Traffic stop nets 4.6 pounds of pot, $23K in cash

by Shelton on August 31st, 2014

filed under Business Loans

A traffic stop on I-20 ended with an arrest when a Rockdale County deputy found 4.6 pounds of marijuana and more than $23,000 cash inside the vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.

A deputy stopped a car on I-20 around 10:30 pm Tuesday and could smell raw marijuana, according to the sheriff’s office. Inside, the deputy found the marijuana and cash.

The driver, Michael Rashawn Preston, 35, of Conyers, was arrested for failure to maintain lane and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Preston was being held Tuesday afternoon in the Rockdale County Jail without bond.

Letter carrier busted for allegedly stealing cash, gift cards from mail

by Shelton on August 31st, 2014

filed under Business Loans

Investigators say an Indiana letter carrier, trusted with delivering the mail, was instead stealing money from peoples birthday cards.

The US Postal Service says it used special agents in a sting operation to catch the woman in the act in Mitchell in Lawrence County.

Mike Conley could hardly believe it happened, let alone three times.

You just dont expect that from somebody you trust, Conley said. You just feel like, Hey, Ive been cheated. Ive been robbed.

He discovered gifts and cash missing from his own mailbox in November, February and again in May.

First, one of our sons birthday cards showed up and it was ripped open and the card was gone, Conley explained. Then we had another one show up the same way. And then, I sent a card with a gift card inside to family up north. When it got there, it was open crumpled up, ripped up and things were gone from inside of it. It makes you angry. You know, I lost $100 worth of gift cards.

Conley wrote an email, complaining to the postal service about the missing money, and soon discovered he wasnt alone. According to court documents, for months, the post office had received complaints of cards ripped open and the cash and gifts inside – gone.

The target was always greeting cards and the complains all came from the same rural mail route in Mitchell.

Its amazing what some people do for $15 or $20 or a gift card, said Mitchell resident Eddie Arnold. You know that some grandma probably sent money to their grandkid.

The postmaster had a sneaking suspicion who was behind the crime. So agents set up a sting, placing bait greeting cards and cash along that same rural route.

Sure enough, the cards and money came up missing.

That led investigators to their suspect: the woman delivering the mail, Beth Dumond, a 20-year letter carrier.

I was surprised. I was real surprised. You dont expect that out of your postal worker, Conley said. I didnt expect it to be her.

Inside Dumonds vehicle, court documents say agents discovered opened greeting cards, invisible tape, letter openers and a knife, along with more than $100 in cash and gift cards.

Dumond was arrested, jailed and charged.

Her customers say it was much more than theft. They feel this was a case of stolen trust.

Its my mail lady. Shes not gonna rip me off! Its a trust thing, for sure. You just trust your postal worker, Conley said.

Dumond has bonded out of the Lawrence County Jail. She faces charges of theft, official misconduct and resisting arrest. Special agents say shed likely been stealing from her customers greeting cards since October.

Read the probable cause affidavit

WNBA star Swin Cash part of historic all-female sports show

by Shelton on August 30th, 2014

filed under Business Loans

USA Basketball released its official training-camp roster on Monday and a big name was curiously not included, three-time WNBA champion Swin Cash. But Cash said she retired from the national team after the London Olympics, winning her second gold medal.

And on Tuesday, Cash was part of a bigger press release.

CBS officially announced it will launch the first-ever, all-female national weekly sports show. We Need to Talk will debut on Sept. 30 at 7pm PT on CBS Sports Network. It should run every Tuesday thereafter.

The title is unsettling. Those four words are the most dreaded to hear in any relationship. But its about time the women whove been tucked on the sideline or squeezed in between two men debating about sports finally get their say. Perhaps thats the meaning behind the show title? We do need to talk and do have a valid opinion on everything sports.

ESPN was met with a lot of flack with a separate but equal approach to female-centric sports coverage that still hasnt been reached on its ESPNW website. CBS hopes to be a different spin since its simply women talking about sports, which many more of us do competently everyday. In the words of Becky Hammon, when it comes to things of the mind, men are no more capable than women.

We Need To Talk is billed as bringing together the most accomplished women to share their knowledge and opinions by offering a unique perspective on the entire sports landscape not just womens sports. The already reputable CBS womens crew (and perhaps a few stolen from ESPN and Foxs great female bunch) will be joined by the likes of former women TV and radio personalities, team executives, and former and current athletes.

Thats where Cash enters the fold.

As a passionate sports fan, as well as an athlete, Im excited to be a part of (the program), Cash said in a released statement. Especially at a time when the influence of women in sports has evolved to where it is today.

Cash, whos also recently engaged, just completed the worst season of her 13-year WNBA career. After leading Chicago to the franchises first postseason appearance in 2013, she signed with Atlanta and was traded midseason to New York. The Liberty (15-19) failed to advance to the postseason, Cash averaging 4.5 points in an averaged 16.2 minutes off the bench.

While her playing career may be in limbo, Cash assured me she doesnt plan on retiring from the WNBA. (I) would never end my career the way this season played out, she responded in a direct message via Twitter. Cash, 34, has long started to build a career off the court.

As Cash helped Seattle win its 2010 WNBA championship, she made TV appearances talking about the NBA, Olympics and recently was a guest on MSNBCs Melissa Harris-Perry show discussing college athletes unionizing.

At the WNBA All-Star game in July, Cash hosted a roundtable with Diana Taurasi (Phoenix), Maya Moore (Minnesota), Candace Parker (Los Angeles), and Tamika Catchings (Indiana) that was well received.

Cash joins WNBA legend Lisa Leslie as athletes from the league wholl be part of CBS ground-breaking show.

In a recent Twitter discussion with some of my followers, the point was made that womens sports fans can no longer gripe about their sports not being covered considering all of the platforms that shed a light on the niche college and pro leagues. Im looking forward to seeing if We Need To Talk also gives women in sports a needed voice.

Heres Cashs roundtable from the WNBA All-Star game:

Heres more about We Need To Talk from CBS:


Existing Home Sales Reach 10-Month Best; Low Mortgage Rates Boost …

by Shelton on August 30th, 2014

filed under Below Average Credit

Existing Home Sales Reach 10-Month Best; Low Mortgage Rates Boost Purchasing Power

  • Real Estate Sales

Low Mortgage Rates Boost Home Sales

Todays mortgage rates are the lowest theyve been in 61 weeks; and the effects of low rates may be trickling up to housing.

In July, home resales crossed five million on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis for the second consecutive month — despite a limited number of homes for sale nationwide. Purchasing power is high and todays home buyers are taking advantage.

Low mortgage rates wont likely last.

Click to see todays mortgage rates.

Existing Home Sales Up For 5th Straight Month

The National Association of REALTORS® recently released its July 2014 Existing Home Sales report, which showed 5.15 million homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. Its a 2.4 percent improvement over the month prior and the fifth straight month in which home sales have climbed.

Julys homes sales tally is the highest annualized total of the year and the largest in 10 months. Yet, on a year-over-year basis, home resales are off.

As compared to July of last year, home resales are down four percent.

Meanwhile, over the same period of time, the average home sale price is up five percent. This is because home sales have shifted toward high price points and away from low ones.

  • Home sales between $0-100,000 : -13% since last year
  • Home sales between $100,000-$250,000 : -3% since last year
  • Home sales between $750,000-$1,000,000 : +1% since last year
  • Home sales over $1,000,000 : +5% since last year

Furthermore, Julys jump in Existing Home Sales was mostly unexpected; it had been forecast by the Pending Home Sales Index, which is also published by NAR.  

The Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of US homes under contract, but not yet closed. 80% of homes under contract close within 60 days, so there is a very high correlation between the Pending Home Sales Index and the monthly Existing Home Sales report.

The most recent Pending Home Sales Index data projected Julys home resales to tally near 5.1 million on an annualized basis. The actual Existing Home Sales reading exceeded its projection, slightly.

One reason why may be that mortgages are closing more quickly in todays market. Lenders have used technology to get more efficient, and approve more loans. Purchase loans now average 38 days from application-to-closing — a 17% improvement from one year ago.

Plus, mortgage rates are getting quoted in the 3s.

Click to get a live mortgage rate quote. 

Buying Homes With Low Or No Downpayment 

Home sales are rising nationwide. Prices are rising as demand for home stays strong.

In July, according to the Existing Home Sales report, the national home supply was 5.5 months. This means that, at the current pace of sales, the entire inventory of US homes for sale would sell out in five-and-one-half months.

Home supply of less than 6.0 months connotes a Sellers Market; one in which home sellers have negotiation leverage over buyers and in which demand for homes is high.

Existing Home Supply has been below six months since August 2012.

The good news is that todays home buyers are able to finance their purchases via a growing number of mortgage programs, including low-downpayment loans, no downpayment loans, and loans for luxury homes.

Among the most popular options with todays low-downpayment buyers is the FHA loan. FHA loans require just 3.5% down and offer flexible mortgage approval terms, including an allowance for average and below-average credit scores.

Another common low-downpayment option is the Fannie Mae 95% program. This government-backed loan tends to work well for buyers with above-average credit scores who are buying single-family, detached properties (ie not condos or town homes).

For buyers in rural and suburban areas, the USDA loan is an excellent no-downpayment option. The zero-down loan is backed by the US Department of Agriculture and can provide below-market mortgage rates to applicants who use it.

Lastly, as the mortgage market has loosened, so have requirements for the fixed-rate and adjustable-rate jumbo mortgages.

Many banks now require just 10% down for a jumbo loan; and have lowered their minimum credit score requirement. This has helped spur the luxury housing market forward and is one reason why home sales over $750,000 continue to make gains.

Get Todays Mortgage Rates Now 

Buoyed by the lowest mortgage rates in more than one year, the US housing market is advancing. Home sales are rising and so are home values. Its an excellent time to consider your options as a buyer; and plan for your future as a homeowner.

See todays live mortgage rates now. Rates are available at no cost and with no social security number required to get started. There is no obligation to proceed whatsoever.

Click here to get started.

Smallest Startups Rely On Personal Funding Sources

by Shelton on August 29th, 2014

filed under Personal Funding

Rather than using traditional loans to fund their businesses, the majority of small business owners dig into their own bank accounts to keep their companies afloat.

More than 60 percent of microbusiness owners rely on non-retirement, personal savings as the lead source of funding for their businesses, according to the Sams Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker. Additionally, US microbusinesses defined as those with five or fewer employees started in the past year are 30 percent more likely than mature companies to use the owners personal savings to maintain the business.

Other popular sources of funding for microbusinesses include credit cards and money from family and friends. The research revealed, however, that less than 3 percent of US microbusiness owners rely on government loans, small business loans or crowdfunding to support their businesses.

Woman accused of trying to rob cash advance store arraigned

by Shelton on August 29th, 2014

filed under Business Loans

Police say Kiana Beard held up the Cash Advance in the 3400 block of Bardstown Road.

According to officers, after demanding $500, she assaulted a 67-year-old clerk with a doorknob and bit her face.

Beard is also accused of fighting with officers and hospital personnel while trying to escape custody at University Hospital.

Shes charged with assault and robbery.

Reassessing Nigeria’s Housing Deficit

by Shelton on August 28th, 2014

filed under Personal Funding

Shelter is the most important human need after food but ironically is not easily available to the low and middle class in Nigeria. However the housing sector according to expert could be a prime driver of socio-economic development in terms of employment creation if its potentials are fully harnessed.

Nigeria has a huge market for the housing sector. It has been estimated that 17million housing deficit exist in Nigeria. The huge deficit exist because of challenges plaguing the sector such as high cost of buying land and houses; the low and no-income earners are the highest hit by this factor, poor mortgage system, non availability of lands, double taxation, difficulty in getting titles, cost of cement, lack of trained artisans, to mention a few.

Some developers over the years have constantly cried over the non availability of land and lack of fund to carry out a desired project. Most times getting mortgages is cumbersome so some resort to personal funding which may not be much. Other means fund were raised where through Joint Venture Partnership (JVP). Joint venture partnership is collaboration between real estate firms and land owners. In the process the land is given to the developer by the JVP as their equity contribution to mass housing development. As such the cost is pushed to the end user making it difficult for the low and no-income earner to own a house. Others that sont operate the joint venture partnership are left with no option than to buy land at very high rate making the end cost very unrealistic for the average Nigerian.

However with all the challenges experienced in the housing sector, the minister of lands, housing and urban development Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi has assured that the present administration concern is to make sure that every Nigerian own a house. In order to make things done more smoothly and the desired result achieved, she recently inaugurated three committees namely the ministerial committee on presidential initiative on the delivery of 10,000 housing units under the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) housing finance scheme, ministerial committee on verification and audition of federal government lands and landed property in the 36 states and the FCT, and ministerial committee on National Housing Survey.

Stressing the importance of the different committee she said the National Housing Survey committee will help reassessing the 17million housing deficit that has been previously estimated. She explained that the NHS committee will first look into the houses that have been constructed during the present administration. Then for the 36 states of the federation, it will need going out into all the states and take into consideration houses built by government, by individuals, private developers to give us a larger picture of the total housing that we have. Than we can compare the total population of Nigeria and what the number of the houses that we have to be able to draw a decision on the deficit. Today we still hold on to the 17million deficit, it could be more or less. That’s why I need that verification, she said.

On the role the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) has it reducing the huge housing deficit, she said the sole reason it was created is to provide finance for housing.

“In the past you have developers coming to finance houses and when for example the civil servants who are supposed to be the off takers may not have the full money to buy off the full house or may not have the 10 per cent required to pay down. For any mortgage an individual is suppose to pay 10 per cent down before the mortgage institution will spread the remaining one over a period of time. What the NMRC will do in this situation will ensure that the PMI are funded to ensure that anytime the developer come up, the off taker will have where to live on easily to be able to take the house and the money can be easily revolved to take place,” she explained.

Ekakenyi further disclosed that while the financing is being controlled by the minister of finance, the ministry of housing will provide land for the structures as even if the money is readily available if there is no land, there is no housing for all can be achieved.

To further ensure that the specific needs of Nigerians are met a website was created for Nigerians to specify the type of houses they want be it a one bedroom or three bedroom apartment. She said houses will always be built based on interest. While adding that the NMRC will official launch take off in August. “In august we are going to launch the ground breaking ceremony of the NMRC. Because of the technicalities involved we think maximum 6 months we will be able to tell Nigerians this is what we can show. It will be done in phases. In the next 6 months we will ensure that houses will start springing up for Nigerians.”

However Nigerians through union associations have argued that fund from the NMRC should not be placed in the hands of private developers who are profit driven if affordable housing is to be achieved but instead should be given to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) which has the mandate of delivering housing to Nigerians.

LLWS player has brother named Cash Money

by Shelton on August 28th, 2014

filed under Business Loans

More LLWS: MoNe Davis makes history | Fun pregame ritual

Well this is fun. As the Little League World Series moves on, take note of the profile of Tennessee player Blake Money:

Yep, Cash Money. And here he is, already embracing his roots.

Guys and gals, this is very important. Tell everyone you know.

Johnny Cash Music Festival sold out

by Shelton on August 27th, 2014

filed under Business Loans

JONESBORO, Ark. — The fourth annual Johnny Cash Music Festival is officially sold out as of today, according to a joint announcement made by festival producer Bill Carter and Tim Dean, director of Arkansas State Universitys Convocation Center. The concert stars Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn and Bobby Bare, three Country Music Hall of Fame members, and is scheduled for 7 pm Friday, Aug. 15, at the Convocation Center on the campus of Arkansas State University.

Its always rewarding to be a part of a sold-out show, said Carter. But this show is especially gratifying because the money is going to two great causes – completion of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess, and college scholarships to Arkansas State in Johnnys name. Every artist who has played this festival and Johnnys children, are very proud that JohnnyThe fourth annual Johnny Cash Music Festival is officially sold out as of today, according to a joint announcement made by festival producer Bill Carter and Tim Dean, director of Arkansas State Universitys Convocation Center.s legacy helps young people get an education.

We are ecstatic to have this amazing talent at our event this year, said Dean. To have three Country Music Hall of Fame members on the same stage outside of Nashville is a feat in itself, and that has been a big factor in this concert selling out. But its also because the event itself has grown legs of its own and has a worldwide reputation. In fact, we have fans from four different countries represented at this years show. It is gratifying to know that future generations will have the opportunity to embrace where Johnny Cash came from when they visit his Boyhood Home.

I cant think of a better way to begin the next stage of our relationship with the Cash family legacy than a sold-out crowd for this years festival, Arkansas State Chancellor Tim Hudson said. With the opening of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home on Saturday, it is a fitting tribute to our years of collaboration. We want to thank all the artists over the past four years who contributed their talents to our concerts, to their thousands of fans and our local sponsors. Their combined support has made possible the restoration as well as a scholarship endowment for students with very similar backgrounds to the Cash family to attend Arkansas State.

Over the past four years, a portion of the money raised at each concert has gone towards the purchase and refurbishing of Cashs Boyhood Home in Dyess, Ark. Cash and his family lived in the home from 1935 through December 1953. On Aug. 16, the site will have its official grand opening with a dedication ceremony set to start at 10 am CT. While the concert is sold out, fans of the superstar still have an opportunity to visit his Boyhood Home. A limited number of tickets for opening day are still available and can be purchased at

The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home was part of a community established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s as a Depression-era agricultural resettlement colony. Part of the New Deal program, it provided an opportunity for destitute farmers, who were advanced 20 or 40 acres of farmland, a mule, a small home and money to buy food and plant crops–with the understanding that if they were successful theyd pay back the government.

I lived the first 17 years of my life in that house, said Joanne Cash Yates, Johnnys younger sister and an integral part of the refurbishing of the house. Little by little, every piece found its place. It has been a wonderful process. They say you cant go back, but Tommy (Cashs brother) and I went back today and we thank everyone for that. Every item in the house is where it was then. What you see in the house is what we had. There were a whole lot of tears today, but its been such joy.

Recalling memories during a special VIP tour of the home, Joanne Cash Yates added, Mommas piano was such a peaceful thing for her to play. It was healing for her and to get away from the farm for a while. John would make cocoa, sugar fudge with peanuts, and sit and listen to the radio.

Dr. Ruth Hawkins, head of the universitys Heritage Sites program, is the guiding force behind the restoration project. The project serves as a laboratory for Arkansas State students in the Heritage Studies PhD program. Students have done much of the research and are assisting with oral history interviews, interpretation, programming and other aspects of the project. The Administration Building and the Cash boyhood home represent the first phase of the master plan.

Saline County Prosecutor Investigating Bryant Finances for "Improper …

by Shelton on August 27th, 2014

filed under Finances

BRYANT, AR – A routine Legislative Audit into Bryants finances for the year 2012 found $5,573 that werent properly documented.