press release

Fiction publisher

IGNITION Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – The Outerhaven

Comic book and graphic novel publisher ABLAZE takes readers on an astonishing galactic journey to the heart of a mythical and folkloric word, transformed into a captivating space opera… in the Filipino way, by announcing the acquisition of MYTHSPACE: IGNITION and the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for its publication.

MYTHSPACE: IGNITION is a 6-story graphic novel collection exploring a universe where ancient tales and folk creatures from the Philippines – Tikbalangs, Kapres, Manananggals – were inspired by real extraterrestrial civilizations. From a young man’s journey into myth, to a Kapre war, to the coming of age of a Manananggal, these stories (now depicted in full color) will take readers on a
unforgettable journey both strange and familiar.

The collection was edited and written by Paolo Chikiamco and features stories from a cadre of acclaimed Filipino illustrators including Koi Carreon, CR Chua, Borg Sinaban, Jules Gregorio, Paul Quiroga, and Mico Dimagiba.

Mythspace: take off with Koi
Monsters are myth and aliens are fiction – that’s what Ambrosio Magkalas believes, not his crazy Lola stories about Nuno and Kapres riding robots from space. But now she’s dead, and Ambrosio is about to learn that she wasn’t so crazy after all… Artwork by Koi Carreon and lyrics by Paolo Chikiamco.

Mythspace: Black Mark with Paul Quiroga
A story that gives readers a glimpse into the shrewd Nuno’s restless society, where political fanatics (who tint their skin to signify party loyalty) have the government in a persistent state of stalemate. Yet legend has it that there is a faction that transcends politics: the legendary Black, a task force authorized to take extreme measures to protect Nuno society. Helmless Mang, an outcast on his home planet, is about to discover that black people are both more powerful and more terrible than the stories would have you believe… Art by Paul Quiroga and lyrics by Paolo Chikiamco.

Mythspace: Devourers of Light with Jules Gregoire
The reasons for the age-old hatred between the Kapre and the Laho are revealed in this tale. At a turning point in history, the Laho lead an inter-species alliance to punish the Kapre for breaking a galaxy-wide taboo…but when Apex Supreme Barkarilkarilmon loses patience with the other races, the Laho take independent action – with disastrous consequences for the Kapre race. Art by Jules Gregorio and lyrics by Paolo Chikiamco.

Mythspace: Uncommon land with Mico Dimagiba
It’s hard being a detective on a planet of shapeshifters. But Inquest Haskra’s life takes a turn for the worse when he is hired by a Laho to find a missing gem to prevent the outbreak of civil war. But does Haskra really want to help a member of the race that destroyed his home planet? Art by Mico Dimagiba and lyrics by Paolo Chikiamco.

Mythspace: humanity with CR Chua
In a galaxy where humans have no rights, Danny and Marta work as slaves in the mines of Kataw. But when they are miraculously saved by something out of legend, they must decide what freedom means to each of them and what they are willing to pay for it. Art by Cristina Chua and lyrics by Paolo Chikiamco.

Mythspace: Spreading wings with Borg Sinaban
Ri-En, Books and Zu are orphans who earn their living in the slums of an aging space station, under the protection of their mentor, Ka-Ang. But Ka-Ang’s health deteriorates, and the three friends hatch a desperate plan to save him – one that puts them on a collision course with the station’s worst criminal gang, as well as one of the fearsome and immortal “Sixths”. Art by Borg Sinaban and lyrics by Paolo Chikiamco.

To support the project, go to the Kickstarter page here:

Source: press release

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Reading and writing

Nichi GLOW: Japanese beta-glucan, in children with autism spectrum disorders, improves behavior, sleep and gut microbiome in a clinical study | national

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 14, 2022–

In the first report of its kind, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) showed improved behavior, learning abilities and sleep, after oral consumption of AFO-202 strain of black yeast Aureobasidium Pullulans product of beta 1,3 -1,6 glucan (Nichi GLOW), published in BMJ Neurology Open ( ). Beneficial replenishment of the gut microbiota has also been reported with Nichi GLOW, which differs from other beta-glucans in its source, method of production and purity.

This press release is multimedia. See the full version here:

According to the parents of study participants, improved learning and communication skills, sleep rhythm and quality in addition to interaction with peers were the main changes observed in a clinical study after a 90-day intake of the Nichi GLOW beta-glucan food supplement. One demonstrated his reading, writing and math skills during a follow-up consultation with Dr. Raghavan, a developmental pediatrician and neurologist. ß-glucans considered to remove aggregate alpha-synuclein by enhancing NK cells and as a prebiotic, controls enterobacteriaceae, a cause of disease, therefore may have potential in the fight against neurological diseases involving dysbiosis of the gut microbiome. Nichi GLOW, a safe food supplement, which does not contain any allergens, deserves larger clinical studies with longer follow-up in different populations to be validated as an adjunct to conventional treatment in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, because the intestinal microbiota also varies with dietary habits. , says Dr. Raghavan. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 1 in 44 children in the developed world, with multiple causes and varying severity of manifestations. These children are more likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases later in life. In the study, Nichi GLOW intake improved CARS score and communication skills ( ). Nichi GLOW controlled Enterobacteriaceae, a gut microbiome that produces harmful proteins like curli and amyloid, leading to misfolding and aggregation of alpha-synuclein in neurons, a cause of the disease ( ). Synucleinopathy spreading through the gut-brain axis to the brain, could cause Parkinson’s disease or dementia, therefore, it is worth studying the prophylaxis of the Nichi Glucan product line in neurodegenerative conditions, because the activation of microglia is one of the mechanisms of their action in the brain ( ), says Dr. Raghavan, the lead researcher.

The results were presented in a webinar commemorating autism sunday ( ), organized by the Jesuit Antonyraj Memorial Interdisciplinary Center for Advanced Recovery and Education (JAICARE). Research in Japan has revealed the hidden potentials ( ), of this ß-glucan; thanks to a healthy ecosystem in Japan assisting in the development of new solutions, which together with GN Corp’s cross-global interdisciplinary network of healthcare expertise, made this groundbreaking feat possible, the scientists commented.

The Nichi Glucan product line was approved as a food additive in Japan in 1996 and does not contain any commonly notified allergens. They are unique, being produced as an exo-polysaccharide by new strains of Aureobasidium Pullulans in a GMP certified facility in Japan and exported under various brands: Nichi-GLOW, Neu-REFIX, Nichi Glucan & Nichi Glucan-REFIX; not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and approval status may vary from country to country. The publications are intended for academic purposes and research initiative; should not be construed as medical advice. A doctor’s advice is recommended for specific health issues.

Show source version on

CONTACT: Samuel JK Abraham

[email protected]



SOURCE: GN Corporation

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

PUBLISHED: 03/14/2022 02:07 AM/DISC: 03/14/2022 02:07 AM

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

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Reading and writing

Edward Ashton Talks His New Hollywood Sci-Fi Novel ‘Mickey7’ (Exclusive)

Existential themes of identity and immortality are carefully explored in Edward Ashton’s gripping new sci-fi novel “Mickey7” (St. Martin’s Press, 2022), a witty book filled with a refreshing dose of clever humor and old-school planetary adventure.

Billed as “The Martian” meets “Multiplicity” (with a touch of Duncan Jones’ “Moon”), “Mickey7” introduces readers to an Expendable human worker drone named Mickey who is tasked with performing dangerous tasks on the frozen world of Niflheim. These disposable employees are subjected to a variety of dastardly deaths before being regenerated as clones, with their original memories intact.

When Mickey7 is engulfed in a vast icy crevice, he is presumed dead and a new Expendable, Mickey8, is created to take his place in the system. But Mickey7 is miraculously saved by one of the planet’s native aliens, and when he returns to the colony base, he is shocked to see the replacement drone already inserted into his old life and habitat.

Now Mickey7 and Mickey8 must hide their dual existence from a society that frowns upon repetition as the native insect-like creatures roam the frigid and hostile environment and an interspecies conflict brews that threatens both sides. .

Related: The best space and science fiction books for 2022

Edward Ashton's new novel

Edward Ashton’s new novel “Mickey7” is heading to Hollywood, with Bong Joon Ho signed on to direct. (Image credit: St. Martin’s Press)

Deadline recently reported that Oscar-winning director Bong Joon Ho (“Snowpiercer,” “Parasite”) has signed on for the Warner Bros. adaptation. for Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, with Robert Pattinson (“The Batman”) attached in the lead role. spoke with Ashton about the story elements he hoped to inject into “Mickey7,” his good fortune regarding the next version of the Hollywood feature film starring Pattinson, and how an original children’s cartoon helped shape the alien creatures that inhabit the novel’s colonized ice planet. What was the genesis of “Mickey 7” and why was this story essential to tell?

Edward Ashton: This book was born in several stages. I wrote a short story a few years ago that explored the idea of ​​saving your conscience and after being killed, being regenerated, and in that way having some kind of shitty immortality like I describe in “Mickey7”. It was set in a more contemporary earthly setting so I liked the idea and wanted to see how it could be expanded if you pair it with an exploitative social structure where the people who are able to do it are essentially used as crash test dummies for the rest of humanity. Mickey comes from a lower class background, and everyone else on the mission is the elite of their society, and he’s the one who has to do all the dirty work and die for them over and over again. What surprising research paths have you encountered in your writing process?

Ashton: There is a good dose of science in this book. I’m definitely more on the side of hard sci-fi. I’m a scientist myself and like to make sure everything I put in my books is at least plausible. I teach quantum physics, so I sort of understood most of this stuff, but I had to dig a bit to make sure I understood the details. Like what happens in the interstellar medium, and what is the distribution of macro objects in the interstellar medium. These are things that we don’t know very well about, but we have some ideas about it. How do you balance the hard science and the soft science of the novel to appeal to the widest audience?

Ashton: I myself have my feet in both worlds. I started writing contemporary fiction before I started working on science fiction, but I have always been a fan of science fiction since I was a child. I was taught to make sure the heart of the story is the characters and their interactions and not to focus too much on the science. A lot of science fiction starts out wanting to tell a story about a brilliant technical idea, then puts cardboard figures around that idea to illustrate it. If you’re a fan of that stuff, it can be really fun, but if you’re not, this kind of book can be somewhere between boring and inscrutable. I try not to go that route.

Related: The best space movies of all time

Edward Ashton

Author Edward Ashton. (Image credit: St. Martin’s Press) Did you have fun writing this book and delivering your fun cocktail of humor and science fiction?

Ashton: I hear people say that writing is such a struggle. If writing was painful or difficult, I wouldn’t. I have other things I can do with my life that are enjoyable. I love to write and I had a lot of fun writing this book. I made myself laugh and made myself cry once or twice. The tone I wanted to give it was like you’re sitting in a bar and Mickey is telling you this story. What was your entry into science fiction growing up?

Ashton: I was a voracious reader as a child. Some of my favorite books that I re-read are ones that I read many years ago. George RR Martin had a series of books set in a universe not unlike “Mickey 7”, long before “A Song of Ice and Fire”, of course. “Dying of the Light” is the best of them. “Tuf Voyaging” is another absolutely fantastic one. I think I read everything Clifford D. Simak wrote before I was 15. In particular, he had a very short but incredibly powerful book called “Shakespeare’s Planet” that I read when I was 11 or 12, and it never left me. I gave copies to all my children. It is required reading in the family. Later, I became a big fan of David Brin, especially his early stuff. How did you find the planet’s insectoid? aliens called Creepers?

Ashton: It’s a little awkward, but the origin of the Creepers and their physical presence was an episode of a cartoon called “Steven Universe” that my kids were watching. There was this giant centipede-like creature with multiple mandibles, and I thought I had to do something with it. Bong Joon Ho has chosen “Mickey7” for his next film, with Robert Pattinson attached. What was your reaction to this news and will you be involved?

Ashton: It’s been crazy the last few days, but I’ve had time to think about it more than most people. Plan B, Brad Pitt’s production company, went for the script even before I sold the US rights in 2020. I had a call with director Bong about a year ago because they were really interested to make him work with us. We talked about the manuscript, so I already knew he was interested.

But the ad that just came out, where they confirmed he’s on board and Robert Pattinson is on board, I found out because my agent sent me the press release. There was radio silence about it for over a year. I knew the option was about to expire, but I expected them to say they had decided not to. 99% of the time, when you decide on a property, that’s what happens. But that’s not what happened here.

Officially, I’m an executive producer, but I think that’s probably an entirely symbolic title. Director Bong does his own thing and he writes the script. He asked my opinion on a few points early on. Like some details that I hadn’t considered when I was writing the book, like, How do Creepers reproduce? It was a great question, and we discussed it.

A lot of people have asked me if I’m nervous because he has a reputation for hijacking source material. My answer was absolutely no. This man is a genius. I’ve seen all of his movies, and he’s never made a bad one. I don’t think he’s going to start with “Mickey 7”. He will do a fantastic job.

by Edward Ashton “Mickey7” is available now in bookstores and major online outlets.

Follow us on Twitter @Espacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Writer market

Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction NFTs Need A Syringe Full Of Adrenaline

For over a week, I’ve been trying to find Guy Zyskind, the Israeli founder and CEO of SCRT Labs. It’s the developer of the Secret Network, the NFT exchange behind the much-discussed pulp Fiction scenario tokens that Quentin Tarantino expected to sell for millions of dollars. I have many questions for Zyskind now that the whole company seems to be as dead as Vincent Vega in the black suit.

As I wrote in November, Miramax has hired a team of six litigants to sue Tarantino over the NFT plan, claiming the studio, not the film’s writer-director, has “broad rights” to offer tokens. story-based collectibles. In response, Tarantino’s team argued that his original deal maintained his right to “publish” his script, which now allows him to “publish” NFTs on the blockchain. If this subject freezes your eyes, it shouldn’t be; just about every studio in Hollywood is trying to figure out their NFT strategy, and ownership of the rights is key. A lot of money is at stake.

Either way, Secret Network made the first of seven planned Tarantino NFT sales in January, winning what it trumpeted as a $1.1 million prize from an anonymous buyer for the famous Samuel L. JacksonJohn Travolta “Cheese Royale”. Zyskind released a triumphant press release saying the sale “represents a monumental moment for our community, Quentin and the Secret Network.” And then… everything was abruptly abandoned.

Yes, four days after his monumental moment, Secret Labs postponed future Tarantino sales indefinitely, citing “extreme market volatility,” which felt like a total BS, even though the crypto market at been on a roller coaster for the past few weeks. Then on Friday, the @TarantinoNFTs Twitter account announced that it would be “changing direction” to a new NFT plan, and that “this channel’s business will now be 100% dedicated to this new venture.” So, do pulp Fiction plan definitely dead? Or is he revived with a shot of adrenaline like Marcellus Wallace’s wife?

Tarantino’s rep tells me the plan is to continue NFT sales when the time is right, but neither Zyskind nor his company responded to my request for an explanation of when. And it all sounds fishy. Demand may have been low, despite all that media attention. Or maybe a technical problem has occurred. Some of the art used to promote this first NFT turned out to be copyrighted by an illustrator, which forced Secret Network to take it down, but I doubt that derailed the whole business. So what’s going on?

Miramax CEO invoice block, while stopping short of declaring victory, certainly believes his legal request created a cloud of uncertainty that negatively impacted the auction. After all, who wants an NFT whose ownership is disputed by a movie studio backed by Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) and a Qatari media company? Secret Network isn’t a night theft operation, but it’s also not one of the major NFT exchanges, and that’s probably saying something that neither OpenSea nor Rarible, both of which require sellers to meet certain terms and conditions, ended up hosting the pulp Fiction to sell.

Then there’s the veracity of that $1.1 million award for “Royale with Cheese.” The winning bidder, “AnonsNFT”, defines itself as the “1st @SecretNetwork PFP Collection”, leading some members of this community to suggest that it is either related to Secret Network or a front for Zyskind to generate a stunning initial price to establish a lucrative market. This is apparently a common pattern in the NFT world. I don’t know if that’s the case, but Miramax, at least, thinks it could have happened.

A source close to Tarantino said the QT team believes the plan is to relaunch NFTs as a lower priced effort. I’m certainly no NFT expert, but apparently there’s a raging debate in this world about whether these tokens should be the province of the very rich, who can afford to shell out $1 million each for trophies like their own Quentin Tarantino scene, or more populist collectibles sold in groups of, say, 5,000 or 10,000 copies, like an artist’s limited-edition prints. the pulp Fiction NFTs can pivot to this latter path, whether out of purpose or necessity, which may explain why the @TarantinoNFTs account tweeted on Friday: “…we have decided to change direction so that every member of the community has the opportunity to be part of this journey.

Given the media brouhaha and the still pending Miramax litigation, it would be amusing if the pulp Fiction the auction ends up looking like just a virtual fan convention, with Zyskind allowing thousands of QT followers to line up for what is essentially their own digital autograph. The account said the new plan will be announced tomorrow.

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Writer market

Yotuel Romero, writer, singer and two-time Grammy winner of ‘Patria y Vida’, named King of Carnival Miami 2022

The Kiwanis Club of Little Havana has named Yotuel Romero as the Official King of Carnival Miami 2022. As part of the 2022 festivities, the Cuban-born, Grammy-winning urban artist will perform on stage at the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. (located at SW 8 St. and SW 22 Ave.) during the Calle Ocho Music Festival (El Festival de la Calle Ocho) on Sunday, March 13.

This press release is multimedia. View the full press release here:


“We are thrilled to announce Yotuel as the King of Carnival Miami 2022 and are honored to have him on stage at the Calle Ocho Music Festival,” said Alexander Perez, president of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. “‘Patria y Vida’ has become an anthem that has fueled a movement of expression through music and art for the Cuban people and there is no better place than Calle Ocho Music Festival to continue to elevate the message.”

The singer, artist and model of Cuban origin is a pioneer of his art. Composer and record producer, the trendsetter, known for mixing Afro-Cuban genres like rumba with hip hop, is not new to the music scene, although his hit song, “Patria y Vida” ( Spanish for “Fatherland and Life”), released in February 2021, propelled his career and served as a battle cry for the #SOSCubaMovement. The instantly iconic song won Best Urban Song and Song of the Year at the 2021 Latin Grammy Awards.

“I am honored to have been chosen as the king of Carnival Miami 2022,” said Yotuel Romero. “This festival has a long tradition of recognizing pillars of South Florida’s Latin community and being named among other Cuban musical icons like Celia Cruz (1984), Gloria Estefan (1988) and Willy Chirino (1993) is truly humiliating. I look forward to celebrating the return of Calle Ocho and appreciate the opportunity to further amplify the voice of the Cuban people and their plight for a free Cuba.

Little Havana’s Carnival Miami Kiwanis Club and signature events return in person with Carnival on the Mile taking place March 5-6 and culminating in the Calle Ocho Music Festival, taking place March 13.

“Carnival Miami brings together the Latin community of South Florida and beyond, celebrating our cultural heritage through music, food and family. I hope this year’s return to in-person events will mark a true celebration for our community.

Sponsors of the 2022 Carnival Miami festivities include Bacardi, Official Spirits of Carnival on the Mile, Lowe’s, Official Festival Home Improvement Store Calle Ocho, Amerant Bank, Presenting Sponsor of the Miami Carnival Golf Tournament, Telemundo, Univision, Palma, and more. .

For more information on Carnival Miami and upcoming events, please visit

About the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana

Kiwanis of Little Havana, an affiliate of Kiwanis International, is a global nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to serving children and families in their community. Founded in 1975 and armed with powerful vision and perseverance, the Little Havana Chapter is known for its advanced fundraising initiatives aimed at cultivating and amplifying the region’s rich cultural heritage, Latin flavors and traditions. families through Carnival Miami and its flagship events, Carnival on the Mile Music Festival and Calle Ocho. Through its charitable arm, the Kiwanis Foundation of Little Havana, the organization impacts thousands of families each year with youth and community development programs including vacations, hunger, university scholarships, summer camps for young people, back to school, sports for young people and many more.

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Writer market

Real Estate Crypto unveils its charity program a few weeks ago

AL, Italy, December 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – As crypto investors remain skeptical about the current state of the market, NerveFlux, a crypto project backed by a registered company, unveiled its charity program within weeks before its public presale. NerveFlux had oversubscribed the private sale and the successful public sale (white list).

NerveFlux is confident that it can bridge the divide between crypto and real estate by allowing crypto holders to invest in real estate without having to convert cryptocurrency to fiat. NerveFlux aims to make it possible to invest in real estate properties seamlessly with crypto.

Mario Ljubicic is the CEO of NerveFlux, speaking with the CEO of Croatian origin, he said “understanding the fact that the NerveFlux solution is 5 years ahead in the crypto space, we bring the necessary innovative solution to a practical problem faced by the crypto industry for over a decade. Invest and participate in our public pre-sale on January 14the, 2022 on PinkSale LaunchPad, should be seen as an opportunity to be an early bird. NerveFlux is not a payment gateway or an investment platform. NerveFlux Marketplace will provide the technological mechanism needed to improve the fast and seamless buying or selling of properties directly with crypto.

With the genesis of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto hopes that blockchain technology will solve real-life problems, creating value for the crypto industry. As crypto becomes more palatable, making new millionaires all over the world, the gap between crypto and real estate is widening, leaving crypto holders at the mercy of banks. As the crypto market grows, the gap has become so obvious with most of the broken investors. NerveFlux is here to fill this gap, enabling direct investments in crypto real estate while protecting regulations and legal requirements by working with local authorities in any location.

In a world facing climate emergencies and environmental crises, crypto projects can add value to their project by going green. Charity plays an important role in all industries that care about planet Earth.

Juergen Hildebrandt, German-born Marketing Director of NerveFlux, said “Unlike Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, Nerve is not a mineable cryptocurrency. Nerve is a green token. The Nerve Charity program will do its part to fight climate change and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking further, Juergen Hildebrandt said: “Our charity program is a use case that gives value to its holders. For each wallet address that holds Nerve for more than 120 days, a tree will be planted with the wallet address labeled on it. We are going to plant trees in different countries of the world. Anyone can contribute to our charity program by holding a Nerve Token. Our long term goal is to plant a million trees.

The Nerve public presale is scheduled for January 14e, 2022. For more information, visit the official NerveFlux website

For more details see our website: –



Official Email: [email protected]

For the partnership: [email protected]

Contact the writer, Toritseju edema:

[email protected]

The information provided in this press release is not investment advice, financial advice or business advice. It is recommended that you exercise due diligence (including consulting a professional financial advisor before investing or trading in securities and cryptocurrencies).

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Fiction publisher

?? Flagellated souls, ?? a historical fiction of the Civil War by Keith N. Corman, will be adapted as an audiobook

?? Flagellated souls ?? (ReadersMagnet; 2019) by Keith Niles Corman will touch the ears of audiobook listeners in the coming weeks. The dramatic war fiction is set during the latter part of the Civil War and is told through several characters whose lives are intertwined because of the war. Among them are Obadiah Washington, a freed slave who works as a blacksmith; Auggie Greive, a son of German immigrants from southern Indiana who wants to fight for his new homeland; and Nell Wilkerson, a teenage girl whose father decides to lead a group of soldiers, including her fiancée, to war.

Keith Niles Corman’s Historical Civil War Fiction ?? Flagellated souls ?? has been well received by the book critical press. Kristi Elizabeth of the Manhattan Book Review gave the book 5 stars, saying that the book “prompts the reader to think more about the people behind the war, and not so much about the war itself. “

What I really enjoyed about this book is that it gives the reader perspective on both sides of the war, from the perspective of Union and Confederate soldiers, their families and their families. friends ?? Has anyone ever really won in war? The sadness felt by both parties in this story is overwhelming and brought tears to my eyes, ?? Elizabeth wrote in her review.

Anthony Avina of Pacific Book Review also praises ?? Flagellated souls, ?? calling it a powerful, well-written work that everyone should read. He praised the author for highlighting the personal consequences of war on families, friends, neighbors and relatives as soldiers fight on the front lines.

?? This book shows how, even after all these centuries, war still affects us as much today and the families of these brave soldiers as it did then ?? It was insightful and engaging to read Civil War stories from a completely new and new perspective, exploring a group of people who are often overlooked as the infamous war focus primarily focuses on those in the fields. battle.

Hear how war continues to impact society socially, emotionally and culturally. Keith Niles Corman ?? s ?? Flagellated souls ?? is available at

Flagellated souls
Author | Keith Niles Corman
Date of publication | June 5, 2019
Editor | Magnet LLC Readers
Paperback Price | $ 8.90

Authors biography

Keith N. Corman was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1953 and raised in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, where he lived until 1975. At that time, he married his wife, Martha Gail Muncy. After six years of marriage, they become parents to their daughter, Amanda K. Corman.

Keith, retired after 30 years of public service and 40 years as a political activist, started an economic development and intermodal logistics consulting firm in Cincinnati. During his life, Keith had a keen interest in history, philosophy, politics and his faith. He is also an advocate for the rail industry, educating the public of the transportation industry in the United States by focusing on the jobs they do and individual safety awareness. In his spare time, Keith photographs railroads, models railroads based on prototype principles, historical research, and writes both books and poetry. His children’s book Katie and Kenny Tour the Railroad is inspired by his love of railways.

This news content may be incorporated into any legitimate news gathering and publication effort. Linking is allowed.

Press release distribution and press release distribution services provided by WebWire.

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Writer market

Stationery owners sell equipment | News, Sports, Jobs

Dawn Varner of Roaring Spring labels old-fashioned paper rolls from Appvion stationery on April 27, 2017, seen below. The ownership group that purchased the old pulp and paper mill this summer with the intention of marketing the mill as a “turnkey” facility has auctioned off the papermaking equipment. Mirror file photo

ROARING SPRING – The ownership group that purchased the former Appvion pulp and paper mill here this summer with the intention of marketing the mill as a “Turnkey” The factory auctioned off the papermaking equipment, according to a local business manager.

“Before, they hoped to be able to sell (the mill) as a papermaking factory”, said Steve McKnight, CEO of Altoona Blair County Development Corp. “Now it seems unlikely. “

It’s a “big disappointment” added McKnight, who recently spoke with one of the executives of the Ownership Group, made up of four companies that have formed a new LLC called Roaring Spring Park.

“We obviously hoped that this ownership group, with its connections to the global market, would have been more successful in finding an operator who (would have left) the factory completely and holistically in place,” McKnight said.

The plant boiler and “Pulp infrastructure” remain, however, so there may always be an opportunity for a buyer to restart operations to produce an intermediate product – unlike the finished paper the mill previously produced, McKnight said, based on his conversation with the main.

The age and configuration of the plant and its location were apparently not “advantageous” in the attempt to market the facility as a turnkey operation, McKnight said.

A paper mill opened on the site in 1866.

As of late, Appvion had invested millions to modernize the equipment, according to the principal, in a press release over the summer.

The mill is nestled in a section of the small valley of Halter Creek next to the borough.

It is served by a rail line and is located just off Route 36, approximately 3.5 miles from the Leamersville interchange on I-99.

The group director McKnight spoke to did not return a pair of Mirror messages on Thursday.

While papermaking is the highest and best use of the property, and a pulping operation might be an acceptable alternative, the mill could also serve as a site for multiple “Small independent operations”, including distribution and manufacturing, McKnight said.

“At the moment, buildings are in great demand” McKnight said.

The homeowner group’s online auction ran from September 21 to 23, with September 15 being the deadline for a potential turnkey buyer, according to an online notice.

The plant had an annual output of 200,000 tonnes per year, with pulp production of 150,000 tonnes per year, according to the notice.

The plant is on a 330-acre site, with 400,000 square feet under the roof, according to the advisory.

“Source of ultra-clear spring water throughout the property,” the notice indicates.

The plant was “perfect for linerboard,” according to the notice.

The owner group was initially optimistic that the increased demand for linerboard – the cardboard used for boxes, like those used for shipping retail products online – would make the plant attractive, according to Bill Firestone, chairman of Capital Recovery Group, one of the four companies that make up Roaring Spring Park, when he spoke to the Mirror this summer.

Items for sale in the auction following the expiration of the turnkey opportunity included “Backhoes, overhead cranes, centrifugal pumps, dump trucks, dust collectors, hydraulic balers, paper lines, rolling stock, slitter rewinders and split case pumps”.

Another notice called for gate valves and ball valves and yet another for electrical components.

On Thursday, trucks of various sizes arrived and left the factory grounds, evidently to pick up items purchased at auction.

An employee of a security contractor and another linked to the property declined to speak to the Mirror.

When Appvion closed the plant in the spring, “there was optimism” Doug Mingle, owner of Roaring Spring True Value, said Thursday.

Now there is an uncertainty, which is difficult for the community and which will likely continue until the fate of the ownership of the factory is resolved. “resolved,” Mingle said.

The district developed around the mill, and its closure, without being completely unexpected for some employees, was nevertheless “a breath,” said Mingle, whose stepfather was a “Man of the career mill”.

For years, the factory has provided a variety of jobs that locals yearn for, Mingle said.

“You have entered, you are ready” he said.

This was true for workers, engineers, electricians, machinists and managers, he said.

It was a bit like the railroad shops in Altoona, he says.

For years, it has been difficult to keep the young people in the community in place once they have grown up, and now it will be even more difficult, Mingle said.

However, he tends to be optimistic, he said.

Perhaps, despite the perceived drawbacks of the plant’s setup and location, potential operators will see the benefits, especially when compared to issues such as drought in other areas, did he declares.

These include the plentiful supply of water and the right workforce, he said.

Mirror staff writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.

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Book creator

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart team up in trailer for Halloween baking contest on Peacock

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart continue their friendship and successful creative partnership this Halloween season with an all-new baking special on Peacock. The streaming service is in partnership with Buzzfeed‘s Delicious for Very tasty Halloween from Snoop and Martha, which will be released on Peacock on October 21. The special sees some of the best baking teams in the country offering not only delicious treats, but also full displays made with edible ingredients. It’s definitely the biggest holiday baking show, so it’s no surprise that big names like Snoop and Martha are behind it.

On Monday, Peacock released the first trailer for Very tasty Halloween from Snoop and Martha. The first footage from the Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart shows introducing the contestants to their mission and going all out with some interesting Halloween costumes. You can check it out in the video below!

Snoop and Stewart and joined the competition by Delicious Food content creator Alvin Zhou, who will use his knowledge and experience to serve as a judge alongside the two hosts.

“In Very tasty Halloween from Snoop and Martha teams of three bakers called “Scare Squads” are tasked with preparing and creating a fully sensory 12×12 Halloween world that people can literally explore. The trap ? Their worlds must be inspired by the concept of fear. Imagine larger-than-life chocolate spiders or cotton candy cobwebs, ”reads Peacock’s official press release. “Creator of tasty culinary content, Alvin Zhou will use his cooking and baking knowledge to judge each baker’s creation alongside Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. .

“Trios of the country’s most talented and award-winning bakers compete to create an immersive and edible show that celebrates Halloween’s colorful creativity. When the time is up, the judges crown the team that builds the tastiest candy world, and the competition ends in a fantastic Halloween party.

Very tasty Halloween from Snoop and Martha is produced by BuzzFeed Studios, Magical Elves and Snoopadelic Films. Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Hillary Olsen, Patrick J. Doody and Gaylen Gawlowski are the executive producers of Magical Elves. Richard Alan Reid and Charlotte Simms are the executive producers of BuzzFeed. Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are also executive producers. “

What do you think of Snoop and Martha’s new Halloween baking special? Let us know in the comments!

Very tasty Halloween from Snoop and Martha arrives on Peacock on October 21.

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Writer market

Promising candidate vaccine against African swine fever • Farm Policy News

Mike Dorning of Bloomberg reported last week that “the US Department of Agriculture has potentially found a vaccine to fight African swine fever [ASF], a disease that has devastated herds of pigs in China and was recently detected in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the agency said Thursday.

“The vaccine, which officials described as’promising, provided immunity to one-third of pigs within two weeks and full protection to all animals within four weeks, one study found.

The Bloomberg article noted that “This” could play an important role in controlling the ongoing epidemic threatening the global pork supply, “said Douglas Gladue, a USDA researcher who co-authored the study. “

Export of American pork and part in world export. USDA – Economic Research Service. Map Gallery (August 4, 2021).

Also last week, DTN editor Todd Neeley said, “One of the many African swine fever vaccine candidates has successfully blocked of European and Asian farmed pigs against the circulating Asian strain, the USDA said Thursday.

USDA research by Agricultural Research Service scientists highlighted in the journal Transboundary and Emerging Diseases shows that a particular vaccine candidate can also be produced commercially and maintain its ‘vaccine efficacy’ against Asian strains of ASF when tested on European and Asian pig breeds, the USDA said in a press release.

“The results show that the vaccine could be reproduced and prevent the spread of the virus, the agency said.

Mr. Neeley noted that “ASF has resulted in the rapid slaughter of millions of pigs in China in late 2018 and early 2019, reducing the world’s largest pig herd by as much as 40% and get China to basically rebuild its entire pork industry in the process. The ripple effect has led to a high volume of global pork exports to China, including from the United States, in response. “

Germany was initially affected by ASF in its feral pig population last year, effectively cutting the country’s exports. German authorities have reported that ASF has been found on at least three farms, affecting domestic pigs, ”the DTN article said.

Meanwhile, in a separate DTN article last week, Mr. Neeley reported that, “USDA allocates billions of dollars to prevent the spread of African swine fever, strengthen disaster programs in response to drought affecting livestock herders and farmers facing market disruptions.

“The agency on Wednesday announced its intention to tap funds from Commodity Credit Corp. as part of what the USDA calls a ‘global investment program’.”

“The USDA plan will designate up to $ 500 million prevent the spread of African swine fever by expand and coordinate monitoring, surveillance, prevention, quarantine and eradication activities by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service“, the DTN article said.

And Bloomberg writer Jim Wyss reported last week that, “since there is no cure or cure for ASF, mass slaughter is one of the few ways to control the disease. The Dominican Republic has already shot down more than 65,700 pigs this year as he tries to avoid a repeat of a 1970s epidemic that led him to exterminate his entire pig herd – more than 1.4 million animals. China has struggled with multiple epidemics since the disease was first detected there in 2018. ASF is now present in 50 countries across Africa, Europe and Asia

“‘It could easily be the most serious animal health crisis of our generation‘says Gregorio Torres, head of the scientific department at the World Organization for Animal Health, a Paris-based body that helps coordinate the global response to epidemics by disseminating information and issuing health and safety guidelines that can affect international trade.

The Bloomberg article added that “the The United States does not import pork products from Haiti or the Dominican Republic because both nations also have the less fatal classical swine fever. Porto Rico recently banned all pork products to be exported or transported to the Americas, including the ubiquitous local delicacy empanadilla. And the island’s ports and airports are heavily guarded, including by pig sniffer dogs. “

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Book creator

Rebel Girls Releases New Book With 100 Inspirational Black Women Stories

Rebel Girls celebrates #BlackGirlMagic with 100 inspiring stories of black women. The multiplatform brand has released a new book, Good night stories for rebellious girls: 100 real stories of black magic, which features real life stories of black women breaking down barriers around the world.

“Rebel Girls is proud to bring the hashtag Black Girl Magic to life through authentic storytelling from inspiring innovators, creators, leaders and champions,” Lilly Workneh, digital content manager at Rebel Girl and editor of the new book with the #BlackGirlMagic creator CaShawn Thompson, said in a press release. “100 real stories of black magic is designed to recognize, applaud and amplify the incredible stories of black women and girls from the past and present; and to celebrate Black Girl Magic around the world. Because if she can see it, she can.

Stories of legends are presented in the book

Among the 100 stories shared are testimonials from poet laureate Amanda Gorman and tennis professional Naomi Osaka. In addition, stories from late legends such as guitar pioneer and singer Rosetta Tharpe, as well as reporter and co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Ida B. Wells, are also included. presented.

100 real stories of black magic was illustrated by 60 black women and non-binary artists. Readers will also have access to cool bonus activities as well as a space to write and illustrate their own #BlackGirlMagic stories.

You can buy the book now

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls: 100 Real Stories Of Black Girl Magic released on September 28 and is available for purchase on the Rebel Girls Site and local bookstores for $ 35.

There is also an audiobook version narrated by a cast of black women such as Tony Award-nominated actress Montego Glover; The Handmaid’s Tale actress Samira Wiley; television personality, Garcelle Beauvais, Lovie Simone and others. The audiobook is available for purchase on Audible, Kobo and the Rebel girls, dream application available in the Apple App Store.

The #BlackGirlMagic movement was started by a mom

Thompson, a mother of two, created the #BlackGirlMagic movement to encourage black women around the world to celebrate and celebrate themselves. “Black Girls Are Magic became very popular in 2013 after CaShawn started using the online phrase (which was later shortened to the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic) to uplift and praise achievement, beauty, and other amazing qualities. black women. ” Thompson’s website explains.

The movement turned out to be so popular and influential that February 15 was invented National Black Girls’ Magic Day in 2019.

Rebel Girls has been inspiring girls since 2016

Rebellious girls describes itself as a “multiplatform empowerment brand dedicated to helping raise the world’s most inspired and confident generation of girls through content, experiences, products and community. ” The media company notes on its site that it has sold more than 7 million books and 14 million podcast downloads.

Thompson said she was happy with the impact her hashtag had on black women around the world and was excited about partnering with Rebel Girls to grow it even more. “I’m so proud that Rebel Girls have used their platform to create a tangible representation of what the original Black Girl Magic hashtag means to me,” Thompson said in a press release, “and what it can inspire. for black girls around the world. “

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Reading and writing

UW educators express support for critical race theory as new bill seeks to ban it | Latest news

Zumbrunnen then shifted the conversation to academic freedom, saying the UW system “encourages instructors, like me, to create an atmosphere in and out of the classroom in which students can express themselves and participate.”

“We work hard at UW-Madison to defend the concept of free speech and take seriously any allegation of bias or mistreatment for expressing an opinion,” he said. “Talking about race and racism, assessing individual prejudices and systematic prejudices, or oppression, is hard work, and it is necessary work in our world. ”

Despite the challenges, Zumbrunnen said UW-Madison is able to put in the effort and continue the “fearless sifting and winnowing of ideas until we get to the truth.”

Ahead of the meeting, Senator Lena Taylor and Representative LaKeshia Myers, both Democrats from Milwaukee, issued a joint statement, saying they did not like “the addition of speakers like Chris Rufo, who has publicly deducted his desire to turn discussions of systemic racism into a salient political issue with a clear villain. ”

“Translation,” Taylor said in the press release, “Black people who want an honest conversation and an assessment of the impacts of slavery and their allies are the bad guys.”

She encouraged the committee to prioritize the truth, rather than listening to the naysayers who she says dirty matters of race, diversity, inclusion and equity.

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Fiction publisher

Sharon Pepper’s book ?? Jeremy Q. Taylor and the Cyborg in the Cellar ?? Presents the challenges of technology to humanity in the future

Miami, Florida – WEB WIRE

What distinguishes humans from cyborgs?

In a sci-fi novel interspersed with action, adventure, robots and family love, Sharon takes us to the world of ?? Jeremy Q. Taylor and the Cyborg in the basement. ??

When 16-year-old Jeremy suddenly lost his mother, he was upset and in pain. The event left Jeremy with a tired heart and the inability to cope as well as his father would have liked. Wanting to help his son, Bob Taylor, a scientist working for Human-istic Ltd., a company dedicated to creating robots for all walks of life, created a cyborg named Addison. Bob wants Addison to become Jeremy’s big brother. Addison was almost perfect. With a physical appearance that can make any girl pale and the intelligence of a supercomputer, Jeremy at first felt inferior and envious, to the point that he hated Addison. On the other hand, Addison is not just a robot. He’s also partly human and never gave up on Jeremy. The two Taylor boys have become inseparable. However, the threat of reproducing Addison for commercial gain was looming. This puts the cyborg in danger and they find themselves in dire straits.

Can the Taylors overcome the dangers of greed and lust for power and money?

Discover a love story between a family that transcends species and the power of science to heal or destroy. Join Pepper and the Taylors. Get your copy.

Buy the book at:

Jeremy Q. Taylor and the cyborg in the cellar
Author: Sharon pepper
Editor: Your online publicist
Publication date: September 2021
Type of book: Science-Fiction & Fantasy

About the Author:
Sharon grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York, with two exuberant siblings. What did she like to do as a child? ?? I absolutely loved reading ?? and always had a book in my hands. Writing is and has been fun for me, and it has been a great creative outlet. Before I start writing, I like to ask myself questions. For example, for this book, my main question that needed to be answered was: ?? What does it mean to be human? Is it just our DNA, or is there something more ????? Readers will find out eventually.

Sharon’s professional experience includes marketing, sales and administration of educational programs / services and materials.

His education includes an undergraduate degree in business administration from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Additionally, she received her MBA from Cal State East Bay, California.

(Image from press release:


 Science fiction novel
 Sharon pepper

Contact details
Amara bryant
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Your online publicist

Contact by e-mail

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Writer market

Adolescents Help Museum Market Art, Itself to Adolescents | Local News

Growing up, Chandra Lavery has always been surrounded by art.

“I was infatuated with it,” said Lavery, 16, of Gloucester. “It made me want to be a part of something that I really enjoyed.”

The Cape Ann Museum, she says, allows her to do just that.

The museum created its very first Teen Arts Council. Is it mission? Helping teens develop their leadership skills while creating youth-focused events and initiatives in the hopes of attracting more young people to the Gloucester Museum.

The first five board members – Eleyna Bayer, 17, from Beverly, Olivia Gado, 17, from Manchester, Sophie Zerilli, 16, from Rockport, Ethan Wood, 17, from Ipswich, and Lavery – help the museum to develop an inclusive space that allows local teens to get involved and enjoy what the niche space has to offer.

“Over the past few weeks we have learned about the inner workings of the museum and have started to think about what programs the museum can implement to involve more young people,” said Wood. “We believe that creating programs and exhibits for teenagers will show them that they are represented in this space and that they can enjoy what the museum has to offer.”

Each board member is paid $ 15 per hour and meets Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m.

With a well-established organization backing them, the five creative minds on the council have planned a number of events, including a regular “Teen Arts Night” series. An outdoor event on Friday August 20, for local teens to hang out, make art and see the upcoming “Learn to Swim” exhibit at Cape Ann Museum Green at 13 Prospect St. will kick off the series.

“The night will be filled with music from local teenage bands, lawn games and stations where teens can participate in the creation of self-portraits for the upcoming exhibition ‘Quilted Together: An Exhibit of Community Portraits’ which will be on display from September 19 to September 31. from November 24 to 5, ”reads a press release from the museum.

The teens also created an interactive map for “Learn to Swim”, on display from August 14 to September 12, so local visitors can connect their memories of learning to swim with works of art and archival photographs from the museum’s collection depicting the popular people of the region. swimming places.

And finally, the teens developed a new Instagram account for the museum to showcase the work of local teenage artists while promoting museum activities and events that appeal to young people.

“Our goal with Instagram is to connect with the teen art community,” Bayer said. “We want to showcase local teens on our page. We hope to encourage teens to show their skills and submit their art to our profile.

The account can be found at and those who wish to be featured can submit their work via Instagram or email [email protected]

The museum’s education director, Miranda Aisling, noted that the museum’s goal is to maintain the Teen Arts Council after this summer.

“The board was formed to help the museum understand what teenagers want to see and how to involve them in the museum,” she said. “By working with the board, the museum is committed to the importance of staying open-minded and highlighting under-represented voices such as young artists.”

Editor-in-Chief Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705, [email protected] or on Twitter at TayBradford97.

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Fiction publisher

Gary Vochatzer offers a vivid picture of what is to come to stimulate vigilance in the hearts of believers and non-believers alike

Will disappearance be the end of the line for humanity?

The Bible warns: Watch therefore, for you do not know what day your Lord will come. Matthew 24:42 ??But what if no one tells you about it? What if you lived your life without hesitating one day to disappear or be left behind? What if the Bible was once a fairy tale to you, but suddenly revealed itself to be the truth? Will it be too late for redemption?

Gary Vochatzer offers a vivid picture of the future in a story that follows a family caught in the tumult of the inexplicable disappearance of over one hundred million people. He presents his book, ??Second chance.??

The book is an imaginative representation of what will happen during the time of tribulation. The protagonist and his family grew up believers The Big Bang Theory and saw the Bible as a collection of fairy tales. When a succession of bizarre incidents occurred, he remained in search of answers and explanations, which he discovered in the Bible, thus opening a new chapter in his life.

Vochatzer writes:? Was this book written for one purpose in my mind? scare you, scare you for what you’re about to read, but trust me, his coming is as sure as the sun that rises every day, and life and death. This book was written to keep your soul safe in heaven under the blood shed for us by Jesus Christ. ??

The book is easy to follow as Vochatzer wrote the book in chronological timelines, and kept the plot simple and relatable, without compromising the message. However, it’s the change of protagonist and the heart-wrenching end of the story that has the biggest impact.

Will the protagonist have his second chance? Grab your copy now!

Buy the book at: -christ-the-savior-of-the-worlds-by-gary-vochatzer /

Second Chance: The Story of a Man Who Attempts to Enter Heaven After the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World
Author: Gary Vochatzer
Editor: Your online publicist
Publication date: July 2021
Type of book: Christian Book, Fiction

About the Author:

Married, Christian since 1966, church member, insurance broker since 1962, kept a daily prayer journal for 24 years and a daily journal for 30 years. Written poems, short stories, biblical statements, songs and statements of conscience. Five published books and five books ready for publication.

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 Second coming
 Gary Vochatzer

Contact details
Amara bryant
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Your online publicist

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Reading and writing

Study: Handwriting Better Than Typing, Videos to Help People Learn

Want to learn something new? Pick up your pencil.

New research suggests that despite the ease of using a computer for typing notes or watching videos, people learn certain skills much better and faster when writing them by hand.

“The question for parents and educators is why our children should spend time writing by hand,” said Brenda Rapp, lead author of the study, professor of cognitive science at Johns Hopkins University .

“Obviously, you’ll be a better writer if you practice it,” she said in a college press release.

“But since people write less, then maybe we care? The real question is, are there other benefits of handwriting related to reading, spelling and writing. to understanding?

The researchers conducted an experiment in which 42 adults learned the Arabic alphabet. The participants were divided into three groups of learners: editors, typists and video observers.

Everyone learned the letters one at a time by watching videos of their writing and hearing names and sounds.

The video group then had a flash of a letter on the screen and had to say if it was the same letter they had just seen. Those who were typing found the letter on the keyboard. The writers copied the letter with pen and paper.

After up to six sessions, all groups were able to recognize the letters and made few errors in the tests.

But the writing group reached this skill level faster than the other groups. Some were able to repeat this skill after just two sessions.

“The main lesson is that while they were all good at recognizing letters, the writing training was the best at all other measures. And it took them less time to get there,” said the author. principal Robert Wiley.

Wiley is a former Johns Hopkins University PhD student who is now an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The researchers said that handwriting reinforces visual and auditory lessons. The act of handwriting provides a perceptual-motor experience that unifies what is learned about letters, including their shapes, sounds, and motor planes.

“With writing, you get a stronger representation in your mind that allows you to scaffold yourself towards those other types of tasks that don’t involve handwriting in any way,” Wiley explained in the release.

The study participants were all adults. Still, the researchers said they would expect the same results in children.

“I have three nieces and a nephew right now, and my siblings are asking me, should we buy them pencils and pens? I say yes, just let them play with the letters and start writing them and write them down all the time, ”Wiley said. .

“I bought them finger paint for Christmas and I said, ‘Let’s make some letters,’” Wiley said.

The researchers suggested the findings have implications for classrooms who have switched to using tablets and laptops, as well as adults who learn languages ​​through apps or cassettes.

The latter should complement this learning by writing on paper, the researchers said.

The results were recently published in the journal Psychological Science.

More information

Scholastic offers more on the benefits of handwriting.

Copyright © 2021 Health Day. All rights reserved.

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Reading and writing

STAAR scores for Pearland, Alvin’s ISDs rank above state average, lagging behind 2019

The results of the Texas State School Readiness Assessments for the spring of 2021 showed that students at Pearland and Alvin ISD performed fair or above the state average at all levels. (Community impact newspaper staff)

Pearland ISD and Alvin ISD students have remained at or above the state average in all subjects and grade levels, according to the results of the Texas State Academic Readiness Assessments in the spring of 2021, but the overall scores followed the 2019 declining trend seen across the state.

The Texas Education Agency disclosed the results of the spring 2021 STAAR tests on June 28.

“The data can be daunting, but with it our teachers and principals are developing action plans to support students in the new school year,” TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said in a statement. Press release.

Following the state trend, the percentage of students who met the criteria for near grade level decreased in both PISD and AISD compared to their 2019 data.

Although most scores fell from 2019, PISD saw its math scores skyrocket above the state average: Grades 3-7 in the district were all higher. 80% when it comes to students reaching the school level close to or above the category. Even eighth-grade math scores, which were the only ones not exceeding 80% in the district, were still six percentage points above the state average of 66%. However, the district’s eighth-grade math scores fell from where they were in the district in 2019, which was 94%.

“Compared to the decline of the state, Pearland is shining,” said Nyla Watson, director of studies at PISD. “We have areas where strong interventions will be needed; overall, we saw minimal declines. Our distance students are not significantly inferior to our face-to-face students. We certainly have work to do to be successful in the long term, but we look forward to students being on campus and starting interventions on a one-to-one basis.

Writing scores in grade seven, however, improved in PISD, from 82% in 2019 to 84% in 2021.

AISD saw scores drop significantly in math exams at all grade levels compared to 2019 scores. The biggest drop came in fourth grade math scores which fell from 79% of students. approaching the grade level in 2019 to 65% in 2021, but they were still above the state average for fourth-grade math, which was 58%.

Reading scores were a strong point for AISD compared to the state average: All grade levels except grade six had reading test scores above 71%.

“Credit goes to the dedication of our staff who have continued to provide engaging teaching both face-to-face and virtually,” said Carol Nelson, Superintendent of AISD. “We demanded that any student who failed to resume face-to-face teaching. Some of our schools have recovered more than 90% of their students.

Similar to PISD, AISD has also seen an increase in writing scores in grade seven, from 65% of students approaching grade level in 2019 to 68% in 2021.

Scores in 2019 and 2021 for reading in sixth and seventh grades remained exactly the same in AISD, with 69% of students approaching grade level for reading in sixth grade in 2019 and 2021. Reading test results in seventh grade were also 74% in both years.

“Armed with the best information, working closely and with important new backers from the Texas legislature, we will provide students with stronger academic growth than ever before,” Morath said in the press release.

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Book credit

US savers largely avoid 401 (k) loans during crisis, report finds

Americans largely stayed away from their 401 (k) and other defined contribution plans during the Covid-19 crisis, choosing instead to cut spending and sell valuables, Empower research shows Institute, the research arm of Empower Retirement.

Research has found that in dealing with the financial difficulties so far during the Covid-19 crisis, 35% of those surveyed have cut spending, 15% have dipped into their savings, 11% have postponed a student loan, and 11 % maximized credit cards.

The online survey of 684 DC plan members, conducted in April by the Harris Poll, also found that 36% of Americans would rather sell their valuables than tap their retirement savings.

Even under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) law, the survey showed that as of June, only 1.4% of eligible pension plan members had made a withdrawal. The report found that 44% of those who make CARES Act withdrawals have already borrowed from their accounts.

The CARES Act allows qualified individuals to borrow up to $ 100,000 from qualified plans such as 401 (k), 403 (b), and IRAs without penalty. However, borrowers would be required to pay tax on these distributions on a pro rata basis over three years.

When asked what their last resort would be to access money if they needed it, 29% said they would dip into their retirement account, 27% said they would stop contributing to their retirement savings, 26% said they would borrow from a friend or family and 26% said they would max out their credit cards. Research found that only 8% withdrew money from their retirement savings accounts at work and 10% stopped contributing to their accounts.

Many respondents said that certain actions are prohibited when it comes to protecting their savings. Forty-seven percent indicated that they had not considered or would not consider postponing their student loan repayment to a later date if they were facing financial difficulties; 36% would not like credit cards at most; and 34% would not borrow money from a family member or friend. Additionally, 28% said they did not or would not consider withdrawing money from their retirement savings account at work, and 24% would not stop contributing to their retirement savings .

As to who has the highest initial loan and withdrawal activity, research has indicated that they are workers in the airline, entertainment and manufacturing industries. The average disbursement is $ 20,000 and only 4% took the maximum disbursement of $ 100,000, according to the research.

Edmund F. Murphy III, President and CEO of Empower Retirement, noted that although people across the country are facing difficult financial situations and it is difficult to stick to their goals d ‘Retirement Savings, “Working Americans are proving they are determined to protect their retirement savings and future financial freedom by first pursuing other financial movements to close any income gap caused by this pandemic,” he said. he said in a press release.

To read more stories, click here

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Book credit

Square closes nearly 5% after Jack Dorsey’s company starts its own bank

Square shares jumped 7% on Tuesday after the company officially launched banking operations this week.

Shares of the company closed up 4.6%.

Square’s new wholly-owned bank will offer FDIC-insured deposit accounts and loans to small businesses that have historically used the company for payment processing.

Salt Lake City-based Square Financial Services said Monday it would initially focus on offering business loan and deposit products, starting with underwriting and providing business loans for the proceeds of existing loan from Square Capital.

Prior to its launch, Square Capital loans were issued through a partnership with Celtic Bank.

“Bringing in-house banking capabilities allows us to operate more nimbly, which will serve Square and our customers as we continue to work to create financial tools that serve the underserved,” said Square CFO Amrita Ahuja, in a press release.

The company had been working on launching a bank for more than four years and Square received regulatory approval last March. “We don’t expect the bank to have a significant impact on Square’s consolidated balance sheet, total net income, gross margin or adjusted EBITDA in 2021,” the company said.

While it’s only on the merchant side for now, the move signals Square CEO Jack Dorsey’s broader ambition to make the tech company a one-stop-shop for finance. Square has a proven track record of creating fast growing products internally as well. Cash App, which started as a small internal project, now accounts for about half of Square’s gross profit.

Square’s decision paved the way for other fintechs who might want to cut out banking intermediaries. The fintech Sofi applied for a national banking charter last year. But the version Square went with – an industrial loan charter, or ILC – has always been rejected by bank lobbyists. The industry criticized it as a way for companies to circumvent the rules that have historically separated banking and commerce.

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Book credit

CT-based company to manufacture single-use vaccine syringes near RTP

ApiJect, the maker of an experimental injection device for mass vaccine delivery, is planning a huge expansion at the edge of Research Triangle Park in Durham, the company said Thursday.

ApiJect has announced plans to build a 1 million square foot factory where it will manufacture its devices. The project could employ around 650 people.

The Connecticut-based company’s devices have yet to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But on Thursday, he said that a federal government agency, the US International Development Finance Corp., had approved the company for a $ 590 million loan to build the facility.

The loan was billed as a way to help the United States deliver vaccines and medicine faster in a national emergency – in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic.

With positive test results reported by potential COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, the nation faces a potentially difficult vaccine rollout for millions of Americans.

Apiject campus.jpg
An artist rendering of the ApiJect Gigafactory installation which will be located in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. ApiJect

If approved, Pfizer and Moderna said they would be able to deliver tens of millions of vaccines by the end of the year, likely for frontline healthcare workers. But, by 2021, hundreds of millions of doses will be needed in the United States – and even more internationally.

When completed, the RTP facility would be able to manufacture up to 3 billion single-dose pre-filled injectors per year by 2022, the company said. ApiJect expects the complete construction to cost nearly $ 900 million.

A spokesperson for the company, Steven Hoffman, said in a telephone interview that North Carolina was chosen after a nationwide search for suitable locations. The facility is expected to be located at 2501 East Cornwallis Road in Durham, near where Eli Lilly is also building a large manufacturing plant.

Franco Negron, CEO of ApiJect, said the loan will help the company move to a capacity of 250 million doses per month as quickly as possible. Negron called the Durham facility a “Gigafactory”.

“With the Gigafactory, America will have a facility with the ability to package up to 15 different drugs simultaneously and a supply chain 100% sourced from the United States,” he said. in a press release. “This project will ensure America is never caught short in its ability to fill and complete the vaccines and injectables needed to respond to population-wide health threats ranging from COVID-19 to any potential future bio-emergencies. “

Negron added that the company chose RTP because it has a “strong pharmaceutical presence, a highly skilled workforce and easy access to regional and national transportation networks.”

ApiJect pre-filled injector - Complete with Cap.jpg
The ApiJect pre-filled injector that will be manufactured in their planned RTP factory. Apiject

Tony Copeland, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce, said ApiJect had not contacted the state to request incentives for the project.

He said the expansion had really been made possible because of the large amount of federal money being distributed in response to the pandemic.

“These are not normal times,” he said. “The amount of money coming out of Washington changes the paradigm.”

But he said he believed North Carolina’s previous investments in pharmaceutical manufacturing operations had prepared the state to be the winner of this expansion. In recent years, the Triangle has landed manufacturing expansions from companies like Eli Lilly, Corning, and Merck, among others.

“Every additional investment we get in life sciences creates a larger ecosystem and creates more [opportunities]”said Copeland.

In the meantime, the company has contracted with Ritedose Corp. of Columbia to reassign a facility in South Carolina. When reused, it could have the capacity to fill up to 45 million doses per month of vaccines and other injectable drugs by next year, ApiJect said. This is funded through a Department of Defense contract worth $ 138 million.

The federal loan for the RTP facility has a term of 10 years, with an interest rate of around 4.5%, ApiJect said. Under the terms of the loan, ApiJect will need to raise an additional $ 195 million in capital to complete the installation, none of which may come from government sources.

This story was produced with the financial support of a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism scholarship program. The N&O retains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to

This story was originally published 19 November 2020 12:15 pm.

Raleigh News & Observer Related Articles

Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. It covers technology, startups and large companies, biotechnology and education issues related to these fields.

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Tecogen wins second paycheck protection program raffle

WALTHAM, MA, February 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – via NewMediaWire Tecogen Inc.(OTCQX: TGEN), a clean energy company providing ultra-efficient, clean, natural gas-fueled onsite power, heating and cooling equipment, is pleased to announce that it has secured a second loan the Paycheck Protection Program in the amount of $ 1,874,269 pursuant to the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), as amended. The loan is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration of the United States.

Interest on the loan is at the rate of 1% per annum and all loan payments are deferred until June 5, 2022. If not canceled in accordance with the Cares Act, as amended, the loan is repayable in forty-four (44) month installments of $ 43,400.49 starting July 5, 2022 with final payment due February 5, 2026.

The Company intends to use the loan proceeds for payroll, rent, utilities and other operating expenses, and plans to seek cancellation of the loan balance as permitted by the CARES Act, as amended.

“We are fortunate to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the second drawdown of the PPP loan,” commented Benjamin Locke, CEO of Tecogen. “The additional liquidity allows us to maintain operations and provide maintenance services in these difficult economic times. We will continue to focus on our manufacturing operations and maintenance services for our power distribution equipment, which is essential for the operations of many residential, office and healthcare facilities. “

About Tecogen
Tecogen Inc.designs, manufactures, sells, installs and services ultra-clean, high efficiency cogeneration products, including combined heat and power systems, air conditioning systems and high efficiency water heaters for residential, commercial use , recreational and industrial. The company provides cost-effective, environmentally friendly and reliable products for power generation that, through patented technology, nearly eliminate major pollutants and significantly reduce a customer’s carbon footprint.

In business for over 35 years, Tecogen has shipped over 3,000 units, supported by an established network of engineering, sales and service personnel across North America. For more information, please visit or contact us for free Site Rating.

Tecogen, InVerde e +, Ilios, Tecochill, Tecofrost, Tecopower and Ultera are registered trademarks of Tecogen Inc.

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” which may describe strategies, objectives, prospects or other non-historical matters, or projected earnings, revenues, returns or other financial measures, which may include Words such as “believe”, “expect,” “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “estimate”, “likely” or “may” and other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These statements are predictions only and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

In addition to the risk factors described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q under “Risk Factors”, factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from past and future results expected include the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the demand for our products and services, the availability of incentives, discounts and tax benefits relating to our products, changes in the regulatory environment relating to our products, competing technological developments and the availability of financing to finance our operations and growth.

Tecogen contact details for media and investor relations:

Benjamin Locke, CEO
Phone. : (781) 466-6402
E: [email protected]

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Columbus Crew sends Jon Kempin on loan to San Diego Loyal SC

The Columbus Crew SC announced on Friday that the club had sent goalkeeper Jon Kempin on loan to United Soccer League Championship expansion team San Diego Loyal SC, coached by former football legend Landon Donovan. The news comes shortly after the club announced center-back Axel Sjoberg on loan to USL Championship team San Antonio FC.

As with the loan from Sjoberg, Crew chairman and CEO Tim Bezbatchenko believes this will be a good opportunity for Kempin to get some playing time, which he probably wouldn’t have received this year at Columbus. Black & Gold reserves the right to call back Kempin at any time during the loan period.

“It’s important for Jon to regularly play games that were at the forefront of this decision,” Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “We believe this opportunity will provide Jon with valuable minutes with San Diego Loyal SC and we look forward to monitoring his progress while on loan.”

The crew acquired Kempin in a trade with the LA Galaxy ahead of the 2018 season for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. In his first two seasons at Columbus, Kempin served as a replacement for starting goalie Zack Steffen and , after the US international left for Manchester City last summer, Eloy Room. In total, Kempin made eight appearances, all starting, for the Black & Gold, allowing 12 goals.

Kempin played one season with the Galaxy (2017) and appeared seven times that year, all debuting and recording two shutouts. Prior to his stint with the Galaxy, Kempin spent the start of his career with Kansas City Sports, where it was a Homegrown product. He played four games, three starts, in 2014 and had three starts in 2015, allowing 12 goals in total. The goalie did not appear in any Kansas City game in 2016.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Kempin has made appearances for the United States National Team at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels, and was also called up to the team’s January camp. senior 2015 under the supervision of Jurgen Klinsmann.

With Room returning after joining the Crew last summer, Kempin was set to be the backup at Columbus once again in 2020. The Black & Gold then acquired former Homegrown product Matt Lampson during the offseason and traded for Andrew Tarbell, formerly of San Jose. Earthquakes, just before the start of the year.

A crowded goalie room probably meant a player was going on loan. Kempin has not been with the Crew in training since the team returned from the preseason. Kempin played half of the 2020 Tucson Sun Cup preseason tournament against the New York Red Bulls.

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Jumbo mortgages disappear as lenders reduce risk

The jumbo loan market is shrinking as some mortgage lenders face a cash shortage. It’s the perfect storm for lenders as millions of homeowners are asking for forbearances after losing their jobs due to coronavirus shutdowns and investors buying lots of jumbo mortgages have left the market.

Jumbo loans are mortgages for expensive homes that exceed limits set by government agencies that back a large portion of home loans issued by US lenders. The maximum for a compliant loan is $ 510,400 in most counties, as set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The demand for jumbo mortgages has dried up as investors turn to mortgage bonds for government guaranteed loans where “they are guaranteed to receive payments even though a large number of borrowers are forbearing,” explains Greg McBride, CFA, Chief Financial Analyst of Bankrate.

“Most mortgages are made by lenders who then sell them to someone else,” he says. “If there is no willing buyer, lenders will stop closing loans so they don’t get stuck holding the bag.”

Mortgage companies such as Wells Fargo have halted purchasing jumbo loans from other lenders, but not “direct-to-consumer deals through their retail mortgage channel,” said Tom Goyda, senior vice president consumer loan communications at Wells Fargo. Bankrate on Thursday.

“Due to unprecedented market conditions, Wells Fargo Home Lending is temporarily suspending the purchase of non-conforming mortgages from corresponding sellers, effective immediately and until business conditions stabilize,” he said. stated in an e-mail press release. “This difficult business decision reflects efforts to prioritize how we serve customers and maintain prudent fiscal discipline. “

However, some major lenders still offer jumbo loans to consumers. Citi spokeswoman Maggie Monaghan told Bankrate on Thursday that the bank still offers jumbo loans.

Forbearance programs creating crisis for mortgage agents

The CARES Act passed by Congress in March gave homeowners on federally guaranteed loans two types of temporary relief. A stay prevents lenders from starting the foreclosure process only on federally guaranteed loans for 60 days from March 18.

The other stay allows homeowners to ask for 180 days of mortgage forbearance and the option to request an additional six months if they are still having difficulty.

The companies that manage the mortgages, however, must continue to make payments to investors during the forbearance period, which can lead to a liquidity crisis for lenders without sufficient reserves to cover the shortage. Only compliant loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which back the majority of US mortgages, are protected against loss if homeowners don’t pay.

Jumbo loans, known as non-conforming loans, range from over $ 510,400 to $ 765,600 in more expensive metropolitan areas such as New York, California, and Washington. These loans are riskier because they are unsecured by Fannie and Freddie, so if a homeowner is unable to pay, the lender faces a larger loss.

Demand for jumbos has “dried up” from investors seeking mortgages guaranteed by Freddie, Fannie and Ginnie Mae. Mortgages guaranteed by these agencies will receive regular monthly cash flows even if borrowers are forborne, McBride says.

“While this is not a permanent condition, it is also not an overnight fix,” he says. “The wider spreads on jumbo mortgages versus conventional loans that began during the financial crisis lasted for most of the next five years. “

The drop in available jumbo loans will also impact homebuyers looking for 30-year mortgages and refinancing, he says.

What potential prospective borrowers can do

Uncertainty about the future of the economy, jobs and the impact of this downturn on the value of house prices is leading to the closure of the jumbo loan market, said Matt Hackett, chief operating officer of ‘Equity Now, a New York-based direct mortgage lender for loans in New York and four other states.

“Jumbo market investors are certainly concerned about possible mandatory payment holidays,” he says.

Homebuyers and homeowners who haven’t closed their jumbo mortgage could face delays and other setbacks. Those looking for a jumbo loan will need to cast a wider net to find a lender willing to guarantee the loan.

“Check with your lender to make sure your rate is locked in and you’re ready for closing. You don’t want to stand at the altar, ”says McBride.

The mortgage broker community has seen a wave of previously approved loans turned down due to newly added lender overlays, said Richard Liu, mortgage consultant for C2 Financial Corp., a San Diego-based mortgage brokerage. Overlays are additional criteria in addition to conventional and government lending guidelines.

“Images of the financial crisis come to mind when lending in the environment we find ourselves in now,” he says. “For the sake of preservation, no lender is willing to take the risk of not being able to sell a loan to a Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) investor.

Those looking to buy or sell their home right now should expect a slower market due to the current uncertain economic headwinds.

“Contrary to what some media reports, rate quotes should be taken lightly because volatility in the secondary market is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Liu said. “If a homeowner is looking to buy or refinance, always use a trusted mortgage broker. “

In addition to consolidating a larger down payment to reduce the mortgage amount, homeowners who live in cities where a jumbo loan is the norm have limited options, says Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling , in Washington, DC -based nonprofit organization.

“There is nothing quite like a jumbo loan,” he says.

Learn more:

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Brooklyn man reportedly spent part of $ 2 million PPP loan for Flashy Bentley and Escalade

Brooklyn man faces up to 20 years in prison after being accused of fraudulently obtaining $ 1.9 million in forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, using part of the funds to purchase the most recent Bentley and Escalade vehicle, according to federal authorities.

Leon Miles is accused of applying for the loan program, in which funds for struggling small businesses during the pandemic are wiped out if they are used to keep workers in employment. Miles allegedly used a limited liability company under his name – 114 Macon LLC, a nod to his home address in Crown Heights – to claim $ 1.9 million in P3s in May, and submitted false IRS documents to back up his false claims.

Prosecutors said Miles submitted false IRS documents showing he paid workers a total of $ 9 million while claiming to have employed 50 employees as part of the LLC, paying monthly wages totaling 761. $ 838. It was all wrong, prosecutors say.

“Among the aforementioned IRS forms that defendant Leon Miles submitted in support of his PPP loan application, this was an authentic copy of a form submitted to the IRS,” according to the complaint. relied on the sworn testimony of FBI Special Agent Zachary Effting. “In fact, Miles did not report any taxable income to the IRS for 2019, and 114 Macon LLC did not file any tax returns for 2019 and did not report any wages paid to any employees in 2019.”

While building their case, prosecutors also discovered that Miles had spent the PPP loan on items not authorized under the program, including $ 250,000 on a 2020 Bentley Continental and more than $ 100,000 on a 2020 Cadillac Escalade that he he would have bought over the summer. Miles had posted a photo of himself next to a 2020 Bentley on Instagram with an overlaid text, “Old School, New Rules, Keep Your Head Up !!”

Miles has since been charged with wire fraud, carrying a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

“This type of criminal behavior is a slap in the face for anyone playing by the rules, especially since so many people in our communities are suffering the financial fallout from the pandemic,” FBI Deputy Director William F. Sweeney said. stated in a press release.

Miles appeared before a federal judge on Monday. A lawyer representing Miles declined to comment.

The case comes on top of a growing number of cases where New Yorkers have been accused of fraudulently obtaining P3 loan money. In August, authorities accused a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” of carrying out a scheme in which he obtained more than $ 7 million in PPP loans after claiming to have businesses in Manhattan employing more than 200 workers.

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Businesses and executives allegedly defrauding $ 15.6 million student loan borrowers will pay $ 103,000 in penalties

As consumers across the country worry about how they will afford next month’s bills amid the coronavirus pandemic, executives accused of stealing an estimated $ 15.6 million from student loan borrowers are granted leniency because of their financial situation.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced agreements with actors in two schemes accused of illegally charging borrowers to help them manage their student loans. Through an audit of the defendants’ financial documents, the agency determined that the defendants in the schemes had a limited ability to pay the full amount that the agency said was owed to consumers. Instead, they’ll pay a fraction of what borrowers have lost in settlements.

In a case announced last week, the agency determined that more than 7,300 consumers were billed $ 3.8 million in illegal fees, but the company and two of its executives will pay a total of $ 22,000.

In the other set of colonies The CFPB said on Monday that the program cost borrowers $ 11.8 million in illegal fees. A judgment has been issued against one of the owners of the companies for the full $ 11.8 million, but as part of the deal he will pay $ 25,000. In total, a group of four people allegedly involved in the program will pay around $ 81,500.

In addition, the regulations prohibit people allegedly involved in the schemes from working in the debt relief industry in the future.

It is not uncommon for regulators or state attorneys general to allow a suspended payment as part of an enforcement action. It can be difficult to draw blood from a stone, as the saying goes.

And while the gap between how much borrowers lose and what executives will pay is large, borrowers will likely get relief from the CFPB’s civil sanctions fund – a safe deposit box the agency can use to pay for redress. to consumers in cases where the agency may have difficulty collecting from an insolvent defendant. By imposing a civil fine of $ 1 on each of the agents allegedly involved in the schemes, the CFPB can access this fund to help borrowers.

Yet critics say the contrast between how those accused of these crimes and their victims are treated is stark. Borrowers Falling behind on Student Loans Have Few Options – Getting Rid of Debt is Hard even bankrupt. Perhaps one of the most extreme examples of student loan rigidity: borrowers who incurred their student loan debt to attend for-profit colleges who allegedly tricked them into attending under false pretenses about their prospects. future jobs. They struggled under the Trump administration to get their loans canceled, despite a law entitling them to relief.

“This is yet another reminder to the millions of Americans who receive a student loan bill each month that in each turn the Trump administration has chosen predatory student loan companies above their interests,” he said. said Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, an advocacy group, and the former CFPB student loans ombudsman.

“Just as the Trump administration demands that borrowers scammed by predatory schools pay off every penny of illegally incurred debt, it is giving student loan crooks a free pass every turn.”

In cases where the CFPB imposes a penalty of $ 1 and a remedy together, the additional remedies are applied “for the purpose of providing the maximum remedy to the aggrieved consumers in a given case”, wrote a spokesperson for the CFPB in a press release sent by email.

“In actions where the business or person alleged to have caused harm to consumers cannot pay the full amount of redress to consumers, the Bureau will seek to obtain the greatest possible redress from that business or person and may then couple this repair with a symbolic sum. $ 1 penalty, ”the statement read.

It is not uncommon for those accused of financial crimes to pay less than what consumers have lost

Other agencies sometimes allow defendants to pay less than the cost of their illegal activity in financial insolvency. Of the 722 financial penalties imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in fiscal 2019, the agency waived some or all of the financial penalty due to the poor financial condition of the defendants in six cases, according to an analysis by Urska Velikonja, professor at Georgetown. University Law Center.

In these cases, the defendants must prove not only that they have no money or property, but that they have no hope of making any money in the future, Velikonja said. “It’s more common for the SEC to launch fundraising efforts and then fail because they can’t find any assets than to say up front ‘we’re not even going to care’,” he said. she declared.

The conditional sentence approach is typical in certain types of Federal Trade Commission enforcement action, said Prentiss Cox, a University of Minnesota law school professor who has tracked these issues. These deals at CFPB are a signal to Cox that the agency is moving towards a more similar enforcement model to that of the FTC.

In 2014, the CFPB never agreed to suspend the sanctions to resolve the enforcement measures related to the law on unfair and deceptive practices, according to an analysis of the application of the UDAP in the agencies that year. published in 2017 by Cox and other authors. During this year, two of the FTC’s six cases with nominal civil penalties saw those penalties fully suspended and one was partially suspended.

“Tackling big entities is more the kind of thing you would see from an aggressive Democratic date, it is what you see most from an aggressive Democratic elected state. [attorneys general]”Cox said.” When you change direction which is generally more aligned with the industry, you tend to see the app disappear or move to smaller, more rogue entities. ”

Student Debt Relief Scams Have Been Hard to Eliminate

Student debt relief scams like the ones the subject of recent CFPB settlements have has been around for years and despite the efforts from a variety of government agencies, they have been difficult to eliminate. Even if some are closed, others appear. These companies charge borrowers for help managing their student loans, often providing services that borrowers can access for free.

In the case of one company, Timemark Solutions, with which the CFPB settled last week, the company and its executives allegedly used Google GOOGL,
+ 0.74%
advertisements, YouTube, and other resources to advertise services they believe would help federal student loan borrowers enroll in forgiveness and repayment programs – apps they can make for free by them – same.

When borrowers called to inquire about these services, representatives allegedly received some or all of Timemark’s payment amount, which ranged from $ 99 to $ 699, before the Department of Education approved the request. of a borrower for a change in payment plan or before a borrower pays on the modified debt. This is a violation of the telemarketing sales rule.

Timemark’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.

The CFPB announced on Monday an agreement with the actors of another student debt relief program. In this case, two companies, GST Factoring Inc. and Champion Marketing Solutions, allegedly orchestrated a program in which borrowers received flyers in the mail announcing debt relief assistance for federal student loans. If borrowers called the advertised phone number and said they had private student loans, they would be encouraged to register with a lawyer to alleviate their debt, according to the complaint.

These services generally did not require legal expertise and borrowers would be encouraged to stop paying their student loans to make lenders more likely to agree to a settlement, the CFPB alleged. The borrower would sign an agreement over the phone that typically required them to pay a fee upon enrollment or soon after, in other words, before the debt was settled in violation of the telemarketing rule. .

Three of the four people allegedly involved in the scheme who settled with the CFPB did not provide comments at press time. The fourth could not be reached.

Although CFPB regulations mean that these companies and individuals can no longer participate in debt relief activities, Dalié Jiménez, a professor at the University of California-Irvine School of Law, said this approach of performance does not deter other bad actors.

“It’s just sending a message of ‘you can do it, it’s going to cost you a few thousand dollars,'” said Jiménez, who was on the founding staff of CFPB. “It sounds like opening the box of worms to make people who do these kinds of scams get more daring.”

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AIG Pension Services Study Finds High Awareness But Minimal Understanding of Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program

HOUSTON – () – AIG Retirement Services, a leading provider of retirement plans for tax-exempt and public sector employers, today announced the results of a new study on how employees of organizations Nonprofit and public service are considering student loan debts, student loan forgiveness and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

Millions of public sector and nonprofit workers, including teachers, healthcare workers and first responders, may be eligible for a student loan forgiveness through the PSLF, but confusion around the program appears to be undermining its efficiency. While 90% of public service employees with debt at the college level indicate that they are familiar with the program, 70% presents only a minimal understanding of its rules and requirements.

This gap is significant because more than one in six American adults has a federal student loan, according to the most recent figures from the New York Federal Reserve’s Center for Microeconomic Data released in 2018.1 The Federal Reserve estimates the total student debt to be $ 1.7 trillion,2 and $ 500 billion in new debt will be incurred over the next five years, according to a 2020 Congressional Budget Office report.3

“The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is a powerful tool for Americans who have chosen to dedicate their careers to service and community,” said Rob Scheinerman, CEO of AIG Retirement Services. “It is encouraging to see a high level of awareness of this important program, but worrying to see such a high level of confusion around the rules and requirements. There is a great opportunity to fill this knowledge gap and help public service employees manage their student loan debt and improve their financial security.

Student Loan Debt The Main Cause Of Financial Stress; PSLF a financial lifeline for public sector employees

Student debt ranks as the number one cause of financial stress for public service employees who have taken out loans from their college years. Almost eight in ten (78%) characterize student debt as a major financial burden. In addition, two out of three (66%) point to student loans and the corresponding monthly payments as a financial worry, surpassing the second highest concern by a whopping 22 percentage points (credit card debt at 44%).

With these concerns as a backdrop, public service employees see the PSLF program as an essential lifeline to their financial well-being. More than one in three (34%) say that this will be the only way for them to pay off their debt within a reasonable time, and 64% say it will reduce financial stress.

Additionally, a significant number of public service employees would use money otherwise spent on monthly student loan payments for other important financial responsibilities – more than half (51%) say they would most likely use the funds to pay off other debts; 47% contribute to retirement savings and investments; and 43% would add to their emergency savings fund.

Despite support for the PSLF, obstacles to the program persist

The PSLF program is clearly supported, with 68% respondents indicating that they are likely or very likely to work to reach their qualifications. Three out of four (77%) expect to tell others about the program, and 84% find the program attractive with half of those who say it is very attractive.

But despite this enthusiasm, there are significant barriers to successful participation in the program. Survey respondents indicate that the main obstacle to canceling the loan through the PSLF is confusion about the program (34%). Other challenges are maintaining the qualification over time (34%) and the number of payments required (31%).

The PSLF program’s own reports show how these expected hurdles played out, as the vast majority of program applicants saw their efforts to request a loan forgiveness rejected. As of November 30, 2020, the Ministry of Education reports that less than 3% of those who requested PSLF program relief have been approved.4

Opportunity for Public Service Employers to Improve Employee Financial Security

Despite these obvious challenges, opportunities remain. Public service employers have an important opportunity to help their employees take control of their student loan debt. Only 12% of public sector employees with student debt receive information from their employer about the public service loan forgiveness program.

AIG Retirement Services, in collaboration with social impact technology company Savi, last year launched an online tool that public sector employers can provide to their employees to streamline the forgiveness process. The end-to-end digital solution helps determine qualification for student loan cancellation, calculate potential savings, navigate the enrollment process, and maintain program eligibility.

“We understand the long-term impact student debt can have on financial security and retirement, which is why we are proud to work with Savi to help employers empower their employees to take control. their student debt, ”Scheinerman continued. “The new program can chart a course for employees of nonprofits and the civil service towards loan cancellation, helping to improve their financial futures and creating more flexibility around other goals,” including savings for retirement. ”

Methodology of the study

The AIG Retirement Services survey was conducted by Dynata and conducted in October and November 2020, drawing responses from 664 public sector employees, ages 21 to 67, on federal student loans for which they make payments themselves. and working at least 30 hours per week. in government, health care, education and the nonprofit field.

To see more student loan forgiveness survey results and related analysis, visit

1 Microeconomic Data Center, Federal Reserve Bank of New York,

2 Consumer credit G.19. Federal Reserve.

3 Income-Based Student Loan Repayment Plans: Budget Costs and Policy Options. Congress Budget Office.

4 Federal Student Aid Portfolio Summary, Office of Federal Student Aid, US Department of Education,

About AIG Retirement Services

For more than half a century, AIG Retirement Services has been a leading provider of defined contribution pension plans for tax-exempt employers and the public sector, including healthcare, Kindergarten to 12th grade. year, higher education, government, religious organizations, charities and other non-profit organizations. AIG Retirement Services manages over $ 100 billion in total assets and manages thousands of plans serving approximately 1.8 million plan members. It includes the VALIC family of companies: The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc. and VALIC Retirement Services Company. Additional information can be found at

About AIG

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. AIG member companies provide a wide range of property and casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement solutions and other financial services to clients in approximately 80 countries and jurisdictions. These diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risk and keep their retirement secure. AIG’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Additional information about AIG is available at | Youtube: | Twitter: @AIGinsurance | LinkedIn: These references along with additional information about AIG have been provided for convenience and the information contained on those websites is not incorporated by reference in this press release.

AIG is the trade name for the global P&C, life and pension and general insurance business of American International Group, Inc. For more information, please visit our website at All products and services are produced or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available in all countries and jurisdictions, and coverage is subject to the requirements of underwriting and the wording of the policy. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Some damage coverage may be provided by a surplus line insurer. Surplus line insurers generally do not participate in state guarantee funds and policyholders are therefore not protected by these funds.

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