Review Category : Top Stories

Findlay Budget Gets Mid-Year Review Today

7/22/14 – 4:56 A.M.

Findlay city council will take a look at the budget today to see how things are going halfway through the year. The meeting will allow auditor Jim Staschiak to go over what the numbers look like right now compared to what was budgeted in January.

The Courier reports long-term budget planning will also be a topic of conversation. Staschiak tells the newspaper he’ll make another appeal for long-term budgeting. Mayor Lydia Mihalik says she’s in favor of planning for more than one year at a time, but that expense priorities have to be based on clear revenue trends.

Numbers projected for 2015 look strong so far. General fund revenue is expected to be $26.8 million next year. That’s slightly more than the $26.7 million being estimated for this year.

MORE: The Courier

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Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(DALLAS) — During his annual state of the league address at the Big 12 media day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby proclaimed Monday that “cheating pays” in intercollegiate athletics.

“Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year,” said Bowlsby. “It’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”

Bowlsby continued by saying he does not believe cheating is a widespread epidemic, but that he fears for the future of the NCAA and its student-athletes.

“We certainly are operating in a strange environment in that we have lawsuits,” explained the commissioner. “I think all of that in the end will cause programs to be eliminated.”

While slamming college sports’ governing body, Bowlsby did come to the defense of the collegiate model, saying that he was against the unionization of student-athletes.

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Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(DALLAS) — During his annual state of the league address at the Big 12 media day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby proclaimed Monday that “cheating pays” in intercollegiate athletics.

“Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year,” said Bowlsby. “It’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”

Bowlsby continued by saying he does not believe cheating is a widespread epidemic, but that he fears for the future of the NCAA and its student-athletes.

“We certainly are operating in a strange environment in that we have lawsuits,” explained the commissioner. “I think all of that in the end will cause programs to be eliminated.”

While slamming college sports’ governing body, Bowlsby did come to the defense of the collegiate model, saying that he was against the unionization of student-athletes.

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Gun Control Takes Center Stage on Chris Christie Conn. Trip

Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen(GREENWICH, Conn.) — When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie traveled to Connecticut to campaign with Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, the issue of gun control dominated the evening.

Outside one of the fundraisers Christie attended, he was greeted by about 170 protesters angry at his decision in July to veto legislation that would have banned magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition. In this state still reeling from the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, protesters from Newtown, Connecticut held signs that said “Not One More” and “Be a Gun Sense Voter.”

At a diner he stopped at with Foley earlier he was asked by a voter from Newtown how he would limit gun violence in the nation without limiting access to high-capacity magazines, and Christie answered that he believes there is, “no evidence that high capacity magazines does anything to limit violence.”

“If you really want to limit mass violence in the country, you need to get at the mental health system in this country, which doesn’t deal with these folks,” Christie told the man named Richard Boritz. “Every one of these instances of mass killings, we had people with significant mental health issues. And that needs to be dealt with. It’s not the sexy part of it. It’s not the stuff that gets you big headlines when you are a politician. It’s the stuff that actually gets the job done. So I think we should stop doing the headline-grabbing stuff and start doing the actual work that makes a difference.”

Boritz attempted to continue the conversation, but Christie said he is “not engaged in a debate.” “You asked a question,” Christie told him. “That’s my answer. I am not going to debate you. If you run against me someday I will debate you all you like.”

Newtown families attempted to meet with Christie the day he vetoed the legislation and they have accused him of refusing to meet with them. On Monday, Christie told reporters that he met with the families a year ago, but he, “didn’t feel like it was necessary to meet with them again, especially after I had made the decision.”

“The fact is we have an honest disagreement,” Christie told reporters at the diner. “Now people on issues across this country can disagree, we disagree. I made the decision that I felt was best, they disagreed, that is certainly their prerogative to do so and to express themselves.”

He added that he has “nothing but sympathy” for the families, but he doesn’t believe the bill in New Jersey, which passed the Democratic controlled state legislature, was an, “effective way to deal with it so I vetoed it; it’s a difference of opinion, but it’s nothing personal.”

Foley chose not to reveal if he agreed with Christie’s veto.

Christie was also asked if he thought he could be a viable 2016 presidential candidate if he did not veto the bill and he answered, “I don’t make decisions on what bills to sign or veto based upon someone’s perception of viability.”

The protesters gathered at the bottom of a private road leading to the home of the fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association, where Christie serves as chairman. Katherine Morosky of Newtown, accompanied by her 7-year-old daughter Marie, held a politically-charged sign that read, “Stop Playing Politics, Children’s Lives are Not Trivial, Fewer Bullets Save Lives.”

It was a reference to what Christie said in his veto message, writing he could, “not support such a trivial approach to the sanctity of human life.”

Marie was not a student at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, but her mother claimed she was friends with five of the children killed, as well as some of the surviving children who were able to escape when Adam Lanza reloaded. Morosky said she was “extremely offended” by Christie’s veto, adding mental health is an issue, but there is still “easy access” for those with mental illness to ammunition making it possible to “kill 25 people in five minutes.”

“It’s such easy access to those weapons used for war and you can take out a lot more people out that way,” Morosky said of the higher-capacity magazines. “It makes a very big difference.”

Sandy Hook resident Cindy Carlson held a sign that read, “My Kids are Not Trivial,” and said those moments when a murderer reloads is crucial. “The difference is when a person with bad intentions must stop and reload it gives potential victims time to escape,” she said.

Christie and Foley appeared at the Glory Days Diner, appropriate for the devoted Bruce Springsteen fan. He was greeted there by a supportive crowd, with one woman shouting at the possible 2016 presidential candidate, “Hey good looking!” Another woman told him she once received a kiss from President George W. Bush so she needed one from him. He obliged saying to the cameras surrounding him, “You gotta do what you gotta do” with a smile.

Foley ran previously in 2010 losing to current Gov. Dannel Malloy by just over 6,000 votes. One of the fundraisers Monday night was for the RGA and the other was to raise money for the Connecticut GOP, that one was held at the home of former hedge fund manager Brian Olson.

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Gun Control Takes Center Stage on Chris Christie Conn. Trip

Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen(GREENWICH, Conn.) — When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie traveled to Connecticut to campaign with Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, the issue of gun control dominated the evening.

Outside one of the fundraisers Christie attended, he was greeted by about 170 protesters angry at his decision in July to veto legislation that would have banned magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition. In this state still reeling from the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, protesters from Newtown, Connecticut held signs that said “Not One More” and “Be a Gun Sense Voter.”

At a diner he stopped at with Foley earlier he was asked by a voter from Newtown how he would limit gun violence in the nation without limiting access to high-capacity magazines, and Christie answered that he believes there is, “no evidence that high capacity magazines does anything to limit violence.”

“If you really want to limit mass violence in the country, you need to get at the mental health system in this country, which doesn’t deal with these folks,” Christie told the man named Richard Boritz. “Every one of these instances of mass killings, we had people with significant mental health issues. And that needs to be dealt with. It’s not the sexy part of it. It’s not the stuff that gets you big headlines when you are a politician. It’s the stuff that actually gets the job done. So I think we should stop doing the headline-grabbing stuff and start doing the actual work that makes a difference.”

Boritz attempted to continue the conversation, but Christie said he is “not engaged in a debate.” “You asked a question,” Christie told him. “That’s my answer. I am not going to debate you. If you run against me someday I will debate you all you like.”

Newtown families attempted to meet with Christie the day he vetoed the legislation and they have accused him of refusing to meet with them. On Monday, Christie told reporters that he met with the families a year ago, but he, “didn’t feel like it was necessary to meet with them again, especially after I had made the decision.”

“The fact is we have an honest disagreement,” Christie told reporters at the diner. “Now people on issues across this country can disagree, we disagree. I made the decision that I felt was best, they disagreed, that is certainly their prerogative to do so and to express themselves.”

He added that he has “nothing but sympathy” for the families, but he doesn’t believe the bill in New Jersey, which passed the Democratic controlled state legislature, was an, “effective way to deal with it so I vetoed it; it’s a difference of opinion, but it’s nothing personal.”

Foley chose not to reveal if he agreed with Christie’s veto.

Christie was also asked if he thought he could be a viable 2016 presidential candidate if he did not veto the bill and he answered, “I don’t make decisions on what bills to sign or veto based upon someone’s perception of viability.”

The protesters gathered at the bottom of a private road leading to the home of the fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association, where Christie serves as chairman. Katherine Morosky of Newtown, accompanied by her 7-year-old daughter Marie, held a politically-charged sign that read, “Stop Playing Politics, Children’s Lives are Not Trivial, Fewer Bullets Save Lives.”

It was a reference to what Christie said in his veto message, writing he could, “not support such a trivial approach to the sanctity of human life.”

Marie was not a student at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, but her mother claimed she was friends with five of the children killed, as well as some of the surviving children who were able to escape when Adam Lanza reloaded. Morosky said she was “extremely offended” by Christie’s veto, adding mental health is an issue, but there is still “easy access” for those with mental illness to ammunition making it possible to “kill 25 people in five minutes.”

“It’s such easy access to those weapons used for war and you can take out a lot more people out that way,” Morosky said of the higher-capacity magazines. “It makes a very big difference.”

Sandy Hook resident Cindy Carlson held a sign that read, “My Kids are Not Trivial,” and said those moments when a murderer reloads is crucial. “The difference is when a person with bad intentions must stop and reload it gives potential victims time to escape,” she said.

Christie and Foley appeared at the Glory Days Diner, appropriate for the devoted Bruce Springsteen fan. He was greeted there by a supportive crowd, with one woman shouting at the possible 2016 presidential candidate, “Hey good looking!” Another woman told him she once received a kiss from President George W. Bush so she needed one from him. He obliged saying to the cameras surrounding him, “You gotta do what you gotta do” with a smile.

Foley ran previously in 2010 losing to current Gov. Dannel Malloy by just over 6,000 votes. One of the fundraisers Monday night was for the RGA and the other was to raise money for the Connecticut GOP, that one was held at the home of former hedge fund manager Brian Olson.

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Five Ways to Spot a Home Flip Money Pit

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Just a few weeks after Eric Mann bought a Brooklyn brownstone for $1.2 million in February — and painted the walls, sanded the floors, and added a $300 chandelier — he sold it for $2.1 million.

“I was extremely lucky,” said Mann, who said he’d bought about 40 properties across Brooklyn over the years as a real estate investor.

That’s the wild world of house flipping, which is up 16% since last year and 114% from the previous year, according to real estate data-supplier RealtyTrac.

Ericka Doolittle said thought she was getting the deal of a lifetime as well when she purchased a newly renovated home in Oakland, California.

“On the surface, it looked pretty good,” she told ABC News.

Then she discovered something her inspector had cautioned her about: more than $15,000 in hidden costs, from loose wires to sewer leaks.

A year after buying, Doolittle found two feet of water under debris in the basement.

“There was a veritable lake,” she said. “[And] a lot of flooding issues. There was water under the house.”

“What flippers are particularly good at is to make surface repairs — and not handling the structural repairs that are sometimes needed,” said New York real estate guru Barbara Corcoran who appears on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Jennifer and Steve Clark of The Home Co., a husband-and-wife team of flippers, shared the following insider secrets to spotting a potentially bad flip:

1. In the utility rooms, make sure the dryer and heater are vented out of the house.

2. Measure the height of the electrical sockets. Steve Clark said they should be about 12 inches off the floor — anything else could be a sign of old electrical wiring.

3. Switches should be on the wall, not set into the molding.

4. If the owner says the house comes with new appliances, ask to see the manuals.

5. In the bathrooms, separate hot and cold knobs in the shower may mean old fixtures were replaced but not the old plumbing.

The Clarks advised to always get a thorough inspection before buying and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

ABC News | ABC Sports News

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John Kerry Arrives in Cairo to Broker Ceasefire as Israel/Gaza Fighting Rages On

US Department of State(CAIRO) — As fighting in between neighboring Israel and Gaza rages on, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo with a mission to try to stop the bloodshed, but his first task is to get the many stakeholders in the region to agree on what would even constitute a ceasefire.

Kerry came to Cairo because Egypt has been a key mediator between Israel and Hamas, the governing body of Gaza, which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist group. Egypt also released a proposal for an immediate ceasefire without conditions on either side, something Israel accepted but Hamas rejected.

Kerry is in Cairo now, rather than earlier in the conflict, partly because of the mounting civilian casualties on both sides of the Israel/Gaza border, but especially since Israel began its ground invasion of Gaza on Thursday.

“We are deeply concerned about the consequences of Israel’s appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself,” Kerry said just before a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon late Monday night.

“But always in any kind of conflict, there is a concern about civilians,” he added.

Ban was more vehement in laying blame on the Israelis, also urging them to let up on trade and travel restrictions in Gaza so that Hamas, he said, won’t have to resort to violence.

“I understand that Israel has to respond militarily, but there is a proportionality and most of the death toll is Palestinian people,” Ban said.

Sunday was the bloodiest day so far in the Israel/Gaza crisis, with the Gaza Health Ministry reporting hundreds of deaths, many of which the U.N. said were civilians, and the Israel Defense Forces announcing the highest number of Israeli soldiers killed in the conflict thus far.

Earlier Monday as Kerry was en route to Cairo, a senior State Department official said that the U.S. had very few expectations for the next few days and that the primary objective was about getting the various players in the ceasefire negotiations on the same page, including Egypt, Qatar and Turkey, where Hamas’ exiled leadership is based, and Israel.

“It’s very complicated and it may very well take several days to get this done,” the official said. Hamas has previously called for preconditions for a ceasefire agreement, including the release of prisoners in Israel and a re-opening of Israel-Gaza border crossings.

Kerry is scheduled to meet with Egyptian officials on Tuesday, including President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby.

A second official said Kerry was best equipped to meet with parties on the ground at this time, versus continuing to communicate via phone, because the United States is the only stakeholder that shares good relationships with all the governments involved, except Hamas.

“It’s really only the Secretary of State who can come in and have close relationships with all the parties and who can get them all on the same page,” the official said.

Kerry is expected to stay in Cairo through Wednesday morning, but officials said he would make changes to his schedule, and add additional stops in the region as warranted.

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Will National Guard Help Stop Illegal Immigrant Influx in Texas?

Office of the Governor Rick Perry(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry calls it “Operation Strong Safety,” but critics say it’s closer to “operation symbolic act.”

Perry announced Monday that 1,000 National Guard troops would be deployed over the next month to the southern border. But by law, they can’t make arrests and instead will act only as a “visual deterrent.”

“What we’re asking the National Guard to do is to be a force multiplier, to be there as a partner with the law enforcement,” Perry said Monday at a news conference. “Which they have done multiple times before.”

In 2006 and 2010, presidents Bush and then Obama ordered the National Guard in to assist border patrol. In 2006, operation Jump Start brought 6,000 National Guard to work mainly in non-law enforcement duties, relieving the Border Patrol agents in those positions to move into border security rules.

But because the governor, and not the president, has ordered this deployment, the troops are unable to move into U.S. Customs and Border Protection jurisdiction without a coordinated effort with the federal government.

The Texas general in charge confirmed his troops cannot physically detain or send any of the thousands of surging immigrants, many of them mothers and children, back across the border.

“We are planning on referring and deterring — so deterring with a visible presence,” Major General Nichols, Adjutant General of Texas National Guard, said at the news conference.

And the troops cannot use their weapons to stop illegal immigration.

“You are not allowed to fire on someone who is fleeing away,” Thad Bingel, former Chief of Staff for U.S. Customs and Border Protection under President Bush told ABC News Monday. “They can use their weapons in self-defense only if they are threatened by physical harm.”

Ralph Basham, CBP commissioner under Bush (2006-2009), agreed, telling ABC News that they weapons they carry “are strictly for self-defense,” and the National Guard is, “limited in terms of what they could do.”

“They could best be used to go down and literally set up tents and medical facilities and housing and food services. And things that the border patrol are being asked to do today,” Basham said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest characterized the governor’s action Monday as a publicity stunt.

“What we’re hopeful is that Gov. Perry will not just take these kinds of steps that are generating the kind of headlines I suspect he intended, but will actually take the kinds of steps that will be constructive to solving the problem over the long term,” Earnest said.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified in June that he’d want to, “understand better what the options are for the use of the Guard,” and cited concerns about their limitations.

The National Guard, “can’t be directly involved in law enforcement,” he said. “And Department of Defense has a lot to say about this as well. It’s their resource, comes out of their budget. Lot of demands on the Guard, particularly in this season, hurricane season.”

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (updated in 1981) works to limit the federal government’s use of the military to enforce state laws and, as such, bars it from performing tasks of civilian law enforcement such as arrests or apprehensions.

That could be why the head of the Border Patrol made it clear in a June interview with ABC News that the Guard isn’t needed.

“I don’t see the National Guard being particularly good help in this instance,” said CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske. “Many of these people are not people that we’re having to apprehend or chase, these are people that are turning themselves in asking for some type of status here in the United States.”

Perry maintains that the use of the Guard will serves as, “a deterrent effect on criminal and illegal activity along the border,” at a cost of $12 million per month — a figure he plans to ask the federal government to reimburse.

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