Houston police issue warning after scammer uses fake ‘movie money’ to cheat student out of iPhone

first_imgAt 10-police have a warning about a fake cash suspect who could be looking to trick more people this holiday season. Hear from a college student who was duped with this “movie money.” #abc13 pic.twitter.com/1MBwYI4wk0— Jessica Willey (@ImJessicaWilley) December 5, 2019McCoy said that someone else turned in a stack of movie money to the police department three months ago, but police don’t know if there’s a connection to these bills. Nevertheless, authorities are warning Houston residents to be on the lookout for phony cash when selling items.“Do your homework when you’re selling,” he told KTRK. “Try to get an idea of who you’re talking to. See if they’ve bought things before that you can document. Meet in a place with cameras.”As for Malone, she says she’d like to have her $700 back.“A very expensive lesson learned,” she said. “I should have paid more attention to detail.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. KTRK(HOUSTON) — At a time when high-tech scams are running rampant, police in Houston are warning residents to be aware of a low-tech swindle after a college student was cheated out of her iPhone by a scammer using a stack of phony cash known as “movie money.”Tamara Malone was looking to sell her iPhone XS Max, so she listed it for sale on the Letgo app, the college student told Houston ABC station KTRK.A woman in her 20s responded to the listing and Malone agreed to meet her at a Starbucks, Malone said.Malone handed over the phone and the woman handed Malone a bank envelope with $700 in cash, then quickly disappeared. But when Malone examined the bills, she discovered the cash was actually “movie money” — fake bills used as props by filmmakers.The bills look real from a distance, but up close there are tell-tale signs that they’re fake.“If you look closely, it says ‘Motion Picture Use Only’ and ‘In Copy We Trust,’” Detective Shane McCoy of the City of Southside Place Police Department told KTRK.last_img read more

On the Blogs: The German Transition

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ChinaDialogue.net:If Angela Merkel is to win another term in Germany’s upcoming election on September 24, then winning the western state of North-Rhine/Westphalia (NRW) will be essential.NRW is the country’s most populous state, making up a fifth of the electorate. It’s also the epicentre of another political tussle: What to do about Germany’s coal sector?The state is the historic heart of Germany’s industry; an industry that is largely powered by coal. NRW sits atop Europe’s biggest lignite coal region, and despite Germany’s rapid adoption of renewables, NRW still generates 75% of its electricity from coal, making it responsible for almost 1% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions.So it’s no surprise that the Rhineland coalfields near Cologne have become a hot spot for climate activists in the past few years. Internationally, Germany is well-known for its Energiewende energy policy, a transition away from nuclear and fossil fuels to renewables. But despite the aggressive push toward renewables, coal remains central to Germany’s power supply. In recent years, electricity production from coal has hardly fallen, unlike in other developed countries such as the UK and US. In fact, lignite coal provided 23% of gross power production in 2016, and hard coal 17%.Some critics argue that coal still dominates Germany’s power generation because the country has chosen to phase-out nuclear power, with the remaining plants to shut by 2022. In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, around a dozen new coal plants opened in Germany.What’s missing from reports about the alleged “German coal renaissance” though is that Germany’s coal surge was part of a Europe-wide trend, and not just a reaction to the nuclear phase-out. Construction of many of the plants started long before the meltdown in Fukushima.German utilities began abandoning coal projects around 2011 for the simple reason that there was no demand for them. By then, it was clear that renewables growth had been underestimated. Investors cancelled two dozen projects. The surge in wind and solar power combined with on-going coal power production led to an oversupply of electricity. As a result, power exports hit a record high by 2016. Almost 8% of electricity generated in Germany last year was used in neighbouring countries.These developments have led to the so-called “Energiewende paradox”: Germany’s rapid development of renewable power has barely dented carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions even though electricity generated from renewables has more than replaced nuclear power.The result is that Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions actually increased in 2016, and are expected to grow even more in 2017.This begs the question: how will Germany kick its coal habit?To get back on track with climate targets, Agora Energiewend is calling for Germany to adopt an emergency “Climate Protection 2020” programme as soon as possible after the federal elections this month.And some utilities are already shutting down old coal plants for economic reasons. The power company STEAG, for instance, will decommission five coal-fired units because of low wholesale electricity prices. Other companies are hoping that a political agreement on phasing-out coal power will be sweetened by financial benefits for those shutting down plants.An EU agreement on stricter pollution standards for existing power plants starting in 2021 will also factor into plans for a phase-out. Notably, the German government voted against these stricter standards.Gerard Wynn from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) estimates that Germany has many gigawatts of coal and lignite generating capacity above the new limits. Owners are facing multiple headwinds: competition with renewables, sluggish power demand growth, and carbon emissions targets. Owners will have to decide whether to retrofit or close their plants. “Utilities may use this opportunity to close or sell certain coal plants before the new standard is implemented in 2021,” he said.Germany’s current government coalition has avoided specific discussion of a coal phase-out. But there are signs that preparations for one are underway.More: Future of Germany’s coal sector hangs on elections On the Blogs: The German Transitionlast_img read more

October 15, 2004 Letters

first_imgOctober 15, 2004 Letters October 15, 2004 Letters Letters Wrongful Incarceration Should the State of Florida pay compensation to citizens it wrongfully imprisons? The story of Wilton A. Dedge (No compensation for man exonerated after 22 years, Miami Herald September 14, 2004, at 6B) illustrates a flaw in our criminal justice system. The state took away 22 prime years of Mr. Dedge’s life for a crime he did not commit. Oops, sorry! That’s all he is entitled to get under Florida law.“Oops, sorry” is not enough. We, as a purportedly civil and just society, ought to pay victims of wrongful prosecutions reasonable restitution. I am not suggesting jackpots. I suggest something like $10, 000 to $25,000 per year so that someone like Mr. Dedge can at least recover some of the opportunity cost he lost during his confinement.Who should pay? Let’s remember that the blame for Mr. Dedge’s injury starts with the folks who prosecuted him, who happen to be fellow lawyers. So, why don’t we as a group atone for the sins of our brethren? We, the members of The Florida Bar, should take the money we collect as part of the IOTA scheme and pay those people we harm through wrongful convictions. I see this as one of the few worthwhile uses of IOTA money and urge our Board of Governors to consider doing right by those to whom, like Mr. Dedge, we do wrong. Leo Bueno Miami Gay Adoption It would be greatly appreciated if those in favor of gay and lesbian adoption would desist from labeling those opposed as “bigots.” To quote an earlier letter writer, “These words do absolutely nothing to enhance or elevate our profession. . . . ”If I am offended by anything in this debate, it is the idea that because I do not favor the one true side, I am “unenlightened.” This is the crux of the problem, i.e., good people can and do strongly disagree, and it therefore should not be made to appear to the public that the membership of the Bar is united in their views on this political question. I do not care where the money comes from — don’t try to dress the issue in Bar clothes to make it appear to the public that we all agree. Howard T. Sutter JacksonvilleI have been following with interest the debate regarding approval of the lobbying positions taken by the Family Law Section and the Public Interest Law Section on the issue of Florida’s statutory ban on gay adoption.Floridians know me as a staunch advocate for children, especially children caught up in the child welfare system. I retain that passion now as a law professor at the University of Memphis School of Law. I also continue to represent the two child plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, Loflon v. Regier, which challenges Florida’s gay adoption ban on constitutional grounds. In that case, six dissenting judges of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, on a petition for rehearing en banc, agreed that there is a serious and substantial question as to whether Florida’s statute is constitutional. A seventh judge, the author of the opinion, remarked that if he were a legislator, rather than a judge, he would “vote in favor of considering otherwise eligible homosexuals for adoptive parenthood.”To me, there is no reasonable basis for Florida to maintain thousands of children in state custody on an adoption waiting list without permanent homes, while the state ignores the stable, nurturing homes that many gay and lesbian people might provide them. Even the Child Welfare League of America supports nondiscrimination against homosexuals who seek to adopt, and finds no child welfare basis for the gay adoption ban. I have represented hundreds of children in Florida’s and now Tennessee’s juvenile courts, who have been horribly abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents or caretakers. In each case the parent has been heterosexual. I know, however, that bald arguments do not change minds or hearts. It takes personal experience, which, for me, has been catalytic in my views about gay parenting.Over the eight-year history of the lawsuit, I have come to know the dedication, skill, warmth, and caring with which the gay dads of my two child clients have raised their little charges, almost since birth. One set of dads, skilled health care professionals, took in four young children affected by AIDS or HIV as foster children at the behest of the Children’s Home Society. One of these, my client, “came home,” as his dads call it, at the age of 16 weeks. They nurtured him to be the happy, healthy 12-year-old he now is. One of the children died of AIDS in the arms of these dads. The other two, the beneficiaries of the quality health care they provided, are also thriving. My other young client was taken home from the hospital at age four by the gentleman who was his pediatric nurse, at the request of the child’s birth father. He is also happy, healthy, and thriving.Closer to home, I, myself, am the honorary “aunt” of an eight-year-old, who is being raised by his two gay dads and two lesbian moms. He is an exceptionally good student, reads and does math on at least a fifth-grade level, takes tae kwan do lessons, plays soccer and the piano, too. He is exuberant, full of himself, and the light of my life. All of his successes attest to the quality parenting he is receiving.I believe that the “divisiveness” over this issue among Bar members would disappear if they looked within their families, among their clients and around their law firms, their faith communities, their neighborhoods, and their children’s schools. There they will find many fine examples of quality gay parenting, or many fine gay individuals who would love to become adoptive parents. It is this personal connection that changes minds and hearts.Allowing equal access to the benefits of adoption to all Floridians, regardless of sexual orientation, is simply a matter of respecting the dignity and humanity of each individual. The U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas has already recognized the inherent dignity of gay individuals to make personal choices, and it is time for The Florida Bar to do so as well. Christina A. Zawisza Memphis, TNI find it very disturbing that those who support gay adoptions in the state of Florida are called unbiased and enlightened and while those of us who do not support gay adoptions are “bigots.” Why would we put children who already suffered abuse or suffered the loss of parents into the hands of people who flaunt good sexual morality? As I would not want a child placed in a home where the husband or the wife was committing adultery, in the same way I think it would be damaging to children to place them in a home where sexual immorality is displayed as good, healthy, and life-giving. Nothing could be further from the truth.We can debate all day long about how “enlightened” the homosexual agenda is, but the long and short of it is that homosexual behavior leads to the destruction of the human mind, body, and spirit. Doctors’ offices are not filled with faithful husbands and wives begging the system for more antibiotics to cure the sexually transmitted diseases they have acquired. One need only read books such as And The Band Played On by Randy Schilts to understand what the homosexual lifestyle is and what it is not. What it is is a lifestyle that glorifies the hedonistic desires of a very small minority in our society. To place a child in the midst of this culture of death is truly frightening and should be avoided at all costs. Don Detky JacksonvilleIt is ludicrous to continue to harm our children and our society with our social experiments. Studies show that both female and male children need to be raised by both a mother and father to gain healthy self-images and self-confidence.Both female and male children develop their gender identification and healthy sense of self-worth only when they are raised in a home with a healthy female role model and a healthy male role model. Our experiment with no-fault divorce has already demonstrated that most children suffer in single-parent and step-parent home situations. Why would we continue to subject our children to home situations that do not promote the emotional well-being of our children? Why would we want to adopt policies that produce emotionally damaged and emotional unstable future adults?Studies conducted by both non-gay and gay organizations have shown that gay relationships have higher incidences of violence, mental illness, and substance abuse than heterosexual relationships.Opposing gay adoptions is not a matter of discrimination; it is a matter of doing what is best for children and for our society. Rebecca O’Dell Townsend Tampalast_img read more

LEMUS NAMED SIOUX CITY TEACHER OF THE YEAR

first_imgThe Sioux City Community School District has selected an elementary school educator as its teacher of the year.Luis Lemus is a dual language teacher at Irving Dual Language Elementary.At Irving, half of the day is taught in English and half the day is taught in Spanish, as there is a language learning curve for both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers.Lemus came to the United States as a young boy fluent in Spanish with limited English speaking abilities.During his early school years, he learned how to think and communicate in English, experience academic success, and flourish socially.Lemus wants to help his students do the same – while embracing the dual language benefits offered at Irving.Lemus has been with the Sioux City Community School District for 11 years.He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in teaching, both from Morningside College.last_img read more