Military dad feels ‘blessed’ to be reunited with wife and son days before Christmas

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — Many military families are preparing for a holiday with a loved one far away, but for the Black family, their Christmas wish came early.Sgt. Tyler Black, who has been deployed in Iraq since May, was prepared to spend another Christmas apart from his wife Holly and 9-year-son Will who live in Texas.“GMA” invited the mother and son to participate in what they thought would be a segment on military families.Just as the pair said they wish they could tell Tyler how much they “love him and miss him,” he appeared with a video message.“Miss you guys — wish I was there and could give you a big hug. Oh wait, maybe I can,” he said emerging from behind the video wall on the set.His wife Holly began to tear up immediately as their stunned son ran to embrace him.As the 9-year-old clung onto his dad, hugging him and crying, he said, “I am so happy.”“I’m so blessed to be able to be here and spend this precious time with my family,” Sgt. Black said. “It’s amazing.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Hurricane Hanna closes in on south Texas coast as Douglas weakens

first_imgSergei Dubrovskii/iStockBY: DAN PECK, ABC NEWS(HOUSTON) — As of Saturday morning, Hanna remains a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph. The storm is moving west at 7 mph and the center is currently about 85 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas.The brunt of Hanna is taking aim on south Texas, from Corpus Christi down to Brownsville, with the outer bands reaching northward with downpours and gusty winds up to the Houston/Galveston area.Flash flood watches remain in effect along much of the Texas coast with heavy rain potentially triggering flash flooding. Storm surges wll build in some areas this afternoon as Hanna closes in along with powerful wind gusts.Some slight additional strengthening is possible over the next few hours before Hanna makes landfall later this afternoon into early evening in south Texas, approximately 3 to 7 p.m. ET. hitting the middle of the state between Corpus Christi and Brownsville.Hanna will begin to weaken rapidly into tonight as it eventually moves into northern Mexico by Sunday morning. However, torrential rain and flash flood threats will persist even as the storm weakens.Douglas is currently a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph. It is moving WNW at 18 mph and is currently about 450 miles east of the Big lsland.This weakening trend will continue through the weekend as Douglas closes in on Hawaii and will pass near the islands on Sunday. It will likely pass close enough for heavy rain, strong winds and rough surf to impact at least parts of the state. However, a slight shift in the track could change impacts either way.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

REBNY slaps Compass with $250K fine

first_imgThe fine is the culmination of a long-simmering conflict between Compass and other rivals over how Compass targets competitors’ agents and exclusive listings.In New York, exclusive listing agreements exist between sellers and brokerage firms, not agents, even if the agent procures the client.According to REBNY’s email, Compass has encouraged new agents to urge clients to “disavow exclusive listing contracts with prior brokers.”As far back as 2018, the heads of several major residential firms met with REBNY’s then-president John Banks to air their grievances over Compass’ purported flouting of that rule.Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber reportedly stormed out of the meeting after a heated discussion about Compass’ tactics. “The group feels that’s unethical and improper under REBNY rules,” Lorber said at the time.Realogy, the parent company of the Corcoran Group and Coldwell Banker, lodged a similar complaint in a 2019 lawsuit that accused Compass of “illicit” business practices.In its complaint, Realogy cited an example of two Corcoran agents who joined Compass and subsequently posted their listings to Compass’ website without Corcoran releasing the listings. Relaogy said Compass provided new agents a template to give sellers, urging them to sign over their listings to Compass. “The form … misleads owners into thinking that they can unilaterally terminate their existing listing agreements,” the complaint said.Compass has tried unsuccessfully to compel arbitration in the case, on the grounds that both Compass and Corcoran are bound by REBNY rules. After a judge denied its motion, Compass filed a motion to appeal the decision last month.Notably, Compass has changed its stance on listing agreements over the years.In 2015, the young brokerage introduced a “key-person clause” in contracts, meaning if an agent left they could take their clients and listings with them. At some point, however, Compass adopted the industry standard, whereby firms release an agent’s listings for a fee.REBNY began imposing fines for listing-related infractions in September. There are two categories of violations, including one for bad data and one for poor business conduct. The second category covers things like agent poaching and excessive whisper listings.For Compass, which has raised $1.5 billion from investors since 2012, $250,000 is a drop in the bucket. The Manhattan brokerage has 18,000 agents nationwide, and sold $91.4 billion worth of real estate last year. It filed confidentially to go public earlier this month.Contact E.B. Solomont TagscompassREBNYRLS Full Name* Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinkcenter_img Share via Shortlink Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and REBNY president James Whelan (Getty; Whelan by Anuja Shakya; iStock)The Real Estate Board of New York has slapped Compass with a $250,000 fine for improperly going after its competitors’ exclusive listings.In an email to New York City agents, the trade group said the penalty was due to “repeated violations” of REBNY’s universal co-brokerage agreement (UCBA), a document that governs how agents share listings.All of REBNY’s residential members are bound by the UCBA, and in exchange they have access to its syndicated listing feed, known as the RLS.According to the email, a copy of which was reviewed by The Real Deal, REBNY suspended Compass from the RLS for 10 days last year as a result of UCBA violations. But Compass appealed, prompting REBNY to convene a panel to examine its decision in November 2020.“The panel deemed the 10-day suspension to be merited, but in consideration of other factors it imposed an alternative penalty,” said the email. In addition to the fine, REBNY is also requiring Compass’ senior managers undergo training about the UCBA and REBNY’s code of ethics.Both REBNY and Compass declined to comment.Read moreTempers flare at REBNY meeting REBNY fines brokers for bad data and bad behavior Compass’ whisper listing campaigns raise eyebrows Email Address*last_img read more

Official Results of Ocean City Board of Education and General Election Are In

first_imgOcean City Board of Education winners Cecelia Gallelli-Keyes, Mike James and Joe Clark.Provisional ballots have been counted and the official results are in from the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.Final results are as follows in the race for three Ocean City Board of Education seats, the only local contest on the ballot:Joseph S. Clark Jr. (2,189)Cecelia Gallelli-Keyes (2,150)Michael Allan James (2,072)Dale F. Braun Jr. (1,742)The final tally differed only slightly from the unofficial election-night results (which already included vote-by-mail votes) with no candidate gaining more than 12 provisional votes.Write-in votes for the Ocean City Board of Education candidates were as follows:Michaela Walsh: 2Braun: 1Gregory Winegar: 1Joseph Edwards: 1Joseph M. Lehman Jr.: 1Jen Bowman: 1James Stockley: 1 (vote by mail)Maryann McLaughlin 1 (vote by mail)For more detail, visit machines and materials are impounded until Nov. 19, which is the deadline for a which a petition for recount (of the voting machine totals and paper ballots), a recheck (of the voting machine totals) or a challenge to the election may be filed in Superior Court, according to the Cape May County Clerk’s Office.Voter turnout in Ocean City was 52.73 percent with 4,379 of 8,304 registered voters casting ballots on federal, county and school board candidates.Ocean City sided with the losing candidate, Republican Jeff Bell, in the race for a U.S. Senate seat won by Democrat Cory Booker. Ocean City cast 2,340 votes for Bell and 1,576 for Booker.Ocean City voters overwhelming chose Republican incumbent Frank LoBiondo (2,766 votes) over Democratic challenger Bill Hughes Jr. (1,534 votes), a native of Ocean City.Read election-night coverage. __________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more

La Crème expands its repertoire

first_imgSouth Wales-based La Crème Patisserie & Catering Co plans to expand its retail and wholesale operations, having completed the purchase of a new factory unit on the Baglan Moors in Neath Port Talbot.Directors Siân and Ian Hindle hope the new unit, the La Crème Centre of Excellence, will be fully operational by March 2009.The firm’s fortunes were boosted when Siân Hindle was awarded runner-up in the Puratos-sponsored Patissier of the Year category at the Baking Industry Awards 2007. Prior to 2008, around 90% of the firm’s sales were from selling patisserie directly to consumers. But from January 2008, it started supplying cafés, coffee shops and hotels. The £24,000 centre, which will employ 10 people, will also house a wedding and birthday cake studio.last_img read more

What Haiti needs … now

first_imgShelter from the season’s pounding rains, a jump-start for earthquake-stalled classrooms, and employment for those robbed of work by Haiti’s Jan. 12 quake top the list of needs in the disaster-stricken nation, a former prime minister said during an interview while visiting the Harvard Kennedy School.Michèle Pierre-Louis, who was the island nation’s prime minister for a year until last September, said Haitians should salute the international outpouring of aid for her country. But she added that, despite the aid, many people remain homeless, and their frustration is rising. During a trip to one of the smaller displaced-persons camps in Port-au-Prince in early March, Pierre-Louis said several people told her that she was the first nonmedical person to visit.Pierre-Louis, who runs the nonprofit Knowledge and Freedom Foundation, was at the Kennedy School on a weeklong visiting fellowship. She said Haiti’s most immediate problem is what to do with the million or so people made homeless by the quake, many of them huddled in makeshift settlements that have sprung up around the city. Making their plight worse, she said, is that the rainy season has begun, making the camps a muddy mess and the leaky shelters uncomfortable.“It’s a big problem. To me, that’s urgent,” Pierre-Louis said. “People are extremely frustrated. Nobody speaks to them except for the doctors.”Beyond the housing problem, Pierre-Louis said another important concern is education. Five thousand schools collapsed, she said, and the quake affected more than a million students. All of the nation’s universities were damaged.“How are we going to restore education? Is it time to rethink the educational system in Haiti?” Pierre-Louis asked.Jobs are another critical issue, she said. Haitians are willing to work — and to spend what they earn to stimulate the economy — if only they can get jobs. She said international organizations in Haiti should conduct their operations with a mind to employing Haitians whenever possible.“Frustration will grow if people are sitting in the mud doing nothing,” Pierre-Louis said.Overall, she said, the quake’s toll of many thousands dead and wounded shows how inadequate everyday conditions are in Haiti. The many deaths, the large number of buildings that collapsed, and the inability of social structures to function properly all need to be addressed in a nation prone to natural disasters.Several such issues are likely to be addressed at a donor conference scheduled for March 31 in New York, she said. The “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” will be held at the United Nations and will feature representatives of Haiti’s government and of several major donor nations. They will discuss Haiti’s development needs and priorities for future aid.In addition to the many dead and the large number of damaged buildings, Port-au-Prince lost 600,000 residents who left the city to live with family members in the countryside. Pierre-Louis said the capital city has lost nearly a third of its pre-quake population.Despite the tragedy, Pierre-Louis said that Haiti in the end will have an opportunity to renew itself. As donor nations plan future aid, she said, they should consider infrastructure upgrades. The limitations of Port-au-Prince’s small airport and lone port were clearly illustrated early in the catastrophe. The poor condition of the nation’s roads also is well-known. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, Pierre-Louis said she was surprised at the strong interest from entrepreneurs willing to do business in Haiti.“I said, ‘My God, we should not miss that opportunity.’”last_img read more

Center for Green Buildings and Cities marks one-year anniversary

first_imgThe Center for Green Buildings and Cities at the Harvard Graduate School of Design is marking its one-year anniversary with two extraordinary public events: The CGBC inaugural lecture by award-winning British architect Norman Foster, Lord Foster of Thames Bank, on Nov. 5, and a conference titled “Sustainability in Scandinavia” on Nov. 6.Foster’s practice, Foster + Partners, has pioneered an integrated design approach driven by sustainability, winning hundreds of awards and international competitions. The fall conference “Sustainability in Scandinavia” will include leading scholars and practitioners from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden to present concepts and case studies  to enrich the ongoing research at the center and to engage the Harvard and local building community in a conversation about best global practices.“It’s our great honor to host Lord Foster at the GSD,” said Professor Ali Malkawi, director of the CGBC and professor of architectural technology. “Our goal for the center is to bridge the many interests that inform sustainable design strategies—from infrastructure to building systems, engineering to design—so it is fitting that Foster is the first speaker in our participation in the GSD’s excellent lecture series.”In establishing the CGBC last year, Harvard University created a unique independent research center devoted to exploring innovative design strategies that address our most pressing environmental challenges. Read Full Storylast_img read more

VEDA may have additional tax-exempt bond capacity, large projects sought

first_imgThe Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has announced that additional tax-exempt bond issuance capacity may be available under the Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZFB) Program, created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the Stimulus Act), enacted by Congress in 2009.“Thus far, VEDA has preliminarily committed all of Vermont’s $135 million in special tax-exempt bonding capacity under the Stimulus Act,” said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.  “However, there is no guarantee that every project approved earlier this year will succeed in finalizing all project details before the December 31, 2010 bond commitment deadline.  Therefore, since it is vitally important that Vermont make the best and highest use of every dollar in tax-exempt bond issuance capacity allotted by the federal government, VEDA is inviting additional proposals, in case excess bonding capacity suddenly becomes available.” Financing a project with tax-exempt bonds enables borrowers to make needed investments at the lowest possible cost, borrowing at a lower-than-normal interest rate.  This financing vehicle is appropriate for larger projects, involving capital assets.  Project funds may be used for the acquisition of machinery and equipment, the construction of new facilities, and in some cases, the purchase and renovation of existing real estate. Projects should total at least $2 million to make this type of financing cost effective for borrowers. Refinancing and working capital are not eligible uses.All of Vermont was designated a Recovery Zone by Governor James Douglas, so eligible and qualified projects may be located anywhere in the state.  A qualified business is any trade or business (including some non-profits), except those engaged in the rental of residential property and certain other prohibited facilities such as golf courses, country clubs, gambling facilities and liquor stores.All applications for RZFB financing must be reviewed and approved by the VEDA Board.  This review is a two step process.  First, preliminary approval (Inducement) must be granted before any significant project expenditures are incurred.  The most qualified applicants will have their proposals presented to the VEDA Board for Inducement approval.  VEDA acts as a conduit issuer for RZFBs, and neither VEDA nor the State of Vermont guarantees payment of the RZFBs.  The ability to sell these bonds is based solely on the creditworthiness of the borrower.  Borrowing terms such as interest rate, amortization, collateral and required equity contribution are negotiated on a case-by-case basis between the borrower and the bond purchaser. Recovery Zone Facility Bond inducement applications may be downloaded from the VEDA website ( is external) ), or obtained from VEDA’s office by calling (802) 828-5627.  For more information about the program, businesses may contact any of VEDA’s Commercial Loan Officers at (802) 828-5627.VEDA’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises.  Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.5 billion. Source: VEDA. 8.30.2010-30-last_img read more

Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon decides to run for re-election

first_imgSincerely,TomThomas M. Salmon CPAVermont State Auditor Salmon said in considering his optionis that he reflected on the daunting task facing Vermonters in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene and the enormous task of reconstruction and rebuilding. In addition to other demands for overall stability, he said he firmly believes that he must serve Vermont in a capacity aligned with the overall mission of strengthening Vermont in every way and as quickly as possible. I was inspired to enter public life after seeing first-hand the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as a Navy (Seabee) reservist. That experience pointed out to me the importance of an effective government. During the past six months, I have talked with hundreds of Vermonters and consulted with my family about how I can best serve the state of Vermont in the coming years. I have examined a number of options, but the impact of Irene on Vermont helped me to understand that the best way for me to serve Vermont is to continue as state auditor.   He said a formal announcement will come at a later date.  Letter from State Auditor Tom Salmon to Vermonters While this may take a long time, Salmon said he is willing to commit his services to the people of Vermont and believes that he and his staff can make a difference. Dear Vermonters, I am very optimistic about Vermont’s future. During this recent crisis, Vermonters have demonstrated that they are resourceful, hardworking, and the best neighbors you can have. I look forward to continuing to serve Vermont in the future as state auditor. Today, as I look at Vermont in the wake of Hurricane Irene, I see Vermonters, already struggling with the burdens of a slow moving economy, knocked off their feet by the devastation of Irene. I see town governments and the state government working hard to make both emergency and long-term repairs to Vermont’s infrastructure. I see Vermonters working together to rebuild and to improve their lives and the lives of their neighbors. September 23, 2011 I am passionate about improving government performance and improving the relationship among federal, state, and local governments. These relationships will all be critical to improving the quality of life for all Vermonters in the coming months and years. My office and I are working closely with state and local officials, as well as the Office of the Inspector General on recovery oversight and FEMA requirements. We will continue our ongoing work with towns and state government to improve government performance, transparency and accountability to the people of Vermont. Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon today announced that he will run for re-election. Salmon had been considering, or been considered for, several other statewide offices. The Republican from St Johnsbury had been linked to possible runs for governor, Congress and US Senate. It was generally thought that the GOP office-seekers would wait for former Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie to decide his future political plans before making their moves. Dubie lost the governship narrowly to Peter Shumlin last year. Dubie has yet to annouce his intentions.Salmon, son of former Democratic Governor Tom Salmon, said he initially decided to run for auditor in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He said he believed that government could do a lot better at coordinating, collaborating and solving public problems with improved intergovernmental strategy and communication. After being elected twice as a Democrat, he switched to the Republican Party and was again re-elected as auditor last year. As state auditor, I know I can play an important role in rebuilding Vermont after the tragedy of Irene and the effects of the long recession. I am proud to have served two terms as state auditor and I’m grateful for the talented and dedicated staff I have working with me. The auditor recently testified Washington, DC, to the president’s Office of Management and Budget and has been working closely with the Office of the Inspector General regarding recovery oversight and FEMA requirements. He said he is passionate about improving government performance and the relationship between federal, state, and local entities. last_img read more

PREMIUMIndonesia noncommittal on US Osprey sale

first_imgLOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Facebook Log in with your social account Google Forgot Password ? geopolitics Indonesia Competition united-states China Prabowo-Subianto defense Jokowi defense-budget Topics : Linkedin Amid orders from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to the Defense Ministry to procure weapons from local arms manufacturers, the United States government has announced the possible sale of Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft worth US$2 billion to the Indonesian Military (TNI).The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), an agency under the US Department of Defense, announced the possible sale of eight Osprey aircraft to Indonesia in a July 6 statement, saying that Indonesia could receive eight MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft and related equipment, including navigation systems and technical support services, among other products.If approved, it will be the second time Indonesia has purchased US aircraft under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) framework, following a 2013 deal in which Indonesia paid $500 million for eight new Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and Longbow radars.Un…last_img read more