Postal worker pleads guilty to stealing money from over 6,000 greeting cards

first_imgWISN(WAUWATOSA, Wisconsin) — A U.S. Postal worker who was recently terminated from her job has pleaded guilty to stealing cash and checks from over 6,000 greeting cards.Ebony Lavonne Smith, 20, who had started working with USPS in early 2015 pleaded guilty on Sept. 12 to stealing mail — and the money within — between April 1, 2017 and Jan. 25, 2018.Smith was assigned to deliver mail in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin on March 28, 2017. A few months later, in August, USPS customers in her designated zip codes began complaining about not receiving greeting cards in the mail, according to Smith’s plea agreement. Following an investigation where Smith was identified as the carrier who would be responsible for this mail, a USPS supervisor placed a blue envelope in a container meant for residents on Smith’s route. Within the envelope, there was a greeting card with a $20 bill inside, as well as a transmitter that would signal when the envelope was opened, the plea agreement said.While under surveillance, the USPS supervisor also observed Smith looking through trays assigned to other delivery routes, removing greeting cards from them, and then placing them in her own tray. Soon after, Smith left to deliver the mail — including the blue envelope — along her route, the agreement said. When she arrived at the address written on the blue envelope, the transmitter activated, indicating that the envelope had been opened. This is when investigating postal agents approached Smith, who was standing outside of her vehicle, and read Smith her rights. Then they located the envelope, which no longer had the $20 bill, and allowed Smith to retrieve the money from her purse. The serial number matched the one that they had planted in the blue envelope, the agreement said.Postal authorities also found 31 other greeting cards inside a USPS satchel on the passenger side floor of Smith’s USPS vehicle, as well as 23 greeting cards and a Starbucks gift card from between the front seats, according to the agreement. Additionally, they found a roll of tape and letter openers in the driver’s side door. Smith said that she began stealing the cash when she began her route in the Washington Highlands and that she would steal mail about one to two days per week in order to pay bills and take care of her four children, the agreement said.In all, she said she began stealing an estimated $40 a week from customer’s mail, but that later on she began stealing $50 to $100 a week. She also admitted to using the tape to reseal some of the greeting cards that she opened.Smith’s lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ABC News. Smith was terminated earlier this year, according to Jeff Arney, assistant special agent in charge and public information officer for the Great Lakes Area Field Office of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.“The vast majority of U.S. Postal Service personnel are dedicated, hard-working public servants dedicated to moving mail to its proper destination, [and] who would never consider engaging in any form of criminal behavior,” Arney said in a statement. “This type of alleged behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated. When a postal employee betrays that trust of the American people, the special agents in the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, vigorously investigate these matters as we did in this instance and work with local, state and federal prosecutors to hold accountable those employees who violate that public trust.”As for the cards, he told ABC News that the ones the agents found would be sent to their original recipients, and that anyone who wishes to claim something that was lost due to Smith can ask for restitution through the court process.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

NegOcc cops beef up security amid cash aid distribution

first_imgOn March 25, President Rodrigo Duterte signedthe law declaring the existence of a national emergency. It also granted himadditional powers to address the COVID-19 crisis, which includes the provisionof emergency subsidy to “18 million low income households … a month for twomonths.” NOCPPO chief Colonel Romeo Baleros saidthis move will avert lawless elements from taking advantage of the situation. The cash subsidy under the Department ofSocial Welfare and Development is intended to low income families who arefinancially suffering due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson placed NegrosOccidental under ECQ from March 30 until April 14 in a bid to slow down thespread of coronavirus disease 2019. He recently signed an executive orderextending the ECQ until April 30./PN BACOLOD City – The Negros Occidental PoliceProvincial Office (NOCPPO) is tightening its security in various banks in theprovince during the distribution of cash aid under the government’s socialamelioration program. Baleros assured that while police authoritiesengaged in the fight against the viral disease, law and order as well as safetyand security will not be set aside.last_img read more

ODHRÁN MACNIALLAIS: “MCGUINNESS CAN MANAGE CELTIC”

first_imgOdhrán MacNiallais believes former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness can one day manage Celtic FC.Donegal star Odhrán MacNiallais has claimed former Donegal supremo Jim McGuinness can one day manage Celtic FC.McGuinness is currently employed by the Glasgow giants as a performance consultant, since being appointed to the position in November 2012.He worked closely with the club’s youth structure in recent seasons, but following the appointment of Ronnie Delia, McGuinness now works predominantly with the club’s first-team. The success McGuinness had in four-years with Donegal, made him the county’s greatest ever coach, and there are those who believe the charismatic Glenties man has the abilities to be able to manage at a club like Celtic.MacNiallais said, “I don’t see why not, what he’s done to this Donegal team, when you look back to 2010 the state, the position this Donegal team were in, they were down and out and he turned that around completely.“I don’t see why he couldn’t manage Celtic.“Jim brings such a massive psychological side to it. It’s not just his tactics. That would be a big thing to have if you are going to manage a soccer team – you are dealing with a lot of people. “(It’s) probably tougher to deal with professional players than with us. We are just there doing it because we love it but them boys are all getting paid, however, I think it would suit Jim perfectly. He would settle in right away.MacNiallais also paid tribute to his former boss and admitted without his influence he probably wouldn’t have fulfilled his undoubted potential.“What he’s done for me personally is massive. Two or three years ago I was playing U21 for the county but I don’t think I would have had it to go and play senior only for him.“He kind of pushed me on massively. I always had the talent, boys from home would tell me that I had it, but I never kind of pushed myself.“He kind of pushed me on to become a senior footballer and I can’t thank him enough for that. It was massive for me. “It’ll be weird now not having him there but we’ll just have to get on with it. Hopefully he’ll be back.ODHRÁN MACNIALLAIS: “MCGUINNESS CAN MANAGE CELTIC” was last modified: October 23rd, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGAAJim McGuinnessnewsOdhran Mac NiallaisSportlast_img read more

Durant update: Warriors not expecting to begin NBA Finals with him on floor

first_img[vemba-video id=”van/sc/2019/05/24/bang_f0007ae7-8a09-4047-a750-6468801bb63a”] OAKLAND — Will either Kevin Durant or DeMarcus Cousins play in the NBA Finals? The Warriors do not have definitive answers. They sound optimistic, though.The Warriors said in a statement that it is “anticipated that he will play at some point during the 2019 NBA Finals.” But with Cousins practicing on Thursday for the first time since tearing his left quadricep muscle in Game 2 of the Warriors’ first-round series …last_img read more

Absa, E Cape govt partner on housing

first_img28 September 2010The Eastern Cape government has entered into a partnership with Absa to improve access to affordable housing in the province, particularly targeting middle-income earners who do not qualify for low-cost housing but cannot afford expensive bonds either.Eastern Cape Human Settlements MEC Nombulelo Mabandla and Absa Development Company (Absa DevCo) signed the co-operation partnership agreement on Monday.The projected housing units will be available for lease or purchase, targeting families with a combined monthly income of not more than R15 498, as well as those who have no income.Identifying projects, developing proposalsAs part of the agreement, Absa will identify projects and develop proposals for the department’s approval.The housing will be built throughout the province, particularly in rural areas, in a mixed mode of rental and home ownership, with the aim of integrating communities into sustainable human settlements, the department said.The agreement is expected to be of particular benefit to middle-income earners who do not qualify for low-cost housing but cannot afford expensive bonds either.“We want to maximise the impact of private and public sector resources to accelerate the delivery of tenure, with good quality services and housing, on well located land with convenient access to transport options, jobs and other economic opportunities,” Mabandla said.Thornhill housing projectThe provincial government already has a successful partnership with Absa DevCo at the Thornhill housing project outside Port Alfred, where the bank has been appointed as the implementing agent to build 5 000 homes.Mabandla said the government needed the participation of the private sector to provide decent, affordable housing in the country, adding that the department was looking forward to working with other financial institutions on similar projects.“The provision of decent homes must not only be responsibility of government alone,” she said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Maritime cluster for Mandela Bay

first_imgA dedicated maritime cluster in theEastern Cape will boost regional economy.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free images, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Peter Myles  Coordinator: NMB maritime cluster  interim task team  +27 82 556 1680 • Tantaswa Cici  Manager: maritime safety, Eastern  Cape Department of Transport  +27 43 604 7629 or +27 71 673 5171 RELATED ARTICLES • Motor cluster will drive change • Safer seas for PE’s marine life • SA maritime industry set to grow • Aviation, maritime careers for youth • SA harbour chief makes world historyEmily van RijswijckPlans are afoot to create a dedicated maritime cluster for the port region of Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) in the Eastern Cape in order to build on and enhance the city’s existing marine activities.The cluster idea is a joint initiative of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber. The first meeting of the partners took place in February in Port Elizabeth and was attended by 80 invited participants, all with a direct interest in the sector.“Port Elizabeth is historically a maritime city and yet for some reason it has never developed a maritime industry,” says Peter Myles, coordinator of the interim task team elected at the inaugural meeting to look into the viability of the venture.Myles is also chairman of the NMB Tourism Industry Association and a lecturer at NMMU in marine tourism and coastal recreation.The interim task team will appoint a steering committee, which will develop the policy, goals, strategy, actions and resources for a cluster framework aligned to the province’s integrated provincial maritime plan, currently under review.The steering committee will start by investigating the feasibility of ship building and other related industries, including the establishment of a maritime university.Port Elizabeth’s harbour, the fifth largest in South Africa, plays an important role in the movement of clean cargo, automotive parts and vehicles. The magnificent Port of Ngqura, now South Africa’s premier trans-shipment hub, lies a mere 20 km to the north.The Bay, as the city is fondly referred to, also has much to offer in terms of marine tourism. It’s home to one of the largest colonies of the endangered African penguin, and the marine section of the Greater Addo Elephant Park shares the bay area with the city.According to Myles, the main conclusion drawn at the first meeting was that the maritime sector could be a leading contributor to a sustainable provincial economy.Benefiting the greater communityThe maritime industry encompasses a vast array of activities and disciplines, among them designing, building and operating vessels; stevedoring and customs brokerage services; fisheries; the marine railways sector and the myriad industries involved in the maintenance and repair of vessels.Coastal and marine tourism and similar enterprises are also included in this sector.Some of these industries, such as stevedoring, are already in place in Port Elizabeth, while others, such as boatbuilding and repairs, are sorely lacking.In addition, Port Elizabeth remains a favourite tourist destination for South Africans, and international tourism numbers continue to grow.Estimates put the number of foreign visitors to Port Elizabeth in 2010 at 250 000 and domestics tourists in the same year at about 1-million, while the combined spend amounted to about R3-billion (US$386-million).Of special interest to potential cluster partners is the role such a combined effort can play in helping small to medium enterprises.“International experience indicates that the level of business formation tends to be higher in clusters,” says Myles. “Start-ups are more reliant on external suppliers and partners, all of which they find in a cluster, so clusters reduce the costs of failure, as entrepreneurs can fall back on local employment opportunities in the many other companies in the same field.”Clusters also encourage knowledge-sharing and innovation and in these areas NMMU has the potential to play a critical role, he adds.“Nelson Mandela Bay is a region where small-scale businesses and disadvantaged coastal communities could largely benefit, improving their job opportunities and their lives through application of a proposed micro-enterprise promotion strategy.”It is hoped that the cluster will stimulate the growth of smaller companies offering services such as boat building and repairs. It could also enhance the existing coastal and marine tourism sector and even, perhaps, encourage the creation of a maritime university.“In a nutshell, the expectation is that a maritime cluster will uncover Port Elizabeth’s competitive advantage and, with collaboration, will assist in the growth of this sector,” says Myles.Other clusters to boost local economyThe announcement of the maritime cluster follows closely on the heels of the recently launched Eastern Cape automotive cluster, which was formally inaugurated by trade and industry minister Rob Davis in March.Globally, clusters have become the norm in the creation of cross-industry linkages and complementary relationships. In Europe, maritime clusters are well established and offer their members a competitive advantage, says Myles.“In less than half a decade cluster development has become a common factor for economic development agencies in over 40 countries around the world. Clusters are the building blocks of a productive, innovative economy.”Port Elizabeth then and nowThe port area of Port Elizabeth is more than 180 years old. Following the arrival of British settlers in 1820 the harbour area became extremely busy, with mohair, wool and ostrich feathers the most common cargo shipped from the port.By 1825 Port Elizabeth was given port status with the appointment of a harbour master and, a year later, of a collector of customs.According to the Department of Transport 80% of the country’s trade is carried out by sea and it has therefore become necessary to prioritise the shipping industry.South Africa is one of the top 15 shipping countries in the world in terms of the tonnage transported to and from its ports.last_img read more

Ohio FFA Convention schedule

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The 91st annual Ohio FFA State Convention and Expo is being held May 2nd and 3rd at the state fairgrounds in Columbus. FFA Chapters from across the state will be interviewing, competing, and recognized on stage. A complete schedule can be found here.last_img

South America: Mr. Trump, we haven’t devaluated our currency on purpose

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Last week, President Trump tweeted that he would restore tariffs on all steel and aluminum that Brazil and Argentina export to the United States. He would do that because, according to his tweet, the two South American countries “have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies”, which is “not good” for American farmers.He is right. The devaluation of the Brazilian real and the Argentine peso really is a bummer for American farmers. It makes producers in those countries happy with the price received for the products they ship, and that spurs farmer selling. At the same time, prices in U.S. dollars paid by importers don’t necessarily climb – sometimes they even fall, making South American exports more competitive when compared to products shipped by the United States.A metric ton of Brazilian soybeans priced at $350 FOB Santos, for example, equals to BRL1,050 when the Brazilian real is at BRL3 to the dollar. The same $350 becomes BRL1,400 when a swing to BRL4 occurs. Even with an unchanged price in U.S. dollars, Brazil receives 33 percent more for its soybeans just because of currency devaluation.Since the beginning of 2019, the Brazilian real lost 7 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar. In late November, it hit a fresh new low at BRL4.27 per dollar. In Argentina, the devaluation reached 62 percent in the same period and now the peso is around ARG58 to the dollar. And why did that happen? Have Brazil and Argentina’s governments devaluated their currencies on purpose, as President Trump suggested with his tweet?In this particular case, Mr. Trump is wrong. Neither Brazil nor Argentina has done anything to artificially weaken their currencies. We are not that competent. But thank you anyway for overestimating us, sir.In Argentina, a serious economic crisis and a political swing that resulted in the election of center-leftist Alberto Fernandez to the presidency of the country, after four years of conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri, are the main reasons behind the massive devaluation seen in 2019, since foreign investors believe that Fernandez will not be able (or will not be willing) to conduct any kind of market-friendly reforms to the economy.The currency devaluation has helped Argentina’s agricultural exports, which are also buoyed by fears that the new president (whose vice-president is former president Cristina de Kirchner, farmers’ worst nightmare) will raise export taxes for soybeans, corn and wheat as soon as he takes office this Tuesday, Dec 10. But, despite giving a hand to Argentina’s exports, a very weak currency is not exactly a good thing to an economy which has been in such a fragile position. So, no, Argentina has not intentionally devaluated its peso.And what about Brazil? After the election in late 2018 of President Jair Bolsonaro, recently described by The Wall Street Journal as a “rainmaker” for the economy, odds were that the Brazilian real would get stronger. This year, however, a series of factors that include lower interest rates (to stimulate business and create jobs), an overall strength of the U.S. dollar against other currencies such as the euro, the effects of the trade war between the United States and China, the economic crisis in Argentina and political unrest in some other South American countries, contributed to the devaluation of the Brazilian real.The weaker real has helped Brazilian agricultural exports. But the country’s exports are in good shape this year mainly because of the trade war (which makes China buy more Brazilian soybeans) and the fear that the United States would have a crop failure after a way too rainy planting season – which made traditional importers such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam buy Brazilian corn.Brazil is not likely to retaliate the United States if President Trump really goes ahead with the threat of raising tariffs on steel and aluminum exported by Brazil. That would be a setback for the sector, since the United States is the main destination of Brazilian steel. But targeting the metal sector would not have any effect on Brazilian agricultural exports and would not have any compensatory effects for the American farmer. What farmers in the United States, Brazil and Argentina need is a healthy trade environment that allows them to export their products as fair competitors and, above all, as allies in the mission of feeding the world.last_img read more

Geocaching.com Presents – EarthCaches

first_imgShare with your Friends:More EarthCaches draw geocachers to wonders of the natural world – often hiding in plain sight. Gary Lewis, Geoaware, and the Director of Education for the Geological Society of America created of the very first Earthcache in 2004.Mt. Yasur on the island of TannaAn EarthCache delivers adventurers to a location found at specific coordinates. But rather than discovering a container and signing a logbook you earn a smiley by undertaking an educational task and learning about the natural environment.Watch this video to go along with Terry Baker,  TerryDad2, who has set up more than 250 EarthCaches in six states and two countries. TerryDad2 takes you on a tour of West Sulphur Mountain Oil Spring (GC1A5E2) in Ojai, California, where oil is naturally seeping from the ground.TerryDad2 exploring an EarthCacheEarthCaches started with one in Australia and three in the U.S. state of Colorado in 2004 and now there are over 11,000 published EarthCaches. There is at least one on every continent.Examples of educational tasks are answering questions about the site: how far something has eroded down, the size of a waterfall, or, in the case of the Oil Spring, the affect the oil has on the adjacent plant life.Have you found an EarthCache? Tell us your favorite EarthCaching experience.Near EarthCache in the Valley of Fire, Nevada SharePrint RelatedThe Aare Gorge | Aareschlucht | Gorges de l’Aar – GC1YH51 – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – October 11, 2012October 11, 2012In “Community”Your Path to Platinum EarthCachingFebruary 11, 2015In “Community”Inside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 13): EarthCachesMay 10, 2018In “Community”last_img read more

10 Must-Read Video Editing Articles

first_imgKeeping an eye on the industry and staying refreshed is a great way to improve your video editing game. These must-read video editing articles have something helpful for pros and amateurs alike.Film and video professionals should constantly be devouring movies, commercials, music videos, books, and articles. They should be looking ahead at trends in the medium and looking back at where the medium has been. Media consumption is an important aspect of maintaining a flow of inspiration for your own work. With that in mind, here’s a collection of ten must-read articles for our readers living the video editing life.1. Designing Lower Thirds Like a ProFor video editors who find themselves working on a project that involves generating lower thirds graphics, here’s an article from Shutterstock that covers the basics. The article also covers color selection and typography and how those things impact the message you’re trying to convey. This is a great refresher for pro video editors and a great intro to lower thirds for new editors.2. Professional Video Editing Tips and TechniquesPremiumBeat’s very own Caleb Ward crafted this all-inclusive mega-article about video editing tips and techniques. This article covers just about every professional tip or technique you need to know as a video editor, starting with picking the right software and hardware. It also touches on editing for story, editing language, editing speed, shortcuts, and distribution. By the end of the article, you should have a basic understanding of video editing.3. Common Mistakes That Amateur Editors MakeOver at RocketStock, professional cinematographer, director, and editor Noam Kroll offers a list of common editing mistakes that rookie editors are prone to making in their earliest projects. Heed his advice and avoid the traps associated with cutting too little, overusing transitions, always opening with the master, and editing for dialogue.4. Video Editing Tricks to Increase Your Editing SpeedIncreasing your video editing speed sounds like a great thing — but it’s only great if the work being produced is still high-quality. Mike Wilkinson over at FStoppers knows this all too well. That’s why he wrote this great article that gives readers five tricks for better edits. Some of the tricks he covers: knowing how to use a J cut, cleaning up dialogue, using natural segues, and even adding markers. These tips aren’t mind blowing, but they are essential techniques for anyone wanting to increase their editing speed without losing  quality.5. 10 Video Editing Tips From TEDThis piece from the fine folks of TED gives you a real understanding of how to piece a narrative together. The article takes you step by step through the cutting process and features some great video examples from different TED Talks as a guide. While this breakdown is geared more toward the editing of a TED Talk, there are plenty of basic editing technique examples for video editors.6. Editing Techniques to Make Scenes More DramaticDoes the phrase “dramatic sync tempo decompression” mean anything to you? If not, you’ll find this No Film School article very eye-opening. Read along as Robert Hardy highlights the editing techniques of documentary editor Paddy Bird. 7. Editors Who Broke the SystemPremiumBeat author Michael Maher wrote a great piece on the pioneering female editors who broke the Hollywood system. Their influence is undeniable and their stories are great sources of inspiration for anyone in the world of film and video editing.8. Video Editing OrganizationWe’ve listed plenty of sources for video editing tips and techniques… but what about organization? Staying organized is paramount for video editors. With that in mind, here’s a great Videomaker article from Chris Gates that goes over five essential tips to help video editors stay organized and effective. 9. Improving Your Editing TechniquesLarry Jordan has been offering advice to filmmakers and video editors for years. In this piece, Jordan gives us a solid overview of professional editing techniques. Do yourself a favor and explore all of the embedded links within the article. There’s lots of good stuff in there.10. Steps to Becoming a Hollywood EditorRobert Lanford is a Los Angeles-based editor who has worked on major television shows like The Goldbergs, Decoded, and The Good Wife. In this blog post, Lanford goes over the steps an up-and-coming editor needs to take in order to make it as an editor in Hollywood.Did we miss anything? Seen any good video editing articles lately? Share them in the comments below.last_img read more