BOSTON, MA — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today sent a letter to Columbia Gas demanding answers about the company’s plans for the safe and expeditious restoration of gas and fair compensation for affected residents in the Merrimack Valley following the devastating fires and explosions earlier this month.“In the wake of this tragedy, I have heard from many residents and businesses who have suffered significant losses yet remain in the dark about Columbia Gas’ claims process and the plans for restoring gas service,” said AG Healey. “I am demanding information from Columbia Gas about their specific plans because these people need and deserve answers and clarity as they rebuild their lives and communities.”In her letter, AG Healey notes that the failure of the Columbia Gas distribution system resulted in death, serious injury, the loss of homes and small businesses, and disruption of gas services for heating, hot water and cooking for thousands of residents in the company’s Merrimack Valley territory.As the state’s ratepayer advocate and chief law enforcement officer, AG Healey is committed to ensuring that Columbia Gas lays out their plan for implementing the recovery process, including gas restoration and compensation for those affected, and that ratepayers do not bear any of the costs associated with those efforts.The letter requests a meeting with Columbia Gas executives next week to discuss how they plan to implement the recovery effort, specifically:Ensuring that pipes are replaced in a safe manner and that the new pipes will result in a safe gas distribution service going forward.Ensuring the safety of all its Massachusetts territories while working on recovery efforts in its Merrimack Valley territory.Making sure that customers are receiving timely and complete information regarding the company’s restoration plan, including considering a text-messaging or similar real-time communications system (with an opt-out provision) that would reach all affected customers.Developing a plan for paying the electric bills of its customers who are forced to rely on electric space heaters and hot plates.Accommodating customers who choose to make alternative housing arrangements.Clarifying how the company intends to pay customers for losses incurred related to this disaster.Providing the AG’s Office with copies of the company’s internal claims procedure and any claims form it intends to use.Ensuring affected customers can easily obtain alternative heating sources for their homes and, if they choose, permanently transition to energy efficient, clean technologies without any additional costs.Addressing how work will be completed if a property owner is not present to authorize repairs.Clarifying in a written statement its plan to not bill affected customers for any gas service until service is restored.Confirming and ensuring that customers will not pay for any part of this disaster through the regulatory ratemaking process.Earlier this week, AG Healey sent Columbia Gas and NiSource orders to preserve documents for a potential state investigation.AG Healey has also issued two advisories offering guidance and resources in her office to support Merrimack Valley residents and businesses recovering from this tragedy. The AG’s Office issued an advisory about giving wisely to charities and knowing your consumer rights and this week announced a new hotline for residents and business owners with questions and concerns to connect with specialists in the office. The AG’s Office also provided guidance about legal representation and home improvement scams. The AG’s Office has been and will continue to send staff to assist individuals at the claims center in Lawrence.For more information or assistance, contact the Attorney General’s dedicated hotline for Merrimack Valley residents at (617) 573-5370. It is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Consumers can also obtain guidance and resources at the AG’s dedicated webpage at mass.gov/ago/merrimackvalley.(NOTE: The above press release is from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedAttorney General Files Comments with FERC Urging Caution on Kinder Morgan PipelineIn “Government”Lender To Cancel $1.6 Million In Loans Made To Former ITT Tech Students At Wilmington & Norwood CampusesIn “Government”Attorney General Awards Middlesex Sheriff’s Office A Healthy Summer Youth Jobs GrantIn “Police Log”
30 Photos Post a comment Preview • A new Amazon Echo is here. Catch up on Alexa’s upgraded home 4:40 Smart Speakers & Displays See it News • Amazon Echo Dot deal: 3 for $70 Mentioned Above Amazon Echo (2017,Heather Gray Fabric) Amazon Echo CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 0 Review • Amazon’s new Echo improves upon the original, slashes the price Now playing: Watch this: New Amazon Echo Dot plays defense against Google How To • How to sell your old Amazon Echo 2018 was a good year for the Amazon Echo. Chris Monroe/CNET It seems like Alexa has had a busy 2018. On Wednesday, Amazon released some year-end stats about its Alexa smart assistant and Amazon Echo devices — and the numbers are pretty impressive.Amazon says that it sold tens of millions of Echo devices this year. While Amazon doesn’t give an exact sales number, it shows other ways in which Alexa is booming.According to Amazon, the number of people who use Alexa every day doubled in 2018. The number of people who own more than one Echo device has doubled too. The number of things Alexa can do for you has also skyrocketed — developers have made more than 70,000 skills for Alexa.Alexa is showing up in more places. There are now more than 28,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 4,500 different brands. Alexa learned several new languages this year, and has new native experiences in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico.Another impressive statistic: Alexa told over 100 million jokes in 2018 alone.As more people buy Echo devices and more partners hop on board, the number of things you can do with Alexa grows. So that Echo smart speaker you bought years ago will continue to feel fresh. Share your voice Tags Echo Dot, Home Mini, and Simplisafe: The best smart home Christmas gifts for 2018 $99 Alexa Amazon
YouTube: Secureteam10A mysterious video clip uploaded to YouTube by a channel named ‘The Hidden Underbelly’ is now the hottest debating point among alien enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists. The video shows a seemingly triangular shaped UFO hovering in the skies, and at times, it emanates lights from its well-defined edges.The conspiracy theory YouTube channel revealed that the strange clip was shot from Canada. The channel also argues that the UFO spotted in the skies has a silver body.The video soon went viral, and many alien enthusiasts claimed that the craft might be actually an alien ship from deep space. These people also alleged that governments all across the world and space agencies like NASA are well aware of alien visits, but they are intentionally hiding the truth fearing public panic.However, popular alien researcher Scott C Waring suggested a different theory to explain this weird UFO sighting. After analyzing the characteristics of the flying object, Waring assured that this spacecraft could be manmade. He also added that this UFO might be actually the most secretive TR-3B developed by the United States Air Force during the time of Gulf War.”This particular UFO appears to deliberately move down into the cover of the clouds. The fact that we see a grey metallic surface makes me wonder…usually alien UFOs have up a shield when hiding…which is usually semi-transparent. I do not see that here. Nor are they taking on the color of the cloud, which is odd, because the shield around the craft should be reflecting a similar color on purpose. I think this is a USAF TR3B experimental craft or one of the evolutions of that craft,” wrote Waring on his website ET Data Base.Waring also added that the TR-3B is developed by the United States Air Force using alien technology and reverse engineering.A few days back, conspiracy theory channel ‘UFO Mania’ had uploaded a similar video shot from Puerto Rico. Interestingly, the UFO spotted in that video also featured a triangular flying object, and many people alleged that the United States is using these crafts to spy on other countries.
Following State Bank of India’s lead on Monday to sharply cut the marginal cost-based lending rate — the rate at which banks now lend to new borrowers — by 90 bps to 8 percent, rest of the PSU and private sector banks have no option but to follow suit. By Monday night itself, at least half a dozen banks announced the rate slash for different tenures. Comparison of interest rates on deposits by senior citizens after PM Modi’s speechWhile Punjab National Bank reduced the overnight lending rate by 70 basis points to 8.20 percent, Union Bank of India lowered the rates by 65-90 bps for different tenures. Similarly, Dena Bank, IDBI Bank and private sector lenders Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank had to cut down rates.SBI announced the cut a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked banks to prioritise lending to the poor and the middle class. Banks are believed to be flushed with deposits following demonetisation of old high denomination currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500.The move to cut the lending rate is expected to prompt an increase in credit offtake of banks — especially of state-run lenders — whose balance sheets are under substantial burden.However, leading brokerages are of the view that cutting lending rates of such a sheer magnitude would squeeze the net interest margins of banks and the trend may well persist for at least a few quarters. In a report on SBI, a Deutsche Bank note warned: “A 90 bps one-go rate cut is sharp and will be negative for NIMs. Though this is only for incremental loans and the immediate impact on NIMs will be gradual, but pressure will persist for at least next 4 quarters as loans reprice downwards.”A CLSA report stated that the lending rate cuts will boost credit demand in retail segments such as housing loans and any impact on margins will be mitigated as MCLR will apply only to incremental loans, as reported by the Economic Times.”A 5bps lower NIM in FY18 could impact earnings by 4%, with a higher impact on PSU banks,” said CLSA.Analysts expressed surprise at the quantum of MCLR cuts — which they primarily believe is a result of demonetisation-led excess liquidity in the banking system — and said the implication of the lending rate cut is likely to be negative for both banks as well as NBFCs, particularly catering to the housing loan segment.Shares of banks and housing finance companies, including LIC Housing Finance, HDFC, Indiabulls Housing Finance, remained under pressure on Monday in trade and may continue to underperform in the coming weeks.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Friday that the state has secured investment proposals worth Rs 2.84 lakh crore in the Bengal Global Business Summit 2019, which is expected to create 8 to 10 lakh jobs in the state.”We have received proposals worth Rs 2,84,288 crore. This is the achievement of BGBS. Investment means business and business means creation of jobs. Whatever investment proposals we have received, will create an additional 8 to 10 lakh jobs in the state,” said Banerjee while speaking at the concluding session of the fifth edition of the two-day summit. Last year, the state had received investment proposals worth Rs 2,19,925 crore. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”86 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed, 45 business to consumer (B2C) and 1,200 business to business (B2B) meetings were held in these two days. Don’t you think it is a remarkable success? This itself proves the credibility, accountability and sincerity of the participants and the state government,” she said, reiterating that India should tread the path of Bengal in near future. “We don’t allow strikes, suspension of work and workers’ unrest. Our workers are our assets. We have talented youths. Our focus is always on creating more jobs,” she asserted. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”It is because of you (delegates) that Bengal has successfully organised the conference. No state in India can do the same like this. With our initiatives and vision, we prove that Bengal is not only the best but also the destination of investments for near future,” Banerjee added. She reiterated that while India has lost 2 crore jobs in 2018 due to demonetisation and hasty implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST), Bengal has reduced unemployment by 40 percent. The Chief Minister also announced that the state has already added another 100 acres in the Silicon Valley Hub in New Town, in order to accommodate a host of IT firms and academic institutes, namely Capgemini, Tech Mahindra, ISI, Society for Applied Microwave Research and others. The total area of the Silicon Valley will thus be 200 acres. Later, while addressing a Press conference, state Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra said that 40 percent of the cumulative investment proposals received in the last four summits have been fructified. A report in this regard has been submitted to the Assembly, he said. The state government has also decided that the IT companies of Bantala that are eager to shift to Silicon Valley can do so. “The move will lead to a huge scope for employment in the IT sector,” said Mitra who is also the IT minister. An additional 70 acres has been added in the Bantala Leather Complex to accommodate tanneries from Kanpur and Chennai. The complex currently employs a workforce of 1.2 lakh and with the additional units, it will employ an additional two lakh people. According to Mitra, 51 delegates from UK, 63 from the Republic of Korea, 28 from Italy, 35 from Germany, 35 from Poland, 47 from Japan and 26 from USA participated in the summit. Two apps were launched on the occasion, namely the Shipadisha app for addressing grievances of industrialists and Export Facilitation mobile app for connecting artisans with global exporters. The Chief Minister invited industrialists and overseas delegates to attend the next edition of the global investors’ meet, along with their family members.