Just a week before we celebrate Veterans' Day, hundreds of thousands of military families have taken another body blow from our country's failing leadership in Washington D.C. Over 900,000 American veterans rely on food stamps to feed their families. Nonetheless, their benefits will be cut because our leaders cannot bring themselves to focus our collective effort on helping those who need, and deserve, help the most. Most Americans do not know the role that poverty plays in the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. In the midst of the worst national unemployment crisis since the Great Depression, veterans are disproportionately likely to be unemployed . Veterans are more than twice as likely as the average American to be living on the streets .
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Many of our readers may have an interest in what really happens in lawsuits before juries and some of the things juries are not told by the courts and lawyers because they are prohibited at trial from doing so. Along these lines is an editorial printed in the Charleston Gazette written by Robert Angelone, an economist from New Jersey, who tries to clean up some of the "unknown." Our firm has linked to this story for your viewing. We hope you enjoy it.
In the midst of the recent government shutdown, a story emerged that a group of people receiving welfare through the "EBT" program unexpectedly found that their EBT debit cards suddenly had no limit . The computer glitch allowed these individuals, who are dependent on food stamps to live, to go to Wal-Mart and fill up carts full of groceries to take home. A commentator, titling his article " The Louisiana Heist " described the scene this way: There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Walmart was totally decimated." One man even managed to spend $700.
Another school year has started again for thousands of children in the Valley. As all parents and grandparents know, there is nothing more precious to us than our children. I love seeing children with their mothers waiting for the school bus in the morning, talking to their buddies, holding their mother's hand and waiting for the bus dressed in their new school clothes with their new book bags and waiting to meet new friends and engage in new activities in school. When I was a child, I loved going to the store to pick out the new notebooks that I would be using in class with my favorite action adventure hero, sports star or movie hero on the cover. It was great fun getting new pencils and crayons and going shopping with my grandparents to get new shoes and clothes that I would be wearing for the first time the first week or two of school. Although I was not then particularly fond of school itself, I was very excited about starting a new year and seeing the friends I missed over the summer and meeting new friends.
Halloween is finally upon us, and trick-or-treaters will soon be knocking at your door. Piles of candy and amazing costumes make October 31 st a night of fun and excitement for so many families. However, as you take your children house to house, it is best to be informed of any potential dangers within your area. The Belmont County Sheriff's Department has gone the extra mile to help with this. For the citizens of this county, Sheriff Dave Lucas has created a sex offender registry website for easy access. This website will allow a user to determine if there are any sex offenders living within their neighborhood. It is important to note that, if you register, this website will also notify you of any future sex offenders that move into your neighborhood. Ohio residents living in other counties can obtain comparable information through the Ohio registry here . With this helpful information, parents can plan a safe trick-or-treating route for their children.
So next weekend I'm participating in Dancing With the Ohio Valley Stars . I'd be lying if I said I'd jumped at the opportunity. In fact, my first thought upon being asked involved flying pigs in a frozen Hell. After all, I don't know anything about dancing. I've never watched the ABC show and can't tell a Rumba from a Roomba. Plus, I'm not exactly built for speed when it comes to the dance floor. "Break a leg" is a phrase probably closer to prophecy than favor when it comes to my natural acumen, or lack thereof, as a dancer. But when it was explained that the event is a benefit for the Augusta Levy Learning Center , I quickly reconsidered and agreed to step way out of my comfort zone. After all Augusta Levy is a wonderful organization providing a host of valuable services for needy children. I know several who have benefitted from the organization's offerings, and I really welcomed the chance to participate for such a noble cause. As far as my being asked to participate, I still can't help but think that somebody on the selection committee must have lost a bet. I keep flashing back to Steve Carrel's character in "Dinner With Schmucks". But the flyers are printed, so they're stuck with me now.
After the death of my yellow lab, Otis, I couldn't stop feeling like something was missing in my life. I started looking for another lab to help fill the void. My son Ben's chocolate English lab, Stubby, had died a couple of years before Otis died and he was also suffering from "lab loss". You see, once you've had a lab you become addicted and have to have your lab fix. Ben asked if I would consider getting an English chocolate lab like Stubby. And so my quest began. I regularly checked lab rescue sites on the internet and asked my dear friend Barb Scanlon at the Marshall County Animal Rescue League to be on the lookout. Every time I located a rescue dog that was what I was looking for I was too late. You see, every rescue organization has its own application . By the time they call your references, talk to your vet and sometimes do a home study someone else would have been approved and gotten that dog. My disappointment was growing and I started to feel like a bad parent. Maybe this was harder than fostering a child. I then started contacting breeders to see if they had any adult dogs they were retiring or weren't suitable for breeding.
As Forbes magazine recently reported, nearly half a million people die each year from preventable medical errors . The Forbes article relies on a study recently completed by the highly-regarded Journal of Patient Safety . In the words of Forbes , new research techniques have allowed investigators to identify "killer errors in hospitals" and to locate "where the bodies are buried."
Despite various efforts to turn the housing market around, 10.8 million homeowners remain underwater (meaning they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth), which represents 22% of all mortgages in the country. While policy makers continue to butt heads on how to respond to this huge drag on the economy, homeowners continue to suffer. Lower interest rates have not had the desired impact as underwater homeowners are generally unable to refinance at recent low rates. Putting aside for a moment the question of a political remedy, how did millions of American homeowners find themselves underwater? Yes, economic forces and a decrease in housing prices can explain part of it (but even these forces were driven by over-lending, many might say predatory lending, that was so prevalent over the last decade). However, many regions, especially those that were already economically depressed, including locally (at least until very recent times), did not see the large run-up and subsequent collapse of housing prices. Yet, under water mortgages are still prevalent.
When I was in school, history was one of my least favorite classes. I always felt it was so boring to have to memorize names and dates of explorers, inventors, wars etc. Why was learning to recite the Gettysburg address in front of the whole class so important? It all seemed so unnecessary. The only thing that did pique my interest was the study of prehistoric times. I became intrigued by the study of Neanderthals and the gigantic dinosaurs that used to roam the Earth so many years ago. And the pyramids of Egypt! Who doesn't enjoy a good mummy story? I remember sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table painstakingly building tiny replicas of the great pyramids of Egypt with some spilt salt declaring that I was going to be an archeologist when I grew up. I envisioned myself in khaki shorts, work boots, long hair in a braided ponytail, driving my jeep around in some hot exotic land to a "dig" to find mummies and treasures. But of course I did not fulfill that dream (cliché that it was) since I've spent most of my adult life behind a desk in a law office.