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Credit Where Credit is Due

first_img Previous: Aspen Grove Solutions Collaborates With Lift Strategic Partners Next: Aspen Grove Solutions Appoints Mike Jurkovic as VP Business Services The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Tagged with: Credit Scores FICO Joanne Gaskin VantageScore Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently released a Request for Input seeking feedback about the possibility of changing the credit scores the GSEs requires lenders to use to evaluate borrowers. According to the FHFA’s press release, “The Enterprises currently use Classic FICO for product eligibility, loan pricing, and financial disclosure purposes.” The Request for Input seeks public comment on the possibility of allowing the GSEs to also let lenders use FICO 9 (an updated version of FICO’s original scoring algorithm) or VantageScore 3.0 (a rival model developed by credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).Those critical of the GSEs’ current requirements claim that they bar millions of Americans from home ownership. According to a 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study, 26 million Americans do not have any credit record, and another 19 million have credit records considered unscorable due to insufficient credit history or a lack of recent credit history.DS News spoke with Joanne Gaskin, Senior Director, Scores and Analytics at FICO, about FICO’s methods, VantageScore, and what opening up the Enterprises’ credit standards would mean for mortgage and housing.Speaking of the GSEs’ exclusive use of FICO scores, VantageScore released a public statement that said, “Monopolies never benefit markets or consumers and they create the opportunity for pricing power unchecked by competition.” Could you talk about why you don’t think that is a fair characterization of the situation?Absolutely. The first thing that’s important to note is that FICO is not responsible for the sale, distribution, or pricing of the FICO scores. We use our distribution partners, which are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. So we do not exert pricing power, as we don’t have the ability to price directly in the marketplace. So keep in mind where the pricing power resides is with the bureaus who own VantageScore.That it’s exacerbated in the mortgage market, when you have a tri-merge requirement, meaning that each and every one of the credit bureau files are required for mortgage origination, if you’re delivering to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They have unchecked pricing power associated with  both the credit report and credit scores. So we would say that the credit bureaus actually have a data monopoly. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owe no duty to FICO, we could be replaced at any time. But there’s not an opportunity to replace the data.Considering the proposed changes to change the GSEs’ credit reporting standards, do you think that there’s anything particularly unfair about those proposed changes, or is there a way that you can see to change those credit score requirements in an equitable way?FICO absolutely welcomes competition as you noted, but take a look at what the choices are. It’s one independent company and one company owned by the three credit bureaus. We would suggest that a fair competition is competition among other independent analytic firms. Because really, having a score that’s owned by the three bureaus isn’t adding to competition. Actually, it’s consolidating, or minimizing competition.Think for a moment, what might be the likelihood of another independent analytic firm gaining access to the credit bureau data to compete with VantageScore? I would suggest that FICO continues to exist as an independent firm because we’re trusted, and requested by the lenders.Has there been, as far as you know, any move to even consider doing something like that? Obviously they’re talking about opening and changing the credit score requirements, but has there been any discussion about actually bringing other independent organizations in, or has it just mainly been between FICO and VantageScore?The RFI itself just considers FICO and VantageScore as the two broad-based scores that have scores in each of the three repositories. What we’re hearing from folks is that the potential answer to creating more competition might reside in the question that was asked about the requirements for the tri-merge report.So, lenders are opining about the need to continue to purchase a tri-merge, as the data across the bureaus has become more similar. Years and years ago they were more regional in nature, and they’ve all moved to very broad, national scales. FICO doesn’t have a true opinion on this. We don’t have the data to say that the data looks the same across, but I think if you spoke to lenders that they might give you a perspective on that.Assuming that the GSEs did go forward and they allowed lenders to start using VantageScore 3.0, what do you think would be the impact on the housing and mortgage industries?We believe that there is a risk to the system because of their lack of minimum scoring criterion. The score will not have the same predictive strength as what we see for traditional FICO score. We likely would project poor performance on that population. We also think that there’s a risk to the system, which Director Watt has suggested, that if there are two scoring vendors in the marketplace allowing for choice among them, that there is this risk for what he refers to as “a race for the bottom.” The question is whether or not we will reward the most predicative score or the score that will qualify the most borrowers.We maintain our minimum scoring criterion, because it’s time-tested over the last 27 years, lenders trust us, and we’re used in 90 percent of lending decisions.What do you think are the biggest challenges of your job, and what do you wish more people understood about your job and about how FICO operates?That’s a great question. We would be thrilled if everyone understood one thing. That weaker credit scores do not expand access to credit. In fact, if a weaker score is adopted, it creates uncertainty. Uncertainty in the marketplace always leads to further credit tightening, and increased cost to the system. So, we say a weaker criterion negatively impacts consumers. Credit Scores FICO Joanne Gaskin VantageScore 2018-02-01 David Wharton February 1, 2018 2,486 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: David Wharton Related Articles in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, Journal, News Credit Where Credit is Due The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago  Print This Post Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save Home / Daily Dose / Credit Where Credit is Due Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

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Outdoor Updates: Hiker missing for a week in Arkansas mountains is found alive

first_imgTourism to national parks in southern WV creates nearly $70 million in economic benefit The world premiere of the film takes place on June 20 at 7 pm at Blue Ridge Community College’s Thomas Auditorium. The film will also play June 22 at 7:30 pm at the NC Arboretum and June 23 at 7:30 pm at White Horse Black Mountain. Tickets are $15 and reservations can be made online at www.saveculture.org. Film about people who have protected southern rivers to make world debut June 20 Hiker missing for a week in Arkansas mountains is found alive A man who went missing after embarking on a solo hike to celebrate his 38th birthday has been found alive. Josh McClatchy set out to hike Arkansas’ Buckeye Trail but soon texted his mother that he was lost. For the following six days, his friends and family worked alongside rescue agencies to search for McClatchy in a rugged and remote area of Arkansas. A rescue helicopter eventually spotted the hiker, who had wandered four miles off of the trail. It took rescuers 3.5 hours to carry McClatchy off of the mountain and back to the trailhead where he was transferred to a hospital and reunited with his family. The hiker was severely dehydrated but otherwise in good condition. His mother told ABC that it was her son’s first time hiking alone. center_img A newly released National Park Service report shows that more than 1.36 million visitors to the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Area in southern West Virginia spent over $60 million in communities surrounding the three parks in 2018. The spending supported nearly 850 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of almost $70 million. WNC’s History and Documentary Film Center, the Center for Cultural Preservation, will soon release a new film about the ordinary people who did extraordinary things to protect southern rivers and streams. The film, titled Guardians of Our Troubled Waters, is the center’s sixth feature film. The film chronicles early and remarkable river stewards who stood up against the destruction of rivers and wetlands in Western North Carolina, East Tennessee and South Florida and those who carry on the fight today. The report also shows that, throughout the country, 318 million park visitors spent over $20 billion in communities within 60 miles of national parks. The National Park Service reports that national park tourism is a significant economic driver, bringing in $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.last_img read more

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Fundamentals key to Warriors’ success in Commonwealth Cricket League

first_imgTHE WEST Coast Warriors Cricket Club are sticking with the fundamentals, which have propelled them to a dominant start in the Commonwealth Cricket League currently underway in New York.The Guyanese side sit comfortably on top of the 24-team points table with 12 points (six wins from six games). Tomorrow they will play the Pacban Cricket Club (a team made up of players from Pakistan and Bangladesh).Pacban have won two of their three games so far.Player/coach of the Warriors, Yutesh Avi Dhanpaul, who has been instrumental with bat and ball in several of the victories, said that the players have stayed humble in their executions during the early games.“Our players just stick to the basic and they adapted really fast to these type of wickets.  The wicket here is more bouncy and it plays faster.”In their most recent victory, last Sunday against Spring Valley CC, the Warriors (made up of both local and overseas-based Guyanese) romped to a nine-wicket win.Balbinder Shivpersaud, exploded again. The Zeeburg Sports Club cricketer has been in dominant form, having scored four consecutive half-centuries. It was, however, skipper Rajin Rahaman with his medium pace bowling, who won the man-of-the-match award.Spring Valley won the toss, but could only muster 133-7 from their 30 overs as Rahaman nabbed 4-20 from six overs. Anil Sookdeo supported with 2-21. Jay Masspeht led the batting side with 52.In reply, Shivpersaud blasted another quick-fire half-century. His unbeaten 58 propelled the Warriors to victory in 18.3 overs. R. Khan supported with 33, while Dhanpaul added 29 unbeaten runs.last_img read more

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Career and Technical Education Careers sees an increase of 75 percent since 2014

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich — Many Michigan students are forgoing college life to pursue jobs in career and technical education. Michigan’s education agency says the number of students completing CTE programs has increased more than 75 percent in the last four years. Students from Alpena High School are joining this new wave of technical learners to jump start their careers.Kids at the high school are taking what they learn in traditional classroom settings and translating it to on the job experience, right in the same building. Director of technical education at Alpena High, Joyce McCoy, says the program is preparing students to work efficiently right after high school.“In our programs, we try to replicate what’s out there in industry and we’re teaching our students what they need for a good job, or for continued education wherever they go.”Since 2014, the number of CTE program graduates across the state has risen from approximately 27,000 to more than 47,000 in 2019 and McCoy says there are reasons for the drastic change.“The increase in CTE has come about because we know that our employers need a strong workforce and current technical education is a great place for students to get experience in that job and earn certifications beyond even high school.”Another perk of CTE training is the promising outlook on income it offers, without the debt. Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer announced plans to reach 60 percent of Michigan residents with a post secondary degree, and CTE programs are already helping to meet that goal.Whitmer says in the release,“Every Michigander deserves a good paying job that they can support themselves and their families on.”She added,“This progress is great news to our economy.”McCoy agrees. She says, “There are some high paying jobs for our students who even go into manufacturing and choose to continue in schooling either at our community college or at training programs beyond that can earn equal to what students with a four year bachelor degree can.”For students at Alpena High school, CTE classes are providing college credit if they decide to pursue education after graduation.Students across the state can enroll in a number of different careers in CTE, including marketing, sales and service, IT and health science.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alpena High School, career and technical education, CTE, High School, MICHIGANContinue ReadingPrevious North Stars launch their inaugural seasonNext Fifth Ave. to close this Fridaylast_img read more

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Africa 4.0: Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

first_imgMinister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams The theme for this year’s edition of the World Economic Forum, taking place in Davos between the 22 – 25 January, is Globalisation 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Myself and a delegation of South African Ministers will work other global participants on defining new models for building sustainable and inclusive societies in a plurilateral world.There is no question that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. That it is taking place globally at unpredictably fast rates is common cause. The biggest unknown is the size of the seismic change ahead of us and its impact on the developing world, particularly the African continent.The disruptions that digital technology will bring are expected across industries and all economic sectors, impacting the job market of the future, skills development and education of the workplace and not least, the way we live. For Africa, the Fourth Industrialisation poses massive opportunities, but also some critical risks.Previous industrial revolutions heightened and increased regional divisions and marginalised the most vulnerable societies in the world. It is imperative that governments shape the current globalisation trends to ensure inclusivity and fairness of the Fourth Industrial Revolution through collaboration and partnerships. Strong collaboration and consensus is required between government, academia, science councils, business and labour.With Africa having the world’s youngest population, the most pertinent question to my mind is, “How does Africa, with the development and climate challenges it faces, take its place in a Globalisation 4.0 context?”As Africa’s leading industrialised nation, South Africa has been preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution for several years across various sectors of government. All industries are being digitally disrupted, which presents an opportunity for a growing digital economy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution provides us with a new and unique opportunity to address youth unemployment by adapting our education models to catalyse innovation and upskill the next generation for digital transformation.Industrialisation 4.0Through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti’s) Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), government has developed several iterations of industrial policy to support Africa’s industrialisation and optimisation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The dti recently established a new Chief Directorate, the Future Industrial Production & Technologies (FIP&T) unit to examine likely impacts and build capacity around government to confront challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.By importing Industry 4.0 technologies and combining them with low costs of production factors, emerging countries can leapfrog in the value chain and solve societal issues, including creating decent jobs.Industries with wide product ranges (such as food and beverages), commodity producers (metals, agriculture) and precision-driven (pharmaceuticals and electronic components) are most likely to invest in Industry 4.0, which is crucial for the South African economy.Early South African areas of response to date include aggressive technology acquisitions, transfer and diffusion of technologies; securing inward investment from global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in key strategic value chains to build global competitive capabilities e.g. Mining and mining capital equipment; fuel cells; aerospace and defence.As government, we have stepped up research and development and commercialisation efforts, led by the Department of Science & Technology and its institutions, in close collaboration with the dti.We are providing a much stronger institutional architecture to support technology transfers – building on excellent examples like the Technology Localisation Implementation Unit at the CSIR. In addition, we have programmes to support innovation, such as tax incentives to encourage acquisition and innovation in production capabilities, new systems, processes, products and exports.Youth, education and jobs for new, smarter economiesMany jobs are threatened by redundancy in the next wave of industrialisation and this pertains to Africa too. Existing jobs are expected to go through step-changes in the skill sets required to perform them. Others job types are expected to grow rapidly but unpredictably.Knowledge and ICT skills will be critical to Africa unlocking future opportunities. Upskilling is essential to ensure economic survival and social consent; a critical responsibility falls on the state and business for continuous, targeted training and re-training initiatives. Governments and business should work to assist workers and communities with the changes required to be part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.President Ramaphosa recently announced, as part of government’s broader strategy to upskill the next generation with digital skills, learners will be equipped with tablet devices to assist e-learning at public schools.Africa embraces Globablisation 4.0We encourage South African companies to consider the rest of Africa as a key market, especially for trade in value-added products that will form part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution value chains. Intra-African trade remains low compared to other major regions in the world such as the EU and Asia. Africa needs to increase its production base of export manufacturing and focus on facilitating the movement of goods across borders in competitive ways.There has been encouraging progress on this front. In July 2018, South Africa joined almost 50 other countries on the continent in signing the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement which seeks a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments. With about 1.2-billion people on the African continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement could create one of the largest free trade market zones in the world.Africa has shown its digital leapfrogging capabilities in the past through successful digital transformation – the area where we’re seeing economic growth occur for Africa.To this end, we as a nation are ensuring that we are part of the important global discussions pertaining to the Fourth Industrial Revolution because Africa cannot afford to be left behind.The ITU Telecom World was hosted by South Africa for the first time in Durban in September 2018. The conference attracted 7 000 government Ministers, leaders of multilateral organisations, regulators, business, entrepreneurs and small businesses. We embraced this opportunity because it ensured that Africa’s voice was heard in the important technology discussions which include preparations for 5G networks, impact and ownership of Artificial Intelligence, cybersecurity and the risks and opportunities of a smarter world.Another area of focus is connecting the people who remain offline. The Smart Africa Initiative has resolved to launch the One Africa Network, which is aligned to modern thinking in the rollout of infrastructure as the continent strives to connect her unconnected citizens. Training people in digital skills is as important as rolling out infrastructure to cover everyone.In this regard, African countries are rolling out the Internet-for-All programme which focuses on the provision of digital skills, localisation of the internet content and manufacturing and the rollout of infrastructure. Some private sector companies, like Cisco and Microsoft, are partnering with African countries to scale up digital skills training.All these initiatives are important because they facilitate the meaningful participation of Africans in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and empowers us to do so on own terms. Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams is the Minister of Communications in South Africa.last_img read more

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Why Jailbreaking iOS 6 Is Popular Enough to Break Cydia

first_img7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts Why You Love Online Quizzes Of course, the launch of iOS 6 wasn’t without its problems. Most notably, the arrival of Apple Maps was an epic debacle big enough to dislodge key executives at the Cupertino giant. It wasn’t until Google released its new Maps app for iOS in December that iPhone 5 owners were able to get relief from the disfigured terrain and imperfect data wrought by Apple’s first stab at mobile mapmaking. As of Monday, those users have the option to make Google Maps for iOS their default mapping application, if they choose to jailbreak. I’m speculating here, but it’s easy to see why many iOS 6 users were particularly anxious to free themselves from Apple’s control, especially after an imperfection as glaring as Maps bruised their confidence in the company’s ecosystem. Another possible lure would be the ability to make Google’s Chrome the iPhone’s default browser.That, and jailbreaking’s popularity was already on the rise. In a highly detailed history of jailbreaking, Techcrunch’s Sarah Perez revealed that Cydia has been downloaded 22.8 million times to date. That number is probably closer to 25 million by now, after the launch of evasi0n. Taking Back Control From Apple Jailbreaking is all about control. It shifts the balance from Apple to the consumer, allowing users to customize their devices, change the way the OS looks and install tweaks and add-ons to enhance the experience. It makes sense that millions of people would want to regain this type of control over their mobile computing experience. After all, we are positively glued to these devices. They play an integral role in our day-to-day lives and as a result, we feel personally attached to them. With personal computers, people who wanted it were conditioned to expect control over things like the names under our app icons, our default Web browser and the color scheme of our desktop. The post-PC mobile era has given us many new advantages and added a sleek layer of polish, but has taken away much of that control. Some of us want it back. In a lot of ways, Apple’s strict control is a good thing. It’s the reason the user experience feels so flawless and intuitive. It’s why I can hand an iPad to my 70-year-old mother or my 3-year-old-niece and not have to explain anything to them. It’s the reason that in the post-PC era, the tech savvy are doing far less tech support for family members. But there’s a limit to how effective this top-down control can be. It’s great that iOS works the way it does out of the box, but annoying that power users can’t dig into the settings and start tinkering with things in ways that we’ve been able to do for decades on PCs. It’s infuriating that I can’t change my default browser to Chrome without circumventing Apple. It bugs me that I’m forced to use Apple’s boring Mail app over something like Gmail or Sparrow, unless I hit the “Jailbreak” button. Most of the things you can do with a jailbroken iDevice feel like things we should be able to do anyway. Many of them, as Android devotees are quick to point out, are things you can do on Google’s mobile OS without having to do any tinkering.That’s true, but there are more than 500 million iOS devices in the world – and without an officially sanctioned way to customize things, the tinkerers among us will continue to turn to tools like evasi0n. Sometimes, if there’s enough of us, we’ll even crash servers to get them. Lead photo by David Locke.  john paul titlow Jailbreaking is suddenly all the rage – again. Despite Apple’s best efforts to improve its iOS mobile operating systemand discourage users from hacking its mobile devices, yesterday’s launch of the the evasi0n jailbreak tool for iOS 6 is a massive hit. Since yesterday, the Cydia store for jailbreak apps has been installed more than 1.7 million times. Demand for evasi0n was so high, in fact, that the Cydia app store has been experiencing performance and availability issues for the last 24 hours. Cydia creator Jay Freeman (known online as @saurik) confirmed the issues on Twitter and via the app store’s home screen. Freeman and other developers have been busily rewriting code and fixing bugs. “Traffic from evasi0n has caused many errors,” Freeman wrote early this morning. “After 19 hours of work… things seem stable.”(See also: How To Jailbreak iOS 6 On Your iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch)New jailbreaks are always highly anticipated and it’s now pretty much expected that the launch of a new one will cause the site hosting it to slow down or crash. But it’s not every time that the release of a new jailbreak causes Cydia itself to grind to a halt. As of this afternoon, many Cydia twaks and extensions were still returning error messages instead of downloading. Most of them appear to have been fixed, although some users on Twitter are still reporting issues. If Apple was hoping to see jailbreaking’s popularity decline, the launch of evasi0n should be sobering news. Even though jailbreaking phones and other non-tablet mobile devices is perfectly legal, Apple discourages the practice both with public warnings about the risks and with substantial upgrades to iOS that often steal ideas from the jailbreak community. The Notification Center that arrived in iOS 5, for example, looked very familiar to people who had jailbroken their devices. iOS 6 didn’t have quite so many features lifted from the jailbreaking community, but it was still a fairly substantial upgrade with plenty of improvements. Why Is Jailbreaking So Popular?  How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Tags:#Apple#iOS#iOS 6#iPad#iPad mini#iPhone 5#jailbreaking Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

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Coping with Loss, Part 1: Funeral and Burial Costs

first_imgBy Carol ChurchFew of us enjoy thinking about money after the death of a loved one. We are grieving and disoriented. We may be in emotional shock or not thinking clearly. Family members, including those we do not get along with or whom we do not see often, may be voicing loud and strong opinions. And now we must make decisions regarding choices for burial and a funeral. This is a vulnerable moment.With all this in mind, it may come as no surprise that personal finance experts have long cautioned families to be careful when it comes to funeral and burial expenses. Otherwise, customers may find themselves spending more than they want or intend to.In the case of the death of service members or veterans, financial assistance may be available from the military, including cost-free burial in a VA or national cemetery. This can help a great deal, and will be covered in Part 2 of this series. However, there will still be monetary decisions to be made in most cases.gkuna/PhotospinReducing High Funeral and Burial Costs One issue with this service is that it’s often very hard to know what to expect or what businesses in the area are offering. It may seem impossible to “shop around” or understand the options.Overall, experts say consumers can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 for a “full service” funeral that includes embalming, transportation of the body, burial, and a service, with about $8,000 being average. Obviously, this is a huge range, and not all families opt for all services. How can consumers make sensible and informed choices?Everyone should be aware that by law, funeral homes are required to provide itemized price lists to consumers. This is the best way to compare prices and understand what you are getting. Some funeral homes now provide these prices online, but in many cases, you will still have to call.It’s also very important to know that the Funeral Rule, put in place by the Federal Trade Commission, states that you do not have to accept a “package” deal from the funeral home and can accept and decline services as you need them, using outside providers as well. For instance, services some may choose to seek elsewhere include flowers and caskets (which can be bought online and even at places like Walmart and Sam’s Club). Opting out of costly embalming services is a possibility, if the funeral can be held within a few days and an open casket is not desired. Funeral costs can also be reduced by holding the service at a local house of worship, instead of the funeral home, or choosing a memorial at a home or other private location.Cremation is typically a far less costly alternative than ground burial, and one chosen by more and more families. As with caskets, it is not necessary to purchase an urn from the funeral home. A container you choose will suffice, and can be purchased at a reasonable price online.Consumer AssistanceThe Funeral Consumers Alliance performs a valuable service by providing a variety of helpful information for consumers on lowering funeral costs. It also consolidates funeral service price information for consumers and may even offer discounted options. Parting.com also offers funeral home comparison services. The Federal Trade Commission also offers a useful series on Shopping for Funeral Services.Planning AheadAlthough many of us might prefer not to think too much about our eventual passing, all of us are mortal. As with so many other areas, the financially prudent thing to do is to plan ahead. This way your family will also have the comfort of knowing which items are important to you and which are not. Consider making a plan for your funeral and burial to be a final gift to your loved ones.In part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss the various burial, funeral, and memorial benefits available to service members and veterans.References:WikiHow. (n.d.) How to reduce funeral expenses. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-Funeral-ExpensesKiplinger. (n.d.) The Lowdown on Funeral Costs. Retrieved from http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T021-C000-S001-the-lowdown-on-funeral-costs.htmlParting.com. (2017). Save Money on Funeral Costs by Making Arrangements at a Low-Priced Funeral Home and Cemetery. Retrieved from https://www.parting.com/blog/category/tips-to-lower-funeral-costs/last_img read more

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Pole Vaulter, 84, Sets Her Sights on More Records (Vid)

first_imgBy: Lisa Rathke, Associated PressTweetPinShare11 Shares BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — An 84-year-old pole vaulter isn’t putting her pole down anytime soon.Flo Filion Meiler left Thursday for the World Masters Athletics Championship Indoor in Poland, where she’ll compete in events including the long jump, 60-meter hurdles, 800-meter run, pentathlon and pole vault, for which she’s the shoo-in.The petite, energetic woman from Shelburne, Vermont, said she feels more like 70 than nearly 85.“But you know, I do train five days a week. And when I found out I was going to compete at the worlds, I’ve been training six days a week because I knew I would really get my body in shape,” she said last week, after track and field training at the University of Vermont.But she literally won’t have any competition in the pole vault in the championships, which runs March 24-31 in Torun, Poland. She is the only one registered in her age group, 80-84, for the sport, for which she set a world record at age 80. In the men’s pole vault, nine men are listed as competing in that age group.Meiler said she the events she likes the best are the hurdles and the pole vault — one of the more daring track and field events, in which competitors run while carrying a fiberglass or composite pole, brace it against the ground to launch themselves over a high bar, and land on a mat.“You really have to work at that,” she said. “You have to have the upper core and you have to have timing, and I just love it because it’s challenging.”Meiler is used to hard work. She grew up on a dairy farm, where she helped her father with the chores, feeding the cattle and raking hay. In school, she did well at basketball, took tap and ballroom dancing, and, living near Lake Champlain, she water skied.Meiler, who worked for 30 years as a sales representative for Herbalife nutritional supplements, and her husband, Eugene, who was a military pilot and then became a financial analyst, together competed in water skiing.“Many times when I did water ski competition I was the only gal in my age group,” she said.She’s a relative newcomer to pole vaulting and track and field, overall. At age 60, she was competing in doubles tennis with her husband in a qualifying year at the Vermont Senior Games when a friend encouraged her to try the long jump because competitors were needed.“That was the beginning of my track career,” she said, standing in a room of her home, surrounded by hundreds of hanging medals. She took up pole vaulting at 65.Athletics has helped her though some hard times, she said. She and her husband adopted three children after losing two premature biological babies and a 3-year-old. Two years ago, their son died at age 51.And she desperately misses her training partner, a woman who started having health problems about five years ago and can no longer train. It’s tough to train alone, she said, and she hopes to find a new partner.“She’s incredibly serious about what she does,” said Meiler’s coach, Emmaline Berg. “She comes in early to make sure she’s warmed up enough. She goes home and stretches a lot. So she pretty much structures her entire life around being a fantastic athlete, which is remarkable at any age, let alone hers.”And it has paid off, said Berg, an assistant track coach at Vermont.Berg herself first started following Meiler 10 years ago while she was a student at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College, watching her at the annual Dartmouth Relays.“She was like a local celebrity,” she said.Setting a record at age 80 with a 6-foot (1.8-meter) pole vault at the USA Track and Field Adirondack Championships in Albany, New York, while her husband watched, Meiler said, was one of her happiest days.“I was screaming, I was so happy,” she said.The overall world record for women’s pole vaulting is 16.6 feet (5.6 meters), according to the International Association of Athletics Federations.Meiler turns 85 in June, when she’ll head to the National Senior Games in New Mexico.That will put her in a new age group, in which she hopes to set even more records.Meiler’s athletic achievements are remarkable and something to be celebrated, said Dr. Michael LaMantia, director of the University of Vermont Center on Aging.Pole vaulting clearly isn’t for everyone of her age, but in general, activity should be, LaMantia said.“She can serve as a role model for other seniors,” he said.last_img read more

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NRL TFA Volunteer Medals – December Recipients

first_imgCongratulations to all our deserving volunteers!The TFA Volunteer Medal is an initiative created to recognise those within our sport who provide ongoing support, and demonstrate a positive example as a member of their local Touch Football community.Affiliates across the country can nominate deserving applicants through an online survey providing an opportunity to recognise the ongoing support that drives the sport and makes a significant difference to our participants experience.To nominate your volunteer, click here. To read the criteria and nomination process, click here. NRL Touch Football Australia (NRL TFA) congratulates the following members who are the deserving recipients of the NRL TFA Volunteer Medal for December. Karen TombaManager, Mum, Supervisor, Coordinator, Therapist, Negotiator and Role Model – these are just some of the professions carried out by an extremely loved individual and tireless volunteer, Karen Tomba (Kaz). Officially, Kaz carries the role of ‘Regional Referee Manager’ for the Hunter Western Hornets Touch Football Association. Her efforts as an unpaid volunteer never go unseen, especially when coordinating referees at some of the largest touch football events in NSW. Kaz manages a tournament of over 160 volunteer referees, providing guidance and direction to the many young and new referees.  Like many volunteers, Karen rarely gets the thanks she deserves which is why she has been nominated for this award by the Regional Director of Referees and the Regional Referee Coaching Panel. The entire Hornets Regional Touch referee community congratulates you on your nomination!Aila PeraAila has been instrumental in setting up two affiliates this year. She has been on board with the Raptors from the day they became affiliated. No job has been too big, or too small for Aila – from writing out terms and conditions to creating marketing flyers. Aila has also taken on the role of Touch Coordinator at another affiliate to ensure their success, all the while studying and working. Aila works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that two separate communities are exposed to touch footy and playing this great game. Aila’s enthusiasm and attitude is a breath of fresh air and her skill set is invaluable to the Raptors. Aila’s passion and commitment to touch football is outstanding. She is not afraid to give anything a go!Brad MitchellBrad has been president of the Hill Hornets Touch since 2010 where he has successfully grown the club’s participation from 7 teams to over 160 teams over 7 years. Brad began at the Hawkesbury Hawkes where he was president for 10 years before moving to the Hills Hornets region where he established one of the fastest growing touch football clubs in the country. He continues to be a positive example within the Touch Football community, by ensuring the club participates in events including Relay for Life and Clean Up Australia Day. Brad is a referee, coach, selector and elite level player who has received numerous awards over the years for his continued involvement and tremendous service to our sport.Cherrie PierceCherrie officially holds the title of club Treasurer for the Sharks Touch Club, however also fulfils the roles of Secretary, Referee Coordinator and Registrar. In addition, she is also a junior coach, senior player, referee and junior and senior delegate for Townsville Touch. Cherrie is well-known and widely respected by all in the Townsville touch community. She approaches all tasks with a “can-do” attitude and does whatever needs to be done behind the scenes to ensure others can enjoy our sport. Cherrie was also instrumental in the organisation of the historical junior tour to New Zealand and is an advocate for junior development in the region. Cherrie has been involved in touch football for just over 2 decades and continues to be a tremendous ambassador for our sport.Peter HolmPeter is a player at the Redlands Club and has provided valuable contributions as a Manager of the junior representative side and Redlands elite crusher team. He has a vision for touch football and has assisted in the development of many players and officials. Peter is an exceptional role model and ambassador for the touch football community. Peter is always willing to go above and beyond, being the first to put his hand up to help others.Sharni DeamerSharni is a volunteer from the Bundaberg Touch Association. Sharni looks after the junior representative teams whilst also running the canteen. She has also recently taken on the responsibility of the senior representative teams as well. On top of this, Sharni is committed to junior touch football participation and frequently delivers flyers to local schools promoting our sport. Sharni is always available to contact for information and makes the experience very enjoyable for both parents and children. Sharni’s passion for the sport is evident in her willingness to help anyone who needs it, never asking for anything in return.Kathy LangKathy is a very active volunteer with the Mudgee Mudcrabs, Hunter Western Hornets, NSW Touch and Touch Football Australia. She is usually the first to arrive and turns the lights out when she leaves. Without Kathy, numerous sports would struggle to run. Kathy volunteers at all levels of touch football, from grassroots to elite. On top of this, Kathy is Secretary of Mugdee Dragons Rugby League Club, on the executive of Group 10, Western Rams, volunteers for Country Rugby League and is on the Mudgee Sports Council. Kathy embodies the Touch Football Australia values and is a well-respected member of the touch football community at all levels.last_img read more

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10 months agoMarcos Llorente: My future at Real Madrid…?

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Marcos Llorente: My future at Real Madrid…?by Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMarcos Llorente insists he’s not thinking about his options at Real Madrid.The midfielder was all set to leave next month, only to force his way into coach Santiago Solari’s plans in recent games.Asked about his situation in Abu Dhabi, Llorente replied: “I do not have that in mind. “Now we have the Club World Club – which is very important for us. “We want to win it anyway, that’s what I think about and nothing else.” last_img read more

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