Category: Montana Loans


Community leaders hope to raise $10 million for workforce housing in Bozeman

July 1, 2022

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The housing crisis in Bozeman is a problem that community leaders have been trying to solve for years. Now, with the creation of a new community fund, they hope it will provide solutions to a crisis that has challenged area residents.

“I don’t want to live in a community that’s a… where it’s just a resort community for the super-rich. It’s not what Bozeman is, it’s not our roots, it’s not where we want to be,” Bozeman Deputy Mayor Terry Cunningham said.

Cunningham says it’s hard to see house prices continue to soar.

“It’s frustrating for the city because we have so few tools to get the workforce housing projects off the ground,” Cunningham said.

With this new fund goal of $10 million, leaders are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“Housing prices got away from us a bit, rent affordability a bit, so we started talking a bit more about an investment fund that would help solve some of the problems that we are having,” said the President. and CEO of First Security Bank, Jim Ness.

For Ness, housing affordability is an issue his employees struggle with. This is one of the reasons why the bank is committed to contributing the first million dollars to the fund.

“As I talk to my employees and hear some of their situations, I hear things like having 3 roommates, 4 roommates, 6 roommates, maybe sharing a room with someone. I think the quality life is a challenge,” says Ness.

This is what inspired Ness to approach Deputy Mayor Cunningham with the idea of ​​collaborating and creating a discovery aimed at tackling housing affordability in the Gallatin Valley.

The fund aims to help workforce housing projects get started and provide funds to fill the funding gap. Part of the fund will also help to obtain home loans. Leaders hope this investment in the community will inspire more people to put down roots in the Gallatin Valley.

“Private businesses, bankers and other community partners are stepping up and contributing to this fund, sends a great message to the community that we’re in this together,” Cunningham said.

They say a healthy workforce is the foundation of a city like Bozeman.

“If we don’t have an active workforce and I believe workforce housing is a barrier to that right now and I want to help and address that,” Ness said.

Even with all the construction, Ness says a piece of the puzzle is missing.

“There’s a lot of construction going on in Bozeman right now and there’s a lot of apartments going on, which is great, and there’s a need for that too, but the area I see for that need is for this category of affordability,” he said.

Ness and Cunningham are optimistic about mobilizing community support to tackle a community-wide issue.

“It’s definitely not the silver bullet that’s going to do it, but I think it’s part of the solution,” Ness said.

PrimeLending® Announces Michael Heeb (NMLS: 470225) as New Area Manager in the Pacific Northwest Region

June 29, 2022

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BOISE, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National residential lender PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital company, announces the promotion of Michael Heeb to regional manager in the Pacific Northwest, overseeing Alaska, Idaho and Montana.

Michael brings 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry to his new role after 7 years as a Branch Manager at the Eagle, ID branch and its 7 satellite branches, including Bozeman, MT.

Currently Area Manager in the Pacific Northwest region of PrimeLending, Michael will work with community residents on purchasing and refinancing needed mortgages in the Alaska, Idaho and Montana regions. .

Michael worked hard to earn this leadership opportunity. He has demonstrated his ability to lead even when it is difficult. Michael has played an impressive role in our growth in Idaho and Montana. He is a true servant leader who leads with conviction. These skills are exactly what we need to advance our business in key western markets,said Al Velasco, director of PrimeLending’s EVP West division.

About PrimeLending

PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital company (PrimeLending), is a national real estate lender combining personal advice and local expertise with fast service, more choice and the flexibility to meet the unique needs of homeowners. We relentlessly strive to empower our clients to boldly pursue their homeownership goals, whether they are looking to buy, refinance or remodel a home. The PrimeLending team works alongside our clients in all 50 states, helping them make smart home financing decisions and a rewarding experience along the way. Keeping this promise for over 30 years, we’re proud to consistently achieve a 97% customer satisfaction rate*. PrimeLending is a wholly owned subsidiary of PlainsCapital Bank, which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTH). More information at PrimeLending.com. Equal Housing Lender.

*Survey administered and managed by an independent third party after loan closing. The 97% satisfaction rating refers to the average rating that our clients gave to our loan officers for the period from 01/01/21 to 31/12/21.

All loans subject to credit approval. Rates and fees subject to change. Mortgage financing provided by PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital company. Equal Housing Lender.

©2022 PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital company. (NMLS: 13649).

That’s what the average Montana household pays in bills every month | State

June 24, 2022

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The cost of living in the United States is much lower than the cost of living in several other developed countries, including the Nordic countries as well as New Zealand and Australia. Yet living expenses in the United States are higher than in most countries in the world.

According a recent study by Doxoa bill payment platform, US households spend an average of $2,003 per month on the most common bills, or about 37% of what a typical household earns in a month.

The average monthly cost of those bills — which include rent, car loans, utilities, car insurance, cable, Internet, cell phone and health insurance — is lower than average in Montana. The typical Montana household spends an average of $1,751 per month on bills, the 15th lowest among the 50 states.

States with higher-than-average monthly bills also tend to have higher-than-average incomes, while cheaper states tend to have lower incomes — and Montana is no exception. The typical household in the state earns $56,539 a year, compared to the national median household income of $64,994, according to five-year estimates from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Rank State Avg. monthly household bills ($) Median household income ($) Avg. bill total as a percentage of revenue (%)
1 Hawaii 2,911 83 173 42.0
2 California 2,649 78,672 40.4
3 New Jersey 2,610 85,245 36.7
4 Massachusetts 2,511 84,385 35.7
5 Maryland 2,456 87,063 33.9
6 Connecticut 2,380 79,855 35.8
seven New York 2,361 71 117 39.8
8 Alaska 2,334 77,790 36.0
9 Washington 2,277 77,006 35.5
ten New Hampshire 2,256 77,923 34.7
11 Colorado 2,251 75,231 35.9
12 Virginia 2,229 76,398 35.0
13 Rhode Island 2,172 70,305 37.1
14 Oregon 2,070 65,667 37.8
15 Delaware 2,057 69 110 35.7
16 Illinois 2,029 68,428 35.6
17 Wyoming 2,022 65,304 37.2
18 Florida 1,993 57,703 41.4
19 Minnesota 1,967 73,382 32.2
20 Texas 1,956 63,826 36.8
21 Nevada 1,945 62,043 37.6
22 North Dakota 1,937 65,315 35.6
23 Arizona 1,936 61,529 37.8
24 Maine 1,922 59,489 38.8
25 Wisconsin 1,915 63,293 36.3
26 Utah 1,910 74 197 30.9
27 Vermont 1,883 63,477 35.6
28 Georgia 1,875 61,224 36.8
29 Louisiana 1,871 50,800 44.2
30 Pennsylvania 1,851 63,627 34.9
31 North Carolina 1,829 56,642 38.7
32 Iowa 1,784 61,836 34.6
33 Caroline from the south 1,783 54,864 39.0
34 Idaho 1,777 58,915 36.2
35 Michigan 1,754 59,234 35.5
36 Montana 1,751 56,539 37.2
37 Tennessee 1,734 54,833 37.9
38 Kansas 1,720 61,091 33.8
39 Ohio 1,717 58 116 35.5
40 Missouri 1,706 57,290 35.7
41 Nebraska 1,696 63,015 32.3
42 Alabama 1,688 52,035 38.9
43 New Mexico 1,663 51,243 38.9
44 South Dakota 1,654 59,896 33.1
45 Oklahoma 1,634 53,840 36.4
46 Kentucky 1,627 52,238 37.4
47 Indiana 1,607 58,235 33.1
48 Mississippi 1,559 46,511 40.2
49 Arkansas 1,552 49,475 37.6
50 West Virginia 1,452 48,037 36.3

How Marriage Rates Have Changed in Montana | State and Region

June 22, 2022

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Marriage rates in the United States have been declining for several decades. giggster look at Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention Montana marriage rate data, you can read the national story here.

Cultural critics and many sociologists have lamented the decline in marriage rates, citing concern over the deterioration of the traditional family structure and what it might mean for raising children. A more holistic look suggests many factors for variations in marriage rates– from women earning more equity in the workplace and on their paychecks to the normal fluctuations occurring around major historical events, such as tight rates during the Great Depression and a doubling of marriage rates in the United States. United at the end of World War II.

Southern states maintain higher marriage rates on average than Northeastern states; while Montana is the only state that has seen an increase in marriage rates since 1990. Keep reading to find out why this might be the case and find out other key insights into how marriage rates have changed over the past few years. decades.

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There are no obvious common denominators between the states with the highest and lowest marriage rates. States with the lowest marriage rates, such as California, have cities where the cost of living tends to be high, which may be a factor in lower marriage rates. Financial insecurity and lack of savings are often quoted as reasons why couples are reluctant to marry. Yet Louisiana also has a low marriage rate, despite being in a region that is more affordable and generally known for its more traditional views on marriage and family than cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Montana’s high marriage rate likely has little in common with Nevada’s, given that Nevada is likely due in part to its reputation as the capital of speedy marriages. Couples can enter a chapel and get married in a 10-minute ceremony, or even via a passage tunnel. Of course, this can also be the reason why Nevada also leads the nation in divorces.


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– Marriage rate 2020: 10.4 per 1,000

— #2 highest among all states

– Evolution of the marriage rate since 1990: 1.8

There are no obvious common denominators between the states with the highest and lowest marriage rates. States with the lowest marriage rates, such as California, have cities where the cost of living tends to be high, which may be a factor in lower marriage rates. Financial insecurity and lack of savings are often quoted as reasons why couples are reluctant to marry. Yet Louisiana also has a low marriage rate, despite being in a region that is more affordable and generally known for its more traditional views on marriage and family than cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Montana’s high marriage rate likely has little in common with Nevada’s, given that Nevada is likely due in part to its reputation as the capital of speedy marriages. Couples can enter a chapel and get married in a 10-minute ceremony, or even via a passage tunnel. Of course, this can also be the reason why Nevada also leads the nation in divorces.

States with the highest marriage rates (per 1,000)

States with Lowest Marriage Rates (per 1,000)

There’s no single reason why marriage rates in the United States are at their lowest level since 1867, but history does contain a clue as to why it might be. Historically, periods of economic crisis, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, announced a drop in marriage rates. The millennial cohort that might normally marry is now of working age in the midst of a major recession.

In addition to historic levels of student debt and stagnating wages, many young people in their 20s and 30s today may simply not feel like they can afford to. settle down for now. A third of survey respondents in a December 2019 YouGov study commissioned by LendKey Technologies said they had or would consider waiting to get married until they had paid off their student loans.

States where marriage rates fell the most from 1990 to 2020 (per 1,000)

#2. South Carolina: -10.2

Announcement of Native American Journalism Fellows

June 20, 2022

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Seven students have been selected by the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) to participate in the Native American Journalism Fellowship (NAJF). Each of these students is currently enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.

This class of 2022 scholars will be able to participate in a virtual program while receiving three hours of college credit at their respective universities. There are five mentors that students will work closely with throughout the duration of this scholarship. Each of these five mentors represents four different branches of journalism: broadcast, radio, print and digital media.

Students will have the opportunity to pitch stories to news outlets and will also have the opportunity to participate in the National Indigenous Media Conference where they can meet and network with other Indigenous journalists.

The NAJF Class of 2022

Lyric Aquino (Tewa) – New York University

Grace Benally (Navajo) – Arizona State University

Valentin Contreras (Pala Band of Mission Indians and IIPAY Nation of Santa Ysabel)

California State University

Carrie Lynn Johnson (Chickasaw and Pawnee) – Austin College

McKayla Lee (Navajo) – University of Montana

Lindsay McCoy (Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa) – Michigan State University

Priscilla Wolf (Cree) – University of Regina

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About the Author

Neely Bardwell
Author: Neely BardwellE-mail: This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian), who started as an intern at Native News Online in the summer of 2021, is a freelance writer. Bardwell is a student at Michigan State University where she majored in politics and minored in Native American studies.


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50 years of faltering progress in the United States – Hartford Courant

June 18, 2022

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A timeline of key events before, during, and after the passage in 1972 of the landmark U.S. law known as Title IX:

1836: Georgia Women’s College is the first women’s college to open in the United States

1917: Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to Congress.

1920: american women win the right to vote.

1936: A federal appeals court actually says doctors can prescribe birth control to women.

1947: The first report of the Truman Commission calls for more equitable access to higher education, including an end to racial and religious discrimination.

1953: Toni Stone becomes the first woman to regularly play professional baseball (Negro Leagues).

1954: US Supreme Court says ‘separate educational institutions are inherently unequal’ in landmark Brown v. Board of Education of the Topeka decision.

1960: Wilma Rudolph becomes the first American woman to win three Olympic gold medals. The black sprinter star becomes a prominent civil rights activist.

1963: The Commission on the Status of Women, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, finds widespread discrimination against women in the United States and urges federal courts that “the principle of equality be firmly established in constitutional doctrine” . Congress passes Equal Pay Act.

1964: The Civil Rights Act includes sex as one of the things employers cannot discriminate against. It also establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Hawaii’s Patsy Mink becomes first woman of color elected to U.S. House; she then co-authored Title IX, the Early Childhood Education Act and the Equal Women in Education Act.

1965: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides federal funding to K-12 schools with low-income student populations. President Lyndon Johnson also signs the Higher Education Act of 1965 which gives students access to loans, scholarships and other programs.

1966: The National Women’s Organization is established, calling for women to have “full participation in mainstream American society…in a truly equal partnership with men.”

1967: Aretha Franklin covers Otis Redding’s 1965 hit, “Respect, ” and it quickly becomes a feminist anthem.

1969: New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm becomes the first black woman in Congress. She later becomes the first woman to seek the presidential nomination.

1971: The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) is founded to govern collegiate women’s athletics and administer national championships.

1972: Congress passes Title IX, which is enacted by President Richard Nixon. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, because of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits, or be discriminated against in connection with any program or activity of education with federal financial assistance.” Congress also passes the Equal Rights Amendment, but it never gets the 38 state approval needed to become law.

1973: The Supreme Court renders its opinion Roe v. Wade establishing the right to abortion. Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in straight sets in “The Battle of the Sexes” tennis exhibition match.

1974: The Women’s Education Equity Act provides grants and contracts to help with “gender-neutral programs,” as well as to help institutions meet Title IX requirements.

1975: President Gerald Ford signs Title IX Athletics Regulationswhich gives athletics departments up to three years to implement, after noting that “it was the intention of Congress, for whatever reason for interpretation, to include athletics.”

1976: The NCAA challenges the legality of Title IX regarding athletics in a lawsuit that is dismissed two years later.

1977: Three female Yale students, two graduates and one male faculty member become the first to sue for sexual harassment under Title IX (Alexander v. Yale). He would fail on appeal.

1979: Ann Meyers becomes the first woman to sign an NBA contract (Indiana Pacers, $500,000). She had been the first woman to receive a basketball scholarship from UCLA.

1979: US officials have implemented the important three-pronged test for Title IX compliance in athletics.

1980: Oversight of Title IX is performed by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

nineteen eighty one : Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

1982: Louisiana Tech defeats Cheyney State for the first NCAA women’s basketball title. Two months later, the AIAW folded, placing top women’s collegiate sports entirely under the umbrella of the NCAA. Cheryl Miller scores 105 points in a high school game for launch one of the greatest careers in basketball history.

1984: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first woman to earn a vice-presidential nomination from a major political party. The United States wins its first Olympic gold medal in women’s basketball.

1987: Pat Summitt wins first of eight national women’s basketball titles at Tennessee.

1988: Congress overturns President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, mandating the application of Title IX to any school receiving federal funds.

1994: The Athletics Equity Disclosure Act is passed. Under Title IX, schools with federal financial aid and athletics programs must provide annual gender equity information, including roster sizes and certain budgets.

1995: Connecticut wins first of 11 national titles under coach Geno Auriemma.

1996: The female athletes win a lawsuit and force Brown to restore funding for women’s gymnastics and volleyball after saying the school violated Title IX by turning both teams into donor-funded entities. The NBA clears the way for the Women’s National Basketball Association to begin play the following year.

1999: Brandi Chastain penalty gives USA victory over China in the World Cup final, reinvigorating women’s sport in the United States

2001: Ashley Martin becomes the first woman to play and score in a Division I football game as a placekicker for Jacksonville State.

2008: Danica Patrick wins the Japan 300 to become the first female winner at the highest level of American open-wheel racing.

2014 : Becky Hamon becomes the first full-time assistant coach in NBA history.

2015 : United States’ 5-2 victory against Japan in the final of the Women’s World Cup became the most-watched football game in American television history.

2016: Citing Title IX, the Obama administration says transgender students in public schools should be allowed to use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity, the advice has been cancelled by the Trump administration. hillary clinton becomes the first woman to win a major party nomination for president.

2017: Serena Williams wins her 23rd Grand Slam titlesecond all time.

2020: New Amendments to Title IX take effect, mainly with regard to sexual harassment.

2021: Report tears NCAA apart for failing to live up to commitment to gender equality prioritizing its lucrative Division I men’s basketball tournament “above all else,” including the women’s championships.

2022: Dawn Staley of South Carolina becomes the first black Division I basketball coach, male or female, to win more than one national championship. The United States women’s national soccer team reaches a stage agreement to be paid equally to the men’s national team.

NJ senator calls for discrimination based on height and weight to be banned

June 13, 2022

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Currently, Michigan is the only state in the nation that prohibits discrimination based on height or weight under its civil rights law, and there is no such federal law.

New Jersey State Sen. Andrew Zwicker of D-Monmouth Junction would like to see the Garden State become the second in the United States to ban such biases in hiring, housing and educational practices.

“It’s a serious issue, and we don’t condone racial discrimination, gender discrimination, or age discrimination,” Zwicker said.

His bill (S2741), which was introduced June 2 and referred to the Senate Labor Committee, would categorize rejection based on height and weight under the state’s “anti-discrimination law.”

It’s something Zwicker said some other states or individual cities have come up with, but he was “shocked” to learn was not on New Jersey’s books.

He said studies have shown “widespread” discrimination specifically around weight, usually much more in women than in men, and he thinks it’s both harmful and hurtful.

“A study I saw said that between 20% and 40% of overweight people reported some sort of discriminatory behavior towards them,” Zwicker said. “Society put in these ideal sizes, these ideal weights, and those are just things that have been created, and not everyone fits that ideal. And so, people are treated differently.”

According to the wording of Zwicker’s proposal, Michigan law prohibits discrimination in “employment, education, housing, public housing, and public office,” among other grounds, and the senator hopes to cover the same ground. with the New Jersey bill.

Exceptions are provided for cases “in which an individual’s height or weight is a bona fide occupational qualification”, the bill says.

In short, Zwicker’s legislation would empower someone who believes they have suffered such discrimination to sue.

He cited an Atlantic City case years ago, in which a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by female casino workers who were weighed weekly and threatened with dismissal because there was no basis in New Jersey law to support their claims.

This bill, he said, would close that loophole.

“It’s more than common sense, it’s just the right thing to do, that’s why I wrote it and why I stand for it now,” Zwicker said.

Zwicker intends the legislation to take effect immediately if and when it is passed and signed by the governor.

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

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

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Helena Man jailed for defrauding COVID-19 relief fund

June 11, 2022

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Trevor Gene Lanius-McLeod, 48, of East Helena, was sentenced in Great Falls Federal District Court this week to nearly three years in prison and must pay more than $1 million in restitution for defrauding the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

KGVO News reached out to Amanda Prestegard, IRS Criminal Investigative Special Agent in the Denver Field Office.

“He personally took out four Paycheck Protection Program loans through the Valley Bank of Helena,” Prestegard began. “In the applications, he made material and false statements to obtain $1,043,000 in fraudulent funds from these four loans. On top of that, he used a company called Renovated Montana Properties, which was an entity he controlled, to apply for another loan that amounted to nearly $350,000.

Prestegard said Lanius-McLeod deliberately falsified the information he used in the applications.

“So in all of these loans, the applications contained misrepresentations,” she said. “It was based on the fact that he had declared that he paid payroll taxes, that he had 25 employees and that he paid an average monthly salary charge of $139,000. And all of that was wrong. So basically he just filed a bunch of bogus claims, got money he thought was for his businesses, and then used it for his personal gain.

Prestegard said Lanius-McLeod also had a partner in crimes.

“In this case, he was sentenced to three years in prison and his accomplice Casey Jones-Wilson was sentenced to a year and a day in prison,” she said. “We’re seeing some pretty significant jail time which obviously correlates to the amount of money that’s been stolen from the programs. In this case, he will owe over a million dollars in restitution on top of the three years that he will serve in prison, and his co-conspirator will have to repay more than $100,000.

She said the Cares Act had attracted many fraudulent loan applications that the IRS was investigating.

“What it looks like now is a small percentage, but it’s still a huge success for the program,” she said. “We looked at a lot of these cases. We investigated over 660 cases nationwide of people trying to defraud these Cares Act programs, and it resulted in approximately $1.8 billion in fraudulent money being received.

The proceeds were spent on various personal expenses, including the mortgage on Lanius-McLeod’s own home.

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Helena man convicted of using over $1 million in COVID-19 relief loans for personal gain | ABC Fox Montana Helen

June 9, 2022

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UPDATE, JUNE 9 AT 10:16 AM:

The Department of Justice reports that Trevor Gee Lanius-McLeod was sentenced after he admitted to using the more than $1 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans he received for personal gain. .

Lanius-McLeod allegedly misrepresented the PPP loan application and otherwise did not qualify.

The government claimed that Lanius-McLeod agreed to use the funds for business-related expenses and that the proceeds were in fact spent on various personal expenses, including the mortgage on his personal residence.

“Today’s sentence is a direct reflection of the seriousness of Mr. Lanius-McLeod’s crimes,” said Andy Tsui, special agent in charge of the IRS local office of criminal investigations in Denver. “Not only is Lanius-McLeod guilty of crimes against the federal government, but he also victimized individuals and businesses that the Paycheck Protection Program was meant to protect. These actions will not be tolerated, and the judge’s decision sends a clear message to those who attempt to defraud CARES Act programs that these crimes will not go unpunished.

Trevor Gee Lanius-McLeod was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of probation.

He was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,000,043.00, of which $125,000 will be paid jointly with co-defendant Kasey Wilson who was sentenced in March 2022.


Previous cover, January 5:

HELEN, Mont. – A Helena man pleaded guilty after making false statements to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans which he used for his personal gain.

Trevor Gene Lanius-McLeod pleaded guilty to bank fraud and engaging in monetary transactions in property from specified illegal activities.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement that in court documents the government claimed that in April 2021 Lanius-McLeod applied for PPP loans through the Valley Bank of Helena and lied about the applications and the documents that accompanied them.

Lanius-McLeod allegedly received $1,043,000 in fraudulent funds on the four loans.

Additionally, Lanius-McLeod applied for and obtained a $340,000 PPP loan on behalf of Renovated Montana Properties LLP, an entity he controlled.

Lanius-McLeod falsely said the company paid payroll taxes and had 25 employees, the DOJ reports.

Payroll taxes were never paid by the company and it had no employees other than Lanius-McLeod, however, it occasionally employed independent contractors.

In a promissory note, Lanius-McLeod agreed to use the loan for payroll costs and other business-related expenses, and none of the loans were used for those purposes, the statement said.

Instead, the loan was used for personal expenses, including paying the mortgage on Lanius-McLeod’s personal residence.

The DOJ says that but for several misrepresentations, Lanius-McLeod would not have qualified for this loan.

A plea agreement was filed in the case where the parties agreed that if the court accepts the plea agreement at sentencing, the government will seek the dismissal of nine other counts.

Lanius-McLeod faces a maximum of 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release for the crime of bank fraud.

‘Bargain Block’ shows 2 guys rebuilding Detroit 1 house at a time

June 8, 2022

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Over the years we have seen a lot of desperation and desperation when the subject of the city of Detroit is mentioned. Then came Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas. You couldn’t find two people less likely to take on this project of buying run-down homes in run-down Detroit neighborhoods, fixing them up almost like new, then reselling them for an affordable price, but also for a profit .

Thomas is a physicist with a doctorate, and a carpenter and builder; Bynum holds an MBA and is a designer. At fourteen, he created his first company. Four years ago, the two lived in Colorado, but why not move to Motown? Now their HGTV series, “Bargain Block” is back for another season, but more importantly, they’re making a difference, making homeownership possible for some people who might not be able to afford it. a house, and since they made twenty-two so far, maybe bring quarters back.

If you look west, there’s a ton of gentrification going on in Chicago, but Detroit isn’t up to it yet. But with Bynum and Thomas, maybe it gives a boost.

(Mission in fact via YouTube)

From a television production perspective, most of these shows follow a script and a formula, and you can’t forget their real estate partner, Shea Hicks-Whitfield, who is a cheerleader in town. In the end, just like the Lions, maybe this sleeping giant rises like a phoenix.

HGTV says Wednesday, June 8 will bring new episodes and premiere at 8 p.m. ET is a throwback to their first season. And if the show is new to you, this is a good place to start.

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Aida Alvarez sells 18,181 shares of Opportun Financial Co. (NASDAQ:OPRT)

June 3, 2022

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Timely Financial Co. (NASDAQ: OPRTGet a rating) Director Aida Alvarez sold 18,181 shares of Oportun Financial in a trade dated Thursday, June 2. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.46, for a total value of $208,354.26. Following the completion of the sale, the administrator now directly owns 18,874 shares of the company, valued at $216,296.04. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, available at this hyperlink.

Shares of NASDAQ OPRT traded at $0.08 during Friday trading hours, hitting $11.47. 233,482 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 149,083. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $12.41 and its 200-day moving average price is $16.49. Oportun Financial Co. has a 12-month low of $10.28 and a 12-month high of $27.95. The stock has a market capitalization of $376.38 million, a price-earnings ratio of 4.04 and a beta of 1.37.

Opportunity Financial (NASDAQ: OPRTGet a rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 9. The company reported EPS of $1.58 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.98. Oportun Financial had a net margin of 12.76% and a return on equity of 18.01%. The company posted revenue of $214.70 million in the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $198.40 million. In the same period a year earlier, the company earned earnings per share of $0.27. Oportun Financial’s quarterly revenues increased by 58.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts expect Oportun Financial Co. to post EPS of 1.96 for the current fiscal year.

Large investors have recently changed their stock holdings. Versant Capital Management Inc purchased a new stake in Oportun Financial in Q1 worth approximately $38,000. Dorsey Wright & Associates bought a new stake in shares of Oportun Financial in the fourth quarter worth approximately $43,000. Quantbot Technologies LP increased its stake in shares of Oportun Financial by 113.3% during the 1st quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,200 shares of the company worth $45,000 after acquiring an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. increased its stake in Oportun Financial to 92.2% in the third quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 2,291 shares of the company valued at $57,000 after acquiring an additional 1,099 shares during the period. Finally, Concourse Financial Group Securities Inc. bought a new position in Oportun Financial in Q4 worth $60,000. Institutional investors hold 70.58% of the company’s shares.

The OPRT has been the subject of several reports by research analysts. Loop Capital began covering Oportun Financial in a report on Monday, March 14. They set a “buy” rating and a price target of $24.00 for the company. BTIG Research restated a “buy” rating and posted a price target of $27.00 on shares of Oportun Financial in a research report on Thursday, April 14. To finish, Zacks Investment Research moved shares of Oportun Financial from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $13.00 price target on the stock in a Wednesday, May 18 research note. Five investment analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one gave the company a high buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat, Oportun Financial has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $24.00.

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.

See also

Insider buying and selling by quarter for Oportun Financial (NASDAQ:OPRT)



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Inland Bank and Trust Closes $1.6 Million Loans

June 2, 2022

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OAK BROOK – Inland Bank and Trust said it has entered into two commercial loans totaling $1.6 million to a financial advisory firm with offices in Maryland and Montana.

A financial advisor within the company applied for the initial loan to acquire part of the company’s customer database. This gave the firm’s owners the option of later making an external acquisition, funded by the second loan, to expand their business to a third firm, Inland said.

The transactions were completed under Inland Bank’s financial advisor loan program.

Since its inception, the program has funded nearly $20 million in loans to financial advisors located in Illinois, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina and Ohio. , Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin, the company said.

Tiffany Tyson, vice president of commercial loans at Inland Bank, originated both loans.

Hunterdon regional football player hit on NJ Route 202

May 31, 2022

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FLEMINGTON — A 15-year-old boy riding an electric skateboard was struck by a vehicle on Route 202 early Monday morning.

The Hunterdon County Attorney’s Office said the teenager was shot at around 2:20 a.m. at the intersection with Reaville Road, according to Hunterdon County Attorney’s Office Captain Paul Approvato. The driver, Raymond Lozinak, 61, of Bayonne, remained at the scene of the accident, Approvato said.

The teenager was taken to Morristown Hospital by medical helicopter for treatment of his injuries. No charges have been filed in the case, according to Approvato.

Approvato did not reveal the circumstances of the accident, but said the teenager was using an electric skateboard.

Jerry Walter (R)

Jerry Walther (R) (Therese Apostolis via GoFundMe)

“An awesome kid who touched so many lives”

A GoFundMe page created to help the victim’s family with medical bills and lost wages identified the teenager as Jerry Walther. He is a member of the Hunterdon Regional Red Devils football team, according to the GoFundMe page set up by Theresa Apostolis.

“Jerry ‘JerBear’ is an awesome kid who touched so many lives,” Apostolis wrote. “Please pray that Jerry continues to fight in this extremely difficult battle.”

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, Approvato said. He asked anyone with information about the crash to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-321-1000.

Emily Grill contributed to this report

Dan Alexander 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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WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

New Bedford announces $3.3 million for local businesses

May 28, 2022

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New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell today announced $3.3 million in funding that will support local businesses and entrepreneurs, as part of the city’s commitment to use a portion of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to help businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The funding will be split under two separate initiatives,” according to a press release. “NBForward!, which will provide funding to businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic, and NB100!, which will focus on helping start-up entrepreneurs impacted because of their industry or location.”

The funds will be administered by the New Bedford Economic Development Council.

“Entrepreneurs drive opportunity and growth in our economy. Positioning them for success will accelerate New Bedford’s exit from the pandemic,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “The New Bedford Economic Development Council has a proven track record of supporting small businesses, and these two new programs will leverage their experience and expertise.

“Connectivity is key to helping small businesses succeed throughout the business lifecycle,” said Anthony Sapienza, president of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. “From start to finish, the two NB100s! and NBForward! are designed to provide not only New Bedford businesses with much-needed financial support to emerge from the pandemic, but also the technical know-how needed to remain viable and vibrant for years to come. »

“No matter where someone is in their entrepreneurial journey – whether they’re a beginner or an established company – at New Bedford, we have a pathway available to them,” he said. declared.

NBForward! will offer at least 100 grants of up to $20,000, as well as assistance with things like business planning, resource tips and best practices, the statement said. Funds can be used for things like construction, renovation, rental or mortgage payments, utility payments, payroll, or insurance, among other options.

NB100! is designed to “promote entrepreneurship, build local wealth and strengthen community ties by helping 100 new businesses get started”, in collaboration with organizations such as EforAll, Groundwork, Co-Creative Center, New Bedford Ocean Cluster, UMass Dartmouth , Bristol Community College and Junior Achievement. Eligible small businesses that complete this technical support program could receive grants of $10,000 from the NBEDC.

It is now the seventh move for distributing the first half of $64.7 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds that New Bedford City Council voted to accept in March. More recently, Mayor Mitchell announced that $1.2 million would be given to New Bedford artists and organizations that support the arts.

Other announcements benefited from a program to upgrade business facades, housing, daycares, small businesses and $5 million to help renovate the Zeiteron Performing Arts Center.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

Democratic spokesperson talks about farms, abortions and student loans

May 26, 2022

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On Tuesday’s KGVO Talk Back show, Montana Democratic Party Chairwoman Robyn Driscoll answered tough questions from the audience on a variety of topics.

The first question was about the Democratic Party’s position on abortion, after the recent controversy over the leak of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade and allegations that the party supports abortion until birth.

“Our party platform supports every woman’s right to make her own health care decisions and that includes abortion,” Driscoll said. “I have to say that I totally disagree with you that the Democratic Party thinks abortion should be done until birth or let a baby die after birth.”

Driscoll was convinced that no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides, Montana will always allow a woman to choose an abortion.

“Our state constitution protects that right,” she said. “Montana’s constitutional right to privacy will always protect our right to abortion, and even if there is a special session after this ruling is made, the bill(s) that pass would immediately come before the court and Hopefully, an injunction would be placed on this bill until the court makes a decision. Our party is strongly pro-choice. It’s in our platform.

One listener addressed the issue of student loan forgiveness and how it would be funded. Driscoll said the vast majority of student loans are taken out by people who really need them.

“There are students with life situations where they can’t work three jobs or two jobs or even one job while they’re in college because they may already have a job at home raising their children,” she said. “There are far too many situations in life to say that a person should be able to receive a loan or that they should be able to work and repay their loans. There are far too many real situations.

Another listener compared student loans to government support for farmers.

“Our farmers feed the United States and quite often the world, and so when they have a bad year, the whole United States suffers, not just them,” she said. “I’d rather not see corporations take over our farms and ranches and to do that they certainly need help.”

KGVO also hosts Montana Republican Party Chairman Don Kaltschmidt once a month.

24 Missoula businesses that have closed in the past two years

A large number of Missoula businesses have closed over the past two years for various reasons. Retirement, COVID-19, change of ownership…here’s a list of 24 businesses we’ve lost.

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10 businesses that should open a location in Missoula

We asked, and you answered, and then we thought a bit too. Here are 10 businesses we think should open a location in Missoula, Montana.

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.

People also read…

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.

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.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

LOOK INSIDE: Derek Jeter is selling his beautiful Hudson Valley lakeside chateau for a discount

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.

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!

The Downside of Solar Farms on the South Coast

May 10, 2022

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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

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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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A medical mystery has arrived in North Dakota

May 6, 2022

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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.


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

May 5, 2022

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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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Hoeven and Daines bill tackles chronic wasting disease

May 2, 2022

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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.

Colstrip case shows results of botched law | Editorial

May 1, 2022

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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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Meet Bill Spadea in New Jersey — May 2022

April 29, 2022

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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.

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

April 25, 2022

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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.

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

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

April 22, 2022

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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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NJ cops won’t be banned from smoking weed

April 20, 2022

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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.

Opportun Financial (NASDAQ:OPRT) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by BTIG Research

April 16, 2022

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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.

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At the Weasku Inn, stay in the same room that was Clark Gable’s rural getaway

April 15, 2022

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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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

🌱 The bells ring at Notre-Dame des Anges + Tiny Village For 100

March 26, 2022

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Standing, Los Angeles; today is Epilepsy Awareness Day (also known as Purple Day)! Here’s everything you need to know to get off to a good start this Saturday.

Pope Francis consecrated the peoples of Russia and Ukraine to the Heart of Mary. Also mayor cut a ribbon for a small village. Finally, the LAPD look at your expensive jewelry.


First, today’s weather forecast:

Cloud and sun intervals. High: 78 Low: 54.


Here are the top five stories in Los Angeles today:

  • Donation drop-off day at the Miraleste Library (9 a.m.)
  • FREE Household Hazardous & Electronics Drive-through waste collection Event at the front car park of the Wende Museum (9 a.m.)
  • PC pit stop: Cars & Coffee at Runway Playa Vista (9 a.m.)
  • Vegan Street Fair at 11223 Chandler Blvd. (11am to 19h)
  • Cirque du Soleil at the Microsoft Theater (12 p.m.)

From my notebook:

  • A Brentwood-Montana/S. Vicente neighbor wants to know how to get rid of a sofa, either by donation or by trash. (The next door)
  • Our N Hollywood E Lankershim-Vinelnd neighbor wonders if anyone made their own driveway “plans”? They’re trying to get a permit for one, but the city needs plans to review it. A contractor will do this for between $1600 and $1800. (The next door)
  • Did you know you can volunteer for LAPD North Hollywood Division? Volunteers perform a large number of tasks. Some work with detectives, some do radar operations to slow down motorists, and more! (The next door)

More from our sponsors – please support the local news!

Featured companies:

Events:

  • [Free Masterclass] Increase Your Website Sales and Leads Using SEO (March 26)
  • Torrance Antique Street Faire (March 27)
  • Retirement Tax Webinar (March 28)
  • The ABCs of Probate – Webinar (March 30)
  • Estate Planning for Your Loved Ones – Webinar (March 30)
  • The sweetest contest for girls who love drawing and shopping (April 3)
  • A sweet mom brunch helps your college graduate land their first job! (April 22)
  • Add your event

Concerts and services:

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Do you like the Los Angeles Daily? Here are all the ways you can get more involved:


Please follow and stay informed. See you tomorrow morning for another update!

Sylvia Cochran

About Me: Sylvia Cochran has been working in sunny Southern California and writing freelance full-time since 2005. Loves dogs, cats, books, plays Best Fiends (don’t judge), embraces social justice and try to live Micah 6:8.

Zest AI Announces Strategic Partnership with Credit Union Leagues of Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin

March 24, 2022

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League members will have access to risk models tailored to their markets

Credit Unions Using Zest Software Increase Instant Decision-Making Rates Fivefold

ST. PAUL, Minnesota. and LOS ANGELES, March 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Zest AI today announced a partnership with the Minnesota Credit Union Network, from montana Credit Unions and the Wisconsin Credit Union League to bring Zest’s artificial intelligence-powered lending software to their more than 5 million members.

Models built using Zest, chosen as CUNA Strategic Services’ exclusive alliance provider 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 see five times faster 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 Valentine, Vice 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 Ferstl, chief operating officer of the Minnesota Credit Union Network. “We are delighted to offer this opportunity to from minnesota Credit unions.”

“We are continually working to ensure our Wisconsin League members have access to top-quality products and services that expand access and opportunity,” said Brett Thompson, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. “This partnership with Zest AI achieves exactly that.”

Tracie KenyonPresident and CEO, from montana Credit Unions, added – “Expanding the pool of resources available to our members has great benefits here in Montanaand this partnership with Zest is an important addition to our services.”

About Zest AI

Zest AI software helps lenders make better decisions and better loans, which increases revenue, reduces risk and automates compliance. Since 2009, it has made fair and transparent credit available to everyone and is today the leader in more inclusive underwriting software. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Learn more about www.zest.ai and join us on Twitter at @Zest_AI or Zest AI Knowledge Blog.

About the Minnesota Credit Union Network

The Minnesota Credit Union Network is the statewide business association working to ensure the success, growth and vitality of Minnesota credit unions. With nearly $35 billion in assets, Minnesota Credit Unions are trusted local financial cooperatives that serve 2 million members in nearly 400 branches across the state.

On from montana credit unions

Situated at Helen, Montana, from montana Credit unions exist to promote and enhance a thriving credit union community. Its various entities support this mission. Montana currently has 46 credit unions, with 124 branches in communities across the state. These credit unions currently serve more than 412,639 Montanese – who are members and owners.

About the Wisconsin Credit Union League

Founded in 1934, the Wisconsin Credit Union League is the dues-supported trade association for from Wisconsin credit unions–not-for-profit financial institutions owned cooperatively by their more than 3.5 million members. The League is dedicated to serving from Wisconsin credit unions and promoting the credit union difference through advocacy, education and public service.

About CUNA Strategic Services

CUNA Strategic Services develops strategic alliance relationships to provide credit unions with innovative solutions that will drive membership growth and operational excellence at an attractive price. The company is majority owned by the Credit Union National Association and the state leagues. For more information, visit www.cunastrategicservices.com.

Contact: [email protected]

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Summary of the Helena housing market in 2021

March 23, 2022

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HELENA — The past two years have not been kind to those looking for a home in Helena. The imbalance between supply and demand only gets worse as the median house price increases. A recent report from valuation firm Moore helps break down exactly what’s going on.

“It’s a supply and demand issue. Obviously, if you’re looking to sell a house, now is a really good time to do it. Buying a house can be tough right now” , says Shaun Moore, real estate appraiser and owner of Moore. Valuation firm.

Over the past two years, the national housing market has seen soaring prices and a huge increase in demand. COVID-19 has enabled many people to work from home, prompting many to leave their lives in cities behind and move to more remote locations with a bit more leeway. In addition, low interest rates have made it easier to obtain loans. This in turn has led to a much more competitive market in traditionally sleepier, cheaper towns like Helena, pushing the median price of housing here by more than 26% in 2021.

While Helena’s prices have risen dramatically, other towns in Montana have been hit even harder. For example, the median price of single-family homes in Missoula jumped about 45% between late 2019 and late 2021 according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I just want people to know that, don’t get discouraged because you know, we have a lot of clients at Big Sky Brokers who have been looking for a year or two, and things always balance out,” Maria says. Demaray, real estate broker at Big Sky Brokers.

But the unprecedented rise in prices over the past year has many wondering where things are headed in 2022. And while no one can predict the future, rising interest rates may limit the purchasing power of individuals.

Shaun Moore of Moore Appraisal Firm says many factors can affect the housing market, including interest rates and the global climate. He says he doesn’t really give predictions, but based on his experience, he says things could slow down in 2022.

“I don’t really make predictions, but my professional opinion on what I think could happen this year is that we’re going to continue to see an increase in the median sale price of homes. But I believe that increase will slow down. I don’t think we’ll see another 26% through 2022,” Moore says.

No one is quite sure how home prices and availability will change over the coming year. And with interest rates moving, we’ll have to wait and see how the market reacts.

Astley and Loans Arrow are Co-County MVPs – Lake County Record-Bee

March 17, 2022

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Heaven’Lee Loans Arrow of Upper Lake, a junior, is the most valuable co-player on the 2022 All-County Basketball Team. (Photo courtesy of Trett Bishop)

LAKE COUNTY – Paige Astley did for Middletown what Heaven’Lee Loans Arrow did for Upper Lake as both teams won undefeated league championships in the 2021-22 women’s basketball season.

While senior Astley helped guide the Mustangs to a 13-0 North Central League I record, junior Loans Arrow had her fingerprints all over Upper Lake’s 9-0 mark in the NCL II ranking. Thanks to their contributions during the season, Astley and Loans Arrow were named the most valuable co-players of the 2022 All-County Team, selected by the Lake County Record-Bee.

“She’s always been the backbone of our team,” said Middletown head coach Andy Brown, who announced last month he would not return next season. “Having him in my last team is a good mark.”

According to Upper Lake head coach Mike Smith of Loans Arrow, “Heaven has matured so much as a basketball player over the past two years. She spent a lot of time developing her game.”

Asley

The Mustangs scheduled during the preseason, a decision that helped them greatly in their NCL I title run. Middletown went 19-6 overall, including a 62-44 win over Upper Lake in the 49th Stokes Annual Invitational last December in Kelseyville where Astley led the way with 18 points. Loans Arrow had a team-best 13 points for the Cougars.

“Other players on the team have been looking for her to lead the way,” Brown said of Astley, co-MVP of the All-NCL I team this season. “She accepted responsibility. She knew she could do it and she did. She did it every day. »

Astley’s leadership didn’t just show up on game days, but also in training.

“She came out every day ready to improve on the pitch. Other players were asking me how they could get more playing time and I was like, ‘Go against Paige (in training) and show tell me what you can do.'”

Brown added: “Going through a season is a process, but she has made every minute worth it.”

Arrow Loans

Loans Arrow was a freshman rookie on the 2019-20 Upper Lake team that won the NCL II Championship and reached the NorCal 5 Division Playoffs, finishing 22-6 overall. She would earn a share of the league’s MVP award that season, just as she did this year. Of course, like other Lake County players, Loans Arrow lost its entire sophomore year (2020-21) to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike many other players, she used that free time to hone her skills and came back stronger than ever as Upper Lake went 20-3 overall this season. Unfortunately for the Cougars, a weak preseason schedule resulted in them only drawing a No. 7 seed for the Divisional Playoffs (compared to No. 4 in 2019-20). After beating Clear Lake in the first round, they met the mighty Branson in the quarterfinals and lost 57-32. Branson, the No. 2 seed, won the Division 5 title.

Upgrading his team’s pre-season schedule is high on Smith’s list for next season when Loans Arrow and many of his teammates return for their final year and hopefully another extended run in the playoffs, similar to 2019-20.

Middletown junior guard Jaidyn Brown is a first-team All-County team selection. (Photo courtesy of Trett Bishop)

first team

Middletown junior Jaidyn Brown, a defensive dynamo for the Mustangs, and rookie Mia Hoogendoorn, who opened the season as a reserve but worked their way into the starting lineup before the end of the year, were named to the All-County First Team. They are joined by Upper Lake senior guard Zoey Petrie, who shared All-NCL II Most Valuable Player honors with Loans Arrow this season, and Upper Lake junior center Taylar Minnis, who provided the Cougars strong presence at the post.

Rounding out the First-Team All-County roster is the county’s top shooter, senior guard Sydney Howe of the Clear Lake Cardinals, the third-place team in NCL I.

second team

The second-team All-County includes a pair of Clear Lake juniors, guard Sierra Bruch and center Montana Wells, junior guard Upper Lake and defensive star Maddy Young, who split his winter sports season between basketball and wrestling, versatile Middletown junior guard Skylar Williams, and Lower Lake senior guard and team leader Margarita Cordova.

Clear Lake’s Sierra Bruch passes the ball to a teammate. (Photo courtesy of Trett Bishop)

Coach of the year

Brown’s final season with Middletown couldn’t have gone better. After leading its team through a difficult preseason, the Mustangs topped the NCL I standings and did what few other county teams have accomplished in recent years, winning a postseason game in the ultra-tough Division 4 playoffs.

“I had a great time coaching these girls,” Brown said.

Middletown’s Andy Brown is Coach of the Year. (Photo by Brian Sumpter)

Meet the Candidates: Forsyth Ward II Alderman | Free News

March 15, 2022

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Residents of Forsyth II ward will be asked to vote for a representative on the council of aldermen in the municipal election on April 5.

Incumbent Cheryl Altis is running to retain her alderman seat for another two years against challenger Dustin Krob. As part of our ongoing efforts to educate voters, the Branson Tri-Lakes News offered both candidates the opportunity to answer questions ahead of the election.

The questions were submitted to the respective candidates via email. The answers, in their entirety, are presented in the order in which the candidates appear on the ballot paper.

context

Incumbent Cheryl Altis currently sits on the Forsyth Board of Aldermen Ward II. She and her husband, David, have lived in the Three Lakes area since 1983. They have two daughters who attended and graduated from the Forsyth School District.

Altis and her husband are local property developers and builders. Projects they have developed and built include:

Taneycomo Terrace in Forsyth

Four subdivisions in the Kissee Mills area, including Cedar Shore Ranch Estates

Shepherd of the Hills Estates, a 36-unit apartment complex in Forsyth

Altis said she and her husband adore Forsyth.

Challenger Dustin Krob, originally from Montana, is a lead controller with the US Army Corps of Engineers. It operates the Bull Shoals, Norfork, Greers Ferry, Table Rock, Beaver, Dardanelle and Ozark dams.

After high school, Krobs spent four years in the military. He returned to Montana and met his wife and two children. They have a daughter together, who loves baseball.

Krob served an apprenticeship at a coal-fired power plant in Montana, before working as an operator with the Corp in Washington at Lower Granite Lock and Dam. Krobs moved to Forsyth when an opportunity presented itself for his current position. He said that since moving, he and his family have fallen in love with the area.

Why are you running?

Altis: “We love Forsyth! The variety of developments and constructions we have done in the region has given me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in many different areas, such as helping to create covenants and restrictions, and managing enforcement, just like the ordinances of a city. Understanding of street construction and maintenance, knowledge of functions and maintenance of water systems, septic tanks and (and) treatment plants. Cities face such things all the time. Of course, a watchful eye on financial management. Having served on the Council of Aldermen, (I) have the experience and understanding of the importance of making careful, informed and responsible decisions on behalf of all Forsyth residents. »

Krob: “I’m running to make Forsyth a better place. I saw the complaints on Facebook, I spoke with people and I saw with my own eyes problems with the City. The way people are treated at meetings, the way people are treated when they ask the City a question, the inability of the current incumbents to allow residents to lead a life of happiness in the City. The incumbents serve themselves and their own interests, and have long ceased to serve the people. Just watch the videos posted on YouTube, Taney County Beacon, and Missouri Casenet.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing the city?

Altis: “The economy these days is certainly a concern for everyone, (for) the town of Forsyth in many areas, as well as individuals. The increase in the cost of fuel, electricity, supplies, the cost of necessary maintenance and maintenance of equipment and vehicles. The unknown future of the war in Ukraine adds to the uncertainty. This is not the time to make hasty and reckless decisions, but the time to continually take precautions. A time to follow a steady course forward. There are street improvements that could possibly be considered and planned. Highway 160, additional turning lanes can help ease congestion. Some streets could be improved and widened. (We could) improve and build storm drainage systems in some areas. Additional parks in safe areas could be nice for residents.

Krob: “The inability of the current alderman to be transparent with the inhabitants. How many times does the state auditor have to give this town a bad grade before answering questions about what he’s screwing up. The current aldermen are doing nothing to make Forsyth a better place. They don’t answer any questions, there is NO transparency. It’s taken years for people to complain about something as simple as city codes and ordinances to finally make them available to the public, online. It was always the excuse, ‘Well come in and we’ll print them for you and charge you 10 cents per page’, to ‘We can’t put them online because it’s too expensive.’ Really? (Is a simple PDF too expensive? Do they know what year it is?

“They have canceled approximately 50,000 water bills with no explanation as to why or what steps they are going to take to ensure this does not happen again. They just raise resident rates and say it’s a normal thing to do a raise every 2 years, but they’ve done 3 raises in 16 months. (Another) city in the area has increased the water rate in 10 years (and) this city is not canceling water bills either. I was told they wouldn’t have a job if they canceled 50,000 water bills.

“They used to have a volunteer park board for city parks, the current incumbents (Altis and Larry Moehl) disbanded that board with no explanation to the public, and no explanation to the park board members themselves. themselves.

“There are a lot of people in town who have amazing ideas that are doable and will bring good things to the town, but the current aldermen are basically telling people to sit down, shut up and get in line. If you look at the meetings on YouTube, they could have all been done by email, because the public doesn’t even get to speak unless they’re actually on the agenda. The burgomaster and the aldermen do not even address the small group of people, 3 or 4 of them, who attend the meeting to see if they have any questions. Just ‘BOOM’ done, move on, ok we’re all done. Fifteen to 20 minutes, pat us on the back, we did well.

In your opinion, what action plan should the city adopt to solve the problem mentioned in question 3?

Altis: “The current council of aldermen and mayor have taken precautions and are working diligently with staff and city employees to reduce expenses and increase revenue. By being careful, the city was able to give annual increases to employees, had minimal increases in water and sewer rates to help cover annual costs without placing a heavy burden on residents at the same time and undertook projects when possible. The budget is in line and the financial situation of the town of Forsyth is very good.

Krob: “My action plan is very simple. Allow the public to become more involved. Don’t exclude them. Listen to what the audience needs. Host an open meeting and bring good things to our city. Working together will bring great things. If there is a problem affecting the people of the city, it is the job of elected officials (civil servants) to listen to the concerns and work to resolve it, without closing their eyes or ears because they do not not affect nor your business. Bring transparency and respect back to the board. Be a leader that people feel good about having to represent them and feel that the person on the board supports them. The biggest action plan for me is to do the right thing. What is good is always good and what is bad is always bad. »

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

Altis: “Since joining the College of Aldermen, I have seen many positive changes take place. Some of them are: several new businesses, new houses built, building inspectors and code improvements, updated fire department and equipment, an additional (fire) station built, the improved ISO rating, police department updated with modern equipment and protection, city equipment updated and improved, better able to handle snow removal, convenient payment systems for residents paying their bills of water, sidewalks built in key places walking paths built, various areas annexed to the city, loans refinanced more than once with big savings, water and sewage systems improved, city streets were repaved, (opened a) new park and (made) improvements to Shadow Rock Park. New bridge over Bull Shoals Lake (and) roundabout made traffic easier. The city and county are currently working together to help keep the old bridge over Swan Creek in the park area open and maintained. The city’s current financial situation is the best I have ever seen.

“As a member of the Forsyth Board of Aldermen. I take responsibility seriously. I think for myself. If you live in the Forsyth II Ward, I humbly request your consideration and vote.

Krob: “There’s no politics involved when we listen to the people and work together to make this city a better place. Work with local businesses to meet their needs and help them succeed. Not a single town alderman or mayor attended the Forsyth Chamber town gala this year, which is very sad. To be a voice for people who have been excluded for years. My job requires me to follow strict standard operating procedures, and since the orders were posted online, it’s clear the city isn’t following them. I am an easy person to talk to and will listen to your concerns, and we can work towards a mutually beneficial solution. Be a good person, the current incumbents should be ashamed of the disrespect they show to the citizens of this community. It’s all on YouTube.

Premier League disqualifies Abramovich from managing Chelsea | national news

March 12, 2022

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In an unprecedented ruling against a club owner, the Premier League on Saturday ordered Roman Abramovich to stop managing Chelsea and sell after being sanctioned by the British government for Russia’s war on Ukraine and its close ties with President Vladimir Putin.

The league board’s decision to disqualify Abramovich from being a director hastens the end of the Russian oligarch’s 19 years in charge of the reigning world and European champions, but the club that turned into a trophy winner eternal thanks to his investment is allowed to play.

League regulations would typically require Abramovich to relinquish control within 28 days, but the UK government now has a say in the sale process under the terms of the license which allows the team to continue operating despite the freezing of the owner’s assets.

The government hailed the Premier League’s decision against Abramovich, characterizing the disqualification as part of holding accountable “those who enabled Putin’s regime”.

“We are open to a sale of the club and would consider applying for a license to allow that to happen,” the government said.

The government is now overseeing the takeover process which the Raine Group, an investment bank, has been working on since Abramovich announced last week before he was sanctioned that the club was for sale.

A consortium weighing up a bid includes Todd Boehly, co-owner of MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and Jonathan Goldstein, a London-based property investor and CEO of Cain International.

Abramovich originally hoped to divert proceeds to a new foundation for victims of the war in Ukraine, which he has yet to condemn Putin for launching. But the government will only sanction a sale that does not benefit Abramovich as the government tightens the screws on influential people it sees as empowering for the Putin regime.

The government eased one of the license conditions restricting Chelsea’s finances on Saturday, raising the matchday spending cap to raise Stamford Bridge from 500,000 pounds to 900,000 pounds ($1.2million) before Sunday’s Premier League game against Newcastle.

Chelsea had Barclaycard’s corporate credit cards frozen following the sanctions.

After disqualifying Abramovich, the Premier League confirmed that “the board’s decision does not affect the club’s ability to train and play matches”.

Some Chelsea fans continued to support Abramovich through the first two weeks of the war, even chanting his name during a game last weekend which the league hoped to use to show solidarity with Ukraine and the victims of the war. Russian invasion.

Abramovich’s disqualification by the Premier League ends the reign of the competition’s first billionaire foreign owner, whose fortunes have made Chelsea one of the biggest spenders in Europe and one of the most successful in the game. His investment ended Chelsea’s 50-year domestic title drought when the league was won in 2005 and the trophy was won four more times.

The team have collected 21 trophies since 2004 through player spending which has seen Abramovich inject more than 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion) into Chelsea through loans he has said he will not seek no refund.

Sanctions were imposed on Abramovich after the government called him a “pro-Kremlin oligarch” linked to “destabilizing… undermining and threatening” Ukraine where the war is in its third week. Abramovich has not commented since his sanction.

———

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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

Stress persists 2 years into pandemic economy

March 11, 2022

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Two years ago on Friday, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Millions of Americans suddenly found themselves out of work as people stopped going out to eat, shop, travel and more. At the time, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers noted on Bloomberg TV, “In a sense, economic time has been stopped, but financial time has not been stopped.”

In March 2020, we spoke to Seth Shulman and April Oliver about what this economic disruption meant to them. Shulman, a musician from Chicago, was unemployed. The school he was teaching at closed and live shows were all cancelled. Oliver, who lives in Bozeman, Montana, had just received a job offer from an environmental consulting firm which she called “everything I had ever dreamed of”, but the offer was delayed indefinitely. because the lab has closed. Shulman and Oliver tried to cut their expenses as much as possible, but payments like rent, credit card bills and other debts still came due each month.

Now Shulman, 27, and Oliver, 29, are back at work in their old jobs, after about three months out of work in 2020. For Shulman, that means “playing and teaching pretty much nonstop,” but he noted that money is still very tight for him. Oliver works as an environmental consultant and bought his first house last year.

“At the start of the pandemic, I felt more uncertain and unstable,” Oliver said. “Now I feel more stable, but I’m more desperate, if that makes sense.”

We caught up with Shulman and Oliver to talk about their economic strains two years into the pandemic, despite jobs picking up.

sick time

Shulman and Oliver fell ill in January during the omicron push.

“Luckily it was pretty much asymptomatic,” Shulman said. “But as an entrepreneur, if I can’t work, there’s no money.”

Oliver fell ill after two of her colleagues tested positive for COVID-19, but she herself never tested positive for the virus. She used all of her sick time in January. Two months later, she is still sick and unable to work at all.

“I’ll probably spend most of my vacation or take that time without pay, depending on how quickly I can recover,” she said.

Student loans

Student loans are another major stressor. Shulman has about $40,000 in student debt and hasn’t repaid her loans during the pandemic due to the pause on federal student loan repayments, which expire in May.

“I live paycheck to paycheck. I live by every dollar,” he said. “Can I start paying them now?” Yeah, but that would mean I literally didn’t save any money.

Oliver graduated without student debt, but her partner, who she lives with, has about $70,000 in student loans. Like Shulman, he stopped paying them during the pandemic. Once payments resume, she said, money will be “really tight” for them.

“We bought this house hoping to have and raise our children there,” Oliver said. “How am I going to save for college? I still live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t save a lot of money anymore.

Inflation

Inflation was 7.9% year-over-year in February, hitting another 40-year high. Shulman has long worried about price increases and saw the rent for his last apartment go up $600 a month after he and his girlfriend moved out. He is also concerned about his grocery bills.

“We always get things that are on sale, or basically giant rice and bean things as cheaply as possible,” Shulman said. “When you start to see the price of these things or the price of potatoes go up, when [those] things are supposed to be so cheap, it kind of takes you. Because you literally live off of it.

PACE funding program hearing set for March 22

March 9, 2022

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Cascade County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a resolution of intent to establish a countywide PACE program, designed to incentivize local businesses to make energy-efficient upgrades, at their meeting Tuesday morning.

County Commissioner Joe Briggs explained during the working session that organizations can get loans for energy efficiency projects and extensions that include energy efficiency. He said the debt is paid through the Montana Facilities Finance Authority and the county will collect it through property taxes.

“If a sole proprietorship wants to finance energy upgrades, they can get the business loan, they can work through the Montana facilities organization, which handles all the accounting and all that, and then it continues on its taxes like a twice-a-year collection just like normal taxes,” Briggs said, comparing it to how the county currently runs a Rural Special Improvement District (RSID), but on a business-by-business level.

The district boundary of the Cascade County Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancement (“Cascade County PACE”) program would be all geographical area within the jurisdiction of Cascade County.

“It’s just about conservation, and it’s about enabling commercial properties to get the help they need, get the income they need, and not have an unpaid bill on their property. , just something that is placed on their property is a lien to be paid for,” County Commissioner Ryan said, adding that they have to ask for it and business owners will pay for it. “They agree ‘Hey, I’m going to put this on my tax bill, this will be part of my upcoming assessments on my property.'”

This project was made possible after the legislature passed the Commercial Property-Assessed Capital Enhancements Act (“PACE”) which became effective in January.

Through the resolution of intent, the county held a public hearing for its next meeting on March 22 at 9:30 a.m. in the Commission rooms at 105, 325 2nd Avenue North in Great Falls and on Zoom.

Ryan said those working in agriculture may see this as an opportunity to upgrade their equipment and weatherize barns.

Briggs said businesses considering moving to the county and are in talks with the Great Falls Development Authority have already asked about the program.

“There’s already interest from companies that aren’t even on the ground yet,” Briggs said during the working session. “I think it will be popular with our local businesses as well.”

Seth Lutter, associate director of the Montana Facilities Finance Authority and statewide administrator of the Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancement (C-PACE) program, said Tuesday that Missoula County and Park County are already two districts approved in the program and that four other counties are in different parts of the process now as well.

“We’re very excited about what this means for economic developers in every county in Montana,” Lutter said. Briggs emphasized that this program would have no tax impact on the county.

“It’s another one of those products that the state has created to allow us economic development and there’s no downside for counties to get involved,” Briggs said.

Commissioners at the meeting also approved the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office accepting grant funds from the Montana State Homeland Security Program. The $215,000 in repayable funds will be used to fund the new position of Crime Prevention Logistics Manager for two years at CCSO.

Captain Scott VanDyken explained that it would be a civilian position with funding covering $60,000 in salaries, $30,000 in benefits, $10,000 in training and travel, and $7,500 per year and equipment and supplies, for a cell phone, laptop and other tools.

He said the position is aimed at improving the security system in local jurisdictions, ensuring there is more coordination between city and county law enforcement and emergency response. Examples he gave of the work this individual would do included teaching active shooter response in schools and risk mitigation, such as in scenarios as if the trucker convoy or the Angels of Hell came to town.

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBMT) Short Interest Up 32.7% in February

March 7, 2022

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Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBMT – Get a rating) was the target of a surge in short interest in February. As of February 15, there was short interest totaling 6,900 shares, an increase of 32.7% from the total of 5,200 shares as of January 31. Approximately 0.1% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 14,800 shares, the short interest ratio is currently 0.5 days.

Several analysts have recently commented on EBMT shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Eagle Bancorp Montana from a “sell” to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday, January 25. StockNews.com began covering Eagle Bancorp Montana in a report on Wednesday, March 2. They issued a “hold” rating for the company.

In other Eagle Bancorp Montana News, Director Kenneth M. Walsh sold 10,000 shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana in a trade on Tuesday, February 1. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.40, for a total value of $224,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, available at this hyperlink. 7.70% of the shares are currently held by insiders of the company.

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A number of hedge funds have recently changed their holdings of EBMT. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Eagle Bancorp Montana by 3.3% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 175,379 shares of the bank valued at $4,034,000 after purchasing an additional 5,540 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana by 89.2% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 19,624 shares of the bank valued at $451,000 after buying 9,251 additional shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana by 197.1% during the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 2,148 shares of the bank valued at $49,000 after buying an additional 1,425 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana during the second quarter valued at approximately $927,000. Finally, John G Ullman & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana during the third quarter valued at approximately $1,227,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds hold 41.33% of the company’s shares.

Eagle Bancorp Montana shares opened at $22.10 on Monday. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $22.85 and its 200-day simple moving average is $22.52. Eagle Bancorp Montana has a 52-week low of $21.62 and a 52-week high of $26.13. The company has a market capitalization of $150.17 million, a price-earnings ratio of 10.23 and a beta of 0.66. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt ratio of 0.22.

Eagle Bancorp Montana (NASDAQ:EBMT – Get a rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 25. The bank reported EPS of $0.26 for the quarter, missing Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.58 per ($0.32). Eagle Bancorp Montana had a net margin of 14.79% and a return on equity of 9.30%. On average, stock analysts expect Eagle Bancorp Montana to post earnings per share of 2.53 for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed 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. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 10. This represents a dividend of $0.50 on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.26%. Eagle Bancorp Montana’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 23.15%.

Company Profile Eagle Bancorp Montana (Get a rating)

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc is a bank holding company that provides loan and depository services. It focuses on residential mortgages, commercial real estate mortgages, commercial business loans, agricultural loans, and second mortgage and home equity products. The company was founded on October 28, 1997 and is based in Helena, MT.

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2021 ended strong for farmers

March 4, 2022

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Faster price growth has been a double-edged sword for farmers and ranchers in the Ninth District. While they paid more for inputs like fuel and equipment, they were also able to sell products at higher prices. Those higher producer prices appeared to have offset rising input costs, at least through the end of last year, according to the latest survey of farm bankers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Farm income rose significantly in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to lenders responding to the Minneapolis Fed’s fourth quarter (January) farm credit conditions survey. Rising revenues have also led to higher loan repayment rates, while demand for loans, renewals and extensions have declined. Farmland values ​​rose rapidly from a year earlier, and cash rents also jumped. While lenders were concerned about soaring input prices, the outlook for early 2022 remained positive, with survey respondents expecting further growth in farm income and spending.

Farm income, household expenditures and capital investment

“Most of the clients had good positive net worth gains and good working capital increases,” a South Dakota banker commented. “This is mainly due to higher grain and livestock prices as well as stimulus funds.”

Most of their colleagues in the region agreed, as nearly 9 in 10 lenders responding to the survey said farm incomes increased in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier. Only 4% said their income had decreased (see graph). Two-thirds of lenders said farm household spending rose in the fourth quarter, with most recalls reporting it was flat, while 70% said farm producer capital spending rose.

Loan repayments and renewals

Consistent with improving financial conditions, loan repayment rates have increased, while renewal activity has declined. Nearly two-thirds of lenders responding to the survey reported a higher loan repayment rate than a year earlier, while a further 36% said repayment rates were stable. A third of respondents said loan renewal or extension activity was lower, while 58% noted renewals were flat.

Applying for Loans, Required Collateral and Interest Rates

With rising incomes, loan demand fell from a year earlier for 42% of bankers, while 28% reported an increase in loan demand. According to respondents, fixed interest rates on operating, machinery and real estate loans have increased slightly on average from their third quarter levels. Floating rates fell for operating loans, remained stable for machinery and rose for real estate. Almost all lenders reported no change in collateral requirements on loans, although 2% said requirements had increased.

Cash rents and property values

“Land sales have been strong this fall due to strong crop yields, rising commodity prices and strong investor interest in buying farmland,” wrote one South Dakota lender. After a year of growth, cropland values ​​jumped in the last three months of 2021, and cash rents also increased. The value of rainfed cropland has increased by an average of 27% in the district compared to the previous year, while cash rents for such land have increased by more than 14% compared to 2020.

The value of irrigated agricultural land increased by 20% on average, while the value of livestock land increased by 19%. Land value increases have been significant in all states in the district, but one lender in Montana noted that migration was playing a role there. “Montana is inundated with money from out of state and it is hurting local farmers and ranchers by increasing land prices, lease prices and often ending lease opportunities.”

Outlook

Despite continued revenue growth, lenders worried about the effects of inflation in the future. In response to a special survey question that asked lenders what their biggest concern was for agricultural producers in 2022, 64% highlighted the cost and/or availability of inputs. The second most common concern – commodity price volatility – was selected by 13% of lenders, while 9% worried about weather or climate events (including drought).

Even so, the outlook heading into the new year was generally optimistic. Two-thirds of farm bankers expected farm income to rise in the first quarter of 2022, while a quarter expected flat income. The outlook for capital investment and household spending was also positive, with more than half of respondents expecting an increase in each. Expectations call for an increase in demand for outstanding loans in the next quarter. Loan repayment prospects were also better overall, while renewals and extensions were expected to remain flat overall.

Rising interest rates may have been one reason that more lenders expected growth in loan volumes despite greater cash on hand. As one Minnesota banker noted, “significant pressure from agricultural producers to accept fixed rates for as long as possible. They worry about inflation and the potential for interest rates to rise.


State Fact Sheet
Agricultural Credit Conditions Survey
Fourth quarter 2021
Note: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is not part of the survey.
MN MT n/a South Dakota WI Ninth district
Percentage of respondents reporting a drop in levels over the past three months compared to the same time last year:
Loan repayment rate
Net farm income 50 9 4
Farm household expenditure 50 9 4
Farm capital expenditures 11 50 9 6 9
Loan request 32 46 59 25 42
Percentage of respondents who reported increased levels in the last three months compared to the same period last year:
Loan renewals or extensions 6 50 9 6 25 ten
References to other lenders 50 2
Guarantee amount required 50 2
Loan request 32 50 18 24 50 28
State Fact Sheet – Perspectives
Agricultural Credit Conditions Survey
Fourth quarter 2021
Note: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is not part of the survey.
MN MT n/a South Dakota WI Ninth district
Percentage of respondents who expect levels to drop over the next three months:
Loan repayment rate 11 12 8
Net farm income 5 50 9 9
Farm household expenditure 50 9 4
Farm capital expenditures 11 50 9 6 9
Loan request 32 36 18 25
Percentage of respondents who expect levels to increase over the next three months:
Loan renewals or extensions 11 100 9 12 25 15
References to other lenders 50 6 4
Guarantee amount required 50 12 6
Loan request 42 100 27 47 50 43
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Agricultural Interest Rates, Quarterly Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions
Operating Machinery Immovable
Fixed Var. Fixed Var. Fixed Var.
Q1-20 April 5.3 5.1 5.2 5.1 4.9 4.8
Q2-20 July 5.1 4.9 5.0 4.8 4.8 4.6
Q3-20 October 5.0 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.6 4.5
T4-20 January 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.7 4.4 4.3
Q1-21 April 4.7 4.5 4.6 4.4 4.4 4.2
Q2-21 July 4.7 4.5 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.1
Q3-21 October 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.2 4.1
T4-21 January 4.7 4.4 4.5 4.3 4.3 4.1

New York State man leads police on wild chase and hits two cop cars

March 3, 2022

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Police are looking for a suspect they believe stole a vehicle early Tuesday. The ensuing chase resulted in the suspect hitting two police vehicles, as authorities attempted to recover the stolen car. Law enforcement says the suspect is still at large, but the motorist who left his vehicle running unattended is facing a ticket. People, don’t leave your keys in the ignition and lock your car doors!

A Syracuse police spokesperson said the chase went ahead Tuesday morning when the suspect. got in and left in the car. Syracuse.com says officers on the westbound Interstate 690 on-ramp attempted to pursue the stolen car, only to be swept aside by the suspect as he escaped. from there, the suspect then entered I-690 west, according to reports. The vehicle was later found 66 miles away in Wayne County, police said.

No arrests have been made so far.

This guy got away, but this other one didn’t get far…

What started as a wedding party turned into a wild night, which involved a bar fight, a stolen vehicle and a suspect passed out while driving said stolen vehicle. Police say a 31-year-old Pennsylvania man now faces a number of charges after the series of wild altercations took place early Sunday morning.

WKTV says the man was at the party with friends when a very courteous bartender from the Back Door Bar in Old Forge, NY offered to drive the wedding guests back to the cottage they were staying in. This apparently did not sit well with the suspect, who got into a fight with a friend at the bar, police say. When the bartender attempted to break up the fight, our suspect made a mad dash toward a bar patron’s vehicle that had been left running in the parking lot.

Authorities say the suspect didn’t get too far as he was later found unconscious behind the wheel of the same vehicle on State Route 28. Police say when they caught up to him, the sleeping suspect passed out woke up and had started to fight with them. being placed under arrest. He was eventually taken into custody with a blood alcohol level of 0.22%, more than two and a half times the legal limit.

Old Forge is a hamlet in the town of Webb, Herkimer County.

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15 ways to help people in Ukraine right now

As Americans watch events unfold in Ukraine, many are wondering how they can help. Below is a list of organizations responding to the crisis in Ukraine along with information on how you can support their various missions.

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Stocks fall, oil tops $100 a barrel as Ukraine war rages | national news

March 1, 2022

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks tumbled as soaring oil prices sparked more concern about the impact of Russia’s escalating war with Ukraine on the global economy. Nervous investors again poured money into ultra-safe US government bonds.

The S&P 500 index fell 1.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.8% and the Nasdaq composite 1.6%. The declines add to market losses after a two-month skid to start the year.

The largest movements came from the oil, agricultural commodities and government bond markets. Oil has been a major concern as Russia is the second largest exporter of crude oil after Saudi Arabia. The latest price hike is increasing pressure on persistently high inflation that threatens households around the world.

Benchmark U.S. crude jumped 8% to $103.41 a barrel. It was the biggest one-day jump since May 2020 and the highest price since 2014. Brent, the international standard, jumped 7.1% to $104.97.

The Ukrainian crisis provoked an extraordinary meeting of the board of directors of the International Energy Agency, which brought together the 31 member countries agreeing to release 60 million barrels of oil of their strategic reserves in an attempt to lower prices.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also put increased pressure on agricultural commodity prices, which were already being pushed higher by rising inflation. Wheat and corn prices have risen more than 5% per bushel and are already up more than 20% since the start of the year. Ukraine is a key exporter of both crops.

“A whole confluence of factors impact the markets,” said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at US Bank Wealth Management. “We’re seeing that play out not only in the (stock) markets right now, which have certainly been more volatile in the last two weeks since the invasion of Ukraine, but we’re also seeing it now in the rate complex. as well as the complex of raw materials.

Investors continued to invest in bonds, pushing yields lower. The 10-year Treasury yield fell sharply, slipping to 1.73% from 1.83% late Monday. It is now back to what it was in January. In February, the 10-year yield, which is used to set interest rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, had risen above 2% for the first time in more than two years.

The sharp decline in bond yields weighed on banks. JPMorgan Chase fell 3.8% and Bank of America 3.9%.

More than 70% of S&P 500 stocks closed lower, with technology, industrials and communications companies among the biggest drags on the benchmark. Only the energy sector recorded a gain. Occidental Petroleum jumped 7%.

The S&P 500 fell 67.68 points to 4,306.26. The Dow, which had lost 763 points, finished down 597.65 points at 33,294.95. The Nasdaq slipped 218.94 points to 13,532.46.

Stocks of small companies fared less well than the market as a whole. The Russell 2000 Index slid 39.58 points, or 1.9%, to 2,008.51.

The conflict in Ukraine rattled global markets and added to concerns about economic growth amid rising inflation and central bank plans to raise interest rates. The United States and its allies have significant pressure on the Russian financial system as this nation continues its push into Ukraine and its key cities.

The value of the Russian ruble fell to a record low on Monday after Western countries moved to block some Russian banks from a key global payment system. Russia’s central bank raised its benchmark rate from 9.5% to 20% in a desperate attempt to prop up the currency’s slide and stave off a run on the banks. The Russian stock exchange remained closed on Tuesday.

Various companies have announced plans to downsize or withdraw from business in Russia, or suspend operations in Ukraine due to the conflict. Apple said on Tuesday it had stopped selling its iPhone and other popular products in the country. BP and Shell said they were withdrawing their investments in Russia’s oil industry.

Investors are waiting to see if developments in Ukraine and the action on the markets affects the decisions of central banks on interest rates. The Federal Reserve is expected to start raising rates this month in an attempt to bring inflation under control. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is due to testify before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday and could offer clues on the way forward for rates.

“Investors will certainly be looking for clues as to whether the Fed Chairman is emphasizing their inflation-fighting responsibilities and then balancing that with the potential impact this military conflict could have” on inflation , Northey said.

Meanwhile, a report on Friday will also show whether US job market strength continued in February, giving the Fed more room to raise rates.

Several stocks made big moves on earnings. Target jumped 9.8% to the S&P 500’s biggest gain after reporting strong fourth-quarter financial results and announcing it would invest up to $5 billion this year in brick-and-mortar stores, renovations and other initiatives. Workday rose 4.9% after reporting encouraging results.

———

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.

This is the hardest college to get into in Montana | State

February 25, 2022

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A college education is the biggest investment many Americans will make in their lifetime. When factoring in student loan interest and potential income loss while in school, the total cost of a bachelor’s degree can exceed $400,000.

With so much money at stake, choosing the right school is important. What makes a school suitable for a given student can depend on a number of factors, including financial aid programs, course offerings, and location, among others. For many, the right school is simply the most selective school they can get into.

A college degree opens up new job opportunities, increases earning potential, and reduces the likelihood of unemployment. But often the name of the institution printed on the degree can be as important as the degree itself. Highly selective colleges and universities are often well regarded around the world and can help open doors to more job opportunities.

Based on an index of admission rates and SAT scores, Carroll College ranks as the hardest school to get into in Montana. In the 2020-2021 school year, 73.0% of 1,449 applicants were admitted. Additionally, the median combined math and critical reading SAT scores among students admitted in fall 2019 were 1180 out of a possible 1600.

Undergraduate enrollment at Carroll College was 1,100 in fall 2020. There are reportedly 11 students for every faculty member at the school, and the average earnings of working students 10 years after enrollment amount to $49,200.

All data used in this story comes from the National Center for Education Statistics of the US Department of Education. We only considered colleges and universities primarily granting bachelor’s degrees with at least 1,000 applicants for the 2020-2021 academic year.

State school Admission rate (%) Median SAT score (out of 1600) Faculty members per student
Alabama University of Alabama 77.1 1364 19
Alaska University of Alaska 67.0 1155 11
Arizona University of Arizona 85.1 1235 15
Arkansas Harding University 55.1 1165 14
California California Institute of Technology 6.7 1545 3
Colorado Colorado School of Mines 55.0 1310 17
Connecticut Yale University 6.5 1515 4
Delaware University of Delaware 66.0 1255 15
Florida University of Florida 31.1 1390 17
Georgia Emory University 19.2 1445 9
Hawaii Brigham Young University 75.0 1170 16
Idaho University of Idaho 74.4 1125 16
Illinois University of Chicago 7.3 1535 5
Indiana Notre Dame University 19.0 1475 9
Iowa Grinnell College 19.2 1450 8
Kansas Sterling College 36.9 985 ten
Kentucky Beree College 33.0 1194 9
Louisiana tulane university 11.1 1440 8
Maine Colby College 10.3 1450 ten
Maryland Johns Hopkins University 11.1 1510 6
Massachusetts Massachusetts Institute of Technology 7.3 1540 3
Michigan University of Michigan 26.1 1435 11
Minnesota Carleton College 21.2 1450 8
Mississippi Mississippi College 28.8 1145 15
Missouri University of Washington 16.0 1520 7
Montana Carroll College 73.0 1180 11
Nebraska Creighton University 64.0 1260 12
Nevada University of Nevada 81.0 1140 18
New Hampshire Dartmouth College 9.2 1500 7
New Jersey princeton university 5.6 1515 4
New Mexico Eastern New Mexico University 50.6 1005 17
new York Colombia University 6.7 1505 6
North Carolina duke university 7.7 1525 6
North Dakota University of Mary 71.7 1164 11
Ohio Case Western Reserve University 30.3 1425 11
Oklahoma University of Tulsa 69.2 1225 ten
Oregon reed college 42.3 1423 9
Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania 9.0 1505 6
Rhode Island brown university 7.7 1505 6
Caroline from the south Wofford College 53.0 1270 12
South Dakota Augustana University 71.4 1225 12
Tennessee Vanderbilt University 11.6 1510 8
Texas rice university 10.9 1520 6
Utah Brigham Young University 69.3 1315 21
Vermont Middlebury College 22.0 1445 8
Virginia University of Virginia 22.6 1430 15
Washington Whitman College 54.1 1345 8
West Virginia West Virginia University Institute of Technology 55.1 1030 13
Wisconsin University of Wisconsin 57.2 1390 16
Wyoming University of Wyoming 94.2 1170 14

Petition campaign aims to limit APR payday loans | national news

February 24, 2022

Montana Loans

Comments Off on Petition campaign aims to limit APR payday loans | national news


(The Center Square) – The group Michiganders for Fair Lending argues that payday loans are predatory.

The coalition has started a petition to limit interest on payday loans to an annual percentage rate (APR) of 36%.

“Payday lenders are targeting Michigan’s most vulnerable communities by offering quick cash that traps people in an endless cycle of debt with outrageously high interest rates,” said Michiganders spokesperson Josh Hovey. for Fair Lending, in a press release. “State lawmakers have been urged for years to end predatory lending practices. People harmed by these loans cannot afford to wait any longer. That’s why we’re putting the issue directly to voters in November. »

People who use payday loans do so voluntarily. Many cash-strapped people do not qualify for a traditional bank loan. Although payday loans have high interest rates that eat up a large percentage of a low income, it is still better than borrowing from a real loan shark or an organized crime that operates outside the law and could break the bones of delinquent borrowers instead of bank accounts.

Payday lenders offer “unsecured” debt, which means the borrower does not provide collateral such as a car or house which is confiscated if the borrower does not repay the loan. However, payday lenders charge much higher interest and other fees.

For example, The Pew Charitable Trust sheet said:

  • The average payday loan borrower is in debt for five months of the year, spending an average of $520 in fees to borrow $375 repeatedly.
  • The average fee at a storefront lending business is $55 per two weeks.
  • Payday loans are usually due in two weeks and are tied to the borrower’s payment cycle. Payday lenders have direct access to a borrower’s checking account on payday, either electronically or with a post-dated check, which means the payday lender can draw on the borrower’s income before the other lenders or bills are paid.
  • A borrower must have a checking account and income to obtain a payday loan. Average borrowers earn around $30,000 a year and 58% struggle to meet their monthly expenses.

About 70% of payday borrowers in Michigan re-borrow on the same day, they repay a previous loan. Research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shows that the average payday loan borrower ends up taking out 10 loans in a year.

Jessica AcMoody, director of policy at the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, said it was a common goal.

“Stopping predatory lending is an issue in Michigan that resonates across parties, geographies, age and income levels,” AcMoody said in a statement. “Even in today’s divisive climate, this is an issue the vast majority of people can agree on.”

Michigan would join 18 states plus the District of Columbia that have capped payday loan rates at 36% APR or less. Voters in Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota and Montana all capped the payday loan rate per ballot measure with more than 70% approval.

The 36% APR cap is similar to the National Military Loans Act which caps the same interest rate for active duty members and dependents.

“We need to give all Michiganders the same predatory loan protection that our active duty military families receive. No one should be allowed to charge crippling interest rates that hurt quality of life and limit economic opportunity for Michigan families,” AcMoody said.

The campaign coalition includes:

  • ACLU-Michigan
  • Black Impact Collab
  • Civil Justice Center
  • responsible credit center
  • Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM)
  • habitat for humanity
  • Caisse Populaire du Lac Trust
  • Michigan League for Public Policy
  • Grand Rapids NAACP
  • GREEN project
  • United Way of Michigan

Michiganders for Fair Lending will begin collecting 340,047 valid petition signatures needed to place the ballot proposal on the November ballot. Petitions must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 1.

US ALLIANCE CORP – 10-K – MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

February 22, 2022

Montana Loans

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The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our condensed
consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in this Form 10-K.
In connection with, and because we desire to take advantage of, the "safe
harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we
caution readers regarding certain forward looking statements in the following
discussion and elsewhere in this report and in any other statement made by, or
on our behalf, whether or not in future filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. Forward looking statements are statements not based on historical
information and which relate to future operations, strategies, financial results
or other developments. Forward looking statements are necessarily based upon
estimates and assumptions that are inherently subject to significant business,
economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, including those
relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of which are beyond our control and many
of which, with respect to future business decisions, are subject to change.
These uncertainties and contingencies can affect actual results and could cause
actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking
statements made by, or on our behalf. We disclaim any obligation to update
forward looking statements.



Overview



USAC was formed as a Kansas corporation on April 24, 2009 for the purpose of
raising capital to form a new Kansas-based life insurance company. We presently
conduct our business through our five wholly-owned subsidiaries: USALSC, a life
insurance corporation; DCLIC, a life insurance corporation; USALSC-Montana, a
life insurance corporation; USAMC, an insurance marketing corporation; and
USAIC, an investment management corporation



On January 2, 2012, USALSC was issued a Certificate of Authority to conduct life
insurance business in the State of Kansas. We began third party administrative
services in 2015.



On August 1, 2017, the Company merged with Northern Plains Capital Corporation
with the Company being the ultimate surviving entity. As a result of this
merger, the Company acquired Dakota Capital Life Insurance Company which became
a wholly owned subsidiary of USALSC.



On December 14, 2018, the Company acquired Great Western Life Insurance Company.
Great Western Life Insurance Company was renamed US Alliance Life and Security
Company - Montana and is a subsidiary of USALSC.



The Company assumes business under three reinsurance treaties. On January 1,
2013, the Company entered into an agreement to assume 20% of a certain block of
health insurance policies from Unified Life Insurance Company. On September 30,
2017, the Company entered into the 2017 ALSC Agreement to assume 100% of a
certain block of life insurance policies from ALSC. On April 15, 2020, with an
effective date of January 1, 2020, the Company entered into the 2020 ALSC
Agreement to assume a quota share percentage of a block of annuity policies. As
of December 31, 2021, the Company had assumed $51.5 million in annuity deposits
under the 2020 ALSC Agreement. Effective December 31, 2020 USALSC entered into
an agreement with ALSC, which provided for ALSC to recapture all reserves
previously ceded to USALSC with respect to a portion of the 2017 ALSC Agreement.
USALSC and ASLC agreed that the commuted business shall be discharged by
USALSC's transfer of invested assets and cash in the amount of $9,181,100. As
part of the transaction the Company released $10,972,785 in reserve liabilities
and $1,146,156 of deferred acquisition costs, resulting in a commutation gain of
$543,794, which is recorded in other income for the year ended December 31,
2020.



Significant Accounting Policies and Estimates


Our accounting and reporting policies are in accordance with GAAP. Preparation
of the consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and
judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and
expenses. The following is an explanation of our accounting policies and the
estimates considered most significant by management. These accounting policies
inherently require significant judgment and assumptions and actual operating
results could differ significantly from management's estimates determined using
these policies. We believe the following accounting policies, judgments and
estimates are the most critical to the understanding of our results of
operations and financial position. A detailed discussion of significant
accounting policies is provided in this report in the Notes to Consolidated
Financial Statements included with this annual report.



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Valuation of Investments



The Company's principal investments are in fixed maturity, mortgages, and equity
securities. Fixed maturity, classified as available for sale, are carried at
their fair value in the consolidated balance sheets, with unrealized gains or
losses recorded in comprehensive income (loss). Our fixed income investment
manager utilizes external independent third-party pricing services to determine
the fair values of investment securities available for sale.  Equity securities,
classified as available for sale, are carried at their fair value in the
consolidated balance sheets, with unrealized gains or losses recorded in
net income (loss).



We have a policy and process in place to identify securities that could
potentially have an impairment that is other-than-temporary. The assessment of
whether impairments have occurred is based on a case-by-case evaluation of
underlying reasons for the decline in fair value. We consider severity of
impairment, duration of impairment, forecasted recovery period, industry
outlook, financial condition of the issuer, issuer credit ratings and whether we
intend to sell a security, or it is more likely than not that we would be
required to sell a security, prior to the recovery of the amortized cost. NEAM
and 1505 Capital, our investment managers, provide support to the Company in
making these determinations.



The recognition of other-than-temporary impairment losses on debt securities is
dependent on the facts and circumstances related to the specific security. If we
intend to sell a security or it is more likely than not that we would be
required to sell a security prior to recovery of the amortized cost, the
difference between amortized cost and fair value is recognized in the income
statement as an other-than-temporary impairment. Our membership in the Federal
Home Loan Bank ("FHLB") provides additional liquidity which further reduces the
likelihood that we would be required to sell a security prior to recovery. As it
relates to debt securities, if we do not expect to recover the amortized basis,
do not plan to sell the security and if it is not more likely than not that we
would be required to sell a security before the recovery of its amortized cost,
the other-than-temporary impairment would be recognized. We would recognize the
credit loss portion through earnings in the income statement and the noncredit
loss portion in accumulated other comprehensive loss.



Deferred acquisition costs


Incremental direct costs, net of amounts ceded to reinsurers, that result
directly from and are essential to a product sale and would not have been
incurred by us had the sale not occurred, are capitalized, to the extent
recoverable, and amortized over the life of the premiums produced.
Recoverability of deferred acquisition costs is evaluated periodically by
comparing the current estimate of the present value of expected pretax future
profits to the unamortized asset balance. If this current estimate is less than
the existing balance, the difference is charged to expense.



Value of Business Acquired



Value of business acquired ("VOBA") represents the estimated value assigned to
purchased companies or insurance in- force of the assumed policy obligations at
the date of acquisition of a block of policies. At least annually, a review is
performed of the models and the assumptions used to develop expected future
profits, based upon management's current view of future events. VOBA is reviewed
on an ongoing basis to determine that the unamortized portion does not exceed
the expected recoverable amounts. Management's view primarily reflects our
experience but can also reflect emerging trends within the industry. Short-term
deviations in experience affect the amortization of VOBA in the period, but do
not necessarily indicate that a change to the long-term assumptions of future
experience is warranted. If it is determined that it is appropriate to change
the assumptions related to future experience, then an unlocking adjustment is
recognized for the block of business being evaluated. Certain assumptions, such
as interest spreads and surrender rates, may be interrelated. As such, unlocking
adjustments often reflect revisions to multiple assumptions. The VOBA balance is
immediately impacted by any assumption changes, with the change reflected
through the statements of comprehensive income as an unlocking adjustment in the
amount of VOBA amortized. These adjustments can be positive or negative with
adjustments reducing amortization limited to amounts previously deferred plus
interest accrued through the date of the adjustment.



Additionally, we may consider refining the estimates due to improved
capabilities resulting from administrative or actuarial system upgrades. We
consider such improvements to determine whether and to what extent they are
associated with prior periods or simply improvements in the projection of future
gross profits expected from improved functionality. To the extent that they
represent such improvements, these elements are applied to
financial statement line items in a manner similar to the release of adjustments.


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VOBA is also reviewed on an ongoing basis to determine that the unamortized
portion does not exceed the expected recoverable amounts. If it is determined
from emerging experience that the premium margins or gross profits are less than
the unamortized value of business acquired, then the asset will be adjusted
downward with the adjustment recorded as an expense in the current period.



Goodwill



Goodwill represents the excess of the amounts paid to acquire subsidiaries and
other businesses over the fair value of their net assets at the date of
acquisition. Goodwill is tested for impairment at least annually in the fourth
quarter or more frequently if events or circumstances change that would indicate
that a triggering event has occurred.



We assess the recoverability of indefinite-lived intangible assets at least
annually or whenever events or circumstances suggest that the carrying value of
an identifiable indefinite-lived intangible asset may exceed the sum of the
future discounted cash flows expected to result from its use and eventual
disposition. If the asset is considered to be impaired, the amount of any
impairment is measured as the difference between the carrying value and the fair
value of the impaired asset.



Reinsurance



In the normal course of business, we seek to limit aggregate and single exposure
to losses on risk by purchasing reinsurance. The amounts reported in the
consolidated balance sheets as reinsurance recoverable include amounts billed to
reinsurers on losses paid as well as estimates of amounts expected to be
recovered from reinsurers on insurance liabilities that have not yet been paid.
Reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses are estimated based upon assumptions
consistent with those used in establishing the liabilities related to the
underlying reinsured contracts. Insurance liabilities are reported gross of
reinsurance recoverable. Management believes the recoverables are appropriately
established. We diversify our credit risks related to reinsurance ceded.
Reinsurance premiums are generally reflected in income in a manner consistent
with the recognition of premiums on the reinsured contracts. Reinsurance does
not extinguish our primary liability under the policies written. We regularly
evaluate the financial condition of our reinsurers including their activities
with respect to claim settlement practices and commutations, and establish
allowances for uncollectible reinsurance recoverable as appropriate.



Future Policy Benefits



We establish liabilities for amounts payable under insurance policies, including
traditional life insurance and annuities. Generally, amounts are payable over an
extended period of time. Liabilities for future policy benefits of traditional
life insurance have been computed by using a net level premium method based upon
estimates at the time of issue for investment yields, mortality and withdrawals.
These estimates include provisions for experience less favorable than initially
expected. Mortality assumptions are based on industry experience expressed as a
percentage of standard mortality tables. Such liabilities are reviewed quarterly
by an independent consulting actuary.



Income Taxes



Deferred tax assets are recorded based on the differences between the financial
statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities at the enacted tax rates. The
principal assets and liabilities giving rise to such differences are
investments, insurance reserves, and deferred acquisition costs. A deferred tax
asset valuation allowance is established when there is uncertainty that such
assets would be realized. We have no uncertain tax positions we believe are
more-likely-than-not that the benefit will not to be realized.



Recognition of Revenues


Income from traditional life insurance products consists of direct and assumed income
premiums declared as acquired when they are due.


Amounts received as payment for annuities are recognized as deposits to
policyholder account balances and included in future insurance policy benefits.
Revenues from these contracts are comprised of investment earnings of the
deposits, which are recognized over the period of the contracts, and included in
revenue. Deposits are shown as a financing activity in the Consolidated
Statements of Cash Flows.



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Embedded Derivatives



The Company has entered into coinsurance funds withheld arrangement with ALSC
which contains an embedded derivative. Under ASC 815, the Company assesses
whether the embedded derivative is clearly and closely related to the host
contract. The Company bifurcates embedded derivatives from the host instrument
for measurement purposes when the embedded derivative possesses economic
characteristics that are not clearly and closely related to the economic
characteristics of the host contract and a separate instrument with the same
terms would qualify as a derivative instrument. Embedded derivatives, which are
reported with the host instrument on the consolidated balance sheets in funds
withheld under coinsurance agreement, are reported at fair value with changes in
fair value recognized in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income
(loss) in net investment gains (losses).



Funds withheld under co-insurance agreement


Funds withheld under coinsurance agreement represent amounts contractually
withheld by a ceding company in accordance with the 2020 ALSC Agreement. For
agreements written on a coinsurance funds withheld basis, assets that support
the net statutory reserves or as defined by the treaty, are withheld and legally
owned by the ceding company.  Interest is recorded in net investment income, net
of related expenses, in the consolidated statements of income (loss).  Funds
withheld under coinsurance agreement are presented net of the embedded
derivative, discussed above. Under the terms of the 2020 ALSC Agreement the
Company may assume custody of the assets in the funds withheld account once the
Company attains its "Qualified Institutional Buyer" designation (as that term is
defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, which is
anticipated to be achieved in the second quarter of 2022.  The Company will
record the funds withheld assets at fair value on the date of transfer, which
will eliminate the embedded derivative component associated with the 2020 ALSC
Agreement.


Mortgage loans on real estate


Mortgage loans on real estate, including mortgage loan participations, are
carried at unpaid principal balances, net of any unamortized premium or discount
and valuation allowances.  Interest income is accrued on the principal amount of
the mortgage loans based on its contractual interest rate.  Amortization of
premiums and discounts is recorded using the effective yield method. The Company
accrues interest on loans until probable the Company will not receive interest
or the loan is 90 days past due.  Interest income, amortization of premiums,
accretion of discounts and prepayment fees are reported in investment income,
net of related expenses in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income
(loss).


A mortgage loan is considered impaired when, according to the
information and events, it is likely that the Company will not be able to
collect all amounts due under the contractual terms of the mortgage
OK.


Valuation allowances on mortgage loans are established based upon inherent
losses expected by management to be realized in connection with future
dispositions or settlement of mortgage loans, including foreclosures. The
Company establishes valuation allowances for estimated impairments on an
individual loan basis as of the balance sheet date. Such valuation allowances
are based on the excess carrying value of the loan over the present value of
expected future cash flows discounted at the loan's original effective interest
rate, the value of the loan's collateral if the loan is in the process of
foreclosure or is otherwise collateral-dependent, or the loan's market value if
the loan is being sold. These evaluations are revised as conditions change and
new information becomes available. In addition to historical experience,
management considers qualitative factors that include the impact of changing
macro-economic conditions, which may not be currently reflected in the loan
portfolio performance, and the quality of the loan portfolio.



Any interest accrued or received on the net carrying amount of the impaired loan
will be included in investment income or applied to the principal of the loan,
depending on the assessment of the collectibility of the loan. Mortgage loans
deemed to be uncollectible or that have been foreclosed are charged off against
the valuation allowances and subsequent recoveries, if any, are credited to the
valuation allowances. Changes in valuation allowances are reported in net
investment gains (losses) on the consolidated statements of income (loss).



The Company evaluates whether a mortgage loan modification represents a troubled
debt restructuring. In a troubled debt restructuring, the Company grants
concessions related to the borrower's financial difficulties. Generally, the
types of concessions include: reduction of the contractual interest rate,
extension of the maturity date at an interest rate lower than current market
interest rates and/or a reduction of accrued interest. The Company considers the
amount, timing and extent of the concession granted in determining any
impairment or changes in the specific valuation allowance recorded in connection
with the troubled debt restructuring. Through the continuous monitoring process,
the Company may have recorded a specific valuation allowance prior to when the
mortgage loan is modified in a troubled debt restructuring. Accordingly, the
carrying value (after specific valuation allowance) before and after
modification through a troubled debt restructuring may not change significantly,
or may increase if the expected recovery is higher than the pre-modification
recovery assessment.



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Mergers and Acquisitions



On May 23, 2017 the Company entered into a definitive merger agreement with
Northern Plains Capital Corporation. The merger transaction closed onAugust 1,
2017. NPCC shareholders received .5841 shares of US Alliance Corporation stock
for each share of NPCC stock owned. USAC issued 1,644,458 shares of common stock
to holders of NPCC shares.



On October 11, 2018 the Company entered into a stock purchase agreement with
Great Western Insurance Company to acquire Great Western Life Insurance Company.
The transaction closed on December 14, 2018. USALSC paid $500,000 to acquire all
of the outstanding shares of GWLIC.



Effective December 31, 2020, DCLIC acquired a block of life insurance policies
according to the terms of an assumption agreement with ALSC. The Company
acquired fixed maturity securities and cash of $9,181,100, assumed liabilities
of $10,972,785 and recorded VOBA of $2,163,541.



New Accounting Standards


A detailed analysis of the new accounting standards is provided in the Notes
Consolidated financial statements from p. F-7 of this annual report.

Discussion of consolidated operating results


Total Income. Insurance revenues are primarily generated from premium revenues
and investment income. Insurance revenues for the years ended December 31, 2021
and 2020 are summarized in the table below.



                          Years Ended December 31,
                            2021             2020
Income:

Premium income $11,792,063 $10,117,110
Net investment income 5,336,048 3,552,261
Net investment gains 142,280 1,967,014
Other income

                 318,854          635,520
Total income            $ 17,589,245     $ 16,271,905




Our 2021 total income increased to $17,589,245, an increase of $1,317,340 or 8%
from the 2020 total income of $16,271,905. The increase is driven by increases
in our premium income and net investment income.  The Company was required to
implement a new accounting standard in 2019 which results in unrealized gains
and losses on equity securities being included in total income. This standard
continues to result in increased volatility in total income.



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The following chart summarizes our four-year trend in total revenue:

                           [[Image Removed: g01.jpg]]



Premium income: Premium income for 2021 was $11,792,063 compared to $10,117,110
in 2020, an increase of $1,674,953 or 17%. The increase was driven by an
increase in direct single and recurring premiums. Even though it is a reduction
in revenue, ceded premium increases reflect the growth of our group policy
premiums as we focused on small companies to assist them with their employee
benefits.


Direct, assumed and ceded premiums for years ended December 31, 2021 and
2020 are summarized in the following table.


            Years Ended December 31,
              2021             2020

Direct    $  8,566,404     $  6,358,043
Assumed      4,301,496        4,682,634
Ceded       (1,075,837 )       (923,567 )
Total     $ 11,792,063     $ 10,117,110



The Company is constantly looking for new products and distribution opportunities.
continue to increase bounty production on a direct and assumed basis.


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Investment income, net of expenses: The components of net investment income for
the years have ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 are as follows:

                              Years Ended December 31,
                                2021             2020

Fixed maturities            $   1,121,170     $ 1,178,055
Mortgages                         378,035         129,621
Equity securities                 617,198         669,147
Funds withheld                  3,421,796       1,680,220
Cash and cash equivalents           1,794          12,501
                                5,539,993       3,669,544
Less investment expenses         (203,945 )      (117,283 )
                            $   5,336,048     $ 3,552,261



Net investment income for 2021 was $5,336,048compared to $3,552,261 in 2020,
an augmentation of $1,783,787 or 50%. This increase in investment income is
primarily due to increased invested assets due to our premium
income, annuity deposits and ALSC 2020 agreement.


Net investment gains (losses): Net investment gains for 2021 were $142,280,
compared to gains of $1,967,014 for 2020, a decrease of $1,824,734. The decrease
in net investment gains is attributable to strong 2020 investment gains. Net
investment gains for 2021 were comprised of $87,712 of unrealized losses in our
equity portfolio and funds withheld asset and realized gains of $229,992. Net
investment gains for 2020 were comprised of $952,667 of unrealized gains in our
equity portfolio and funds withheld asset and realized gains of $1,014,347.
Realized gains and losses related to the sale of securities for the years ended
December 31, 2021 and 2020 are summarized as follows:



                   Years Ended December 31,
                     2021             2020
Gross gains      $    248,891      $ 1,388,209
Gross losses          (18,899 )       (373,862 )
Realized gains   $    229,992      $ 1,014,347




Other income: Other income for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $318,854
compared to $635,520 in 2020, a decrease of $316,666. The decrease in other
income is the result of a gain in 2020 related to the partial recapture of our
2017 ALSC Agreement partially offset by rent collected from a building acquired
in late 2020.



Expenses. Expenses for the year ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 are summarized
in the table below.



                                               Years Ended December 31,
                                                 2021             2020
Expenses:
Death claims                                 $  2,314,682     $  1,943,563
Policyholder benefits                           6,238,032        5,248,470
Increase in policyholder reserves               4,063,488        3,359,609
Commissions, net of deferrals                     772,053          781,400

Amortization of deferred acquisition costs 1,210,345 970,386
Amortization of value of business acquired 92,420

           20,302
Salaries & benefits                             1,350,851        1,219,534
Other operating expenses                        1,893,561        2,429,466
Total expense                                $ 17,935,432     $ 15,972,730




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The following table and graph summarize our four-year spending trend:

        Increase in           Other                                             % of Operating
       Policyholder       Policy-related       Operating         Total            Expense to
Year     Reserves            Expenses          Expenses         Expenses        Total Expense
2018       2,766,169            6,028,730       3,120,524       11,915,423              26%
2019       2,599,575            6,737,672       2,460,989       11,798,236              21%
2020       3,359,609            8,964,121       3,649,000       15,972,730              23%
2021       4,063,488           10,627,532       3,244,412       17,935,432              18%




                         [[Image Removed: chart2.jpg]]



Increases in policyholder reserves represents funds that we maintain and invest
for the future benefit of our policyholders. Other policy-related expenses
represent the other expenses associated with fulfilling our obligations to our
policyholders and producers. Operating expenses represent the costs to operate
the company.



Death claims: Death benefits were $2,314,682 in the year ended December 31, 2021
compared to $1,943,563 for 2020, an increase of $371,119 or 19%. This increase
is attributable to our growing block of in-force pre-need life insurance
policies. We expect these claims to grow as we continue to increase the size of
our in-force business.  The COVID-19 pandemic has increased mortality rates for
the entire United States population.



Policyholder benefits: Policyholder benefits were $6,238,032 in the year ended
December 31, 2021 compared to $5,248,470 in 2020, an increase of $989,562 or
19%. The primary driver of this increase is the growth of interest credited on
our direct and assumed annuities.



Increase in policyholder reserves: Policyholder reserves increased to
$4,063,488 in the year ended December 31, 2021compared to $3,359,609 in 2020,
an augmentation of $703,879 or 21%. The growth in reserves is the result of
increase in pension premiums.

Commissions, net of deferrals: The Company pays commissions to the transferor
company on a block of policies assumed as well as commissions to agents on
business written directly. Commissions, net of deferrals, were $772,053 in the
year ended December 31, 2021compared to $781,400 in 2020, a decrease of
$9,347. This decrease is due to a changing composition of premiums.


Amortization of deferred acquisition costs: The amortization of deferred
acquisition costs ("DAC") was $1,210,345 in the year ended December 31, 2021,
compared to $970,386 in 2020, an increase of $239,859 or 25%. The increase is
driven by the amortization of costs deferred in conjunction with the 2020 ALSC
Agreement. The increase in single pay pre-need policies, where commissions are
deferred and immediately amortized, also contributed to this increase.



Amortization of value of business acquired: The amortization of value of
business acquired ("VOBA") was $92,420 in the year ended December 31, 2021
compared to $20,302 in 2020. In 2021, we began to amortize VOBA associated with
DCLIC's acquisition of policies from ALSC. VOBA is being amortized straight-line
over 30 years.



Salaries and benefits: Salaries and benefits were $1,350,851 for the year ended
December 31, 2021, compared to $1,219,534 in 2020, an increase of $131,317 or
11%. The increase was driven by increased employee compensation costs and
additional team members.



Other expenses: Other operating expenses were $1,893,561 in the year ended
December 31, 2021, compared to $2,429,466 in 2020, a decrease of $535,905 or
22%. Operating costs were driven lower due primarily to the non-recurrence of
two large 2020 expenditures (our pre-paid software asset being recognized as an
expense of $250,000 and expenses associated with implementing a new disability
reinsurance program totaling $50,000) as well as reduced operating costs in
2021.



                                       21

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Contents


Federal income tax benefit: In the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company
recognized a deferred income tax benefit of $680,542. In the year ended December
31, 2020, the Company recognized a deferred income tax benefit of $140,274.

These benefits are the result of reductions in the valuation of deferred tax assets
allocation.

Net Income Our net income was $334,355 in the year ended December 31, 2021
compared to the net result of $439,449 in 2020, a decrease of $105,094. Our net
earnings per share was $0.04 compared to net earnings per share of $0.06 in 2020,
basic and dilute.

The following graph illustrates the four-year trend of our net earnings per share:

                           [[Image Removed: b03.jpg]]


Discussion of the consolidated balance sheet


Assets. Assets have increased to $121,484,834 as of December 31, 2021, an
increase of $6,097,738 or 5% from December 31, 2020 assets of $115m574,997. This
is primarily the result of growth in our funds withheld asset and cash and cash
equivalents.



Available for sale fixed maturity securities: As of December 31, 2021, we had
available for sale fixed maturity assets of $37,942,657, an increase of $265,079
or 1% from the December 31, 2020 balance of $37,677,578. The increase is driven
by purchases of additional fixed maturity securities partially offset by a
decrease in the market value of these securities. If we hold our fixed maturity
securities to maturity any change in market value is temporary.



Equity securities, at fair value: As of December 31, 2021, we had equity assets
of $9,157,193, a decrease of $64,381 or 1% from the December 31, 2020 balance of
$9,221,574. This decrease is the result of normal investment activity.



Mortgage loans on real estate: As of December 31, 2021, we had mortgage loans on
real estate of $3,653,142 an increase of $487,006 or 15% from the December 31,
2020 balance of $3,166,136. The increase is the result of acquiring additional
mortgage loan participations.



Funds withheld under coinsurance agreement, at fair value: As of December 31,
2021, we had funds withheld assets of $49,018,974, an increase of $2,188,898 or
5% from the December 31, 2020 balance of $46,830,076. The growth represents
investment returns in the funds withheld account.



Policy loans: As of December 31, 2021our advances on the police have been $173,341a
increase of $9,616 or 6% of the December 31, 2020 balance of $163,725. the
the increase is the result of normal policy loan activity.

Real estate, net of depreciation: At December 31, 2021we had real estate
assets of $1,403,137 related to the purchase of our home office building, a
decrease of $12,606 from December 31, 2020 balance of $1,415,743. the
the decrease is the result of depreciation.

                                       22

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Contents

Cash and cash equivalents: At December 31, 2021we had cash and cash
active equivalents of $7,955,348an augmentation of $3,634,589 or 84% of the
December 31, 2020 balance of $4,320,759. This increase is the result of cash
being prepared for deployment in invested assets.

Investment income due and accrued: As of December 31, 2021our investment
income due and accrued has been $698,504 compared to $423,036 from The 31st of December,
2020
an augmentation of $275,468 or 65%. This increase is attributable to
investment activity.


Reinsurance related assets: As of December 31, 2021, our reinsurance related
assets were $3,438 compared to $165,082 as of December 31, 2020, a decrease of
$161,644. This decrease is the result of changes in the net settlement due
to/from ALSC under our 2020 ALSC Agreement.



Deferred acquisition costs, net: At December 31, 2021our deferred
acquisition costs were $6,354,875 compared to $7,105,890 from The 31st of December,
2020
a decrease of $751,015 or 11%. The decrease corresponds to the damping of the DAC
related to our ALSC 2020 agreement.


Value of business acquired, net: As of December 31, 2021 our value of business
acquired asset was $2,610,813 compared to $2,703,233 as of December 31, 2020, a
decrease of $92,420 or 3%. The decrease is the result of amortization of VOBA.



Property, equipment and software, net: As of December 31, 2021 our property,
equipment and software assets were $92,785, an increase of $54,967 from the
December 31, 2020 balance of $37,818. This increase is the result of renovation
of our home office.


Good will: Starting the December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020our goodwill was
$277,542. Good will was created as a result of our merger with NPCC. We have
determined that there was no impairment of our goodwill balance.


Deferred tax asset, net of valuation allowance:  The Company had a net deferred
tax asset of $1,560,767 as of December 31, 2021. The Company had a net deferred
tax asset of $243,257 as of December 31, 2020 and the resulting change in
deferred tax asset was recorded as a deferred tax benefit and as a reduction in
other comprehensive income.


Other assets: Au December 31, 2021our other assets were $582,318a
decrease of $1,053,329 or 65% of the December 31, 2020 balance of $1,635,647.
This decrease is explained by a balance receivable due to DCLIC paid in 2021.

Passives. Our total liability was $103,903,078 from December 31, 2021a
increase of $6,920,773 or 7% of our December 31, 2020 passive of
$96,982,305. This increase is attributable to the growth of our mathematical reserves.


Policy liabilities: Our total policy liabilities as of December 31, 2021 were
$101,026,942 compared to $93,459,080 as of December 31, 2020, an increase of
$7,567,862 or 8%. This increase is the result of the growth of our in-force
business.



Accounts payable and accrued expenses: As of December 31, 2021, our accounts
payable and accrued expenses were $689,065 compared to $1,507,756 as of December
31, 2020, a decrease of $818,691 or 54%. The decrease is driven by the
settlement in the first quarter of a payable to ALSC related to the partial
termination of our 2017 ALSC Agreement offset by income tax payable.



Federal Home Loan Bank advance: As of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020,
the Company has outstanding advances of $2,000,000 with the Federal Home Loan
Bank of Topeka.  The advances were taken to create liquidity and investment
opportunities.



Shareholders' Equity. Our shareholders' equity was $17,581,756 as of December
31, 2021, a decrease of $823,035 from our December 31, 2020 shareholders' equity
of $18,404,791. The reduction in shareholders' equity was driven by a decrease
in other comprehensive income offset by our net income. Other comprehensive
income consists of the unrealized gains and losses on our fixed maturity
portfolio. The decrease in other comprehensive income is the result of higher
interest rates which decreases the market value of our fixed maturity
securities.



                                       23

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  Table of Contents



Investments

Our investment philosophy is reflected by the allocation of our investments. We
emphasize investment grade debt securities with smaller holdings in equity
securities, mortgages and other investments as well as a significant funds
withheld investment as a result of the 2020 ALSC Agreement. The following table
shows the carrying value of our investments by investment category and cash and
cash equivalents, and the percentage of each to total invested assets as of
December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020.



                                              December 31, 2021                  December 31, 2020
                                            Fair            Percent            Fair            Percent
                                            Value           of Total           Value           of Total
Fixed maturities:
US Treasury securities                  $     447,765              0.4 %  
$     702,916              0.7 %
Corporate bonds                            21,321,279             19.6 %      22,947,811             22.4 %
Municipal bonds                             6,963,358              6.4 %       6,796,654              6.6 %
Redeemable preferred stocks                 3,621,526              3.3 %       2,990,215              2.9 %
Mortgage backed and asset backed
securities                                  5,588,729              5.1 %       4,239,982              4.1 %
Total fixed maturities                     37,942,657             34.8 %      37,677,578             36.7 %
Mortgage loans                              3,653,142              3.3 %       3,166,136              3.1 %
Equities:
Common stock                                7,319,584              6.7 %       6,808,944              6.6 %
Preferred stock                             1,837,609              1.7 %       2,412,630              2.4 %
Total equities                              9,157,193              8.4 %       9,221,574              9.0 %
Funds withheld                             49,018,974             44.9 %      46,830,076             45.6 %
Real estate, net of depreciation            1,403,137              1.3 %       1,415,743              1.4 %
Cash and cash equivalents                   7,955,348              7.3 %       4,320,759              4.2 %
Total                                   $ 109,130,451            100.0 %   $ 102,631,866            100.0 %




The total value of our investments and cash and cash equivalents increased to
$109,130,451 as of December 31, 2021 from $102,631,866 at December 31, 2020, an
increase of $6,498,585 or 6%. Increases in investments are primarily
attributable to growth in our cash and cash equivalents and in our funds
withheld asset.



The following table shows the distribution of the credit ratings of our
portfolio of fixed maturity securities by carrying value as of December 31, 2021
and 2020.



                                    December 31, 2021              December 31, 2020
                                    Fair          Percent          Fair          Percent
                                   Value         of Total         Value         of Total

AAA and U.S. Government         $    914,862           2.4 %   $  1,160,359           3.1 %
AA                                 9,999,588          26.4 %      8,219,481          21.8 %
A                                  8,140,616          21.5 %      8,587,743          22.8 %
BBB                               15,719,874          41.3 %     16,060,510          42.6 %
BB                                 2,986,117           7.9 %      3,462,685           9.2 %
Not Rated - Private Placement        181,600           0.5 %        186,800           0.5 %
Total                           $ 37,942,657         100.0 %   $ 37,677,578         100.0 %




                                       24

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Contents


The amortized cost and fair value of debt securities as of December 31, 2021 and
2020, by contractual maturity, are shown below. Equity securities do not have
stated maturity dates and therefore are not included in the following maturity
summary. Actual maturities may differ from contractual maturities because
borrowers may have the right to call or prepay obligations with or without call
or prepayment penalties.



                                             As of December 31, 2021               As of December 31, 2020
                                         Amortized Cost       Fair Value       Amortized Cost       Fair Value
Amounts maturing in:
One year or less                        $              -     $          -     $        373,590     $    379,823
After one year through five years              1,987,421        2,087,132            1,540,931        1,641,749
After five years through ten years             2,540,089        2,865,020            2,887,066        3,379,930
More than 10 years                            21,479,533       23,780,250           21,892,891       25,045,879
Redeemable preferred stocks                    3,612,625        3,621,526            2,900,330        2,990,215
Mortgage backed and asset backed
securities                                     5,636,371        5,588,729            4,189,710        4,239,982
Total amortized cost and fair value     $     35,256,039     $ 37,942,657     $     33,784,518     $ 37,677,578



Market risk of financial instruments


We hold a diversified portfolio of investments that primarily includes cash,
bonds, equity securities, mortgage loans, and funds withheld under the 2020 ALSC
Agreement. Each of these investments is subject to market risks that can affect
their return and their fair value. A significant percentage of the investments
are fixed maturity securities including debt issuances of corporations, US
Treasury securities, or securities issued by government agencies. The primary
market risks affecting the investment portfolio are interest rate risk, credit
risk, and equity risk. The Company's investment portfolio, including the
creditworthiness and valuation of investment assets, as well as availability of
new investments may be adversely affected as a result of market developments
related to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty regarding its ultimate severity
and duration.



Interest Rate Risk



Interest rate risk arises from the price sensitivity of investments to changes
in interest rates. Interest represents the greatest portion of an investment's
return for most fixed maturity securities in stable interest rate environments.
The changes in the fair value of such investments are inversely related to
changes in market interest rates. As interest rates fall, the interest and
dividend streams of existing fixed-rate investments become more valuable and
fair values rise. As interest rates rise, the opposite effect occurs.



We work to mitigate our exposure to adverse interest rate movements through
laddering the maturities of the fixed maturity investments and through
maintaining cash and other short term investments to assure sufficient liquidity
to meet our obligations and to address reinvestment risk considerations. Due to
the composition of our book of insurance business, we believe it is unlikely
that we would encounter large surrender activity due to an interest rate
increase that would force the disposal of fixed maturities at a loss.



Additionally, USALSC is a member of the FHLB of Topeka, which provides access to
liquidity and further reduces the likelihood of disposing of fixed maturities at
a loss.



Credit Risk



We are exposed to credit risk through counterparties and within the investment
portfolio. Credit risk relates to the uncertainty associated with an obligor's
ability to make timely payments of principal and interest in accordance with the
contractual terms of an instrument or contract. We manage our credit risk
through established investment policies and guidelines which address the quality
of creditors and counterparties, concentration limits, diversification practices
and acceptable risk levels. These policies and guidelines are regularly reviewed
and approved by senior management and USAC's Board of Directors.



                                       25

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Contents

Cash and capital resources


The impact of COVID-19 on the Company is evolving, and its future effects are
not yet quantified. The Company continues to monitor the effects and risks
of COVID-19 to assess its impact on the Company's business, sales, financial
condition, results of operations, liquidity and capital position.



Premium income, deposits to policyholder account balances, investment income,
and capital raising are the primary sources of funds while withdrawals of
policyholder account balances, investment purchases, policy benefits in the form
of claims, and operating expenses are the primary uses of funds. To ensure we
will be able to pay future commitments, the funds received as premium payments
and deposits are invested in primarily fixed income securities. Funds are
invested with the intent that the income from investments, plus proceeds from
maturities, will in the future meet our ongoing cash flow needs. The approach of
matching asset and liability durations and yields requires an appropriate mix of
investments. Our investments consist primarily of marketable debt securities
that could be readily converted to cash for liquidity needs. Cash flow
projections and cash flow tests under various market interest scenarios are also
performed annually to assist in evaluating liquidity needs and adequacy. As a
member of the Federal Home Loan Bank, USALSC has immediate access to additional
cash liquidity, if needed.



Net cash provided by operating activities was $3,411,873 for the year ended
December 31, 2021. The primary sources of cash from operating activities were
premiums received from policyholders as well as investment income. The primary
uses of cash for operating activities were for payments of commissions to agents
and settlement of policy liabilities. Net cash used in investing activities was
$1,713,117. The primary use of cash was the purchase of fixed maturity and
equity investments. Cash provided by financing activities was $1,935,833. The
primary sources of cash were receipts on deposit-type contracts.



The following table and graph illustrate our four-year cash flow trend from
insurance activities:

                        [[Image Removed: image001.jpg]]



Cash flow from insurance activities is a non-GAAP financial measure. Cash flow
from insurance activities combines cash flow from operations with the net cash
received from deposit type contracts to show the impact of our insurance
operations on our cash flows. Cash flow from deposit type contracts is primarily
made up of funds received into our annuity products. The following table
reconciles cash flow from operations to cash flow from insurance activities:



        Cash Flow       Net Cash Flow         Cash Flow
          From          From Deposit        from Insurance
Year   Operations      Type Contracts         Activities
2018     2,249,068           2,598,564     $      4,847,632
2019     2,270,041           2,176,602     $      4,446,643
2020     2,099,401           4,592,576     $      6,691,977
2021     3,411,873           2,050,078     $      5,461,951




                                       26

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Contents


At December 31, 2021, we had cash and cash equivalents totaling $7,955,348. We
believe that our existing cash and cash equivalents are sufficient to fund the
anticipated operating expenses and capital expenditures for the foreseeable
future. We have based this estimate upon assumptions that may prove to be wrong
and we could use our capital resources sooner than we currently expect. The
growth of USALSC and DCLIC, our insurance subsidiaries, is uncertain and may
require additional capital as they continue to grow.



Impact of Inflation



Insurance premiums are established before the amount of losses, or the extent to
which inflation may affect such losses and expenses, are known. We attempt, in
establishing premiums, to anticipate the potential impact of inflation. If, for
competitive reasons, premiums cannot be increased to anticipate inflation, this
cost would be absorbed by us. Inflation also affects the rate of investment
return on the investment portfolio with a corresponding effect on investment
income.


Off-balance sheet arrangements


We have no off-balance sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to
have a current or future effect on our financial condition, changes in financial
condition, revenues or expenses, results of operations, liquidity, capital
expenditures or capital resources that is material to investors.



SECTION 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE INFORMATION ON MARKET RISK

As a “small reporting company”, the Company is not required to provide
disclosure under this section.

New Report: 30% of Montana Borrowers Qualify for Changes to Civil Service Loan Forgiveness | ABC Fox Missoula

February 20, 2022

Montana Loans

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MISSOULA, Mont. – Last week, the US Department of Education announced that more than 9 million student borrowers will receive some kind of debt relief, but only for those who qualify to access the program from the public service.

This means that those who weren’t registered before, who weren’t eligible in the past, and who work for a nonprofit can now reapply for credit or defer payments if needed.

This comes after borrowers have not had their payments counted in the past, the program will now re-examine previously declined applications, review payment options and apply credit to your loans

According to a new report per Student Loan Hero, these changes are expected to impact 30% of federal borrowers in Montana and while the program isn’t new, it’s never been perfect.

“What happened recently and there was a big problem with that, it was very difficult to qualify, so it’s something that will forgive your loan in 10 years, federal student loans as long as you work for a non-profit, or for government as well as teachers would be included, police officers, quite a large group,” Student Loan Hero said.

These changes are not permanent, students have until October of this year to register or see if they are eligible for student debt relief.

If you are unsure whether or not you qualify now, we encourage you to contact your lending company directly to find out more.

Stocks fall again, giving Wall Street another losing week | national news

February 18, 2022

Montana Loans

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Stocks capped a week of volatile trading on Wall Street with a large selloff on Friday that left the major indexes with their second consecutive weekly loss.

The selling lost some momentum in the afternoon, but intensified again in the final hour of trading. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each fell 0.7%. The Nasdaq composite bore the brunt of the selloff, however, losing 1.2%.

Treasury yields fell as investors shifted money to the safety of US bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield, which affects rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell to 1.93% from 1.97%.

Markets have been choppy all week as investors watch latest developments in Ukrainewhere Russia has amassed troops on the border. The tensions are another concern for investors as they try to determine how the economy will respond to rising inflation and impending interest rate hikes.

“Investors are facing geopolitical risks, Fed tightening and valuation spikes,” said Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network. “Any time you get that kind of trifecta scenario, you’re going to see volatility.”

And then there’s the uncertainty about what might happen in Ukraine over this holiday weekend, with US markets set to close on President’s Day on Monday.

“You’re heading into a long weekend with no resolution on Russia or Ukraine, so you’ve got people just going a little sideways,” said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management. .

The S&P 500 fell 31.39 points to 4,348.87. The benchmark index is now 9.3% below its all-time high set on January 3.

The Dow fell 232.85 points to 34,079.18 and the Nasdaq fell 168.65 points to 13,548.07. Shares of smaller companies also fell, sending the Russell 2000 Index down 18.76 points, or 0.9%, to 2,009.33.

Tensions over Russia and Ukraine escalated throughout the week, throwing a snowball as markets focused more on inflation, central bank monetary policy and economic growth. The United States has issued some of its clearest and most detailed warnings yet of how a Russian invasion of Ukraine might unfold, and its Western allies have been on high alert for any attempt by the Kremlin to create a false pretext for a new war in Europe.

Russia is a major energy producer and military conflict could disrupt energy supplies and make energy prices extremely volatile.

Inflation remains a top concern for Wall Street as companies continue to grapple with supply chain issues and higher costs, prompting warnings that operations will suffer for part or all of 2022 General Electric fell 5.9% after warning that inflation pressure and supply chain issues hurt several of its businesses, including healthcare, renewable energy and aviation. He expects the problems to persist for at least the first half of the year.

Video streaming company Roku fell 22.3% after giving investors a weak revenue forecast and warning of ongoing supply chain issues.

Weakness in several large tech stocks, which carry more weight on indexes due to their size, helped drag the market down overall. Intel fell 5.3%.

Retailers and travel-related businesses also lost ground. Amazon lost 1.3% and Royal Caribbean fell 1.7%

Companies considered less risky investments, such as utilities, held up better than the rest of the market.

Investors remain focused on the Federal Reserve and its plan to raise interest rates in order to combat rising inflation. The final minutes of a meeting of Fed policymakers confirmed that the central bank intends to act decisively to fight inflation with higher interest rates. Wall Street is trying to look ahead to determine how more aggressive Fed monetary policy will impact markets, especially after years of more supportive ultra-low interest rate policies.

New York Federal Reserve Chairman John Williams said on Friday that the central bank should start raising interest rates next month to help contain too-high inflation. But he added that rate hikes may not need to start as strong as some have suggested.

“I personally don’t see any compelling case for taking a big step early,” Williams said following an event at New Jersey City University to discuss the economy and interest rates.

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

Loan relief given to students misled by DeVry for-profit | national news

February 16, 2022

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The Biden administration announced on Wednesday it would forgive more than $70 million in student debt for borrowers who say they were defrauded by for-profit DeVry University — the first time the Department of Education has approved such applications for an institution still in operation.

At least 1,800 former DeVry students will get their loans after the department found the school lied about its graduates’ success in order to entice new students to enroll. The agency said it plans to force the school to cover the cost of the $71.7 million loan repayment. The action was part of a larger $415 million tranche of loan relief for former students of for-profit colleges.

“Students rely on the sincerity of their colleges,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “Unfortunately, today’s findings show too many cases where students have been misled by loans from institutions or programs that have failed to deliver on their promises.”

DeVry spokeswoman Donna Shaults said the allegations predate the school’s current board and leadership. The company was sold in 2018, while the Biden administration’s allegations include a period ending in 2015.

“Nevertheless, we believe the Department of Education is misrepresenting DeVry’s calculation and disclosure of graduate results in certain advertisements, and we disagree with the conclusions they have reached,” Shaults said in a statement. communicated.

Along with the DeVry action, the Department of Education also decided to cancel $344 million in loans for former students of ITT Tech, Westwood College, Corinthian Colleges and other former for-profit colleges. .

It marks another step in the administration’s work to clear a backlog of claims in the Borrower Defense Program, which forgives debt for students who are defrauded by their colleges.

The program has been used to write off the $2 billion in debt of more than 107,000 borrowers, but so far has only provided relief to students after their colleges have closed, leaving taxpayers to cover loan repayments. But in the coming weeks, the Department of Education said it would take steps to hold DeVry financially accountable.

“While helping students is essential, we also want to deter wrongdoing and protect taxpayers,” James Kvaal, undersecretary for the Department of Education, said on a media call.

According to the agency, DeVry made false claims about the success of his graduates from 2008 to 2015.

The school claimed that 90% of its graduates found employment in their field of study within six months of graduation. It became the focus of a national advertising campaign with the slogan “We Major in Careers”.

But the Ministry of Education says the actual placement rate was 58%. More than half of the jobs included in the school’s figure were held by students before they graduated or even enrolled, the agency said. He also alleged that senior DeVry officials knew about the problems with the cipher but continued to use it for years.

Similar Federal Trade Commission allegations led to a $100 million settlement with DeVry in 2016.

The Department of Education has identified about 1,800 borrowers who will be eligible for loan releases because they relied on DeVry’s inflated demand in their decision to enroll. The number is expected to increase as the agency continues to review applications.

The department’s action will also erase student debt for 1,600 borrowers who attended Westwood College, which had 15 campuses before it closed in 2015. The agency found that Westwood also misled students about their likelihood of getting a jobs and good salaries after graduation.

Another 130 former ITT Technical Institute students will receive $3 million in forgiven loans in the latest round of approvals. In the decade before it closed in 2016, the company falsely told students that its nursing program had or would soon gain accreditation, according to the department. But the school has repeatedly failed to gain accreditation, which plays a key role in helping graduates find jobs.

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

John VonLangen Joins Billstein, Monson & Small PLLC | Achievements

February 13, 2022

Montana Loans

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John VonLangen earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. After graduating, he received his JD, cum laude, from the University of Dayton School of Law. VonLangen has practiced law in Billings since December 2010 as senior counsel for GE Capital US Holdings, Inc., handling a wide variety of legal matters including commercial contracts, secured transactions, real estate, legal matters business and corporations, employment issues, licensing, data privacy. , operations, internal investigations, and regulatory and compliance matters. Prior to joining GE Capital, VonLangen represented in private practice large and small lenders and borrowers in financial transactions, including real estate and asset-based lending, as well as loan restructurings and restructurings. He has also represented individuals, businesses, corporations, real estate developers, landlords, tenants, investors and agribusiness owners for all of their business, commercial and real estate needs. VonLangen is licensed to practice law in Montana, Alaska and Florida. On a personal note, VonLangen is the father of three incredible children. He strives for a healthy and active lifestyle and enjoys a wide variety of fitness-related activities in his spare time, including running, weightlifting, hiking, biking, triathlons, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, adventure races, snowboarding, kayaking and paddleboarding. to name a few.

Canadian judge authorizes police to remove truckers blocking Ambassador Bridge

February 11, 2022

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Morawetz said the order would take effect at 7 p.m. Friday.

Related:

“It gives individuals the opportunity and the time to clear the area,” he said in the original ruling.

The Detroit-Windsor, Ont., span has been largely closed since Monday by Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ truckers, protesting a US-Canadian mandate that requires truckers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter one or the other country.

Calls for Canada to end the standoff grew among state and federal officials on Friday, while the province of Ontario declared a state of emergencyas its prime minister promised new legal action against protesters, including fines and jail time.

According to estimates by Anderson Economic Group, an East Lansing consultant, the traffic jam on the bridge cost $51 million in direct wages Michigan lost in its first week alone, a number he said would “rise at an accelerating rate” the longer the stalemate continued.

“With the industry already understaffed and production lines waiting for parts, any further disruption is very costly,” said Anderson Economic Group CEO Patrick Anderson.

General Motors closed several shifts at its vehicle production plant near Lansing this week due to parts shortages related to the closure of the bay that normally carries 8,000 trucks and more than $323 million worth of goods a day. . Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. halted some operations in Canada following the shutdown, while Honda planned to halt production on the assembly line at its plant in Alliston, Ontario.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, the bridge is the busiest international land border crossing in North America and accounts for nearly one-third of annual two-way trade between Canada and the United States, estimated at more than 600 billion dollars.

In response to the potential economic crisis, officials on both sides of the border are increasing pressure to end the standoff. The blockade of the Ambassador Bridge has also led to massive traffic backups earlier in the week at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron as truckers searched for alternative routes to Canada.

Canadian protesters also closed border crossings at Coutts, Alberta, across from Montana and Emerson, Manitoba, across from North Dakota.

On Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she was urging U.S. and Canadian officials find a way to open the Ambassador Bridge.

“I obviously burned the phone line talking with people from the White House to the Canadian ambassador to our congressional delegation and some of the leaders of the Canadian government,” Whitmer said.

6 Important Considerations When Getting a Loan

February 10, 2022

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Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you lack the resources to handle it independently. Fortunately, several financing options are available to help those who need extra funds to get through a situation.

Whether you’re looking for a replacement vehicle or just need some cash to get you through a tough time, here are six important considerations to keep in mind when getting a loan.

Your credit score

One of the main factors affecting your loan options will be your credit score. Your credit score is a numerical summary of your credit history, summarized into a number ranging from poor to excellent. A score of 670 is considered good and creates plenty of borrowing opportunities with reasonable terms and interest rates.

Having a fair (601-669) or bad (less than 600) score does not mean that you will not be approved for a loan; it just means you’ll have fewer options to choose from and you might have a few additional conditions. According to credit experts at Montana Capital, there are many loan options with quick turnaround times for those with less than perfect credit. In addition, making loan repayments on time will help increase your credit score and show that you are a responsible borrower.

If you don’t have money to pay off your existing debts, make sure you can make the minimum payments on time. Having debt is a normal part of life, but missing and late payments make a bad situation worse.

Options available

Next, consider the options available to you. If you are in dire need of funds, you may feel compelled to rush. However, it’s best to slow down and do a bit of comparison.

Consider the types of loans available based on your credit score and make comparisons to find the best possible option for your needs.

The interest rate and the conditions

You should always read the fine print and take the time to understand everything before signing up for a loan. As a borrower, you have the right to ask clarifying questions and to make sure you understand what you are agreeing to. When it comes to getting a loan, there are no dumb questions; not asking is stupid.

Make sure you understand the interest rate and terms so you know how long you need to repay and what your payments will be. This information will also help you clarify monthly or bi-weekly payments so you know if you can really afford to pay it back in full.

Additionally, you need to understand what happens if you fail to repay the loan. If you do, you could cause more damage to your credit score and even lose your collateral.

Contingency plans and flexibility

Although you should never borrow money that you cannot repay, you should also plan for the worst-case scenario. Take time to think about what will happen if you lose your job or can’t make a payment on time. Reading the terms and asking questions can also help you understand if there is flexibility to make a partial or late payment if needed.

Availability and deadlines

Next, consider when you need the loan and when the money will be released. Some loans take longer to repay than others. If you are in a bad situation and need funds immediately, it is essential to understand the turnaround time from approval.

Loan alternatives

Finally, think about the alternatives to loans available to you. If you use this debt to pay other debts, you are digging yourself a deep hole. Speak to a financial advisor to plan for the future and explore your debt consolidation options. See if there’s anyone you can borrow a small amount interest-free from to get you through. If someone is worried about lending you money, ask if they can take you shopping or pay a bill directly.

As long as you act responsibly, loans are a great way to fill financial gaps and secure things you can’t buy outright. The important thing is to take your time and do your research before adding another debt to your financial responsibilities.

Nikita Ross Story

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Tinder Swindler victims demand $800,000 from GoFundMe

February 8, 2022

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Rosendale leads race at US House in donations with $900,000 | 406 Politics

February 2, 2022

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U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale maintains an almost insurmountable cash advantage in the race for the U.S. House neighborhood of eastern Montana.

Rosendale’s campaign closed 2022 with $916,775 in the bank. His opponents combined for $29,456 in cash. Six people have filed nominations with the Federal Election Commission to represent eastern Montana.

For the first time in 32 years, Montana has two seats in the House, the result of strong population growth primarily in the western part of the state over the previous decade. The quarters of the houses were finalized last November. The western region became District 1, anchored by Bozeman, Butte, Kalispell and Missoula. The East became District 2, anchored by Billings, Great Falls, Helena and Miles City.

In previous elections, Republican statewide candidates won the District 1 region by double-digit margins.

So far, the race for Eastern Montana has been a low-energy affair. In addition to Rosendale, there are two other Republican candidates. Charles Walking Child of Helena applied to the FEC last October. James Boyette of Bozeman filed his candidacy Jan. 28. Neither challenger has reported any donations. Due to filing in January, Boyette will not be filing a campaign finance report until the end of the first quarter.

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Democrats Jack Ballard and Penny Ronning said they received donations in 2021. Ballard, an outdoor writer from Red Lodge, reported 7,818 net contributions in 2021, excluding loans. He ended the year with $16,540 in cash. Ballard became a candidate in July 2021.

Penny Ronning, a former Billings City Council member and community activist against human trafficking, said she raised $14,851 and ended the year with $12,916 in cash. Ronning became a candidate on November 19, 2021.

A third Democrat, Skylar Williams of Billings, has no finances to report for 2021. Williams became a candidate on October 26, 2021.

Independent Curt Andrew Zygmond of Billings also had no contributions to declare. Zygmond registered with the FEC last May.

Liz Weston: How your parents’ debt could survive them | national news

January 31, 2022

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Many people believe in one of two common myths when a parent dies in debt, says Chicago estate planning attorney Michael Whitty. The first myth is that an adult child will become responsible for his parents’ debt. The second myth is that they can’t.

Adult children generally do not have to pay their parents’ bills, but there are exceptions. And even when a child doesn’t have to pay directly, the debt could reduce what they inherit.

Debt doesn’t simply disappear when someone dies, Whitty explains. Creditors can file claims against the estate, and these claims generally must be paid before anything is distributed to the heirs. Creditors are also allowed to contact relatives about the deceased person’s debts, even if those family members have no legal obligation to pay.

If you’re worried that your parents’ debt will outlive them, consider talking to an estate planning attorney for personalized legal advice. Here are some questions to explore.

WHEN YOU CAN AND CANNOT BE HELD PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE

Generally, family members do not have to use their own money to pay the debts of a deceased relative unless they:

— Co-signer of a loan, holder of a joint account or otherwise agreed to be held responsible for the debt.

— Are the surviving spouse and live in a community property state or in a state that requires surviving spouses to pay debts such as medical bills.

— Were legally responsible for settling the estate and did not follow state law.

For example, if you are the executor of your parents’ estate and you distribute money to yourself or other heirs before repaying creditors, creditors could sue you to recover the silver.

SHOULD YOU FEAR ‘AFFILIATE LIABILITY’ LAWS?

More than half of states still have “filial liability” laws that could technically force adult children to pay their impoverished parents’ bills, says Letha McDowell, an estate and elder law attorney from Kitty Hawk, Carolina. North.

These laws are holdovers from a time when debtors’ jails existed, says McDowell, who is president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Their use has faded since the creation in 1965 of Medicare — the health coverage program for those aged 65 and over — and Medicaid, the health coverage program for the poor.

Filial liability laws are rarely enforced, although in 2012 a nursing home chain used Pennsylvania law to successfully sue a son over his mother’s $93,000 bill. Some legal experts have predicted more such lawsuits as long-term care costs rise, but so far that hasn’t materialized, McDowell says.

HOW CREDITORS ARE PAID – INCLUDING MEDICAID

If someone dies with more debt than assets, their estate is considered insolvent and state law generally determines the order in which bills are paid.

Legal and other fees for the administration of the estate are paid, as well as funeral and burial expenses. A temporary living allowance may be provided for spouses and dependent children, depending on state law. Secured debts such as mortgages or car loans must also be paid off or refinanced, otherwise the lender may reclaim the property. Federal taxes and other federal debts have a high priority for repayment, followed by state taxes and debts, Whitty says.

If Medicaid paid for someone’s nursing home expenses, for example, the state can file a claim against the estate or a lien against the person’s home, McDowell says. Medicaid eligibility and recovery rules can be complex and vary from state to state, so it may be worth consulting with an elder law attorney if a parent may need Medicaid. to cover nursing home bills, McDowell says.

She urges planning appropriately “to make sure your family doesn’t end up without a home.”

Last debts to be paid include unsecured debts, such as credit card bills or personal loans. If there is not enough money to pay these debts, the creditors get a share of what is left. Only after creditors have been paid in full can the remaining assets be distributed to the heirs.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN COLLECTORS CALL

Often, creditors won’t even file a claim against an insolvent estate if there’s little hope they’ll recover, Whitty says. But that doesn’t mean they won’t ask surviving family members to pay.

Legally, debt collection agencies are allowed to contact a surviving spouse or executor to request payment, and to contact relatives to ask how to reach a spouse or executor. However, collection agencies aren’t allowed to say the debt is legally owed by a survivor if it isn’t, Whitty says.

“One of the reforms that has been noticeable during my practice is that collection agencies now have to affirmatively state that surviving family members are not obligated to pay the debt,” he says.

Of course, collection agencies aren’t known for always following the law. If you are contacted by an unethical or abusive collector, consider filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can do this, and learn more about your rights under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, at CFPB website.

—————————————————————————————————

This column was provided to The Associated Press by personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a NerdWallet columnist, certified financial planner, and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: [email protected] Twitter: @lizweston.

RELATED LINKS:

NerdWallet: How to Deal With Debt Agents in 3 Steps https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-how-to-deal-with-debt-collectors

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Debt Collection https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/debt-collection/

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

Cougars score first 18 points in NCL II win – Lake County Record-Bee

January 29, 2022

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ROHNERT PARK — It doesn’t seem like anything can slow Upper Lake High School’s women’s basketball team as they inch closer to another league title and playoff berth .

The defending North Central League II champions improved to 6-0 in the league and 14-2 on aggregate with a 70-37 victory over the Technology Titans on Friday night at Rohnert Park. Upper Lake scored the first 18 points before the Titans finally got on the board against the Cougars’ reserves.

“Our goal was just to move the ball around and get some open shots,” Upper Lake head coach Mike Smith said of his team’s ultra-efficient start. “Maddy Young (junior point guard) got the ball into the right hands, and quickly.”

The Cougars played a combination of starters and reserves the rest of the way.

Heaven’Lee Loans Arrow notched its second double-double in as many nights, finishing with team highs in points (21) and rebounds (14). Zoey Petrie added 14 points, Kilyah Whipple nine points, Taylor Minnis seven and Madison Noble six.

Young led the Cougars with five assists and also had two blocks and two points.

With NCL I teams racing to complete their 16-team league schedule by Feb. 12, after losing multiple games to COVID-19 postponements, the Cougars wouldn’t shy away from playing a few non-league matches before the final two. weeks of the regular season as they are likely to finish with just 21-23 contests, well below the allowed maximum of 26. Smith has sought additional competition outside of the NCL II as his team tries to refine their game before the start of the North Coast Section playoffs in mid-February.

“I’ve announced games on MaxPreps,” Smith said, so far with limited success.

The Cougars are scheduled to face the NCL I Roseland University Prep team next Friday in Santa Rosa as well as Piner High School on Feb. 7 in Santa Rosa.

There was no junior varsity game against Tech.

In other girls action on Friday:

Clear Lake 59, OR 41

In Santa Rosa, a 25-point third quarter propelled the Clear Lake Cardinals into the win column by beating the Roseland University Prep Knights in NCL I play.

“We went out and went out and ran a little bit,” Clear Lake head coach Phil Psalmonds said of his team’s big third quarter, which featured nine points from Sierra Bruch, who hit two of his three 3-pointers in the period.

“She didn’t play at the level I’m used to seeing her play, but she did tonight,” Psalmonds said. “She played really well. She was fast and made some great cuts in the basket. She really seemed to pick it up.

Bruch led a balanced offense from Clear Lake that included 11 points from Sydney Howe, eight from Amber Smart, seven each from Montana Wells and Rubi Ford and six from Abby Mertle.

Clear Lake (3-2, 7-8) topped RUP in each of the first three quarters and led 29-20 at halftime.

“Everybody got to play,” Psalmonds said.

The Cardinals host Fort Bragg in varsity-only action Saturday at 2:30 p.m. After that game, the Clear Lake JV and varsity boys teams take on St. Helena.

In Friday’s JV game, Clear Lake beat RUP 47-21 behind 16 points from Kaylah Billig, all of which came in the first half, and 13 more from Kiley Voris.

A trio of Clear Lake defenders — Halley Escalera, Emily Gersalia and Hannah Garrity — took turns stopping RUP’s top scorer, according to assistant head coach Courtney Hiatt.

Clear Lake led 26-17 at halftime.

“Overall they played very well,” Hiatt said of the Cardinals.

Clear Lake returns to action Monday against Middletown in Lakeport at 5:30 p.m.

Steve Carell and John Krasinski reunite on IF | Entertainment

January 26, 2022

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Steve Carell must find John Krasinski on the film “IF”.

The 59-year-old actor will join his former “Office” co-star in the Paramount Pictures project which will be written and directed by John.

Ryan Reynolds, Alan Kim, Cailey Fleming, Louis Gossett Jr., Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fiona Shaw were also cast in the film.

The story is based on Krasinski’s original idea about a child’s journey to rediscover their imagination. He is producing the film through his company Sunday Night with partners Allyson Seeger and Andrew Form.

Ryan also produces through his company, Maximum Effort, with George Dewey serving as executive producer.

The film is due out in November 2023 and will mark the first time Steve and John have worked together since the US adaptation of “The Office” ended in 2013.

Steve also starred in ‘The Rabbit Factor’ – an adaptation of Finnish writer Antti Tuomanien’s dark comedy novel.

He will play insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen, who knows most of the answers in life because he calculates everything down to the last decimal.

However, everything changes for the character when he suddenly loses his job, and other variables come into play.

Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – his peculiar employees and troubling financial troubles included. More urgently, large loans have been taken from criminal elements, and lenders are now keen to get their money back.

He also crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a troubled past. As criminals begin to collect their debts and his relationship with Laura deepens, Henri finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be quantified on a spreadsheet.

Stocks rally after sharp Fed cut and Ukraine jitters | national news

January 24, 2022

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended a volatile day up slightly higher on Monday after reversing a sharp decline precipitated by uncertainty over Federal Reserve inflation-fighting measures and the possibility of conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

A late-day buying spree pushed the S&P 500 to a 0.3% gain after pulling back from so-called corrective territory – a decline of 10% or more from its recent high.

“We’re in this wait-and-see mode, which is almost the most uncomfortable place, so I think the market is really struggling with that,” said Lindsey Bell, chief market and financial strategist at Ally Invest.

The S&P 500 was down as much as 4% on Monday. The index has recovered from an intraday loss that has only been significant three times in the past. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index rose 0.6% after recovering from a decline of nearly 5%.

Early in the day, benchmark equity indices flirted with nearly 4-month lows as investors anticipated guidance from the Fed later this week on its plans to hike interest rates to tame inflation, which is at its highest level in almost four decades.

The Fed’s short-term rate has been close to zero since the pandemic hit the global economy in 2020, fueling consumer and business borrowing and spending.

Corn rising prices in supermarkets, car parks and gas stations raise fears that consumers will reduce their spending to limit the pressure on their budgets. Companies have warned that supply chain issues and rising raw material costs could squeeze profits.

The Fed has kept downward pressure on long-term interest rates by buying trillions of dollars in government and corporate bonds, but those emergency purchases are set to end in March. The rate hike aims to slow down economic growth and the rate of inflation.

“There is short-term panic and part of that is the high level of uncertainty around what the Fed is going to do,” said Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs.

Investors are also watching developments in Ukraine. Tensions soared Monday between Russia and the West over fears that Moscow is planning to invade Ukraine, with NATO outlining potential deployments of troops and ships.

The S&P 500 rose 12.19 points to 4,410.13. It is now 8.1% below the all-time high it reached on January 3.

The Dow rose 99.13 points to 34,364.50. The Nasdaq gained 86.21 points to 13,855.13.

Small company stocks also rebounded. The Russell 2000 rose 45.59 points, or 2.3%, to 2,033.51. The index was down 2.8%.

Bond yields mostly rose after falling earlier in the day. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.77% from 1.74% on Friday night.

Monday’s turnaround follows a three-week decline in the stock market, with tech stocks leading the pullback amid expectations of higher interest rates.

Higher rates make stocks of high-flying technology companies and other expensive growth stocks relatively less attractive. Tech stocks accounted for much of the S&P 500’s early fall. The sector ended up climbing overall, though some big names didn’t fully recover. Apple fell 0.5%.

The sell-off also extended to cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin fell as low as $33,000 overnight, but rallied back above $36,000 by late afternoon. Still, the digital currency is well below the high of over $68,000 reached in November.

Retailers saw some of the biggest gains in the return: the spread jumped nearly 8%.

The market is awaiting news from Fed policymakers after their last meeting ended on Wednesday. Some economists have expressed concern that the Fed is already acting too late to tackle high inflation.

Other economists say they fear the Fed is acting too aggressively. They argue that many rate hikes would risk causing a recession and would in no way slow inflation. From this perspective, high prices primarily reflect tangled supply chains that Fed rate hikes are powerless to remedy.

When the Fed raises its short-term rate, it tends to make borrowing more expensive for consumers and businesses, which slows down the economy in an effort to reduce inflation. This could reduce corporate earnings, which tend to dictate stock prices over the long term.

The Fed’s benchmark short-term interest rate is currently in a range of 0% to 0.25%. Investors now see a nearly 65% ​​chance that the Fed will hike the rate four times by the end of the year, up from 35% a month ago, according to CME Group’s Fed Watch tool.

Wall Street anticipates the first interest rate hike in March. In a note to clients this weekend, Goldman Sachs forecast four rate hikes this year, but said the Fed could be forced to raise rates five times or more if supply chain issues and wage growth keep inflation high.

The European STOXX 600 index closed down 3.6% on worries about Fed tightening and worries about the situation around Ukraine. The Russian ruble also fell after US President Joe Biden indicated that in the event of a Russian invasion, the United States could block Russian banks from accessing dollars or impose other sanctions.

Investors are watching the latest round of corporate earnings, in part to gauge how companies are handling rising prices and what they plan to do as inflation continues to pressure operations.

On Tuesday, American Express, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft publish their results. Boeing and Tesla release their results on Wednesday. McDonald’s, Southwest Airlines and Apple release their results on Thursday.

———

Associated Press reporters Christopher Rugaber in Washington, Stan Choe in New York and David McHugh in Frankfurt contributed. 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.

Stocks fall, worst week since March 2020; Netflix Tanks | national news

January 21, 2022

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Stocks fell again on Wall Street on Friday, capping the S&P 500’s worst weekly decline since the pandemic began.

Investors are increasingly worried about rising inflation and the aggressiveness of the Federal Reserve in raising interest rates to curb it. Record-low rates helped support the broader market as the economy absorbed a hit from the pandemic in 2020 and then recovered over the past two years.

The S&P 500 fell 84.79 points, or 1.9%, to 4,397.94. The benchmark has now slipped for three straight weeks to start the year. It fell 5.7% this week, its worst weekly drop since March 2020, when the pandemic sent stocks into a bear market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 450.02 points, or 1.3%, to 34,265.37 and also fell for its third consecutive week.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 385.10, or 2.7%, to 13,768.92. With investors expecting the Fed to start raising rates as soon as its March policy meeting, stocks of expensive technology companies and other expensive growth stocks looked relatively less attractive. The index has fallen for four straight weeks and is now more than 10% below its most recent high, putting it in what Wall Street considers a market correction. The Nasdaq is down 14.3% from the record set on Nov. 19.

“As always, once volatility starts, investors are bent on exacerbating downside volatility,” said Nancy Tengler, CEO of Laffer Tengler Investments.

Technology and communications stocks were among the market’s biggest drags on Friday. Video streaming service Netflix plunged 21.8% after posting another quarter of disappointing subscriber growth. Disney, which has also been trying to grow its subscriber base for its streaming service, fell 6.9%.

Treasury yields fell sharply as investors turned to safer investments. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.76% from 1.83% on Thursday evening. The decline weighed on bank stocks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Wells Fargo fell 2.4% and Bank of New York Mellon 4.6%.

Inflation fears and worries about the impact of rising interest rates have caused a shift across the market after a strong year of gains in 2021. Tech stocks and consumer-focused companies are fallen into disgrace. Energy is the only S&P 500 sector to post a gain; manufacturers of household goods and utilities, which are generally considered less risky investments, held up better than the rest of the market.

Supply chain issues and higher raw material costs have prompted companies across a wide range of industries to raise prices for finished goods. Many of these companies have warned investors that their profit margins and operations will continue to feel the pinch in 2022.

Rising costs have raised fears that consumers will begin to cut back on spending due to continued pressure on their wallets. Government retail sales data for December showed an unexpected drop in spending.

The Fed is now expected to raise interest rates sooner and more often than previously announced to combat rising inflation that threatens to derail a fresh economic recovery. The Fed’s benchmark short-term interest rate is currently in a range of 0% to 0.25%. Investors now see a nearly 70% chance that the Fed will raise the rate by at least one percentage point by the end of the year, according to the CME Group’s Fed Watch tool.

“The market is working on digesting the magnitude of monetary policy changes during 2022,” said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at US Bank Wealth Management.

Investors will be watching closely as Fed officials gather for their final policy meeting next week. Some economists fear that the central bank has been slow to act to fight inflation. Consumer prices rose 7% in December from a year earlier, the biggest increase in nearly four decades.

“In our view, the biggest near-term risk is right in front of us: that the Fed is seriously behind the curve and has to seriously fight inflation,” wrote economists from BofA Global Research led by Ethan Harris in a report. “It’s been a long time since the markets had to deal with a serious inflation-fighting Fed.”

Investors have also been busy reviewing the latest round of corporate earnings, which could give them a better idea of ​​how the companies are dealing with lingering supply chain issues and higher costs.

Paints and coatings maker PPG Industries fell 3.1% after warning investors that it continued to face high raw material costs and supply chain issues. Surgical device maker Intuitive Surgical fell 7.9% after warning that a focus on COVID-19 cases was causing delays in performing other procedures.

Peloton rose 11.7% after the exercise bike and treadmill maker said second-quarter revenue would meet previous estimates. The stock fell a day earlier after CNBC reported that Peloton was temporarily halting production of exercise equipment to stem a drop in sales.

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

Blackfoot farmers can sue over USDA loan, judge says

January 21, 2022

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By Andrew Westney (January 20, 2022, 8:13 PM EST) – A federal judge in Montana on Wednesday dismissed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s attempt to evade allegations by members of the Blackfeet tribe that the department discriminated against them by wrongfully withholding nearly $900,000 in farm loans and other aid.

Robert and Joan Wellman, along with Daniel and Alcinda Barcus, who farm and ranch on land they own on the Blackfeet Reservation, hit officials with the USDA and its Glacier County Agricultural Services Agency in March. with a complaint alleging the government violated equal credit opportunity. Act by making it more difficult for them to obtain financial aid during the reconfiguration of agencies…

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Aaron Riley on Cannabis Investing News

January 17, 2022

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Aaron Riley Cannabis

Due to a combination of increased legalization, increased consumer demand and advances in medical technology, increased investment is expected in the rapid growth of many marijuana-based businesses, both in the States United and abroad.

Aaron Riley is a California cannabis entrepreneur and investor, and a regular contributor to several cannabis investing publications. We asked Mr. Riley for his thoughts on some of the latest news about MMJ and related products by writing the following article.

If you’re considering investing in the cannabis market, here’s a list of some of the latest industry happenings to help reveal some disruptive opportunities.

The New Year welcomes the legalization of marijuana in many US states

January 2022 marks the implementation of new marijuana laws in many US states, marking the next phase of cannabis legalization. Aaron Riley of California explains that acceptance and regulation is happening at different speeds in each state, ranging from limited use in certain medical settings to full legalization for all adults.

Here are some examples of changes taking place in January at the state level:

  • California introduces a law that will allow hospital patients to use marijuana for medical purposes.
  • Montana will legalize the retail sale of marijuana, with adults over 21 allowed to consume up to 1 ounce of cannabis per purchase.
  • Colorado allows medical cannabis users to purchase up to 8 grams per day.
  • In Philadelphia, job seekers will no longer be required to take a marijuana drug test as a condition of their employment.
  • In Arkansas, it is now possible for doctors to use telehealth services to recommend medical marijuana to patients.

Aaron Riley says that as a result, experts predict a wide range of retail and medical opportunities for the cannabis sector that companies will capitalize on.

UK builds world’s first carbon-negative cannabis grow facility

According to pharmaceutical cultivation company Glass Pharms, the world’s first carbon-negative cannabis cultivation factory will be built in the UK.

The factory, which was set up to produce high quality medical cannabis, will be built on a 2.5 hectare site in the south of England as part of a £22.5 million investment ( $30.4 million).

Aaron Riley explains that this development showcases the green credentials of the cannabis industry, as well as the rapid growth of the medical cannabis sector over the past year.

Currently, almost all medical cannabis in the UK is imported. Glass Pharms hopes to spark a wave of investment in domestic cannabis production in the UK, after being granted the first commercial license to grow cannabis in the UK by the government.

Undercurrent proposals, the plant will convert food waste into electricity to heat cannabis greenhouses as part of a series of measures that will help the site achieve carbon negative status.

Glass Pharms says it hopes to start supplying medical marijuana to customers later in 2022.

Aaron Riley Cannabis

Chicago Atlantic IPO shows strength of cannabis investment industry

Cannabis-focused investment firm Chicago Atlantic closed its IPO in mid-December after raising approximately $100 million in proceeds from the sale of 6.2 million common shares, underscoring the strength of the cannabis investment industry through 2022.

Aaron Riley of California explains that the company, which was founded in 2018, provides home loans to customers who have struggled to obtain traditional financing to set up cannabis plants in the United States.

The successful IPO was one of many high-profile cannabis IPOs in 2021, highlighting the continued growth of the industry globally.

Other successful IPOs include cannabidiol capsule maker HempFusion, whose launch on the Toronto Stock Exchange in January resulted in a better-than-expected market valuation of $175 million, and cannabis giant Leafly. which went public via a SPAC in August. which valued it at $532 million.

The sector’s growth shows no signs of stopping, with a report of Grand View Search suggesting that the marijuana market, which was worth approximately $9 billion in 2020, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26.7% through 2028.

Malta becomes first EU country to legalize marijuana

Malta has become the first country in the European Union to legalize sales of marijuana for personal use according to Aaron Riley.

The decision by the Maltese parliament in mid-December allows anyone over the age of 18 to buy up to 7 grams of the drug, while it will also be legal to buy and grow the drug at home. House.

The announcement by the EU’s smallest member state is the first of a number of planned liberalization laws governing marijuana use amid changing attitudes towards drugs across the continent.

Aaron Riley says Germany has announced plans to establish a legal market for cannabis use, while in Italy a referendum on personal use of the substance is being organised.

Switzerland has also announced plans to create a legal market for the substance, while Luxembourg has already passed legislation allowing adults to grow up to four marijuana plants at home.

Conclusion

Growing liberalization is paving the way for increased demand for cannabis around the world as we approach 2022, with several US-based marijuana companies signaling interest in expanding operations on the continent. As a result, Aaron Riley from California believes cannabis will be a great investment for entrepreneurs over the next year and beyond.

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBMT) Sees Significant Increase in Short-Term Interest

January 16, 2022

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Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBMT) saw a sharp rise in short-term interest in December. As of December 31, there was short interest totaling 9,800 shares, an increase of 92.2% from the total of 5,100 shares as of December 15. Approximately 0.2% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 8,300 shares, the day-to-cover ratio is currently 1.2 days.

In other Eagle Bancorp Montana News, Director Kenneth M. Walsh sold 10,000 shares of the company in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 2. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.47, for a total transaction of $224,700.00. The sale was disclosed in an SEC filing, available at the SEC website. 7.70% of the shares are held by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their positions in the stock. HoldCo Asset Management LP acquired a new equity stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana in Q2 valued at approximately $3,112,000. Millennium Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana in Q2, valued at approximately $927,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana by 5.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 85,155 shares of the bank valued at $1,958,000 after purchasing an additional 4,263 shares during the period. John G Ullman & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana in Q3 valued at approximately $1,227,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in shares of Eagle Bancorp Montana by 5.9% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 342,754 shares of the bank valued at $7,883,000 after purchasing an additional 19,205 shares during the period. 40.89% of the shares are held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

(A d)

Other investors will focus on the biggest players in the industry – like Intel, Samsung or Qualcomm… But did you know…. There are potentially bigger opportunities with these four companies flying “under the radar”.

EBMT opened at $23.58 on Friday. Eagle Bancorp Montana has a one-year low of $20.00 and a one-year high of $26.13. The company has a market capitalization of $160.11 million, a P/E ratio of 8.86 and a beta of 0.66. The company has a debt ratio of 0.22, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 0.84. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $22.73 and its 200-day simple moving average is $22.45.

Eagle Bancorp Montana Inc (NASDAQ:EBMT) last released quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 25. The bank reported EPS of $0.73 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $0.72 by $0.01. Eagle Bancorp Montana had a return on equity of 11.56% and a net margin of 17.92%. The company posted revenue of $25.38 million for the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $24.40 million. As a group, analysts predict Eagle Bancorp Montana will post earnings per share of 2.46 for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 3. Investors of record on Friday, November 12 received a dividend of $0.125. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 10. This represents a dividend of $0.50 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.12%. Eagle Bancorp Montana’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 18.80%.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Eagle Bancorp Montana from a “held” rating to a “sell” rating in a Wednesday, Jan. 5, report.

About Eagle Bancorp Montana

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc is a bank holding company that provides loan and depository services. It focuses on residential mortgages, commercial real estate mortgages, commercial business loans, agricultural loans, and second and home equity mortgages. The company was founded on October 28, 1997 and is based in Helena, MT.

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Ball State Art Professor Showcases Art in Exhibit and Reflects on His Career

January 12, 2022

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When Audrey Barcio, assistant professor of art at Ball State, was a child, she watched her grandmother paint and sat beside her, working with her own watercolors, bonding over artistic creation, growing closer as they painted and discovered new techniques.

Barcio always knew she was going to be an artist and her grandmother introduced her to the area of ​​art that interested her the most: abstraction.

“She was a self-taught and absolutely amazing painter,” Barcio said. “The reason I fell into abstraction was because as she got older she lost her sight. Instead of traditional figurative paintings…She started working very large and working in abstraction, and his work became very expressive and bold.

Now Barcio has found his own distinctive voice as an artist and commemorates his grandmother through the work of his new exhibition, “no subject (non-attachment),at Echo Arts, a contemporary art gallery in Bozeman, Montana.

Barcio said the underlying theme of the show is communication, thinking about the influences it has on everyday life, while paying homage to the artists who came before it.

Ball State Assistant Professor of Art Audrey Barcio’s art is exhibited at the Echo Arts Gallery in Bozeman, Montana. This is Barcio’s ninth solo exhibition. Audrey Barcio, photo provided

“This body of paintings is the first time I have given my work a lot of personal meaning,” she said. “The canvases are sewn together. In my twenties, I had a car accident that caused me to lose several fingers from my dominant hand. I introduced sewing on these canvases as a material reference to this experience.

Barcio has 24 works on display in the exhibition, which she says is her ninth solo exhibition. The paintings vary in size and were completed within the last year. She said it was interesting to see it all come together, with each painting influenced by a different time of year.

Barcio flew to Montana for the December 10, 2021 opening and gave an artist a talk about her work. She said it’s always difficult for an artist to visualize their work in the studio in the same way it will be exhibited, so it’s important to see it at the gallery.

“Everything living together in one space is really satisfying,” she said. “It tells you so much about your work in a way that you can’t normally see.”

Barcio said he discovered the Echo Arts gallery through Sahra Beaupré, owner of the gallery. The two met in 2015 when Barcio was a graduate student at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Barcio and Beaupré have stayed in touch since they met and began planning the exhibit about a year ago.

“An interesting conversation I had with [Barcio] flashed through my mind and wondered what she was doing,” Beaupré said. “I read everything she had done and fell even more in love with what she was working on.”

Beaupré said she is interested in Barcio’s work because she thinks it is very in-depth and thoughtful, including modernist and abstract references, as well as references to art history.

“These three elements combined are really what initially interested me in Audrey’s paintings for the exhibition,” said Beaupré. “They are really beautiful all together.”

The community’s response to Barcio’s exposure has been positive, Beaupré said, and she believes Barcio is a ‘good guide’ for her students who can give them more advice on college and life afterwards. .

“You can always tell who a teacher is. They are very open, very receptive and very attentive, and [Barcio] achieved all the objectives,” said Beaupré. “I think she shows her students how to think about what college they’ll go to, where they’ll work… I think that’s the best kind of information to pass on to your students, beyond love that you have for the material.”

Beaupre believes Barcio can guide students in a unique way due to his own college experience, as Barcio was the first person in his family to attend a four-year university. Barcio said it was difficult for her to be a first-generation student.

She attended the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where she earned a degree in Art Education and a minor in Art History. She worked throughout college as a waitress, taking extra time to complete her undergraduate degree so she wouldn’t take out student loans and be able to continue paying for her education.

After graduating from IUPUI, she worked as a substitute teacher and taught classes at Herron as an adjunct teacher, as well as community classes and worked at Big Car Art Collaborative, a nonprofit arts organization in Indianapolis.

In 2008, Barcio and her husband, Phillip Barcio, moved to San Francisco, where she returned to work in a restaurant because art jobs in the area paid very low wages. She became a sommelier – a wine expert – before she and her husband moved to Los Angeles.

While in Los Angeles, a friend of Barcio’s reminded her that she had moved out West because she planned to go to college.

“He was like, ‘You’re an artist – what do you do?'” Barcio said. “And I was like, ‘I don’t know,’ and that process of questioning got me back on my path. Graduate school was a really good time because it was my first time remembered that I had really taken the time [to focus on art].”

After completing graduate school, Barcio began working at Kavi Gupta, an art gallery in Chicago, where she met various artists, including Beverly Fishman, former head of painting at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Assistant art professor Audrey Barcio poses for a photo Jan. 7 in her studio. Barcio was the first in her family to attend college and earned her master’s degree at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Rylan Capper, DN

“[Barcio] was basically my liaison, who was my go-to person at the gallery when things came up or if I had questions,” Fishman said. “She was 100% professional and absolutely responsible. She’s super smart and I really like her.

Fishman said she always knew Barcio was an ambitious artist, so it was only a matter of time before she left the gallery to teach. She and Barcio don’t usually talk about education when they’re together, but she can imagine it being articulate, engaging and relatable.

“She’s a strong woman, and that’s really important for young artists,” Fishman said. “To see women in positions of power and to be able to emulate that idea that you could be an artist – and you can also be a mentor and an educator – is really important.”

For Barcio, teaching and creating her own art go hand in hand, and she believes her job at Ball State was the first job she had that encouraged her to be an artist.

“A lot of times when you’re an artist, you kind of hide the fact that you’re an artist because your work really wants you to be committed to them and what they do,” Barcio said. “I’m a natural extrovert and so, for me, teaching is perfect because when I’m working in my studio, it’s just me, and it can be really lonely.”

Teaching also gives Barcio the opportunity to share his passion for art history with students, reminding them why it matters to them in their careers. She also likes that teaching gives her the opportunity to examine more of the production process, especially in painting.

Barcio said there are a lot of responsibilities in teaching, which she takes very seriously. She includes various topics in her class, comparing artists of the past to those working now and what their differences are. She also shares her own experiences with students, inspiring them to look to the next chapter in their creative lives.

“That’s why I think it took me a while to get into teaching as a profession,” she says. “I really wanted to experience what it was like to be an artist and live in different cities and have a variety of different jobs. I wanted to have my own personal success and accolades, and I didn’t want to go from undergraduate to graduate in teaching, because that’s not the life that many people have, or that my students will have.

Contact Maya Wilkins with comments at [email protected] or on Twitter @mayawilkinss.


ND at $ 149 million in federal rent assistance

January 10, 2022

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North Dakota is preparing to return $ 149 million in rent assistance to the federal government.

According to Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota “is set to return $ 149 million of the $ 352 million it received from the federal government’s emergency rent assistance program.” Why is North Dakota trying to send all this money back? Well, a representative from the North Dakota Department of Social Services reportedly said it was unrealistic for that amount of money to be spent in the state. But housing advocates believe more needs to be done before funds are returned.

It turns out that many North Dakotas who need help have yet to receive help.

You don’t have to dig very deep to find that the Rental Assistance Program is perfect. When you go to North Dakota Help is here website, the first thing you see on the site is where you can go for help. Scrolling down to the next item on the page reveals that there are so many requests for help that North Dakota Housing Services cannot keep up with the responses.

Will people in North Dakota who are waiting for rent assistance be able to get help?

There would be a deadline for spending the $ 149 million. But if people are clearly having trouble getting the promised aid, why wouldn’t North Dakota try to get an extension to send the money back? Hopefully those who need help can get it before the funds come back.

KEEP READING: Discover The Richest Person In Each State

Stop NM’s debt cycle, cap high interest loans at 36%

January 9, 2022

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Every day in New Mexico, people find themselves trapped in the cycle of high interest consumer loans – in New Mexico, that means an annual interest rate of up to 175% – unable to escape it. These installment loans and auto title loans are sometimes referred to as “payday loans” because the payments are tied to when the borrower is paid. In New Mexico, there have been numerous attempts over the years to reduce the exorbitant interest charged, but these lenders have been allowed to continue operating at rates prohibited in many other states. It is high time to put an end to these predatory lending practices. We encourage Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico legislature to stop these high interest loans.

Here’s the scenario: A family’s income is less than what it needs for basic necessities or the family faces an unexpected expense, such as a car repair, and borrows a few hundred dollars from a lender. expensive, at an annual interest rate of 175%. It’s an option they’ve seen heavily advertised, touting no credit checks and quick cash. When the time comes to repay the loan, the family does not have the extra money to pay or is forced to transfer the money needed to pay for other expenses in order to make a payment on the loan. Over time, the family may be encouraged to refinance the loan to ease the difficulty of repaying, which leads to increased debt and ultimately a debt trap when they cannot repay the loan. .

In New Mexico, we’re letting that cycle go on and on, with an interest rate cap of 175%. There are options to this predation. Credit unions across the state offer small loans at a reasonable interest rate – well below 36% – to borrowers, often without a credit check. Almost a million New Mexicans are already members of a credit union, which makes this option easy and accessible. City and county governments, schools, colleges, and businesses across the state adhere to an alternative program, TrueConnect, which allows employees to take out small loans that are repaid over time in the form of payroll deductions. pays, with an interest rate between 20% and 25%. . Falling interest rates don’t mean people will run out of options, but the options available will allow borrowers to repay the loans they take out.

Make no mistake: High-interest lenders, 89% of which are out-of-state companies, are taking money out of the pockets of hard-working New Mexicans who are just trying to make ends meet. No one wants to be in need of a short term loan, and those who do should not be fresh meat for loan sharks, eager to kill someone else’s misfortune.

Capping interest rates at unacceptable levels has enjoyed broad bipartisan support for decades. President George W. Bush enacted the Military Loans Act in 2006, which capped rates at 36% for active duty military personnel and their spouses. States across the country, from New York to Nebraska, from Maryland to Montana, cap their loan rates at 36% or less. Over 80% of New Mexicans surveyed support a capitalization rate of 36% or less. This is the rate that we have proposed again, and it should be adopted.

We urge the Governor and the Legislative Assembly to pass legislation without excuse or delay to protect low-income New Mexicans.


Agriculture Secretary Ready for Second Round of Meat Packaging Reforms | 406 Politics

January 7, 2022

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You could say Monday was not Tom Vilsack’s first rodeo.

President Joe Biden was figuratively on the saddle to rescue both cash-strapped ranchers and consumers alike by a meat-packing industry in which four big players control over 85% of the market.

Vilsack, who was also Agriculture Secretary under Barack Obama, had done it before, when the effort was wiped out faster than can be said to be re-election.

But this time, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack is optimistic the outcome will be different, if only for another reason as Biden having $ 1 billion to increase the number of independent meat packers competing with the Big Four. industry: Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS and National Beef packaging.

The theory goes like this: if there is another buyer in the auction barn, there will be competition which will naturally increase the price paid to ranchers for the cattle. The plan, announced this week, drew comments from Republican and Democratic politicians in Montana, signaling that they also wanted market reform. Livestock sales were about $ 1.5 billion to the state’s economy in 2020, but that number was $ 100 million lower than sales the year before, as supply issues hit farmers. breeders and consumers directly into their wallets.

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“With the US bailout, we have the resources to actually do something on the funding side, and we are putting the finishing touches on some rules and regulations that will be coming in 2022 to strengthen enforcement,” Vilsack told the Lee Montana Newspapers Wednesday.

“Our belief is that by increasing capacity, we increase competition. When you do this, you will help farmers take better advantage of the market. And you’re going to give consumers choice in the marketplace, which we think will moderate the price increases as well. And secondly, you want to make sure that there are two sides to it, you want to make sure that you have enough information so that farmers can determine whether or not they are getting fair treatment.

“And it touches on the transparency of market reporting that is necessary. I need Congress to continue to expand the mandatory reporting efforts that will allow us to get information. And you need, I think, Congress do what Sen. (Jon) Tester and Senator (Chuck) Grassley are interested in doing, which is to create more market transparency, to have the right level of cash transactions that gives you an idea of ​​what really is the market.

The US Department of Agriculture will invest $ 375 million in gap funding grants for independent processors to meet a need for more processing capacity. One of the lessons of recent years is that a single disruption between the four major meat processors can derail the beef market for ranchers and consumers.

In August 2019, a fire at a Tyson Foods packaging plant in Kansas created a bottleneck at both ends of the United States’ meat supply chain. Pastoralists with livestock to sell have been supported by lower production, resulting in oversupply and lower livestock prices as a result. On the consumer side, less beef was arriving in supermarkets, leading to higher prices as supply failed to meet demand.

A few months later, a ransomware attack on JBS reduced the number of slaughtered cattle by 40,000 carcasses in just a day and a half.

The USDA will invest an additional $ 150 million in the 15 independent processor projects that are nearing completion. An additional $ 225 million will be invested in projects that can be put online by the summer. Federally backed loans totaling $ 275 million will be made available for independent meat processing in underserved communities.

In addition, $ 100 million will be spent to create a skilled workforce, which Montana meat processors said earlier this week is necessary for any independent processing expansion to be successful. There aren’t enough qualified meat cutters currently to staff Montana’s meat packaging industry, said Lyle Happel, of the Montana Meat Processors Association.

Demand for independent meat processing increased in the pandemic’s first year, as disease and death from COVID-19 hit packing plants at the four major slaughterhouses. At least 59,000 meat packaging workers have been sickened by COVID-19 in the first 12 months of the pandemic in the United States. At least 269 workers have died from COVID-19. These numbers were reported to the U.S. Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee on October 27, 2021.

In Montana, where 31 meat processors are state inspected and 28 federally inspected, there is growth in the industry, although this can be difficult to measure as some activities are disguised as existing processors passing from a state inspection designation to a federal inspection designation. Federal meat inspection is what is required to sell meat across state borders, which attracts processors who are expanding into multi-state markets.

The USDA has $ 32 million available for 167 existing processors to go for federal inspection so they can reach more customers.

The new rules, to which Vilsack refers, to control anti-competitive practices, include ensuring that independent processors gain a foothold in retail markets.

Accessing space in grocery store refrigerators is no easy task, said Walter Schweitzer, president of the Montana Farmer’s Union. Just as big brands buy from shelves in the grain aisle, refrigerated spaces are real property that big meat suppliers can secure and crowd out from their competition.

“A big part of the piece of this puzzle is that if we’re going to have a more competitive market, we’re not only going to have to force these packaging companies to play fairly, but we’re going to have to force retailers to play fairly, too,” said Schweitzer.

The MFU rushed to reform country-of-origin labeling for meat. Currently, “Product of USA” labels on meat packaging in the store are not limited to beef raised in the United States. The largest meat processors process beef from Canada and Mexico at their 50 packing plants in the United States. When meat is mixed during processing, this country of origin label ends up being applied to the meat of all three countries.

The United States, under a law championed by Democratic Senator from Montana Tester, attempted to require a US-only COOL label, but Mexico and Canada opposed, arguing the label violated the label. ‘North American Free Trade Agreement. The World Trade Organization then concluded that Canada and Mexico could impose tariffs on other U.S. exports in retaliation, after which the federal government killed COOL without challenging the WTO.

How the labeling ended is a sore point at Schweitzer.

“You know, this Product of USA label as it is now is fraudulent,” said Schweitzer. “The United States being one of the largest beef importers in the world, and you have processing capacity owned by the Brazilian cartel (JBS). They mix it up. You know they are and they proudly do it. And then they put the label on it.

The MFU wants country of origin labeling to be mandatory and applied only to American beef. They support a tester bill to do it.

Vilsack said the labeling being rolled out under the Biden administration is voluntary, although the U.S.-only labeling requirements are there. The Agriculture Secretary expects that once independent processors become more involved and the US label is affixed to their product, the biggest packers of meat will feel market pressure to do the same.

Could they skip the labeling? “Well, sure, in which case when you go to the grocery store you can know that the product you are buying at one point had no connection with the United States, compared to this local producer who received a grant. or a loan from the USDA to produce its own processing facility that puts a label on it and says “not only is it a product of the United States, but it’s a product of Joe Smith’s farm on the road” , said Vilsack. “I guarantee you. I believe people will buy a package for Joe with the Joe Smith label on it. And that will increase the market share, if you will, to labeled products, as opposed to unlabelled products.”

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Asylum? Canadian mask critic detained by border patrol in Montana

January 5, 2022

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Latest news from the get-go: According to CTV, a Canadian, who has criticized mask warrants and other lockdown measures, has been arrested by the US Border Patrol after crossing the border near Plentywood, MT.

It makes you wonder how many times we have seen this happen in record numbers here in America. Illegal aliens are flocking across our southern border, no COVID test or vaccine passport is required. Then they’re shipped on the taxpayer’s penny across the country and allowed to stay here in the United States. But if you * legally * want to cross the border and come here from Canada to visit family in Montana … no you can’t have it without jumping through a bunch of hoops.

That’s what makes this news from Plentywood, MT even more interesting. Apparently, a Canadian who criticized mask warrants and other lockdown measures, and risked jail time for his protests, has now been arrested by a US border patrol after crossing the border from Montana.

CTV News had the storyy from Calgary, Alberta:

After failing to show up on the last weekend of an intermittent jail sentence, former Calgary mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston was arrested Tuesday morning by US Border Patrol agents while ‘he was trying to cross on foot from Saskatchewan to Montana.

Johnston is being held in the town of Plentywood on Monday. as officials work to get him back to Canada.

The Calgary Herald has more information on his charges:

Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Adam Germain sentenced Johnston in September to 40 days in jail to serve the weekend for contempt, for violating three court orders directing him to comply with public health measures such as masking during the third wave of COVID-19.

Sounds like he might be a controversial figure in Canadian politics, but does that sound like a real case of political asylum to you? Could Montana officials do something to prevent him from being returned to Canada?

* The history of the note has been updated. The initial report described him as a pastor.

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After the great 2021, Wall Street starts the new year on a positive note | national news

January 3, 2022

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Shares rose in morning trading on Wall Street on Monday into a strong start to the year after the 2021 close with big gains for the third year in a row.

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% at 10:21 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 100 points, or 0.3%, to 36,436 and the Nasdaq rose 0.5%.

Tech companies and a mix of retailers have gained ground. Tesla jumped 8.9% after reporting high delivery figures for 2021.

Bond yields have increased significantly. The 10-year Treasury yield fell from 1.51% on Friday to 1.60%. Banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans, have gained ground. Bank of America rose 3.8%.

Smaller company stocks outperformed the market as a whole, a sign that investors were confident about economic growth. The Russell 2000 rose 1.4%,

Healthcare companies fell widely and controlled gains elsewhere in the market. Pfizer lost 4% despite news that the United States is set to potentially expand its COVID-19 booster shots for children as young as 12 years old.

A mix of household goods makers also fell.

Investors are heading into a new year with the virus pandemic still posing a threat to the economy. Wall Street has been busy since December monitoring the latest wave of cases with the omicron variant.

Businesses and consumers also continue to face supply chain issues and persistently rising inflation that has made a wide range of products more expensive. Rising costs could threaten to cut consumer spending and weaken economic growth.

The long list of concerns predicted a choppy end through 2021, but didn’t stop the broader market from posting another year of solid gains. The S&P 500 finished with a gain of 26.9% in 2021, for a total return of 28.7%, including dividends. This is almost as much as the benchmark gained in 2019.

Investors have several key economic data to look forward to in the first week of the New Year. The Institute for Supply Management will give investors an update on the manufacturing sector on Tuesday and the service sector on Thursday.

The big event on the economic calendar this week is the Labor Department’s employment report on Friday.

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


Federal law still treats marijuana as an illegal drug, creating headaches for states

January 1, 2022

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Wisconsin Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of grant-supported news bureaus and a coalition of donors as a 501c (3) public charity. Wisconsin Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact editor Ruth Conniff with any questions: [email protected] Follow Wisconsin Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.



SEC: Payday loan program robs investors of millions | national news

December 28, 2021

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MIAMI (AP) – The owner of a Miami-based payday loan company defrauded hundreds of investors out of millions of dollars and paid others back with money he acquired through a Ponzi, according to a newspaper article and federal regulators.

Around 500 investors, including many from the Venezuelan community of South Florida, were won over by Efrain Betancourt Jr.’s sales pitch on the high returns on their investments in his short-term loan operation Sky Group USA, the Miami Herald reported.

the Miami Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Betancourt, 33, and his company in September, the report notes. The agency accuses Betancourt of having committed securities violations as part of a scheme that authorities qualify as “affinity fraud”.

In addition to the SEC complaint, a half-dozen other lawsuits and arbitration cases have been filed against Betancourt, according to the newspaper. He has not been criminally charged.

Betancourt spent part of the $ 66 million raised from promissory notes for a lavish lifestyle that included a waterside condo in Miami and a wedding with his fourth wife in Monaco, according to the SEC complaint . He also accuses him of transferring money to his ex-wife and friends and of using at least $ 19 million from a Ponzi scheme to pay interest to certain investors in order to keep at bay.

The SEC complaint says Sky Group and Betancourt falsely told investors the company would use investor money only to make payday loans and cover the costs of those loans. They have been promised annual rates of return as high as 120% on the Notes.

“We continue to caution investors to be wary of any investment that promises returns that are too good to be true,” Eric I. Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami regional office, told the Herald.

The SEC is asking for permanent injunctions and financial penalties.

The program lasted from January 2016 to March 2020, just before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the complaint, which indicates that when countless borrowers defaulted on their payday loans, Sky Group encountered a serious problem with cash flow and was unable to pay the interest. on investor promissory notes.

Court records and legal documents indicate that Betancourt also falsely claimed to have degrees in law and computer engineering in the United States.

Betancourt has repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a deposition earlier this month with a lawyer representing former clients, the Herald reported. In a deposition with the same lawyer in May, he admitted that he did not have degrees in law and computer engineering in the United States. But he insisted that his payday lending business was legitimate and called investors “lenders” involved in funding short-term, high-interest loans, which he called “business transactions.”

“I made it very clear that they were investing in a payday portfolio,” Betancourt told attorney Rick Diaz.

In a motion to dismiss the complaint, Betancourt defense attorney Mark David Hunter argued that promissory notes are loans and not securities, such as stocks and bonds. Therefore, Hunter said, Betancourt and Sky Group did not break the law when they failed to repay the lenders.

Diaz described Betancourt as a “mini-Madoff,” a reference to the late New York financial adviser Bernard Madoff, who led the biggest Ponzi scheme in US history.

“I have dealt with, filed for and defended Ponzi schemes over the years,” he told the Herald. “Efrain Betancourt is the sweetest, most cruel and arrogant, selfish and narcissistic of all.”

Diaz’s client Andres Zorrilla told the newspaper he grew suspicious when Betancourt didn’t take his calls and ignored his emails when he tried to withdraw $ 30,000 from his investments in the business to help cover her mother’s medical expenses. One of her emails included a photo of her mother showing the surgical stitches from brain surgery.

“The guy was just stealing money,” said Zorilla, 38, who added that he also referred his wife, brother and several other business associates to the Betancourt company. Together, Zorrilla and her immediate family invested $ 150,000 in the business. They received a few interest payments, but lost all of their principal.

“He made a lot of money and went a little crazy with the money,” Zorrilla said.

For more information on copyright, see the distributor of this article, The Miami Herald.


After 2 years of COVID, farmers seek to make a difference in 2022

December 23, 2021

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Wisconsin farmers have had a tough few years. Recent investments could help reverse this trend.

An extremely difficult profession for decades, farming in Wisconsin has only become more difficult in almost two years since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Difficulties in finding sufficient manpower. Increased spending. Sales of animals delayed or abandoned due to backlog of meat processing. Growing Mental Health Problems of Farmers.

These and other problems, added to the economic woes that have caused a record number dairy farmers to shut their doors and grain farmers to struggle even before the pandemic began, have created historic challenges for the state’s agricultural sector, said Randy Romanski, secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Commerce and Consumer Protection (DATCP) of Wisconsin. But recent investments from federal and state agencies are expected to help farmers as they continue to weather the challenges.

“Obviously, there are challenges we still face because of COVID. Unfortunately, these did not leave, ”Romanski said. “What we hear from farmers is that the prices they receive for their produce are going up in many cases. But the challenge is that their costs have also increased. Seeds, fertilizers, equipment, it’s all costing more this year.

Hardship during the pandemic, in addition to half a dozen years of costs exceeding income, is forcing farmers across the state to scramble to stay financially viable, Buffalo County dairy farmer Joe said. Bragger. While higher milk prices and a bumper grain harvest have provided a much needed increase in income, that money is being offset in many cases by rapidly rising costs, he said.

Fertilizers cost double or triple normal prices, he said, and a labor shortage means hiring costs are higher as well. Supply chain bottlenecks have drastically increased other prices farmers pay, he said.

“I’m told the costs are going to stay high for over a year,” Bragger said. “Farmers are going to have to be very careful about how much we spend on certain items. You really have to ask yourself with every purchase, is it worth it?

RELATED: Farm to School Program Hopes State Can Solve Supply Chain Problems in School Cafeterias

Wisconsin farmers like Bragger are grateful to receive the highest grain and milk prices they have seen in years, said Wisconsin Farmers Union president Darin Von Ruden. But in too many cases, “farmers are using this money to offset losses they have suffered for years,” said Von Ruden, a dairy farmer near Westby.

Other challenges, including a continuing shortage of meat processors, have left farmers waiting a year or more for their animals to be slaughtered, which has significantly slowed sales. A long-standing milk pricing policy that places Wisconsin dairy farmers disadvantaged and an agricultural market in which farmers often receive little money for the sale of their produce needs to be overhauled to allow more producers to be successful, said Von Ruden.

“Right now, taxpayers are paying for [agriculture subsidies] in addition to the higher costs in the market, ”he said. “It’s really a question of how to get more money from the farmers. ”

Wisconsin farmers say they have difficulty finding farm machinery or other items they need to do their jobs due to supply chain disruptions that are delaying manufacturing and transportation. Farmers say the wait for some equipment lasts a year or more. (Photo by Julian Emerson)

Meeting infrastructure needs

Despite troubled times made worse by the ongoing pandemic, financial assistance is on the way for farmers who have been affected for years by low milk prices, uncertain markets, rising operating costs and now the pandemic, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.

Vilsack touted rural project funding during a visit last week to a dairy farm near Cottage Grove in Dane County and Chippewa County Bloomer’s Town to promote President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill that has stalled in the US Senate. Bloomer will receive $ 27.6 million in loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program, part of $ 114 million to address drinking water infrastructure and other projects in rural Wisconsin.

“When we invest in rural infrastructure, we are investing in the livelihoods and health of rural America,” Vilsack said in a press release.

Bragger sees the benefits of spending on infrastructure in the hills of the city of Buffalo County, MT, where he lives and serves on city council. Most of the city has benefited from broadband upgrades in recent years, he said, and the city council is working to connect residents to high-speed internet in the part of town that does. is still lacking.

“I spent a lot of my time for an entire year at Zoom meetings,” Bragger said. “Here I am in the hills of this rural community, and I have one of the best connectivity you can imagine… We realize how important it is for everyone to have this access.

Investments considered key

Romanski said he sees signs of hope on the horizon in the form of state and federal funding and in the creative approaches farmers are taking to stay financially viable.

Combined $ 100 million coronavirus relief funding disbursed by Governor Tony Evers through the Wisconsin Farm Support Program helped keep many farmers afloat during the pandemic. On Monday, Evers announced that more than 20,000 Wisconsin farmers will receive nearly $ 2,500 each in Farm Support Program dollars, in a $ 50 million disbursement first announced in August.


A shortage of meat processing plants in Wisconsin, made more apparent during the coronavirus pandemic, has delayed sales and processing of animals, reducing farmers’ incomes. State officials are looking for ways to increase processing capacity. (Photo by Julian Emerson)

“This money doesn’t make anyone safe, but it has enabled farmers to pay a few bills and use the money they earn to pay for other costs,” Romanski said.

Earlier this month, Evers invested $ 30 million in food security payments to help two state food banks, Feeding Wisconsin and the Hunger Task Force, distribute food to people in need. These agencies will get in touch with farmers to involve them in the program.

“It’s a great way to connect the dots and bond with Wisconsin farmers,” Romanski said. “There is a continuing and ongoing need to help those who are food insecure. “

Romanski said his agency is also working on plans to increase the number of meat processing plants in Wisconsin. The state recently hired two meat inspectors and plans to hire two more soon, he said. Six meat processors have applied for grants to expand their facilities, and Romanski has said he expects more to do so.

Addressing the shortage of processors is key to increasing farmer animal sales and hopefully curbing high consumer meat prices, Von Ruden said. He said negotiating changes to the federal Farm Bill to manage the supply of produce to avoid oversupply and simultaneous low prices is key to helping more farmers survive financially.

“We are seeing some interest… in getting a system that will benefit everyone involved, from the farmer to the consumer,” he said.

“Building on our successes”

Von Ruden said he sees other opportunities next year that could benefit farmers. He praised the Biden administration for seriously considering competition issues in agriculture. Tackling what are essentially monopolies in agricultural sectors, such as the meat industry, would reduce supply chain problems, he said.

“There are too few people who own the production systems that we have,” he said.

He said he is encouraged by a growing number of young farmers enter the business. More and more farmers of all ages are finding connections with customers, in some cases through local food movements, said Von Ruden.

Romanski said such partnerships can help deliver more nutritious food to customers while providing much needed new markets for farmers. The Farm to School program, in which DATCP, WFU, and the state’s Department of Education work to connect farmers to their local school districts, has grown in importance as schools are struggling to get food for student meals. Two bills to raise funds to better connect farmers and school districts are expected to go to the state legislature next year.

“The governor would also like to build resilience with this issue,” Romanski said of school feeding programs. “We are trying to connect these dots at the regional level. If we can find a school that needs a particular food item, and there might be a farmer on the road who can provide it… we want to make those connections.

Designing new approaches to help farmers will be key to preventing more of them from going out of business, especially as pandemic-related issues appear likely to continue into the next year as crops grow. COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin in recent months and the recent spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, Romanski and Von Ruden said.

“COVID and the challenges it presents are still with us, unfortunately,” Romanski said. “But with investments in agriculture and new ideas and approaches, we look to the next year to try and find more ways to come together to build on our successes.”

Bragger agrees with this sentiment, saying some farmers would not always be in business without the COVID-19 aid funding. He said he was optimistic about possible changes to the milk pricing formula that would benefit Wisconsin dairy farmers. And he’s inspired by the resilience farmers have shown, a feeling he says will be needed next year as well.

“Of course, these are difficult times,” he said. “We just need to stay together and support each other, and we’re going to be okay with it. ”


Tennessee Woman recovering from a semi-accident near Rawlins; Dog still not found

December 21, 2021

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

After more than a week, a couple from Tennessee in a semi-truck crash outside of Rawlins still haven’t found their missing Boston Terrier.

On December 9, Daniel and Sheryl Billiau were involved in an accident when a vehicle pulling a flatbed trailer cut Daniel Billiau’s semi-truck on Interstate 80 near Rawlins, rolling the truck with the couple and their crew. three dogs, Roxy, Boo and Yogi, inside.

Sheryl Billiau suffered several injuries, including one to her left eye which left her unable to see in that eye, at least for the time being.

“My mom and husband said I had spoken in my sleep about the accident, had full-fledged conversations and didn’t remember it,” Sheryl Billiau told Cowboy State Daily on Monday. .

Sheryl also has nerve damage on her left side and an injury to her right leg from the accident. She also has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is difficult for her to cope with the consequences of the accident, as Sheryl has always been an independent person, she said. Now, she needs her mother and husband’s help with most things, at least until she can see doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

“I’m at the bottom, and what angered me more than anything is the person who caused it,” she said. “They do that and then leave. How do you do that to someone?

The driver who cut the Billiaus has yet to be found, but the couple hope the company that employed Daniel Billau can soon find the driver using footage from a dash camera installed in Daniel’s truck. .

Driving trucks for nearly 15 years, Sheryl respects other drivers on the road as she tries to keep in mind the impact on the drivers’ families if she were to cause an accident.

The couple have not heard from their beloved 4-year-old Boston Terrier Yogi, who went missing in the crash. The last time the couple heard, they were heading east on I-80 toward milepost 229.

“If someone has found him and he’s happy, we’re not going to put him through more trauma by bringing him home,” Sheryl said. “But we just want to know if he’s alive or dead. Of course, we would love to have him at home, but we just want to know what happened.

The Billiaus’ other two dogs, Roxy and Boo, haven’t been the same since their brother’s crash and disappearance, but the family are hopeful that the next few days and weeks will bring about both physical and emotional healing.

“I’m doing as well as I can get right now,” Sheryl said.

Daniel Billiau thanked the town of Rawlins for being so considerate of him, his wife and their dogs while they were in the community after the accident.

The family arrived in Tennessee on Monday, but continue to hope that they will hear something about Yogi before too long.

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Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBMT) Update on Short-Term Interest

December 18, 2021

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Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBMT) recorded a significant drop in short-term interest in November. As of November 30, there was short interest totaling 3,500 shares, a decrease of 25.5% from the total of 4,700 shares on November 15. Based on an average trading volume of 6,700 shares, the day / coverage ratio is currently 0.5 days. Currently, 0.1% of the company’s shares are sold short.

EBMT stock opened at $ 22.54 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $ 152.75 million, a P / E ratio of 8.47 and a beta of 0.66. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $ 22.49 and a 200-day simple moving average of $ 22.61. Eagle Bancorp Montana has a minimum of $ 20.00 over 52 weeks and a maximum of $ 26.13 over 52 weeks. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.84, and a debt ratio of 0.22.

Eagle Bancorp Montana (NASDAQ: EBMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 25. The bank reported earnings per share of $ 0.73 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $ 0.72 by $ 0.01. The company posted revenue of $ 25.38 million in the quarter, compared to a consensus estimate of $ 24.40 million. Eagle Bancorp Montana had a net margin of 17.92% and a return on equity of 11.56%. Stock analysts predict that Eagle Bancorp Montana will post 2.46 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 3. Investors of record on Friday, November 12 received a dividend of $ 0.125. This represents an annualized dividend of $ 0.50 and a yield of 2.22%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 10. Eagle Bancorp Montana’s payout ratio is currently 18.80%.

Separately, Zacks investment research downgraded Eagle Bancorp Montana’s shares from a “sell” rating to a “conservation” rating in a report released on Monday, August 23.

(A d)

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In other news, the director Kenneth M. Walsh sold 10,000 shares of the company in a trade on Tuesday, November 2. The shares were sold at an average price of $ 22.47, for a total trade of $ 224,700.00. The sale was disclosed in a file with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 7.70% of the shares of the company.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of EBMT. LSV Asset Management acquired a new stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana in the second quarter valued at approximately $ 322,000. JCSD Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana in the second quarter valued at approximately $ 2,151,000. HoldCo Asset Management LP purchased a new stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana in the second quarter valued at approximately $ 3,112,000. Ergoteles LLC purchased a new stake in Eagle Bancorp Montana in the second quarter valued at approximately $ 444,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in Eagle Bancorp Montana by 5.9% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 342,754 shares of the bank valued at $ 7,883,000 after acquiring an additional 19,205 shares in the last quarter. 40.12% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Eagle Bancorp Montana Company Profile

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. is a banking holding company that provides loan and deposit services. It focuses on residential mortgages, commercial real estate mortgages, commercial business loans, agricultural loans, and second mortgage and home equity loan products. The company was founded on October 28, 1997 and is headquartered in Helena, Montana.

See also: Basic economy

This instant news alert was powered by storytelling technology and financial data from MarketBeat to provide readers with the fastest, most accurate reports. This story was reviewed by the MarketBeat editorial team before publication. Please send any questions or comments about this story to [email protected]

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New home rehabilitation program starts in Helena | ABC Fox Montana Helena

December 17, 2021

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HELENA, Mont. – Today, the City of Helena announced its new home improvement program in partnership with the Community Development Block Grant. If your home needs help, you can now request that your home be properly repaired.

The aim of this program is to provide rehabilitation to homes in the Helena area that need help, especially issues threatening the health and safety of residents.

Homeowners can apply for a loan under this program, but are required to provide proof of a “life-threatening” problem in their home. From there, loans range from $ 15,000 to $ 100,000, and homeowners can get a loan forgiveness if they stay in their home ten years after the project ends. Although there is currently a housing shortage in Helena, Helena’s Housing Coordinator, Kara Snyder, wants to dispel any misconceptions about the purpose of this program.

“This program is not necessarily for people in need of housing. What we’re really trying to do is address the health and safety issues with affordable housing right now in Helena, ”Snyder said.

And Kaia Peterson shed some light on what to expect if your grant amount exceeds $ 40,000.

“So the duration of the restriction of the deed will depend on the amount of the loan. So although the loan amount is canceled after ten years, if the loan is more than $ 40,000, the deed will have to remain in place. for that 15-year period, ”said Peterson, Executive Director of NeighborWorks Montana.

To be eligible, owners must meet a set of minimum requirements:

  • They must own a single family home within city limits
  • No late mortgage payment
  • No more than $ 15,000 in liquid assets
  • A credit score of 850 or higher
  • Income equal to or less than 80% of the average income of residents of Helena

I asked Snyder to tell me how often they will be planning.

“Just looking at some of those initial projections, the hope was that we would do at least two projects a year, and that’s really understanding that these projects are pretty big projects on houses,” Snyder said.

The application process is first come, first served, so if you or someone you know meets the criteria, head to the Helena Community Development webpage to begin your application.


Wall Street Closes Lower Following Latest Inflation Report | national news

December 14, 2021

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Stocks fell widely on Wall Street on Tuesday as new data showing inflation is still high sheds light on the actions the Federal Reserve will take at its last meeting of the year.

The S&P 500 Index fell 0.7%, adding to its losses a day earlier. Almost 70% of the companies in the benchmark fell, led by technology stocks. Only stocks in the financial sector recorded a gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%, while the high-tech Nasdaq composite slipped 1.1%. Small business stocks fell more than the overall market, closing down 1%.

The sell-off came as investors received yet another update on the continued rise in inflation. The Ministry of Labor has indicated that wholesale prices have jumped by a record 9.6% in November compared to the previous year. The ministry’s producer price index measures inflation before it reaches consumers.

Companies have been grappling with supply chain issues and higher costs for months. This has been a major concern for investors, as large corporations pass these costs on to consumers, who have so far absorbed higher prices on everything from groceries to clothing and other consumer goods. The Labor Department said on Friday that consumer prices jumped 6.8% for the 12 months ending in November, the biggest increase in 39 years.

Discouraging inflation reports precede latest two-day Federal Reserve meeting this year, which started on Tuesday.

“What is the Fed doing with this data? Said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management. “This is what investors are positioning themselves today. “

The S&P 500 lost 34.88 points to 4,634.09. The index hit an all-time high on Friday, when it closed its biggest weekly gain since February. The index is up 23.4% since the start of the year.

The Dow Jones lost 106.77 points to 35,544.18. The Nasdaq lost 175.64 points to 15,237.64. The Russell 2000 gave up 20.85 points to 2,159.65.

The Federal Reserve should accelerate the withdrawal of economic stimulus measures in the face of rising inflation. Specifically, he plans to speed up the process of reducing bond purchases, which has helped keep interest rates low and support the stock market and the economy in general. Beyond that, investors are watching the central bank for any statements on how quickly it could raise interest rates in 2022.

Rising inflation and the Fed’s plan to ease its economic support are the main reasons for market instability at large, said Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital Advisors.

“The reality of less cash next year is sinking and it’s causing massive sell-offs of dynamic, mostly overvalued stocks,” he said.

Tech stocks led the market pullback on Tuesday. Microsoft fell 3.3% and Adobe slipped 6.6% for the biggest decline in the S&P 500.

“Anytime you think the Fed might raise interest rates more than what is built into the market, these sectors become weak in the short term,” Hainlin said.

A mix of retailers and several large communications companies also fell. Lowe’s Cos. fell 1.9% and Google’s parent company Alphabet fell 1.3%.

Bond yields edged up. The 10-year Treasury yield fell from 1.42% to 1.44%. This has helped banks make gains as they rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. JPMorgan Chase rose 0.8% and Bank of America rose 1.3%.

Energy stocks fell on the back of a 0.8% drop in the price of US crude oil. Hess fell 0.8%.

Wall Street is also keeping a close eye on any news on the latest variant of the coronavirus which is spreading rapidly in Britain and other areas. It appears to cause less severe illness than previous versions of the coronavirus, according to an analysis of data from South Africa. Pfizer’s vaccine appears to offer less defense against infection but still offers good protection against hospitalization.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Survey of owners of bars “on the move”

December 13, 2021

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Mayor Richard David said owners of three bars in Binghamton town center can decide when they want to reopen their establishments.

The Colonial, Dos Rios and Stone Fox suddenly shut down last week amid a growing number of social media posts dealing with allegations of sexual assault involving people linked to the companies.

City police have confirmed detectives are investigating a “November 28 incident involving the owners of The Colonial.”

Hundreds of people took part in a march and protest in the city center on Saturday evening to show concern over the allegations.

The Colonial at 56 Court Street was closed for lunch on December 13, 2021 (Photo: Bob Joseph / WNBF News)

On Monday, Mayor David said only the Broome County Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office are involved in the investigation, which he said is “moving forward.” But he said he didn’t know when an announcement of their findings would be made.

Speaking on WNBF radios Binghamton now program, David said that “the allegations are serious and have really rocked the foundations of our downtown community.”

The mayor noted that the three companies had not been ordered to close. He said they had ceased operations “because the owners decided to shut them down”. He said he thought “it was a wise decision”.

David said: “I honestly think these companies should probably be shut down until this matter is resolved and they have a chance to determine how they want to move forward.”

The entrance to the Colonial after a demonstration on December 11, 2021 (Photo: Bob Joseph / WNBF News)

The mayor said he does not believe anyone has been charged with vandalism in downtown restaurants.

David also said he never had a stake in the three downtown companies linked to the investigation or their management group.

The mayor noted that he sold the building at 60 Court Street – where Dos Rios is located – about five years ago.

Business owners refused to answer questions about the police investigation or the plan to resume operations.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: [email protected].

For the latest news and updates on story development, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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ULHS Girls fall in OT, Clear Lake defeats Kelseyville – Lake County Record-Bee

December 11, 2021

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POTTER VALLEY – In what was likely the women’s championship game of the Potter Valley tournament, even though it was just one of two semi-finals on Friday to determine Saturday’s finalists, the Willits Wolverines avenged a recent defeat to Upper Lake by stunning the Cougars 59-56 at over time.

It was a rematch of the Small Schools Classic championship game that took place last weekend in Upper Lake, where the Cougars (6-1) recovered by 10 points in the fourth quarter to beat the Wolverines. 39-37. Upper Lake had to scramble again in the fourth quarter to catch up with Willits, tying the game at 54 on a Madison Noble basket with less than a minute to go, but Upper Lake wasted two scoring opportunities in the dying seconds. who sent the game into overtime.

Madison Noble of Upper Lake throws a low shot at Willits. Noble led the Cougars with 17 points in a 59-56 overtime loss to Willits at the Potter Valley tournament. (Photos courtesy of Trett Bishop)

Once in overtime, Willits scored first and led the rest of the way. Upper Lake’s only two points in overtime were free throws from Heaven’Lee Loans Arrow.

“We had a few chances to win (in regulation time) but we returned the ball,” said Upper Lake head coach Mike Smith. “We had a lot of turnovers.”

While Upper Lake was injured with mistakes, the play of Willits’ guards Lily Barrett and Laila Britton played a big part in the result. Barrett led the team with 22 points and both players combined for seven 3-pointers.

“Barrett and Britton are tough,” Smith said. “You give them any space and they put the ball up. They knocked them down tonight.

Upper Lake led 10-5 after a quarter, but Willits took a 24-23 lead at halftime. The Wolverines (4-2) had a 39-37 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Willits beat Upper Lake on both the offensive and defensive boards, according to Smith.

“We gave them a second chance,” he added.

Upper Lake’s Heaven’Lee Loans Arrow steps inside to take a photo.

Friday’s game was similar to last weekend’s meeting in Upper Lake in another regard, according to Smith.

“I always had this feeling of frustration the whole game,” he said. “We couldn’t get a constant flow in our attack the whole game.”

Smith said the Cougars’ effort was there, but execution was sometimes lacking at both ends of the field.

“We will learn from it and move on,” he added.

Noble’s 17 points led the Cougars and Loans Arrow had 13. The other leaders were Taylar Minnis with nine points and Zoey Petrie with seven. Maddy Young led the team with seven interceptions.

Willits faces the winner of the other semi-final between South Fork and Potter Valley in the tournament championship game on Saturday at 6 p.m. Upper Lake takes on the loser of South Fork-Potter Valley in the 3:00 p.m. third-place game

In other women’s Friday tournaments:

Lac Clair 42, Kelseyville 26

In Healdsburg, Sierra Bruch of Clear Lake scored the first eight points of the game as the Cardinals took a 10-0 lead en route to a 42-26 win over the Kelseyville Knights in the Redwood Empire consolation semifinal. Invitational.

Clear Lake (3-3) played their first-half “A” game against Kelseyville (0-3), opening a 15-2 lead after a quarter and a 28-10 lead at halftime.

“We jumped on them early,” said Clear Lake head coach Phil Psalmonds.

The Cardinals’ play in the last two quarters was less than inspired, according to Psalmonds.

“It wasn’t pretty,” he said. “I think the girls knew they were going to win and they weren’t as focused. We followed the movements.

Bruch and Montana Wells led the Cardinals with 10 points apiece, Sydney Howe added eight and Amber Smart had six. Bruch had two of the Cardinals’ three 3-pointers.

Emily Sandoval’s 12 points led Kelseyville and Larue Furlani had 10.

Clear Lake faces Ukiah for the consolation championship on Saturday at 2 p.m. while Kelseyville faces Fortuna for seventh place at 12:30 p.m.

Durham 52, Lower Lake 44

In Durham, the Lower Lake Trojans lost to Durham in the consolation semifinal of the Durham tournament and will play for seventh place on Saturday.

Lower Lake (0-5) trailed 17-9 in the first quarter, but played Durham on a level playing field the rest of the time.

“We have a lot of injuries that we’re working on right now,” Lower Lake head coach Shannon Tubbs said. “We played better, but we only had eight daughters. We ended up with seven.

Margarita Cordova’s 13 points propelled the Trojans while Kyleigh Mock and Sonja Desano added eight points each. Terilyn Jo Jermany was seven.

The Trojans received 13 rebounds from Rebecca Theodorou and five interceptions from Izabella Salazar.

After finishing the tournament on Saturday, the Trojans return home on Tuesday to welcome Kelseyville in a North Central League I game.


Women Reportedly Join Military Project Under Congress Defense Bill |

December 9, 2021

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WASHINGTON – As the Senate works to finalize a major annual defense measure, there is a bipartisan push to include a requirement that all young Americans – including women – register for military conscription.

The $ 777.9 billion measuree, the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, would also allocate millions of dollars to clean up toxic chemicals from bases and expand a health study of the effects of chemicals on people.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is among lawmakers supporting the effort to allow all Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 to be included for registration with the Selective Service System. Some of the others include Reps Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa .; Michael Waltz, R-Fla., As well as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed, DR.I.

“Simply put, as the selective service system is currently written, it is unconstitutional and discriminatory on the basis of sex,” Houlahan said in a statement.

The currentw refers to the registration of “men” and immigrants with and without papers are included.

The army is now entirely voluntary and there has been no conscription since the Vietnam War, but the registration system is maintained.

The White House has also agreed with lawmakers on the selective service update.

“The administration supports Section 513 and the registration requirement for all citizens, which further ensures a military selective system that is fair and equitable,” according to the Biden administration, referring to the section of the draft of law dealing with the requirement.

However, the White House has also said it opposes the removal of “registration incentives” as they are necessary “to achieve a fair system that can be effectively implemented.” When men sign up for a selective service, they remain eligible for federal benefits such as student aid, loans, and job training programs.

Houlahan is a veteran herself and presented the amendt from the house side. The House Armed Services Committee supported Amendment 35-24.

Houlahan also included 12 weeks maternity and paternity leave for primary and secondary caregivers in the NDAA, the shortcut for massive defense legislation.

The House adopted its version of NDAA in September, with a votee from 316-113. The Senate has yet to schedule a vote and continues to haggle over the details, but the draft provision is included in its version.

Ernst, the first female veteran senator, spoke out in favor of including women in the selective service.

“We are now competing in the combat arms space, and I think it is important that we all serve to the best of our ability,” she said. Axios.

Congress attempted to update the selective service requirement in the FY2017 NDAA, but instead asked an 11-member National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service to conduct a study to determine whether women should be included in the selective service.

Reports the results have been publishedd in 2020, with the recommendation to include women.

The selective service system currently includes men between the ages of 18 and 25, which was equivalent to around 17 million men in 2019, according to the agencyy.

But not all Republicans agree with the concept.

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri is leading at least a dozen senators calling for the provision to be removed.

In a statement, Hawley said it was “wrong to force our daughters, mothers, wives and sisters to wage our wars.”

“Our country is extremely grateful to the courageous women who have volunteered to serve our country with and alongside our fighting forces,” he said. “But volunteering for military service is not the same as being forced into it, and no woman should be forced to do so.”

Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Steve Daines of Montana made similar remarks and presented a resolutionn with Hawley “expressing that the Senate should not pass a law making the registration of women compulsory for the selective service system”.

Neither Rubio, Daines, nor Hawley served in the military.

“Forever” chemicals

The NDAA also includes $ 549 million for testing and cleaning up toxic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances, or PFAS, at military sites.

Of those clean-up funds, $ 100 million is for formerly used defense sites, $ 175 million for the Air Force, $ 174 million for the Navy, and $ 100 million for the military.

The chemicals are linked to several health problems such as thyroid problems, certain cancers, and liver damage.

These provisions require the Department of Defense to report the status of clean-up at 50 PFAS sites across the country.

They are also demanding that the agency publicly announce the results of drinking water and groundwater tests for chemicals at nearby military sites, and prevent the DOD from purchasing materials made from those chemicals.

On the Senate side, Democrats Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have included in the language of the NDAA to set deadlines for the DOD to test the chemicals at all military sites and demand that the agency provide reports on the remediation of PFAS at these sites.

“This amendment will ensure greater transparency and accountability in addressing and cleaning up PFAS, which our communities have long been calling for,” Shaheen said in a statement.

Shaheen also pushed to include $ 15 million in the pursuit of a PFAS health impact report that she first started in the Fiscal 2018 Defense Bill.


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.

Women reportedly join military project under Congress defense bill

December 3, 2021

Montana Loans

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WASHINGTON – As the Senate struggles to finalize a major annual defense measure, there is a bipartisan push to include a requirement that all young Americans – including women – register for conscription for the first time military.

The $ 777.9 billion measure, the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, would also allocate millions of dollars to clean up toxic chemicals from bases and expand a health study of the effects of chemicals on people.

Some lawmakers leading the effort to allow all Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 to be included for registration with the Selective Service System are Reps Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) And Michael Waltz ( R-Fla.), As well as Sen Joni Ernst, (R-Iowa), and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (DR.I.).

“Simply put, as the selective service system is currently written, it is unconstitutional and discriminatory on the basis of gender,” Houlahan said in a statement.

Current law refers to the registration of “men” and immigrants with and without papers are included.

The army is now entirely voluntary and there has been no conscription since the Vietnam War, but the registration system is maintained.

The White House has also agreed with lawmakers on the selective service update.

“The administration supports Section 513 and the registration requirement for all citizens, which further ensures a military selective system that is fair and equitable,” according to the Biden administration, referring to the section of the draft of law dealing with the requirement.

However, the White House has also said it opposes the removal of “registration incentives” as they are necessary “to achieve a fair system that can be effectively implemented.” When men sign up for a selective service, they remain eligible for federal benefits such as student aid, loans, and job training programs.

Houlahan is a veteran herself and presented the amendment on the side of the house. The House Armed Services Committee supported Amendment 35-24.

Houlahan also included 12 weeks maternity and paternity leave for primary and secondary caregivers in the NDAA, shorthand for massive defense legislation.

The House adopted its version of NDAA in September, with a vote from 316-113. The Senate has yet to schedule a vote and continues to haggle over the details, but the draft provision is included in its version.

Ernst, the first female veteran senator, spoke out in favor of including women in the selective service.

“We are now competing in the combat arms space, and I think it is important that we all serve to the best of our ability,” she said. Axes.

Congress attempted to update the selective service requirement in the FY2017 NDAA, but instead asked an 11-member National Commission on Military, National and Public Service to conduct a study to determine whether women should be included in the selective service.

Reports the results were published in 2020, with the recommendation to include women.

The selective service system currently includes men between the ages of 18 and 25, which was equivalent to around 17 million men in 2019, according to the agency.

But not all Republicans agree with the concept.

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri leads at least a dozen senators pushing for a deletion of the provision.

In a statement, Hawley argued that it was “wrong to force our daughters, mothers, wives and sisters to wage our wars.”

“Our country is extremely grateful to the courageous women who have volunteered to serve our country with and alongside our fighting forces,” he said. “But volunteering for military service is not the same as being forced into it, and no woman should be forced to do so.”

Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Steve Daines of Montana made similar remarks and presented a resolution with Hawley “expressing that the Senate should not pass legislation making the registration of women compulsory for the selective service system”.

Neither Rubio, Daines, or Hawley served in the military.

“Forever” chemicals

The NDAA also includes $ 549 million for testing and cleaning up toxic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances, or PFAS, at military sites.

Of those clean-up funds, $ 100 million is for formerly used defense sites, $ 175 million for the Air Force, $ 174 million for the Navy, and $ 100 million for the military.

The chemicals are linked to several health problems such as thyroid problems, certain cancers, and liver damage.

Some House Armed Services Committee lawmakers who worked to include the PFAS amendments are Reps Elissa Slotkin, (D-Mich.), Jackie Speier, (D-Calif.), John Garamendi, (D-Calif.), Michael Turner , (R-Ohio), Jack Bergman, (R-Mich.) And Bill Posey (R-Fla.).

These provisions require the Department of Defense to report the status of clean-up at 50 PFAS sites across the country.

They are also demanding that the agency publicly announce the results of drinking water and groundwater tests for chemicals at nearby military sites, and prevent the DOD from purchasing materials made from those chemicals.

On the Senate side, Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Kirsten Gillibrand of New Hampshire and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have included in NDAA language to set deadlines for DOD to test chemicals at all military sites and require the agency to provide reports. on the sanitation of PFAS at these sites.

“This amendment will ensure greater transparency and accountability in addressing and cleaning up PFAS, which our communities have long been calling for,” Shaheen said in a statement.

Shaheen also pushed to include $ 15 million in the pursuit of a PFAS health impact report that she first started in FY 2018 NDAA.


2022 Loan Limit Compliance | Money

November 30, 2021

Montana Loans

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Many of the businesses featured on Money advertise with us. The opinions are ours, but the compensation and
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Soaring home prices have plagued buyers for much of the past year. While 2022 will likely see the same thing, homebuyers will have at least one new crutch to lean on: larger government-backed mortgages.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, compliant loan limits – or the maximum buyers can get with a conventional mortgage, backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, increases dramatically in the new year.

In the majority of markets, that means a limit of $ 647,200 on a single-family home, up from $ 548,250. In higher cost areas like Los Angeles or Honolulu, for example, it hits $ 970,800, up from $ 822,375 this year. (Use this card to find the limits in your area.)

“Increasing compliant loan limits gives borrowers more purchasing power,” said Phil Shoemaker, president of fixtures at Homepoint. “They are now able to obtain higher financing for the loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which carry lower interest rates than the alternative option of jumbo loans through private lenders.”

Jumbo loans are mortgages that go beyond conforming loan limits. These come with stricter eligibility standards and higher interest rates.

Although the FHFA updates the compliant county-by-county loan limits each year, according to Robert Heck, vice president of mortgages at Morty, the increases have historically been 10% or less. This year’s increase is over 18%.

“The limits typically increase each year based on changes in house prices across the country,” says Heck. “This year’s increase reflects the speed at which house prices have increased.

The latest data from the FHFA shows that home prices rose 18.5% between the third quarter of 2020 and the third quarter of 2021. Prices increased the most in the West, with Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Montana lead the pack. In Idaho, prices have climbed nearly 36% in the past year.

By most accounts, home prices will continue to rise in 2022, but at a slower pace than seen this year. Freddie Mac predicts prices will rise 7% next year, while real estate data firm CoreLogic expects a much smaller 2% increase.

Fortunately, increasing loan limits should give buyers more options in dealing with these price hikes, no matter how big (or small) they may be.

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Ok this could be the catch of the year – Oakland News Now

November 29, 2021

Montana Loans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZA8y4MkDa0

Oakland News Now –

Ok this could be the catch of the year

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Note from Zennie62Media and OaklandNewsNow.com: This video blog post shows the full, live operation of the latest updated version of an experimental network of Zennie62Media, Inc. mobile multimedia video blogging system that was launched in June 2018 This is an important part of Zennie62Media, Inc.’s new and innovative approach to news media production. What we call “the third wave of media”. The uploaded video is from a YouTube channel. When the National Football League (NFL) YouTube video channel uploads a video, it is automatically uploaded and automatically formatted on the Oakland News Now site and on social media pages created and owned by Zennie62. The overall goal here, in addition to our is the real-time on-scene reporting of news, interviews, observations and events anywhere in the world and in seconds and not hours – is use of the existing YouTube social network. graphic on any topic in the world. Now the news is reported with a smartphone and also by promoting the current content on YouTube: no heavy and expensive camera or even a laptop is needed, nor to have a camera crew to film what is already. on Youtube. The secondary objective is faster and very inexpensive production and distribution of media content information. We have found that there is a lag between the length of the post and the production time and revenue generated. With this the problem is much less, but by no means solved. Zennie62Media is constantly striving to improve the system’s network coding and is looking for interested multimedia content and technology partners.

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