SELECTMEN NEWS New Finance Director Town Accountant Appointed

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — At a meeting last week, the Wilmington Board of Selectmen appointed Bryan Perry, the current City Auditor for Lowell, as the town’s next Finance Director/Town Accountant, by a 4-1 vote.Perry beat out fellow finalist Jennifer Finnegan, the current Town Treasurer/Collector for Tyngsboro. Both were publicly interviewed by Selectmen on May 15.“I think both candidates did an outstanding job and have great resumes,” said Selectman Mike McCoy. “I was impressed by both, but was more impressed by Brian Perry,” said Selectman Kevin Caira. “He has Munis experience and was part of a conversation. He’s also familiar with the Board of Assessors. He’s an auditor. I think either candidate is good. We win with either one of them. For my flavor, I’m partial to Brian Perry.”“Mr. Perry has well-thought out answers to questions he couldn’t have been prepared for in a setting that was not your typical job interview,” added Selectwoman Jomarie O’Mahony. “What really differentiated the two is that Mr. Perry is currently managing a $300 million+ budget for the City of Lowell, which is three times our budget.”“I was partial to Mrs. Finnegan,” said Selectman Jonathan Eaton, who noted Finnegan has nearly 20 years more experience in municipal finance than Perry. “I felt the fraud she uncovered in her prior employment was very impressive. I do feel that she would fit in with the other finance offices here than Mr. Perry might… Experience matters a lot. I’m not going to go home disappointed if Mrs. Finnegan doesn’t get the position. I do think she’s my preference.”“I agree these were two highly qualified candidates. Very educated. Impressive resumes… They’re pretty equal when you look at them side by side. Both did well in the interviews,” said Selectmen Chair Greg Bendel. “I thought Mr. Perry had the edge when it came to interviewing. We can’t wrong with either one.”“Both could perform the job very well. They offer a different set of strengths. Mr. Perry’s municipal accounting experience and as a member of the Board of Assessors gives him a bit of an edge with respect of understanding the Board,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull, when asked for his opinion. “In terms of learning curves, Mr. Perry does not seem to be familiar with the municipal borrowing process, which is certainly something that can be learned… There will be an adjustment for Mr. Perry from going to a city-form government to a Town Meeting/Board of Selectmen… [Mrs. Finnegan] has been a Treasurer/Collector and Town Accountant, which perhaps gives her a greater breadth of experience as Mr. Perry, so there’s pluses and minuses on both sides…. In the end, whichever way the board goes, we’re in a good situation.”On a motion made by Selectman McCoy and a second on Selectwoman O’Mahony, Brian Perry received 4 votes. Selectman Eaton was the lone no vote.Hull told Selectmen he will discuss the terms and conditions for employment with Perry. Perry’s term will expire annually.Current Town Accountant Mike Morris is retiring on July 12.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN NEWS: Board To Interview 2 Finalists For Finance Director/Town Accountant On Wednesday NightIn “Government”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Finance Director Bryan Perry (Part 2)In “5 Quick Questions”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Finance Director Bryan PerryIn “5 Quick Questions”last_img read more

Fords Fiesta Focus transmission troubles attract NHTSAs attention report says

first_img Tags 2016 Chevy Colorado diesel: A 7,700-pound hauler, 30-plus mpg runabout 0 6 Photos 2015 Ford Focus offers more safety and better looks More From Roadshow Ford null Originally published at 12:08 p.m. PT.Update, 1:40 p.m. PT: Adds statement from Ford. 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N Line review: A legit compact performercenter_img Enlarge ImageFord’s Focus and Fiesta models have been plagued by serious issues with their PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmissions. Roadshow Way back in 2009, Ford’s new Fiesta hit dealer showrooms across the US. It was the first Fiesta to hit the US in decades and it looked better than ever, and its fuel economy figures were seriously impressive. That latter attribute was thanks in large part to their new and innovative dual-clutch automatic transmissions, which Ford called PowerShift, and referred to internally as DPS6.Here we are 10 years later, and those transmissions are proving to be a massive thorn in not only owners’ sides, but increasingly they’re becoming an issue for the mothership back in Dearborn. The problems with the transmission include many reports from owners that it will drop into neutral between gears, leading to a lack of acceleration. Other reports state that the cars will lurch forward and shift jerkily.These issues are so prevalent, and Ford’s reaction to owners’ complaints have reportedly been so unsatisfactory, that now the US government is looking at getting involved.Several Democratic congressmen — including Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, who is on the committee that oversees the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — have called for a review of the ongoing situation, the Detroit Free Press reports.Ford dealers interviewed by the Free Press stated that they hadn’t received clear instructions on how to handle customer concerns going forward, or how (or whether) to charge customers for transmission repairs to their PowerShift-equipped vehicles.Ford’s representatives stated that the company had issued a service bulletin explaining how to handle the increased number of customer concerns and informed dealers that affected vehicles brought in before July 19 would receive extended warranty coverage, something it’s done before for individual components of the transmission. The bulletin promised further communication on or around the 19th, but to our knowledge, no new bulletins have been issued.”The DPS6 transmission was all-new technology from Getrag when it was introduced nearly a decade ago to improve fuel economy in Fiesta and Focus models. We launched those vehicles in good faith — like others, only after they reached key development milestones. Quality issues emerged after they were on the road,” Ford representatives said in a statement. “We acted quickly and determinedly to address those issues. Resolving them took longer than we expected — that frustrated and was inconvenient for many customers, some still today, which we regret. Along the way, we have rightly gone to great lengths to correct the problems: understanding what caused them, alerting dealers and consumers, recommending and making repairs, and extending warranties. In the meantime, automobiles using the DPS6 transmission were and remain safe to drive.”Given the likely cost of each individual repair, combined with the sheer number of vehicles equipped with the faulty gearboxes around the US, a forced recall by NHTSA would likely be a very, very expensive proposition for Ford. 2014 Ford Fiesta Ford Now playing: Watch this: 2016 Ford Explorer review: Go road-tripping in Ford’s updated, EcoBoost-powered SUV Share your voice 2:31 Car Industry Hatchbacks Sedanslast_img read more

Military Families Are Facing Financial Hardships In Houston And Across The Nation

first_imgListen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /03:31 X Florian MartinReda Hicks is an attorney and advisory board member at the Military Family Advisory Network.The 2017 Military Family Support Programming Survey by the Military Family Advisory Network finds that most American military families, 92.5 percent, are in debt.Sixty percent said they don’t have enough savings to cover three months of living expenses; 15 percent said they have experienced food insecurity.Reda Hicks, a Houston area attorney and advisory board member of the Military Family Advisory Network, says a lot of it has to do with having to move frequently.Click on the play button above to listen to the interview.last_img read more

Otto Warmbiers Parents Sue North Korea Alleging Torture Of Their Son

first_img Share Photo by Reuters/PBS NewsHourThe parents of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Korea, saying its government tortured and killed their son.Updated at 5:45 p.m. ETThe parents of an American college student who died after more than a year in North Korean custody have sued North Korea, accusing the regime of torture and mistreatment.Otto Warmbier was returned to the U.S. last June in a coma. He died soon afterward. A coroner concluded that his death was “due to an unknown insult more than a year prior to death.”North Korea has denied torturing Warmbier, whom they accused of trying to steal a poster and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. Pyongyang says the student’s coma was caused by botulism.Cynthia and Fred Warmbier, his parents, say that’s a lie.In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., they say North Korea “brutally tortured and murdered” their 22-year-old son.The Cincinnati couple accuses the regime of hostage-taking, torture, extrajudicial killing, wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.“North Korea’s conduct was willful, outrageous, extreme and dangerous to human life, and violates applicable criminal law and all international standards of civilized human conduct and common decency,” the lawsuit states.The Warmbiers are asking for punitive damages. The lawsuit comes just weeks before President Trump is due to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, an extraordinary and unprecedented meeting. And it was filed just days after the administration announced that Mike Pompeo — then CIA director, now secretary of state — met with North Korea earlier this month.In general, countries are immune from lawsuits in other countries. “We prefer that disputes between sovereigns really be resolved at the diplomatic stage, as opposed to the private civil litigation stage,” law professor Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas explained to NPR in 2016. And then there’s the question of reciprocity, he said: “Otherwise you’d have a race to the bottom where countries would hail each other into each other’s courts.”But there are exceptions — including, in the U.S., an exception for countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism. That’s what allowed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to sue Iran for torture in 2016.North Korea was on that list until 2008, when it was removed by the George W. Bush administration. But Trump put Pyongyang back on it in November, making the Warmbiers’ lawsuit possible.Theirs is not the first lawsuit against North Korea. Several U.S. citizens sued in the 2000s — and won default judgments, after Pyongyang declined to show up to defend the cases.The brother and son of Kim Dong Shik, a U.S. permanent resident who was abducted in China and disappeared, sued, alleging that North Korea was responsible. The U.S. District Court in D.C. ordered North Korea to pay $330 million.Relatives of two Americans who were killed in a 1972 terrorist attack in Tel Aviv sued North Korea for providing material support to the terrorist group behind the attack. The U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico awarded a judgment of $378 million.Thirty American citizens injured in or affected by a Hezbollah strike in northern Israel sued North Korea and other entities over the attack, receiving a total judgment for some $169 million.Members of the USS Pueblo and their families sued North Korea over the 1968 torture of the crew, receiving a $65 million judgment.Of course, getting a judgment is one thing. Getting money is another. Federal courts would have the right to seize North Korean assets to pay the judgments — if there were any North Korean assets on U.S. soil not already frozen.The crew of the Pueblo never managed to collect their money from Pyongyang, but they ultimately received $9 million from the U.S. Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism fund. The relatives of the victims in Tel Aviv have attempted to collect that money by seizing North Korean assets related to the registration of Internet domains; so far, that has been unsuccessful.As for the family of Kim Dong Shik, the last entry in that case’s court docket is an attempt to mail a notice of default judgment to North Korea.The envelope was returned as undeliverable.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Gray Wants More Doctors in Eastern DC

first_imgD.C. Council member Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) wants more physicians to set up their practices in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. He recently authored legislation to make that happen.Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray has introduced a bill to bring more doctors to the eastern side of D.C. (AFRO File Photo)On March 7 Gray, chairman of the Committee on Health, introduced the “Community Health Care Revolving Capital Fund Act of 2017.” The bill creates a fund for the purpose of attracting physicians and increasing the capacity of existing providers whether they practice in primary care, specialty care, or community-based care in eastern Washington, D.C.“One of my main priorities coming out of the Ward 7 Summit I convened in Ward 7 three months ago is making sure the residents of the East End of the city have access to a world-class integrated health care system,” Gray, District mayor from 2011-2015, said. “There is a gap in the system – the physicians that are providing the care are absent from the areas of our city that have the greatest need.”Monies in the fund would be loaned to practitioners in medically underserved areas and can be used for costs associated with opening or modernizing a health care practice. All income and interest payments made pursuant to the loan agreements between the administrator of the fund and participating borrowers would be paid back into the fund for future use.Gray said, “Wards 7 and 8 lead the District in almost every conceivable negative health outcome and that needs to change.”The Department of Health published a Physician and Physician Assistant Workforce study in September 2015 that showed Wards 2 and 5 have the highest numbers of doctor’s offices followed by Wards 1 and 3. The study also showed that Ward 7 is medically under-served and Ward 8 also, despite the presence of the United Medical Center in its boundaries. Ward 8, the poorest ward in the city economically, has the lowest number of primary care and specialty doctors.Gray’s bill is co-sponsored by council members Anita Bonds (D-At Large), Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4), Robert White (D-At Large), Trayon White (D-Ward 8), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), which constitutes a super-majority of the legislative body.The Medical Society of the District of Columbia is the city’s arm of the American Medical Association. Pia Duryea is the director of communications and she told the {AFRO} that her organization hasn’t taken a position on the Gray bill.But, there is community support for Gray’s bill.“I support it,” Ward 8 community activist Sandra “S.S.” Seegars told the {AFRO}. “I recently needed the services of an orthopedic doctor and I googled to find one that is close to me. The closest one is on H Street N.E. and, of course, that isn’t Ward 8.”Seegars said that the UMC’s presence hasn’t increased the number of doctors practicing in her ward, either. She notes that some Ward 8 residents travel to Prince George’s County to visit a doctor.“This legislation isn’t anything new,” Patricia Howard-Chittams, who lives in Ward 7, told the {AFRO}. “It has been discussed before and included nurse practitioners. I would agree that just as there are food deserts, Wards 7 and 8 are healthcare deserts.”Howard-Chittams noted that many doctors are affiliated with hospitals and UMC is the only comprehensive medical facility east of the Anacostia River. She also said doctors might be reluctant to relocate east of the river for other reasons.“There is not a lot of space for a doctor in Wards 7 or 8 to set up a medical office,” she said. “We had a center at Penn Branch but it is in a derelict state now. Even if a doctor wanted to set up in this area, there is no place for them to go.”last_img read more

State to raise issue with NIOS over DEIEd exams new dates

first_imgKolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday expressed his displeasure over the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)’s decision in cancelling the D.El. Ed examination in Bengal, citing leakage.”The test has been cancelled only in Bengal but not in any other state where the examination was held. When an examination is cancelled for alleged leakage, it should be done in all the states where the examinations are supposed to be held. Why only in Bengal? Is the NIOS regulated by the Centre,” Chatterjee questioned. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe rescheduling of the examination on February 3 in which candidates have to appear for two subjects each of three hours’ duration has also been an area of concern for those who have already sat for the examination held on December 20 and 21 respectively. The state Education secretary has already written a letter to the concerned authorities either to revoke its decision of cancellation or reconsider the rescheduled date. “The teachers have submitted a deputation to me citing their difficulty to appear for two papers on a single day. So we have decided to raise the issue with the NIOS,” Chatterjee said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe teachers who have been already teaching in institutions but do not have B.Ed degree can clear D.El. Ed examination and accordingly meet the requisite criteria for teaching as mandated by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE). Meanwhile, the state Education department has decided to raise the salary of Siksha Bandhus from Rs 5,994 to Rs 8,392 a month. There are presently 3,925 Siksha Bandhus working at the grass-root level of Sarba Siksha Abhiyan (SSA). “The salary of those associated with project management related work under the SSA will also be enhanced by 40 percent on an average,” Chatterjee said. The minister expressed his optimism that induction of Class V in primary education will be completed by 2020 with some areas to be worked upon.last_img read more

Fighting Fee Increases

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 2 min read November 1, 2005 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Tired of the increasing costs of credit card transactions? A group of merchants have banded together to fight back with class action lawsuits charging Visa, MasterCard and other leading banks with illegally fixing prices on interchange fees.”The banks have become increasingly greedy with their fees, which is making life difficult for retailers and driving up prices for their customers,” explains Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Retail Federation. “Visa and MasterCard are essentially monopolies, and they are using their status as monopolies to increase profits at the expense of consumers.”Interchange fees–fees banks collect from retailers every time a credit card or debit card is used to pay for a purchase–first came under fire in 2003 when retailers won the right not to accept certain high-fee debit cards. In July 2005, Kroger Co. followed suit by banding with several other large retailers to charge Visa USA Inc. and Visa International Service Association with colluding on fees. And now small businesses are joining in with a suit filed by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP on behalf of five businesses in California, Connecticut and Minnesota alleging that banks violate anti-trust laws by conspiring to fix interchange rates.Duncan attributes the rash of suits to a seemingly arbitrary bump in interchange fees, which have jumped from a weighted average of 1.58 percent in 1998 to 1.75 percent in 2004, the NRF reports–an increase of 10.8 percent. “[Retailers’] costs are in the hands of a third party who has no incentive to keep them in check,” says Duncan.While quick to note that legal processes take time, Duncan is optimistic about the suit against Visa. “We’re talking about a case with $20 billion a year in fees at stake,” he notes. “This is major litigation filed by reputable attorneys with the potential to bring about real change.” Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more