Autumn, Fall, harvest: to me this means pumpkins, apple cider and falling leaves! I love this time of year. The countryside explodes with vibrant colors of red, yellow and orange. The leaves of the trees and the temperatures begin to drop, the sun shines a little brighter, the days get shorter and the nights get longer. It's my favorite season. From the beauty of the mountains ablaze with color to the smell of apples rotting under the tree, it brings back so many good memories. After my father retired from 22 years of service in the Air Force, we settled in Mill Creek, West Virginia, to be near family. Mill Creek is a small town at the foot of Cheat Mountain in Randolph County, where you can trace heritage all the way from the first battle of the Civil War. We folks from Mill Creek like to call it - "God's country." It's one of the most beautiful places in West Virginia. There's lots of hunting and, in the winter, lots of snow. Randolph County is home to Snowshoe , Spruce Knob and Dolly Sods . God's Country!
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New facts continue to come to light about the Upper Big Branch explosion as criminal investigations continue. Gary May, convicted of conspiracy in connection with Massey actions designed to defraud mine inspectors, says that the lawyer Massey hired to defend him actually only defended the company, sacrificing his interests to hide further wrongdoing on behalf of Massey and its successor, Alpha Natural Resources.
This week join Jamie Bordas and his frequent guest, (why is this guy always available?) Chris Regan, for another engaging and lively episode of the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review. This week, Chris and Jamie discuss premises liability, an area of the law dealing with the obligations of landowners to customers, visitors, and even, in very rare cases, trespassers, on their properties. If you own property or visit those who do, you will want to watch this informative half-hour of television on West Liberty's outstanding television station. You can tune in to Comcast Channel 14 or watch this episode in the Vimeo archives .
Approximately 200 million Americans have credit histories on file with the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), and these bureaus generate and sell more than one billion credit reports each year. Credit reports play a critical role in the economic health of American families. At least a fair credit history is often necessary for consumers to obtain credit, and at a reasonable price. Credit reports are also used by employers to make employment decisions, landlords to make rental decisions, utility providers to establish accounts, and insurers to set premium rates. Because of the importance of credit reports, credit bureaus have a legal duty of maintaining consumer information to the "maximum possible accuracy." Nevertheless, inaccuracies and errors plague credit reports, with estimates of serious errors affecting up to 25% of all reports. The primary protection for consumers involves a dispute process to correct inaccuracies that is mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Unfortunately, the process has become a travesty, with the credit bureaus conducting only perfunctory investigations.
Home remodeling remains so commonplace in the United States that we have at least two entire television networks devoted to it. And come on, who doesn't want to live nicely, cheaply? For a novice carpenter like myself, who wouldn't mind taking a shot at it but wants to make sure it's done properly and safely above all, it's tough to complete any moderate amount of home renovation without paying at least one subcontractor. To try and offset that cost, the one project most DIY-ers end up doing themselves is demolition of old space, to make way for new. I've done it a bunch of times. It's typically dusty, dirty, hot, sweaty and messy work. And although there does seem to be some perverse joy in the destruction of your home, at least for the first 30 minutes or so, it is nothing to screw around with.
My daughter, Jayme, recently sent me a picture of my granddaughter, Melody, being pushed around in an empty box. Melody, who just turned months old, was a little skeptical but clearly enjoying herself. It was an homage to a picture that's been treasured in our family for years--a picture of Jayme herself, wide-eyed and grinning with excitement as she was being pushed by me in an empty box of her own. Seeing Melody sharing this simple joy brought a smile to my face and a flood of good memories. But it also reminded me of a reality that's difficult for any parent to come to terms with: my "little girl" was now raising her own family.
A couple weeks ago, I spent some time at Toys R Us trying to pick out a gift for a 5 year old-a task I thought would be simple. I mean, how hard could this really be? I was a child once. I have two children of my own, and although it has been some time since they were young (now 20 and 16), toys are toys. How different can they really be, right? WRONG. What happened to the red, yellow, and blue big wheel with its adjustable seat and plastic handle on the side which acts as a brake? I remember pretending to be Evil Knievel whizzing down Mount Everest only to pull the brake as hard as my little arm would allow me, and spin 360° in the grass (ok...maybe half a spin and not quite Mount Everest, but still). What happened to the pogo stick? My sister and I would have pogo competitions to see who could jump the most times without falling off. And, as a girl in an almost entirely boy infested neighborhood, I would play in mounds of dirt with hundreds of matchbox cars of every shape and color under the sun. All of these awesome toys seem to have been replaced by electronic devices. Needless to say, I came home somewhat saddened by the fact that today's children are really missing out on some good old fashioned fun.