Thai sweetcorn older citizens and everything else happening in Leinster House today

first_imgWHAT’S GOING ON in Leinster House?Every day the Dáil and Seanad are sitting, TheJournal.ie brings you the most comprehensive guide to what our lawmakers are getting up to in the Houses of the Oireachtas.So, here is what we can expect to be happening in the Dáil, Seanad and Committee rooms today…3 things we’ll be keeping an eye on Like politics? Then why not ‘Like’ TheJournal.ie’s Politics page?Explainer: How does a Bill become a law? Dáil: Leaders’ Questions – The Taoiseach is sure to face more fire from the opposition benches at 3.15pm over their calls at the weekend for Health Minister James Reilly to resign.Dáil: Local Government Bill – TDs will exchange their views at around 5pm on Minister Hogan’s latest legislation, heralded as “the most radical reform of local government in 100 years”.Dáil: Private Memebers Business – At 7pm the Dáil will hear a call from Fianna Fáil to maintain public services for the elderly in order for them to “live independently and with dignity”, in their motion regarding Older Citizens.Everything else that’s happening in the Dáilcenter_img Arts, Heritage, and Gaeltacht Minister Jimmy Denihan will be in the Dáil chamber at 2pm to answer questions, more than likely on how Budget 2014 will affect his portfolio, which includes a €5 million euro investment in heritage structures. Oh, by the way, he began tweeting last week.The Taoiseach answers questions on his portfolio at 3.36pm before the Order of Business at 4.36pm, followed by Topical Issues.The Dáil adjourns at 9PM.Everything else that’s happening in the SeanadA less than jam-packed day (at the time of publication) begins in the Seanad at 2.30pm with Order of Business.At 3.45pm statements will be heard on the One Percent Difference campaign, for which Minister for Community Phil Hogan will be in attendance.After that will be Matters on the Adjournment before the Seanad adjourns.Everything else that’s happening in the CommitteesThe Children and Youth Affairs sub-committee, with relevant Minister Frances Fitzgerald, will be in Committee Room 2 at 5.15pm to discuss the Child and Family Agency Bill 2013, which would see groups like the Family Support Agency and the National Educational Welfare Board merged into one agency.Does the discussion of anti-dumping duty on ironing boards from China pique your interest? How about for sweetcorn kernels from Thailand? Well then the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Committee is for you. However, before those topics are discussed, top of their agenda at 1.30pm in Room 2 is the harmonisation of laws relating to pressure equipment.Here’s how to watch what’s going on in Leinster House todayDáil ÉireannSeanad ÉireannCommittee Room 1Committee Room 2Committee Room 3Committee Room 4To access streams on iOS, click herelast_img read more

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More than 300 fines issued as gardaí crack down on broken lights

first_imgAlthough there were 317 prosecutions detected, many people took our advice and rectified their defect or the inappropriate use of fog lights or fog lamps beforehand. We would like to express our thanks to the public for their support of operation Light Up.  Initiatives such as these ultimately help make our vehicles and roads safer for all.RSA chief Noel Brett added that the number of drivers being prosecuted was “disappointing”.“It is important to realise that it is a very serious road safety issue. For example a car driving in the dark with a broken headlight could easily be mistaken for a motorcyclist. The consequences of this happening are unthinkable.“That’s why I would urge drivers, to set aside a couple of minutes before a journey to perform a quick check of their vehicle lights. A couple of minutes that will give you peace of mind knowing you are not facing a fine, prosecution or worse, being responsible for a crash further down the road.”During January, 184 people were caught for driving dangerously while 641 drivers were found to be driving while intoxicated.Read: Woman dies after being struck by a van in Mayo GARDAÍ ISSUED 317 fines to motorists driving in vehicles with defective lights over two days last month.Operation Light Up was held on 20 and 21 Feburary to tackle the growing problem of broken and missing front and back lights.The Garda Press Office said it appreciated some motorists are under financial constraints but emphasised the legal requirement that a vehicle’s lights and lamps are all in working order.More than 1,300 cars were stopped because of issues with lights. The majority (1,089) were just given advice by the garda but 317 were issued with fixed charge notices.The most common problem was having no working right front lamp with 114 offences recorded. Counties in the south of the country noted the highest incidence of problems with 508 cars stopped and 128 fines issued.Some offences were detected during daylight hours and it was deemed appropriate that it be dealt with by way of advice to motorists, according to gardaí.So far this year, 40 people have lost their lives on Irish roads. This is a fact that cannot be ignored, said Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips.“We appeal to the public to get the basics right. Slow down, wear your seatbelts always and make yourself as visible as possible when walking or cycling.”He said the operation last month was about raising awareness rather than doling out fines.last_img read more

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Kinahan cartels 24hr surveillance system to protect David Byrnes grave

first_img Feb 17th 2017, 12:00 AM Share Tweet Email 46,201 Views Kinahan cartel’s 24hr surveillance system to protect David Byrne’s grave A number of people have been put in charge of scouting the graveside for suspicious behaviour. Friday 17 Feb 2017, 12:00 AM http://jrnl.ie/3242962 Image: RollingNews.ie 35 Comments By Garreth MacNamee Short URL A STATE OF the art surveillance system is in operation at an inner city cemetery to protect the headstone of murdered Kinahan cartel member David Byrne, TheJournal.ie can reveal.At least two HD cameras with night-vision are recording areas of Mount Jerome cemetery near Harold’s Cross.One camera is located near the small chapel in the cemetery while the other is placed on branches of a tree located near the exit. There are also CCTV cameras which are being used by cemetery security. These are legitimate cameras which have been operational for a number of years and have nothing to do with the cartel.There have been previous incidents between the Kinahans and other warring factions in relation to the defacing of gravestones. There are fears that Byrne’s headstone will be targeted, such was his notoriety within the cartel.While the cameras are a deterrent, the cartel has positioned them so they know exactly who has targeted the grave in the event of an act of vandalism, according to security sources.The two cameras are hooked up to a remote recording device which has the ability to record hours of footage. There are also a number of people keeping watch at the grave on a daily basis such is the fear that it will be targeted.There are also close associates of David Byrne who live nearby and act as makeshift security when suspicion is aroused about anyone at the site.David Byrne was shot dead at the Regency Hotel in Santry last February, a murder which sparked the bloody feud which has claimed over 10 lives.At the time of the shooting, senior gardaí insisted there had been “no specific intelligence” about a potential incident at the boxing weigh-in. The Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan repeated this comment when he spoke recently to TheJournal.ie, adding that “nobody was really sure what would happen next”.Since the Regency Hotel attack in February, gardaí have:Made 44 arrests in relation to gangland killingsSeized 22 firearmsInvestigated over 8,000 lines of inquiryConducted over 11,500 checkpointsExamined thousands of hours of CCTV footage and mobile phone trafficLast year, gardaí were given an extra €55 million so that additional overtime could be given to officers investigating the criminal underworld.Read: Crack-cocaine and synthetic cannabinoids: Concern over new drug trends in Dublin >Read: Chaos in US shopping centres: Skirmishes   Image: RollingNews.ie Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Governor Introduces the new National Security Council NSC

first_img More motor mishaps; PDM Leader calls for Govt attention to illegal jitneys, again Related Items:governor peter beckingham, james smith, larry covington, national security council DR wants consulate office in TCI Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 14 Oct 2015 – Governor His Excellency Peter Beckingham, Commissioner of Police James Smith and Security Advisor to Overseas Territories, Larry Covington briefed the media on the first meeting of the National Security Council at a press conference today. Gov. Beckingham informed that the NSC, which he co-chairs with the Premier, will meet once a month. His Excellency also shared that falling under the NSC will be the, the National Security Advisory Board, a 20 member group to include a cross section of Community leaders. Commissioner James Smith explained that his role will be key; providing members with strategic assessments of the criminality issues in the TCI and setting the guidelines for the NSC. Commissioner Smith admitted that his officers need more training, that the force needs enhanced technical capabilities and recommended a more efficient road traffic department to register vehicles and drivers. As for visiting specialist, Larry Covington, he spoke about his experience, security within the region, sharing of resources, training for officers and increasing the productivity of the force. Covington is Law Enforcement Advisor with the FCO based in Miami, Florida. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Increased Police presence promised, TCI Police Commissioner statement on recent shootingslast_img read more

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California wildfire destroys 68 homes

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — In the hours before fire crews were able to corral a wildfire in rural far Northern California, wind-driven flames fueled by dry grass and brush tore through communities at an estimated 500 acres an hour, giving residents just minutes to grab what they could and escape.Sixty-eight residences were destroyed, officials said Thursday, nearly doubling the initial estimate of home losses in Shasta County from the Clover Fire, which began three days earlier around the community of Igo about 150 miles north of Sacramento. Authorities warned that the number could rise further.On Wednesday, officials said they had found a burned body in the fire’s perimeter. Brian Stanley Henry, 56, was found inside a motor home that was destroyed by the fire, officials said. Sheriff’s deputies discovered his body while checking his home in Igo at his family’s request.“It was very destructive in a very short period of time,” state fire spokesman Mike Witesman said.Witesman said the homes were likely destroyed within eight hours of the fire’s start. The blaze damaged an additional five homes and destroyed 128 outbuildings, officials said.It had burned 12 1/2 square miles by Thursday morning and was 75 percent contained.About 300 homes were evacuated, although officials expected to begin lifting at least some evacuations on Thursday.Igo resident Ed Fox felt both fortunate and frustrated as he and his wife, Karen, spent their third full day at a local church that was turned into an evacuation center.last_img read more

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Amazon Studios Names Chris Castallo Head of Unscripted TV

first_img Popular on Variety Earlier in his career, Castallo worked in scripted programming at NBC and at Tollin/Robbins Productions. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img Amazon Studios has tapped industry veteran Chris Castallo to serve as head of unscripted television.Castallo, formerly a programming exec at CBS and NBC, replaces Heather Schuster, who was forced out in August amid an investigation into allegations that she was verbally abusive in the workplace.Castallo will spearhead unscripted development for Amazon. He will be tasked with shepherding two big projects in the works for Amazon: the revival of Mark Burnett’s “Eco-Challenge” with Bear Grylls as host, and the fashion-centric series to be toplined by “Project Runway” alums Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum. He reports to Albert Cheng and Vernon Sanders, Amazon Studios’ co-heads of television.Castallo comes to Amazon Studios after working at Verizon’s now-shuttered go90 content platform, which he joined in August 2017. Before that he spent 10 years at CBS, rising to exec VP and head of unscripted programming where he steered “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “Undercover Boss” and “Big Brother,” among other unscripted series.last_img read more

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Qantas partners with Snap Fitness

first_imgAustralians now have the opportunity to turn their fitness journey into the trip of a lifetime, with Snap Fitness coming on board as the first health brand to offer Qantas Points as part of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.All Snap Fitness members will earn 100 Qantas Points each month, plus new Snap Fitness members will also receive 3,500 bonus points when signing up for a 12 month membership or 1,000 bonus points for new month-to-month plans.Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant said the partnership with Snap Fitness was a ‘first’ for Qantas Frequent Flyer.“We offer over 15,000 opportunities to earn points for activities other than flying, but Snap Fitness joining the program is particularly exciting because never before have we had a gym as part of the program,” Ms Grant said.“If our members like to keep fit, they may as well work-out at a Snap Fitness gym because by doing so their points balance will also get a healthy kick along each month.”Snap Fitness CEO Andy Peat said: “We want our members to feel even more special about being a part of the Snap community and being able to reward their fitness with Qantas Points is a great step.”“Many Australians already have a gym membership but when their membership comes up for renewal, I’d certainly hope they would consider us so they can start earning points,” he said.“I think that being associated with Qantas Frequent Flyer absolutely gives us a competitive edge when you consider the high value that Australians place on collecting Qantas Points – and why wouldn’t they?“We are all about rewarding fitness and we can do that by giving our members something really valuable to them, and that’s Qantas Points,” Mr Peat said. Fly QantasSource = Qantaslast_img read more

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Oaks Hotels Resorts takes out top honours

first_imgMr Shankar Kotha, accepted the Ctrip awards on the hotelier’s behalfOaks Hotels & Resorts takes out top honoursLeading accommodation provider Oaks Hotels & Resorts, a division of Minor Hotels, has taken out two awards at Ctrip’s first Global Hotel Partners Summit in Shanghai overnight, reinforcing its dedication to growing the Chinese market in collaboration with Ctrip – China’s largest online travel agency, and the second largest in the world.Oaks Hotels & Resorts – currently with a 54-strong property portfolio spanning Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and soon to be India – was presented with the Close Cooperation Hotel Group Award, the only hotel group in Australia to receive this accolade from Ctrip.The hotelier’s premier Melbourne property, Oaks on William, was meanwhile the recipient of the Best Business Travel Hotel in Australia Award, based on unbiased guest reviews from Ctrip travellers.Opening its doors in July 2013, Oaks on William offers a contemporary accommodation base for travellers seeking a central Melbourne location, overlooking Flagstaff Gardens and in close walking distance to the city’s shopping, dining and entertainment hubs, and also features spacious, self-contained apartments, superior leisure facilities and myriad modes of transport at its doorstep.Oaks Hotels & Resorts’ General Manager of Revenue Management and Online Distribution, Mr Shankar Kotha (pictured), accepted the Ctrip awards on the hotelier’s behalf, commenting, “To be recognised across two major award categories at Ctrip’s first Global Hotel Partners Summit is extremely significant for Oaks Hotels & Resorts, as we continue to develop our relations with the Chinese travel market.“Since commencing our affiliation with Ctrip in 2014, Oaks Hotels & Resorts’ sales have increased by an incredible 370 per cent, demonstrating the immense growth potential of this influential travel segment.”Oaks Hotels & ResortsOaks Hotels & Resorts is one of Australia’s largest self-contained, accommodation providers, currently incorporating a portfolio of 54 properties spanning Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South and Western Australia as well as New Zealand, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.Source = Oaks Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

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Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires His entire five-year career has been spent in San Diego, with Cason tallying 308 combined tackles to go along with 12 interceptions. Most recently, in 2012, Cason was in on 73 tackles, forced two fumbles, picked off two passes and had 11 passes defensed. In college, as a senior, Carson was named a consensus First-Team All-American won the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the best defensive back in the country. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img The Arizona Cardinals continued the remaking of their secondary Friday with the signing of cornerback Antoine Cason to a one-year contract.Philadelphiaeagles.com writer Adam Caplan is reporting the deal is for $1.5 million that includes $500,000 in incentives, meaning Cason could earn up to $2 million in 2013. Cason joins Jerraud Powers, who agreed to terms Wednesday, as new cornerbacks on the roster.Cason, 26, starred at the University of Arizona before becoming a first round pick of the Chargers in 2008. Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

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Akel calls for copies of letters sent to UN secretarygeneral

first_imgOpposition Akel on Wednesday called on President Nicos Anastasiades to hand over copies of the letters he sent recently to the UN chief, one on Varosha and the other appealing for help to restart the Cyprus talks.Akel leader Andros Kyprianou was speaking after a meeting with Famagusta mayor Alexis Galanos, who had organised a mass protest last Friday outside the presidential palace to push Anastasiades to take action on recent comments in the north regarding the fenced-off town.Kyprianou said Galanos had given him the memo he had presented to Anastasiades on Friday calling on the government to put a stop to any fait accompli by the Turkish side to open up Varosha to settlement under Turkish Cypriot administration, which is being touted by some political factions in the north.“All of this is part of a Turkish project on the one hand to create new fait accompli, further deepen partition and on the other hand, to impose a solution of its choice,” he said, adding that the voices in the north were growing for a two-state solution.Akel would never accept this, he said, and called on the president to take action to “end the Turkish provocations” and to resume Cyprus talks. The party was not satisfied with what has been said publicly about what the government is doing, he added.“We want to see this letter in order to know what the president of the Republic is really saying when he addresses the UN,” Kyprianou added.“For two years now, Mr Anastasiades has done everything other than what the UN secretary-general has requested,” “he said, referring to the president’s suggestions for a ‘decentralised’ federation rather than the long-agreed basis for talks on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.Galanos said after the meeting: “If we let the plans of the Turkish side go ahead, there will be such a gap created between the two communities that we cannot hope for a reunification solution.”Responding to Kyprianou later Wednesday, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said the Akel leader knows very well that the president will inform the political parties of any developments. A National Council meeting was proposed for next Monday but one of the party leaders was away so it was decided to brief them individually, something that began on Tuesday, he said. Schedules were being drawn up, Prodromou added.“Therefore, given that the leaders of the political parties know they will be fully informed as soon as possible, it’s strange to hear criticisms on this issue,” the spokesman said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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DecaturHamilton fire chief joins Nesbitt for 911 ceremony

first_img13Sep Decatur-Hamilton fire chief joins Nesbitt for 9/11 ceremony Decatur-Hamilton Fire Chief Jack Conklin joined state Rep. Aric Nesbitt today for a special ceremony in the Michigan House of Representatives honoring the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, as well as Michigan first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty this year.Rep. Nesbitt joined by Decatur-Hamilton Fire Chief Jack Conklin at the Michigan House of Representatives ceremony honoring the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as well as first responders in Michigan who have given their lives in the line of duty this year. Chief Conklin has been a volunteer firefighter since 1969.“I was honored to be joined by Chief Conklin today at the state Capitol to pay tribute the victims and selfless heroes who lost their lives during the attack on our nation on September 11, 2001,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton.  “During this time, it is also important to remember local first responders and members of the military, like Mattawan firefighter Nate Fruin and Army Sgt. Mark H. Schoonhoven of Plainwell, who have given the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the safety of our families, friends, and neighbors.”The Michigan House holds an annual event to honor first responders and the victims of 9/11, as well as the first responders and service members from Michigan who were killed during the last year.### Categories: Newslast_img read more

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State House approves Nesbitt bill helping Michigan drivers to avoid tickets fines

first_img Categories: News 26Mar State House approves Nesbitt bill helping Michigan drivers to avoid tickets, fines Michigan residents who are pulled over while driving will have a chance at avoiding tickets and resulting fines, thanks to a bill authored by Rep. Aric Nesbitt and approved today in the state House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.HB 4193 will allow motorists to provide proof of insurance electronically during traffic stops. More than half of states currently allow this practice, and Michigan is the only state in the Midwest that does not.“With modern technology in our hands, we should use it as much as possible to make life easier for Michigan residents,” said Rep. Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “This common-sense change allows drivers to use their phone to demonstrate proof of insurance coverage during a traffic stop, avoiding an unnecessary trip to the local police station to show a paper proof of insurance that may have been misplaced.”The bill now goes to the Senate for further action.last_img read more

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House Republicans announce Action Plan for 201718 session

first_img16Feb House Republicans announce Action Plan for 2017-18 session Categories: Featured news,Kelly News,News State Rep. Tim Kelly joined House Speaker Tom Leonard in announcing the 2017-18 Action Plan during a news conference today at the state Capitol.The Action Plan is a comprehensive outline that details key priorities for the current legislative session with the specific goal of making Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family.“Michiganders can look back on the past few years and see that when House Republicans commit to big reforms, real change happens,” said Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, of DeWitt.  “The Action Plan is our opportunity to do that once again in a public and transparent way.  We have big plans for the two years ahead – better jobs, lower taxes, more accountability. We are inviting the public to hold us accountable to our commitments and to our guiding principles as we pursue them.  This plan is the best way forward for a better, more effective, and more responsive state government.”Rep. Kelly served as chair of the Policy Development Committee, which developed the 15-page report that will help drive Michigan forward.“Many of the items we’ve talked about, like making car insurance affordable, ending unsustainable public employee legacy costs, and expanding options for job training have been talked about but eluded lawmakers for too long,” Kelly said. “These are not insurmountable tasks for us in Lansing, but they are serious issues that we are committed to tackling for everyone in Michigan.”The Action Plan, titled “The Best Way Forward,” splits its emphasis into five guiding principles geared toward better spending of taxpayer funds, working closely with local governments and school districts, growing the economy through economic development, and improving quality of life.“This is a common-sense plan that focuses specifically on the people of Michigan,” Kelly said. “Putting more money in classrooms helps every family. Investing in better water and sewer systems improves every home. Working with our farmers puts better food at the dinner table.The 2017-18 House Republican Action Plan can be viewed at: http://gophouse.org/best-way-forward/#####last_img read more

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House approves Rep Hauck bill ending driver responsibility fees

The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Roger Hauck to end senseless and punitive driver responsibility fees.Hauck, of Union Township, said his bill is part of a bipartisan package that not only brings an end to driver responsibility fees in October 2018, but also forgives outstanding debt and helps people regain their driver’s licenses.“When the previous administration ran into a significant budget shortfall because of irresponsible spending, it decided to plug the budget hole on the backs of people who committed driving infractions,” Hauck said. “Driver responsibility fees were tacked on in addition to other fines and court costs, which forced people living near or in poverty into deep debt with few options to pay the balance.”In many instances, driving privileges were also revoked, meaning people who wanted to work could not because they did not have reliable transportation. Others drove illegally and risked additional fees if they were pulled over for a traffic infraction. Under the legislation passed today, people will have alternative means to fulfill their financial obligations until the fees are ended on Oct. 1, 2018.“We are giving people a chance to pay off debt until the fees are eliminated by participating in community service projects, which can improve the neighborhoods in which they live,” Hauck said. “Another option is to take part in workforce development programs, which will give them new skills to get good jobs once their driving privileges are restored.”The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.#####The bills are House Bills 5040-5046, 5079 and 5080. Measure key part of bipartisan legislative package 02Nov House approves Rep. Hauck bill ending driver responsibility fees Categories: Hauck News,News read more

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Rep Glenn introduces measure calling for state agencies to fulfill FOIA requests

first_img Categories: Glenn News 14Mar Rep. Glenn introduces measure calling for state agencies to fulfill FOIA requests promptly State Rep. Gary Glenn of Williams Township today introduced legislation requiring state departments to fulfill Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests within 60 days of the initial requests.Glenn’s measure is in response to a public statement issued by Attorney General Bill Schuette in December 2017 outlining how Michigan’s FOIA does not specify a particular timeline for when a state department must fulfill a request for information.“Under Michigan’s current FOIA setup, state agencies have no deadline when processing FOIA requests,” Glenn said. “We need to ensure taxpayers receive the information they request from a state department promptly. Allowing state agencies two months to fulfill FOIAs is entirely reasonable and it forces government agencies to respect the people’s right to know.”The measure to increase transparency comes during Sunshine Week, which celebrates the importance of open government and freedom of information.House Bill 5733 will be formally read into the record Thursday.last_img read more

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Rep Frederick to serve on four vital House committees

first_img Categories: Frederick News 24Jan Rep. Frederick to serve on four vital House committees State Rep. Ben Frederick will serve on the Health Policy, Energy, Insurance and Regulatory Reform committees during the 2019-20 legislative session.Committee appointments were announced last week by House Speaker Lee Chatfield.“These assignments give me an opportunity to address a wide range of issues that matter to people throughout mid-Michigan,” Frederick said. “I will continue working on solutions that make Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family.”In regard to Health Policy, Frederick said he is looking forward to working closely with Memorial Healthcare and health professionals throughout the area.“This is an outstanding opportunity to improve the mental health system, help curb opioid abuse and address the rising costs of health care,” Frederick said.Serving on the Regulatory Reform Committee will allow Frederick to focus on simplifying laws and removing regulations that serve as obstacles to Michigan’s economic success.The Energy Committee addresses issues related to the generation and distribution of electricity in the state.“All Michigan families are affected by energy policy. The issue of reliable and available energy is especially relevant in rural Michigan,” Frederick said.Frederick said his position on the Insurance Committee goes hand-in-hand with his appointment to a special committee on reducing auto insurance rates.“Insurance costs make up a significant portion of every family’s budget,” Frederick said. “I will work with my colleagues to put forth insurance reforms that better fit the needs of families, seniors and workers throughout the state.”Frederick, now in his second term, brings experience to his new role. During the 2017-18 term, he served as chairman of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee with workforce priorities continuing to be a key focus in the new term. He also previously served as a member of the Commerce and Trade, Local Government and Agriculture committees.Residents may contact the representative’s office at (517) 373-0841 or email BenFrederick@house.mi.gov.###last_img read more

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West Virginias Boy Scout Amendment Passes

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares November 5, 2014; West Virginia Public Broadcasting (Associated Press)As NPQ covered last month, one of the unusual votes on election day was for an amendment to the constitution of West Virginia to allow the Boy Scouts of America to retain its state tax-exempt status while it rents out the facilities it owns at the 10,600 acre Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Fayette County in order to generate “money for its operations.” Up until this point, the site was only used for scouting events and a Boy Scout Jamboree, but the passing of the West Virginia Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption Amendment will open the door for the BSA to rent out the site for concerts and sporting events. Had the voters not passed it, according to the AP, the Boy Scouts would have been hit with a $5 million property tax bill.The constitutional amendment fixes a legal ambiguity in West Virginia law for nonprofits that want to rent their facilities for commercial purposes, but only for the Boy Scouts. The amendment reads as applicable only to a nonprofit “that has as its primary purpose the development of youth through adventure, educational or recreational activities for young people and others, which property contains facilities built at a cost of not less than $100,000,000 and which property is capable of supporting additional activities within the region and the State of West Virginia.” Guess who that is?According to Sean O’Leary for the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, while the amendment answers the question for the Boy Scouts, “the ambiguity in the law would remain for everyone else. Hospitals, churches, and other nonprofits that engage in this activity would be left in limbo.” This is a constitutional amendment written for one nonprofit organization. Something about that doesn’t sound right.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Follow the Money Nonprofit Campaign Soup

first_imgShare11Tweet23ShareEmail34 SharesBy Flickr user Bill de Blasio (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsApril 9, 2018; New York TimesA New York state ethics panel announced this week that part of the ongoing investigation into matters involving Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Campaign for One New York would end in settlements. CONY is a now-defunct nonprofit de Blasio founded to advocate for his policies, especially around affordable housing and universal preschool. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which enforces state lobbying laws, was concerned that contributions may have been made in exchange for political favors, and that de Blasio’s organization was not sufficiently transparent about receiving the money.In one settled case, James Capalino, a lobbyist, was alleged to have made a campaign contribution to the nonprofit that exceeded the state’s contribution limits for registered lobbyists. The New York Times’ J. David Goodwin reports,Mr. Capalino agreed to pay a fine of $40,000 for making a $10,000 donation to the nonprofit and raising another $90,000 from his other lobbying clients at a time when he was a registered lobbyist. State rules bar lobbyists from giving gifts of more than $75 to elected leaders or to a charitable organization at the behest of the elected official.While the cases against the donors have settled, the commission still has not determined whether the 501c4 Campaign for One New York actually violated the lobbying law. The panel explained that “The commission’s investigation relating to donations to CONY is continuing.” Laura Nahmias reported that “Politico New York analyses have shown that a majority of the donors to the nonprofit had business before or labor contracts with City Hall, or were trying to secure approval for a project when they contributed.” It seems that many of CONY’s donors and contractors were either also contracted with the city or were affiliated with other groups that had a stake in decisions made by the mayor’s office.An earlier story by Politico reported that CONY and similar organizations have “been a windfall for the handful of consulting firms with close personal ties to de Blasio.” For instance, Bill Hyers, CONY’s board chair, is a partner at Hilltop Public Solutions, which earned over $400,000 from de Blasio’s organizations, including $156,010 just from CONY in 2014. Former secretary Stephanie Yazgi also came from Hilltop.The rules related to nonprofit lobbying and advocacy are meant to ensure that the public’s dollars are used responsibly and not to create a circle of self-interest that counters the service mission of nonprofits, something de Blasio likely knows well. If this is a case in which the mayor was unaware that his organization was operating with these conflicts of interest, it seems a rather extreme oversight. The mayor claimed that CONY was shut down in 2016 because it had accomplished its goals but had to be compelled by a judge to release its communications.—Jeannie Fox and Erin RubinShare11Tweet23ShareEmail34 Shareslast_img read more

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BSkyBs news channel Sky News has acquired mobile

first_imgBSkyB’s news channel Sky News has acquired mobile app licences from cellular newsgathering specialist Dejero to use the latter’s technology to supplement its domestic and international newsgathering operation.Sky News has tested Dejero’s technology, including broadcasting what the company describes as the first intercontinental live video interview using Dejero’s Live Plus mobile app installed on an iPhone.Dejero’s technology and support has been supplied by UK distributor IDX Technology. Dejero’s technology uses bonded cellular technology to transmist live video from a range of mobile devices. Its Live Plus 20/20 transmitter encodes and transmits HD or SD video over 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections. Dejero’s Live Plus mobile app gives broadcasters the ability to transmit live or recorded video from an iOS device. The app aggregates bandwidth from both Wi-Fi and cellular connections of the device, resulting in a higher-quality live video transmission with lower latency than a single connection can provide, according to Dejero.“Sky News is the latest example of a high-profile, international news organization embracing Dejero’s technology to strengthen its ability to bring high-quality live footage back to viewers that might have been difficult or impossible to capture before,” said Brian Cram, CEO of Dejero. “We look forward to working with Sky News as it expands its mobile newsgathering capabilities.”last_img read more

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Dutch cable operator Ziggo is this week launching

first_imgDutch cable operator Ziggo is this week launching interactive TV services for customers with a Ziggo certified TV and a new CI+ Module (version 1.3 or higher). The move means that customers without a separate digital receiver will still be able to access interactive services like watching TV shows or movies on-demand.Ziggo said that the launch would make interactive services easier for viewers to use and claimed it is the first operator in the world to roll this out without the need for a separate set-top box.‘This development offers our customers great benefits. With the interactive CI+ Module, customers can watch movies, television series and missed TV programmes directly on their TV-set and without the need for extra equipment, extra leads or an extra remote control,” said Pieter Vervoort, VP consumer products and innovation at Ziggo.Since the beginning of this year, an increasing number of televisions are being equipped with a CI+ version 1.3, said Ziggo. These include sets made by Samsung, LG and Philips.last_img read more

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