Priests jailed for $8.6 million theft

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two Roman Catholic Church priests in the United States, were sentenced to prison for theft. They were convicted of stealing over US$8 million from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach, Florida.

Retired Monsignor John A. Skehan and Reverend Francis B. Guinan were accused in 2006 of misappropriation of funds from the church collection plates and church bequests.

Judge Jeffrey Colbath handed down the sentence on Skehan who received 14 months in prison followed by seven years on probation. He plead guilty in January 2009 to grand theft of over $100,000. The defense, prosecutors and Diocese of Palm Beach had requested probation for Skehan, who is 81 years old. Skehan has paid back $750,000.

“The court finds the defendant is not merely sorry because he got caught, but is truly shameful, embarrassed and remorseful,” Judge Jeffrey Colbath said. “The crime of the defendant was pure greed unmasked. There was not a shred of moral necessity to excuse the defendant’s crime.”

Circuit Judge Krista Marx sentenced Guinan who received four years in prison and was found guilty of theft of just under $100,000.

“No matter how many good works you have performed in your many years as a priest, your legacy will always be one of thievery and deceit,” Judge Krista Marx said.Skehan had invested in a Co. Clare cottage, a Co. Kilkeeny pub, and two penthouse condominiums. As well as real estate he had purchased a collection of gold coins worth around $300,000. Both priests had embarked on gambling holidays and real estate ventures.

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Make Improvements With Cosmetic Dentistry In Downers Grove

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Improving the way you look and feel is easier than you think. Start by improving the look of the teeth or gums for the next time someone gets close to your mouth. To start looking and feeling better, evaluate your options for cosmetic dentistry in Downers Grove. Know the reasons why so many people have invested their money and time in these procedures.

Improve the Way You Look

Once you get cosmetic dentistry, you will look better in the mouth area. You may get a procedure to bleach the teeth, straighten the teeth, bleach the gums, or replace missing teeth. With any procedure, you are guaranteed dramatic results with every smile. Feel less shy when going out, and feel better about shopping and dressing up.

Also, cosmetic surgery helps you practice better hygiene. First, spend more time maintaining the health of your teeth. Then, focus more on the importance of bathing properly and being clean. After many women get cosmetic surgery, they start visiting the spa more or spending more time in the shower.

Cosmetic dentistry is there to improve the whole body and not just the teeth. Anyone who wants to focus on the body as a whole is a good candidate for cosmetic procedures.

Improve the Way You Dress

Once you improve the teeth, improve the contents of your closet. Few people will want to wear bad clothes with new, good-looking teeth. Many people get cosmetic surgery and then feel a strong urge to improve their wardrobes. They feel the need to clear out their old life and create a new life right away.

Improve the Way You Feel

With a new and improved look, you are guaranteed to improve your attitude. You feel better about appearing in common situations, such as going to weddings or showing up to parties. You feel less inclined to be shy and blend into the background.

Cosmetic dentistry is necessary to make all of these improvements to your life. Nowadays, it is easy to locate the right cosmetic dentist where you live.

Choose the Right Type of Procedure

First, choose the part of the mouth that you want to improve the most. It could be the teeth or the gums where you want to remove imperfections. Know that cosmetic surgery is designed to improve the look, but general surgery is designed to improve the function.

As people get older, they dream of finding eternal youth and improving health. They consider getting cosmetic surgery but worry about the costs or risks. Although not all dental procedures are cheap, they are less invasive than other procedures like liposuction or rhinoplasty. Since the dentist is only working on your teeth and mouth area, the results are safe yet dramatic and effective.

Two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants close in Buffalo, New York, USA

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Friday, May 11, 2007

At least two Kentucky Fried Chicken [KFC] restaurants, operated by G & H Restaurant Specialties, have closed in Buffalo, New York “for remodeling,” according to signs placed on the front doors of at least one location on Elmwood Avenue and Bryant Street in Buffalo. The other KFC is located on East Delavan Avenue, also in the City of Buffalo.

Despite the claim of closing for remodeling, the Erie County Health Department says that several health code violations were found at both locations. The most recent violation was logged by the health department in March at the Elmwood location for failing to keep food stored at correct temperatures. Violations were also cited for failing to keep cooking supplies and equipment sanitary and for not supplying hot water to the bathroom for employees.

G & H Restaurant Specialties has not released a statement regarding the violations, but the corporate offices in Louisville, Kentucky for KFC said, “our franchisee has finalized a plan for some structural repairs… The units will be temporarily closed while these building maintenance issues are addressed. [They will be] re-opened as soon as the repairs are complete.”

The health department also gave violations out to the East Delevan store for failing to maintain a clean floor throughout the restaurant and for not stopping food from becoming contaminated. Several rat traps were also found inside the storage cooler and around the kitchen area, but the establishment was “not free of rodents,” said Commissioner of the Erie County Health Department, Dr. Anthony Billittier.

Billittier also said that caulking and traps were seen on the outside of the East Delevan restaurant, which was an attempt to keep the rats out. “It shows that they’re trying to take care of a problem. But it also shows that they have a problem.”

As of Thursday, May 10, 2007, the Elmwood KFC has yet to reopen. It is not known if the East Delevan location opened today or not.

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Public smoking ban in Virginia snuffed out

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Friday, February 24, 2006

The Virginia legislature’s House of Delegates voted unanimously in a sub-committee to kill a bill that would ban public smoking in the Mid-Atlantic state. The vote was reached during a six-member sub-committee meeting on Thursday.

The Virginia Senate, the upper house of the General Assembly, passed on Monday a week ago a bill that would ban the indoor smoking of tobacco in restaurants, bowling alleys, and other public places, including workplaces. The bill was not expected to pass the House, but the thumbs up signal by the Senate signaled a shift in tolerance towards the product in a state known for its 400-year economic history steeped in the cultivation of the cash crop.

The General Laws sub-committee based its vote on the rights of property owners, rights that would be violated by a state-wide ban. The debate was largely centered on the issue of restaurant smoking. The committee noted there was no law that said a restaurant must allow smoking.

“They have a right not to go where people are smoking,” said delegate John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake). He noted the consumer and the restaurant businesses can decide whether to allow smoking. “They have a right and responsibility to take care of themselves,” he said.

A Virginia Beach restaurant owner, Matt Falvey, said “The plain truth is that the majority of our citizens do not smoke, and do not want to be around smoke,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Falvey, who owns three restaurants, said “In addition, restaurant workers should not be subjected to the harm caused by secondhand smoke.”

Falvey said he has smoking sections in his restaurants because not to would put him at a competitive disadvantage with other restaurants that have smoking sections. An across the board state-wide ban would level the playing field by settling the issue.

Senate Bill 649, known as the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act, to become law in the nation’s 4th largest tobacco growing state would require passage by the House. Last year, the Senate killed a similar bill to ban indoor smoking in public places. New procedural rules introduced in Virginia this year allow a bill’s passage to be blocked by sub-committee, but there remains a slim chance it could be revived.

The original version of the bill, which allowed cities and counties to decide locally on the issue, was voted down by the Senate. The bill was brought back by Brandon Bell of Roanoke County, and passed in a revised version that would make than ban state-wide, with no local authority on the issue. The measure was passed by the Senate in a 21 – 18 vote, after it received the support from the Virginia Restaurant Association.

In Maryland, a similar ban was voted down this week by a House committee. New Jersey is the latest state to join the ranks of a total of 11 states that ban smoking in restaurants, bars, and workplaces.

Soybean over-took tobacco as Virginia’s top cash crop in 2005.

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Natural death confirmed for man who died on Disney World roller coaster

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The man who died while riding the Expedition Everest roller coaster at Walt Disney World‘s Animal Kingdom indeed had prior medical conditions, Orlando, Florida officials say.

The Orange County medical examiner determined in a Tuesday autopsy that 44-year-old Navarre, Florida man Jeffery Reed had an existing heart condition.

The Walt Disney World website for the ride says:

WARNING! For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride.

Similar signs exist at the entrance to the ride.

The man was given CPR after being pulled off the ride unconscious, and was taken in an ambulance to Celebration Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Reed was believed to have been conscious at least 50 seconds before the ride ended, when a camera took a picture of him. Cameras are sometimes placed on roller coasters so that riders can buy a photo of themselves as they go down a hill.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas commented, that “when millions of people walk through your parks every year, it is a statistical certainty that some of them will die. When that happens on a ride, we often tell you about it under a banner headline. It becomes a worldwide story. But if you did the math, you would find that per capita no more people die in Disney than in any other large gathering place.”

There was no defibrillator available to Disney employees when the man collapsed, and paramedics took five minutes to arrive with such equipment. Disney has 500 defibrillators at its resort, however only two are at the Animal Kingdom park. Neither are stored at rides.

Disney has said it will order 200 more defibrillators, which for the most part will be placed at public restrooms, ensuring they are easily identifiable. Restrooms are also statistically one of the most likely places for seniors to die; these deaths are referred to by paramedics as a “commode code”.

Police originally identified the man as “Jeffery Reed”, where his name was actually “Jeffery Chalmers Reeb”; the name on police reports was correct, however.

Since 1989, 15 people have died while riding on rides at the park; many who have died on park rides have had prior aliments.

A four-year-old who died on the Body Wars ride in 1995 had a cardiac conduction defect, which is a congenital heart condition; the mother insisted the girl had no history of health problems, but relatives told officials that the girl was being treated at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for undisclosed reasons.

Autopsy of a boy who died on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster in 2006 found he too had a congenital heart problem. In 2006, a 49-year-old German tourist died in a hospital after she fell ill on the Mission: Space ride, from bleeding brain caused by high blood pressure, not provoked by the ride.

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Speakers, Trainers, Consultants And Coaches Make 21 Mistakes That Sabotage Their Careers, #1

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By T. Falcon Napier

Are you Dabbling in the Four Disciplines?

Our industry offers four different professional roles to choose from — and making the right choice is crucial to your success. In this article, we’ll describe four types of private practices — Speaking, Training, Consulting and Coaching and explore the pros and cons — and earnings potential — for each. We’ll discuss the dangers of dabbling and take a personal inventory of its impact on your future.

“Dabblers are rarely DO-ers and DO-ers are rarely dabblers.”

One of the things that people in our industry have in common is that many of our business cards say that we are a “Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, Coach”. Some may choose just two or three of those identifiers, but more and more are putting ALL 4 or even MORE. In addition to Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, and Coach we also have Author, Facilitator, Counselor, Lecturer, Professor and a growing litany of others. Its amazing the kind of creative labels that some people have put on their cards, but the four basic disciplines in our industry are Speaker, Trainer, Consultant and Coach.

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Over the more than two decades we’ve been working with human development professionals, we’ve discovered that the people who achieve success in our industry are the people who entered the profession with a very clear picture of who they are and what they were trying to do. We believe it is such a critical factor to their success that it has become central to the work we do with our instructors and instructor candidates. As someone progresses through the pre-work for becoming certified in the MasterStream Method, we help them explore the differences between the four disciplines in vivid detail, and before their certification is over, each newly-certified professional has to make a personal choice as to which one of them he or she favors. Likewise, the success you will achieve and the speed at which you will achieve it depends on you understanding the choices — and making the one that is best for you.

So your first step — whether you are embarking on a new career or trying to take your existing business to a new level — is to distinguish between the various roles you can serve. Keep in mind your background, skills, experience, and goals when making your evaluation. Your choice will establish a basis on which you will focus your business strategy and marketing plan.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the professional roles and explore some of their pro’s and con’s:

Speaker — A Speaker is someone who travels frequently on a national or even international basis, stands in front of a large audience for a relatively short period of time, delivers an upbeat message, and gets paid a substantial amount of money for doing so. On the downside, as the audience gets bigger, the chance for meaningful audience contact suffers — and regardless of the quality of work they do, when they step off stage they are generally unemployed. That’s the nature of the beast for being a professional speaker. In order for a speaker to fill 100 days of billable services over the course of a year, he or she is going to need to have the better part of 100 different clients. They may have the occasional client who will bring them back again, but in all likely hood the intervals between those engagements is going to be measured in months or years before someone will be brought back. To make matters worse, the Speaking profession is the one most susceptible to changes in the economy and, as the events of 9/11 clearly demonstrated, changes in the marketplace’s willingness to travel to or sit in a large public venue. While speakers command a seemingly large fee for their services, their total income divided by a 40-hour workweek normalizes their actual earnings. For example, a speaker with two $5,000 engagements per week is actually making about the same as a consultant billing themselves out at $300 per hour. Finally, to develop a successful career as a speaker requires a very specific marketing plan, very specific marketing tools, a very marketable “main stage” image and a lot of time “paying your dues” before your reputation earns you access to the bureaus and meeting planners who in large part control the pool of potential bookings.

Trainer — A Trainer spends considerably less time in airplanes and rental cars, and can build a very tidy practice while staying relatively close to home. They spend more time with a smaller group of people and have an opportunity to get to know their students more intimately as they share practical information with their audiences. The goal of a trainer is to impart a body of knowledge, and to make sure that knowledge has been absorbed to whatever degree the client has asked them to attain. If the trainer does a good job, then the likelihood of being asked to come back and do more training is very high. Also, since trainers focus on longer programs than speakers — routinely conducting programs ranging from a full day to an entire week — trainers tend to be more content-rich. If they choose to focus on mission-critical topics like sales, leadership and customer service, trainers have an even greater opportunity for repeat business with their clients. When a corporate client finds a trainer they love and a training program they love, then they are going to continue to use that program and that trainer in whatever frequency they need it done. In addition, training engagements generally feature far more billable hours in the customization process prior to and the reinforcement program following the main training program. A trainer markets their programs as much as they market themselves and building a successful training practice requires a very different approach than the route taken by speakers.

Consultant — A Consultant is an individual with very specific knowledge and skills, who is brought in to serve as an adjunct to a client’s management team. They are contracted to work on a particular project, deal with a challenging issue, serve in an advisory capacity, or complete a specific task, but one way or another, consultants are brought in to DO something. Once that something is done, the contract ends. While consultants may travel to a destination anywhere on the planet, once they arrive, they are there for the duration of the contract, so in their daily routine, they stay pretty local to where they landed. The challenge with consulting (and coaching for that matter) is that you are trading time for dollars. As a trainer or speaker you develop one program and you can keep doing it over and over, but the work you do as a consultant is unique to each specific client more often than not. But the biggest problem with building a stable and successful consulting practice is that during the time the consultant is working with a particular client, they don’t have or take the time to continue marketing themselves. The longer the contract, the longer the period of unemployment that follows. Feast or famine is the reality for most consultants.

Coach — Coaches work primarily with individuals on a one-on-one basis to pinpoint areas in which they might be in need of attention and focus their energy on helping their clients take care of whatever their issues happen to be. Within the realm of coaches, you will find a broad range of levels of intensity and involvement from “life coach” to “performance coach.” Whether the individual is trying to better understand themselves, to set meaningful goals, to be held accountable or to develop greater skills, a coach could be the perfect tool for the right client. In general terms, a coach is a professional who is working with an individual to deal with specific areas of need. It is certainly possible for a coach to do more of a group kind of thing, maybe a small cluster of 3 or 4 people, but by and large what they are doing is just for those specific people. As a result, the likelihood that these clients will become large contracts is low because they are dealing with individuals. Coaches have very little need to travel and can work very effectively with their clients over the telephone. But, while a coach’s goal is to build a rather small pool of lifetime clients, the truth is that most people who seek out the guidance of a coach do so for a much shorter period, generally a few weeks to a few months. Creating a stable and consistent income stream proves to be the coach’s greatest challenge since the hourly rate tends to be lower than that of any of the other three professional roles and the coach must collect their fees from an individual rather than an organization.

Perhaps the biggest problem that people in our industry face is dabbling in these four roles and not focusing on just one of them. If someone were to focus their energy on one of these roles, they have a much greater chance of becoming successful in that discipline. But if you start to spread your energy across multiple and very different roles then you are also spreading out your marketing resources too thin to have any real impact, and you are also confusing the market place as to what it is that you do and what it is that that they can call on you for. By putting your time and energy into just ONE of these four areas, you will find that success is a much easier summit to reach.

About the Author: T. Falcon Napier is an internationally-recognized human development expert, specializing in sales, leadership and change management. His organization identifies, certifies and supports independent and corporate training professionals in the design, delivery and reinforcement of the entire family of programs and professional services based on the MasterStream Method. Qualified instructors are encouraged to learn more at



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Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

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The World Of Payment Technology In 2021

Author:  |  Category: Money Transfer

Money and the world of payments have gone through many changes since the stone age. From barter systems to contactless payments, society has evolved into a very mature stage, where Payment Technology have overtaken conventional mode of payments.

Many people recall times when they ran cashless for a week or maybe longer. The digital payment infrastructure is ready to shine, and customers across the world are increasingly adopting the new modes of payment.

Although digital payments have been here for a long time. Paypal, one of the largest digital payments companies today, started all the way back in 2004. Now Paypal is the limelight for business to business payments. But the implementation of payment technology into customer to business services andpeer to peer paymentsservices have only been possible with the advent of technologies like 4G, 5G,Blockchain,AI & ML, andRegTech.

In the span of five to six years, digital payment technologies have seen massive developments in terms of financial inclusion, and we’re expecting to see more innovation in the coming years.

Banks and Non-Banks need to switch to Digital Transformation

As per a report byEY, 50% of consumers are already using FinTech applications for money transfers and payments, whereas 65% are optimistic that they will be doing so in the future.

The significant disruptors of the payment landscape are the non-banking financial institutions that operate via unconventional means. The distinguishing line between payment networks and banks will continue to blur.

To keep up with the increasing trend of cashless payments, banks and non-banks will have to act quick. Offering tech-agnostic value-added financial products and services will be the way forward to achieve digital transformation.

It is interesting to understand where the payment technology trend is heading towards and what 2021 has in store for us in such exciting times. This article will take you through all that you should know about payment technology in 2021.

What Is A Payment Technology?

Payment technology is the driving force behind the digitization of payments. There are several payment technologies such as Blockchain, QR codes, NFC, Biometric and many others that are currently disrupting the conventional payment ecosystem.

However, not every available payment technology is worth investing in. There are several parameters that affect the feasibility of payment technology implementation and the ROI (Return on Investment) that it can bring. For example, the QR code technology has made contactless payments a feasible solution over NFC or RFID.

Latest Payment Technologies in 2021#1 Biometric Authentication

Biometric authentication has been in the limelight for the past couple of years.Security has become a prime concern for banking institutionsdue to strict compliances by regulatory bodies. It has made multi-factor authentication a necessity formobile walletand payment service providers. The availability of a fingerprint sensor or iris recognition in almost all the smartphones and tablets, have made biometric a feasible option for multi-factor authentication.

Biometric authentication is a verification method involving structural or biological characteristics of an individual. The verification methods range between facial recognition, fingerprint scanners, heartbeat analysis, iris recognition, and vein mapping.

This payment technology helps FinTech service providers prevent chances of identity theft and fraud. Biometric authentication is a unique and crucial step in the online payment process, as it ensures efficiency, security, and improves customer satisfaction. The ease of authentication and high-security help financial institutions build customer trust and loyalty.

#2 mPOS

Mobile-Point-of-Sale, aka mPOS, is an innovative payment technology that is focused on freeing merchants from their store location and going mobile. It liberates merchants to seamlessly accept payments at various places like trade shows, concerts, food trucks, and many other places.

Not only this, but the mPOS payment technology also streamlines the checkout process at the stores by replacing central checkout areas with staff equipped, with instead mobile-point-of-sale devices.

Indeed, mPOS technology will be a popular trend in 2021, and the statistics show the same.Global Market Insightsreports that by 2026, the mPOS market will be valued at $80 billion globally. It is expected to grow with a CAGR of 19% between 2019 to 2026.

Source:Global Market Insights

#3 Voice

With the rise of smart speakers and home assistants, voice commands have become mainstream in the tech space. The banking and finance industry isn’t untouched from voice tech, and in the near future, we’ll see more and more people handling their finances via smart assistants.

Many financial giants are heavily investing in voice tech for payments, as statistics reveal that there is an increase in the number of people that are buying products via smart speakers.Statistafound 35% of users purchase products like groceries, home care, and clothing using smart speakers.

Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY

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See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

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UK Wikinews Shorts: December 23, 2009

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A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, December 23, 2009.

 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

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