CHICAGO, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ — TransUnion.com released today the results of its analysis of trends in the credit card lending industry for the third quarter of 2008. The report is part of an ongoing series of quarterly consumer lending sector analyses focusing on credit card, auto loan and mortgage data that may be found on TransUnion’s Web site.StatisticsAverage bankcard borrower debt (defined as the total bankcard debt per bankcard borrower) increased nationally 1.57 percent to $5,710 from the previous quarter’s $5,621, and 6.0 percent compared to the third quarter of 2007 ($5,387). The highest state average bankcard debt was in Alaska at $7,827, followed by Nevada at $6,636 and Tennessee at $6,568. The lowest average bankcard debt was found in Iowa ($4,277), followed by North Dakota ($4,403) and West Virginia ($4,517). Bankcard debt is the total balance of bank issued credit cards for an individual consumer.The steepest increases in average bankcard debt over the previous quarter occurred in Wyoming (4.96 percent), Delaware (4.12 percent) and Arizona (3.12 percent). Maine experienced the largest drop in its average credit card debt (-1.4 percent), followed by North Dakota (-1.12 percent) and Alaska (-0.57 percent).Nationally, the ratio of bankcard borrowers delinquent on one or more of their bankcards increased to 1.09 percent in the third quarter of 2008, up 4.8 percent over the previous quarter. However, on a year-over-year basis the national delinquency incidence rate has risen 5.8 percent from 1.03 percent in the third quarter of 2007. Incidence of delinquency was highest in Nevada (1.79 percent), followed closely by Florida (1.45 percent) and Mississippi (1.45 percent). The lowest bank card delinquency incidence rates were found in North Dakota (0.70 percent), Vermont (0.70 percent) and Utah (0.76 percent). On a positive note, four states showed a decline in their quarter-over-quarter delinquency incidence rates. Wyoming’s delinquency rate dropped the most (-9.1 percent), followed by Alaska (-6.7 percent), Nebraska (-4.5 percent), and Maine (-1.1 percent).Analysis”As expected, bankcard delinquency is again on the rise after experiencing two consecutive quarters of decline,” said Ezra Becker, principal consultant in TransUnion’s financial services group. “Although financial institutions have been undertaking proactive measures to mitigate risk in their portfolios, the continued deterioration in the financial and labor markets is having a negative impact on the ability of consumers to repay their debt obligations. Those consumers with high mortgage debt (expensive first- and second mortgages with adjustable rates and /or home equity lines of credit) may opt to utilize whatever cash reserves are available to keep their houses rather than pay off any debt on the credit card obligations.”In addition, the third quarter of 2008 saw a drop in the nation’s disposable income per capita and an increase in unemployment, putting additional burden on the consumer’s ability to repay credit card debt. However, the significant drop in energy prices that accelerated in September may have mitigated the increase in delinquency, as the diminishing demand for crude oil started to show at the local gas pump,” added Becker.ForecastTransUnion’s forecasting models for the national 90-day delinquency rate suggest a possible flattening or minimal increase in the fourth quarter of this year as consumers take stock of the recent bad economic news and curtail their expenditures for the holiday season – at least relative to prior years. However, as economic conditions worsen and consumer confidence continues to deteriorate due to the ongoing economic crises, we see an upward trajectory in the national credit card delinquency rate for 2009 – reaching as high as 1.3 percent or 1.4 percent by year end.As for state projections, Nevada (1.78 percent) is still anticipated to experience the highest average delinquency rate by the end of 2008, while North Dakota and Vermont are expected to show the lowest level of delinquency (0.69 percent).TransUnion’s Trend Data databaseThe source of the underlying data used for this analysis is TransUnion’s Trend Data, a one-of-a-kind database consisting of 27 million anonymous consumer records randomly sampled every quarter from TransUnion’s national consumer credit database. Each record contains more than 200 credit variables that illustrate consumer credit usage and performance. Since 1992, TransUnion has been aggregating this information at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state and national levels.About TransUnionAs a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs more than 3,600 employees in more than 25 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com(link is external)
“I want to do fun things with him,” one twenty-something woman said to another as I sat behind them in the neighborhood cafe, eavesdropping. “I want to have fun together.”Her friend leaned over the stack of nursing books between them to ask, “Where is he today?”“Kayaking.”“Don’t worry, it’ll be different when you’re married – then you’ll be really together.” She gave her friend a half-hug, but the about-to-be-married-to-a-kayaker woman shook her head.“I hope so. He used to take me rafting. We used to go on long walks near the river.”I wanted to interject, to tell her how I’d been seduced by that dangerous thinking. Five years ago I met an extreme kayaker who chased the seasons instead of a salary. Skinny-dipping and swapping life stories under the full moon, life seemed perfect as weeks passed on the river and in his arms. Smitten by his quiet confidence, I ditched my own plans and followed him to Southern Appalachia to see if the life I’d dreamed of living near the river was actually possible.I invented a story, extrapolating our future life together based on that magical month. I imagined us traveling to South America together, him to instruct kayaking, while I’d work on my boof and hone my writing, inspired by the adventures we’d no doubt have. I dreamt of the sweet cabin in the mountains that we’d return to and decorate with art we purchased during our travels. He’d loop me into his adventurous lifestyle and expand my horizons.The woman confided to her friend how worried she was about her fiancé’s job prospects, how she couldn’t afford to support him and put herself through nursing school, and how she wanted to stop mothering him and instead have fun with him. But I didn’t say anything that afternoon in the cafe, figuring if she was anything like me, someone else’s words wouldn’t make a difference.I had this thing about kayakers. Kayakers tend to be passionate, intense, and exciting and when they’re around, their personalities can be intoxicating. I saw myself in that worried nursing student – like me, she was a responsible professional and prioritizing the “right” things over the fun thing. And I worried for her, that in marrying a kayaker she might make the same mistakes I had made, that she would hope and wish for the attention of a man, waiting for him to take her to do the things she wanted instead of doing them herself, to expect that her partner would somehow turn her into the person she wanted to become instead of doing the work herself.I thought back to a friend who attempted to intervene on my kayaker obsession. During a heart-to-heart after a bottle of wine she stared me in the eye and said, “You don’t need to date a Class V paddler. You’re already Class V.”I disagreed, I didn’t paddle Class V. Or if I did, it was an easy Class V rapid that another paddler coached me down. No, I wasn’t a Class V boater nor did I have the guts or determination to become one.I spent over a year yoking my aspirations to the path of that extreme kayaker. The more I expected of him, the more he retreated to the river. When he finally left, it sunk in that dating a kayaker and being a kayaker was not the same thing.Somewhere along the way I forgot me. I love to travel. I love to run and practice yoga. I love paddling too, big splashy waves, without a lot of consequences. I love to hole up in cafes and write. I love pedicures and sharing deep conversations over bottles of wine. I had this dream of buying a sailboat and island hopping. I started to realize that living in the shadows of the extreme kayaker made me forget about who I wanted to be, about who I already was.I saw with the clarity that time lends what my friend meant when she said I didn’t need to date a Class V boater. She was trying to tell me that I could live the authentic, righteous life I associated with that label, that I was already a pretty cool person, me, all by myself, without a man at all. Somewhere along the way I’d forgotten that.I started to inhabit my own passions and dreams until an extraordinary thing happened. I realized I no longer relied on anyone else for my identity. The more I focused on my life and interests, the more I really enjoyed being me. I had become enough, more than enough, fully engaged in my life.For the first time in a decade, I wasn’t crushing on, dating, or recovering from dating a kayaker. I went paddling after that day in the café and realized how much I still love being on the water. Moving with it and being near it energizes me and I wondered if perhaps I confused my love for rivers with loving kayakers. I thought about the nursing student as I paddled, hoping that she would go out and have fun on her own terms, whether or not her fiancé joined her. I hoped so.I still believe in the fairy tale, for me and for that nursing student. But I’ve rewritten my version of it so that prince charming doesn’t have to wear a skirt, obsess over kayak porn, or disappear when it rains.
By Dialogo April 30, 2009 Police from seven countries arrested 17 people in Curacao suspected of involvement in an international drug ring with links to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, Dutch authorities said. The group is suspected of having traded in some 2,000 kilograms of cocaine per year, the Dutch prosecution service said in a statement. “The group shipped containers with cocaine from Curacao to the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Jordan,” it said. “From Venezuela, containers with drugs went to West Africa and then to the Netherlands, Lebanon and Spain. Carriers smuggled the cocaine as airline passengers from Curacao and Aruba into the Netherlands.” The proceeds were allegedly invested in several countries, said the statement. “The organization had international contacts with other criminal networks that financially supported Hezbollah in the Middle East. Large sums of drug money flooded into Lebanon, from where orders were placed for weapons that were to have been delivered from South America.” The suspects were from Curacao, the largest of the Dutch Antilles islands, as well as from Venezuela, Colombia, Lebanon and Cuba, said the statement. The arrests were the result of a joint operation between the police and justice authorities of Curacao, the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Venezuela and the United States.
TOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) — Nursing homes across the country are making changes in order to keep residents and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the United Methodist Homes’ Elizabeth Church Saint Louise Manors. Micha hopes when the coronavirus concerns slow down she will be able to organize a party for residents and staff to enjoy. Micha told 12 News she’s had to adjust, postpone and cancel tons of activities lately because of possible health risks they could cause. “I think it’s good that they have the stimulation from the staff because I knew my grandma is at home, and she is by herself, so she really is isolated,” Micha said. “At least at the nursing home, there are people watching them, there are people who can notice, something right away or can talk to them if they’re having a bad day.” “We’re doing more one-on-one activities. We’ll cut crafts and play games, but we’ll take it right to their room, do the project right there and leave it in their rooms versus getting everyone together in a group,” Micha said. Recently, Micha and her staff created the nursing homes’ version of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” getting their own residents involved in a fun way to help promote social distancing and safe habits during COVID-19. But Micha hasn’t let limitations and adjustments deter her and her staff’s commitment to create fun experiences for residents. The director, believing things like the video and other activities are important to keeping seniors engaged, even at a distance. “It’s taken our calendar which was so full and so fun to almost nothing,” said Activities Director Katherine Micha. “We started just videotaping the residents and the staff kind of just doing different things,” Micha said. “We got such a kick out of it. It was fun.”
Advertisement Advertisement Comment Philippe Coutinho set to join Arsenal on season-long loan from Barcelona Philippe Coutinho has agreed to join Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are set to sign Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan deal, according to reports in France.L’Equipe claim the Gunners have struck an agreement with the La Liga giants to sign the former Liverpool playmaker.Bilel Ghazi, who broke news of Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 and his subsequent desire to return to Barcelona, claims Coutinho has agreed to move to the Emirates for the 19/20 campaign.The deal, should it go through, would be a huge coup for the Gunners given they’re unable to offer Champions League football.ADVERTISEMENT Coutinho is keen to play first team football (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are likely to pay Barcelona a significant loan fee for Coutinho, who joined the club in 2018 for a fee that could rise to £144m.AdvertisementAdvertisementHowever, his move to the Camp Nou has been far from a success and he was booed by a large section of home supporters throughout last season.The club are also desperate to recoup funds after signing Griezmann for around £107million from Atletico Madrid.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalArsenal completed a club record move for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe last week and had been expected to focus on defensive reinforcements in the last 48 hours of the transfer window.A centre-back was considered a priority, while Kieran Tierney remains first choice to be signed at left-back.However, with Coutinho desperate to leave the Camp Nou for first team football, an opportunity to sign the Brazilian appears to have been too good to turn down.MORE: Derby Count confirm Wayne Rooney signing Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 6 Aug 2019 2:28 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link18.6kShares
CHERYL PEARSON-MCNEILWhen it comes to defining that which is “typically American,” I think we’re going to have to add “sports” to the old expression, “As American as Mom and apple pie.”We are a country full of sports fanatics. (While I might not exactly fall into that category, I am the mother of an extraordinary 17-year-old athlete and lover of all things sports. So, I have to admit, that I need to step up and try to keep up)!Nielsen numbers bear this out. Sports programs are among the top watched in African-American households as well as those of the general population, with the Super Bowl consistently ranking as the most-watched program across the board. In fact, Super Bowl XLVII drew 108 million viewers nationally.African–Americans made up a whopping 12.5 million of those viewers. (Personally, I enjoy the parties and the commercials, the game? Not so much.)With football and basketball season in full swing, Nielsen has identified and measured a phenomenal, growing niche industry, Fantasy Sports.Now, for those of you who, like me, were not familiar with this popular trend—Fantasy Leagues are places where you can use the web, smartphones and/or tablets, act as sports general managers, to draft professional athletes from your favorite pro teams to make up the roster how you see it in your own personal league. Fantasy points are awarded to the players, based on their performance in the actual games being played. You and your friends can compete or bet against each other while watching the real game.
By Christina Johnson |SHREWSBURY – By 11 a.m. Wednesday on its first day of business, more than 1,000 customers were inside the brand new ShopRite at 1151 Shrewsbury Ave., moving slowly down the aisles of precisely arranged products, reading labels, checking prices and taking it all in.Throughout the 80,000-square-foot store, smartly uniformed store employees in black aprons stood outside their immaculate stations, greeting customers or offering samples. Saker ShopRite executives in suits buzzed through the aisles, chatting with staff and shaking hands with customers. The mood was festive, like a holiday.“It’s awesome. It’s amazing. I’m like, a little overwhelmed,” said Amy Montano of Little Silver, who was in the meat aisle, picking out Thanksgiving dinner items for her family of three with the help of a yellow store directory handout. Typically, the real estate professional will drive 20 minutes to Wegmans and Costco in Ocean Township to do the family shopping. But ShopRite is only 10 minutes from her home. She was impressed. “It’s just beautiful and everything looks great.”Convenience, quality, freshness and the overall customer experience are some of the ingredients in Richard Saker’s recipe for success. Saker, of Middletown, is president and CEO of Saker ShopRites, which continues to be guided by the family’s fifth generation of grocers. Of his 32 stores, 25 of have the “World Class” label for their amenities, extensive size and depth of offerings. The Shrewsbury store is a World Class store.Customers who know the Hazlet, Middletown and Aberdeen stores will feel at home in Shrewsbury. The layout of the grocery, produce, meat and seafood sections is familiar. But the Shrewsbury store stands out for its vast hot food and deli provisions selection, a smorgasbord of hundreds of prepared entrees from both the World Class Kitchens and Dearborn Farms brands that seems to go on and on from behind a long, gleaming 30-foot glass case, a feast for the eyes.Shrewsbury ShopRite meat manager Justin Hager shows off the premium, custom cut meat selection. Photo by Christina Johnson“Grab and go” foods prepared by ShopRite chefs aimed to appeal to busy working moms and dads who want to pick up a home-cooked meal to share together at night, is a sophisticated experience in Shrewsbury. “If you see a product with World Class Kitchens on it, we’re making that here in New Jersey, with good union labor. All our products are handmade and the vast majority of our products are 100 percent natural,” said Saker. “Which is something that is quite amazing, because there’s nobody else who does that. Everything is made fresh and everything is made locally.”Customers can buy homemade food in packages right in the refrigerated aisles, or they can be served behind the glass by an employee who will help a customer build an $8 or $9 meal with an entrée and two sides from the colorful selection.In the fresh pasta aisle, ShopRite’s Richard Saker shows beef ravioli made from his wife Laura’s recipe. Photo by Christina JohnsonThe Shrewsbury store also features a new fresh pasta operation where customers can buy packaged pasta products like angel hair, macaroni and ravioli produced on the premises. Kobe beef, a premium product not formally found in supermarkets, also gets star billing in Shrewsbury, where customers can order Kobe beef burgers, Kobe roast beef, Kobe corned beef and Kobe pastrami. These two new features will be rolling out to other ShopRite stores in the future.All of this is offered under video screens that show mesmerizing kitchen videos from ShopRite chefs slicing and dicing, sautéing and baking, or piping icing into flower shapes onto beautiful little cakes for the boutique patisserie. “We import some of the finest ingredients from all over the world,” including chocolate from Belgium, said Saker. “We are just a cut above any bakery. Nobody does anything like we do.”The meat section of the store is also something special in Shrewsbury. Customers can regularly find custom cuts of USDA Prime beef and Kobe beef, as well as specialties like pork crown roast and beef bracciole. Or they can request something different from the butcher behind the counter.The store, which employs 300 full- and part-time workers, has a local focus. Customers can find Booskerdoo Coffee, roasted in Monmouth County; Glenda’s Kitchen gluten-free, gourmet cookies, which are baked nearby in Atlantic Highlands; and the Grown in Monmouth branded plants provided by local farms like Louis Davino Greenhouses.There is also a pharmacy, a cafe, a full-service catering department and a store nutrition expert and nutrition center.The store is open 6 a.m. to midnight every day. The company offers a “ShopRite from Home” app with pick up from reserved parking spots, and will offer home delivery.ShopRite from home is a service that allows customers to place orders for pickup at a reserved section of the parking lot. The supermarket will offer home delivery. Photo courtesy ShopRite“Customers are excited, it’s a ‘wow,’ ” said Shrewsbury ShopRite store manager Mike Egan. “They’ve been waiting a while for ShopRite to come back to Shrewsbury,” he said, referring to a store that existed in the 1970s.Shrewsbury ShopRite store manager Mike Egan at the entrance of the store, where “Shrewsbury NJ” spelled out in oversized Scrabble tiles welcomes customers. Photo by Christina Johnson“Come check us out. We have a great staff, great people, and we’re happy to serve,” added Egan.This article was first published in the Nov. 15-21, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
“Despite this, Logan Wright was able to earn some meet records in the 25m butterfly, 25m freestyle and 25m backstroke,” Afford added.Trail Stingrays continue to be the team to beat on the Kootenay circuit, finishing on top of the standings with 1317.5 points.Rival Castlegar Aquanauts took second followed in third by host Kimberley.Golden, Grand Forks, Creston and Nelson finished respectively through seventh position.Cranbrook and Colville were eighth and ninth.Afford continues to be impressed with the competitive fight from Cowan and Matthew.“The division swimmers that did come did a tremendous job and many of them put up some great times that I know they will be able to improve at the coming meet,” explained Afford, who also grabbed a bronze medal in Division seven girls.The Neptunes travel to Colville, Wash., this weekend for the Kootenay Regional Championships.The top swimmers qualify for the Provincial meet later this month in Nanaimo. The Nelson Neptunes may be small in numbers, but the club is huge on heart.The Neptunes took a, dwarfed by recent standards, team to the East Kootenay to compete in the Kimberley meet — the final regular season stop on the Kootenay Summer Swim Association campaign.Still Nelson won three aggregate medals, two my stalwarts Sage Cowan and Samuel Matthew.Cowan finished second in Division four girls while Matthew also earned the runner-up prize in Division four boys.“Kimberley was a really small meet for us,” Neptune coach Rebecca Afford commented.“We only had 14 swimmers in attendance and five of them were novices who swim exhibition meaning they do not score the team any points.”
The BC Senior Men’s Champs are ready to reload as the rink begins quest for the top prize at the Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championships beginning Monday in Digby, Nova Scotia.The rink, consisting of Kelowna curlers skip Bob Ursel and third Dave Stephenson along with second Don Freschi of Trail and lead Fred Thomson of Nelson qualified for the Canadian Championships after dominating the BC Championships last month in Richmond.“We’re really excited,” said Nelson’s Fred Thomson prior to leaving Saturday for the Maritimes.“We played really well in Richmond and if we continue to play like that I like our chances at the Canadians and going for to the Worlds.”Team BC opens the Championships seeded seventh and is slotted into Pool B with Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut.First up Monday is Jeff Thomas from Newfoundland and Labrador at 12:30 p.m. EDT before Ursel and Company takes to the ice to meet Quebec’s Richard Faguy in the evening draw at 7:30 p.m.“We would have liked to have played the next day,” Thomson said when asked about the team’s — running on all cylinders performance — at Richmond, where foursome suffered on only one loss during the round robin before hammering defending champion Wes Craig 7-2 in the final. “Since we put this team together we’ve been on quite a remarkable run . . . we’re 28-1 this year,” Thomson added.“We’ve all been throwing a lot of rocks since Richmond and have a lot of experience playing at this level. Hopefully we can pick it up as soon as we get back to the ice (in Digby).”Playing at the Canadians, Thomson realizes the competition will be that much better than Richmond.Looking at the rinks that have qualified, he sees a ton of Brier and Canadian experience on the opposing teams.“It’s interesting looking at the field that is here, most of the rinks have at least one player who has played at the Brier,” Thomson explained.Having said that, Thomson said BC is included in that assessment.“Both Don (Freschi) and I have been to the Brier along with Bob (Ursel) who even beat Dave (Stephenson) to with the Canadian Juniors when he curled for Manitoba,” Thomson said.The field is broken into two seven-team pools. Teams play a preliminary round from Monday to Wednesday with the top four teams qualify for the Championship draw to seed for the Playoffs.The Semi Final is set for Saturday at 9 a.m. with the Final going at 3 p.m.These Championships combine the Men’s and Women’s rinks.The Ursel Rink will be have a solid crowd of supporters as the Women’s BC Champs also are from Kelowna, with skip Diane Foster, third Leanne Ursel, second Cindy Curtain and lead Sherry Heath carrying the provincial BC colours.