North American Real Estate Investing Still in High Demand

Jun 23, 16 North American Real Estate Investing Still in High Demand

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The Entrust Group released its annual Real Estate Investor Market Research Report for 2015, and it shows growing interest in real estate investments in retirement savings accounts. The states with the most market interest are Arizona, California, Texas, and Colorado. According to Ris Media, the Entrust Group is a well-known provider within the self-directed industry. The report includes trends showing where Individual Retirement Account (IRA) investors are purchasing property, what kinds of property they are buying, and how much they paid for it. “We know from our own client base that there is tremendous interest in investing in real estate when saving for one’s retirement. But it isn’t always easy to know where to invest, in what type of property, and at what price range. This report is part of Entrust’s commitment to educating investors and the professionals who advise them on how to take control of their retirement savings,” said Jason Craig, president of The Entrust Group. “It gives investors, real estate professionals, and retirement advisers an overview of the market and insights into strategies used by many investors.” Americans looking to use real estate investing as their retirement strategy are not the only ones interested in the United States real estate market. Reuters cites that both centi-millionaires and billionaire clients of Citigroup Inc’s private bank, many of whom are from China, are jumping at the opportunity to invest in luxury real estate in North America. Although recent trends indicate that the North American market is beginning to lose its popularity, clients continue to look for investment opportunities in the area. Considering that a third or more of real estate investors earn more than $75,000 annually, they will not be slowing down anytime soon. “It’s still quite robust,” Ida Liu, Citi Private Bank’s New York market head, said in an interview at Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit. “It’s the safest haven for them to...

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Amazon Hit With $350K Fine for Improper Shipping

Jun 23, 16 Amazon Hit With $350K Fine for Improper Shipping

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to hit Amazon.com Inc. for shipping potentially dangerous goods by air. The FAA proposed that Amazon pay $350,000 in fines. In 2014, the online retail giant shipped a product called “Amazing! LIQUID FIRE” from Kentucky to Colorado by air. The container holding the product was not properly packaged nor labeled correctly and leaked. As a result, nine UPS employees who came in contact with the container were treated with a chemical wash. What makes the case especially alarming is the fact that not only were the containers improperly labeled with emergency response information, but the employees handling the materials did not have proper training. Shipping makes up about 90% of the world’s trade, and strict guidelines are in place to prevent such occurrences. The fact that Amazon was able to get away with transporting hazardous material in such a way makes the situation even more serious. According to Gizmodo, the FAA has had its eye on Amazon for some time. In the last two years, it claims that the company “has violated the hazardous materials rules 24 times.” The company paid $91,000 as an apology for sending flammable liquid adhesive. The FAA is not just focused on Amazon but is cracking down on other companies violating shipping guidelines. The Wall Street Journal states that the FAA issued more than $4.5 million in civil penalties for improper shipment of dangerous materials aboard an aircraft. Amazon is expected to place stronger measures on its shipping capabilities in the future. “As they try to do more of the distribution using their own network of air and ground services, knowing the distinction between what can go by ground and what can go by air will become more and more important,” said Satish Jindel, founder of SJ Consulting Group Inc. “Before, when they were smaller, they didn’t have to make as many distinctions between ground and...

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2 Minnesota Companies Fined for Vikings Stadium Roofing Accident

Jun 23, 16 2 Minnesota Companies Fined for Vikings Stadium Roofing Accident

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Mortenson Construction and subcontractor Berwald Roofing now face fines in the amount of $173,400 for the on-site accident that killed one worker and injured another. The accident in question took place outside the U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings NFL team, in August 2015. Following an investigation by the state Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the two companies were cited for “serious” and “willful” safety violations. According to the Star Tribune, details of the citations and fines can be found on the federal Department of Labor’s website. The case is of particular interest because of the noted “willful” violation in the reports. Citations like this one are not commonly seen and are only issued when an investigation determines that an employer was aware of a hazardous condition and made no reasonable effort to eliminate it. When asked about the case, an OSHA spokesman declined to comment, as it is still open. CBS News reports that Jermie Gruber, 35, slid down roofing and broke through a guardrail, falling more than 50 feet to his death. Another employee was also seriously injured at the site and was also employed by Berwald Roofing of North St. Paul. Considering that roofs over 20 years old are more likely to succumb to the harsh winter conditions common in the Minnesota area, the companies should have been aware of the dangers that come with repairs for such a large stadium. “We were and remain deeply saddened by this terrible accident and understand how devastating it has been for all those affected by it, especially the families involved,” said Mortenson Construction in a statement. “At Mortenson, safety is a core value and we are committed to eliminating the risk of injury on all of our projects. We will never lose that focus and we will continue to ensure it is the foremost...

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The Summer British Invasion Begins with Challenger’s British Soccer Camp

Jun 16, 16 The Summer British Invasion Begins with Challenger’s British Soccer Camp

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For the seventh summer in a row, the Northwest Iowa Soccer Club brought in the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp. The purpose of the week-long camp is to help develop players on traveling Galaxy teams. According to the Spencer Daily Reporter, Challenger runs over 3,500 British soccer camps for over 120,000 children each year throughout the Midwest. Challenger coaches Warren Doyle, Nathan Green, Hannah Brindle and Ashley Hill, hosted three-hour sessions twice daily to work with teens in the Spencer area. Doyle began working with Challenger in the summer of 2009 while in college. Since then, he has returned twice to for the coaching opportunity. “You’d think back home there’d be a lot of opportunities for coaches. There’s far more here, and your facilities are just fantastic compared to the U.K. That makes our job easier because we can just turn up at the field,” Doyle said. “You’ve got proper goals with nets, and the kids aren’t running about vandalizing the place. That’s pretty much what I’ve experienced across America. Different story back home, unfortunately, but it is what it is I guess.” Considering that soccer is played by more than 250 million players in over 200 countries around the world, opportunities such as this camp are especially unique. Challenger Sports also teamed up with the City of Russellville Parks and Recreation to host a week-long soccer camp there as well. “When I first came in 2009, (soccer) was quite big then but I think subsequent World Cups have massively helped, and the U.S. has really embraced soccer,” Doyle said. “It’s funny because back home if you want to watch a live Premier League game, there are no live games on at 3 in the afternoon on a Saturday when most kickoff times are, yet over here you can watch every game. That to me spoke volumes about the hunger for soccer in America. The best thing for us is it gives us a really good opportunity to...

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Seat Belt Traffic Stop During ‘Click It or Ticket’ Campaign Led to Drug Bust

Jun 13, 16 Seat Belt Traffic Stop During ‘Click It or Ticket’ Campaign Led to Drug Bust

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The final days of a seat belt enforcement campaign has led to, of all things, a drug bust in New Jersey. The nationwide “Click It or Ticket” campaign has just wrapped up. According to Door County Daily News, the annual campaign lasts from the last two weeks of May, through Memorial Day weekend, and then ends during the first week of June. The campaign calls for law enforcement agencies across the country to step up their patrol for drivers who are not wearing seat belts and give more tickets to violators. In New Jersey, according to Asbury Park Press, a Click It or Ticket detail during the final days of the campaign led to a big drug bust. Officer Zach Rhein pulled over two 20-year-olds driving a 2013 Chrysler 300. The reason for the pullover: they were not wearing their seat belts. The driver, Dante Dalessandro, and passenger, Jesse Puleo, had a little more to worry about than just a seat belt ticket. Dalessandro and Puleo, being 20-year-old males, fell right into the demographic for least likely to wear their seat belts. According to the Center for Disease Control, drivers who are 18- to 34-year-old males are the most likely to not wear sear belts. Officer Rhein quickly realized that this was not just an ordinary Click It or Ticket stop and that drugs may be involved. “Further investigation revealed that Dalessandro had over a pound of ray marijuana within the vehicle and was unlawfully in possession of an expandable baton,” said Timothy Torchia, a Detective Lt. and spokesman for the police department. “Puleo was also found to be in possession of marijuana less than 50 grams.” Dalessandro was charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute in a school zone, unlawful weapon possession, paraphernalia possession, and possession over 50 grams. Puleo is facing a charge of marijuana possession under 50 grams and neglecting to wear his seat...

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