Utah Men’s Tennis Aces Pac-12 Academic Awards

first_imgMay 29, 2018 /Sports News – Local Utah Men’s Tennis Aces Pac-12 Academic Awards FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSALT LAKE CITY-Tuesday,  University of Utah men’s tennis capped off a successful on-court season by setting a new program record for academic achievement.The Utes placed seven student-athletes on the Pac-12 All-Academic squads, showing the Utes can both ace the textbooks as well as their competition.Senior Egbert Weverink of Amsterdam, The Netherlands became the second Ute in program history to earn 1st team Pac-12 all-academic honors in consecutive seasons.Furthermore, Slava Shainyan, a sophomore from Moscow, Russia was selected to the all-Pac-12 first team, his first honor as a Ute.Making the second team was senior Santiago Sierra of Mexico City, Mexico as he joined current Utes’ assistant Matt Cowley as the only Ute in program history to earn Pac-12 all-academic honors in three consecutive seasons. Joining Sierra on the second team were junior Dan Allen of London, England, junior Joe Woolley of Boston, England and junior David Micevski of Skopje, Macedonia.Earning honorable mention honors for the Utes was redshirt sophomore Azat Hankuliyev of Salt Lake City. This was his first postseason recognition from the Pac-12.Since joining the Pac-12 in 2012, Utah men’s tennis has had 17 student-athletes earn 31 Pac-12 all-academic honors.In order to eligible for selection to the Pac-12’s all-academic squad, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and compete in at least 50 percent of his team’s matches in men’s tennis. Brad James Tags: All-Academic Squad/Azat Hankuliyev/Dan Allen/David Micevski/Egbert Weverink/Joe Woolley/Matt Cowley/Santiago Sierra/Slava Shainyan/Utah Men’s Tennis Written bylast_img read more

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Cancer survivor David Quessenberry gets first NFL touchdown catch

first_img Written by September 16, 2019 /Sports News – National Cancer survivor David Quessenberry gets first NFL touchdown catch Beau Lundcenter_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail33ft/iStock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — The Tennessee Titans pulled off an epic touchdown pass to offensive lineman David Quessenberry on Sunday, which made his fourth career NFL game extra special for the cancer survivor. The 1-yard pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota notched the offensive tackle’s first touchdown in the NFL.“It was a simple route — any of the offensive linemen on this team could have caught that ball,” Quessenberry said after the game. “I just happened to be the guy who had his number called on that play and was able to come down with it. All I was thinking was, ‘Don’t drop it.’”But what made the moment even more memorable, Quessenberry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June 2014 while he was with the Houston Texans and battled back to make the final 53-man roster with the Titans this year. “I have been through a lot, and it has been a long journey to get here,” Quessenberry said. “Even with all of that, to go out there and score a touchdown, it is crazy. That was amazing. It was epic.”In February 2015, his cancer went into remission after radiation was completed and once he completed his full treatment in April 2017, he returned to practice with the team before moving to Tennessee last year. Quessenberry’s teammates rushed the end zone upon his TD catch at their home opener in Nissan Stadium on Sunday, but the team fell short to the Indianapolis Colts 19-17. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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St. Mary’s Hospital for Women & Children Birth Records

first_img Carrie and Brandon Poag, Wadesville, Ind., sons, Mason William, and Caiden Henry, Oct. 27Amelia and Michael Robb, Evansville, son, Zayden James, Oct. 30Julie and Travis Donberger, Evansville, daughter, Caroline Rose, Oct. 30Sherie and Gabriel Cooley, Wadesville, Ind., son, Silas Francis, Oct. 31Tiffany Martin and Kurt Pritchett, Princeton, Ind., son, Kawhi Edward Gregory, Oct. 31Brattany Williamson and Matthew Hudson, Evansville, daughter, Alivia Marie, Oct. 31Rebecca and Jeff Rhymer, Evansville, daughter, Olivia Kathryn, Nov. 1Mallory and Jonathan Rietman, Evansville, daughter, Emme Louise, Nov. 1Lindsay and Jason Halbig, Evansville, son, Wyatt Lee, Nov. 1Ruth and Beau Raben, Mount Vernon, Ind., daughter, Paisley Ann, Nov. 1Michaela Weber and Craig Taylor, Evansville, son, Bradley Gerald, Nov. 1Brittany and Justin Strockbine, Mount Carmel, Ill., daughter, Scarlett Marie, Nov. 2Amanda and Bradley Cadden, Evansville, son, Blaze Marcus, Nov. 2Katherine and Matthew Potter, Evansville, son, Anderson Matthew, Nov. 2Allysa and Scott Mills, Evansville, daughter, Bexley Katherine, Nov. 2LeKeshia Baker and Normiko Givens, Evansville, son, Tristian Georgio, Nov. 2Dana Gieselman and Lucious Wagner, Evansville, sons, Malik Dwayne, and Hakeem Mitchell, Nov. 2Mary and Robert Albrecht, Richland, Ind., son, Colton Matthew, Nov. 3FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR CONCERNING A PUBLIC SAFETY INCOME TAX INCREASE IN WARRICK COUNTY

first_imgFOOTNOTE Attached below is the Warrick County Chamber of Commerce Resolution in Support of Warrick County Public Safety Local Income TaxWhereas, Warrick County is growing in population and new households requiring more services from police, fire, safety, and emergency services;AndWhereas, increased population and property tax assessments do not result in increased property tax revenues to Warrick County and the municipalities located within Warrick County despite increasing demand for public safety services;AndWhereas, property tax revenues received by Warrick County and its municipalities have also been negatively impacted by the property tax caps that were added to the Indiana Constitution in 2010;AndWhereas, a Public Safety Local Income Tax, if implemented, could only be used to provide police enforcement, firefighting, fire prevention salaries, personal protection equipment, vehicle and related public safety activities, emergency ambulances, emergency medical services, environmental clean-up, public safety dispatch, enhanced 911 service, public safety pension and construction of a future County jail;AndWhereas, Warrick County has the second-lowest local income tax rate in the State of Indiana at one-half of one percent;AndWhereas Warrick County’s municipalities, including Boonville, Newburgh, Chandler, Elberfeld, and Lynnville, are asking the Warrick County Council to implement of a Public Safety Local Income Tax of one half of one percent to provide much-needed revenue; FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare A LETTER TO THE CITY-COUNTY OBSERVER CONCERNING A PUBLIC SAFETY INCOME TAX INCREASE IN WARRICK COUNTY(NAME OF AUTHOR OF THIS LETTER WAS WITHHELD BY REQUEST)There is a competition for new housing starts and high income residents between Warrick County and the surrounding Counties.For those making higher incomes a prime attraction of Warrick County has always been lower income tax rates. For those owing money on businesses, income tax is collected on principle payments made to the bank and can even exceed free cash flow forcing business owners to take out loans in order to pay income tax. For employees with high income such as doctors and executives income tax is seen as a detriment their retirement savings.The clear message of income tax to high earning individuals is that they maybe should look elsewhere to build new home or buy an existing home.By raising income tax rates Warrick County could be pushing some high dollar new homes over to other counties. This will cost Warrick County income tax and property tax.Also consider the use of the money. Families are more concerned with education than fire and police in general, at least until they need them.Keep in mind that I’m not agreeing or disagreeing. I’m just reminding that taxes are seen as a penalty and when the penalty outweighs the benefit people go elsewhere.center_img AndWhereas, even with the implementation of a new Public Safety Income Tax of one-half of one percent, Warrick County’s total local income tax rate will still be among the very lowest rates in the State of Indiana;AndWhereas, the Warrick County Chamber of Commerce believes that providing the revenue needed for Warrick County and Warrick County municipalities to provide for needed public safety services is of critical importance to the future of Warrick County and its citizens, businesses, and visitors.Now, therefore be it resolved that the Warrick County Chamber of Commerce at their August 20, 2019 board of director meeting voted unanimously to support the implementation of a one half of one percent Public Safety Local Income Tax and hereby request that the Warrick County Council take steps to adopt and implement such a tax.last_img read more

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All Dredged Up With No Place to Go in Ocean City

first_imgShallow water at low tide on the bay near West 17th Street in Ocean City. Credit: George RobinsonOcean City continues to struggle in its quest to maintain navigable lagoons and channels for its bayside boating community. But Mayor Jay Gillian vowed on Thursday to continue to make it a priority for his administration.Gillian addressed City Council on Thursday before they approved closing out a $1.8 million deal with a dredging contractor that started work on a project between 15th and 34th streets but couldn’t finish, because they had no place to put the dredged materialThat’s the costly dilemma Gillian outlined: The city has budgeted money to dredge … but finding a disposal site remains an even more expensive proposition — complicated by strict environmental regulations.Much of the route of Saturday’s Night in Venice boat parade — one of Ocean City’s signature events — remains impassable to boat traffic at low tide. The water is too shallow — through the natural accumulation of sand over time.Gillian estimates that the city would have to dredge about 300,000 cubic yards of material to complete an Ocean City project “from tip to tip.”He said the city will focus on the most practical of the many solutions it has considered:A permitted site under the Route 52 bridge: The city has asked the state to modify its permit to allow an expansion of a small site near the Route 52 causeway that would be accessible to trucks that could haul material away. The site would be the most immediate solution for projects that could include Snug Harbor and Glen Cove, the two lagoons on either side of Ninth Street.The existing site near 34th Street: Gillian said construction of a road into the marshes could provide access to trucks that could remove about 100,000 cubic yards of material at the existing site used for the most recent project. That work might be a $4 million effort.Building new wetlands: Gillian said a $2.6 million grant from the state Division and Fish and Wildlife could lead to a permit to build new wetlands with another 180,000 cubic yards of material.“At the end of the day, it’s going to cost a lot of money,” Gillian said. “We’re sitting at 4, 5 or 6 million dollars to do anything.”But a bigger obstacle than the cost remains getting permission from state regulators to do anything, he said.__________See more detail on the city’s dredging plans in an update from Mayor Jay Gillian.__________Gillian’s update on Thursday preceded council’s vote on authorizing a final payment to close out a $1,829,655 contract with Hydro-Marine Construction Company of Hainesport, NJ, to dredge shallow lagoons and channels between 15th and 34th streets.The final payment represents a $10,234 increase over the original contract price of $1,819,422.The contractor did not complete work on the contract by the end of a permitting window on Dec. 31, 2012, and was scheduled to resume work to complete the job on July 1, 2013, but never returned.The dredging company did not finish work at Carnival Bayou Lagoon (between 16th and 17th streets) or at parts of Venetian Bayou Lagoon (between 17th and 18th streets) and Clubhouse Lagoon (between Waterway Road and Clubhouse Drive).Hydro-Marine Construction removed 73,000 cubic yards of dredged material under a contract that called for the dredging of 106,000 cubic yards, according to Ocean City Community Operations Director Roger McLarnon.But through no fault of the contractor, the site where the dredge spoils were permitted to be dumped did not have as much capacity as was originally estimated, McLarnon said Wednesday.The final contract figure was reduced for the dredging work that was not completed but increased for extra work in preparing the spoils site to accept the material that was able to be pumped there, he said. The net was about the same $1.8 million that the contract called for.The city gave a separate company, Duffield Associates of Cape May Court House, a $194,634 contract to engineer and design the project and provide permitting services. Duffield was not the low bidder on the project but was awarded a professional services contract based, in part, on the company’s reputation for good work.The resolution that City Council passed on Thursday did not address Duffield’s contract or its work in assessing the spoils site.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Walls under new ownership after American takeover

first_imgShetland-based Walls Bakery has been taken over by American entrepreneur Bruce Gilardi and has changed its name to Waas Bakery.Gilardi took over the business last week (4 August) and succeeds Charlie Hodge, who has run the bakery since 1987.The American, who has family roots in Shetland that date back to the 1700s, is aiming to introduce “fresher, higher-quality ingredients” and head further down the artisanal route.He first learnt of the opportunity last summer when visiting his aunt and working in the bakery temporarily to learn more about its operation.“I really want to aim for quality and authenticity, so I hope to use quality local products, even such as lard from Hillswick instead of shortening, and moving towards fresher, higher-quality ingredients,” he said.Hodge said it was the right time to step down from his post at the bakery: “I am very proud of what we have achieved, especially of my talented and dedicated team.“Now is the right time to hang up my apron and hand the business over to someone who can build on our success.”The bakery sells products including white softies and bread rolls, as well as oatcakes and water biscuits.last_img read more

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ISIS Communication Battle: Better than Its Military Accomplishments

first_img Its strategy is aimed at imposing the Sharia throughout the Syrian and Iraqi territories. ISIS already controls a great deal of these territories, as we can see in the following picture. The advance over Mossul adds up to the cities already seized by early 2014, as well as big areas in the Ambar province. A few months ago, ISIS combatants coming from the Syrian province of Rakka arrived in Ambar, west of Iraq. In January, they settled in the city of Faluya, seized Iraqi Army’s arsenals, and resisted attacks by government troops. In regards to funding, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s organization is also concerned about getting their supplies conveniently. In June this year, the mayor of the city of Mossul reported that ISIS had seized $450 million from a local bank. ISIS combatants continue advancing towards Baghdad, fighting against the security forces and Shiite militias. The fighting takes place about 80 km from the capital, but there are certain forward factions that occur half the distance to the capital. ISIS also has heavy military equipment, such as tanks and helicopters. In Syria, combatants are already funded from the extortion on Christians, which remain in their households, in exchange for protection. Also, they control the largest oil refinery in the country, capable of processing about 320,000 oil barrels a day. The terrorist organization is strong there, where the population is divided and Sunni Muslims are the majority. They were well received by the mostly Sunni opposition in Syria, who oppose President Bashar al Asad, an Alawite labeled as “enemy of the enemy.” In Iraq several Sunnites consider the situation from the same point of view. They feel discriminated against by the Government of Baghdad, dominated by Shiites. As a result, the terrorist militia may advance easily, and local rebels are joining their troops. The Strategies of Its Leader Alleged rivals executed by decapitation in an attempt to generate an impact on the population so they do not join troops in favor of the Government, propaganda videos where different leaders explain the Jihad’s aim – or Holy War -, the use of Twitter to announce the execution of 1,700 Shiite soldiers, the issuance of statements, investments in marketing – t-shirts with images alluding to the cause – all stimulate a communication strategy carefully studied and aimed at specific audiences, which has been fruitful and that the Iraqi Government has only censored on the Internet, in an attempt to stop it. Censorship has not worked effectively in any country, and it is not the most efficient way to combat this sort of threat. For a long time, small and less powerful forces were able to attract the attention and support of external audiences to their cause, by means of communication techniques. This forced military decisions to be extrapolated that could be adopted to counter their offensive. In the case of ISIS, despite its current relative military supremacy that is attacked by resources and help sent by Coalition nations, there is a high interest for the existence of a communication planning made by the Iraqi Government, so it can be possible to have a panorama of the current events in Syria and Iraq from a different perspective. ISIS has made an effort to reach audiences, not only by means of sympathy but mostly by terror. If this is not carried out by means of strategic communications planning, the influence over the population affected by ISIS, no matter how large the military force is to control the territory under Jihadist rule, should be addressed immediately by the Iraqi Government, supported by the Coalition. Extraordinary analysis, very enlightening. Several sources mention that ISIS has between 7 and 8 thousand combatants in Iraq, and another 5 thousand in Syria. Reports state that there are several foreigners among their troops. Chechnya, Afghanistan, Europecenter_img Chile seems to be far away from the serious events that are taking place in stricken Iraq and fragile Syria with the emergence of a group that has been fighting against Al-Qaeda over the leadership of the global Jihad: ISIS. However, its communication actions are leading to conflict all around the world, including marketing techniques as part of its communication strategy, which has even surpassed its military maneuvering capabilities. Al-Qaeda’s successors have experienced varied transformations over time; these variations have been very diverse, such as belonging to a branch of the already mentioned terrorist organization. The origins of ISIS can be traced back to a small Jordan extremist organization founded in 1999, which returned to Al-Qaeda in 2004. Later, in 2006, it made its comeback as the Islamic State of Iraq. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since 2010, and he raises mystery and speculation. Little is known about him. It is speculated that he was born in the late 1970s in Samarra, Iraq, and that he obtained a PhD in Education at the University of Baghdad. In 2011, Baghdadi perpetrated a series of suicide attacks against targets, most of whom were Shiites. He decided to send his combatants to Syria, to increase his control over territories. Not even the constant threats of Zawahiri, then leader of Al-Qaeda, made him withdraw. He named his organization as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and he also focused his efforts on destroying or absorbing other Syrian rebels, organizing several actions, in addition to taking advantage of oil sites, instead of confronting Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Asad directly. Since 2011, several insurgent factions emerged from Baghdadi’s organization. After the group was able to control western Iraq in the first four months of this year and made a series of accomplishments in northern Iraq in June, it decided that it was the right time to start its most dramatic phase. The establishment of a caliphate was announced: a universal Islamic State led by a successor (Caliph) of Mohammed – in this case, Baghdadi – and the name of the group was again changed to the Islamic State (IS), or ISIS or ISIL, as it is now known. The communication battle, part of the military strategy By Dialogo September 12, 2014last_img read more

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10 things that should keep credit union CEOs awake at night

first_img 88SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Best Financial technology service expert John Best crushes the reiterated maxim “thinking outside the box” to tiny particles, leveraging his lofty, yet proven, financial technology “innovativeness” for credit unions nationwide. Recently … Web: big-fintech.com Details This week I happened to be talking to the CEO of a $3 billion dollar credit union (who will remain nameless) about speaking to their board regarding innovation and technology horizons. During the course of the discussion, he mentioned several things that “keep him up at night” that were not the usual things I have heard in the last 10 years. I found them fascinating and asked if he would mind if I shared them. What follows are his 10 things (in bold) and my added comments just below them.Ten things that keep me awake … but thankfully I only sleep 4 hours a night.1. Major disruptors that make our business irrelevant, i.e. iTunes, who is eliminating the need for record stores. How do we prepare for what’s next? We will not be in the same business in 10 years. Will we be ready?We are all worried that we are about to be “Netflixed,” and I think it is a valid concern in the financial industry. Payments and lending are two areas where we already see disruption. Apple’s entry into payments included biting off interchange from our models. Companies such as the lendingclub.com are proving you don’t have to be a bank to understand lending. His question about how to prepare is important. I believe there are two approaches to this question.First, if you can’t beat them, buy them. We, as an industry, need to be ready to move into some areas we are uncomfortable with, such as providing VC for upcoming financial innovations, outright buying a fintech company to own its intellectual property. Second, create an innovation budget. Start innovating in these spaces yourself or partner with other likeminded financial organizations.2. Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. We worry about the impact to our business and having the ability to secure it. There are numerous companies who have had their Bitcoin accounts ransomed in healthcare this past year. We will make for much larger targets.I’m glad to see the CEO of a credit union this size has taken notice of Cryptocurrency. Paypal now accepts Bitcoin and according to coindesk.com, by the end of this year, more than 100,000 companies will accept Bitcoin as payment. I am more interested in the block chain portion of this. I believe Bitcoin is about block chain technology, and this will be a future wave of digital wallets.“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” – Bill Gates3. Cyber Security. Nothing makes you lose your appetite faster than the Director of the FBI saying there are two types of people: those who have been hacked and those who do not know they have been hacked. I’ve literally placed my fork down and pushed my plate away.The US Postal Service, Home Depot, Target, TJ Maxx … the list goes on. It is more than enough to make you lose your appetite and maybe dry heave a bit. Right now, at this very moment, someone or, more accurately, something (like a bot) is trying to break into your credit union website. It probably won’t succeed because it’s just the bad guys checking to see if you locked the doors. Imagine that a bad guy checks your physical branch front doors 24/7/365, just waiting for you to make a mistake so he can walk right inside. This is the virtual equivalent of what is what is happening online.4. The Cloud. I hear all the positives but where are the guarantees from the negatives. The bad guys are actively trying to find ways to own and control that data and ransom information. How will we protect it?These days, we almost can’t do without the cloud. There are many types of clouds: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). In my opinion, credit unions have been very successful with IaaS using the CUSO Ongoing Operations (full disclosure: they are a partner of BIG). Now we need to start looking at how to expedite our services and development via SaaS and PaaS. Security will be a top concern, but it can be overcome. Bottom line: The cost savings and speed from this approach will be too big to ignore.5. The number one reason a member chooses a PFI: the branch is close and convenient. And yet fewer branches are being built and are smaller as members come in less. There are more online transactions. How do we maximize our retail spaces and continue to grow in a manner that fuels the engine?I like to point to Seattle’s BECU as the winner in this space. Many years ago they began to minimize their branch footprint choosing to go with more retail spaces that are less about transactions and more about financial services. The CEO who wrote this list and I were discussing the fact that these sites almost serve as billboards for your credit union. As much as I love digital, I have always recognized that our people are our best asset. Creating a network for them to interact with our members is as important as the digitizing process. Bottom line: You need both.6. Talent acquisition. We are becoming more complex. As such, we are forced to fight alongside best-in-class industries for the same talent. How do we win that talent, retain that talent, and grow at a pace that provides continued opportunity for them in our organizations.This is so true. How do we get some young developer to stay at our shop when the coolest project you have on your books are adding a new field to the loan app and making changes to the e-statement process? The workforce has changed to attract this new talent.We need to rethink traditional workforce paradigms. Remote employees will need to be a major component of your plan. You will need the tools to allow this group to work from anywhere (the coffee shop, the airport, the back of the train). Have HR start working on how to hire out-of-state people. Start planning for your organization to understand time zones and truly be a national company. Also, you may want to try to desensitize yourself to piercing gauges, tattoos, and other body art. Judging the next generation’s skills by their cover would be a huge mistake.7. The continued growth in the administrative burden of legislation. Ignore the true pluses or minuses of each decision. The only guarantees are the need for more resources, the cost to meet these regulations and fighting to keep these costs from being passed on to our members by remaining lean and mean and maximizing technology.True. Nothing to add here.8. Entry of non-traditional competitors who change the way business is done. Walmart. Check cashing centers. Amazon. Ebay. Quicken. P2P loans. Consumer expectations are being revised based on experiences with these other businesses sectors. They expect your website to be at that level, call centers to be available 24/7, phone apps to be able to scan a car’s VIN and offer you a loan on the spot. You know what? I agree with them. We need to quantum leap our business models.This is always a discussion topic when I work with credit unions. You are no longer just being compared to other financial institutions. You are now being compared to every technology and retail company out there. It’s a major hurdle to get and keep the next generation of digital natives. They will not be tolerant of our excuses for not having the latest technology. They will also not accept service trade-offs (“we can do it in the branch,” or “contact the call center to complete this transaction”).9. Reputation risk. It’s hard enough to manage your reputation, but if there is a breach, your members are confused. They believe you are to blame even though you do your best in communicating.For example, while it may be because Home Depot was hacked, when they receive a replacement credit card in the mail, they’ll assume the credit union was hacked.10. The list is infinite. But so is the opportunity. So which area do I attack first?I like the elephant analogy here. If you view all this as one goal that your CU’s future depends on you will most likely fail. You must attack the elephant one bite at a time. The key is which pieces to eat first.last_img read more

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$10B of PPP funding set aside for CDFI lending

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Thursday it is setting aside $10 billion of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Round 2 funding to be lent exclusively by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs work to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for local residents and businesses.As of May 14, there are 324 credit unions certified as CDFIs, out of 1,142 total CDFIs.The PPP ran out of its initial $349 billion in funding, and Congress approved a second round of $310 billion in April. Of that, $60 billion is allocated to insured depository institutions with below $50 billion in assets. The $10 billion set aside for CDFIs announced Thursday comes out of that $60 billion.last_img read more

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Politicians step in amid fears of poor advice for British Steel members

first_imgThe FCA’s notice to Active Wealth, restricting its permission to give pension-related adviceSource: FCA Register In his personal submission to the select committee, Tapper said: “We have found evidence of a breakdown in orderly advice in Port Talbot; we have anecdotal evidence that matters are little better in other towns where BSPS members [live].”Tapper added: “I hope that in future cases where members are asked to take choices as tough as those in [BSPS], lessons are learned and members are not abandoned to the market.”The FCA has visited advisers in Port Talbot and the surrounding area to “remind them of their requirements”. After a deal was agreed to allow BSPS to be separated from its sponsor, BSPS’ members – of which there are some 150,000 – have the option of joining the Pension Protection Fund or a new British Steel scheme.They can, however, also transfer their benefits out of the fund, an option that is available independent of the restructuring of the fund.Members had until 11 December, two days before the committee meeting, to make a decision. It today extended to 22 December the deadline for members to send their completed option form to the scheme.The scheme has also reportedly extended to 26 January the deadline for pension transfer quotes for current quotes near expiry. The committee’s special evidence session is part of its inquiry into the operation of ‘pension freedoms’.British Steel Pension Scheme was shortlisted for IPE’s 2017 Corporate Pension Fund award. IPE understands individuals claiming to be pension advisers have been approaching employees of Tata Steel – BSPS’ sponsoring employer – outside the company’s factory in Port Talbot.The politicians will also hear from representatives of steelworkers and their union, the BSPS trustees, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and financial advice firms Celtic Wealth and Active Wealth. The latter is reported to be engaged in poor advice practices, luring members to transfer out, and FCA has told it to stop accepting any new clients on pension business. UK parliamentarians are to hold a special meeting about evidence of dubious advice being given to members of the £15bn (€13.2bn) British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).In a statement the committee said it had “received evidence of questionable approaches and unsuitable advice being given to members of the BSPS, which the chair has described as a ‘honeypot for scammers’, and there are fears of BSPS members nearing retirement losing huge amounts of their life savings”.The special evidence session will inform a report that will propose regulatory and other measures to prevent similar situations.The pensions select committee of the House of Commons is to hear evidence from Henry Tapper, a director at First Actuarial, and independent financial adviser Alastair Rush. The pair have visited Port Talbot in Wales, where Tata Steel UK’s operations are based, and have reported poor advice practices and confusion about what options are available.last_img read more

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