to putting in 30 hours a week of “sweat equity” to build their own homes.

“The way it makes it affordable is that they build,” she said. “So they would need another 20 in that case, maybe $30,000 in loans that they can’t afford.”

Brenda Kukay of NeighborWorks estimated that mortgages range from $900 to just over $1,000 a month, which she says families are likely already paying rent. She said that before the program, some people rented or lived with their families.

Arey said construction is being supervised by professionals and local contractors are helping train people when construction is complete. She said the program usually takes 12 to 14 months, but COVID-19 has complicated their timeline, so for this group it was closer to 18 months.

Arey said Kukay works with families to ensure they are ready to commit to the project. Arey said people typically work one night a week and all day on Saturdays to make all hours work with their schedule.

Affordability in Great Falls, Tester comments on state’s slow distribution of emergency rental assistance

Arey said Great Falls still has the ability to be affordable.

“A lot of other cities have lost that,” Arey said. “We have it.”

She said she is grateful to the partners at the local and federal levels who help fund these projects.

Tester spoke about federal programs that help keep people housed, including the Emergency Rental Assistance Program through the American Rescue Plan Act, but commented on how the state has handled the funds.

“I think the state has been slow to provide these resources to families in Montana,” Tester said. “I hope that will change because we can’t play politics when it comes to keeping people at home.”

The state has distributed nearly $47 million of their over $350 million allocation, with the Helena Independent Record reporting in March that the US Treasury Department would reallocate $53 million of the total funds to other states, as Montana State failed to oblige at least 64% of the first round.

When asked, Tester agreed that people earning minimum wage would struggle to pay rent and said that’s where housing assistance can be used. The average overall rent costs more than $900, according to the GFDA study.

“Trying to find ways to get more rental units on the market as a bargain, some of these older buildings, maybe they can be rehabilitated,” he said. “I don’t think the state of Montana wants to get into the rental business, but there are things you can do to make interest-bearing loans more affordable to allow the private sector to do that.”

Tester said he’d like to see ARPA funds spent on housing and workforce training, though he said it’s ultimately up to local municipalities to decide where. go the funds.

New owners

It was quite a housewarming party for new neighbors Cameron Weninger and Ed Dustrude on Friday morning. The two new owners should receive the keys to the houses they have built in the coming weeks.

Cameron Weninger, 24, a first-time homeowner who works at Johnson Madison Lumbar Company, said he was grateful for the program, adding that otherwise it would have been difficult to get a home in this market. The tester said it would still be difficult and recommended Weninger look at his books.

The senator commented that in 1967 a house in this neighborhood cost $12,000. Tester earned his undergraduate degree in music in this district at the College of Great Falls, now the University of Providence.

Weninger said before the program that he lived with his family to save money.

Ed Dustrude, a 58-year veteran of Operation Desert Storm, is about to move into a three-bed, two-bathroom just next door to Weninger.

“When they say blood, sweat and tears, they’re not kidding,” Dustrude said of the building process. He praised the young people in the group who did most of the climbing and roofing work.

He said he had furniture from his apartment and storage furniture that he would be moving in the coming weeks.

Both were grateful for lower interest rates on their loans, one of the few silver linings to work on this during the pandemic, they said. However, they said almost everyone contracted COVID-19 at some point during construction and it caused several delays.

Dustrude said he bonded with Weninger over a shared love of hunting, and their new neighborhood would bond after that shared experience.

“When it comes to housing, the bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, no silver bullet,” Tester said during his remarks. “The big takeaway here is that we need to take the whole approach above, all on deck, to make sure we’re supporting the Montana family’s ability to keep a roof over their heads.”

At the Weasku Inn, stay in the same room that was Clark Gable’s rural getaway

April 15, 2022

Montana Loans

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Not much has changed at almost 100 years Weasku Inn since the place was a favorite fishing retreat for Hollywood frontman Clark Gable.

Guests at the 1924-built log cabin and Grants Pass resort can play cards by the stone fireplace or borrow a fishing pole and try their luck along the banks of the Rogue River.

According to a history book published by the lodge, the inn was founded by Sarah and Albert Smith. Sarah was a rare college-educated woman who served as president of a bank in South Dakota in 1917. After her first husband died, she opened a boarding house in Montana, where she fell in love with the one of his boarders. She and Albert E. Smith married in 1922.

The Smiths, seeking to escape Montana’s harsh winters, found a business opportunity near Grants Pass, a southern Oregon town that boasts the motto “It’s the Climate.”

The couple purchased 10 acres along the Rogue River in 1923 with plans to set up accommodation for the fishing crowd. Albert built six rental cabins by hand and they opened the main lodge the following year.

Sarah’s daughter, Faith, allegedly coined the name We-Ask-U-Inn. Over the years the hyphens have been dropped from the name, but an old wooden sign above the entrance hall still bears the original spelling.

“It’s a pun,” said Erik Johnson, the inn’s current owner. “When people walk in and see this sign behind reception, you see this look, like, ‘Oh, now I get it.'”

The Smiths sold the inn in 1927 and the Gibson family ran it for three decades. This was during the Inn’s heyday, when it was a popular rural getaway along US Route 99 for the rich and famous. The Weasku Inn was located just below a dam, making it an ideal fishing spot for salmon and rainbow trout.

Notable guests included Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, President Herbert Hoover and author Zane Gray. Clark Gable, whose framed photos can be found throughout the lodge today, was a frequent visitor and fisherman.

After his wife, Carole Lombard, was killed in a plane crash in 1942, Gable allegedly locked himself in his usual room, No. 4, and did not come out for three weeks.

In the late 1960s, US Route 99 was replaced by Interstate 5, which diverted travelers from the Weasku Inn and across the Rogue River. Business slowed somewhat and the inn went through a series of owners until it closed in the 1980s.

Carl Johnson, a hotelier with boutique properties in California and Oregon, bought the site in 1993, restored the lodge to its 1930s style, and reopened it in 1996. The property’s original cabins had been demolished, but Johnson built a new cabin. suites with exposed beams and stone fireplaces. A refurbished 1950s A-frame cabin remains available for hire today.

Five years ago, Erik Johnson bought the inn from his father, but he runs it with the same vintage charm. Guests can expect fire pit parties with free supplies. The staff bakes fresh, warm cookies every evening.

The dam that made Weasku Inn such a popular stop for anglers was removed in 2009 to help improve salmon migration routes. The Inn still lends fishing rods to guests, and many travelers come to enjoy other fishing spots along the Rogue River.

“Depending on the time of year, we’ve still had successful guests right outside the hotel,” Johnson said.

At night, the Weasku Inn can be spotted by the glow of its vintage neon sign depicting a leaping trout.

The inn doesn’t have a full restaurant, but the kitchen serves a free hot breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres that could make up a full meal. Local Southern Oregon beers and wines are available for purchase.

The lodge’s great room features a poker table, five-foot river stone fireplace, and period memorabilia along its log-lined walls. Today, the inn’s main clientele isn’t anglers or celebrities seeking respite, but travelers wanting a taste of old roadside America.

If you are going to: The Weasku Inn is located at 5560 Rogue River Hwy. in Grants Pass. For more information on cabins, lodge rooms or event rentals, visit weasku.com.

— Samantha Swindler, [email protected], @editorswindler

US stocks fall; investors look at Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter | national news

April 14, 2022

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower on Wall Street on Thursday as investors gave mixed views on earnings at four of the nation’s biggest banks.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2%, ending a shortened trading week with a 2.1% drop. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite lost 2.1%. Both indexes also ended in the red for the week.

A quartet of big banks reported notable declines in first-quarter earnings as the latest earnings season kicks off. Market volatility and the war in Ukraine caused transactions to dry up, while a slowdown in the housing market led to fewer people looking for mortgages.

Citigroup rose 1.6% while Wells Fargo fell 4.5%. Morgan Stanley rose 0.7% and Goldman Sachs slipped 0.1%.

Bond yields rose again, pushing the 10-year Treasury yield to 2.83%, and the price of US oil rose, ending nearly 11% higher for the week.

“With higher oil prices, higher bond yields, (this) implies that the market is still worried about inflation, about Ukraine, about the Fed’s response to all of this,” he said. Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

The S&P 500 fell 54 points to 4,392.59. The Dow fell 113.36 points to 34,451.23. The Nasdaq fell 292.51 points to 13,351.08. The US stock market will be closed for Good Friday.

Tech stocks led the way lower on Thursday, reversing gains elsewhere in the market. The expensive valuations of many of the biggest tech companies give them more leverage to steer the broader market up or down. Microsoft fell 2.7%.

Retailers and other businesses that rely on consumer spending also weighed on the market. Amazon fell 2.5%. Energy stocks rose along with the price of crude oil. Exxon Mobil rose 1.2%.

Small company stocks also lost ground. The Russell 2000 fell 20.12 points, or 1%, to 2,004.98.

Investors once again turned their attention to the drama surrounding Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk and Twitter. Musk offered to buy the social media company for $54.20 per share, two weeks after revealing he had accrued a 9% stake.

Musk has criticized Twitter for failing to uphold free speech principles and said in a regulatory filing that it should be turned into a private company. Twitter’s stock fell 1.7% to $45.08, well below Musk’s offer price.

Wall Street had mixed economic data to review after several hot inflation reports earlier in the week. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.5% in March, boosted by higher gasoline prices as consumers continued to spend despite high inflation.

Inflation remains at its highest level in 40 years in the United States and that forces economists and analysts to closely monitor the reaction of consumers to the rising prices of everything from food to clothing to essence. Inflation concerns escalated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which made energy prices more volatile and contributed to rising oil and wheat prices globally.

US crude oil prices reversed an early decline on Thursday and settled up 2.6%.

The head of the International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday that Russia’s war on Ukraine is weakening economic prospects for most countries in the world and reiterated the danger that high inflation poses to the global economy.

Rising prices are prompting the Federal Reserve and many other central banks to tighten monetary policy by raising interest rates, among other measures, to help calm the growing demand that is contributing to the problem.

Bond yields have mostly risen as Wall Street braces for higher interest rates.

Investors received another update on the job market recovery. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose last week, according to the Labor Department, but remained at a historic low. The data reflects a robust US labor market with near-record job openings and few layoffs.

Besides the banks, insurer UnitedHealth Group was the other big name on the profit ledger. UnitedHealth rose 0.4% after reporting strong first-quarter results and raising its 2022 guidance.

Investors are watching the latest round of corporate earnings closely to see how companies have handled rising costs and whether consumers have cut spending.

———

Veiga reported from Los Angeles.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Native American economy drives rural communities : NPR

April 13, 2022

Montana Economy

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Very well. We will now take a moment to review the state of the Native American economy. A new series airing on the Indian Country Today website has revealed that tribal businesses and governments are often the biggest economic contributors to their regions, and this is especially true in rural areas. From health care to green energy, the profile of the Indigenous economy goes far beyond casinos and fossil fuels. Mark Trahant writes for Indian Country Today and joins us now. Welcome.

MARC TRAHANT: Thank you. Glad to be here.

CHANG: Glad to have you. So, you said, for a fun scroll, readers should check out Google Tribes and Largest Employer. Can you just tell us – what would we find if we actually typed this into Google?

TRAHANT: Well, there are over 500 tribes in many parts of the country. If you typed in Google – choose a tribe and choose the largest employer, it would show up. If it wasn’t the first, it would be the second or third. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Northwest Montana, Oneida Nation in Oneida and Madison Counties in Wisconsin, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Osage Tribe of Oklahoma. Really, you could look at the list. Even in Southern California, where you have major casino operations in those areas, the tribes are sometimes the biggest employer.

CHANG: It’s so interesting. And can you explain how, for example, a healthy tribal economy can significantly affect neighboring communities?

TRAHANT: Well, I think the first path is employment. It just creates jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago. And one of the things that we saw during the pandemic that was really interesting was that a lot of the big tribal employers tried to keep people as long as possible. Not everyone, of course, but in many cases they tried to keep people working even when casino operations were shut down, and I think that was really remarkable.

CHANG: Well, finally, what size are we talking about? Like, how big is the tribal economy if you were to look across all the tribes in the continental United States?

TRAHANT: That’s a really tough question, but I think by the measure on the back of the envelope, we’re looking at at least $80 billion. And to give you an example of how that fits in, Vermont is about $37 billion.

CHANG: Wow. Okay, so more than double Vermont’s GDP.

TRAHANT: That’s true.

CHANG: Wow. So can you talk about some of the new industries that are driving some of the growth of tribal economies – like, I mentioned healthcare and green energy. Tell us more about it.

TRAHANT: Well, health care is a great example because so many people think of the Indian Health Service as a federal government operation. And it continues to exist, but 60% of the system is now managed by tribes or associations, and these are the ones that have been particularly innovative. In Alaska, for example, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Alaska Native Medical Center are extraordinarily innovative. They do everything from dental health therapy, which is a mid-level practice in the village, to telemedicine and have found new ways to provide health care at a significantly lower cost than other institutions.

CHANG: Finally, I want to talk about a phrase you use. You describe the tribal economy as a “stealth economy”. What did you mean by that? For example, do you think that at the federal level, the numbers inside this economy are just not being tracked enough?

TRAHANT: Yeah. Well, I think in general we need to do a better job of tracking data on Indian country and its economic contributions. This year alone, the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking unemployment, which is huge.

CHANG: You mean unemployment among the tribes?

TRAHANT: In tribal communities – on reservations, yes. And it’s extraordinary because you’ve seen stories in the media over the last 20 years of 50%, 80% unemployment on reservations. And it turns out that the actual measurement is around 37%, which is still approximate…

Chang: Yeah.

TRAHANT: …But it’s not at all close to what people report. So I think it’s really essential to have accurate and regular measurement to determine the impact of these savings. And when you think about it, tribes – like states – are in the Constitution. And as constitutional governments, having that record seems essential to me.

Chang: Absolutely.

It’s Mark Trahant, a reporter for Indian Country Today. Thank you very much for joining us today.

TRAHANT: Oh, that was fun.

(MUSIC SOUND EXTRACTION)

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Progress Made Under Biden – Flathead Beacon

April 13, 2022

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In response to Republican talking points about partisanship and the Biden administration’s lack of accomplishments, I wrote earlier about progress on jobs and kids…but that’s just one part of the table. Another achievement was the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Under numerous administrations, Republican and Democrat, Congress has been unable to pass a critical infrastructure bill, leaving us with lead in our water systems, dangerous bridges and an internet system that lags far behind that of many other countries. In fact, our infrastructure system earned a C-score from the American Society of Civil Engineers earlier this year.

Finally, thanks to a growing sense of compromise and a President who has worked very hard on this issue, we are on the road to recovery. What does this mean for Montana?

For Montana residents, that means about $2.82 billion for roads and bridges; $144 million in community airports; $15 million to study Amtrak rail expansion; funds to finance safer drinking water in rural areas, including up to $100 million for the Milk River project; $2.5 billion for carbon capture demonstration projects; $937 million for a large-scale carbon capture pilot project; $2.7 billion in loans to create carbon transport infrastructure; $2.5 billion to complete all authorized settlements of Indian water rights; $31 million for community colleges in Montana; $34 million for tribal colleges.

In addition to doing the necessary work, it is money that flows into our economy. It means jobs and prosperity for the people of Montana. It means an investment in our future.

Gail Trenfield
Saint Ignatius

Stocks fall on Wall Street, dragged down by the collapse of technology companies | national news

April 11, 2022

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Shares fell in morning trading on Wall Street on Monday as the market extends a losing streak from last week.

The S&P 500 fell 0.8% at 10:20 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68 points, or 0.2%, to 34,654 and the Nasdaq fell 1.3%.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the Nasdaq just suffered their first weekly loss in four weeks.

Tech stocks fell sharply and were the largest weights in the market. Microsoft fell 3.7% and Apple 1.7%.

Energy stocks were among the biggest losers as they tracked lower oil prices. US crude oil prices fell 4.1% and Exxon Mobil fell 2.5%.

Oil prices remain volatile amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has put increased pressure on global energy supplies. World oil prices rose about 25% for the year, although they declined somewhat throughout April.

Industrialists and banks held up better than the rest of the market. Boeing rose 1.5% and Citigroup 2%.

Bond yields gained ground. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.76% from 2.71% on Friday night.

Twitter was the focus of concern after Tesla’s mercurial billionaire Elon Musk said he would ultimately not join the company’s board. The stock rose 0.6%. Musk recently became the company’s largest shareholder and is now free to increase his stake.

Investors continue to worry about rising interest rates, Russia’s war on Ukraine and China’s efforts to contain coronavirus outbreaks. In China, automakers and other manufacturers are cutting production after authorities tightened restrictions to help stem coronavirus outbreaks in Shanghai and other cities.

Wall Street will receive several updates this week that may provide more clues as to how the broader economy has handled rising inflation.

The Labor Department will release its March consumer price report on Tuesday, while the Commerce Department will release its March retail sales report on Thursday. These reports have been closely watched as investors try to understand the impact of rising prices on consumer spending. Any significant slowdown in consumer spending would likely translate into a sharper-than-expected slowdown in economic growth this year.

The latest economic updates come as investors anticipate a more aggressive shift from the Federal Reserve as it tries to blunt the impact of rising inflation. The central bank has already announced an increase of a quarter of a percentage point in its key rate.

Fed officials said in the minutes of last month’s meeting that they plan to raise the U.S. benchmark rate to double the normal amount in future meetings. They also indicated that they would reduce Fed bond holdings, which would push up long-term borrowing rates.

Wall Street will also start getting more details on how individual companies performed in the first quarter and what they expect moving forward. Delta Air Lines and JPMorgan Chase will release their latest financial results on Wednesday, while UnitedHealth Group, Wells Fargo and Citigroup will release their results on Thursday.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Reports: As inflation rose in 2021, so did Americans’ credit card debt | national news

April 11, 2022

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(The Center Square) – As inflation hit a 40-year high last year, Americans’ credit card debt also soared, according to analysis published by the personal finance website WalletHub.

In his Credit card debt study, Wallethub found that consumers racked up $87.3 billion in new debt in 2021. During the fourth quarter of 2021, debt increased by $74.1 billion, the largest increase ever reported, notes Wallethub. It was also a 63% increase above the post-Great Recession average for a fourth quarter.

At the end of 2021, the average household credit card balance was $8,590. “That’s $2,642 below WalletHub’s predicted breakout point,” the report said.

By early 2022, nearly 47% of consumer credit card spending habits had returned to pre-pandemic levels, the analysis found.

According to Wallethub quarterly report credit card inquiry33 million Americans say they will have more credit card debt by the end of 2022. However, 37% say they would do anything to be debt free, according to the report.

In his Fed rate hike report, Wallethub found that the Federal Reserve’s 0.25% interest rate hike on March 16 will cost people with credit card debt an estimated $1.6 billion in additional finance charges in 2022.

Around 88% of respondents said they were concerned about inflation; 55% said rising federal rates were bad for their personal finances, another Wallethub says survey on interest rates.

“People are struggling to make ends meet, and they know that rising rates will only increase the cost of their debt,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in a statement accompanying the results. investigation. “Every 25 basis points the Fed raises its target rate will cost people with credit card debt about $1.6 billion a year.”

A key area where consumers can expect to pay more due to inflation and rising interest rates is the average APR of a 48-month new car loan. Wallethub expects this to rise by around 16 basis points in the months following the Fed’s recent rate hike. By comparison, he notes, the average APR on a 48-month new car loan rose from 4% in November 2015 to 5.5% in February 2019. “That’s an increase of 150 basis points over a period characterized by 225 basis points of the Fed rate. hikes,” he says.

“The average APR for credit card accounts earning finance charges is already over 16%, which is significantly higher than rates charged for secured debt like mortgages and auto loans,” Gonzalez said. “With credit card rates set to rise after the Federal Reserve takes action, people will see the cost of their credit card debt rise.”

Despite Americans’ record debt, about 25% of respondents said it was difficult to take on credit card debt during the COVID-19 shutdowns for several reasons. Federal stimulus checks have filled Americans’ bank accounts, restrictions and security concerns have led to more stays and fewer dining out, and daily travel costs have fallen to near zero, survey results show. .

However, that has changed now that some aspects of society have reopened. Americans “have accumulated new debt at increased rates lately,” Gonzalez said.

On top of the $87 billion in new debt Americans added in 2021, WalletHub estimates an increase of more than $100 billion in 2022.

To help consumers manage their credit card debt and manage their finances, Wallethub has released a advice list in line. These include creating a budget and sticking to it, building an emergency fund, and taking steps to improve credit.

Sri Lankans occupy the entrance to the President’s office for the 2nd day | United States government and politics

April 10, 2022

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By KRISHAN FRANCIS – Associated Press

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan protesters occupied the entrance to the president’s office for a second day on Sunday, demanding the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa following the debt-ridden country’s worst economic crisis in memory.

Hundreds of protesters weathered heavy rain with raincoats and umbrellas and chanted anti-government slogans. Some have called for the entire parliament to be dissolved to make way for a younger leadership.

“We will stay, we won’t leave until we chase them away,” Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, a 32-year-old ex-soldier, said of Rajapaksa, his influential family and all lawmakers.

Pushpakumara said he fought in the later stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war with ethnic Tamil rebels, which government soldiers defeated in 2009 after 2 1/2 decades. Rajapaksa, who was a powerful defense bureaucrat, and his older brother Mahinda, who was then president and is currently prime minister, were credited with the victory.

“We will send them home, collect people’s money and send them to jail,” Pushpakumara said. “These people are destroying the country we saved and it’s sad to see the army and the police protecting them.”

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Supporters distributed food, water and raincoats to protesters.

The Indian Ocean island nation is on the brink of bankruptcy, struggling with $25 billion in external debt – nearly $7 billion of which is due this year alone – and dwindling foreign exchange reserves. Talks with the International Monetary Fund are expected later this month, and the government has turned to China and India for emergency loans to buy food and fuel.

For months, Sri Lankans have lined up to buy fuel, cooking gas, food and medicine, most of which comes from abroad and is paid for in hard currency. The fuel shortage caused rolling power cuts lasting several hours a day.

Much of the anger expressed by weeks of mounting protests has been directed at the Rajapaksa family, which has been in power for most of the past two decades.

Critics accuse the Rajapaksa brothers of borrowing heavily to finance unprofitable projects, such as a port facility built with Chinese loans.

SD Prageeth Madush, a 36-year-old businessman, spent the night at the protest site.

“When the people ask you to leave, you should go democratically,” Madush said. “Everyone can see that the people don’t like him (the president) anymore, but he doesn’t like letting go of power.”

” I will stay. We have to face difficulties if we want to provide a better future for our children,” he said.

The crisis and the protests triggered the Cabinet’s resignation last Sunday. Four ministers have been sworn in as guardians, but most key portfolios are vacant.

Rajapaksa proposed the creation of a unity government but the main opposition party rejected the idea. Parliament failed to reach a consensus on how to handle the crisis after nearly 40 ruling coalition lawmakers said they would no longer vote under the coalition’s instructions, significantly weakening the government.

With the opposition parties divided, they too were unable to show their majority and take control of parliament.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Editorial Roundup: Selected Views Across the Country | Editorial

April 9, 2022

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Compiled by the Roanoke Times

face war crime charges

The images and verified testimonies of the atrocities committed in Ukraine should mark the point of no return in relations with a Russia led by Vladimir Putin. As long as the bloody-handed dictator controls this nation, the United States must keep its back to Moscow.

President Joe Biden is right. Putin is a war criminal who must be prosecuted for the crimes committed against the Ukrainian people.

Over the weekend, Russian troops withdrew from the outskirts of kyiv, leaving behind streets littered with the bodies of civilians.

Many appeared to have been shot while walking or cycling in Bucha, the town believed to have suffered the most casualties. Some of the dead were found with their hands tied behind their backs, shot execution style.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the area and reported finding “bodies in barrels, basements, strangled, tortured.”

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Other accounts say that girls and women were raped and killed, their bodies burned. At least 410 civilians were murdered, with independent journalists covering the war confirming many killings.

Intentionally killing unarmed civilians is a violation of international law. Biden calls for Putin to be charged with war crimes at the International Criminal Court. The indictment is also expected to extend to his sycophant sidekick Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president who contributes troops and equipment to Russia’s war effort.

Officers and soldiers who commit atrocities must be fully aware that they too will be held accountable for their actions.

Russia carried out a merciless air attack on Ukrainian cities, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians. It also prevented the evacuation of the bomb-ravaged port of Mariupol and prevented international aid from reaching the trapped citizens.

Putin may have thought he could overthrow Ukraine, like he did in Georgia and Crimea, and go back to sitting at the table of civilized nations as if nothing had happened.

This cannot be allowed. Russia and Belarus should be avoided altogether until Putin and Lukashenko are no longer in charge.

The United States and its European allies should also think longer term about a return to what must essentially be a Cold War relationship with Russia. It means learning to live without the oil, grain and other resources that Russia exports. The free world has become far too dependent on Russia and other oppressive regimes. The United States must never be in a position where its economic interests deter it from opposing brutality.

Congress should get up to speed on the weedEighteen states across the physical and political map, including California, Arizona, Virginia, Michigan, Montana, Illinois, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, now allow the recreational use of cannabis, choosing to regulate and collect taxes from adult use of the substance rather than continuing to treat it as a problem to be contained by the cops, courts, jails and jails . Thirty-seven states have made medical marijuana legal.

Yet the federal government still lists the weed as a Schedule I narcotic “with no currently accepted medical use and high potential for abuse,” ranking it among America’s most dangerous substances. Anyone not under the influence can see that there is something very, very wrong with this photo.

Fortunately, on April 1, the United States House did something about the biggest current disconnect in American politics, passing a bill to remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s naughty list. ; let some pot convictions be expunged; and urge review of sentences for weed-related crimes — while making small businesses that sell weed eligible for federal loans and services.

Due to the federal ban, many financial institutions will not touch cannabis customers with a 10 foot pole. Marijuana also cannot travel efficiently across state lines like almost any other product.

Although it enjoys some Republican support, the MORE Act is considered a dead letter in the Senate. Democrats and Republicans in Congress, battling a 20% approval rating, shouldn’t be afraid to do what 68% of Americans, including 50% of Republicans and 71% of independents, say they want. Legalize it.

—New York Daily News Change of the board of directors of Montpellier made in bad faith For most of its two decades overseeing the sprawling Virginia estate of James Madison, America’s fourth president, the Montpelier Foundation had none or only one African-American board member, whose authorized strength is 25 members. This was amazing because Montpelier, in addition to being Madison property, was also home to some 300 slaves over more than a century who lived, worked in servitude, and died there.

It was therefore a major step forward, albeit too late, when the foundation announced that it would share power equally and achieve parity on its board of directors, with the descendants of slaves. These descendants were represented by a committee, recognized by the foundation, which included dozens of eminent African Americans in the academic, business, financial and other fields. Finally, Montpelier, a 2,650-acre historic site and museum northeast of Charlottesville that welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year, would have leadership reflecting its heritage.

That deal was shredded by the foundation’s white-dominated board of trustees. In an act of exceptional bad faith, the council last month amended its statutes so that it – and not the committee which it had recognized as the legitimate actor representing the descendants of slaves – decides which descendants are acceptable partners. To put it plainly, it is primarily white people who will determine which black people can join the Montpellier ruling clique, and which cannot.

When the Descendants Committee last month submitted a slate of 40 African-American candidates, 10 of whom could take board seats in order to achieve parity with white members, the board refused to even consider the names.

Madison is a pivotal figure in United States history. He played a key role in drafting the Constitution, including the notorious compromise that allowed slavery and granted African Americans less than fully human status by determining that three-fifths of the enslaved population would count in determining the representation in the House of Representatives. It is sad that his domain is once again an example of racial obtuseness.

Rapper French Montana’s New Album Will Be Part of His Upcoming Metaverse, Artist Announces

April 8, 2022

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During Miami NFT Week, the event that preceded Bitcoin Miami, the biggest cryptocurrency event in the world, American rapper French Montana announced that his next album will be a non-fungible token (NFT) that will be used in their own play-to-earn metaverse.

According to Radio Caca, the metaverse will be a 2D play-to-earn game integrated with the Radio Caca (RACA) metaverse platforms, specifically Metamon Worlds. The metaverse will be called 2DMMontega and is expected to release around July 2022.

Additionally, according to the artist, the album will contain 2D characters from the game.

“This is the first NFT collection that combines music, visual arts, games and the metaverse. NFTs are a big deal for artists. I finally own 100% of my music,” the rapper said.

On NFTs, Montana said he sees great potential in NFT technology in the music and other creative industries and that NFTs are a great way to confer ownership of intellectual property.

“My New Year’s resolution this year was to own everything that bears my name. I want to make sure my family benefits from everything I create, not from a record label,” he said.

According to him, NFTs also allow artists to create a deeper connection with their biggest fans, to engage more with them and to get to know them.

“I don’t want to denigrate a platform, but if you go to sites like Instagram, the connection you get there is pretty superficial. NFTs allow you to build a real community,” Montana said.

NFTs are the next music trend

The rapper said he sees NFTs as a natural continuation of technology trends the music industry has been going through. The metaverse is not a digital world separate from the physical world but a world that people have to adapt to this revolution.

French Montana said:

“When I started, DVDs were the only game in town. Soon YouTube became a big business. After that, the same thing happened with Instagram and TikTok. “I live in the real world, say- they. The universe, not the metaverse,” say some critics. But when I talk to younger people, like my nephews, they’re much more open. You have to constantly adapt to new trends so you don’t fall behind .

According to the rapper, 10,000 physical copies will also be released along with the hand-signed CD. When it comes to the metaverse game, $25 million is invested in creating the game.

The developed NFTs will also have different functions in 2DMMontega and rewards in Metamon Island and Lost World, both produced by Radio Caca.

Following Montana’s announcement, an official Radio Caca Medium post said the Metaverse will be a move-to-win, where players are rewarded for spending 30 minutes in-game.

About 2DMMontega, Radio Caca also stated that the game will have NFTs called Kevin badges as the main token generated by the game, in addition to houses, cars and other items in the NFTs, which the developers say will be the next investment trend: collecting in the metaverse.

“In the real world, most urban youth go into debt with mortgages for homes and loans/leases for their cars. Over time, the house needs repairs and the car wears out, the tires get changed and possibly new – an endless cycle of cost and debt.In the Radio Caca universe, owning a house or car for their avatar characters will only grow in value and create a freer future as those houses and cars are assets that can be passed down from generation to generation and can increase in value, as discussed on Radio Caca’s recent post here.

Metaverse on Ethereum

The metaverse will be built on the Ethereum blockchain and will support all smart contracts running on ERC-721 and ERC-1155. According to the team, if the user has an NFT embedded in this model, it can be embedded and used as a playable item in the metaverse.

NFTs will be used to their full potential in 2DMM, representing all of your in-game assets, be it pets, 2D homes, or various tools. NFTs will even unlock a custom view to experience unique visual effects for any type of NFT.

Going into more detail about the game, the developers reveal that there will be three different stories with three game views. To interact with these resources, 1 million NFTs of 2D houses with different types of rarity between castles, mansions and villages will be sold. In them, owners can decorate their space, display NFT art, and host events.

The Kevin Badge NFT will, as a feature, be a reward for every user who deposits an NFT from a verified collection in the new 2D metaverse. Any user with a Kevin badge will have access to airdrops, private parties in the metaverse, and exclusive access to whitelists, among other benefits.

2D houses can also be earned by playing Metamon Island.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored press release. Please do your research before purchasing any cryptocurrency.

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LEO HLDG: Local Bounti® Closes Acquisition of Pete’s® – Form 8-K

April 7, 2022

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Local premium® Closes Acquisition of Pete’s®

HAMILTON, Montana, April 5, 2022 – Local Bounti Corporation (NYSE: LOCL, LOCL WS) (“Local Bounti Corporation®” or the “Company”), a groundbreaking U.S. indoor farming company combining the best aspects of vertical and greenhouse growing technologies, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of the California-based complementary indoor farming company Hollandia Produce Group, Inc., which operates as Pete®as of April 4, 2022.

“Combining Pete’s operational scale and retail distribution footprint with our peak unit level economics creates immediate value for our employees, customers, partners and shareholders,” said Craig Hurlbert, co – CEO of Local Bounti. “This acquisition is immediately accretive and opens the door to further margin expansion as we implement our proprietary Stack & Flow technology. in Pete’s facilities and unlock additional operational synergies. Combined, this platform is well positioned to tackle the growing market for environmentally controlled agricultural products, which is expected to reach $30 billion in the United States by 2025, and generate accelerated returns on invested capital. . We welcome all 130 Pete employees to the Local Bounti family and look forward to a seamless onboarding process. »

Magda Overgaag, co-founder, matriarch of Hollandia Produce Group, Inc. and mother of Pete, said, “The closing of the transaction with Local Bounti marks another important milestone for my family and our long history in the industry. CEA which started over 100 years ago when my father and my husband’s father started growing under glass in the Netherlands. We immigrated our family to California in 1968 and have been innovating in cultivation techniques for various cultures ever since. Today, Pete’s is a trusted brand that provides the highest quality live lettuce varieties in the industry. We couldn’t be more excited about this transaction, which ensures our family’s legacy will live on and be a formidable force in the CEA industry for generations to come.

Local Bounti financed the purchase price of $122.5 million, with a combination of $92.5 million in cash provided under Local Bounti’s loan facility with Cargill, and $30.0 million dollars of consideration payable in common shares of Local Bounti. Along with the closing, Local Bounti also announced the appointment of Brian Cook as President of Local Bounti, who will report to co-CEOs Craig Hurlbert and Travis Joyner. Mr Cook previously served as Chairman of Pete’s from November 2017 until its acquisition by Local Bounti.

About Local Bounti®

Local Bounti is a leading Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) company redefining conversion efficiency and environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards for indoor agriculture. Local Bounti operates an advanced indoor grow facility in Hamilton, Montana, a few hours drive from its retail and restaurant partners. Reaching retail shelves in record time after harvest, Local Bounti products are superior in taste and quality to traditional field-grown greens. USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP Plus+) and Local Bounti non-genetically modified organism (GMO) products are sustainably grown using proprietary technology 365 days a year, pesticide free no herbicides, and using 90% less land and 90% less water than conventional outdoor farming methods. With a mission to “bring our farm to your kitchen with as few miles as possible,” Local Bounti disrupts the growing and delivery of produce. Local Bounti is also committed to making meaningful connections and giving back to each of the communities it serves. To learn more, visit localbounti.com or follow the company on LinkedIn for the latest news and developments.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some instances, you may identify these forward-looking statements by words such as “anticipate, “”approximate”, “believe”, “commit”, “continue”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “hope”, “intend”, “may”, “prospects”, “plan”, “project”, “potential”, “should”, “should”, “shall” and other similar words or expressions. Forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current expectations or beliefs regarding future events and actual events may differ materially from historical results or current expectations. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties, risks, assumptions and other factors, many of which are beyond under the control of the Company. . The forward-looking statements contained in this press release address a variety of topics, including, for example, the Company’s business prospects following the transaction. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: the effects of disruption to Local Bounti’s business as a result of the transaction; the impact of transaction costs on Local Bounti’s 2022 interim and full-year 2022 financial results; Local Bounti’s ability to retain Pete’s customers after completion of the transaction; Local Bounti’s ability to realize the expected benefits of the transaction; uncertainty of water supply (and related uncertainty of certain water use rights) for Pete’s facilities located in California; Local Bounti’s ability to effectively integrate acquired operations into its own operations; Local Bounti’s ability to retain and hire key personnel; the uncertainty of projected financial information; diversion of management’s time on transaction-related matters; the increased leverage of Local Bounti due to the additional indebtedness incurred in connection with the transaction; restrictions contained in Local Bounti’s debt facility agreements with Cargill; Local Bounti’s ability to repay, refinance, restructure and/or extend its indebtedness upon maturity; and unknown liabilities that may be assumed in the transaction. In addition, actual results are subject to other risks and uncertainties that relate more broadly to the Company’s overall business, including Local Bounti’s ability to generate revenue; the risk that Local Bounti will never achieve or maintain profitability; the risk that Local Bounti will not be able to effectively manage its future growth; the risk that Local Bounti will not be able to obtain the necessary additional capital when needed on acceptable terms, or at all; Local Bounti’s ability to construct additional facilities; reliance on third parties for construction, delays in delivery of materials and supply chains and fluctuation in material prices; Local Bounti’s ability to reduce cost of goods sold over time; the potential for damage or problems with Local Bounti’s CEA facilities; Local Bounti’s ability to attract and retain qualified employees; Local Bounti’s ability to develop and maintain its brand or any brands it may acquire; Local Bounti’s ability to maintain its corporate culture or focus on its vision as it grows; Local Bounti’s ability to execute its growth strategy; the risks of diseases and pests destroying crops; Local Bounti’s ability to compete successfully in the highly competitive natural foods market; Local Bounti’s ability to defend against intellectual property infringement claims; changes in consumer preferences, perception and consumption habits in the food industry; seasonality; Local Bounti’s ability to achieve its sustainability goals; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed from time to time, including those under “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in Local Bounti’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) on March 30, 2022, as supplemented by subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and annual reports on Form 10-K, as well as other reports and documents that Local Bounti files from time to time with the SEC. Local Bounti cautions that the above list of factors is not exclusive and cautions readers not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Local Bounti does not undertake or accept any obligation or commitment to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Contact:

Kathleen Valiasek, Chief Financial Officer

Local bonus

[email protected]

Warning

Local Bounti Society published this content on 07 April 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Audienceunedited and unmodified, on Apr 07, 2022 21:17:33 UTC.

© Publicnow 2022

Sales

Net revenue

Net debt

P/E ratio
Yield
Capitalization 325 million
325 million
EV / Sales -1
EV / Sales 0
# of employees
Floating


Duration :

Period :




LEO HLDG Technical Analysis Chart |  MarketScreener



Evolution of the income statement


Use Your Tax Refund to Reduce Debt and Improve Your Finances | national news

April 7, 2022

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So you expect a tax refund this year. With inflation driving up the price of gas, food, and just about everything else, that extra money can’t come soon enough. The hardest part is deciding how to spend it. Should you invest the money? Book a trip?

If you really want to do yourself a favor, use your refund to pay off your debts. Here’s why.

YOU SAVE ON INTEREST

“The cost of debt is very high,” says AnnaMarie Mock, certified financial planner at Highland Financial Advisors in Wayne, New Jersey. “Especially if you’re looking at regular consumer debt, like credit cards, (the interest rate) could be north of 16 percent.”

Issuers charge higher rates, often well over 20%, depending on the type of card or the user’s credit score.

Let’s say you’re trying to pay off $6,000 in credit card debt on a card with a 19% interest rate by paying $200 a month. You will pay $2,204 in total interest when the credit card is paid off. Here’s how using a tax refund could reduce that cost: If you receive a refund of $1,500 and apply the full amount to the balance and then continue to make the same monthly payment, the total interest you pay would drop to $1,107. You would also wipe out the debt a year earlier.

With the Fed funds interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve in March, as well as further hikes expected later this year, debt is becoming even more expensive. Most credit card rates are variable and issuers will likely increase them in response to Fed actions. Pay off some or all of your balance now to avoid overspending on interest.

What if you have multiple debts? Accelerating payments to the account with the highest interest rate first, then moving to the next highest (a strategy known as debt avalanche), is usually the quickest and least expensive way. dear to become debt free. You can use a debt repayment calculator to estimate the impact of different rates and payment strategies on how much you owe.

YOU CAN BUILD YOUR CREDIT SCORE

Your credit utilization, or the percentage of your credit limits that you use, is an important factor in your credit score. Using a tax refund to reduce your balance helps reduce your credit use, which can benefit your score.

“The higher our credit score, the lower the price of living in general,” says Tina Herndon, head of financial education and training at Libra, a nonprofit education and counseling organization. financiers based in Concord, California.

Paying off debt can get you ahead in the long run, she says, opening the door to more affordable loans. “If you can pay 2.9% interest on a $25,000 car instead of 21% interest, it’ll save you hundreds of dollars a month,” Herndon says.

A drastic change in credit won’t happen overnight, and there are other factors that shape your score. But paying off the high-rate debt is an important step in the right direction. And having less debt relative to your income can improve your chances of getting new credit.

IT CAN MOTIVATE YOU

Debt can be “a hurdle that people have to mentally overcome before they can potentially move on to the next phase, to start saving for goals,” Mock says.

Make a list of your financial goals. Maybe you want to buy a house or send your child to college. Eliminating debt can bring you closer to reaching these milestones.

Maybe your goal is simply to be debt free. Even if your repayment isn’t enough to wipe out your debt all at once, seeing your balance drop can create the momentum you need to keep reducing it.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO SACRIFICE PLEASURE

Using your refund to pay off debt doesn’t mean there’s no room for fun shopping. In fact, by reducing debt, you will have more funds available to do what you want. Once you’ve paid your bills, you can take the amount you were spending on payments and put it towards something that brings you joy. Increase your entertainment budget or create a vacation fund, for example.

But if you don’t want to wait, go ahead and treat yourself now. Herndon suggests allocating a certain percentage or dollar amount to a “fun category.” If you receive a $2,000 refund, you can set aside 10%, or $200, for a spa visit or new headphones.

“It’s about moderation and making sure you think about the trade-offs of not investing everything in debt,” Mock says.

———————————————————————————

This article was provided to The Associated Press by personal finance website NerdWallet. Lauren Schwahn is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @lauren—schwahn.

RELATED LINKS:

NerdWallet: How to get out of debt https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-how-to-get-out-of-debt

Participating NJ Applebee’s® Announces Late Night Dollar Dollar Beverage Special for All of April | national news

April 6, 2022

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Every night from 10:00 p.m. until closing, Applebee’s, owned by Doherty Enterprises, New Jersey, will be giving away $1 ‘Dollaritas’

ALLENDALE, NJ, April 6, 2022 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar welcomes spring with a $1 late night drink special every night in April from 10 p.m. until closing. Starting today and through April 30, 2022, customers can enjoy a tasty Dollarita Margarita ($1), plus select half-price appetizers, at Applebee’s® restaurants in New Jersey that are owned and operated by local franchisee Doherty Enterprises (see list of participating locations below).

The famous $1 margarita – known as Dollarita – will be available at Applebee’s® stores owned by Doherty Enterprises throughout the Garden State.

The Dollarita is a classic drink – and now this neighborhood favorite can be enjoyed for just a dollar. It’s refreshing and affordable, perfect for rocking your late nights.

“This unbeatable late-night beverage offering is our special way to celebrate the arrival of spring with our guests,” said Tim Doherty, CEO of Doherty Enterprises. “There’s no better way to satisfy a late-night craving than with a $1 drink and one of our signature half-price appetizers.”

The NJ Applebee’s® locations, owned and operated by Doherty Enterprises, participating in this special offer are:

New Jersey: Brick, Bridgewater, Butler, Clark, Clifton, Edison, Garfield, Hackensack, Hackettstown, Hillsborough, Howell, Jersey City, Kearny, Lacey, Linden, Manahawkin, Manalapan, Manchester, Middletown, Milltown, Mt. Olive, Newton, North Bergen, Ocean, Paramus, Parsippany, Phillipsburg, Piscataway, Rockaway, Tinton Falls, Totowa and Union.

For more information and other limited time offers from Applebee’s, stop by your local Applebee restaurant.

*Offer valid only for on-site dining at Applebee’s® locations owned and operated by Doherty Enterprises in New Jersey and guests must be 21 years of age or older to enjoy responsibly. Offer valid from 04/01/22 to 04/30/22. Learn more: https://www.applebees.com/fr

About Doherty Enterprises, Inc.

Founded in 1985, Doherty Enterprises owns and operates more than 130 restaurants in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Georgia, including five restaurant concepts: Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread, Chevys Fresh Mex and its own concepts, The Shannon Rose Irish Pub and Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas. Additionally, Doherty Enterprises is also a Sola Salon Studios franchisee with 8 locations in Staten Island and New Jersey. Doherty Enterprises is ranked 11th among the Top 200 Franchisees in the United States by Restaurant Finance Monitor, is recognized as the 77th Largest Foodservice Company in the United States by Nation’s Restaurant News, the 73rd Largest Privately Owned Company in the Metro Area of New York by Crain’s Business and 34th Largest Private Company in New Jersey by NJBIZ.

Doherty’s vision is to be the “best foodservice company in the communities we serve” and its mission is to “wow every guest every time, wow our employees, wow our communities and wow our suppliers”. Doherty Enterprises has also lent a helping hand to team members and their immediate families when they are financially burdened through the WOW a Friend Foundation. To date, the foundation has helped over 3,100 people and donated over $4.1 million directly to those in need. Learn more: https://www.dohertyinc.com/

About Applebee’s®

As one of the world’s leading casual dining brands, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar serves as an American kitchen table, offering diners a lively dining experience that combines simple, mouth-watering American fare with classic drinks and drafts. local. Applebee’s makes it easy for family and friends to communicate with each other, whether in a dining room or the comfort of a living room, Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood™ is a familiar and affordable escape from the everyday. Applebee Restaurants are owned and operated by entrepreneurs who are dedicated to not only serving great food, but also building the communities we call home. From raising money for local charities to hosting community fundraisers, Applebee’s is always Doin’ Good in the Neighborhood®. Applebee’s franchised and company-operated operations included 1,680 Applebee restaurants in the United States, two U.S. territories, and 11 countries outside the United States as of December 31, 2021. This number does not include the two shadow kitchens in ‘Applebee’ (small kitchens without store-front presence, used to fulfill off-site orders) and eight international Applebee ghost kitchens. Applebee’s is franchised by subsidiaries of Dine Brands Global Inc. [NYSE: DIN]which is one of the largest full-service catering companies in the world.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Lynn Munroe

845-548-121

NEWS SOURCE: Doherty Enterprises

This press release has been issued on behalf of the source of the information (Doherty Enterprises) which is solely responsible for its accuracy, by Send2Press® Newswire. The information is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. Story ID: 80590 APDF-R8.5

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Stocks fall, yields rise as Fed details inflation efforts | national news

April 6, 2022

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Stocks closed lower and bond yields rose on Wall Street on Wednesday after details from last month’s meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers showed the central bank intends to be aggressive in its efforts to fight against inflation.

The S&P 500 fell 1%, adding to its losses the day before. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4% and the Nasdaq 2.2%.

Minutes from the meeting three weeks ago show that Fed policymakers agreed to start reducing the stockpile of central bank Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities by about $95 billion. dollars per month, starting in May. That’s more than some investors expected and nearly double the pace the last time the Fed shrunk its balance sheet.

At the meeting, the Fed raised its benchmark short-term rate by a quarter of a percentage point, the first increase in three years. The minutes showed that many Fed officials wanted to raise rates by an even larger margin last month, and they still saw “one or more” such oversized increases potentially coming in future meetings.

“Essentially, the Fed has concluded that a good offense is the best defense,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. “We’re likely to see not only higher short-term interest rates as a result of the Fed’s actions, but also higher long-term rates, which should put pressure on potential (equity) gains. “

Higher rates tend to lower the price-to-earnings ratio of stocks, a key valuation barometer. Such a scenario can particularly hurt stocks considered to be the most expensive, including big tech companies. That explains why tech stocks were the biggest drag on the benchmark S&P 500 on Wednesday. Apple fell 1.8% and Microsoft 3.7%.

Communications companies, retailers and others that rely on direct consumer spending also weighed heavily on the index. Amazon fell 3.2% and Facebook parent company Meta fell 3.7%.

The S&P 500 ended down 43.97 points at 4,481.15. The Dow Jones slid 144.67 points to 34,496.51, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 315.35 points to 13,888.82.

Shares of smaller companies also fell, sending the Russell 2000 Index down 29.11 points, or 1.4%, to 2,016.94.

Investors focus on Fed policy as the central bank moves to reverse low interest rates and the extraordinary support it began providing the economy two years ago when the pandemic hit. plunged the economy into a recession.

The Fed’s proposed timeline for allowing billions of bonds and mortgage-backed securities to roll off its balance sheet was hinted at in remarks Tuesday by Fed Governor Lael Brainard, who said the process could start as early as May and proceed at a rapid pace.

Rapidly shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet would help drive longer-term rates higher, but would also contribute to higher borrowing costs for consumers and businesses.

“The reality is that we are in uncharted waters here and the Fed has a tough job unwinding the huge monetary support over the past two years,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management. “Against this backdrop, it is entirely conceivable that uncertainty over the path of monetary policy will remain entrenched in markets and that is exactly what we are seeing with the recent moves in interest rates and assets to risk.”

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.61% after the release of the minutes. It was at 2.59% earlier in the day, compared to 2.54% on Tuesday evening. The yield, which is used to set interest rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, is the highest in three years.

Traders are now pricing in a nearly 77% chance that the Fed will raise its key interest rate by half a percentage point at its next meeting in May. That’s double the usual amount and something the Fed hasn’t done since 2000.

“Even though we were aware of the upcoming rate hikes, it’s been quite challenging for long-term equity managers across the board,” said William Huston, chief investment officer at Bay Street Capital Holdings.

Inflation is at its highest level in four decades and threatens to dampen economic growth. Rising prices for everything from food to clothes have raised fears that consumers may end up cutting back on spending. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to these concerns, pushing energy and commodity prices, including wheat, even higher.

Benchmark crude oil prices in the United States fell 5.6% on Wednesday, but are more than 30% higher for the year. This pushed gasoline prices higher, putting more stress on shipping costs, commodity prices and consumer wallets.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned a House panel on Wednesday that the dispute would have “huge economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond.”

The conflict in Ukraine continued to cause financial pressures against Russia. The White House has said Western governments will ban further investment in Russia following evidence that its soldiers deliberately killed civilians in Ukraine. The US Treasury has said President Vladimir Putin’s government will be prevented from paying the dollar debts of US financial institutions, potentially increasing the risk of default.

European governments have resisted calls to boycott Russian gas, Putin’s biggest source of export revenue, because of the possible impact on their economies.

Wednesday ended up being a pretty quiet day for corporate news ahead of the latest round of corporate earnings reports. JetBlue Airways fell 8.7% after it offered to buy rival airline Spirit for $3.6 billion and scrap a plan to merge Spirit with Frontier Airlines. The spirit fell 2.4%.

Tech stocks lead indexes lower on Wall Street; eyes on the Fed | national news

April 6, 2022

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Stocks fell Wednesday morning on Wall Street and bond yields rose as investors try to gauge how quickly the Federal Reserve will withdraw support for the economy and shift to fighting inflation.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2% at 10:20 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 247 points, or 0.7%, to 34,387 and the Nasdaq fell 2.3%.

Tech companies are taking some of the biggest losses, which has weighed heavily on the broader market. Apple fell 2% and Microsoft 2.7%.

Communications companies, retailers and others that rely on direct consumer spending also fell. Amazon fell 3.1% and Facebook parent company Meta fell 3.3%.

Bond yields rose sharply again. The 10-year Treasury yield jumped to 2.61% from 2.54%.

The latest action in stock and bond markets was sparked by comments from a Federal Reserve governor on Tuesday that fueled expectations of a more aggressive approach by the central bank to help bring soaring inflation under control. The Fed has already started to raise its benchmark interest rate and is expected to continue its hikes throughout the year.

Investors will be watching closely the minutes released later today from the Fed’s latest policy meeting for more clues on its next steps. Traders are pricing in a nearly 77% chance that the Fed will raise its key interest rate by half a percentage point at its next meeting in May. That’s double the usual amount and something the Fed hasn’t done since 2000.

Inflation is at its highest level in four decades and threatens to dampen economic growth. Rising prices for everything from food to clothes have raised fears that consumers may end up cutting back on spending. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to these concerns which are pushing energy and commodity prices, including wheat, even higher.

Crude oil prices were relatively flat on Wednesday, but are up about 35% for the year. This pushed gasoline prices higher, putting more stress on shipping costs, commodity prices and consumer wallets.

The conflict in Ukraine continued to cause financial pressures against Russia. The White House has said Western governments will ban further investment in Russia following evidence that its soldiers deliberately killed civilians in Ukraine. The US Treasury has said President Vladimir Putin’s government will be prevented from paying the dollar debts of US financial institutions, potentially increasing the risk of default.

European governments have resisted calls to boycott Russian gas, Putin’s main export source, because of the possible impact on their economies.

It’s been a pretty quiet day for corporate news so far, ahead of the latest round of corporate earnings. JetBlue Airways fell 7.3% after it offered to buy rival airline Spirit for $3.6 billion and scrap a plan to merge Spirit with Frontier Airlines. The spirit fell 3.1%.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Miami Crypto Craze On Full Display At Bitcoin Conference | national news

April 6, 2022

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Thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts are flocking to Miami as the city builds its reputation as one of the key places to develop blockchain technology despite its underdog status.

Dozens of companies use the Bitcoin 2022 conference which runs from Wednesday to Friday as a place to network, pitch ideas, and share announcements with the industry and beyond.

New York City and Silicon Valley continued to lead in funding raised by blockchain startups in 2021, with $6.5 billion and $3.9 billion. But Miami is now tied with Los Angeles, where companies have secured more than $760 million in funding, according to market research firm CB Insights.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX bought the naming rights to the NBA arena in downtown Miami last year, replacing American Airlines. The largest crypto company to move to Miami so far, Blockchain.com, will house 200 employees in a location in trendy Wynwood, where other tech companies and investors are also moving in.

“Wynwood really has that kind of spirit that you’re looking for when a new tech industry is built,” Blockchain.com CEO and co-founder Peter Smith said, comparing it to San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood and in Brooklyn in New York. “At the end of the day, you want to be with the other tech companies.”

Many cite a welcoming environment cultivated by local officials, primarily Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has garnered national attention for attracting tech investment and becoming one of America’s crypto-friendly mayors.

Others note that Miami and Florida are business-friendly and have remained open during the pandemic, making it more attractive as places where people can work remotely.

“It’s possible to move to a place where you can buy a house and see the sun every day,” Smith said.

All of this enthusiasm stands in stark contrast to Bitcoin’s tough year. Financially, the cryptocurrency peaked at $67,553.95 in November just before plunging nearly in half at the end of January; it remains down about 30% from that November peak. Bitcoin is also largely absent from many of the hottest crypto trends, such as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which allegedly offer a way to auction off “one-of-a-kind” copies of digital art and digital art. other cyberobjects.

More generally, critics question the assumptions underlying the claimed value and usefulness of crypto technology, with some comparing the hype and so far unfulfilled promises of blockchain technologies to a pattern of Ponzi which benefits the first participants but leaves everyone in the lurch.

As Miami aims to attract more investment for cryptocurrency projects, Bitcoin 2022 organizers say at least 75 companies will make announcements at the conference.

Last year, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele made international news at the event, revealing via video that his country would be the first to make cryptocurrency legal tender. Bukele will be at the conference this year.

One of the most anticipated announcements may come from Jack Mallers, 27, CEO of bitcoin payment app Strike, who worked with the government of Bukele on the nationwide launch of bitcoin.

Mallers has also partnered with Twitter to sync its app with the social network to allow digital money to be sent as “tips” without the need for a bank like Cash App and PayPal, demonstrating in a video how he sent $10 to a man at a Salvadoran Starbucks. .

“Why would anyone use Western Union again? When you take one of the largest social internet networks in the world, you combine it with the best open money network in the world,” he says in the posted video. on YouTube. “Western Union, pawn at E4. What is your approach?”

It remains to be seen what the effort will yield in the future. South Florida saw its population shrink by more than 18,000 people between July 2020 and July 2021. And critics fear the city lacks a top-ranking university that could create a workforce to grow businesses, as the Bay Area and New York are doing.

But Miami businessman Josip Rupena, who will speak about his crypto-mortgage startup at the conference, said he would give the effort a few years.

Rupena’s company, called Milo, has received $24 million in venture capital from investors to become a lender for people who have accumulated massive digital wealth but don’t want to convert cryptocurrency into US dollars to buy a House.

“For the first time, I think we have a platform – and a national platform – to tell others that there really are a lot of smart, capable people here. It’s great that we can amplify that message,” Rupena said.

———

Associated Press writer David Hamilton contributed to this story from San Francisco.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

White House to extend student loan pause through August | News

April 5, 2022

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration plans to freeze federal student loan payments through August 31, extending a moratorium that has allowed millions of Americans to defer payments during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an official. administration familiar with White House decision-making.

Student loan repayments were due to resume on May 1 after being halted since the start of the pandemic. But following calls from Democrats in Congress, the White House plans to give borrowers additional time to prepare for payments.

The action applies to more than 43 million Americans who owe a combined $1.6 trillion in student debt held by the federal government, according to the latest data from the Department of Education. This includes more than 7 million borrowers who have defaulted on their student loans, which means they are at least 270 days late.

Borrowers will not be asked to make payments until August 31 and interest rates are expected to remain at 0% during this time.

The extension was first reported on Tuesday by Bloomberg.

Democrats on the House and Senate education panels recently urged President Joe Biden to extend the moratorium through the end of the year, citing continued economic dislocation.

Senator Patty Murray said more time is needed to help Americans prepare for repayment and to rethink the government’s current system for paying off student debt.

“It’s ruining lives and holding people back,” she said in a statement last month. “Borrowers are grappling with rising costs, struggling to get back on their feet after public health and economic crises, and struggling with a broken student loan system – and all of this is particularly felt by borrowers of color.”

Murray called on the Biden administration to lift all borrowers from default to provide a “fresh start” after the pandemic.

The decision comes amid growing concern that large numbers of Americans would quickly fall behind if payments restart in May.

In March, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis warned that the resumption of loan repayments could place a heavy burden on borrowers who have encountered financial difficulties during the pandemic. He said the impact would be hardest on black families, who are more likely to rely on student loans to pay for their college education.

“Severe delinquency rates for student debt could return from historic lows to previous highs in which 10% or more of debt was in default,” the bank said.

The Trump administration initially gave Americans the option to suspend loan repayments in March 2020, and Congress made it automatic soon after. The hiatus has been extended twice by the Trump administration and twice more under Biden.

Whether Biden will pursue widespread debt forgiveness to reduce the nation’s student debt remains to be seen. Some Democrats in Congress have pressed Biden to use executive action to cancel $50,000 for all student loans, saying it would jump-start the economy and help black Americans who on average face levels of higher student debt.

Last year, Biden asked the Education and Justice Departments to review the legality of widespread debt cancellation, but no decision was announced. Biden has previously said he supports rescinding up to $10,000, but he argued it should be done through congressional action.

———

Binkley reported from Boston.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Local Bounti® closes Acquisiti – GuruFocus.com

April 5, 2022

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HAMILTON, Mont., April 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Local Bounti Corporation (NYSE: LOCL, LOCL WS) (“Local Bounti®” or the “Company”), a revolutionary U.S. indoor farming company combining the best aspects of vertical and greenhouse growing technologies , today announced the successful completion of its acquisition of CaliforniaHollandia Produce Group, Inc., a New York-based complementary indoor farming company, trading as Pete’s®, beginning in April 42022.

“The combination of Pete’s operational scale and retail distribution footprint with our peak unit level economics creates immediate value for our employees, customers, partners and shareholders,” said Craig Hurlbert, co-CEO of Local Bounti. “This acquisition is immediately accretive and opens the door to further margin expansion as we implement our proprietary Stack & Flow Technology™ at Pete’s facilities and unlock additional operational synergies. product market, which should reach $30 billion in the United States by 2025 and generate accelerated returns on invested capital. We welcome all 130 Pete employees to the Local Bounti family and look forward to a seamless onboarding process. »

Magda Overgaagco-founder, matriarch of Hollandia Produce Group, Inc. and mother of Pete, said, “The closing of the transaction with Local Bounti marks another important milestone for my family and our long history in the CEA industry which has started over 100 years ago. ago when my father and my husband’s father started growing under glass in the Netherlands. We immigrated our family to California in 1968 and have been at the forefront of innovation in growing techniques for a variety of crops ever since. Today, Pete’s is a trusted brand that offers the highest quality live lettuce varieties in the industry. We couldn’t be more excited about this transaction, which ensures our family’s legacy will live on and be a formidable force in the CEA industry for generations to come. »

Local Bounti financed the purchase price of $122.5 millionwith a combination of $92.5 million cash provided under Local Bounti’s loan facility with Cargill, and $30.0 million consideration payable in common shares of Local Bounti. Along with the closing, Local Bounti also announced the appointment of Brian Cook as President at Local Bounti, who will report to the Co-CEOs Craig Hurlbert and Travis Joyner. Mr. Cook previously served as Chairman of Pete’s de November 2017 until its acquisition by Local Bounti.

About Local Bounti®
Local Bounti is a leading Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) company redefining conversion efficiency and environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards for indoor agriculture. Local Bounti operates an advanced indoor growing facility in Hamilton, Montana, a few hours drive from its retail and restaurant partners. Reaching retail shelves in record time after harvest, Local Bounti products are superior in taste and quality to traditional field-grown greens. USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP Plus+) and Local Bounti non-genetically modified organism (GMO) products are sustainably grown using proprietary technology 365 days a year, pesticide free no herbicides, and using 90% less land and 90% less water than conventional outdoor farming methods. With a mission to “bring our farm to your kitchen with as few miles as possible,” Local Bounti disrupts the growing and delivery of produce. Local Bounti is also committed to making meaningful connections and giving back to each of the communities it serves. To learn more, visit localbounti.com or follow the company on LinkedIn for the latest news and developments.

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some instances, you may identify these forward-looking statements by words such as “anticipate, “”approximate”, “believe”, “commit”, “continue”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “hope”, “intend”, “may”, “prospects”, “plan”, “project”, “potential”, “should”, “should”, “shall” and other similar words or expressions. Forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current expectations or beliefs regarding future events and actual events may differ materially from historical results or current expectations. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties, risks, assumptions and other factors, many of which are beyond under the control of the Company. . The forward-looking statements contained in this press release address a variety of topics, including, for example, the Company’s business prospects following the transaction. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: the effects of disruption to Local Bounti’s business as a result of the transaction; the impact of transaction costs on Local Bounti’s 2022 interim and full-year 2022 financial results; Local Bounti’s ability to retain Pete’s customers after completion of the transaction; Local Bounti’s ability to realize the expected benefits of the transaction; uncertainty of water supply (and related uncertainty for certain water rights) for Pete’s facilities located at California; Local Bounti’s ability to effectively integrate acquired operations into its own operations; Local Bounti’s ability to retain and hire key personnel; the uncertainty of projected financial information; diversion of management’s time on transaction-related matters; the increased leverage of Local Bounti due to the additional indebtedness incurred in connection with the transaction; restrictions contained in Local Bounti’s debt facility agreements with Cargill; Local Bounti’s ability to repay, refinance, restructure and/or extend its indebtedness upon maturity; and unknown liabilities that may be assumed in the transaction. In addition, actual results are subject to other risks and uncertainties that relate more broadly to the Company’s overall business, including Local Bounti’s ability to generate revenue; the risk that Local Bounti will never achieve or maintain profitability; the risk that Local Bounti will not be able to effectively manage its future growth; the risk that Local Bounti will not be able to obtain the necessary additional capital when needed on acceptable terms, or at all; Local Bounti’s ability to construct additional facilities; reliance on third parties for construction, delays in delivery of materials and supply chains and fluctuation in prices of materials; Local Bounti’s ability to reduce cost of goods sold over time; the potential for damage or problems with Local Bounti’s CEA facilities; Local Bounti’s ability to attract and retain qualified employees; Local Bounti’s ability to develop and maintain its brand or any brands it may acquire; Local Bounti’s ability to maintain its corporate culture or focus on its vision as it grows; Local Bounti’s ability to execute its growth strategy; the risks of diseases and pests destroying crops; Local Bounti’s ability to compete successfully in the highly competitive natural foods market; Local Bounti’s ability to defend against intellectual property infringement claims; changes in consumer preferences, perception and consumption habits in the food industry; seasonality; Local Bounti’s ability to achieve its sustainability goals; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed from time to time, including those under “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in Local Bounti’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) on March 30, 2022, as supplemented by subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and annual reports on Form 10-K, and other reports and documents that Local Bounti files from time to time with the SEC. Local Bounti cautions that the above list of factors is not exclusive and cautions readers not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Local Bounti does not undertake or accept any obligation or commitment to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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Conservation groups call on the state of Montana to protect the Gallatin River

April 4, 2022

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Algal blooms on the Gallatin signal the need for pollution control planning; impairment designation

UPPER MISSOURI WATER GUARDIAN, GALLATIN RIVER TASK FORCE

BOZEMAN – On March 31, Upper Missouri Waterkeeper, Gallatin River Task Force, Montana Trout Unlimited, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and American Rivers filed a petition with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality requesting a Category Impaired Waterway designation. 5 of the middle segment of the Gallatin River under Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act. Recurring harmful algal blooms on the Gallatin since 2018 indicate the river is impaired by excessive nutrient pollution, qualifying for a total maximum daily load limit to reduce discharges, helping to protect and restore the health of the river .

“The world-class Gallatin River is turning green due to excess nutrients resulting from booming development pressure, the cumulative impacts of poorly treated sewage and the effects of climate change, together creating a perfect storm for growth. benthic algae that’s altering the river,” said Guy Alsentzer, executive director of Upper Missouri Waterkeeper. “Fortunately, the State of Montana has the tools through the Clean Water Act to protect nutrient-impaired rivers, like the Gallatin. Everyone can agree that the Gallatin River is too integral to our region, to the county outdoor economy, water supply, animal husbandry, agriculture and aquatic life to be ignored.

Recurring neon-green benthic algae blooms – like those that crossed the Gallatin in 2018 and 2020 – degrade recreational experiences and negatively affect fish populations and aquatic communities by decreasing oxygen levels. Prolonged and widespread algal blooms can cause serious damage to the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the Gallatin River if left untreated.

“We have a responsibility to advocate for the health of the Gallatin River and to build stewardship of the river, as an organization and as a community. The Gallatin is a valuable resource that attracts locals and visitors alike. it’s key to our community,” says Kristin Gardner, executive director and scientific director of the Gallatin River Task Force. “Our science indicates that additional nitrogen pollution in the river will continue to facilitate algae growth, and reducing nitrogen pollution in the river is essential if we are to protect the Gallatin for future generations.”

This petition arose out of the DEQ’s decision to forgo Montana’s biennial Water Quality Report and List of Impaired Waters (known as the Integrated Report) where impaired streams like the Middle Gallatin would have been identified. The CWA generally requires DEQ to assess Montana’s water quality and prepare a list of bodies of water that do not meet water quality standards. Those water bodies that do not meet the criteria require a TMDL, a planning tool used to reduce pollution and improve water quality to meet standards necessary to protect health and designated uses of the waterway. . Lack of capacity at the DEQ has delayed the integrated report, so the petition is initiating the necessary TMDL process for the Gallatin Center’s known pollution issues.

“Montana DEQ has committed hundreds of thousands of dollars in 319 funding to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Gallatin River over the next few years,” said David Brooks, executive director of Montana Trout Unlimited. “This investment in Gallatin’s water quality and aquatic resources, such as its famous trout fishery, as well as all other important uses of its water, must be supported by an honest and legally required assessment of degradation. A TMDL is a necessary basic tool that DEQ can provide to help solve nutrient-related algae problems that degrade this prized river.

Local businesses affected by the pollution, including Fins & Feathers of Bozeman, Montana Whitewater and Gallatin River Guides, are also supporting the petition. Melanie West, COO of Montana Whitewater, submitted a letter of representation which stated in part, “I am deeply concerned about the seasonal and widespread algal blooms in the mid-Gallatin segment. When I or my staff take clients on the river, they are here largely because of the Gallatin’s very pristine nature and the clear, cool water and excellent recreational opportunities. They’re looking for the “River Flows Through” landscape, and a neon green algae bloom isn’t a pristine experience.

Severe and pervasive algal blooms can degrade, if not destroy, a customer’s experience and their likelihood of returning to my business for another day on the river.

“It is high time that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality stood on the science and recognized that year after year algal blooms on the Gallatin River are a clear indication of a river segment altered that deserves immediate attention for the benefit of people, fish and wildlife,” said Greater Yellowstone Coalition Deputy Director of Conservation Charles Wolf Drimal Under DEQ rules and guidelines, a waterway may be classified as “deteriorated” when there is “overwhelming evidence of deterioration”. This criterion is satisfied by documentation of the growth of thread algae covering the entire river bottom, from bank to bank, and extending continuously downstream for a substantial longitudinal distance (>150m) Documented evidence of algal blooms of this severity and magnitude on the middle Gallatin River can be found here.

Young women earn more than young men in several US cities

April 2, 2022

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According to a new report, women have been able to close the pay gap with men in several US metropolitan areas and have surpassed their male counterparts in many cities.

The Pew Research Center analyzed Censes Bureau data and found that in 22 of 250 U.S. metropolitan areas, women under 30 earn the same or more than their male counterparts. New York and Washington, DC, are among the cities where young women earn more than young men, according to the study.

The report also found that earnings parity tends to be higher in the early years of entering the labor market. The pay gap tends to widen over time. In 2000, a typical woman between the ages of 16 and 29 earned 88% of a similar young man. But in 2019, when band members were between the ages of 35 and 48, women made up an average of just 80% of their male peers.

And while the gap may have been narrowed in many US cities, nationally there is still some way to go.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research says full-time working women in the United States are paid 83 cents on the dollar compared to men.

The disparity is even greater when comparing all women who worked in 2020 with all men who worked, regardless of the number of hours and weeks they clocked. In this case, women were typically only paid 77 cents on the dollar, the institute said.

Those most affected by the pay gap are women of color, who are disproportionately represented in minimum-wage and low-wage jobs. The institute said while the pay gap narrowed last year for all women compared to men, it widened for Asian, Black and Hispanic women.

Last year, the Biden administration created a Gender Policy Council within the White House aimed at promoting gender equality. The council includes a special assistant to the president who focuses specifically on “policies to advance equity for Black, Indigenous, and Latina women and girls of color,” according to council co-chair Jennifer Klein.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration said it was committed to ending the gender pay gap for federal workers and contractors, with the president issuing an executive order preventing federal agencies from asking questions about a candidate’s salary history in the process.

“Wage transparency creates responsibility and accountability, well, it drives progress,” Vice President Harris said of the order, adding that it will help “build a fairer, more efficient economy. and fairer”.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Kevin Costner on the “dysfunctional” Yellowstone family “It’s been a fun ride” | Television & Radio | Showbiz and television

April 2, 2022

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Kevin Costner delivered a powerful speech before presenting the Best Director award to Jane Campion at this year’s Oscars. Although his presentation was later overshadowed by Will Smith’s showdown with Chris Rock, fans are still eager to see the Hollywood legend return to the Paramount Network for another season of Yellowstone.

The film and TV star actor has revealed what made him take on the role of John Dutton in Taylor Sheridan’s hit drama Yellowstone.

The Paramount Western follows John and his family of conflicted children as they fight to protect one of the largest cattle ranches in Montana, USA.

When asked if the series changed television, Kevin admitted, “Well, I don’t know if I changed it.”

Yellowstone is one of Kevin’s only forays into small-screen drama and his first starring role in a prime-time cable series.

READ MORE: Domenica MAFS Australia: Where is Domenica Calarco now?

“You bring together a dysfunctional family in the mountains and watch them fight,” he added. “It was a fun ride.”

John’s efforts to protect the ranch are frequently sabotaged by his daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly), especially when she feuds with her adopted brother Jamie (Wes Bentley).

Meanwhile, his youngest son Kayce (Luke Grimes) has stepped back from the ranch to support his wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and their son Tate (Brecken Merrill) after the traumatic assault on the family.

Kevin is set to reprise his role for Season 5 of Yellowstone, which was confirmed by Paramount in February this year.

However, could his comments suggest that his time on the show has an expiration date?

After being shot at the end of the third season, John found his way back to life, although his health has been a point of contention ever since.

His lasting injuries may start to get the better of him in season five, forcing John to step down from herding duties and let Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) and the rest of the dorm take over.

Yellowstone Seasons 1-4 are now available to stream on Peacock in the United States. Yellowstone Seasons 1-3 are now available on PlutoTV in the UK.

House votes to decriminalize marijuana, but Senate’s fate darkens

April 1, 2022

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Marijuana would be decriminalized at the federal level under legislation approved by the House on Friday, as Democrats pushed for allowing states to set their own pot policies.

The bill is unlikely to become law since it is expected to die in the Senate. This would mirror what happened when a similar measure passed by the House removing marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances went nowhere in the Senate two years ago.

Still, Friday’s vote gave lawmakers a chance to air their views on a decriminalization push that appears to have broad support from voters across the country.

The 2020 election showed how widely accepted marijuana has become, with moves to legalize recreational pot-breaking leading to victory in progressive New Jersey, moderate Arizona and conservative Montana and North Dakota. South.

The House approved the bill Friday with a largely partisan vote of 220 to 204. All but two of the voting Democrats backed the measure, while only three Republicans did.

The measure would require federal courts to overturn previous marijuana convictions and hold reconviction hearings for those serving their sentences. It also authorizes a 5% sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products that would be used for grant programs focused on job training, drug treatment and loans to help disadvantaged small businesses grow. start in the marijuana industry.

Democrats said the country’s federal marijuana ban had particularly devastating consequences for minority communities. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., cited statistics showing that black Americans were four times more likely than white Americans to be arrested for possession of marijuana, even if they used it at similar rates.

“These criminal records can haunt people of color and have an indefinite impact on the trajectory of their lives,” Hoyer said. “I regret that there are members of our Congress who apparently think this is not worthy of attention.”

“Make no mistake, yes, this is a racial justice bill,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.

Republicans who opposed the measure said marijuana is a gateway drug that would lead to greater use of opioids and other dangerous substances. They also said that the pot sold today is much more potent than what was sold decades ago, resulting in greater impairment for those who use it. They said decriminalization is not the priority lawmakers should focus on now, with the war in Ukraine and inflation driving up the cost of gas, food and other essentials.

“Yet the priority of this Congress now is to expand access to addictive and behavior-altering recreational drugs at a time when our country is also experiencing an increase in addiction, depression, and suicide,” said said Rep. Bob Good, R-Va.

Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of cannabis products, while 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“If states are the laboratories of democracy, it is high time the federal government recognizes that legalization has been a resounding success and that the conflict with federal law has become untenable,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, DN. .Y., Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

In the Senate, Democrats, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, asked their colleagues in early February for their views on a marijuana decriminalization bill they would introduce later this year.

“This is a matter of individual liberty and fundamental fairness that clearly transcends party lines,” the Democrats said in their letter to colleagues.

Low Unemployment in Nebraska: Workers Prosper, Businesses Pull Out

April 1, 2022

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Harry’s Wonder Bar is a former trusty restaurant in Nebraska’s capital, frequented by office workers, construction workers and graduate students: the kind of wood-paneled place with a pool table in the back where phones typically stay in pockets, second fiddle to casual conversation, and beer mugs are frosted regardless of the season.

While half a dozen happy hour patrons gathered at the bar one recent afternoon, most had something remarkable in common: Everyone seemed to know someone who had gotten a significant raise, or more raises, over the past year – and many, if not all, had received a pay boost themselves.

This included the early-night shift bartender, Nikki Paulk, an easy-going woman with a flash of pink hair. “I’m in high demand, babe,” she said, mentioning “desperate” employers with a bright smile. “I’ve worked in six bars in the last six months because I keep getting better offers that I can’t refuse.”

Nebraska’s unemployment rate was 2.1% in February, tied with Utah for the lowest in the country and near the lowest on record for any state. In several counties, unemployment is below 1%. Even accounting for adults who have left the workforce, Nebraska’s share of the population 16 and older is about 68%, the highest figure in the country.

After decades of stagnant wages and incomes, the shift of power between rulers and their workers appears, at least temporarily, to be tilting in the direction of labor, with employers competing for workers instead of the other way around. Unemployment in states such as Indiana, Kansas, Montana and Oklahoma is almost as low as in Nebraska, testing the potential benefits and costs of an economy with exceptionally tight labor markets.

Ms Paulk, 35, earned a college degree in graphic design during the Great Recession, when jobs were scarce. She remembers working 60 hours a week near minimum wage in Illinois, “being thrilled to find a quarter” who could do the laundry. In 2013, she moved to Nebraska and took a job entering medical data for $12 an hour.

She started serving as a bartender in 2018, and since then, she says, her overall salary has more than doubled to $25 (and sometimes $30) an hour, including tips.

The nationwide unemployment rate in February was 3.8%, nearly back to pre-pandemic levels that were the lowest in half a century. Nebraska’s particularly low unemployment rate is in part attributable to its above-average graduation rate and the dominant role of industries like manufacturing and agriculture that are less volatile than the service or energy sectors during downturns. Even at the height of the Covid-19 shutdowns in the spring of 2020, the state’s unemployment rate was 7.4%, half the national figure.

Yet Nebraska’s job market may also be a harbinger for the country as a whole. Most economists expect overall unemployment to continue falling this year. Job postings are near record highs, and unemployment rates in January were lower than a year earlier in 388 of 389 metropolitan areas assessed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many business analysts argue that if labor remains scarce, wages will rise too quickly and employers will continually pass this increased spending on to consumers. At least for now, evidence of such a spiral is sparse: Federal Reserve data shows that median annual wage increases are well within the range – 3% to 7% – that prevailed from the 1980s until to the recession of 2007-2009.

The Fed, still worried, started to raise interest rates to calm the economy and tame inflationary pressures. The supply chain challenges that arose during the pandemic have persisted, and the war in Ukraine is further complicating the outlook for inflation as well as overall economic growth. Consumer spending remains buoyant, but polls reflect gloomy public economic sentiment.

In the meantime, even as price hikes weigh on household budgets, burying the value of some new wage gains, a noticeable mass of employees and job seekers are gaining more weight when it comes to benefits. and terms.

At a virtual local economy summit hosted in February by the nonprofit group Leadership Lincoln, Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, argued that the labor market could just rebalance itself.

“Obviously it’s always better to be the employer than the worker, or at least it usually is,” he said. But the current environment makes it easier for some employees to change jobs or compete for higher-level positions. Local employers are dropping degree requirements for a range of mid-level and entry-level positions.

Many fast-food restaurants, which are struggling to staff locations near the state’s $9 minimum wage, have begun offering starting salaries of $14. Evidence of automation is just as rife as Help Wanted signs: Some pharmacies dotting major roads and highways appear to have more self-service payment kiosks than employees at any given time.

Mr Thompson said such measures were not necessarily bad news for the working class, but rather a reflection of the need for businesses to adapt while workers find jobs that can “maximize their skills and their potential”.

Tony Goins, a former senior vice president of JPMorgan Chase who was appointed by Governor Pete Ricketts in 2019 to serve as director of Nebraska’s Department of Economic Development, said the tight job market could prompt managers to become more flexible and innovative.

“At the end of the day, the market dictates that I have to pay employees more money,” said Mr. Goins, himself a small business owner with a cigar lounge in Lincoln. “So, I mean, how are you going to make up for that?” To stay competitive in hiring, he said, managers need to improve culture, leadership, employee retention and recruitment.

He spoke about his son, an assistant men’s basketball coach at Boston College — a position he says requires ongoing outreach as well as the dual promise of “the chance to play for a winning program” and personal development. “That’s not what CEOs are used to,” he said.

Companies aiming to grow began to offer incentives beyond compensation. Japanese company Kawasaki Motors is spending $200 million to expand the 2.4 million square foot site in North Lincoln where it manufactures jet skis, all-terrain vehicles and wagons. It increases its membership to 2,400 members from more than 500 employees, with jobs mainly in fabrication, welding and assembly.

The company is becoming more flexible in terms of hiring and working styles in order to be successful. “Before, it took a few weeks to get hired at Kawasaki,” said Bryan Seck, its chief talent management strategist at Lincoln. “Now it’s four o’clock.”

Knowing that many parents remain on the sidelines of the workforce due to childcare duties, Kawasaki recently created a 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift suitable for those who need to pick up children from school and daycare in the early afternoon. Starting pay is $18.10 an hour, Seck said, with benefits including health care and a 401(k) plan.

In addition to raising wages to retain employees, Todd Heyne, construction manager at Allo Communications, a Lincoln-based cable company, said management decided that easing in-person work requirements could expand the pool of available workers. This has led the company to allow many of its customer service representatives and technical support employees to train and work further as it prepares to expand beyond Nebraska and Colorado. .

Not all problem solving is easy. Added labor costs add to supply chain pressures that have increased the price of crucial materials like fiber optic cable by up to 30%. Suppliers often charge 20% more for their contracted tasks. As a result, the company took steps such as hiring its own trucking staff.

Ultimately, “combined with some automation efficiencies, our team will see dramatic pay increases with less grunt work,” Heyne said, reducing manual paperwork, centralizing back-end systems and doing more to resolve issues. remote customer network issues. So, despite the cost challenges, “I’ve never been more optimistic about where we are, where we are in the market, how we compete, and our technology,” he added. “Which is strange.”

For many, the desirability of this economic moment is tinged with concern. Among them is Ashlee Bridger, a 30-year-old student at Southeast Community College’s Lincoln campus who works in administration at nearby Huffman Engineering after being recruited at a job fair.

Ms. Bridger left her job as a nurse to pursue a career in human resources because she felt confident enough to bet on herself: “Of course it was a risk. Leaving any career is. But in today’s job market, she said, “I knew I would be able to progress more easily.”

She also had a series of life stages that fell into place. She will graduate with an associate degree in May and begin her undergraduate work in the fall at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Huffman officials told her she was welcome to continue working there when her schedule permitted and that they would like to hire her for a higher position after she finished her studies.

Last year, she got married in the summer, then moved in with her husband into a newly built house in Lincoln in August. Although they feel financially stable, she half-joked that they were lucky the house was mostly built before lumber prices skyrocketed. With prices up across the board now, “I’m being more careful about my spending,” she said.

Mrs. Paulk, the better paid Harry’s bartender, has friends and customers unhappy with recent inflation. “But it’s something we control anyway,” she said with a shrug.

“All I know,” she added, “is that now I’m not broke – it’s great. Life is good.”

California reparations plan moves movement forward, advocates say | national news

March 31, 2022

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DETROIT (AP) — In the long debate over whether black Americans should receive reparations for the atrocities and injustices of slavery and racism, California took a big step this week to become the first state American to make some form of restitution a reality.

The state reparations task force has grappled with the contentious issue of which black residents should be eligible – it narrowly decided in favor of limiting compensation to descendants of free and enslaved black people who were in the United States in the 19th century.

Whether Tuesday’s vote by the task force prompts other states and cities to advance their own proposals, and whether they adopt California’s still-controversial standard on who would benefit, remains to be seen. Some veterans reparations advocates strongly disagree with proposals to limit eligibility to only black people who can prove they have enslaved ancestors, while excluding those who cannot and leaving out victims. other historical injustices, such as redlining and mass incarceration.

Still, a lawyer noted that California’s decision was a step that could give impetus to stalled redress proposals elsewhere in the United States.

“It has precipitated a debate and it will influence communities,” said Ron Daniels, president of the 21st Century Black World Institute and trustee of the National Commission for African American Reparations, an advocacy group for scholars and activists. .

As to whether others will take the same approach to eligibility, Daniels said: “That remains to be decided. … We believe that ultimately a broader definition will prevail.

The Daniels-led commission took a position that limiting reparations to descendants of slaves, or Americans whose ancestors were free blacks living during the era of slavery, ignores the effects of racism that persisted for more a century after emancipation.

“There will always be criteria” for reparations, Daniels said. “The problem is that the harms have been so severe that almost no black people are eligible in one form or another.”

Although there is still some debate among historians about exactly when the practice began, chattel slavery in what would become the United States dates back to 1619, when approximately 20 enslaved Africans were brought in Jamestown, Virginia – then a British colony. According to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and maintained by Rice University.

Slavery in the United States officially ended in 1865 with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Union Army General William Sherman promised freed slaves compensation in the form of land and mules to farm them – hence the phrase “40 acres and a mule” – after the victory of the North over South during the Civil War. But President Andrew Johnson withdrew the offer.

More than 120 years later, then-Rep. John Conyers, a Detroit Democrat, first introduced HR 40, a bill that would create a federal commission to study reparations and make proposals. Conyers reintroduced it in every session of Congress until his resignation in 2017. As a candidate, President Joe Biden has said he supports the creation of the commission, but has yet to officially endorse it. supported as Commander-in-Chief. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, is currently the House bill’s lead sponsor.

Getting government leaders to openly consider slavery reparations was daunting and took decades. But progress has been made at the state and local levels, especially since the national toll on racial injustice that was sparked after the 2020 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In Michigan, legislative proposals submitted to the House of Representatives earlier this year call for $1.5 billion federal dollars to be placed in a racial equity and reparations fund within the state treasury. The funds would be disbursed to various state departments and agencies to provide grants, loans and other economic assistance to businesses and economic developments that promote the black community.

The bills have yet to receive a hearing in the House.

Last year, Evanston, Illinois — the first U.S. city to find a source of funding for repairs — began giving eligible Black residents $25,000 housing grants for down payments, repairs or existing mortgages. The program is intended to atone for the history of racial discrimination and housing discrimination. Recipients were randomly selected from applicants, black residents who lived in the city between 1919 and 1969.

And in Providence, Rhode Island, the mayor announced a city reparations commission in February that will seek to atone for the city’s role in slavery and systemic racism, as well as the mistreatment of Native Americans.

For Anita Belle, a grassroots activist in Detroit, where residents of the predominantly black city voted in November to create a city reparations commission, getting to this point in the pursuit of reparations is cause for celebration. But what happens next is worrying, especially when it comes to who gets what and how much, she said.

“I am happy for all of us who have worked in the field for all these years,” said Belle, founder of the Reparations Labor Union. “We’re a little scared that these people who jumped on the bandwagon are actually there to sabotage it and make $12.62 repairs, if that. There will be these saboteurs – people who look like us, but who have hidden agendas.”

“You have some of that fear in California where the scope of reparations has been limited to people who can prove they were enslaved,” she added. “People in California will say ‘why am I paying reparations for someone who was enslaved in Mississippi?'”

In California, the task force is taking the next step with economists to determine the cost of compensating more than 2 million black residents, though not all would be eligible. After the abolition of slavery, black migration to California occurred primarily in the decades following World War II, with newly arrived African Americans settling in cities such as Oakland, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The black population rose from just under half a million, or 4.4% of the population, in 1950 to 1.4 million, or 7% of the population, in 1970. Decades later, the 2020 census recorded 2.1 million black residents in California, or about 5.3% of the state’s population.

Although the proposals and who is eligible seem to vary, they are always types of reparations, according to Rashawn Ray, senior research fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

“California chose to focus on black slavery,” Ray said. “In Evanston, it’s segregation and housing segregation. Both are problems that should be compensated to them according to what is wrong.

But, added Ray, “Federal reparations — definitely and hands down — is what we need. What happens in California should happen in Congress.”

As a former Evanston, Illinois, city councilor and longtime advocate for reparations, Robin Rue Simmons said reaching consensus on eligibility can be difficult because Decision makers should be as broad and inclusive as possible, while identifying the specific harms they seek. Address.

California’s big step could help spur action on reparations proposals in other cities and states, Simmons said, and perhaps add pressure for the federal government to act, which she considers essential.

She doesn’t expect California’s lineage-based eligibility standard to become the norm.

“I don’t think one community should think another has it figured out for them,” Simmons said, “because each community is going to have its own priorities and specific story.”

———

Bynum reported from Savannah, Ga. AP writers Janie Har in San Francisco and Michael Schneider in Orlando contributed to this story.

5 things to know about the Texas drought: wildfires, relief and more

March 31, 2022

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Most of the state of Texas is experiencing some level of drought, according to the US Drought Watch. Data from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 95.7% of the state is “abnormally dry,” which may cause planting to be postponed and an increased risk of grass fires.

Here are five things to know about the Texas drought.

Two-fifths of the state is in ‘extreme drought’

According to the US Drought Monitor, just over 40% of Texas is experiencing “extreme drought” or worse. This level of drought can lead to sand and dust storms, lower crop yields and an increased need for additional feed, nutrients, protein and water for livestock.

Additionally, 6.2% of the state is in “exceptional drought,” which includes conditions comparatively worse than extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Unusual drought conditions can lead to widespread crop losses, significant financial losses in various industries and “extreme sensitivity” to fire danger, according to the US Drought Monitor.

Drought affects millions of Texans


About 18,057,500 Texans are affected by drought conditions, according to the US Drought Monitor. It is more than three in five Texans who are affected by the drought out of the approximately 29.1 million Texans, according to US census The data.

There are 169 of the 254 counties in Texas with a disaster designation by the US Department of Agriculture, according to the US Drought Monitor. Disaster designations allow counties to access various relief efforts, including emergency loans and assistance programs, according to the USDA.

Droughts affect people across the United States

Texas isn’t the only state facing drought conditions. Just over 58% of the nation is at least abnormally dry, according to the US Drought Watchwith 14.3% experiencing extreme drought and 1.6% experiencing exceptional drought.

Other states with high levels of drought include California, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Oklahoma, according to the drought map.

Droughts cause wildfires in Texas

There are 53 active fires in Texas burning on approximately 237,227 acres in the state, according to the Texas Wildfire Response Team. The largest fire, involving 60,000 acres, is in southern Texas at Borrega.

Droughts can be a contributing factor to wildfires, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System.

Ways to prevent forest fires

As drought conditions continue, and with them the risk of wildfires, there are ways Texans can reduce the risk of new fires. According to Texas Division of Emergency ManagementTexans should avoid driving in tall grass, keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and follow the advice of local officials.

As of March 30, there were high to critical fire weather conditions in the Panhandle, Southern Plains, Border Region, South Texas, Central Texas and Coastal Texas.

Publication of the file gives details of the fatal accident of South Dakota AG | national news

March 31, 2022

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SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) – South Dakota Details Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg A fatal 2020 pedestrian crash was publicly revealed on Wednesday as the Legislative Assembly released unredacted portions of the accident investigation, offering a fresh look at the minutes surrounding the accident but leaving unanswered how Ravnsborg couldn’t have seen the man he hit.

Nearly 200 case files in the crash investigations and arraignment were posted online on Wednesday, allowing public scrutiny of the investigation for the first time since the fatal crash in September 2020. Parts of the investigation about the crash, including messages on Ravnsborg’s phones and photos of the body of pedestrian Joseph Boever, were redacted by the House committee.

Lawmakers wrapped up a month-long inquiry on Monday by voting to party lines t o recommend that Ravnsborg not be impeached. The House will meet on April 12 to consider the committee’s report.

Republican Attorney General last year pleaded no contest to a pair of misdemeanors in the accident and had to pay fines. He called the crash a tragic accident, insisting he didn’t realize he had killed a man until he returned to the scene the next day and found his body.

Accident investigation records revealed that Ravnsborg had been stopped more than 25 times for traffic violations, including eight times since he took office in 2019. Ravnsborg told investigators: ” I never exceed more than four”, even though he had been stopped for speeding five times. times since 2019.

The House impeachment committee also found that Ravnsborg in law enforcement interviews ‘understated or omitted, and at worst, misrepresented’ how he scrolled his cell phone while commuting from a pickup. of GOP funds the night of the crash. However, Republican lawmakers argued it did not rise to the level of an impenetrable offense because it was not part of his official “on duty” duties as Attorney General.

Ravnsborg told investigators the last thing he remembered was looking at his speedometer “and then wham.” He hit Boever.

Boever’s body suffered “multiple traumatic injuries”, according to an autopsy. A toxicology report also revealed that Boever had taken a large amount of Lorazepam, an anxiolytic, but not enough to be fatal.

Crash investigators found that Ravnborg’s car had driven completely across the shoulder of the freeway when it hit Boever. It then took 44 seconds for Ravnsborg to stop his car and dial 911, investigators found after examining his cellphone.

Ravnsborg searched the crash area, according to cellphone data, and approached within a few feet of Boever’s body. But the attorney general insisted he had not seen his body or a small flashlight he was carrying.

“I still don’t know what happened while I was driving,” Ravnsborg texted his top aides about 30 minutes after the crash.

Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek, who responded to the scene, also said he had not seen the body. After assuming that Ravnsborg had hit a deer, Volek sent the attorney general home, lending him a personal vehicle.

However, as Volek waited for a tow truck to show up, he was disturbed that no deer had been found and took another look around the scene. He saw Boever’s flashlight shining in the grass, he told investigators, but did not look closely because he thought it was a bulb from Ravnsborg’s car.

Ravnsborg reported Boever’s death to Volek the following day after returning to the scene of the crash and finding Boever’s body.

That evening, Governor Kristi Noem was preparing to give a press conference about the crash, and her chief of staff at the time was coordinating with the attorney general’s office to release a statement saying he would cooperate with the crash. investigation, according to text messages.

But a few days later, Noem, another Republican, would push Ravnsborg to resign.

Three days after the accident and with the investigation ongoing, Ravnsborg was at the Criminal Investigation Division headquarters in Pierre when he approached an officer, Brent Gromer, who had expertise in forensic examinations of phones. laptops and asked him what investigators could find on his phones. . The accident investigation says a detective was told the interaction made Gromer “uncomfortable”, but does not say who told the detective.

The same day, the governor’s chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, texted Ravnsborg: “Given what is happening, the governor is going to ask you to take some time off, at least until the conclusion of the investigation.”

At the end of the inquest last year, Noem publicly called for Ravnsborg’s resignation, and after avoiding jail for the accident, she would push harder for his removal.

So far it has been thwarted. Ravnsborg refused to withdraw. He also asked Ross Garber, a professor at Tulane Law School, to send a letter to the House impeachment committee opposing the impeachment because his actions “were unrelated to his office.”

Republicans on the committee agreed in a majority report that whatever Ravnsborg did wrong was not part of his job in office.

Stocks fall, snapping a 4-day winning streak on Wall Street | national news

March 30, 2022

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Tech companies led stocks lower on Wall Street on Wednesday, ending a four-day winning streak for the market, after an economic report stoked concerns about the health of the economy.

The S&P 500 fell 0.6% after losing nearly 1.1% at one point. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.2%, almost fully recovering from a 0.7% loss. The pullback was the indices’ first close lower in five days. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 1.2%.

New data from the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 6.9% from October through December, slower than previous estimates and below economists’ expectations.

The data, which came amid a rebound in stocks over the past two weeks, may have led investors to claw back some recent gains, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist, CFRA.

“The GDP numbers were weaker than we expected,” Stovall said. “It looks like we are in the throes of a period of weakness in the first quarter.”

The S&P 500 fell 29.15 points to 4,602.45. The Dow slipped 65.38 points to 35,228.81. The Nasdaq lost 177.36 points to 14,442.27.

In a reversal from the previous day, shares of smaller companies fell more than the market as a whole. The Russell 2000 Index slipped 42.03 points, or 2%, to 2,091.07.

Markets have mostly gained ground this week as talks between Russia and Ukraine appear to be progressing and following encouraging data on consumer confidence.

Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine remain uncertain, however, and Russian bombardments in areas where they said they would dampen tempered optimism about the prospects for resolving the conflict.

Tech stocks were among the largest weightings in the broader market. Many companies in the sector have high values ​​which tend to have an outsized effect on the evolution of stock indices. Chipmaker Nvidia fell 3.4%. Retailers also fell. Home Depot slipped 2.9%.

Oil prices, volatile since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, gained ground. U.S. benchmark crude oil rose 3.4% and Brent crude, the international standard, rose 2.9%. Energy stocks gained ground as oil prices rose. Phillips 66 rose 4.8%.

Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, slipped to 2.35% from 2.40% on Tuesday evening.

Bond yields have mostly risen this year as Wall Street braces for a policy shift from the Federal Reserve. The central bank, along with its global counterparts, is raising benchmark interest rates to help tackle persistently rising inflation.

Wall Street is also watching the bond market closely for clues about the economy’s trajectory. On Tuesday, the 10-year Treasury yield briefly fell below the 2-year Treasury yield, in what Wall Street calls an “inversion” of the Treasury yield curve. Investors are taking note as prolonged yield reversals have accurately predicted previous US recessions. The 2-year Treasury yield fell to 2.33% from 2.35% on Tuesday night.

Investors have several other economic updates to review this week. On Thursday, the Commerce Department will release its Personal Income and Spending report for February and the Labor Department will release its March jobs report on Friday.

Wall Street is also gearing up for the latest round of corporate report cards as the quarter draws to a close. Several companies have already released financial results and updates.

Sportswear maker Lululemon jumped 9.6% after announcing encouraging financial results for its latest quarter and giving strong sales guidance. Online pet store Chewy fell 16.1% after reporting a bigger fiscal fourth-quarter loss than analysts expected.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Montana State Fund Announces Rate Cut and $40 Million Dividend | Local

March 30, 2022

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Montana State Fund, the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurance company, recently announced an average rate reduction of 3% for its policyholders.

The decision was taken at the March 11 meeting of the MSF board of directors and is effective for new policies and renewals from July 1. This is the 16th consecutive year that MSF rates have remained stable or been reduced, agency officials said.

MSF Board Chairman Richard Miltenberger said in a press release that the board is committed to providing employers in Montana with stability and predictability, knowing that the agency has a significant impact on Montana companies.

“We hope this rate cut will allow employers to hire more workers, make improvements, and ultimately improve Montana’s economy,” he said.

MSF President and CEO Laurence Hubbard said “Montana companies continue to improve workplace safety, we are committed to ensuring that our rates reflect these improvements.”

With the most recent cut, MSF’s rates are now 54.1% lower than in 2006 (the year of the last rate increase), state fund officials said.

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Next to payroll, workers’ compensation insurance is the biggest expense on an employer’s books, state fund officials said, adding that small businesses form the backbone of Montana’s economy.

In October, the State Fund announced a record dividend of $40 million for policyholders.

Dividends are paid to employers as a direct result of better-than-expected investment market performance and positive workplace safety outcomes, the Montana State Fund said.

On Tuesday, the Montana State Fund announced that it had presented the Motor Carriers of Montana with a check for $224,044, as a “retrospective return” for participating in the group’s safety program and improving safety at the work.

Hubbard said Montana Motor Carriers have earned this comeback by putting “safety at the forefront of their collective mind and proving that safety pays.”

Duane Williams, executive director of Motor Carriers of Montana, said he was able to improve members’ workplace safety culture and reduce workplace injuries.

The 23 members of the motor carrier group will share in the total return, with the average check to policyholders amounting to approximately $9,700. Checks range from about $64 to more than $34,000, depending on policy size, premium paid and losses incurred, state fund officials said.

Associate Editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.

Trump’s lawsuit against Clinton is part of a long-running legal strategy | national news

March 28, 2022

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NEW YORK (AP) — When a Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic rejected his plans for a new skyscraper in Manhattan, Donald Trump responded with a lawsuit. When tenants of a building he was trying to clean up filed a lawsuit to stop their evictions, Trump hit back by file a complaint against the law firm representing tenants. And when an author said the former president was worth far less than he claimed, Trump again filed a lawsuit.

So when Trump filed a sprawling lawsuit last week accusing his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party of conspiring to sink his winning presidential campaign by alleging ties to Russia – renewing one of his oldest perceived slights – it was no surprise.

Trump has spent decades turning political and personal grievances into lawsuits. Throughout his business and political career, he has used the courts as a forum to voice his complaints and as a tool to intimidate opponents, smear their reputations and attempt to attract media attention.

“It’s part of his pattern of using the law to punish his enemies, as a weapon, as something it was never intended to be,” said James D. Zirin, a former federal prosecutor at Manhattan and author of the book “Plaintiff in Chief,” which details Trump’s legal history. “For him, litigation was a way of life.”

Trump’s latest trial returns to a familiar grievance: that Democrats in 2016 concocted fictitious claims that his campaign colluded with Russia and that the FBI consequently conducted a “baseless” investigation.

The 108-page lawsuit, as much a political screed as a legal document, names as defendants familiar targets of his wrath from both the political realm — Clinton and his aides — and the law enforcement community. It also draws on the work of Special Counsel John Durham, citing as defendants the three people – a cybersecurity attorney, a former FBI attorney and a Russian analyst – who have been charged in the criminal investigation.

Trump, in the suit, portrays himself as the victim of a massive racketeering conspiracy that the FBI officials conducting the investigation knew was “based on a false and contrived premise.”

It is well established by a Justice Department Inspector General’s investigation that the FBI made mistakes and missteps in the Russia investigation that Trump may seek to seize if his trial progresses. But Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.

US intelligence agencies concluded in January 2017 that Russia had launched a massive influence campaign aimed at helping Trump defeat Clinton. And the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, after three years of investigation, confirmed these conclusions, saying intelligence officials had specific information that Russia favored Trump and that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “endorsed and directed aspects” of the Kremlin’s influence campaign. He also found clear ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, concluding that Trump’s campaign chairman had regular contact with a Russian intelligence officer and that other Trump associates were eager to tap into Kremlin aid.

Representatives for Trump did not respond to requests for comment. But Trump lawyer Alina Habba defended her approach on Newsmax, telling the network that more lawsuits would be coming “soon.”

“We have another lawsuit pending shortly,” she said. “And anyone who tries to make up malicious stories about him while he was president, before his presidency or now will be prosecuted.”

Trump, meanwhile, was already using the dossier to annoy his crowds at a rally in Georgia on Saturday night.

“To combat the relentless hoaxes and lies of this corrupt establishment, I filed a historic lawsuit this week to hold them accountable for the Russia, Russia Russia hoax,” Trump said to cheers. Her mention of Clinton drew particularly loud applause and a rhyme of “Lock her up!” singing which was a defining feature of his 2016 campaign.

Besides serving as a useful political cudgel, Trump’s effort, which comes as he mulls another run for the White House, could lend the imprimatur of credibility to campaign grievances, Stephen Gillers said. , professor of legal ethics at New York University.

“For the oblivious public, having grievances repackaged as legal claims adds credence to the strength of those grievances,” Gillers said. “Anyone who pays attention to what is happening in court will be able to see through these claims as claims of political victimization in another form. But the public as a whole is not paying attention to the validity of the claims.

Last year, Trump took similar action, made a complaint against three of the nation’s biggest tech companies, saying he and other conservatives were wrongly censored after his accounts were suspended.

It’s a tactic Trump has used time and time again.

In real estate, casinos and other industries where the former president made his fortune and lost it, Trump’s use of lawsuits as a business weapon was legendary. He has sued or threatened to sue contractors, business partners, tax authorities and the media.

“Trump loved to sue, especially parties that couldn’t afford a legal defense,” said Barbara Res, a former longtime Trump Organization executive turned critic. She said a legal tactic he often turned to was suing for a “pre-emptive strike” to weaken rivals and make it look like he was the injured party before they acted.

Indeed, when Trump defaulted on a giant Deutsche Bank loan for his Chicago hotel and apartment tower during the 2008 financial crisis, he didn’t wait to be sued. Instead, he filed a lawsuit accusing the lender of “predatory lending practices” that damaged his reputation and helped spark the global depression.

Instead of paying the bank, he argued, the bank should pay him.

It was a new argument and one that finally succeeded. Deutsche Bank ended up forgoing part of his loan, then gave him hundreds of millions of dollars in new loans in the coming years.

A 2016 USA Today survey found that Trump had been involved in at least 3,500 court cases over three decades – more than five other major US real estate owners combined. In more than half of the cases, Trump was the one who filed the complaint.

The litigation continued while Trump was in the White House. In a desperate and futile attempt to stay in power, Trump and his allies filed dozens of baseless lawsuits challenge the results of the 2020 election. Judges have repeatedly said plaintiffs have failed to prove fraud or misconduct.

“He is exceptionally litigious, much of which is not set up to win but rather to frustrate the opposing side by causing financial hardship,” said former Trump opponent Michael Cohen, who went to jail for silently paying money to a porn star who alleged an affair with Trump, as well as lying to Congress about a Trump skyscraper project in Moscow.

The combinations have proven beneficial in other ways. Asset spent more than a year and a half fight off efforts by then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. to obtain copies of his tax returns, taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Although Trump was ultimately unsuccessful, his stalling tactics dragged the case out so long that Vance, who was about to seek an indictment, was replaced by a successor. who would allegedly almost closed the case.

——

Tucker reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Michael Sisak contributed to this report.

IRS Releases Latest COVID-Related Fraud Investigation Statistics | News

March 28, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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Here is a press release from the IRS Criminal Investigation:

DENVER- IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) today released investigative statistics on the agency’s COVID-related fraud investigations over the past two years.

The agency investigated 660 tax and money laundering cases related to COVID fraud, with alleged fraud in those cases totaling $1.8 billion. These cases included a wide range criminal activity, including fraudulently obtained loans, credits and payments intended for American workers, families and small businesses.

“The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) was enacted nearly two years ago as a safety net for Americans in the face of an unprecedented health crisis. Unfortunately, even in times of crisis, criminals stick their heads out to look for ways to take advantage of those at their most vulnerable. Through the investigative work of IRS-CI Special Agents and our law enforcement partners, we have ensured that criminals who attempt to defraud CARES Act programs face the consequences of their acts,” said IRS-CI chief Jim Lee.

“The IRS Criminal Investigation’s enforcement efforts have a direct impact on the American public’s confidence in federal tax laws and assistance programs,” said Andy Tsui, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Field Office. the IRS Criminal Investigation in Denver. “Our special agents are committed to identifying and investigating individuals who attempt to defraud the federal government for their personal gain and to send a clear message to criminals that they will be held accountable for their actions.”

These consequences include a 100% conviction rate for cases prosecuted with prison sentences averaging 42 months.

The IRS Criminal Investigation Denver Field Office conducts investigations throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Case examples include:

Kasey Wilson was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and ordered to pay $125,000 in restitution for orchestrating a scheme to receive Paycheck Protection Program loan payments. Wilson and a co-defendant made false statements on a PPP loan application that their company paid payroll taxes and had 34 employees. The company never paid payroll taxes and had no employees other than Wilson and the co-defendant.

Douglas Wold of Meridian, Idaho was sentenced to federal prison for wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering based on schemes to defraud his employer. Wold committed fraud in a COVID-19 testing program by issuing a fraudulent invoice to Fry Foods Inc. on behalf of his company, Hala Lallo Health. When Fry Foods paid Hala Lallo Heath for the tests, Wold deposited the money in a bank account he controlled and did not pay the health care provider who actually performed the tests.

The IRS-CI encourages the public to share information regarding known or suspected fraud attempts against any of the programs offered through the CARES Act. For report a suspected crimetaxpayers can visit IRS.gov.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the sources of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $349 billion in small business forgivable loans for job retention and certain other expenses, through the PPP. . In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional funding, and in December 2020 another $284 billion.

The Paycheck Protection Program allows eligible small businesses and certain other organizations to receive loans with terms of two to five years and an interest rate of 1%. Businesses must use PPP loan proceeds for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. The PPP allows interest and principal to be waived if businesses spend the proceeds of these expenses within a specified time frame and use at least a certain percentage of the loan for payroll expenses.

To learn more about COVID-19 scams and other financial schemes visit IRS.gov. Official IRS information on COVID-19 and Economic Impact Payments can be found at Coronavirus tax relief pagewhich is frequently updated.

Zest AI announces partnership with CU leagues in Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin

March 28, 2022

Montana Lending

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Zest AI announces partnership with CU leagues in Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin

By Edlyn Cardoza

Today

  • box
  • CUNA Strategic Services
  • Minnesota Credit Union Network

Zest AI recently announced a partnership with Minnesota Credit Union Network, Montana Credit Unions, and Wisconsin Credit Union League to bring Zest AI lending software to their over 5 million members.

Models built using Zest, chosen as the exclusive alliance provider of CUNA Strategic Services in 2021, use thousands of data points and better math than traditional national models to safely approve more members overlooked by legacy notation. Credit unions using Zest software achieve 5-fold instant decision rates and 25%-30% higher approvals with no added risk. Loan approvals are also more inclusive by relying on in-depth information from credit reports and loan histories in the markets served by League members.

“The opportunity to bring AI-powered loans to credit unions in these three states will have a significant impact,” says Jose ValentineVice President of Corporate Development at Zest AI. “Through these partnerships, the lives of millions of people will be enriched by expanding access to affordable credit.”

“Zest has earned the trust of many institutions like ours, delivering significant value in the form of faster, more consistent, and more inclusive decisions that will help our members achieve their goals,” says John Ferstldirector of operations of the Minnesota Credit Union Network. “We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to credit unions in Minnesota.”

“We are continually working to ensure our Wisconsin League members have access to top-quality products and services that expand access and opportunity,” says Brett ThompsonPresident and CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. “This partnership with Zest AI achieves exactly that.”

Tracie KenyonPresident and CEO of Montana Credit Unionsadded – “Expanding the pool of resources available to our members has great benefits here in Montana, and this partnership with Zest is an important addition to our services.”

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Rochester Mosque Receives Special Labor Grant

March 27, 2022

Montana Economy

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St Paul (KROC AM News) – A religious organization in Rochester was the only recipient of a special state labor grant in southeast Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the recipients of the Targeted Community Capital Project grants on Friday.

According to ACT:
In recognition of the statewide impact of COVID-19, natural disasters and civil unrest that has occurred over the past two years, the 2021 Minnesota Legislature has authorized $18 million to DEED to administer this competitive grant program, providing much-needed funding for complex projects and expensive capital projects. Investment projects using these funds must result in providing, increasing and/or expanding access to economic development, education or workforce development programs or services to communities. underserved or economically disadvantaged individuals or groups.

“We know the pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on Black, Indigenous and communities of color and economically disadvantaged groups,said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “This funding demonstrates the state’s commitment to a new chapter of equitable economic growth.

Minnesota ACT

Minnesota ACT

A total of 149 proposals were received for the TCCP grant, totaling nearly $175 million in applications. Sixteen were selected, including one submitted by Masjed Abubakr Al-Seddiq, Inc. The organization operates the mosque located on N. Broadway in downtown Rochester. His grant totals $1.5 million.

According to ACT:

Serving the East African community in Rochester, MAAS will use these funds to increase individuals’ access to training and services for their workforce. Renovating the second floor of the current space will expand opportunities for bus driving, child care, home support, and computer/coding training and increase job placement assistance.

“Many excellent proposals were submitted and our team did a thorough review to analyze the applications with significant community input,said Marc Majors, DEED Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development. “Across the state, these grants will help create spaces where Minnesotans can go for job training, after-school youth programs, and other important services that will make a real difference in communities.”

WATCH: This is the richest city in every state

Just saying the names of these cities immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, fancy cars and fancy restaurants. Read on to see which city in your home state won the title of richest place and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows, your hometown might even be on this list.

Tenants can be in line for $53 million in stimulus aid — but at a state’s expense

March 26, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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Image source: Getty Images

When the COVID-19 outbreak first broke out, it led to a massive wave of jobless claims. Without healthy savings accounts, many Americans quickly fell behind on essential bills, including housing payments.

Protections were put in place at the start of the pandemic to prevent people from losing their homes. Landlords were allowed to suspend their mortgages, while an eviction ban prevented landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent.

At this point, both protections have largely expired. But fortunately, there are still rent relief funds available for tenants who have not yet updated their housing payments.

In fact, the federal government could soon allocate an additional $53 million in rent relief funds to states that need the most help. But this money is being taken back from a State that has been too slow to grant this aid.

Montana residents could be losers

Montana has, to date, received $352 million in rental assistance funds over two funding rounds. But the state has distributed just under $46 million, or an average of $7,300 in assistance per household that has received assistance so far.

Because Montana was slow to disburse this aid, the federal government is now taking back much of it. And it’s not the only state where this is happening. On the contrary, Montana is one of 11 states losing aid due to what is called “excess” funding.

Montana received a $200 million award for rent relief in its first round of funding. But the state was required to allocate 65% of that money by last September to prevent some of those funds from being taken back. Because Montana failed to meet this requirement, it was forced to return $7.6 million in rent relief funds in December and another $45.3 million in February.

Fortunately, the state has until 2025 to spend the $152 million it was awarded in its second round of funding. But the state isn’t happy to lose that $53 million, especially as it resolves its backlog of rent relief claims.

The loss of one state is a gain for the other states.

While it’s unfortunate that Montana is losing rent relief funds, the good news is that those dollars are being reallocated to states in dire need of assistance due to a high percentage of renters. These include New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois.

Still, Montana officials say the state’s rent relief program is helping many residents. In addition, the State plans to launch an awareness campaign to encourage qualified tenants to apply for assistance.

Montana also directed some of its existing assistance to the state health department for Housing Stability Services. And he is actively working with the Montana Legal Services Association to identify tenants at risk of eviction.

Yet the state maintains that rent relief funds will only solve part of its current housing crisis — and the lack of affordable housing is an issue it continues to grapple with. Unfortunately, the rent relief funds Montana has received cannot be used to build affordable housing. But the state Department of Commerce is working on several projects that could help.

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