18Dec/20

Roosevelt Man ID’d as Murder Victim

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 27-year-old Roosevelt man has been identified as the man whose dead body was found on the side of Meadowbrook State Parkway in Freeport last week.New York State police are investigating the murder of Kelvin Rolando Cruz Martinez, who was discovered in a wooded area west of the parkway and north of Sunrise Highway on May 8.A day laborer had been found dead in the same woods last year. Nassau County police had found a 46-year-old Hempstead man dead in a nearby Roosevelt preserve two months ago.Police said there a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest in Martinez’ case.Any person with information please contact 631-756-3300 or e-mail tips to lmajcrim@troopers.ny.gov. All calls will be kept confidential.last_img read more

18Dec/20

Who Controls the Kochs’ Political Network?

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Libertarian billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch were among the first to grasp the political potential of social welfare groups and trade associations—nonprofits that can spend money to influence elections but don’t have to name their donors.The Kochs and their allies have built up a complex network of such organizations, which spent more than $383 million in the run-up to the 2012 election alone.Documents released in recent months show the Kochs have added wrinkles to their network that even experts well versed in tax law and campaign finance say they’ve never seen before—wrinkles that could make it harder to discern who controls each nonprofit in the web and how it disperses its money.A review of 2012 tax returns filed by Koch network groups shows that most have been set up as nonprofit trusts rather than not-for-profit corporations, an unusual step that reduces their public reporting requirements.It sounds complicated and arcane because it is. Some of the nation’s top nonprofit experts said they could only speculate on the reasons for the network’s increasingly elaborate setup.“My guess is that we’re looking at various forms of disguise—to disguise control, to disguise the flow of funds from one entity to another,” said Gregory Colvin, a tax lawyer and campaign-finance specialist in San Francisco who reviewed all the documents for ProPublica.Four other leading nonprofit experts and three conservative operatives with knowledge of the Koch network said the most likely reason that the Kochs and their inner circle are using this arrangement was to exert control over the groups without saying publicly who was in charge. In particular, they said, the Kochs likely wanted to prevent any of the groups that they help fund from going against their wishes—as happened with the Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank the Kochs had long supported before they got into a dispute with its president, Ed Crane.After a top Cato official ridiculed Charles Koch in a 2010 New Yorker article, the brothers pushed to put allies on the think tank’s board. The following year, they pressed Cato to provide “intellectual ammunition” for their oldest politically active nonprofit, Americans for Prosperity, Cato officials later alleged. The dispute was settled in 2012, with the departure of Crane and the installation of a traditional board. (Cato previously was controlled by four private shareholders, including the Kochs, an unusual setup for a nonprofit.)Robert Levy, Cato’s board chairman, told ProPublica that while he didn’t disagree with the Kochs’ aims, Cato’s leaders were uncomfortable with serving as advocates for their political agenda.“The Kochs had their notions about what they wanted to focus on, and those tended to focus on intellectual ammunition for what their political ambitions were,” Levy said in an interview last fall. “We didn’t disagree with that, but we didn’t want to operate at the direction of the Kochs. We’re not involved in electoral politics. We are strictly nonpartisan.”The Kochs have disputed the allegation that they tried to force Cato to do their political bidding.In this story, we define the Koch network as including 12 nonprofits active in 2012—11 social welfare nonprofits and one trade association. These nonprofits all shared the same attributes: They used LLCs, installed Koch allies at the helm and hired the same set of lawyers. (We did not include think tanks, foundations or other charities, nor the like-minded groups that are funded by the Kochs.)Officials with Koch Industries and groups in the Koch network did not respond to calls or written questions from ProPublica.When asked about his involvement with Americans for Prosperity in a rare interview with the Wichita Business Journal last month, Charles Koch downplayed his political activity, saying he and his brother did not have day-to-day involvement with the group.“Listen, if I could do everything that’s attributed to me, I would be a very busy boy,” he told the Journal.Here’s what we know so far about how the Koch network uses trusts and LLCs, as well as the advantages they may offer.Disregarded EntitiesAs of 2012,all 12 Koch network groups had offshoots known as “disregarded entities”—LLCs that are “owned” by their parent nonprofits and are considered part of them for tax purposes.The first such LLC sprang up in February 2010, when Sean Noble, the head of a Koch network nonprofit called the Center to Protect Patient Rights, formed SDN LLC, using the initials of his own name. (ProPublica wrote a story last month about Noble, the Koch network’s money man in 2010 and 2012.)Koch network groups came to have a total of 19 disregarded entities, tax records show; Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a trade association that distributed almost $236 million to other nonprofits in the year before the 2012 election, led the way with five.Unlike corporations, LLCs set up in Delaware are not required to disclose who runs them. The only documentation available is the name of the person who creates them. In the Koch network, 11 of the disregarded entities were formed by the same Chicago trust lawyer, Jonathan Graber. Most had nonsensical strings of letters for names, like SLAH, ORRA or DAS MGR. All were set up in Delaware.Charities typically use disregarded entities to protect themselves from liability. For instance, they’ll hold property in a disregarded entity to shield the nonprofit from lawsuits over anything from environmental pollution to slip-and-falls.But these LLCs appear to serve different purposes for the Koch network, experts said.Before the 2012 election, two groups sat at the top of the Koch money spigot. TC4 Trust, which has since folded, and Freedom Partners, which remains on top of the Koch pyramid, shelled out more than $204 million to the network’s 10 other nonprofits. But instead of giving the money directly to the nonprofits, TC4 and Freedom Partners gave those millions to the groups’ disregarded entities.That made the money more difficult to follow.Consider the case of the LLC with the inscrutable name of TOHE. (No, that’s not a typo.) Records for TC4 Trust show that it gave a $1,968,500 grant to TOHE between July 2011 and June 2012.So what’s a TOHE?You would think you could go to the Internal Revenue Service web site, punch in the magic letters, and get an answer. But that’s not how it works.Disregarded entities cannot be searched by name because their tax returns are filed as part of their parent nonprofit, which of course is exactly what you don’t know.To solve the mystery, we searched IRS databases of recognized nonprofits by the names of lawyers known to work for the Koch network. We found one, Vets for Economic Freedom Trust, that seemed like a possible match for TOHE. Then we requested the group’s application from the IRS, which showed a leader, Wayne Gable, who had deep ties to the Koch brothers, earlier serving as a managing director at Koch Industries. But still, the application didn’t mention TOHE.We had to wait for the group’s tax return, filed in August 2013, to become public, which took a couple of months. The return showed that Vets for Economic Freedom Trust was using a different name: Concerned Veterans for America. And it showed the group’s disregarded entity: TOHE. Concerned Veterans spent most of its money on ads criticizing the government for not doing more to help veterans vote and for the rising national debt.A more recent tax filing by Freedom Partners gave the names of the disregarded entities and their parent nonprofits when listing grants, dispelling some of the confusion.The Center for Responsive Politics and The Washington Post have also written about how the Koch network has used disregarded entities to hide the money trail. But disregarded entities offer other advantages.Donors to social welfare groups and trade associations have only become public in a handful of cases, but some corporate and individual donors still worry about scrutiny from stockholders or the IRS. One operative told ProPublica he’d heard a Koch network official suggest that a donor with such concerns write checks to disregarded entities rather than to better-known nonprofits.“You don’t want to just create one layer of anonymity, because that layer could be breached, maybe just by accident—you know, the memo that’s left lying around kind of situation,” said Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, a law professor and associate dean at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in nonprofits and campaign finance and who reviewed the groups’ available documents for ProPublica.Further, while nonprofits are required to disclose their top administrators and boards in tax filings, disregarded entities can have separate managers who are not identified anywhere, said Ellen Aprill, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who has studied politically active nonprofits. Such a manager would be able to control how the money received by the LLC was spent.Seven disregarded entities in the Koch network took in more than three-quarters of the money received by their parent nonprofits. POFN, the disregarded entity of a nonprofit called Public Notice, for instance, brought in more than 75 percent of its parent’s $6 million in revenue from May 2011 through April 2012. POFN’s manager—whoever that may be—would control how that money was spent, nonprofit experts said.So far, the Koch network’s use of disregarded entities has been unique. ProPublica reviewed tax returns filed by more than 100 liberal and conservative nonprofits that reported spending money on elections in 2010 and 2012. No group unaffiliated with the Kochs had such offshoots.Their use might be catching on: In July 2012, the American Future Fund, a dark money behemoth that received most of its money through the Koch network but is not part of it, formed its own disregarded entity, Franklin Squared.TrustsSocial welfare nonprofits are typically formed as not-for-profit corporations, with boards that set their policies.But nine of the 12 nonprofits in the Koch network were formed as trusts—an approach several tax experts said they had rarely, if ever, encountered. The first was TC4 Trust, which was established in August 2009 and folded in 2012. Eight more Koch-affiliated groups were set up as trusts in 2010 and 2011.Trusts are subject to little outside oversight. They don’t have to file incorporation papers or annual reports to the state. Any documents filed with the IRS take effort and time to get. “It keeps it out of the public eye a little longer,” said Lawrence Katzenstein, a lawyer in St. Louis who has formed charitable trusts.Trust agreements rarely have to be filed publicly, but since most of the Koch-connected trusts have been recognized by the IRS as social welfare nonprofits, their trust agreements are available from the agency. ProPublica examined six trust agreements for groups that are still active.The trust agreements are all “irrevocable,” meaning the trustee cannot change them, except for changing the trust’s name or anything necessary to maintain the group’s tax-exempt status. Two of the trustees are longtime Koch insiders; a third used to be a lawyer for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Two other trustees are relatively new to the Koch fold but have long conservative pedigrees.Despite those credentials, the trustees can be axed at any time. Each trust agreement gives an LLC—not a disregarded entity, but a different one with a similarly nonsensical string of four letters for a name—power to remove the trustee for any reason. For instance, Daniel Garza, the trustee for the LIBRE Initiative Trust, can be removed by an LLC called THGI.Tax experts say that this means that someone behind that LLC can actually control the nonprofit. “It’s someone having control, and it’s that someone going to great lengths to avoid being known,” said lawyer Marcus Owens, who used to run the Exempt Organizations division of the IRS.Little else is known about these LLCs except that they, too, were formed by Graber in 2010 and 2011 in Delaware, a state that requires virtually no disclosure.Giving someone the power to remove the trustee is increasingly common, said Charles Durante, a Delaware lawyer who does work with trusts, nonprofits and LLCs. But it’s typically a named individual, he said, not an anonymous LLC.“That is not customarily how people structure their trusts,” he said.One employee of a nonprofit with ties to the Kochs, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retribution, said the LLC arrangement fit in with the brothers’ desire to keep a tight grip on their organizations.“Their level of degree to which they insist on control is truly spectacular,” he said.last_img read more

08Dec/20

COVID-19: case confirmed in Tioga County

first_imgThe Tioga County Public Health Department tells 12 News that there is one confirmed case in Tioga County. (WBNG) — A case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Tioga County on Saturday. Go to the Tioga County Public Health Department’s website to get updated information.last_img

18Nov/20

Very successful positioning of Croatia at Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas

first_imgVirtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas is the most important tourist event on the American continent, which is held every year in August and brings together cream of cream world luxury tourism. Exactly the 29th Virtuoso Travel Week recorded a record attendance – 5.670 participants from 103 countries, of which 2.714 were travel agents and 2.404 preferential partners.According to the CNTB, representatives of the CNTB Head Office and the CNTB New York office held numerous meetings with tour operators, travel agencies and other travel advisors, as well as cruising companies from the USA, Canada and Latin America and introduced them to the Croatian tourist offer, the role and activities of the CNTB and opportunities for cooperation in order to raise awareness of Croatia as an attractive and safe European and Mediterranean destination and increase tourist traffic from these markets.Membership and activities in cooperation with Virtuos are a priority for the promotion of Croatia, growth of tourist traffic, increasing the competitiveness of the offer and improving the quality of service and positioning Croatia on the map of world luxury destinations, the CNTB points out. Istria, Kvarner Tourist Board, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board and Virtuoso representatives of the Croatian tourism industry, Croatia is among the most sought after Virtuoso destinations with a growth in demand of about 25%.Lošinj Hotels & Villas became a new member of VirtuosThis year’s Virtuoso Travel week is extremely important for Croatia because we got a new member of Virtuoso, Boutique Hotel Alhambra – Lošinj Hotels & Villas, which is the biggest recognition for the last three years of demanding but very productive cooperation with Virtuoso. In addition to the CNTB and the Alhambra Hotel, the Croatian members of Virtuos are: Calvados Club, Fortuna Travel, Hotel Villa Dubrovnik and Le Meridien Lav Hotel.A big surprise of Virtuoso Travel Week is the recognition of the CNTB for successful cooperation and the proclamation of the CNTB Representative Ina Ina Rodin as the Ambassador of the Year of Virtuos and the awarding of the eponymous award during the 2017 Virtuoso Alliances meeting.With more than 16 tourism advisors worldwide and a portfolio of almost 1.700 partners (hotels and resorts, airlines, cruise companies, onsite travel agencies and tourist boards) and with an annual turnover of more than 21 billion US dollars, Virtuos is the most important organization in the luxury travel segment.Authenticity and experience One of Virtuoso’s unofficial slogans, as Matthew D. Upchurch points out, is the CEO next “A Virtuoso offers what you cannot see, but will feel forever.“It is precisely our greatest value that is our incredible diversity and authenticity, and yet on the other hand we continue to sell sun and sea. We are full of experiences, our authentic stories, and the motive of the trip is to get to know new ways and culture of living. The biggest responsibility lies with the local tourist boards, which unfortunately do not develop strategically or sustainably. Tourist destinations (cities, counties, so-called) develop local tourism, ie tourist destinations, while CNTB and MINT are on a global level and as a platform or extended arm to the entire sector.Everyone has known and talked for years, even Virtuoso, and it has always been so, tourism is emotions, experiences and stories. Let’s tell storieslast_img read more

20Oct/20

Boldly beginning to build up

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

27Sep/20

Libyan Factions Upbeat about UN-Mediated Talks

first_imgRival Libyan factions say they are upbeat about the course of UN-mediated talks under way in Morocco . The talks are aimed at brokering a deal on a national unity government and finding someone to head it .  UN special envoy Bernardino Leon, who has been trying to bring the two sides together for weeks and who chaired the talks said the meeting took place in a “positive and constructive” spirit. The U.N. talks in Morocco are seen  as the only hope of forming a unity government and halting the fighting in Libya . But previous talks have yielded little.last_img read more

26Sep/20

Caribbean open data movement set to open a world of possibilities

first_img Share Share 12 Views   no discussions Share Tweetcenter_img Photo credit: siliconcaribe.comPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — A Caribbean open data initiative, backed by the University of the West Indies and the International Development Research Centre of Canada, could improve the region’s access to public information of national significance.A slate of local and regional experts will be gathering for the first regional event of its kind on open data. The conference, titled “Developing the Caribbean”, will be hosted simultaneously across Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago from January 26 to 27. ‘Open data’ is a term used to describe the idea that certain information should always be readily available to everyone. Such access to data should be without copyright, without patent, or without any such restriction that would prevent the end user from determining how the data is used.One of the featured speakers at the event is Trinidad-born technology expert Bevil Wooding, an international advocate for the open data movement in developing countries. He described open data as “potentially one of the most significant advances in how public access to public information is leveraged for the common good”.Wooding, founder of the non-profit BrightPath Foundation, explained that under the Trinidad and Tobago Freedom of Information Act established in 1999, if a member of the public desires access to public information, he or she has to make a formal request for that information to be released. However, with open data, access public information and public datasets is in commonly accessible formats via the Internet for public consumption. “Typically, a substantial amount of important public information, ranging from official crime statistics and national census data to government land allocations and taxation revenues from the energy sector, is locked away in government data repositories. Though it is supposed to be public information, held in trust by the government, it is inaccessible to the public. With open data, governments can take the initiative, in the interest of transparence and accountability in governance and provide access to these public datasets,” he said.He went on to share that such a move to open data brings benefits to both the government and the general public.“Governments can effectively ‘crowd-source’ the work of interpreting and analysing data to the public. Such crowd-sourcing can transform static data into valuable public information services at a pace and in a manner that simply would not be possible given government’s constraints. This opens the door to all kinds of new innovative applications and services,” Wooding said.“Of course, a new level of transparency and accountability can be facilitated when data is made publicly available. This is one reason why, across the world, governments in both developed and developing countries are moving to make more public data available,” he added.Many governments including the US, UK, Canada, India, Brazil and Kenya have opened up their data on sites such as data.gov, data.gov.uk, data.gc.ca, opendatsata.go.ke, with other countries joining the movement at a strong pace.The open data philosophy is straightforward, Wooding said. “The responsibility for making information available to the public falls squarely on those who have the information, as opposed to those who demand it.”Organisers of the upcoming conference are hoping to significantly raise the awareness of how public information can help to solve problems and provide new services to citizens. Web developers will collaborate through live video streaming of all presentations, and groups from other territories will be encouraged to participate virtually. The conference will be recorded and the live stream opened up to the public.Caribbean News Now NewsRegional Caribbean open data movement set to open a world of possibilities by: – January 20, 2012 Sharing is caring!last_img read more

24Sep/20

Mr. Jonathan A. Roberts

first_imgMr. Jonathan A. Roberts, age 66, of Lamb, Indiana, entered this life on April 20, 1951, in Henry County, Indiana, the son of the late, Jonathan Paul and Alta Mary (Graham) Roberts. He was raised in Henry County, Indiana where he graduated high school and received his associates degree in Tool & Dye from Ivy Tech. Jonathan was united in marriage on December 14, 1985, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Deborah Ann Wells and to this union arrived five sons, Adam, Donald, Kenneth, Keith and Jonathan to bless their home. Jonathan and Deborah shared nearly 32 years of marriage together until his death. He was a former advanced EMT for Shoemaker in Cincinnati, Ohio, for 7 years. Jonathan was also a former fork lift driver and union president for Pri-Pak in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, retiring after 12 years of service. He was a former volunteer fire fighter in Addison, Ohio and a truck driver. He resided in the Cleveland, Tennessee community for 3 years, Cincinnati, Ohio for 3 years, Aurora, Indiana for 10 years, Scottsburg, Indiana for 8 years, Holton, Indiana for 4 years, and lastly in the Lamb, Indiana community for 2 years. He was a member of the Steel Union in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and the Primitive Baptist Church. He enjoyed wood carving, playing the guitar and singing, My Friend, My Pal, My Buddy. Jonathan will be deeply missed by his loving family. Jonathan died at 10:37 pm, Monday, August 28, 2017, at the King’s Daughters’ Hospital in Madison, Indiana.Jonathan will be dearly missed by his loving wife of nearly 32 years: Deborah Ann (Wells) Roberts of Lamb, IN; his sons: Adam, Donald, Kenneth, Keith and Jonathan; his 15-grandchildren; his 4-great-grandchildren; his sister: Alice Powers of Campbellsburg, KY; his brothers: Sam Roberts and his wife: Roberta of Greentown, IN, Bob Roberts and his wife: Joy of Kokomo, IN and Dan Roberts and his wife: Becky of New Castle, IN and his several nieces and nephews He was preceded in death by his parents: Jonathan Paul and Alta Mary (Graham) Roberts, died May 15, 2010; his brother: Floyd Roberts and his brother-in-law: Ira Powers.Funeral services will be conducted Sunday, September 3, 2017, at 1:00 pm, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.Friends may call 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043. Memorial contributions may be made to Jonathan A. Roberts Memorial Fund % Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home. Cards are available at the funeral home.last_img read more

24Sep/20

Ex-Super Eagles goalie Enyeama gets coaching role in France

first_img Loading… His impressive performances in Israel caught the attention of Lille and subsequently joined the Great Danes for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract. His maiden appearance came in the French club’s 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan in the 2012 Champions League group stage. In 2013, he went on a 14-game run without conceding a goal before he was beaten for the first time in 1062 minutes against Bordeaux. On the international scene, he made his debut in 2002 against Kenya before going a step further to feature at the 2002 Fifa World Cup. He drew the curtain on his Super Eagles’ career after representing the country in three World Cups, one Fifa Confederation Cup and five Afcon appearances. read also:Enyeama Ighalo, Ndidi, Troost-Ekong celebrated on Father’s Day Enyeama boasts 101 appearances and is Nigeria’s all-time most capped player, an honour he shares with current Super Eagles assistant coach Joseph Yobo. Recently, his former international teammate John Utaka was appointed as manager of Montpellier’s U19 team. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Ex-Lille and Nigeria goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, has been named as the new goalkeeper coach of French National 3 side Iris Club de Croix. Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama The 37-year-old has been without a club since he left French top-flight outfit Lille in August 2018, and now he has been given the chance to commence his journey in management. In a statement released on Iris Club’s “>Facebook page, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner will train goalkeepers from the team’s reserves to the U16 division. Enyeama began his professional career at Ibom stars in 1999 before teaming up with Enyimba where he helped the Aba based outfit win three Nigeria Professional League titles, two Caf Champions Leagues and one Caf Super Cup diadem. In 2015, he moved to Bnei Yehuda and in his debut season, he helped the Lions to reach the final of the Israeli State Cup as well as a fourth-place finish in the Israeli top-flight that earned them a place in the 2006 Uefa Cup [now Europa League]. After two seasons at the Bloomfield Stadium, he was signed for Hapoel Tel Aviv. There, he was their chief penalty taker and inspired the club to two Israel State Cup trophies and one Israeli Premier League title.last_img read more

22Sep/20

I’m promoting boxing because of my passion — Otunola

first_imgRelatedPostsNo Content Available Otunola Bernard, boxing promoter and matchmaker, has said that he was involved in promoting boxing not only because of his passion for it but that boxing lacked corporate sponsorship in Nigeria. Otunola, founder of UnBoxx Sports and Co-Founder CornerWise Entertainment, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos that his passion was to contribute his quota by taking boxing to the next level. He said: “Taking boxing in Nigeria to the next level is not a hard job to do, but everything depends solely on how cooperative the people involved in the business are. “There are so many Nigerian talented combat sports athletes but they lack the platform to showcase their talents or won’t be selected to represent a state due to politics. “We have few female boxers, very good ones but they can’t move forward because no platform to do so and no proper training facilities. “We want to break the odds and push for the best way forward, and to do this we need each other as no man is an island.” He said that they only had two functional boxing promotion companies in MMA, but without considering that they have to move from this level to the next, they want to raise the bar. He noted that all hands must be on deck for the success of the upcoming boxing event which will be held on September 20 at the Jalisco Gym, Bolade-Oshodi in Lagos. Otunola said that they were mentally and physically prepared for it, while also noting that one of the challenging part in boxing in Nigeria was the fact that the sport lacked corporate sponsorship. “Government can start by passing it into law that corporate bodies should find a way to partner with boxing promoters to take boxing in Nigeria to the next level. “When this is done more sports lovers will rise up to play a big role in shouldering the development of the sports,” he said.Tags: Otunola BernardUnBoxx Sportslast_img read more