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first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a budget bill that’s a key step toward fast-track passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan without support from Republicans.,Vice President Kamala Harris was in the chair to cast the tie-breaking vote, her first. Democrats in the chamber applauded after Harris announced the 51-50 vote at around 5:30 a.m. Friday.,The action came after a grueling all-night session, where senators voted on amendments that could define the contours of the eventual COVID-19 aid bill.,The budget now returns to the House, where it will have to be approved again due to the changes made by the Senate.last_img read more

first_img Star Files from $75.00 Stephen Carlile Related Shows View Commentscenter_img Stephen Carlile photographed at Green Fig Restaurant(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Age: 38Hometown: London, EnglandCurrent Role: Stephen Carlile is making his Broadway debut in The Lion King as Scar, Simba’s wicked uncle whose terrible deed and resulting tyrannical reign over the Pride Lands put his nephew’s strength and bravery to the test.Stage & Screen Cred: Carlile appeared in the West End productions of The Go-Between, The Producers, The Phantom of the Opera and Snoopy! His U.K. regional credits include My Fair Lady, Twelfth Night, By Jeeves, Don Giovanni and Over My Shoulder. On screen, he has appeared in Brideshead Revisited and Bright Young Things. The Lion Kinglast_img read more

first_img House panel hears workers’ comp horror stories Senior EditorInjured workers are facing extensive delays and denials of workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to receive. Businesses, especially small ones, are facing doubling and tripling of their workers’ comp rates — when they can even find coverage.And part of the problem is legislative reform passed last year intended to crack down on fraud in the construction industry but which has caused some small businesses to close.That was among the testimony heard by the Florida House Select Committee on Workers’ Compensation Reform, which held it’s first meeting February 18. It was scheduled to meet again March 4, as this News went to press, and Chair Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, said he intends to have four or five meetings in the first two weeks of the session and then come up with legislation.The session also began March 4, and is scheduled to end May 2.“We have a tremendous task ahead of us,” Ross told the committee and audience. “It’s going to be very difficult. I’m not so sure we’re going to have an opportunity to find all the answers, but we’re going to make every attempt to investigate and find all the answers.”Noting he’s starting his second term in the House, Ross, who represents insurers in workers’ comp cases, said he found it difficult to find compromise when he tackled workers’ comp matters in his first term. This time, he said, “in order to make substantive and quality reforms, everyone is going to have to give a little.”Martha Stanley, the wife of a catastrophically injured worker, said the system severely aggravates the devastating changes the hurt employees and their families face. Needed medical care is routinely denied, timelines for providing benefits are ignored, carriers require workers to use certain doctors and those physicians routinely downplay injuries or deny care, and sometimes carriers just cut off benefits without a reason. That forces workers to refile their cases.“This is fraud and harassment,” Stanley said.While critics say there is an over involvement of lawyers in the system, Stanley said the system provides no help, and there’s “no one for injured workers to complain to except an attorney.. . . The injured worker with a catastrophic injury is relegated to a subcitizen status.”Greg Schmidt, whose nurse wife was also catastrophically injured, agreed. He said it can take 18 months to go through mediation and court to get medical treatment approved — and it’s considered fraud if the employee uses his or her other health insurance coverage. Injuries can get worse in the time it takes to get that treatment, he noted.The state Employee Assistance Office, which is supposed to help injured workers, usually advised them to get a lawyer, and the office has no enforcement powers, Schmidt said. The system is so difficult that the effect is “you’re severely punished for filing a workers’ compensation claim,” he said.Business representatives weren’t any happier.Mike Blankenship, a Tallahassee underground utilities contractor who is also involved with similar companies in Alabama and Georgia, said his workers’ compensation premiums are twice as high for Florida as the other two states. And his Florida premiums have gone from $51,000 in 1998 to $205,000 for 2003.He said after one of his employees, who was 55, was in a company truck that was hit by another vehicle and then two days later complained of back problems, his carrier told him to assume the man was totally disabled. The company also reserved $160,000 to pay for the case.In response to a question, Blankenship said he hadn’t seen any impact from SB 108, passed last year, and which required that every worker on a commercial construction site valued at more than $250,000 to be covered by workers’ compensation. Companies had been allowed to exempt officers and owners, but critics said that led to abuse that cost carriers more than $1 billion in lost premiums. Blankenship said he supported ending exemptions.But James Bumgarner, who runs a one-person door and hardware installation company, said the law has been disastrous for businesses like his. Already two other similarly other small operations have closed their doors in the Clay County area.The reason, he said, is that now he must have insurance to work on most commercial construction sites — and little if any coverage is available for companies like his. At first, Bumgarner couldn’t find any insurance. When he looked into joining the state’s Joint Underwriting Association, he was quoted a rate of more than $16,000 on a salary calculation of $18,000.“This is probably one of the worst things we did last year,” Rep. Ross said, telling Bumgarner the legislature will work to change the law this year. “The intent was to address the abuse of exemptions.”Other business owners complained that contractors from Alabama and Georgia are outbidding them on jobs in North Florida and then illegally not paying Florida workers compensation rates. They said that carriers are also putting restrictions on what types of functions they can do. One officer of a temporary employment agency said she had to give up her largest client — which in turn lost 25 percent of its manufacturing ability — because her carrier refused to cover workers there, despite an excellent claims history.Rafael Gonzalez, who is monitoring legislation for the Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Section, praised Ross’ and the committee’s approach.“It gives everybody who has anything to do with workers’ comp a chance to vocalize the problems they have with the current system,” he said. “I think the committee will do a nice job. It will give everyone a chance to put out what their perceptions of the problem are and what their difficulty with the present system is. That in itself will be valuable.“The employers need to be out there telling us what their problems are. . . . We need to hear from the market, we need to hear from insurers.”Gonzalez said that Ross has been working closely with the section and other interested parties since last session and is looking to prepare legislation that will punish either side for actions that delay a claim getting to an early hearing. House panel hears workers’ comp horror stories March 15, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

first_imgAuto loans are often referred to as the “bread and butter” of many credit unions, which is why Member Loyalty Group recently held a webinar entirely dedicated to sharing relevant data and best practices to help credit unions enhance the auto lending experience. Here are just a few of the highlights discussed during the event.Our CUSO has collected over 2 million member surveys on behalf of our 75 credit union participants and we have found that, beyond being an important product for the institution, there is a positive link between member loyalty and auto loans. As the chart below shows, members with auto loans had significantly higher Net Promoter Scores® (NPS) than members without auto loans.Higher Overall Satisfaction, Still an Opportunity to DifferentiateMembers rate the auto lending experience highest in terms of overall new product satisfaction, but there are still opportunities to use this key product experience to build relationships with members and differentiate your credit union.Two of the key drivers of less satisfied members are a lack of timely communication and a cumbersome process – things like having to resubmit paperwork or deal with multiple reps, simply requiring too much effort from the member. These frustrations are even more pronounced with younger members, the very demographic most credit unions are trying to build new relationships with during the loan process. In addition to the communication and process challenges they may face, younger members are looking for education and guidance to help them truly understand their financing options. This may be their first auto loan or loan of any kind.Eric Liesener, Loan Sales Manager for BCU shared his credit union’s success focusing on two aspects of the auto loan process during the webinar. By reducing the loan application time for the credit union’s overflow calls and focusing on building a stronger relationship with the member during the application process, the credit union has seen its Net Promoter Score rise dramatically (currently a 91.7 for the auto lending experience).Learn more about auto lending experience best practices by registering to view the full, archived webinar here.You can also learn more about Member Loyalty Group’s Voice of the Member programs by visiting www.memberloyaltygroup.com or contacting us at info@memberloyaltygroup.com. 33SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jake Foreman Before joining Member Loyalty Group, Jake served as Member Experience Analyst for Idaho Central Credit Union where he managed their Net Promoter program. Jake’s passion for the Net Promoter … Web: www.memberloyaltygroup.com Detailslast_img read more

first_imgSep 24, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – United Kingdom health officials this week began telling several thousand Britons they may face a slightly increased risk of contracting variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) because they received blood products from donors who later were found to have the disease.About 6,000 people who have hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and a few people with primary immunodeficiency or certain other conditions were to be informed of the situation, the UK Department of Health (UKDH) said in a Sep 21 news release.”Although any additional risk to these people is likely to be very small, it is necessary to take some simple steps to minimize any chance of passing on the infection,” the statement said. “These steps include not donating blood, tissue or organs, and ensuring that they tell their doctors and dentists if they undergo treatment in the future.”Variant CJD is the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, which spread through British cattle herds in the 1980s and 1990s. Nearly 150 people in Britain have suffered the fatal brain disease. It has been generally believed that these cases all resulted from eating beef products from diseased cattle.However, two cases of suspected bloodborne transmission of vCJD in Britain have been reported in the past year, one last December and one in July. These cases and related investigations prompted the decision to inform blood-product recipients of a possible increased risk.So far, nine British donors of blood plasma are known to have contracted vCJD, according to a report by the UKDH’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) in the Sep 23 issue of Eurosurveillance Weekly. Those donors made a total of 23 plasma donations, which were used in making a variety of blood products, the report says.People who received transfusions of whole blood from donors who later were found to have vCJD were contacted earlier this year and told about their possible additional risk, according to the UKDH news release. Since then, the department has traced plasma from the donors and conducted a risk assessment, which led to the decision to notify recipients of the blood products, officials said.People considered to be at risk are being contacted directly by their doctors, officials said. Health Secretary John Reid stated, “We have . . . been concerned to do everything practicable to ensure the patients directly affected are informed by the specialist doctors who care for them, so they can be given all appropriate information and support. I know this information may be difficult to absorb, which is why we are working with their doctors and other clinicians, to ensure they have the information and support they need.”The UKDH said it won’t know exactly how many people will be notified until patient records have been examined, a task that was begun Sep 9.The department said about 6,000 people with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders would receive letters about the situation, but “the number who may be affected directly is estimated to be around 4,000 people.”Others to be contacted include an estimated 50 people who have primary immunodeficiency and a few people “who have been treated with large quantities of particular plasma products for a range of conditions,” such as secondary immunodeficiency,” the UKDH said.A statement on the HPA Web site says physicians will trace and assess the recipients of implicated plasma products to determine if the patients have a high enough risk of contracting vCJD to warrant public health precautions. When precautions are warranted, physicians will take steps to ensure that patients don’t donate blood, tissue, or organs and that, if the patients undergo surgery, extra infection control steps are taken.UKDH statements describe the risk to the blood product recipients as unknown but probably very low. The news release said that plasma products are made from “pools of many thousands of donations, greatly reducing any risk of vCJD being passed on.”Reid said the government’s handling of vCJD and possible bloodborne transmission has been guided by the principles of “maximum caution and maximum openness.”See also:Report in Sep 23 Eurosurveillance Weeklyhttp://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=2552UK Health Protection Agency report “Variant CJD and Blood Products”http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/cjd/blood_products.htmlast_img read more

first_img Press Association Angry Gunners fans chanted for the manager to sign a striker at the end of their 1-1 draw at Leicester on Sunday. Olivier Giroud is out until January with a broken tibia and Wenger was linked with Loic Remy before he joined Chelsea on Sunday. Boss Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal fans to trust him in the transfer market and insisted they must stop dreaming of an instant solution. They never pursued a deal for the QPR man, though, despite reports of an inquiry. Rookie Yaya Sanogo started up front at the King Power Stadium but it was Alexis Sanchez who netted the opener, which was immediately cancelled out by Leonardo Ulloa. And Wenger wants supporters to remain patient despite Monday’s looming transfer deadline. “As long as the transfer market is open it makes everyone dream by thinking the solution is always somewhere but it’s not necessarily obvious,” he said. “The solution every time you don’t win is to buy someone. We are out there and we’ll try our best and you have to trust us. “You can’t think every time you don’t win a game there’s a miracle man who can win you the game. “Why did Manchester City not win against Stoke? They have plenty of strikers, football is a team sport and we cannot sell it too much as an individual sport.” And Wenger, who lost Laurent Koscielny to a head injury, insisted the Gunners will keep looking before the window closes but refused to give assurances on new arrivals. “I have been in England long enough to know I don’t want to promise when I’m not 100 per cent,” said Wenger, who also admitted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a minor calf injury. “It is not unlimited money because that’s not the way we manage the club. We will try to make the right decision but we have the resources if we think it’s the right player.” Ulloa levelled just two minutes after Sanchez’s 20th minute opener to claim a deserved point for Leicester. It was the striker’s second goal of the season, although he missed a fine chance in the second half to win the game. But boss Nigel Pearson believes his side, who have drawn two and lost one in their opening three Barclays Premier League games since promotion, are improving. “I think when you have a group of players, and a lot haven’t experience the Premier League before in this intensity, the three games we have had have been pretty tough,” he said. “They can reflect on the game and know we can get better and improve but they have given as good as they got. “That should give them confidence. “There isn’t really a great deal of pressure on the players because no-one expected us to beat them. The pressure is on when people make assumptions you should win games. We have to make sure how we judge our players is based on the standards we set ourselves. “I am pragmatic on how I look at fixtures and reflect on performances.” last_img read more

first_imgThe LA County Sheriff’s department is reporting that they have recovered a stolen hearse that contained a casket with a body inside.The Lincoln Navigator was reported stolen from outside of the St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in East Pasadena on Wednesday night.Officials say that around 8:00 pm the mortuary attendant was switching the body’s inside of the church when the vehicle was stolen.On Thursday, a member of the public then spotted the vehicle and contacted the police.Authorities then persued the stolen vehicle and were able to recovered it after the vehicle crashed on 110 Freeway around 7:45 am.While not many details have been released regarding the case, authorities did report that one person was detained and that the casket and the body were left undisturbed.The sheriff’s department hasalso expressed their sympathy to the family of the deceased who were put through more trauma due to the suspect stealing the vehicle containing their loved one.To the suspect(s) driving around in a Black Lincoln Navigator stolen from the 700 blk of Rosemead Bl just after 8PM today in uninc #Pasadena:Out of all the bad decisions you have made, at least make one good one & bring back the deceased person & casket inside the Navigator. pic.twitter.com/Dvo7u94zL1— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) February 27, 2020last_img read more

first_img(CMC) — West Indies head coach Stuart Law said yesterday Carlos Brathwaite’s dropping from the one-day side to face Pakistan will afford the talented all-rounder the chance to further improve on his weaknesses and return a stronger player.The 28-year-old Brathwaite was left out of the 13-man squad to face Pakistan in a three-match series starting here Friday, and will now head to the Indian Premier League to take up his contract with Delhi Daredevils.“We just thought the opportunity was there for Carlos to go away and work on a few aspects of his game, mainly his fitness and bowling – getting back to bowling how he wants to bowl so he has been left out for those reasons,” the Australian said.“It just coincided that the IPL was there and we had no cricket after this ODI series and he hasn’t been part of the last Test series so the selectors gave him the option of going to the IPL, which I think is a good thing.“He can get to talk to guys like Rahul Dravid and learn how to play spin and he’ll get plenty practice with all the net bowlers who are available. He should be able to work on his fitness and work on his bowling.”Brathwaite, who shot to stardom after hitting four consecutive sixes in the final over of the Twenty20 World Cup to win the title for West Indies last April, has struggled in the one-day format in recent times.He averages 13 with the bat from 23 ODIs and averages 47 with his medium pace, having taken 21 wickets. In the three-match series against England last month, he scraped just 42 runs in three innings and failed to take a single wicket in 24 expensive overs.Brathwaite’s namesake, opener Kraigg Brathwaite, was the other player left out of the ODI squad, after also failing to impress in his 10 games to date.Law said West Indies required more explosive batting at the top of the order and selectors had therefore opted for Chadwick Walton. However, he assured Kraigg had not been discarded.“We spoke to Kraigg after the last series and we’ve spoken to him since. We’re just looking for a little bit more impetus at the top of the order,” Law pointed out.“In the first 10 overs, the power-play — we’ve probably got to make better use of those overs when we bat. It’s not like he’ll never play for the West Indies in ODI cricket again.“He’s got an opportunity again to get back into first class cricket and score runs, which he has done since he’s been back, plus it’s also a great opportunity for him to get into good nick and feeling comfortable with his game before the Test series starts.”West Indies face Pakistan in the first ODI on Friday at the Guyana National Stadium and follow up with games on Sunday and on April 11.The three-Test series bowls off April 22 in Kingston.West Indies ODI squad: — Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton.last_img read more

first_imgJAMAICA has registered a five-man team of boxers to participate in the Caribbean Schoolboys and Juniors tournament,scheduled for later this month at the National Gymnasium.The team will be accompanied by two coaches and will mark the second time that the Land of Wood and Water is being represented at the tournament.Head of the Jamaica Boxing Association,Stephen `Bomber’ Jones,recently forwarded the list of participants to the Guyana Boxing Association.The Jamaicans would be led by Lightweight Daniel Hylton who would be on his third trip to Guyana.Hylton laced up gloves in the first Caribbean Development tournament held at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in November 2015,and the following year participated in the first ever Caribbean Schoolboys and Juniors,also held at the Sports Hall.Hylton would be supported by teammates Joseph Coley, Ramone Chung, Rushawn McWhinney and Jerone Ennis. The head coach is Gilbert Vaz,while Godfrey Collins will work as his assistant.Jamaica joins Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Lucia and Suriname as the teams already registered for the May 12th -14th tournament. Trinidad has booked a strong team of eight boxers, while St Lucia and Barbados have registered four fighters apiece.The GBA has contracted AIBA Three Star Referee/judge, `King’ James Beckles to provide a three-day seminar for local officials. The seminar commences on May 9, the same day that the Trinidadian Beckles will arrive.last_img

first_imgVILLARD DE LANS, France (Reuters) – Lennard Kamna claimed his first Tour de France victory when he outwitted Giro d’Italia champion Richard Carapaz to win the 16th stage, a 164-km ride from La Tour du Pin yesterday.The 24-year-old German took advantage of Ecuadorian Carapaz’s momentary loss of focus at the top of the last climb of the day to go solo and finished one minute 27 seconds ahead after charging down in the descent.Swiss Sebastien Reichenbach took third place, 1:56 off the pace as Slovenian Primoz Roglic retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.Defending champion Egan Bernal, whose hopes of winning the race fell away when he cracked in Sunday’s 15th stage, was dropped from the main bunch in the ascent to Saint-Nizier, apparently suffering from back pains.It was a day to forget for Ineos-Grenadiers as Carapaz had to settle for second after two brutal attacks from the breakaway group in the decisive climb had left his rivals in the red.But Kamna, who narrowly missed out on a stage win last week when he lost a two-man sprint against Colombian Dani Martinez in Puy Mary, went solo just when Carapaz was recovering from his effort at the top.Tomorrow’s 17th stage is a brutal mountain trek in the Alps, over 170km and ending in Meribel at the top of the Col de la Loze, 2,304 metres above sea level.last_img read more