While a former branch manager was giving financial advice to a 91-year-old member, she allegedly stole more than $125,000 from that member’s savings account.Claudette Retana, 66, who retired earlier this year from the $9.5 billion Security Service Federal Credit Union where she was employed for more than 33 years, pleaded not guilty to 20 felony counts of financial institution fraud in U.S. District Court in Denver Tuesday.The nonagenarian member identified in a federal indictment as “FH” maintained a savings account and CD accounts at SSFCU’s branch in Pueblo, Colo. Starting in 2009, Retana began providing financial advice to FH even though it was not within the scope of her managerial duties, according to the indictment.But Retana’s financial advice — status of accounts, opening and closing CD accounts and what types of CDs could bring favorable rates of return — was just a ruse to conceal her fraud, federal prosecutors allege. continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Lawrenceburg, In. — An autopsy has confirmed Thomas Biedenbam, 73, was murdered in his home on Highridge Court in Hidden Valley over the Memorial Day weekend.Detectives have sifted through the home and surrounding property for evidence but are still looking for any information to solve the case. Tips can be left confidentially by calling 812-689-5000.A report from WLWT in Cincinnati says Biedenbam was a standout basketball player at Elder that set scoring records that still stand today. In high school, he played on at least one championship team before playing for UC.
IN a correspondence to its Member Associations, CONCACAF has suspended its Regional C Licence Coaching Course (Honduras) Domestic D Licence Coaching Course (Nicaragua), CONCACAF-English FA Coach Education Mentorship Programme Phase 2 (Grenada), CONCACAF Coach Education Panel (Miami) and the Domestic D Licence Coaching Course in Puerto Rico.According to a release from the Confederation, their Next Play Academy Festival In Guatemala (April 4), Domestic D Licence Coaching Course in Dominican Republic (April 14-18) and their Regional B Licence Course For Technical Development Directors/Leaders of Coach Education which was scheduled for Jamaica (April 27-May 3) has also been suspended.CONCACAF said that they hope to reschedule the listed activities to alternative dates later in the year and noted that “all decisions concerning rescheduling of the above activities would be made in close consultation with all participating and hosting Member Associations for each of the respective events.
Click here to view this article with more media in our “It Takes a Village: USC and the Community” project package.Nelly Cristales knew she would never leave her elementary school. She enrolled in kindergarten at the 32nd Street School in 1975. Now, she teaches second grade while her own children attend the school that she grew up in.Cristales is also a Trojan. After completing elementary and middle school at 32nd Street, she went to the Downtown Magnets High School before attending USC. She graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in general studies and a minor in Spanish and received her preliminary teaching credential from the Rossier School of Education. Cristales maintained her connection to the 32nd Street School throughout her time at USC, working as a teaching assistant. She was hired as a full-time teacher the August after her graduation and has been working there for the past 15 years. In addition to teaching, she coordinates the various programs that bring USC students to the 32nd Street campus, something she remembers from her time at the school. “I know we’ve always had some kind of relationship with SC,” Cristales said. “I still remember back as an elementary student, having SC students come over.”USC has a wide range of programs it offers at 32nd Street, including the Joint Educational Project, which sends USC students to teach “mini courses” and also tutor students in reading. Students in the Thornton School of Music host a “Jazz in the Classroom” program and teach guitar and choir. This year, the Viterbi School of Engineering created a Robotics and Coding Academy for 5th grade students to learn about programming, robotics and engineering. Cristales praised the University for its community outreach efforts and the programs it coordinates for the 32nd Street School. “It’s really positive, you see any child here, they’re Trojans like crazy,” Cristales said. “Just having them here and then having that interaction with the students, it really focuses them on, ‘I want go to college,’ and ‘I want to go to ‘SC and be a Trojan,” she said.These kind of programs are unheard of at other schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and is one of the reasons the 32nd Street School is so popular. The school has an enrollment of approximately 1,060 students, 40 percent of which are from the surrounding area, according to the Principal Ezequiel Gonzalez. Like all L.A. magnet schools, parents apply in the fall and are selected by a lottery, which often leads to long waiting lists. A good neighborThose waiting lists are due in part to the school’s proximity to USC, which sends dozens of students to volunteer at the 32nd Street School and the 14 other schools that together comprise the USC Family of Schools. Tammy Anderson, the executive director of JEP, has seen the impact of these programs firsthand. “Anytime we have USC students going over there, the kids are liking it, they’re enjoying seeing young people that are closer to their age than their teachers,” Tammy Anderson, the executive director of JEP said. “And they’re so close to us, they literally live across the street and see higher education, so it’s always kind of there in the back of their minds, and I think that’s very positive.” Tina Koneazny, associate director for JEP, coordinates the USC ReadersPLUS program which sends USC student tutors to work one-on-one with students who are struggling in either reading or math. A former teacher herself, Koneazny said it can be difficult for teachers to provide individualized attention, particularly in large classes where students have varying degrees of skill. “We have so many kids who are struggling with both reading and math, and sometimes all they need is just that one person to give them the individualized attention to meet their specific needs,” she said. Koneazny said each semester, the program administers pre- and post- tests to the students being tutored and about 70 percent “graduate” from the program, having been brought up to grade level. Still, Koneazny said many of the benefits of the program are intangible. “They make large strides, and they see themselves as learners and they seem themselves as somebody who can go college, and they look at themselves in a different way and they start to be successful again,” Koneazny said. From one student to anotherSandra Rivera is the coordinator for middle school tutoring programs at 32nd Street. She said the students are selected based on 10-week grades. If they have any fails they are required to come in for tutoring. Rivera said USC students have a unique impact on the school.“It makes a big difference when we have the University students come out as opposed to other groups,” Rivera said. “I don’t know if it’s the energy that they bring in with them, the more one-on-one because they’re several, and the age, they’re able to connect with the students still.”She said that the University serves to inspire students at the 32nd Street School.“They see it as one of the colleges that they can go, one of their goals that they can apply to,” Rivera said. “And they see what the University campus looks like because they have field trips, they see the students, so it’s something that keeps them motivated to go to college.”Alexa Huerta, a sophomore majoring in industrial and systems engineering and the tutoring chair for the USC Helenes, organizes the tutoring program for middle school students on Monday afternoons at the 32nd Street School. The middle school tutoring is a new program this semester, but the Helenes also tutor a third grade class on Wednesday mornings in collaboration with the Trojan Knights. Huerta said the Helenes expanded the program to reach more students at the school. The Monday afternoon sessions aim to help middle school students who are failing or at risk of failing their math classes. “My personal goal with this, specifically why we’re focusing on math, is because I feel like it’s such a foundational subject — each concept really builds off each other,” Huerta said. “And so in order to succeed later on, it’s pretty hard if you fall behind, and so if we can kind of bridge that gap with the kids who seem to be behind, I think it’ll help them a lot, not only this year in their math class, but in the years to come as well.Huerta said that math is one of the main focuses of the tutoring, but the USC students also assist with English and reading comprehension with the third grade class. She spoke about the importance of USC students volunteering at the school because of its proximity to the University Park campus. “They’re literally our neighbors, so it’s good to have that connection,” she said.
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Westport WineryWestport Winery’s co-owner, Kim Roberts, is releasing her second novel on Saturday, December 7. Roberts will be signing Poi Son: An Aloha Jones Mystery from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the winery.In Poi Son, Lahaina harbormaster Aloha Jones, has taken a second job as a marine patrol officer. On a break to purchase lunch, hers having been pilfered by her fur sidekick, Wharf, Aloha generates a racial profiling investigation based on their actions. To avoid the conflict and to sort out the reality of having a reunion with her ex-husband Snake, she responds to her sister Sarang’s request for help in saving the family cabin near Hana from a wildfire.Since good deeds rarely go unpunished, Aloha finds herself returning to the community and circumstance that caused her to leave the island and join the Coast Guard after college. After she gets to Hana she is further embroiled in that historic conflict as her least favorite person, Mallory Deems, drowns behind the dam and Aloha is recruited to retrieve her body. Mallory’s husband, and Aloha’s former fiancé Nate Deems, is just one of the reasons Aloha is loath to reintroduce herself to her awkward past.Once on scene, Aloha discovers that Sarang, a retired Marine, is suffering from PTSD and treating herself with medical marijuana. Aloha’s concern for the situation is further complicated by a series of local characters who pull her in different directions as she learns that Mallory’s death is not a dive accident, but murder.Kim Roberts has written for The Daily Planet, Western-Farmer Stockman, Ocean Observer, Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living, Discover Diving, Log Home Living, RV Life, American Fitness and the Leavenworth Echo where she won the Washington State Newspaper Publishers Association Best General Column award. Roberts and her husband Blain formerly owned Lahaina Divers on Maui. Together they founded Westport Winery on the Washington coast where they live within their Vineyards By-the-Sea.Poi Son is available at Westport Winery and on their website. Also available on Amazon. The e-book is also available for Kindle readers via Amazon. Westport Winery’s wine club members receive a 10% discount when purchasing either Poi Son or Luna Sea at the winery.
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Joint Animal ServicesCute bunnies and fuzzy chicks find their way into the Easter baskets each spring. Unfortunately, as they grow, many of these Easter pets become unwanted or owners are unable to care for them.Some neighborhoods do not allow these types of pets. Rather than a living addition to the Easter basket, give an adoption gift certificate from Animal Services. This way the recipient can select the pet that fits their lifestyle and speaks to their heart. As Easter is right around the corner, here are some tips to help keep your pets safe. 1) Keep all that extra candy safely tucked away from your pets. Chocolate, macadamia nuts and xylitol (an artificial sweetener) are toxic to many pets.2) Easter Lilies can be fatal if ingested by our furry friends.3) Many pets will try to nibble the plastic grass from Easter baskets, which can cause blocked digestive tracks and other medical issues.For more information, visit www.jointanimalservices.org or call Animal Services at (360) 352-2510.