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Thursday, December 17, 2015

39% Of All U.S. Money Spent At Online Stores Goes To Amazon

If you’ve placed an online order for a gift or for a self-gift this holiday season, it most likely came from Amazon. How likely is it? According to statistics released this week, 39.3% of all money spent by Americans shopping online is spent at Amazon, which is more than the next 20 biggest sellers in e-commerce combined. 

10+ Things Consumers Should Know About The New Federal Spending Bill

This morning, after months of slapping on, then removing, then replacing pork barrel riders on the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, we finally know exactly which add-ons made it into the omnibus spending bill and which ones didn’t.
#1: Scuttling The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Lawmakers in both the House and Senate attempted to undermine the CFPB — a Bureau created by Congress itself only a few years ago — by eliminating its direct funding source and restructuring it as a commission. Those lawmakers failed and the CFPB will continue to exist as it is — at least until the next bank-funded attempt to scuttle it.
#2: Limiting Banks’ “Get Out Of Jail Free” Card
As we mentioned recently, certain riders sought to prevent the CFPB from implementing new rules that would limit the use of forced arbitration — which allows companies to effectively break the law by taking away consumers’ right to sue and to join together in class actions — by banks, credit card companies, and other creditors. These riders also failed to make the final cut.
#3: Neutering Net Neutrality
Riders intended to circumvent the legal system and preempt the FCC from enforcing the 2015 Open Internet Order (aka “net neutrality”) are not in the final omnibus.
The final spending bill also drops the rider that would have preempted the FCC from any sort of rate regulation on broadband services. While the FCC has said it will not set rates for these newly regulated services, it will allow consumers to challenge, on a case-by-case basis, allegedly unfair or unreasonable rates.
A number of high-profile Internet companies — both on the content and infrastructure sides of the business — recently called on Congress to drop this rider, even though some of them would benefit from a total lack of regulation on rates.

Identity Theft Company LifeLock Once Again Failed To Actually Keep Identities Protected, Must Pay $100M

Five months after federal and state regulators accused identity theft protection company LifeLock of violating a 2010 settlement in which it paid $11 million for allegedly using false claims regarding effectiveness of its services, the company has been ordered to pay $100 million in penalties and refunds for once again misleading consumers. 

Facebook Users Can Now Use The Messenger App To Hail A Ride

In its ongoing effort to keep Facebook users inside the Facebook universe at all times, the social media giant is adding a new feature to Messenger that will allow folks to hail a ride with Uber and other on-demand car services from within the app.

The new feature, aptly enough dubbed “Transportation” by Facebook, will allow users to request a ride from a car service, even if you don’t have the Uber or the Lyft app on your phone, without leaving a conversation.

To hail a ride inside the app, users have to download the latest version of Messenger. When you’re in a conversation with a friend, you can then tap the “more” menu and select Transportation. Users can also search for Uber and tap the car icon to request a ride.

All updates regarding the driver’s status will then appear within Messenger, you’ll be able to pay for the ride, and your friends will be notified that you’ve called a ride. Ostensibly, this just means the friends you’re in the conversation with, and not all your Facebook friends in general.

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Gillette Suing Dollar Shave Club Claiming Razor Subscription Service Infringes On Its Patents

With all those lumbersexuals and their bushy beards taking a big cut out of the razor business, it’s no surprise that competition is fierce. In an effort to protect its slice of the market, Gillette is suing online subscription razor service Dollar Shave Club for violation of intellectual property. 

Federal Appeals Court Won’t Reconsider Plan That Would Pay College Football, Basketball Players

If you’re a college athlete hoping to score some cash from your time on the basketball court or on the football field, you’re out of luck: a federal appeals court has decided against reconsidering its ruling striking down a plan to pay some NCAA athletes.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals followed up on its September decision to put the kibosh on a proposal that would’ve allowed schools to pay football and basketball players up to $5,000 a year in deferred compensation, by voting 2-1 not to have a larger panel of judges rehear the case, reports the Associated Press.

The same court ruled earlier this year in a lawsuit brought against by the NCAA by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon that colleges are violating antitrust laws by profiting from student-athletes’ names and likenesses while these same students are forbidden from receiving any money.

But the court said student athletes shouldn’t be paid in cash — which would go into a trust fund until the athletes graduated — and instead determined that scholarships covering the full cost of an education would suffice as compensation for the use of players’ names and likenesses.

In issuing its judgment this fall, the appeals court said allowing cash payments would have an effect on the positive aspects of colleges’ amateurism rules.

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CEO Who Hiked Price Of Drug By Over 5400% Arrested In Unrelated Securities-Fraud Investigation

Three months after Turing Pharmaceuticals entered the spotlight by buying the rights to a generic drug used to save lives and dramatically increased the price from $13.50 to $750, the company’s CEO has been arrested in a securities-fraud investigation. However, the charges are related to another company the man once led. 

Rising Obesity Rates Strain Nursing Homes

In yet another sign of the times, American nursing homes report they are becoming increasingly overwhelmed and unprepared for growing numbers of very overweight residents.

The percentage of new nursing home residents who are moderate and severely obese — with a body mass index of 35 or greater — has risen to nearly 25 percent from 14.7 percent in 2000, according to a recent study, The New York Times reports.

Nursing home administrators say they cannot afford to care for such patients, because Medicaid, which covers more than 60 percent of all nursing home residents, does not reimburse them for the specialized equipment required.

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Congress to Approve Lifetime Health Benefits for 9/11 First Responders

Lifetime health care benefits for 9/11 first responders will finally be approved by Congress.
An act to provide them with lifetime medical care for illnesses associated with their work at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 is included in a must-pass $1.1 trillion spending package, CNBC reported.

An agreement on the issue was reached by the White House and Congressional leaders late Tuesday, and House and Senate votes are expected to be held Thursday.

"Never again will survivors and responders be forced to walk the halls of Congress, begging for their health care. Never again will they lose sleep over fear that this life-saving program will run out," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a statement Tuesday evening, CNBC reported.

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Ocean City Seeks Changes To Proposed Median Barrier

Ocean City Seeks Changes To Proposed Median Barrier;
Officials Worry Gaps Between Poles Will Not Deter Pedestrians

OCEAN CITY -- Resort officials got their first look this week at a proposed fencing alternative in the median along a section of Coastal Highway, and while they generally liked the option aesthetically, they voiced concern about the open fence’s ability to deter pedestrians from crossing mid-block.
The Ocean City Transportation Committee on Tuesday met with State Highway Administration (SHA) officials to discuss the proposed Pedestrian Safety and Connectivity Project for the median along Coastal Highway from Convention Center Drive to Route 90. The project includes enhanced lighting, bus lane adjustments and a physical barrier in the center of the median to deter pedestrians from crossing mid-block and encouraging them to use the marked intersections.


Historically, the section of the highway in the project area has produced the most pedestrian-vehicle collisions and SHA has been working with the town on developing a fence or other deterrent to prevent pedestrians from dashing across the highway. The plan is create an aesthetically pleasing barrier that also does not block the sight lines for motorists on both sides of the highway.


On Tuesday, SHA officials presented a proposed barrier that included five-foot high stainless steel posts set eight inches apart down the center of the median in the project area. The posts would not include any horizontal component to prevent would-be highway crossers from squeezing through. The posts appear to be undulated, and with increased landscaping and vegetation create an appearance of the dune fences so symbolic of Ocean City.

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Is Big Pharma Influencing Your Doctor?

You trust your doctor, right? But should you? "Most patients look up to the men and women in white coats as close to gods," says Dr. Erika Schwartz. "Every patient wants to believe that his or her doctor, who spent decades absorbing masses of knowledge about the human body, is here to administer their miracle cure.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Dr. Schwartz tells Newsmax Health.

"Your doctor may be a bought man or woman, and owe more allegiance to the pharmaceutical industry than to you," says Dr. Schwartz, author of "Don't Let Your Doctor Kill You."

"Unfortunately, most doctors define success by how much money they make, how quickly they can perform a procedure, or how many publications carry their names, rather than by how connected, caring, and profound their relationships with their patients are," says Dr. Schwartz, chief medical officer at the Age Management Institute in New York City.

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Walmart raising wages for over 17,000 employees in Maryland

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is raising the wages of over 17,000 workers in Maryland.

Through a national $2.7 billion investment, the retailer is increasing minimum wage for its workers in all states.

In Maryland, it will bump the minimum wage for full-time employees to $12.92 an hour, and part-time employees will see theirs increase to $10.61 an hour. The increases are set to be in place by February.

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced an initial round of raises in February of this year, which made the minimum wage $9 in April. In July, the company announced another increase for associates in specialized positions.

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Sam Zell: Recession Likely in Next 12 Months, Rate Hike Too Late

Billionaire investor Sam Zell said the U.S. economy could go into a recession in the next year and that the Federal Reserve interest-rate increase is coming at least six months too late.

The central bank has been too cautious and the economy would already be adjusting if it raised rates six to nine months ago, giving Chair Janet Yellen “more room if a recession is on the way,” Zell said Wednesday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Multinational companies are laying off workers, global trade is slowing and there’s a possibility China’s economy will falter, he said.

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Fager’s Island, Seacrets To Temporarily Close Next Month For Winter Projects

OCEAN CITY — Two of the resort’s largest nightlife giants will close in January for substantial renovation projects, thusly creating an unprecedented moment for the Ocean City restaurant and club scene when both will be closed for an extended period of time.

Seacrets will close its doors on Jan. 3 for approximately six weeks as it will literally be raising the road on 49th Street almost three feet to combat frequent flooding that has historically occurred during heavy rain events in front of the main entrance.

“It’s the first time in our history [since 1988] that we will be closed for this long,” said Seacrets owner Leighton Moore. “Five or six weeks is a long time, but the fact that we are doing the distillery project, coupled with the time of year, we thought it was the right time to do them together.”

Seacrets’ new three-story, 12,000-square-foot distillery broke ground in late October and is scheduled to open in the spring, but Moore says it wouldn’t make sense to construct the distillery without fixing the flooding issues that occur in front of the main entrance of the bayfront establishment.

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ABC/Wash Post Poll: Most Americans Oppose Assault Weapons Ban

A majority of Americans – 53 percent – oppose banning the sale of assault weapons, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The poll also shows most Americans don't have confidence that the government has the ability to prevent lone wolf terrorist attacks.

Oppose a ban: 53 percent
Support a ban: 45 percent

The 45 percent who now favor a ban on the sale of assault-style weapons is down 11 percent from the last time the poll was taken in 2013. Support has steadily dropped, except for a slight uptick in 2011, since a record 80 percent favored a ban in 1994.

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Never Forget


For the undying 9/11 MORONIC JET FUEL ARGUMENT

More Newspapers Shutting Down

The Valley Independent in Monessen and The Daily News in McKeesport PA will shut down on Dec. 31

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Trib Total Media is closing two of its western Pennsylvania newspapers after failing to sell them, leaving 87 employees out of work.

The company says in a statement Wednesday that The Valley Independent in Monessen and The Daily News in McKeesport will shut down on Dec. 31.

Jennifer Bertetto, the company's president and CEO, says they've been trying to sell the papers since August but "nothing ever came to fruition."

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ICE Brags About Catching 0.0002% of Criminal Aliens

Everyone ready to congratulate the federal government on doing their job? Great!

Earlier this month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehended – wait for it – 0.0002 percent of the criminal illegal aliens currently loose on the streets of the United States. And they want us to be super excited about it.

At a recent congressional hearing, ICE Director Sarah SaldaƱa testified there were about 179,000 “undocumented criminals with final orders of removal” loose in the United States. The director added between 30,000 and 40,000 of these criminals had been detained at some point, but were released by authorities because of legal restrictions on how long a criminal illegal alien can be held in custody.

But never fear! According to the agency’s website, ICE arrested 39 illegal aliens who’d been convicted on a crime during a large-scale sting operation across West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4. Included among these were 17 individuals arrested in the Philadelphia area, another six caught in Pittsburg, and seven apprehended in Charleston.

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TONIGHT - Guitar Master Johnny A. feat. Bryan Russo!

JOHNNY A. FEATURING BRYAN RUSSO
Thursday, December 17

Johnny A. is one of the most sought after guitar players in the world. He has recently joined the world famous band The Yardbirds! Johnny has shared the stage with the best in the business, including B.B. King, Les Paul, George Thorogood, Jeff Beck and J.J. Cale, among others. His talents have even garnered the attention of Gibson Guitars, who released the Johnny A. Signature Series Guitar, which is one of their top-selling signature guitars of all time! 


Doors: 7 PM | Show: 8 PM
$20 Admission | 18+ Show

CITY OF SALISBURY: HOLIDAY ALL POINTS BULLETIN

HOLIDAY ALL POINTS BULLETIN: Over the past few weeks, the city has received multiple complaints of elf-related mischief....

Posted by City of Salisbury, Maryland on Thursday, December 17, 2015

This Saturday At Roadie Joe's

This Saturday, Big Timing Comedy presents DAN ST. GERMAIN (Comedy Central, Conan) at Roadie Joe's Bar and Grill in Downtown Salisbury. Tickets available at www.squadup.com/events/joes7. Get them now because they will sell out.

Another Exclusive News Story Tomorrow Morning At 8:30 AM


Good will and kindness go a long way.

Good will and kindness go a long way.

Posted by Lunkerville on Monday, December 14, 2015

SPD Press Release 12-17-15 - (Armed Robbery-Dunkin Donuts)

Congress to Vote on $1.1T Spending Bill

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives will begin voting Thursday on a colossal trade, giving Democrats a $1.1 trillion spending bill largely free of controversial policy provisions in exchange for a Republican-backed $629 billion package of tax cuts.

Unable to convince enough members to back such a global deal, House leaders will break them into two votes. On Thursday, the House will vote on the tax package, which is likely to pass with almost exclusively Republican votes. On Friday, the spending package will come to the floor needing a majority of Democrats to pass. That way, Republican conservatives can vote against the spending bill, Democratic liberals can vote against the tax bill, and both bills still pass and a government shutdown is averted.

Congressional leaders unveiled the massive package that will keep government funded through September 2016 in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

The 2,009-page bill abandoned most of the controversial provisions Republicans wanted to add to block President Obama's policies on topics ranging from immigration to wetlands rules to armor-piercing bullets. But it includes a major Republican goal of lifting a 40-year ban on exports of domestic crude oil.

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Blowing Up President Obama on the Theory and Facts of Minimum Wage Hikes

David Neumark – one of today’s most respected and skilled econometricians who studies the employment effects of minimum-wage legislation – has a superb essay in [Wednesday's] Wall Street Journal on the minimum wage. (gated) Among the reasons for the excellence of Neumark’s work is that he is, in addition to being a master econometrician, also an excellent economist. These two disciplines (econometrics and economics), while complementary to each other, are emphatically not the same. Much of what’s wrong with modern-day economics is that people who master econometrics (in part because their degrees are said to be in “economics”) mistake their knowledge of econometrics for knowledge of economics – despite the fact that many of these econometricians know precious little economics. And no amount of mastery of econometrics can compensate for ignorance of economics.

Here’s a slice from Neumark’s essay:

Walmart's Investment in U.S. Workforce Includes $23 million for raises to Maryland associates

Walmart’s two-year, $2.7 billion investment in its U.S. workforce includes $23 million for additional raises to associates in Maryland Investment provides 17,200 additional raises to Walmart workers in the state

BALTIMORE –
Walmart is making a $2.7 billion investment over two years in its U.S. workforce to raise wages, provide better training and increase scheduling choice and flexibility. As part of this commitment, the company is investing $23 million, resulting in 17,200 additional raises for associates in Maryland. By February, the new full-time average hourly wage in Maryland will be $12.92 an hour and $10.61 an hour for part-time associates.

Over the past year, Walmart has increased wages in three phases beginning in April by moving its starting rate to at least $9 an hour. In July, the company increased wages for more than 100,000 associates in specialized positions, like wireless or deli associate, and department managers. In February 2016, Walmart will raise wages for associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016 to at least $10 an hour, $2.75 an hour above the federal minimum wage; hourly managers of the company’s more complex and service-oriented departments will earn at least $15 an hour. Associates hired beginning Jan. 1, 2016 will start at $9 and move to at least $10 after successfully completing the company’s new Pathways training program.

The company is starting to see a return on its investments. Since the first phase of pay raises went into effect, Walmart’s customer experience scores and associate engagement numbers have increased. The company also announced during its third quarter earnings that U.S. comp-store sales were positive for the fifth straight quarter and customer traffic was positive for the fourth straight quarter.

Wages are just one part of Walmart’s commitment to providing associates the tools they need to grow with the company and provide great customer service. The company is also opening doors for existing and new associates by increasing scheduling flexibility and providing new training opportunities for continued advancement beyond entry-level jobs. Also, the addition of more than 8,000 new department managers and rolling out a new shelf-stocking program will make it easier for associates to get products on the shelves when customers are shopping.

Md. lawmakers call for changes to drunk driving laws in wake of officer’s death

WASHINGTON — A Maryland state senator says an angry police chief’s words over the death of one of his officers are a “wake up call” for lawmakers.

Maryland State Sen. Brian Feldman says residents can expect lawmakers to return to Annapolis to make some changes to drunk driving laws after the death of Montgomery County police officer Noah Leotta.

The 24-year-old officer died last week after he was hit by a car during a traffic stop on Rockville Pike. Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said the driver who hit Leotta had smoked marijuana and been drinking for hours before the crash.

“There’s going to be a lot of discussion on a lot of topics related to drunk driving,” said Feldman.

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Most BPA-Free Plastics Still Leach Toxic Chemicals


By Rachael Bieschke

Many health-conscious consumers have started buying only plastics labeled BPA-free, believing them to be safer than traditional plastics. BPA (or bisphenol-A), a component of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics, has shown reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicity in animal studies, and there is growing concern about its impact on vulnerable populations, particularly pregnant women, infants and young children.

The problem is that even BPA-free plastic can leach chemicals with estrogenic activity into your food. According to one study in Environmental Health Perspectives, most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals, including BPA-free options:
"Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled-independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source-leached chemicals having reliably detectable EA [estrogenic activity], including those advertised as BPA free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA than did BPA-containing products."

Mother Jones also reported on a study by the lab CertiChem, which tested 50 reusable BPA-free plastic containers, including baby bottles, sippy cups and water bottles.

They, too, found that some of the products leached hormone-altering chemicals even without being exposed to conditions known to increase chemical leaching (like exposure to heat from a dishwasher, microwave or ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are used to sterilize baby bottles). And most of the BPA-free plastics leached chemicals under certain conditions. According to Mother Jones:
"Many of the items ... are advertised as healthy alternatives to plastics containing BPA and the hormone-altering chemicals known as phthalates

... The news isn't all bad, though. CertiChem's study also names several products that are free of estrogenic activity, among them green Nalgene water bottles (the green dye apparently blocks the effects of UV rays) and reusable water bottles from Topas and Zeonor. CertiChem's founder ... cautions that even these products aren't guaranteed to be safe since minor change to the chemical formula can introduce estrogens."

Unfortunately, plastics manufacturers may swap plastics in their products, leading to a less healthy product, without consumers' knowledge; even a tweak to the product's color can alter its toxic potential. So what's the best way to avoid exposure to these dangerous hormone-disrupting chemicals?

Store your food and beverages in glass containers as opposed to plastic and, if there's an option, choose glass jars over plastic containers for your food products (juice, vegetables, beans, etc.). Additionally, avoid plastic toys for children - choose those made from natural materials, such as wood or fabric, instead. Finally, be aware that liquid infant formula sold in cans, as well as many canned foods, may also contain hormone-disrupting chemicals due to the can liners.
 CancerFightersThrive.com 2015

Special Treatment for Firefighters With Cancer? Some States Say Yes

Mark Rine was just 30 when he was diagnosed with deadly, stage 4 melanoma after his wife noticed a dark spot on his back. In the three years since, doctors have cut out some of the Columbus, Ohio, firefighter’s lymph nodes, treated him with chemotherapy and discovered inoperable cancerous tumors on his spine and lung.

“I fought a lot of fires. Abandoned homes, kitchen fires, car fires, dumpster fires,” Rine said. “That’s how I got this mother of all cancers.”

Had Rine been a firefighter in one of nearly three dozen other states, it might have been easier for him to receive disability benefits: Those states have laws that presume certain cancers are related to firefighters’ jobs and their exposure to toxic smoke and fumes. That means firefighters can become eligible for benefits without having to prove that their cancer was job-related. It would be up to a firefighter’s employer, usually a city or a county, to prove the cancer was in fact caused by something else.

A state senator, Republican Tom Patton, wants Ohio to join the ranks of states that offer such special protections to firefighters like Rine.

“We expect these men and women to run into burning buildings and save people’s lives and they do a marvelous job,” said Patton, who is sponsoring what’s known as a firefighter presumption bill. “They should have the presumption that their illness was caused by the fires they were fighting.”

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Distinguished Young Women of the Lower Eastern Shore scholarship program

Distinguished Young Woman of the Lower Eastern Shore to be named January 23rd during local scholarship competition

Ocean City, Maryland December 15, 2015 – High school junior girls from across Worcester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Dorchester counties will join together in Salisbury for the Distinguished Young Women of the Lower Eastern Shore program to be held Saturday, January 23 at Parkside High School. Participants will compete for about $1000 in college scholarships and the opportunity to represent the state as the Distinguished Young Woman of the Lower Eastern Shore for 2016.

The program is open to the public and will begin at 4 p.m. Entry is free.

The young women competing will be evaluated by a panel of five judges in the following categories: Scholastics (25%), Interview (25%), Talent (20%), Fitness (15%), and Self-Expression (15%). The participant selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of the Lower Eastern Shore will advance to the state level at the Distinguished Young Women of Maryland program in Westminster, Maryland on July 6, 7, 8, and 9, 2016, where she will join with other representatives from across the state in competing for cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland at the national finals in Mobile, Alabama.

For more information on Distinguished Young Women of the Lower Eastern Shore, please contact Tasha Haight at 410-490-6344 or lowereasternshore@distinguishedyw.org

About Distinguished Young Women

Founded in 1958 in Mobile, Alabama, Distinguished Young Women is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. During its 58 years of operation, the program has provided life-changing experiences for more than 740,000 young women. Last year, Distinguished Young Women provided more than $820 million in cash and college scholarship opportunities to program participants at the local, state and national level. Previously known as America’s Junior Miss, the program announced its new name in June 2010.

The mission of Distinguished Young Women is to positively impact the lives of young women by providing a transformative experience that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent. National sponsors include Mobile County, City of Mobile, Wintzell's Oyster House, The Hearin-Chandler Foundation, Encore Rehabilitation, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Regions Financial Corporation, and Alabama Media Group.

For more information about Distinguished Young Women, contact Megan Arendall, National Headquarters Marketing and Communications Director 251-438-3621

Military service members to get 3.4 percent more in 2016 for housing

The Defense Department released housing allowance rates for 2016, as service members head into a second year of cost-sharing increases.

DoD said Dec. 15 that the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates will increase by an average of 3.4 percent starting Jan. 1, or roughly $54 per month.

“The cost-sharing amounts incorporated in the 2016 Basic Allowance for Housing rates vary by grade and dependency status and range from $24 to $57 monthly. This means for 2016, a typical member will need to absorb [2] percent of the national average housing cost by pay grade,” the department stated in a release.

The 2 percent increase is part of a four-year phase-in to shift some costs to members, with the amount increasing each year by 1 percent through 2018. By 2019 and after that year, members will be paying for 5 percent of their housing costs and utilities.

“This rate computation change slows the growth of certain military pay and benefits in a fair, responsible and sustainable way,” DoD said. “Even with these nominal changes, the overall military pay and benefits package remains robust and healthy.”

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Advance Ticket Sales For ‘Star Wars’ Impresses At OC Theater

OCEAN CITY — Don Fox knows that folks have been waiting a long time to see the new “Star Wars” movie. That’s why he’s glad he can offer them a theater where they can kick their feet up and watch the epic fantasy film in style.

Record crowds and long lines are expected at movie theaters all across the nation, including Fox’s Sun and Surf Cinema, this week as Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Thursday amid projections that it could potentially break every domestic and worldwide box office record in history.

Fox, president of Fox Theaters in Wyomissing, Pa., admits that while losing almost 60% of his seating during the $1.5 million renovation at the uptown movie theater last winter was a big risk, the reward has been even greater in the first year.

“Since we installed the recliner seating at the Sun and Surf, our ticket sales are up 80%,” said Fox, “and that is remarkable when you realize that the national trend is showing only a 5-8% increase in ticket sales.”

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The Monstrous Foreign-Policy Lie That Goes Unreported by the Mainstream Media

Obama, Hillary, Cheney and others pretend Trump has gone too far, while themselves guiding murderous policies.

Here is a good thought experiment: Would you rather a country bar you from entry or have that country bomb your house?

This question has not occurred to President Obama, Hillary Clinton, the mainstream media, or bleeding heart liberals like Dick Cheney and Paul Ryan. The nation’s most powerful political leaders, and most influential commentators, seem to find great gratification by puffing out their chests, furrowing their brows, and condemning Donald Trump’s latest exhibition of stupidity – the idea of issuing an immigration ban on Muslims. Ryan was particularly indignant as he attempted to save his party’s already scarred and disfigured face from the ever escalating public relations nightmare that is the Trump candidacy. “What was proposed yesterday,” Ryan referred to Trump’s idea to ban Muslims while pointing his finger in the mode of a disciplinary school teacher, “is not what this country stands for.”

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Merry Christmas from the Crisfield Police Department!!!


Local Jobs Available

As our company grows we are looking to fill a couple long term positions for 2016. WE are looking for a couple individuals to help us grow our Exit Shore Realty and The Roop Group Property Management companies. We are looking for the positions below with 3 people who have strong work ethic, customer service, organizational and problem solving skills and are looking for a fast-paced, challenging and exciting company to work for with a lot of growth potential. The positions are as follows:

1) Part time / full time book keeper/accountant (must have at least 2 years of Quickbooks experience).
2) Full time office administrator and assistant to the property manager.
3) Full time maintenance position (2 or more years in the construction / maintenance industry)

If you know anyone who is interested please have them email their resume to micki@theroopgroup.com , fax it to 410-677-0310 or drop it off at our office at 2815 N Salisbury Blvd, Salisbury MD. This is an exciting time for our company and we look forward to a couple strong people to fill the roles available.

Yesterday's Top Posts

William Hall, Brad Gillis, Matt Holloway, It's not who you know, it's what you blow


Multiple viewers have asked me to keep these Posts at the top so I have provided links to each story. Just click on the titles and it will take you right to those stories.

'I Turned Out to Be the Smart One': George W. Bush Returns to 'Saturday Night Live' to Bash Jeb

Flash Mob: The U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian

Missouri Police Chief Resigns After Caging Family’s Lost Puppy at a Gun Range and Shooting It

After the fact, Spencer claimed that the dog was charging at people in the neighborhood.

Police Chief Andrew Spencer resigned this week after it was revealed that he shot and killed an innocent dog that was in a cage and meant no one any harm. To make matters even worse, he took the puppy to a firing range and killed it there because he did not want to deal with finding its home.

Spencer found the dog and managed to get it into a cage using a catcher pole. He then wrote in his report that he had planned to take the dog to a shelter where it would be “destroyed,” but then he got another call about a car accident so he decided to do it himself.

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Congressman Andy Harris Applauds NIH for Release of Strategic Plan

- NIH Outlines Agency Objectives Over Next Five Years-

WASHINGTON, DC: Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01), the only physician member of Congress to have conducted research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), commended NIH Director Francis Collins today in releasing the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan. 

“Dr. Collins deserves credit for listening to the will of Congress and preparing a strategic plan.  NIH receives nearly thirty billion dollars a year, and yet up until now, it has had no NIH-wide strategic plan,” said Dr. Harris. “As we look for ways to fund more biomedical research, Congress needs to know NIH is wisely spending the money it currently receives.”

The plan outlines the main objectives for the NIH, as well as specific medical and research goals they hope to achieve over the next five years.  It works to streamline the agency in order to enhance medical research and breakthroughs.

“This groundbreaking NIH-wide strategic plan is an important first step toward increasing accountability and resource prioritization at NIH.  As this Congress works to increase funding for NIH, the strategic plan will provide a roadmap for where the additional investments should be made.  The strategic plan also makes it clear that no disease deserves an automatic specific percentage of funding which is an important shift in policy.   The commitment to young investigators, basic scientists, and innovative new funding models is particularly encouraging.  I look forward to partnering with NIH to help the brilliant scientists funded by the NIH achieve this vision,” added Dr. Harris.

 

Dr. Harris, through both House Appropriations bill language and the House Energy and Commerce “21st Century Cures Act,” has been urging the NIH to take this action.  In May, Dr. Harris introduced H.R.2447 - to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for an NIH research strategic plan.


Congressman Harris, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that determines NIH funding, performed research into fetal cerebral blood flow while on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Governor Larry Hogan Appoints James Fielder as Secretary of Maryland Higher Education Commission

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Dr. James D. Fielder as Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Dr. Fielder has served as the governor's Secretary of Appointments for the past eleven months. Secretary Fielder will replace current Secretary of the Higher Education Commission, Jennie Hunter-Cevera, who will take on a new role as Science Advisor to Secretary Ben Grumbles in the Maryland Department of the Environment. The governor made his appointment after receiving official recommendations from the Higher Education Commission.

In addition to his work in both the public and private sectors, Secretary Fielder has a wealth of experience in the field of higher education, having previously served in positions at Michigan State University, University of Michigan-Flint, and Towson University. In addition, Secretary Fielder holds a doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University. Secretary Fielder has served under four different Maryland governors from both parties, holding positions as Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation; Acting Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development; and Assistant Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development.

“I have every confidence that Secretary Fielder will serve Maryland extremely well in his new role at the Higher Education Commission,” said Governor Hogan. “I look forward to working with him to ensure Maryland maintains its reputation for having world-class higher education opportunities. In addition, I thank Secretary Hunter-Cevera for her leadership, and know she will continue to do great work in her new role at the Department of Environment.”

Secretary Hunter-Cevera has more than 20 years of professional experience in research and development, as well as public policy leadership in the life sciences, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. Her new role will include close coordination with the Department’s Science Services Administration on cross-cutting scientific issues and specific projects involving Chesapeake Bay restoration and innovative technologies and partnerships for protection of public health and the environment.

"I am honored that Governor Hogan has expressed his confidence in me and has requested that I take on the exciting role as Secretary of Maryland Higher Education Commission,” said Secretary Fielder.

"It has been an honor to serve as Secretary of the Higher Education Commission, and a privilege to work with the commissioners, along with the agency's talented and highly dedicated staff,” said Dr. Hunter-Cevera. “I look forward to continuing my service to the citizens of Maryland in my new capacity at the Department of the Environment."

"I commend Dr. Hunter-Cevera for the amount of improvements she has initiated during her tenure to make our agency more efficient. She truly has served with honor and distinction," said Anwer Hasan, chair of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Secretary Fielder will assume his new role this Thursday, December 17, 2015.

America’s Great Divide: How the U.S. Transformed Into a 'Dual Economy' and What Can Be Done to Reverse It

Common to developing nations, a dual economy is taking root in the U.S. MIT economist Peter Themin explains how this happened and what can be done to stop it.

In the America of haves and have-nots, fewer folks are “movin’ on up” like George Jefferson of the classic sitcom. In a new paper for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Peter Temin, MIT economist and economic historian, breaks down how it happened and where we’re headed with a powerful model first used by West Indian economist W. Arthur Lewis, the only person of African descent to win a Nobel Prize in economics. Dual economies are common in less developed countries, but Temin argues that America has now diverged into a top thirty percent, where children receive excellent educations and grow up to work in sectors like finance, technology and electronics industries (FTE)— and then there’s the rest, the low-wage folks who live paycheck to paycheck and whose kids have little hope of joining the lucky ones at the top. Temin explains what drives the dual economy, what race has to do with it, how children are hurt, and why our political system can’t seem to fix anything. *This post originally appeared on the blog for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

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Christian Social Media Group Uses YouTube to Counter ISIS’ Jihadist Message

(CNSNews) – A Los-Angeles based social media group is using YouTube to give a voice to the victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and counter its jihadist message with the Christian message of redemption.

The Nine: Overcoming ISIS – the latest video produced by Mighty.LA in conjunction with the mission groupMore International- features testimony by nine Iraqi Christians who were part of more than a half million people who fled from their homes and businesses in Mosul after the ISIS invasion on June 9, 2014.

“We left everything behind and fled,” one woman recounts.

“During this time I was very scared, because it was a life or death situation,” another Christian refugee says. ”Because 20 days earlier, I had seen dead bodies in the street. Bodies that were burned or beheaded. I thought that I would end up like them.”

But dying was “better than abandoning my religion to become Muslim,” said a Christian man, his voice cracking with emotion.

“We are now carrying the cross. And following Jesus,” one of the nine added.

“You feel joy when you are being persecuted for Christ…I tell myself that I’m not even worthy to be persecuted for Christ,” his fellow refugee says.

“They are people just like me, but Satan controls them… In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray their minds and their hearts would change,” another Iraqi Christian says.

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Faculty Vote No Confidence at Ithaca, Chico State

Faculty members on two campuses voted no confidence in administrators in recent days. Saying it opposed President Tom Rochon’s “autocratic” leadership style, the Ithaca College Faculty Council released the results of its faculty vote on Monday. Some 78 percent of voting, full-time continuing faculty expressed no confidence in their leader. The turnout rate was 87 percent.

“The number of faculty voters and the strength of its mandate are the culmination of months of deeply reflective, highly intellectual dialogue and organizing,” Mary Bentley, associate professor of health promotion and physical education, said in a statement. The vote is a “clear call to action for the college’s Board of Trustees to remove this president.”

Asma Barlas, a professor of politics at Ithaca, said Rochon’s troubles have been exacerbated by the recent student protests on campus regarding the racial climate. The president’s “so-called solutions to the current crisis have been too little, too late and hence, hopelessly ineffectual,” she said.

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Councilman Brandon Scott Decries Hogan's "Disrespectful" Remarks On Baltimore Violence

Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott took exception Tuesday to something Gov. Larry Hogan said about Baltimore in a visit to C4's show Tuesday.

Asked about his reaction to the city's homicide rate, Hogan discussed gang violence and the city's drug problem, then discussed the protesters following the death of Freddie Gray.

"I express my concern that we have a lot of people out there expressing their concern and frustration over the tragic death of Freddie Gray, but where's the uproar in the community, where's the frustration over the 300 people murdered?"

Baltimore's homicide rate Wednesday stood at 328. Scott, however, quickly responded on Twitter with a picture of a demonstration at Penn-North that he said was taken several days after Gray died. Several dozen people held signs saying, "We must stop killing each other."

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Are Democratic Voters About to Make the Same Mistake Again with Hillary Clinton?

This bad news might be best explained by the Democrats’ even more lopsided answer to the big “electability” question. Unfortunately for Sanders, 38% more Democrats think Clinton “would have a good chance of defeating the Republican nominee” than would Sanders (87% to 49%).

Whose Electability?

The good news is what the pollsters actually demonstrate to be true about electability by direct match-ups of the two Democrats against those four Republican contenders who have more than single digit support. Their findings: “Sanders does just as well [as Clinton against Rubio], or even better, against [the other] top Republicans [Trump, Carson,and Cruz].” Against each of the latter three, Sanders’ winning margin exceeds Clinton’s by 2%, 3% and 5% respectively.

It appears that democratic voters are not just misinformed, but grossly misinformed, about whether Clinton or Sanders would do better against Republicans. Comparing the margin of support for Clinton over Sanders (30%) with the even larger 38% margin of polled Democrats who erroneously rank Clinton as a more electable candidate than Sanders suggests the possibility that their grossly erroneous belief may well account for much of their expressed preference for Clinton.

Even if not all Clinton supporters are using electability as their main criterion for preferring her in opinion polls, it would be useful for these grossly misled Democrats when casting their primary vote to consider the reason why Sanders’ outperforms Clinton against Republicans. They should remember that it is independent voters, not party loyalists, who generally determine the outcome of typically close general elections. If Democrats really want to lose the 2016 election to a Republican they should by all means choose a candidate that Independents reject. Clinton is just the candidate for that job.

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Win Harry's Corvette Drawing Tomorrow Night

WE ARE OFFICIALLY ONE DAY AWAY FROM ANNOUNCING THE WINNER of www.WinHarrysCorvette.com Parkinson's Fundraiser this Friday Dec 18th @ Brew River Restaurant and Bar!!! 

You can still buy raffle tickets, but buy now because time is running out!! JOIN US and celebrate this Friday night from 7-9pm as we party with the High Five Swan Dive band from Philadelphia!! 

Buy $100 or more and get into our VIP LOUNGE w/ free hors D'oeuvres, free drink pass and champagne toast! Network with the sponsors all night! And $500 or more will also get you a tax write off! Hurry and buy now! 

All proceeds go to our local Lower Shore Parkinson's Support Group to help fight this disease and support those who live with it everyday. Please help us raise money for this great cause! See everyone this Friday night!

Maryland ACLU: MISTRIAL DECLARED IN TRIAL OF WILLIAM PORTER

The following can be attributed to Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland:

"A mistrial was declared today in the case of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter, who is charged in the April death of Freddie Gray; a hearing on a new trial date is scheduled for tomorrow.

While we wait for individual accountability in the criminal cases, the larger system of police accountability in Maryland should itself be on trial. Some of the testimony in Officer Porter's case raises fundamental questions about the management of the Baltimore Police Department, which must be addressed regardless of the outcome of these cases.

All of Baltimore should be outraged by the death of Freddie Gray, one of too many Black Americans who have died at the hands of police. All it would have taken was the humane act of seat belting Gray, according to police protocol, and he would be alive today. Too many Black lives have been lost to police misconduct. Maryland needs police accountability reform now."

Half of America Is in or Damn Near Close to Living in Poverty

Congress should be filled with guilt -- and shame -- for failing to deal with our enormous wealth disparities.

Recent reports have documented the growing rates of impoverishment in the U.S., and new information surfacing in the past 12 months shows that the trend is continuing, and probably worsening.

Congress should be filled with guilt -- and shame -- for failing to deal with the enormous wealth disparities that are turning our country into the equivalent of a 3rd-world nation.

Half of Americans Make Less than a Living Wage

According to the Social Security Administration, over half of Americans make less than $30,000 per year.

That's less than an appropriate average living wage of $16.87 per hour, as calculated by Alliance for a Just Society (AJS), and it's not enough -- even with two full-time workers -- to attain an "adequate but modest living standard" for a family of four, which at the median is over $60,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

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Magnolia Man Arrested in Meth Lab Operation

Magnolia, DE - The Delaware State Police Kent County Drug Unit has arrested a Magnolia man after the culmination of a three month investigation into the manufacturing of Methamphetamine (Meth) at a residence on Millchop Lane, Magnolia.

On Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at approximately 11:15 a.m., the Delaware State Police Kent County Drug Task Force (DTF) with the assistance of the Kent County Governor’s Task Force, Troop 3 patrol and (DNREC) responded to 339 Millchop Lane, Magnolia, De., in order to conduct a search warrant in response to an on-going investigation into the manufacturing of meth at this residence. Upon arrival Ronald L. Hawkins, 30 of Magnolia, was observed in a shed on the property acting suspicious. A short time later, he left the residence and responded to the area of Walmart Camden, DE where Troopers contacted him and found key ingredients used to manufacture meth, were located in the vehicle. Hawkins was taken into custody. At that time, the search warrant was executed at the residence. Upon conducting a search of the property, detectives located equipment and component mixtures of the manufacturing stages of Meth along with key ingredients in making the drug, Methamphetamine. The evidence was collected and hazardous materials removed by DNREC. During the removal of the bottles, one ignited into flames. There were three small children at the residence and the Division of Family Resources responded to the scene. The children were turned over to a family member. There were no injuries.

Ronald L. Hawkins was transported to Troop 3 in Camden where he was processed and charged with Operating a Clandestine Lab, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He was remanded to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $20,000.00 cash bond and ordered to have no contact with the children present in the residence. (photo attached)

No evacuations were ordered as it was determined that there was no immediate hazard to nearby residents.

SC Lawmakers Spar Over Confederate Christmas Card

CHRIS CORLEY, DOUG BRANNON DO BATTLE OVER REBEL-THEMED HOLIDAY MISSIVE …

S.C. Rep. Chris Corley continues to soak up the earned media in the aftermath of his controversial 2015 Christmas card – which accused “Republicans” who voted in favor of taking down the Confederate flag of betraying their constituents.

Having already enraged fiscally liberal S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas, Corley’s next indignant reaction came courtesy of Upstate, S.C. “Republican” Doug Brannon – a Michigan native who has emerged as a central figure in some recent articles we’ve written related to judicial corruption.

Brannon apparently took none too kindly to Corley’s missive, and responded with a feisty letter telling him where he could put his Christmas card. Take a look …

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A Bridge for Santa | Coca-Cola

Best Christian Muslim Debate ever !!!

Trouble


One Is A Republican, The Other A Liberal


IP Address


Howard Stern Announces 5-year Deal With Sirius XM

Howard Stern has struck a new five-year deal with SiriusXM Satellite Radio that includes plans for a streaming video component to augment his four-hour daily radio program.

The famed shock j0ck announced the agreement live on his show Tuesday morning. Details of the video plan were not immediately clear but SiriusXM said the pact includes a 12-year deal giving SiriusXM rights to video and audio material from Stern's 30-year radio career and a plan "to launch its first venture into video programming with Howard."

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