A criminal court in the north on Friday imposed a 30-year prison sentence on a father who was found guilty of raping his underage daughter for two years.The 44-year-old father had raped his daughter multiple times when she was between the ages of 15 and 17.According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), the sentence imposed was one of the harshest dished out so far by a criminal court in the north.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: Farrington News State Rep. Jeff Farrington recently told his story about the Utica Community School (UCS) System and how UCS helped ensure his future success. Farrington, R-Utica, went to UCS from elementary school through high school.“The Utica school district is the second largest school district in the state,” said Farrington. “It makes me proud that we can be a model for other districts throughout Michigan. In Utica, we have proven that a large school system can be properly managed and can produce excellent results.”In the video, Farrington tells of his history with UCS, his interactions with the school district as a legislator and describes how UCS means success to him. The “UCS Means Success” program is meant to celebrate the people, events and traditions of Utica Community Schools.“Utica schools not only gave me a great education, but they also allow me to be a better legislator when we discuss education issues; I am fortunate to have the UCS to use as a reference point,” Farrington said.Watch Rep. Farrington’s success story at http://www.ucsmeanssuccess.org/farrington.html### 07May Local school system features Rep. Farrington in success campaign
Categories: News 16May Price offers testimony on House Bill 5560 Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, testifies before the House Local Government Committee regarding House Bill 5560, which modernizes public notice laws and puts taxpayer dollars to more efficient use in Michigan. The bill remains before the committee for further consideration.
Tags: #SB, Roads, Transportation 10Feb Rep. Cole hosts transportation town hall for northern Michigan residents Categories: Cole News,News State Rep. Triston Cole of Mancelona invites residents of northern Michigan to attend a Feb. 27 local town hall meeting in Elk Rapids on transportation issues. Cole will provide information on the May ballot proposal for road funding with special guest state Rep. Ray Franz of Onekama.“I have been getting a lot of questions regarding the language of the ballot proposals and how it will affect local residents in our area,” Cole said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to inform voters and to answer any questions they may have.”The transportation meeting will be Friday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Elk Rapids Town Hall building (enter through Sheriff department) located on 321 Bridge St. in Elk Rapids.Cole and Franz invite all northwest Michigan residents to attend the event.For more information regarding the event, contact Cole’s office at (855) DIST-105; or e-mail him at email@example.com#####
Students from Beacon Tree Elementary School received an inside look at state government on Wednesday, courtesy of state Rep. Peter J. Lucido.The students and teacher Kristin Bourgeois toured the state Capitol with Rep. Lucido, who also showed the students the House floor while giving them a brief overview of how Michigan’s legislative branch works. The representative also answered questions from the students on state government and his responsibilities as representative for the 36th District, serving the townships of Shelby, Washington, Bruce and the Village of Romeo.“I enjoy being able to give local students some insights into state government, as well as showing them the historic Capitol building we have here in Michigan,” said Rep. Lucido, a Republican from Shelby Township. “Giving the future leaders of this great state an early chance to learn about our government will hopefully keep them engaged in the process so they can make this state a great place for families to live.”### 19Mar Rep. Lucido welcomes Beacon Tree Elementary students to Lansing Categories: Lucido News
State Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, has sponsored House Bill 4516, which would allow disabled veterans to obtain a property tax exemption for prior tax years, so long as they file with their local unit of government by this coming December.In 2013, the Legislature passed P.A. 161, also known as the “Dannie Lee Barnes Disabled Veteran Property Tax Relief Act.” This law provides for a property tax exemption on a homestead owned by a disabled veteran who was discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States under honorable conditions. To be eligible for the exemption, a veteran must have been determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) to be permanently and totally disabled as a result of military service and entitled to veterans’ benefits at the 100 percent rate, have a certificate from the U.S. Veterans’ Administration, or its successor, certifying that he or she is receiving or has received pecuniary assistance due to disability for specially adapted housing, or have been rated by the USDVA as individually unemployable.Because passage of this legislation came after tax bills were sent out in 2013, many qualified veterans were unaware of the benefit and did not file the necessary documentation with their local unit of government. In fact, many veterans still are unaware of this benefit, and those that are, have missed the opportunity to receive the exemption for the 2013 and 2014 tax years. House Bill 4516 would allow a veteran who met the criteria in 2013, 2014 or both, to provide documentation to their local taxing authority before the expiration of the December 2015 Board of Review, and the local unit would then grant the exemption retroactively.“Our veterans have given our state and nation so much and it is unfortunate that the state didn’t do more to inform them of this reasonable benefit,” said Rep. Hughes. “When officials in Fruitport Township brought this issue to my attention, I was more than happy to sponsor the legislation to help correct the oversight.”House Bill 4516 has been referred to the House Tax Policy Committee.“For veterans that deserve this exemption, they should not be penalized for things beyond their control,” said Brian Werschem, Fruitport Township supervisor. “This exemption should be afforded to them.”### 23Apr Hughes bill could save disabled veterans thousands Tags: #SB Categories: Hughes News,News
Share4Tweet2ShareEmail6 SharesMusashi1600 [CC BY 3.0 us], via Wikimedia CommonsFebruary 25, 2019; Honolulu Civil BeatIt started out as a wonderful idea: create a largely above-ground rapid transit system connecting the various parts of one of the most densely populated urban areas in the United States. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) was chartered in 2011 to oversee all aspects of the rail system, which was intended to alleviate horrific traffic. Now, a series of events has led to HART being the subject of a federal grand jury and hit with a subpoena for documents. So, what happened, and why does HART leadership say it won’t be so easy to hand over the requested documents?In 2008, a plan for rapid transit was put in front of voters, who approved a tax surcharge that would fund the project along with $1.55 billion from the federal government. The original estimates in 2006 were that the entire project would cost $4 billion. Now, several years behind schedule, the project is estimated to cost at least $9.2 billion.HART was created as a “semi-autonomous public transit authority“ with a board of 10 people overseeing operations. The mayor of Honolulu appoints three board directors, the City Council another three, each of the city and state transportation directors are represented, and a tenth is a community member selected by the rest of the board.A state audit conducted in 2016 suggests that the project had already risen far beyond original cost estimates, and a rail line intended to be fully operational by 2019 is now not expected until 2025. The management letter in that report clearly states there are major concerns about the oversight of the project, its financial management, and the planning for construction and operational concerns in the future. According to one report, while still in draft form, this audit was discussed and shortly afterward there were calls to have HART’s board chair and executive director resign. The board chair did so.Fast-forward two years later, and another audit was conducted, led by Hawaii State Auditor Les Kondo. Kondo’s office requested more than 30,000 documents and complained that what they received was redacted to the point of being incomprehensible. The findings in this audit are even more damning that the earlier one. This time, there is suggestion that employees of a private engineering firm may have been given key roles within HART, including positions that would oversee budget, design, and construction of the project. It is estimated that the amount paid to HDR Engineering would be the equivalent of $506,000 for each worker involved. Of course, at this point, the City Council became anxious and called for further investigation into the issues.This brings us to the current circumstances and the federal grand jury looking into the matter. The subpoena is in fact the third the grand jury has issued. The first demanded documents relating to contracts and other issues, including correspondence with the Federal Transit Authority. The second was for documents relating to HART’s self-reported possible overpayment to property owners along the proposed line.This third grand jury subpoena is for all of the minutes of all HART Board meetings, including ones that were held in closed session. HART’s board chair is saying it may not be possible to offer all of the minutes in unredacted form, and that they will have to confer with the city’s Corporate Counsel to see what can be released. As a clarification, in case you were wondering, HART’s board meetings probably are subject to the state’s sunshine laws, but the laws do allow closed executive sessions in some rare circumstances. The law also states that “minutes of executive meetings may be withheld so long as their publication would defeat the lawful purpose of the executive meeting, but no longer.”In some ways, the HART board is extremely transparent, including posting a host of governance related documents in easily accessible formats on their website. In others, including their dealings with the auditor and the grand jury, that transparency is nearly absent. Now, there are calls for the project to be paused while the grand jury completes its investigation to determine if there has been any fraud. The long, winding road of this project is not close to being run.—Rob MeiksinsShare4Tweet2ShareEmail6 Shares
International channel operator Current TV is selling its EPG slot on pay TV platform BSkyB after the News Corp-backed operator dropped the Al Gore-backed channel from its service. Current TV has appointed Canis Media to sell its 183 slot as part of the entertainment package.The two companies were unable to reach terms to allow it to continue broadcasting and Current will remain on air until a sale is agreed. Canis Media is currently talking to interested parties and has invited offers for the slot, the deadline which is February 2.“The EPG slot is unencumbered by any contractual liabilities or commitments and is available for immediate sale. The purchaser will be free to make their own arrangements for satellite capacity, uplink and playout,” noted Canis Media in a statement.
The rise in the cost of English Premier League rights as a result of BT’s entry into the market could have implications for BSkyB’s coverage of other sports, according to Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis.Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference held at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium, Francis said that the inflation in Premier League costs would be absorbed principally by cost savings elsewhere. However, in remarks reported by the Guardian newspaper website, he said that the company may have to “tighten our belts” on its coverage of some other sports.He said that Sky’s decision not to bid for Premiership Rugby, the rights to which are also held by BT, was one example of this.
Emerging markets pay TV systems specialist Exset has named Andrew Pons as global director of sales and marketing.Pons, who has worked at Exset for two years, will be charged with helping push the company to its next growth phase. Exset deploys its flagship digital monetisation system (DMS) and conditional access technology to markets including Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Africa and eastern Europe.Exset’s technology is designed to enable broadcasters to make money from digital services in new ways, enabling digital switchover to be taken forward in markets where it faces challenges, including Africa.Pior to joining Exset, Pons was director of international marketing at Pace and has also held senior sales and marketing roles at SysMedia and Harris.
Two in five pay TV households are expected to have access to web apps on their set-top boxes by 2019, according to ABI Research, double the number it estimates to have access to such services today.According to ABI Research, operators including AT&T, Verizon, Free, Orange, and SFR are currently leading the market for applications on set-top boxes but activity in the cable and satellite markets is starting to gain momentum, particularly as more companies look to new standards like HTML5.It cites the example of Comcast’s X1/X2 platform in the US as well as Liberty Global’s Horizon platform in Europe.“While a number of operators garner significant media attention, a great deal of activity is happening behind the scenes in the B2B market,” said practice director, Sam Rosen.“Companies like Accedo, ActiveVideo, Alticast, ES3, FourthWall Media, Myriad Group, TiVo, and Zodiac Interactive have partnered with numerous operators to help bring applications and interactivity to traditional pay TV services.”
Private equity groups Apax Partners and Bain Capital have made a rival bid for Portugal Telecom following Altice’s €7 billion bid for the company and Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos’s counter-bid for the holding company for Portugal Telecom’s stake in Oi. The two private equity companies have made a €7.075 billion bid for the Portuguese assets of Portugal Telecom, rivaling Altice’s €7.025 billion bid. The joint offer includes two €400 million deferred payments that are dependent on how the assets perform in the future.Like Altice’s bid, the new bid would seek to reverse Portugal Telecom’s controversial merger with Oi. Dos Santos’s bid, on the other hand, is based on the merger going ahead.
Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries.There is still growth potential in Europe, according to Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries, claiming that consolidation in the European cable and telecoms markets will continue.Speaking to the Financial Times, Fries pointed to the opportunities in the competitive mobile sector in Europe, claiming that “the consumer wins when networks and infrastructure come together across borders.”Earlier this year Liberty was in early-stage deal negotiations with Vodafone, but the mobile operator said in September that talks about a possible exchange of “selected assets” had been terminated.However, hinting that deal talks could be revived, Fries told the FT that while there is nothing happening at the moment “we never say never.”The comments come a week after Liberty agreed to buy Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) for £3.5 billion (€5.0 billion) in what it described as a “watershed” move to expand its presence in the Caribbean and Latin America.Earlier this month Liberty Global and Discovery Communications each said they will take 3.4% stakes in production firm Lionsgate Entertainment.
LG’s new ‘Super UHD’ UH9500 TVLG Electronics will unveil a new premium line of High Dynamic Range-capable 4K Ultra HD TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.The ‘LG Super UHD’ TVs will lead the company’s 2016 4K Ultra HD TV lineup for the US and have been designated by the electronics maker as ‘HDR Plus’.The TV maker said that HDR Plus combines ‘Ultra Luminance’ and ‘Color Prime’ technologies to heighten HDR performance compared to HDR compatible sets.The Super UHD TV line consists of series – including the UH9500, the UH8500 and the UH7700 – and will be available in screen sizes ranging from 49-inches to 86-inches.LG said the new TVs will offer LG’s “most advanced LCD/LED picture quality ever” with expanded colour capabilities, advanced picture and sound-enhancing features. The 2016 UHD TV lineup also comes with the newest generation of LG’s webOS Smart TV platform, webOS 3.0.Select models from the new 4K Ultra HD TV lineup will begin shipping in the US in early spring.
BBC Worldwide, the UK public broadcaster’s commercial arm, has secured a deal for its Cbeebies app pre-school kids service with Mexican telecom and pay TV operator Totalplay.The deal will make Spanish-language content specifically for preschoolers, including Zingzillas, Nina y las Neuronas, Charlie y Lola, Sarah y Pato and Baby Jake, available to Totalplay subscribers.The Spanish-language Cbeebies app is available for download by Totalplay subscribers through its set-top box for a monthly fee of MXN29 (€1.40).According to BBC Worldwide, the Cbeebies app is the only channel recommended by the Mexican Pediatrics Association (AMP) for its educational potential and content.“With the integration of the CBeebies app into Totalplay’s platform, subscribers can sign in via a unique interface. It takes CBeebies beyond linear television, enabling viewers to access their favourite programs whenever they want on their TV screen,” said Anna Gordon, executive vice-president and general manager, BBC Worldwide Latin America and US Hispanic.“Exclusive, high-quality content is a central part of our offering,” said Hugo Adrián Hernández, television and content director at Totalplay. “We are proud to incorporate the BBC via the CBeebies app, a wholesome and entertaining tool for helping children develop their natural aptitudes.”
Netflix’s share price rose 4.14% on talk The Walt Disney Company is preparing a takeover attempt.A report from Wall Street newswire MarketWatch claimed Disney is circling new assets, and has set its sights on Netflix.This closely follows reports of Disney considering a takeover of social media platform Twitter, largely due to its growing video capabilities.Buying Netflix would give Disney the global market-leading subscription VOD player, and more than 80 million subscribers.Disney already owns 25% of Netflix rival Hulu, along with 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and Time Warner, but taking over Netflix would propel the Mouse House into another stratosphere internationally. Hulu retracted from the overseas market in 2014.The Netflix share price stood at US$102.63, up US$4.04 in a day upon the rumours. Disney shareholders reacted more cautiously, with the share price dipping 0.40% to end at US$92.49.Disney is already preparing to launch a subscription ESPN web service after investing US$1 billion in video streaming technology platform BAMTech. Acquiring Netflix would push this strategy on and increase the reach, which has been a concern to Wall Street this year.Last year, the company also launched DisneyLife, a Netflix-style service for children and families, which debuted in the UK and expanded into China – the one key market Netflix has failed to penetrate.Netflix, meanwhile, would benefit from Disney’s deep pockets, especially as it moves towards a 50-50 originals-to-acquisitions programming offer, and towards a more localised service in each of its 188 operating markets.Disney-owned Marvel Television already has an output with Netflix for superhero shows. It has so far delivered Jessica Jones, Daredevil and, most recently, Luke Cage.Disney declined to comment, while Netflix couldn’t be reached before press time.
Mexico overtook Brazil to become Latin America’s largest pay TV market in 2016, according to a report.Digital TV Research’s Latin American Pay TV Forecasts study shows Brazil has been losing subscribers since November 2014, while Mexico has benefited from uptake of prepaid satellite TV.However, Brazil will remain the top regional territory by revenues, bringing in a forecasted US$6.9 billion (€6.4 billion), more than double the US$3.2 billion Mexico brings in. This is primarily because Brazil’s subs rates are higher than Mexico, whose prepaid services are less lucrative.Mexico had a total of just over 21 million pay TV subs in 2016, compared with 18.8 million in Brazil and 8.8 million in the third largest territory, Argentina.Mexico’s number will rise to 22.24 million next year, before rising to 25.26 million in 2022.Brazil, in contrast, will fall to 18.66 million in 2017 before rising to 20.86 million. Argentina will see a similar trajectory, falling slightly next year before rising to slightly above its 2016 figure.Overall, there were 72.96 million pay TV subs in Latin America in 2016, a figure that will rise to 83.47 million in five years’ time. That rate of growth is slower than the 2010-2016 period, when 31 million pay TV subs were added across the region.The top pay players in Mexico currently are American Movil, which had 14.61 million subs at end-2016 (most of whom come under its Claro brand), while DirecTV, which operates throughout the region and owns Sky Brasil, had 20.49 million. They accounted for 48% of regional pay TV subs.
UK-based media services company TVT is expanding with the launch of full access services business unit and a new office in Los Angeles.TVT said that the launch of its access services unit will allow the company to build up the access and localisation services it already provides to the BBC, Netflix and others.The company has also brought on former Ericsson, RedBee Media and BBC executive, David Padmore, as an international adviser to help with the launch of the new division.“We are definitely in growth mode at the moment,” said TVT CEO, Ian Brotherston. “This expansion fits perfectly with the growing demand for international services we are seeing around the world.“Broadcasters and content owners are looking to new markets and require a whole range of services to address cultural sensibilities and comply with regulations – including access.”TVT said that its LA plans are still “in the early stages” but the office is slated to open later this year, allowing it to work more easily US clients including A+E Networks, Discovery and Hulu.
Middle East and North African on-demand service, Starz Play, has agreed a distribution deal with mobile operator Ooredoo Algeria.Starz Play will be available to Ooredoo Algeria customers for the first time this month, with the partnership going live to coincide with Ramadan.Starz Play offers Arabic content alongside Hollywood movies, current US TV series, documentaries and children’s entertainment. During Ramadan it has also added new premium series and movies to its library“By the end of Ramadan, Starz Play will be streaming more than 7,000 hours of blockbuster Hollywood movies, documentaries, children’s entertainment and ‘same-day-as-the-US’ series – plus 1,300 hours of Arabic content including Khaleeji, Egyptian and Levant series,” said the company in a statement.
Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel, which last week completed the acquisition of Zegona Communications-owned Asturias operator Telecable, has posted solid subscriber gains for the first half and reduced revenues in what it described as a highly competitive market.Euskaltel saw particularly strong growth in the mobile segment, adding 35,000 new mobile lines in the first half, up 4.8% year-on-year. Some 79.6% of the group’s customers now take at least one mobile line from it.The company also saw solid growth in pay TV, adding 10,000 connections in the first six months of the year, up 3.5%. Pay TV is now taken by 58.9% of the company’s base. Euskaltel highlighted its recently launched catch up service Te Lo Perdiste, on-demand platform Replayteka, NDVR, startover and premium content, which had increased usage and satisfaction with the pay TV service. Euskaltel also recently launched a new 4K Android TV box, a first for the market.Euskaltel said that exactly two thirds – 66.7% – of its customer base now took three or four services, compared to 65.2% a year ago. The number of products taken on average grew from 3.4 to 3.5. Total residential revenue-generating units stood at 1.9 million, up by 31,000 year-on-year.Euskaltel’s overall revenues dropped by 2.3% to €279.3 million for the six months, taken lower by the prior year impact of a Basque Country regional government contract. However, residential revenues grew by only 0.4% in what the company described as a “highly aggressive, competitive environment”.EBITDA dipped from €139.3 million to €137.9 million, impacted by the company’s contribution to the funding of public service broadcaster RTVE under new rules. Adjusted EBITDA was up 0.6%.