The Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management conducted a hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes last week.Janet McCabe, the EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation was the sole witness at the hearing. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Gary Peters (D-MI) questioned McCabe on EPA’s commitment to biofuels given the proposed rule constraints on corn ethanol and not being more aggressive with biodiesel volumes.The focal point of the hearing were the issues relating to the ethanol “blend wall” and EPA’s interpretation of their authority to waive volume requirements specified by the law. Senators also cited support for increased biomass-based diesel volumes and urged EPA to be cognizant of the potential and likelihood of significant increases in imported biodiesel from Argentina.
KELSO (AP) — About 200 Longshore workers involved in a hostile labor dispute in Washington state gathered at a courthouse on Friday, challenging the sheriff to peacefully arrest anyone in the crowd accused of committing a crime.“We’re here. If you want us, come and get us,” shouted ILWU Local 21 President Dan Coffman, looking up at the building. Union members cheered his declaration but largely stood quietly in two long lines.No law enforcement officers approached the crowd, and nobody was arrested during the demonstration. After about 30 minutes, Coffman led the group away and said he hoped they could live their lives without fear of confrontation from authorities.But later in the day, authorities arrested ILWU Local 21 Vice President Jake Whiteside, said Grover Laseke, a spokesman for the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with criminal trespass in 2nd degree and obstructing a train in connection with a massive protest that blocked a train in Longview last week. Union leaders balked at the arrest, which came just after they had offered themselves to authorities. Laseke said the union had not communicated to law enforcement about their plans to visit the courthouse.
Little sneakers slapped the ground, pigtails bounced and parents cheered — the sounds of any school track meet.Except for this announcement: “Clear the track, so the kids won’t run into you!”These athletes wouldn’t see someone blocking their way.The Washington State School for the Blind on Thursday staged its annual track and field meet, as it has since the late 1980s. About 130 students from all over Washington and Oregon came to compete against — and spend time with — their peers.For many, it was the first time running without the aid of a sighted helper. The Vancouver school has a railing that runs around the inside of the track. Students can run a hand along the rail while they dash around the 200-meter oval. Athletes also competed in shot put, long jump and high jump.Runners on the track take off in a staggered start. They compete against the clock, not against each other, so each can run on the inside lane next to the rail.A sense of trustSome of the younger kids — or those whose disabilities slow their stride — round the track slowly, yet are clearly exhilarated by the sensation of running unaided.“There’s an aspect of confidence and trust in this,” said Dean Stenehjem, the school’s superintendent. “They’re running without knowing what’s in front of them.”
July 4 was the day for the party. July 5 was the day for cleaning trash, crunching numbers and considering next year’s party.Barely 12 hours after the last starburst had sizzled away, the grounds of Fort Vancouver showed little evidence of the 35,000 or so people who’d sprawled on the grass to watch Wednesday night’s fireworks show.The trash had disappeared and most of the vendors were gone at 11 a.m. Thursday. A work crew was just about ready to haul away the main stage.The final attendance figures were still a work in progress on Thursday. But the event — known formally as Independence Day at Fort Vancouver presented by Bank of America — already is on the 2013 calendar.“It will definitely be back next year,” said Cara Cantonwine, director of programs at the Fort Vancouver National Trust.And it will be a milestone. Vancouver’s 2013 celebration will be the 50th show, Cantonwine said.“We want to make sure we do something special, and we also need to make sure we are keeping within our budget.”Breaking evenThis was the third year the Historic Trust has managed the event, after the fireworks show went on hiatus in 2009 because of financial problems.The nonprofit trust has been able to keep that budget balanced, with the help of admission fees that were introduced as part of the reboot in 2010.
There will be no kick flips, ollies, or grinds at Holley Park in La Center this year.The city’s council rejected a construction bid Wednesday night that would have added a skate spot, spray park and an expanded playground area to the existing park. The reason: its prohibitive cost, officials said.The lone bid from Colf Construction came in more than $188,000 higher than the city’s approved construction budget of $370,000.The city’s staff hopes to bring the project back up for bids in spring 2013. That’s assuming the city has money for the project in its 2013 budget, said Public Works Director Jeff Sarvis, noting there was no present reason to think it wouldn’t.Though the additions won’t happen this summer the news is not all bad, Mayor Pro-Tem Al Luiz noted.The park’s upgrades would take about 75 days to be completed. That means the skate park would not have been available for use until late 2012 had the council accepted the bid. By that time, the weather would have started to turn colder and wetter.“Even if we started construction at this point it would be built in the winter and would be underutilized,” Luiz said.Revisiting the bids in spring, Luiz said, meant the city could possibly upgrade the park in time for the summer 2013 when the park’s use would be at its peak.The wait also offers a possible financial plus, too.La Center sought bids this year at a time when most contractors had already lined up their projects, Sarvis said. Going out to bid in early 2013 could lead to more competitive bids, he added, because contractors will be looking to line up projects for summer.Ray Legendre: 360-735-4517; www.facebook.com/raylegend; www.twitter.com/col_smallcities; firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the Fairness 101 class, students. My name is Professor Brancaccio.This is a new class for our university and takes a slightly different approach to some of our societal issues.Today we’re going to look at pensions with — as just noted — fairness as a backdrop.OK, I think I know the answer to this, but are pensions good? Danni?“Of course. A pension virtually guarantees you a fixed income when you retire so you can do cool stuff like buy vacation homes and gamble on the ponies.”Well, yes, but pensions also give you a peace of mind to just live comfortably in your retirement years. OK, now let’s look at who gets pensions. Cooper?“Well I’m just a student and haven’t paid much attention but I suspect we all do, right, when we get a job?”Noodles?“Ah, Cooper, I don’t think so. My dad works down at the bagel shop and he was just talking about his upcoming retirement. And he noted he didn’t have a pension.”Noodles is correct. If you actually look at the numbers they’re quite startling today. Decades ago private and public pensions were about even. But as the global competitive economy cranked up, private companies ended pensions.
What: A nonprofit organization that offers mortgage default counseling to help prevent foreclosure, along with homeowner and credit education classes.Where: 103 E. 29th St., Vancouver, 98663.Information: 360-690-4496 or Community Housing Resource CenterClark County foreclosures rose 65 percent in May above the same month last year, and also inched slightly higher than April’s rates, according to a report issued Wednesday.At least one expert explained the year-over-year uptick as part of a damburst of foreclosures that were tied up last year by negotiations for a $25 billion settlement between 49 state attorneys general and and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers. According to California-based RealtyTrac real estate data firm, Clark County’s May foreclosures rose by nearly 100 homes when compared with May of 2012,“There was a bottleneck in 2012, while the lenders were figuring out their legal footing,” said Neal McKeever, program manager at the Community Housing Resource Center in Vancouver, one of the area’s only centers that offers counseling certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.With the sixth-highest foreclosure rate in the state, Clark County’s 249 households in foreclosure reflect the end of settlement negotiations and clear rules going forward, McKeever said.That meant 167 Clark County households received a Notice of Trustee’s Sale in May, according to RealtyTrac. The notices inform the home’s mortgage borrowers that their house will be sold at a trustee’s auction. Click to enlarge
Vancouver police tonight arrested a Vancouver man who police suspected of prowling in the Central Park area.About 8 p.m., a caller to 911 reported a suspicious person in the area of Mill Plain Boulevard and East Reserve Street.Police attempted to contact the man and he ran, Officer Ilia Botvinnik said.Botvinnik said at least seven officers responded, including Officer Brian Viles and the K-9 Enzo. The dog found the man hiding nearby and an arrest was made.Botvinnik said Michael Serdoz, 38, was arrested for obstructing a public servant and multiple warrants.He was taken to the Clark County Jail.
A Marine unit in Afghanistan lost one of its own in October, and a Wisconsin woman lost her son.Now some Christmas cheer is on the way to those Marines at Camp Leatherneck, in memory of Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Collins.Rajenta Jacques, the mother of a local leatherneck, welcomed Shannon Collins into her family’s east Vancouver home, where the two Marine moms were part of a weekend gift blitz.Along with friends and family members, they turned 100 flat shipping boxes into cardboard Christmas stockings.The shipment is going to members of Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force. They’re stationed at Camp Leatherneck, the Marine Corps’ largest base in Afghanistan.Lance Cpl. Collins was a member of the unit when he was killed on Oct. 5; he was 19.Jacques’ son, Tobias Vincent, finished Marine boot camp a couple of months ago. He will go through more schooling before he is assigned to a permanent duty station, she said.The two women hadn’t met until this weekend, but they got acquainted on Facebook, Jacques said.“She was a mentor when my son went through boot camp,” Jacques (pronounced “Jakes”) said.“When my son graduated from boot camp, the next day Jeremiah was killed,” Jacques said.A few weeks ago, the conversation turned to the idea of a Christmas-gift campaign for Jeremiah Collins’ unit. And that led to the idea of the Milwaukee woman flying to Vancouver for the weekend box-filling session.It might not have been the most practical notion, Shannon Collins acknowledged Sunday afternoon as she added items to the gift boxes.“I should be doing homework,” Collins said. She’s a criminal justice major at Concordia University Wisconsin, in Mequon.“I can’t send my son boxes this year, and I wanted to be here,” Collins said. “I want my hands on it.”A lot of donors chipped in to provide the gifts, Jacques said. The gift inventory included jerky or pepperoni snacks; sunflower seeds; toothpaste and tooth brushes donated by Gentle Dental offices; shampoo and other hygiene items donated by hotels; hot-chocolate packets and instant coffee; candy; puzzle books and magazines; DVDs; and handmade Christmas cards.
Students at Grass Valley Elementary in Camas were briefly evacuated due to a bomb threat Thursday.The threat was found written in chalk on a sidewalk outside the school about 9:30 a.m., according to the Camas School District and the Camas Police Department.School officials and police searched the building, disrupting classes for about a half an hour, but didn’t find anything suspicious.Camas police Sgt. Scot Boyles said the threat level was low, but that an investigation into the incident is ongoing.School officials continued the school schedule as normal, but notified parents of the threat by email, phone calls and text messages. In the notification, they gave the parents the option to pick up their child early if they felt uncomfortable.An officer stayed at the school for the remainder of the day.“With recent events, we have to take these things very seriously,” Boyles said.If anyone has information about the threat, they are asked to call the police department at 360-834-4151.
Police searched unsuccessfully for the man who robbed a U.S. Bank at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon in Salmon Creek.The robber entered the bank, 13001 N.E. Highway 99, at about 3:15 p.m., approached a teller, displayed a handgun and demanded cash, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. He left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash and ran south across the parking lot.The robber was described as a slender man in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing a faded orange hooded parka and a camouflage baseball cap, the sheriff’s office said. He had a blue bandana wrapped around his face and wore dark glasses. Police searched the area for the suspect using a police dog, but they were unable to find him.
Philippines rejects China’s call to ban online gambling “We are serious about implementing President Duterte’s directive to stamp out illegal online gambling,” Domingo said, according to the Inquirer. “We will not stop under they are eradicated.”Her comments came as the government unveiled a new inter-agency council aimed at combatting illegal online gambling activities in the Philippines, with PAGCOR set to work more closely with the Philippines National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration and the Office of Cybercrime.PAGCOR recently revealed that POGO had contributed revenue of Php7.365 billion (US$139.3 million) in 2018 – almost double the amount contributed in the previous year. 181 Chinese nationals arrested in dispute over POGO accreditation status RelatedPosts Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR says it has cut the number of platform providers offering services to online gaming operators to “a little under 200” under its Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) scheme.Speaking to reporters in Manila this week, PAGCOR boss Andrea Domingo said the figure represented a huge reduction compared with almost 30,000 illegal operations that had previously flouted the nation’s online gaming regulations. Load More China gives Philippines iGaming reprieve but POGOs not safe yet
The top 10 most-read stories on www.employeebenefits.co.uk between 1 December 2016 and 16 January 2017 were:Government publishes draft legislation on limitations of salary sacrifice tax advantagesThe draft legislation details the limitations of tax and employer national insurance contribution advantages where benefits are offered through salary sacrifice arrangements, or where employees are provided with a choice between a benefit in kind and cash allowance. bit.ly/2jLUIdL2. Mercer to acquire Thomsons Online BenefitsConsulting and broking organisation Mercer is to acquire global employee benefits and employee engagement software provider Thomsons Online Benefits. bit.ly/2j7zsvZ3. Government publishes final draft regulations on gender pay gap reportingThe final draft regulations published by the government confirm the information organisations with over 250 employees will have to provide when they undertake gender pay gap reporting from April 2017. This will include mean and median hourly rates of pay, as well as mean and median bonus pay. bit.ly/2jE8vPG4. EXCLUSIVE: Virgin Atlantic holds wellbeing event for staffAirline organisation Virgin Atlantic hosted a health and wellbeing event for approximately 300 staff based at its Crawley site in November 2016, offering employees information, resources and activities, such as a spin bike challenge and vision screening facility. bit.ly/2gSTV5w5. Reward Gateway acquires LogBuy UKEmployee engagement organisation Reward Gateway has acquired the UK business of voluntary benefits provider LogBuy. bit.ly/2i4kIwV6. Tribunal rules CitySprint courier is entitled to workers’ rightsThe London Central Employment Tribunal has ruled that a bicycle courier is a worker during the hours that she provides services for logistics organisation CitySprint, and is therefore entitled to holiday pay. bit.ly/2ix3PyS7. Expedia named best place to work in the UK 2017Expedia has been named the best place to work in the UK at Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2017 Employees’ Choice Awards for the second year running. ARM Holdings, HomeServe UK, Mott MacDonald, and Hays make up the top five organisations in the 2017 rankings. bit.ly/2jfo3fE8. Slaughter and May revamps pay and benefits packageLaw firm Slaughter and May has revamped its pay and benefits package for its 1,139 employees following an internal consultation process in 2016. New benefits include paid sabbaticals, an on-site doctor, and the opportunity to work from home one day a week. bit.ly/2jr8mQ59. Government to launch review into mental health practices in the workplaceLord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer CBE will lead a review into mental health practices in the workplace as part of a wider package of reforms around mental health support, announced by prime minister Theresa May. bit.ly/2i9Tfhb10. 44% of staff looking for a new job are unhappy with their benefits packageCanada Life Group Insurance’s survey of 1,002 employees also found that 74% of respondents who are unhappy with their current benefits provision agree that this plays a role in their decision to look for a new job. bit.ly/2gIokmn
Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI (WSVN) – A report about blocked exits before the rampage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando has been brought to light.Text messages exchanged between the Orlando fire and police chiefs after the shooting reveal one or two exits at the club were blocked by a soda machine.The club, however, has six exits, which is more than double the amount needed to accommodate a maximum occupancy of 300 patrons.The exits were last checked in May, where one of the doors was found inoperable. A follow-up check by the fire department has been scheduled for July 1.The gunman, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people during the massacre.His father released the following statement Tuesday: “I, Seddique Mateen, and the family condemn and whole-heartedly apologize to the victims and the people of the United States of America for what has happened. Omar does not represent the family, community and Muslims in the United States. Terrorist groups such as ISIS and the Taliban are always rejected by us.”An attorney for the owner of the nightclub refutes the report of blocked exits and said that only a bulb in the “exit” sign needed to be replaced and a fire extinguisher needed to be hung on a wall.
MIAMI (WSVN) – The Miami Marlins Foundation gave a generous gift just in time for back to school students.The foundation donated $20,000 to Kiwanis of Little Havana to fund their week-long school supply giveaway.They gave out backpacks filled with essentials on Wednesday at Marlins Park.This is the sixth year that the Marlins Foundation and Kiwanis have teamed up to help kids get ready for that first day of school.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – The Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday that the murder suspect who escaped from the Broward Courthouse in April used Facebook to communicate with his accomplices before and after his escape.Twenty-two-year-old Dayonte Resiles escaped from the downtown Fort Lauderdale courthouse in July and was on the run for six days.According to the report, investigators learned while listening to recordings of Resiles’s jail phone calls that he began planning his escape as far back as March 6.Investigators found that Resiles told multiple people he sometimes used a Broward Sheriff’s Office employee’s cellphone to go on Facebook from within the Broward Main Jail, according to the report.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – An organization dedicated to putting an end to school-style mass shootings is coming to Miami-Dade County Public Schools.The organization Sandy Hook Promise is rolling out violence prevention programs throughout the district.A presentation was held Monday at John A. Ferguson Senior High School where special guests came out to speak about the importance of working as a community to raise awareness.“Everybody has to do their jobs so that the team is successful,” said former Heat player Alonso Mourning. “What I’m really trying to say is that it is going to take a collective effort, diligent effort.”The organization was started shortly after the 2012 fatal shooting of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newtown, Connecticut.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI (WSVN) – Florida Highway Patrol troopers will be patrolling the streets of South Florida hoping to put a stop to any traffic travel trouble this Thanksgiving weekend.In 2015 alone, there were nearly 10,000 accidents in Florida during the Thanksgiving holiday week, resulting in 84 deaths.Seventeen of those people were not wearing their seat belts.7News got an inside look at what troopers are watching our for. In this case, a speeding Range Rover heading west on the 836.“You’re maintaining your distance, you’re not speeding, you’re not texting and driving, you have your seat belt on, you’re not drinking and driving. With all those factors in place, I think that we could reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities.”A 16-year-old, fairly new driver, who was going 90 miles per hour in a 45 mile-per-hour construction zone, just got a major wake up call.“I really did learn my lesson,” said the driver. “It’s not gonna happen again. I don’t want to hurt anybody else. I don’t want to hurt myself, and you’re only going to get home maybe 30 seconds faster.” Sgt. Joe Sanchez said with school out for the holiday, more young people are getting behind the wheel. “Did you know that the number one cause of death for teens is automobile accidents?” asked Sanchez.Just this week, two Homestead-area teens lost their lives, another teen was put in critical condition, after an 18-year-old driver lost control of his car and crashed into a tree.“I can tell you that speeding kills people,” said Sanchez.Also this week, two vehicles collided at the intersection of 79th Street and Northwest 17th Avenue, which left the two drivers dead, and just this Wednesday morning, there was a multi-vehicle crash along the Southbound lanes of State Road 826 in Hialeah that involved 10 vehicles.“The most important thing [this Thanksgiving] is for you to be there, sitting at that table, with your family, enjoying Thanksgiving.”While you are on the roadways this holiday week, FHP is asking if you do notice any aggressive or impaired drivers while on the roadways, report it to them by dialing 347.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami Gardens Police responded to the scene of a personal watercraft accident in Snake Creek Canal.Three young men were involved in the incident, Tuesday afternoon, in the area of Northwest 202nd Terrace and Second Avenue, according to Miami Gardens PD.“A lot of people come out here to boat and JetSki daily on the weekend,” said Junior Spice, who lives nearby. “Every time I’m driving through the neighborhood, I always see somebody out here.”According to Miami Gardens PD, it appears two men had fallen off the watercraft. They said it appeared there was no collision.One man called for help after he reached the bank of the canal.The second was pulled from the water. He and another man were transported to Jackson North Medical Hospital in unknown conditions.“This is the first time that I have ever seen any type of accident, especially across One and 99th,” said Spice. “When an accident comes like this one, the problems come.” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is leading an ongoing investigation into the incident.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.