Accounts – Fun With Justin http://funwithjustin.com/ Fri, 01 Oct 2021 00:28:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://funwithjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/fun-with-justin-icon-150x150.png Accounts – Fun With Justin http://funwithjustin.com/ 32 32 Priorities ignored in awarding Covid grants to certain SC nonprofits? https://funwithjustin.com/priorities-ignored-in-awarding-covid-grants-to-certain-sc-nonprofits/ Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:27 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/priorities-ignored-in-awarding-covid-grants-to-certain-sc-nonprofits/

By RICK BRUNDRETT

Recently announcing that 686 nonprofits in South Carolina would receive a total of $ 25 million in federal coronavirus grants, state officials said the recipients had received a “due diligence review” successful ”by a panel created by law.

A spokesperson for the Department of State Administration (SCDOA) told The Nerve last week in a written response that priority is given to organizations that provide services in one or more of the following categories:

  • Food aid, including prepared meals;
  • Rent or mortgage assistance;
  • Assistance to public services;
  • Mental health counseling;
  • Health services;
  • Criminal domestic violence and children’s rights advocacy services;
  • Artistic and cultural objects or activities.

But in a review of the grant recipient listing Provided by the SCDOA, The Nerve has found selected organizations whose primary missions are not aimed at helping Southern Carolinians obtain food, pay their utility bills or receive medical services, or assist victims domestic violence and child abuse.

Recipients included, for example, the following private fundraising branches of three public technical colleges, with grant amounts awarded in brackets: Denmark Technical College Foundation ($ 2,500), Greenville Tech Foundation ($ 50,000) and Orangeburg -Calhoun Technical College Foundation ($ 50,000).

In contrast, at its December 10 meeting, a grant review committee was made up of representatives from seven state agencies (Alcohol and Other Addiction Services, Archives and History, Arts Commission, Consumers, Health Mental, Social Services and State Housing Funding and Development Authority) rejected an application by an unidentified nonprofit that provides “grants to students at Coastal Carolina University,” according to minutes from the meeting.

“Did not provide priority services,” the minutes noted. “The harm due to Covid-19 has not been able to organize fundraisers. “

In a written response to The Nerve on Thursday, SCDOA spokeswoman Kelly Coakley said foundations at Denmark Technical, Greenville Tech and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College had indicated that they were providing food, rent, utilities or “services” or “assistance”, although it has not done so. I’m not responding to The Nerve’s follow-up request for more details.

Representatives from the three foundations did not respond to written requests for comment from The Nerve this week.

Rejected applications

Coronavirus Assistance, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) grants to nonprofits ranged from $ 2,500 to $ 50,000 under an aid program that state lawmakers established in September by allocating the remaining approximately $ 700 million of the $ 1.9 billion in federal relief funds given to South Carolina.

Nonprofits submitted a total of 1,590 requests asking for a collective $ 75.9 million, SCDOA spokeswoman Megan Moore said in a written response last week to The Nerve. This means that 904 requests, or more than half of the total, were rejected.

“In many cases, the documentation provided by a claimant did not support the amount requested,” Moore said.

The grant review committee, at its December 10 meeting, rejected at least four applications identified only as “The entity is affiliated with a state agency,” according to the records. Moore denied The Nerve’s request regarding the identity of these organizations, saying it “would not be appropriate to release this information until we have had the opportunity to notify all applicants who will not receive subsidy “.

CARES grants are meant to be used for “reimbursement of eligible expenses” incurred between March 1 and December 1, according to information on the SCDOA website. This includes expenses related to responding to the “COVID-19 public health emergency” and any resulting “loss of income”.

To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be nonprofits designated by the Internal Revenue Service, legally operating in South Carolina, and have been in business since at least September 13, 2019. Priority was supposed to have been given to groups that had not previously received repayable federal loans issued under the emergency Paycheque Protection Program, or other federal coronavirus relief funding, according to published guidelines.

Moore told The Nerve that state law passed in September required applicants for nonprofit grants to submit documents in support of their applications. The grant review committee and a separate committee that assessed minority and small business grant applications were assisted by the international consultancy firm Guidehouse and the SCDOA, the Department of Revenue or the Secretary of State’s office. , according to records.

Under state law passed in June, lawmakers approved $ 10 million in CARES funds for the Virginia-based Guidehouse. The state comptroller general’s records show that the SCDOA so far this fiscal year, which began on July 1, has paid Guidehouse at least $ 2.3 million.

Other laureates

Nerve’s review of CARES grants to nonprofits found that of the 686 grantees, 203 will each receive the maximum of $ 50,000, and 179 others will receive $ 49,788 each.

The recipients include the following two Columbia-based non-profit organizations that do not provide food, rent, or assistance with utilities or medical services to Southern Carolinians as part of their primary mission:

  • IT-oLogy, which “is working to increase the number of IT professionals in South Carolina,” according to its website. He received a grant of $ 50,000; The organization’s revenue for fiscal 2019 totaled $ 463,517, according to its federal income tax return.
  • The South Carolina Foundation for Educational Leadership, which was established to support the Association of School Administrators of South Carolina, according to a description online. He received a grant of $ 49,788; The organization’s revenue for fiscal 2020 totaled $ 306,738, according to its federal income tax return.

In her email response Thursday, SCDOA spokeswoman Coakley said IT-oLogy had reported that the organization provided “arts and culture items or activities,” although it did not not precised. Tammy Mainwaring, the organization’s president, did not respond to a written request for comment on Thursday.

As for the Foundation for Educational Leadership, Elizabeth Phibbs, who is the executive director of the Association of School Administrators and who appears on federal tax records as the foundation’s primary official, told The Nerve on Thursday in a response by email that the foundation had requested a grant under the “other” category for the types of services provided, as noted on its application, although it did not give details.

The Nerve review also found that three Charleston-based nonprofits that have received significant public funding in recent years have received CARES grants of $ 50,000 or $ 49,788, including:

  • The South Carolina Aquarium, which generated total revenue of $ 14.6 million in 2019, including $ 1.5 million from state, according to its federal tax return;
  • Spoleto Festival USA, which in fiscal 2019 generated total revenues of $ 7.8 million, including $ 372,206 in government grants, according to its federal income tax return; and
  • The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, which generated total revenues of $ 2.9 million in fiscal 2020. Its “gold” sponsors include the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, according to its website.

Brundrett is the editor of The Nerve (www.thenerve.org). Contact him at 803-254-4411 or rick@thenerve.org. Follow him on Twitter @RickBrundrett. Follow The Nerve on Facebook and Twitter @thenervesc.

The Nerve Stories are free to reprint and republish with permission and credit from The Nerve.

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Hershey says it’s on top of her ‘pointless’ fuck problem https://funwithjustin.com/hershey-says-its-on-top-of-her-pointless-fuck-problem/ Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:17 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/hershey-says-its-on-top-of-her-pointless-fuck-problem/

Candy lovers breathe a sigh of relief – The Hershey Company has solved their missing tip Kiss issue, according to CNBC.

“We looked at the entire Kiss manufacturing process and made some adjustments to the tip shaping to allow us to have more consistency,” CEO Michele Buck told the news site on Thursday. .

In December, cookie bakers have posted complaints on social media on the brand’s missing tips on the chocolate pieces they used for holiday baking and cookies such as peanut butter flowers. Some have complained directly to the company.

The issue has gained national attention from media outlets such as People, Business Insider and Fox News.

At the time, Hershey said he was investigating the truncated tops.

“We love our kisses as much as our consumers” Hershey’s spokesperson Jeff Beckman told PennLive. “We make over 70 million kisses a day here in Hershey, PA, and we want each one to look as good as it tastes. “

Buck told CNBC they noticed inconsistencies in the form of the tips, but declined to provide details on the cause of the problem in the first place, only relaying that changes had been made.

Consumers could still find Kisses without a tip due to the sheer volume of candy the company produces, CNBC said.

Buck told the site that Hershey appreciated the comments and “really liked” how much bakers thought of the Kisses and their iconic shape.

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Feeling anxious? Try these 7 anti-inflammatory foods https://funwithjustin.com/feeling-anxious-try-these-7-anti-inflammatory-foods/ Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:45 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/feeling-anxious-try-these-7-anti-inflammatory-foods/

One-third of Americans will experience prolonged anxiety at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. While treatment was once largely focused on drugs and therapy, research suggests that foods and nutrients should play a role as well.

This is because inflammation is often a root cause or an underlying contributor to anxiety. Chronic inflammation causes changes in brain communication and the functioning of neurotransmitters that affect mood, emotional responses, and memory.

Eating foods that reduce inflammation and provide specific nutrients to the brain can improve symptoms of anxiety. Try adding these seven anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.

1. Almonds

Low levels of magnesium are associated with an increased likelihood of anxiety and depression. Research suggests that increasing magnesium intake can relieve anxiety. Almonds are a premier source, providing 20% ​​of the Daily Value in a 1 ounce serving. Other good sources of magnesium are cashews, peanuts, and leafy greens like spinach.

EGGS

Eggs are deposited in collection baskets at a certified organic family farm in Illinois. Bloomberg photo by Daniel Acker.Bloomberg

2 eggs

Eggs are a source of choline, an anti-inflammatory nutrient. Choline is a component of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter involved in memory and mood. Low levels of choline are associated with higher levels of anxiety. Two eggs contain 50% DV for choline.

Roast salmon

LC- Oregonian

3. Salmon

A higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA is associated with a lower risk of anxiety (and may alleviate existing anxiety as well). These fatty acids relieve neuroinflammation in the brain and improve neural communication. DHA and EPA are only found in higher fat fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and sea bass, so try to get two to three servings per week.

Bottles of Chobani probiotic drink.

Chobani continues to expand in the beverage department with a new line of herbal probiotic drinks.Courtesy of Chobani

4. Foods rich in probiotics

Gut health influences the ability of inflammation to grow, which means it also influences the risk of mental health problems like anxiety. Strengthening the microbial barrier in the gut by eating certain “good” strains of bacteria can help prevent inflammatory compounds from entering the body and may reduce anxiety. Although research is limited, two types of foods that appear to relieve anxiety are fermented foods (like sauerkraut and kimchi) and dairy products (like yogurt) that contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Blueberries

BlueberriesStar-Ledger File Photo

5. Blueberries

Eating foods rich in antioxidants is vital, and blueberries are packed with polyphenolic compounds that act as antioxidants to protect brain cells from free radicals. These compounds also relieve neuroinflammation and promote healthy brain function, especially during times of stress.

Spinach

(AP Photo / Keith Srakocic)PA

6. Spinach

According to a recent study, leafy greens like spinach are rich in nutrients specifically associated with mental health. This makes it a top choice to help prevent or relieve conditions like anxiety and depression. Spinach and other leafy greens provide minerals like folate and magnesium, as well as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which relieve current inflammation.

Chicken dish

Chicken dishProvided by Sarah Hassler

7. Lean animal protein

Not getting enough vitamins B6 and B12 can contribute to mental health problems like anxiety, as they are needed to make neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine (which control mood and cognition). Getting enough B6 and B12 can be difficult, but lean animal proteins like beef, pork, and chicken are a good source of both.

(EatingWell is a magazine and website dedicated to healthy eating as a lifestyle. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)

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Ottawa provides $ 13.8 million loan for PEI housing project. https://funwithjustin.com/ottawa-provides-13-8-million-loan-for-pei-housing-project/ Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:19 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/ottawa-provides-13-8-million-loan-for-pei-housing-project/

A 60-unit apartment building already under construction is receiving a low-cost construction loan of almost $ 14 million to create more housing in Prince Edward Island.

The apartment at 5 Towers Rd., Just behind the Charlottetown Mall, will be part of the Geneva View apartments.

Of the 60 units, 12 will be one-bedroom apartments and 48 will be two-bedroom apartments.

The units offer between 800 and 1,400 square feet, said Wayne Carew, business consultant for Geneva Place Inc., adding that some units will have “veranda balconies all year round.”

Construction of the apartment started in December 2019. The project is expected to be completed by June. (Tony Davis / CBC)

All units in the building will have annual rents “well below” 30% of the median household income in the area and at least six will meet municipal accessibility standards, according to a government press release.

According to Statistics Canada, the median total income of all families in the Charlottetown area was $ 83,290 in 2018.

The money comes from the Government of Canada’s Rental Construction Finance Initiative – a program of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which supports the construction of rental housing.

“We are proud to be partners in this project because we simply believe that every Canadian deserves a chance to succeed,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

“These projects put the needs of Canadians first while stimulating the local economy and creating good, middle-class jobs when they are needed most.

A rendering of what the building will look like when completed. (Submitted by the Government of Canada)

Affordable rent levels for at least 23 units will be maintained for at least 11 years from the date of first occupancy, the statement said.

“The lack of available and affordable housing is more acute in Charlottetown than almost anywhere else in Canada,” said Charlottetown MP Sean Casey.

“It’s absolutely huge for our community. The biggest challenge Prince Edward Island and certainly the city of Charlottetown face is the very low vacancy rate and affordable housing.

Construction of the apartment started in December 2019. The project is expected to be completed by June.

More from CBC PEI

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]]> decentralized finance builds a new financial system | Investment https://funwithjustin.com/decentralized-finance-builds-a-new-financial-system-investment/ Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:36:52 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/decentralized-finance-builds-a-new-financial-system-investment/

Decentralized Finance, also known as DeFi, uses cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to manage financial transactions. DeFi aims to democratize finance by replacing traditional centralized institutions with peer-to-peer relationships that can provide a full range of financial services, from day-to-day banking, loans and mortgages to complex contractual relationships and negotiation of contracts. active.

Centralized finance today

Today, almost all aspects of banking, lending and commerce are managed by centralized systems, operated by governing bodies and gatekeepers. Regular consumers have to deal with a host of financial intermediaries to gain access to everything from auto loans and mortgages to trading in stocks and bonds.

In the United States, regulators like the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set the rules for the world of centralized financial institutions and brokerage houses, and Congress changes the rules over time.

As a result, there are few avenues for consumers to directly access capital and financial services. They cannot bypass middlemen like banks, stock exchanges and lenders, who earn a percentage of every financial and banking transaction as profit. We all have to pay to play.

The new path: decentralized finance

DeFi challenges this centralized financial system by relieving intermediaries and custodians of responsibility, and empowering ordinary people through peer-to-peer exchanges.

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BRICS Bank Approves Loans for Mumbai Metro and Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Rapid Train https://funwithjustin.com/brics-bank-approves-loans-for-mumbai-metro-and-delhi-ghaziabad-meerut-rapid-train/ Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:43 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/brics-bank-approves-loans-for-mumbai-metro-and-delhi-ghaziabad-meerut-rapid-train/

New BRICS Development Bank approved two loans for Mumbai Metro and RRTS Delhi-Meerut

New Delhi:

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) approved a loan of USD 241 million for the Mumbai metro and USD 500 million for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project.

The two loans were approved by the board of directors of the NDB, said in a statement the bank based in Shanghai and created by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).

The $ 241 million loan for the Mumbai Metro Rail II project will be used to implement an approximately 14.47 km long metro rail line 6 in the city of Mumbai.

The Mumbai Metro Rail II project aims to improve Mumbai’s transport and traffic conditions by providing a modern metro system with high-capacity, safe and comfortable mode of transport, he said.

Line 6 will provide much needed rail connectivity between the western and eastern suburbs, and will contribute to an integrated and seamless public transport network in Mumbai.

The project will be implemented by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.

The NDB is supporting the implementation of metro lines in Mumbai with a total length of approximately 58 km (Line 2 and Line 7) by funding the Mumbai metro rail project approved by the NDB in November 2018, has t -he declares.

The NDB Board of Directors also approved a loan of USD 500 million for the RRTS Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut project.

The loan would be used by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC) for the construction of a rapid rail corridor connecting the territory of the national capital of Delhi to the cities of Ghaziabad and Meerut located in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The RRTS will have a total length of 82.15 km (68.03 km in height and 14.12 km underground) with 25 stations.

It will have a design speed of 180 km per hour, a maximum operating speed of 160 km per hour and high frequency operations, which will reduce the travel time from Delhi to Meerut to 60 minutes.

The project will develop an efficient and sustainable regional transport system and reduce congestion in Delhi, providing people with the option of settling in surrounding cities and being able to get to Delhi via a fast, reliable, safe public transport system. and comfortable, he said.

The NDB was established with an initial authorized capital of USD 100 billion by the BRICS countries in 2014. It was officially opened in Shanghai in 2015. Since then, it has been funding green infrastructure projects in the five countries.

The NDB also approved a 100 million euro loan to the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) for the development of the Russian water transport sector and a two-stage loan of 100 million dollars to the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) for the toll. Road program in Russia and USD 100 million to the Eurasian Development Bank for the water supply and sanitation program in Russia.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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Mamata promises 5 lakhs of jobs and an allowance for women heads of household https://funwithjustin.com/mamata-promises-5-lakhs-of-jobs-and-an-allowance-for-women-heads-of-household/ Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:42 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/mamata-promises-5-lakhs-of-jobs-and-an-allowance-for-women-heads-of-household/

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congressional Supreme Mamata Banerjee announced a host of “social protection programs” in her manifesto for the upcoming 2021 polls in the state.

The promise she made is to “make Bengal the fifth largest economy” with 500,000 jobs created, if she is voted into power.

Another important promise after the poll is the implementation of a “monthly basic income” program whereby “women heads of household” will be entitled to an allowance of Rs 500 – Rs 1000 (per month) for castes. General and SC, ST and OBC respectively.

“There are at least 1.6 crore of general caste families who will benefit from the program. The allowance will continue beyond existing programs such as free ration, health care benefits, etc. Banerjee said.

A widow’s pension scheme was announced earlier in February. The implementation of this regime will take place after the new government comes to power.

The chief minister also promised “home delivery of rations” in the event of a return to power.

The survey manifesto also adds that students will be able to take out loans of up to Rs 10,000,000 using a “student credit card” at an interest rate of 4%. The state government will be the guarantor of these loans.

“In addition, we will provide 10,000 yen per acre per year to all marginal small farmers,” the CM said.

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Religious groups for secularism castigate Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville for his “rant over prayer in school” https://funwithjustin.com/religious-groups-for-secularism-castigate-alabama-senator-tommy-tuberville-for-his-rant-over-prayer-in-school/ Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:40 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/religious-groups-for-secularism-castigate-alabama-senator-tommy-tuberville-for-his-rant-over-prayer-in-school/

Two groups that promote religious secularism attack Republicans Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville’s inaugural address to the Senate in which the former college football coach advocated bringing “God and prayer back to schools”.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation and Washington, DC-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State released statements on Tuesday condemning the first-year senator for falsely suggesting that prayer had been withdrawn from American public schools. They also criticized him for not taking what they believe to be a more serious approach to improving education.

Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, called Tuberville’s speech an “aggressive attack” on the constitutional principles of church-state separation and guarantees of peace. religious freedom.

She said Tuberville’s speech was meant to appeal to his supporters in Alabama, where more than three-quarters of the state’s residents said in a Pew Research Center survey that religion is “very important” in their lives.

“If Senator Tuberville is serious about improving education, he should devote his energy to ensuring that all children have access to adequately funded, high quality public education,” said Laser. “The rants on prayer in school may play well with its base of supporters at home, but they are doing nothing to help our children.”

The FFFR, in a press release, called Tuberville a “newly elected Christian nationalist” who “gets it wrong in school prayer”. The group also accused Tuberville of instituting unconstitutional chaplaincies at four of its training stops: Mississippi, Auburn, Texas Tech and Cincinnati.

Tuberville, in a statement to AL.com, said that “faith and moral values ​​are fundamental to our great country. I will always oppose those who try to lessen the positive influence of prayer and morality on young Americans.

Prayer in schools

Tuberville, in his first Senate speech, pledged to support the establishment of “moral values” and prayer in schools, although he did not elaborate. He said that children need structure and that they “have to learn right from wrong”. He then said the country’s low scores in reading, science and math compared to other countries were “unacceptable”.

The FFRF, in its press release, said Tuberville “is ridiculously wrong” to suggest that more religion is the solution to low scores in science.

“Religion has historically inhibited scientific progress, insisting that gaps in our scientific knowledge must be filled by dogma rather than evidence based on reason,” the press release said. “From the heliocentric model of the solar system to evolution, religion has always been there to condemn the quest for scientific truth and progress. “

The organization then criticized “politicians like Tuberville” who reject science.

“Tuberville should reflect on the fact that the countries that have overtaken the United States in terms of academics are, on the whole, much less religious,” the statement said.

FFRF and Americans United for Separation of Church and State both agreed that Tuberville’s comments misinterpret the reality of prayer within schools.

Said Dan Barker, FFRF Co-Chair, “As long as there are pop math quizzes, there will be prayer in public schools.”

Michael Altman, professor of religious studies at the University of Alabama, said the FFRF is correct in that students are “free to pray,” noting that there are many student-led prayer groups. in schools in Alabama and the United States.

The United States Supreme Court nearly 60 years ago ruled public school prayer unconstitutional.

“There’s really nothing Tommy Tuberville can do to change that, but I don’t think that’s the point,” said Altman. “The argument that removing prayer from schools has led to poor academic performance is a duck (unfounded rumor) made by conservative lawmakers who are unwilling to point out the real culprits like systemic inequalities and cuts to funding for the state. But he’s a duck that works with Republican voters, so it persists.

He added, “The idea of ​​’God and prayer’ in schools, in my opinion, is more of a symbol than a real policy. It’s a phrase that symbolizes a return to how the country and the state were in the 1950s. ”

He said Tuberville was exploiting the desire to return to an era that pre-dates the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in the 1960s on teacher-led prayer and school Bible reading.

“For voters, especially conservative white voters, ‘God and prayer in schools’ symbolizes a time when they were in the social, economic and cultural ascendancy,” Altman said.

Past criticism of the FFRF

The FFRF has criticized Tuberville in the past and cited him as part of an “unnatural alliance” that has prompted university-sponsored chaplains to “prey on student-athletes”.

The group, in a report published in 2015said Tuberville and former Florida State University football head coach Bobby Bowden, as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, “spawned many modern college football chaplaincies” that are present in most places today. Southeastern Conference schools.

The organization said the spread of chaplaincies in state-funded institutions was “a lack of respect for the Constitution.” According to the report, one of Tuberville’s “first steps” after being hired at Auburn in 1999 was to bring in a team chaplain who led the players to be baptized, carry Bibles and carry crosses. in wood. Under Tuberville’s direction, the report also notes, a training camp for team chaplains and an internship program for them were held in Auburn.

The FFRF, in its statement, accused Tuberville of wanting to “inflict its brand of religious rituals” on all public school students, “as he demonstrated when he was a football coach.”

The FFRF’s criticism of Tuberville isn’t the first time the group has been forceful against an Alabama lawmaker, trainer or school when it comes to praying in a public place.

In early 2020, the group and former US representative Bradley Byrne, then a candidate for the Senate, clashed with FFRF’s request for a Tallapoosa County School District investigation into a baptism that took place on a high school football field. The baptism took place in the presence of a head football coach and other school staff, while parents and students watched.

Byrne said he was not going to let the FFRF “intimidate” the high school football coach and called the organization a “radical atheist group”. The FFRF responded by calling Byrne’s reactions “blatant” and “un-American”.

In 2019, the FFRF repeatedly called for religious rituals that took place in public schools in Alabama, including more baptisms on the football field and an “back-to-school worship service.” at Fyffe high school.

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‘He can’t believe he got involved’ in Governor Whitmer’s kidnapping plot, lawyer says https://funwithjustin.com/he-cant-believe-he-got-involved-in-governor-whitmers-kidnapping-plot-lawyer-says/ Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:39 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/he-cant-believe-he-got-involved-in-governor-whitmers-kidnapping-plot-lawyer-says/

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Ty Garbin had never been in trouble before. He had a good job as an aircraft mechanic at the Detroit Metro Airport. He had a property in the north.

He can’t believe how he ruined his life.

Garbin, 25, faces decades in prison – labeled as an informant – for his role in a bizarre plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

He pleaded guilty on Wednesday January 27 to kidnapping a plot outside the Robert Jonker US District in Grand Rapids.

There was talk of putting Whitmer to the test, leaving her in the middle of Lake Michigan in a broken boat. They considered blowing up a bridge near his house to slow the police response – and engaging in firefights with the police.

They also spoke about the kidnapping of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, also upset by the lockdown orders from the two governors in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

As the leader of Michigan militia Wolverine Watchmen, Garbin is one of 14 men indicted by state and federal courts in an alleged plot that was doomed to fail because undercover FBI agents and confidential informants had infiltrated the group.

The FBI knew everything as it happened, including gun training on Garbin’s property in Lake County. The defendants allegedly built a “film house” that simulated Whitmer’s vacation home in northern Michigan.

“I think part of it was the product of naivety, and if he had probably appreciated the consequences that could arise for something like this, I think it would have really given him pause,” his lawyer, Gary Springstead, told MLive / The Grand Rapids Press on Thursday, Jan.28.

“Because he absolutely regrets what he did and is trying to do the right thing now by accepting responsibility and sincerely telling the government what its implication is.”

Springstead, a former FBI agent who worked in Washington, DC, from 1998 to 2005, said there was a growing problem with extremists, as evidenced by the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol. aimed at disrupting President Joe Biden’s vote count.

There are always those who distrust the government and think the government is going too far. They usually have an “internal trigger” before they act. The attack on the Capitol was instigated by former President Donald Trump and his election stealing lies, Springstead said.

He said Garbin’s case is different. Garbin “was aligned with militia type groups … where he doesn’t want the government telling him what to do and the government going beyond its constitutional powers but I think the difference maybe here there has been a pandemic.” unprecedented in Michigan where regularly ordinary people from all walks of life have struggled with closures, from bar owners to restaurateurs, waitresses, salons, dentists, surgeons, lawyers.

“Everyone felt it, so if you thought maybe the government had gone too far before then you run into this unprecedented shutdown… so I think it’s a lot more understandable for people to get angry. .

“The problem arises when they cross that line and engage in violence,” he said.

He said that Karl Manke, Owosso’s barber who fought state in court on its shutdown order, had the right strategy.

The possible consequences for Garbin and others, including five men awaiting trial in federal court and eight others in state courts, are significant. Garbin has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap, a potential lifetime offense, and likely faces decades in prison.

Federal law can result in “draconian” sentences, Springstead said.

As part of Garbin’s plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to charge him with additional crimes, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Federal sentencing guidelines would have called for a life sentence on that charge alone.

Brandon Caserta, 33, of Canton, Barry Croft Jr., 44, of Bear, Delaware, Adam Fox, 37, of Wyoming, Kaleb Franks, 26, of Waterford, and Daniel Harris, 23, are also charged with federal kidnapping conspiracy charges. , from Lake Orion.

Croft and Fox have been identified as the leaders of the alleged conspiracy.

Springstead said Garbin wished he had never gotten involved. He knows he’s in a bad situation. He has agreed to cooperate with investigators and may be called upon to testify in pending cases.

Inmates don’t like informants.

Springstead co-counsel Mark Satawa has already received a death threat. Garbin’s former roommate too.

“I think Ty is one of those guys who got pulled over by law enforcement and said, ‘Hey what are you doing, do you realize you could be getting serious trouble? I think he would have stopped and stopped his behavior altogether, but unfortunately at this point he crossed that line before it happened and now he has to pay the consequences and has accepted responsibility for what he has. made.

“But yeah, absolutely, he regrets what he did. I mean, he can’t believe he got involved and now here he is, 25 years old, facing decades in prison.

Read more:

Militia leader admits plotting to kidnap Governor Whitmer, cooperates with investigation, records show

Michigan man says he monitored Governor Whitmer’s home in kidnapping plot

Kidnapping plot included leaving Governor Gretchen Whitmer in boat on Lake Michigan, FBI says

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The future of affordable loans https://funwithjustin.com/the-future-of-affordable-loans/ Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:37 +0000 https://funwithjustin.com/the-future-of-affordable-loans/

In 1997, a company then known as Apple Computers adopted the slogan “Think Different”. This much-loved marketing campaign became a Steve Jobs classic as it spoke about the possibilities to influence and change the world around us.

That’s basically our philosophy at Freddie Mac. As the US population ages and becomes more diverse, the needs and expectations of borrowers change. People in the credit industry think differently to find solutions to problems that will benefit our neighborhoods, our industry and our country for decades to come. The most dynamic sector where this is happening is affordable housing.

When I first came to Freddie Mac in 2015, one of the most common questions I received was, “Why don’t Millennials buy homes?” “

Due to the market cycle at the time, most of the housing industry was focused on refinancing. Naturally, this precipitated a drop in the share of first-time homebuyers, to around 30% of all homebuyers.

Fast forward to today: Almost half of the mortgages Freddie Mac has purchased so far this year have been for first-time homebuyers, a lot. But there is still work to be done.

The affordable housing challenge

The last time the United States built a large housing stock was after the end of World War II, when the soldiers were returning home. A recent analysis by Freddie Mac shows that the United States lacks about 2.5 million homes needed to meet current demand. From 1968 to 2008, a 40-year period, there was only one year in which fewer new homes were built than in 2017. And wage growth barely keeps pace with appreciation. house prices, for the first time in seven years.

Additionally, existing homeowners, many of whom are baby boomers, are not looking to relocate or vacate their current homes. And frankly, for those who want, they face the same challenge as a millennial looking to become a first-time buyer: it’s hard to find a home they can afford that will meet their needs as well.

The impact of years of low wage growth, rising house prices and rising rents is causing consumers to save less for a down payment. And when they can save money, it won’t go that far in meeting minimum mortgage down payment requirements. Plus, many borrowers with a lower down payment face the additional cost of a third-party credit enhancement, such as mortgage insurance.

Additionally, lenders are discouraged from focusing on more difficult borrowers with smaller loans. Indeed, pressure has increased on the way loan officers’ remuneration is paid, as well as increased production and fixed costs associated with granting a mortgage. If the fixed costs are high and all income is typically a percentage of the loan balance, then lenders have a significantly lower margin on loans with lower balances. In addition, regulations prohibit differential compensation for loan officers, which limits an employer’s ability to improve the incentives for this type of loan.

A new approach and a new attitude regarding affordable loans is needed. We are thinking differently in this area and leading discussions within the affordable housing ecosystem on how to make an impact.

Mortgage modernization

By leveraging advanced analytics and working with fintech companies to research data and verify information, the industry is helping to streamline the mortgage process and ensure sure and final sales in the secondary market. Any efficiency brought to the loan production process, any dollar saved, is a benefit to borrowers. And the benefit is exponentially greater when efficiency is achieved for the low-income consumer or the inexperienced first-time buyer.

The use of new digital tools has taken off in recent years. Every lender tries to find new ways to control costs while looking for opportunities to better serve a changing customer base. By leveraging data analytics, the mortgage industry can further digitize application processing, speed up underwriting, and bring borrowers to the closing table earlier. It also translates into high efficiency when granting loans to low to moderate income borrowers.

Not only do these technological efficiencies reduce costs and processing times, but they can also significantly reduce lender buyouts. These new technologies are promising and many of them are already showing significant results.

Modernized education and preparedness for homebuyers

Borrowers need and deserve education, advice, and solutions to help them prepare for homeownership. Whether it’s learning the importance of using credit as a tool, buyer’s responsibility, or resources to help borrowers stay in their homes, we are a trusted partner.

For example, down payment programs will likely be more needed than ever in the years to come as young people look to buy their first homes. Together with our partners, we are looking for ways to simplify lender adoption, lower costs for lenders and borrowers, and increase engagement and use of these programs.

Another promising area is to leverage one of the oldest, most trusted and respected partners in the industry – housing counselors. By improving the homebuyer’s advice process with digital self-service tools, potential homebuyers could overcome barriers to getting a mortgage on demand and at their convenience. This would allow housing counselors to focus more on troubled areas such as reducing debt, improving credit, and establishing better budgeting behaviors. And other innovations will help bring their expertise closer to the mortgage manufacturing process.

The aftermarket will be a catalyst to help the industry take a different view of the affordable housing ecosystem. It touches many points of the system, works with lenders, provides low down payment options for low-income first-time homebuyers, and works closely with the investors who buy the securities.

The credit industry can also get involved in education and awareness efforts across the business. It can get involved at the community level, helping families in markets ranging from urban to rural, where lenders can work with housing groups, community organizations and everything in between.

In a well-functioning housing ecosystem, real estate professionals, housing organizations, community groups and other stakeholders work together to help keep business flowing and help develop responsible home ownership.

The affordable future loan will require that we all work together across the ecosystem, think differently about future opportunities, and harness new tools and resources to make home possible. Lenders should focus on building the future of the home through ideas, education, mortgage products, and business solutions.

All of us. All-in. Everything for the house.

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