Whenever Geneva resident Thomas Kerns sees a Chevrolet Cobalt, especially models from the early 2000′s, he gets very uneasy. “These are killer cars and they’re on the highway,” said Kerns. In recent weeks, Kerns has been reliving a nightmare that was nearly 6 years ago. “The car was crushed pretty good,” he said as he pointed to a picture of a completely wrecked, white car. The picture contained the crushed remains of Kerns’ 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. His daughter in law, Megan Phillips, was driving the car on October 24th, 2006, with her friends Natasha Weigel and Amy Rademaker. They were all in their teenage years when the Cobalt took a deadly flip into the air. Phillips was the lone survivor.
“When you’re the driver of the vehicle and you lose someone, it doesn’t matter if you know it’s not your fault. It’s something that tears you apart,” said Kerns’ wife, Sarah, who also experienced a fatal accident recently. Fault speculation shifted to a defective ignition switch that Phillips was driving. At least 12 other fatalities in the nation point to this explanation as well. General Motors auto company is facing a significant lawsuit. Over a million of its cars were recalled. “A lawsuit of this size is almost surreal,” said Kerns. Tests in the past showed that some Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5′s had ignition switches that easily slid from a “run” position to a mode that stops power within the vehicle. “The ignition cylinder was loose and it would turn to the accessory position while in drive,” said Kerns.
The accessory mode is used when the car is at a standstill. It’s usually parked, the power steering is off, the engine is off, but the driver is able to use the radio or open and close the car windows. Before Phillips’ accident, the key somehow slipped back and turned the car into accessory mode. The car’s power went off and Phillips lost control of the car. The car flipped over a driveway into a tree. “So if you hit a bump, the potential for it to flip over to accessory mode was way easier,” said Kerns. In 2004, GM was aware of at least one similar report. Tests by engineers replicated this problem, but no action was made. In 2005, a new ignition configuration was proposed, then later cancelled. Also, in 2009, 14 Cobalt crashes were studied by experts. Databases showed that the ignition was in the accessory position for half of them. Kerns calls them killer cars, but not only because of personal experiences. He sees a potential danger for the buyer, as well as the public.
Google Inc is all set to release a software development kit for wearable devices towards the end of this month to enable the hardware firms to use Android in their smart watches, fitness trackers and other gadgets. Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps announced this at the SXSW conference in Austin. “In about two weeks, you will see us launch the first SDK for what we think of as Android for wearables,” said Pichai, after outlining Google’s vision of the wearable technology market.
Google Aiming The Wearable Tech Market
He said that wearable’s always need a platform. Sensors are small and powerful, and could collect a lot of information that can be useful for users. He added that the company is building the right APIs for this world of sensors. Pichai said that the smart watches and fitness gadget are the two most popular devices, in the wearable category. Keeping this in consideration, Google Inc is expecting that SDK would enhance the development of a range of new devices. Pichai kept silence on the Hardware subject, and gave no indication about the company making its own hardware. He said that from his point of view, as well as team’s standpoint, it would be better to focus on the platform and API.
Chromecast Sales Number Rising
When asked about the Google Inc Chromecast devices, Pichai deferred from giving the exact sales number of the USB dongle for TVs, but added that Google is upbeat by the performance so far. Pichai said that the sales has reached in millions and increasing ahead. Pichai, also, said that Chromecast would be available in other countries, as well, in the coming weeks. He said that the company has a business relationship, licensing relationship and users like to use Google services, in addition to the Android. However, it is not possible to use Android without Google. Pichai took the responsibility of Android in 2013 after founder Andy Rubin moved to other projects inside the Google. Pichai, in his interview, said that Android is one of the most open systems, and it is designed from the ground to become a very powerful customizable platform. The senior executive denied that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is too controlling.
A week after he entered Washburn University’s School of Law in August 2011, Bryan Alkire nearly quit. He wasn’t sure if he would fit in with the other students or be able to meet the challenges of its rigorous curriculum. His doubts proved to be unfounded. This coming Friday, Alkire, who is partially blind and partially deaf, will graduate with his law degree. “I’m hoping to go into a small-town general practice, handling all kinds of cases,” Alkire, 33, of Topeka, said during a recent email interview. “My plans are to take the Missouri bar exam in July 2014 and while studying for the bar exam, I’ll be looking for a job in Missouri, preferably in a small town.” Alkire, a native of Lexington, Mo., was born with a partially paralyzed right arm, hand, and fingers and a severe hearing loss. After graduating from Lexington High School in 1999, he went to Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where he graduated in May 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. About six weeks before his college graduation, he began losing his vision because of complications related to surgeries to treat a detached retina and acute angle glaucoma. He lost most of the vision in his left eye, and the vision in his right eye was reduced to light, some color and some motion.
After attending the Helen Keller National Center in Sands Point, N.Y., and the Lions World Services for the Blind in Little Rock, Ark., he completed a job training program for the Internal Revenue Service. He moved to Kansas City in October 2007 to work for the IRS, but within a few months his vision had declined so much he had to resign. In April 2010, Alkire spent a couple of months at Alphapointe Association for the Blind to ready himself to return to an academic setting. Tell me about the most challenging aspects of law school and getting your law degree.
The most challenging aspect of law school is keeping up with the material over the course of the semester. Often there’s 50 or more pages to read every day, and the material isn’t the easiest to read. Then, of course, there’s the finals. I’d say keeping mentally focused and not letting the stress and lack of sleep and physical ailments, like colds, become overwhelming is the most challenging aspect mentally. Tell me about the most rewarding aspect of your law school experience.
Without a doubt, meeting people at Washburn Law that I never would have met otherwise. I’ve met some very special people in my time here. When I’ve left a place and moved on, I tend to remember the people more than the classes or work itself. Early on, you didn’t have a study group, and socializing with peers was difficult. Did that ever change or get better? Yes and no. I never did study with others, but I did socialize a bit more with peers as I got to know more people at school.
Did you require, and did the university offer, any special accommodations because of your hearing and vision impairments? Did you have any special equipment that helped in the classroom? I used an FM system to hear the professor in class. It’s a system where the prof wears a special microphone and I wear a special receiver tuned to a frequency through a setting on my hearing aid. When on, the FM device allows me to hear the prof as though the prof was sitting next to me (and) speaking directly to me. For textbooks, I used PDF copies of my texts, which my computer would read out loud to me. For exams, I took my exams in a room where I would read the exam on my computer and then dictate my answers to a person sitting next to me.
What advice would you give to individuals with disabilities who may have doubts about whether they can succeed in a higher-education setting? First, remember that the school has confidence in you. They accepted you based on your application and test scores, regardless of what challenges you’ve faced. The school wants you to succeed and wants to help you succeed. In order to help you, they need to understand you and what you need to succeed since no one solution works for every disabled person. This means you need to develop a close relationship with the people who handle accommodations so that everyone can figure out what works and what doesn’t. You need to educate them on the things you need to succeed. Educate your fellow students as well so they can help you as needed and get to know you. If you have all the support you need and enjoy the program you’re in, then there’s no reason you can’t succeed. It’s challenging, but remember, it’s challenging for everyone, not just the disabled.
Amy Cramer, who finished law school in 2011, was one of the fortunate ones, if you define fortunate as finding a temporary job as an employee benefits consultant for $18 an hour soon after graduation.More than 14 percent of her classmates at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago had not found any job nine months after graduation. Cramer recently joined the ranks of unemployed lawyers when her contract job ended in October.
“I love the law, but being unemployed is very tough on the psyche,” said Cramer, 28. “I don’t know if it’s bad luck or something I’m doing wrong. There’s so much self-doubt in the process.” The job market has been tough for law school graduates for several years. But law schools were slow to react to changing market conditions. They kept growing enrollments, despite fewer jobs. In 2010, a record of more than 52,000 students started law school, according to data compiled by the American Bar Association, which accredits U.S. law schools. Since then, enrollments have fallen nationally amid a dwindling pool of applicants.
Would-be lawyers are thinking twice about spending $40,000 to $50,000 a year in private school tuition to study for a profession that isn’t creating enough new jobs to match the supply of graduates every year. The first to reduce their enrollments were lower-tier schools, according to published reports. But now the pain is spreading up the ranks. National admissions data for the entering Class of 2013 are being compiled by the American Bar Association, but a survey of law schools in Illinois shows sharp declines in enrollment.At Loyola University Chicago, the entering Class of 2013 was one-fourth smaller than the 2012 class. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign enrolled 170 students, which was 28, or 14 percent, fewer than a year ago.
Even elite schools can’t escape the trends. Northwestern University, No. 12 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings, trimmed its 2013 entering class of three-year law students to 177, or 14.5 percent, from 207 the year before. Unless law schools relax their admissions standards, enrollments may continue to shrink, judging by the numbers of people considering getting a Juris Doctor degree. The Law School Admission Council reported that 33,673 people took the law school entrance exam, known as the LSAT, in October, down nearly 11 percent from the same test month last year. The exam is administered four times a year.
The would-be professionals turning away from law school are not fleeing in any obvious direction. For example, interest in graduate business schools waned after 2009 amid a tepid recovery and uncertain job prospects. Applications for Master of Business Administration programs rebounded this year, but much of the increase came from overseas demand, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.In the face of declining enrollments, the heads of law schools confront financial pressures that many have never dealt with. Schools are forgoing millions of dollars in tuition revenue by shrinking their enrollments. To balance their budgets, some deans have reduced faculty and staff through layoffs and attrition.
At the same time, they are spending limited resources to attract more students and find more jobs for their graduates. They are throwing themselves into curriculum reform and cajoling alums to hire students for either internships or full-time positions.”We’re in a longer-term correction in terms of jobs,” said Harold Krent, dean of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. “Technology changes, globalization trends, corporate pressures on law firms and tax issues for state governments all have contributed. We have to ensure we continue to be as relevant as we can.”
IIT Chicago-Kent received 2,661 applications for its 2013 entering class, down 31 percent from 2010, when it received 3,854.Law schools face a difficult choice when the applicant pool shrinks. They can keep enrollment steady by loosening admissions standards, but the strategy could endanger their status in the influential rankings by U.S. News & World Report. Or they can preserve their academic credentials, accept fewer students and find ways to make up the revenue shortfall.
In 2012, Krent trimmed IIT Chicago-Kent’s first-year enrollment by 7 percent, from 308 full- and part-time students to 286, and the same number of students matriculated this year. From 2010 to 2013, the school has registered a modest decline in its median LSAT score, to 158 from 161, out of a possible score of 180.Krent said it hasn’t been easy balancing the goals of admitting students who can succeed in law school and pass the bar exam and maintaining revenue. Law school tuition also supports the undergraduate and graduate programs at the Illinois Institute of Technology. “Some people at the university would prefer if we guarantee 300 seats,” Krent said. David Yellen, Loyola’s law dean, said university officials supported his decision to cut the first-year class, agreeing to accept less revenue from the law school.
WASHINGTON — In the first congressional hearing on marijuana laws since voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized pot for recreational use in November, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) called for a “smarter approach” to marijuana policy and addressed federal laws that he said impeded effective regulation of the drug in states where it was legal.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing followed a Justice Department memo in late August that said the U.S. would not challenge state laws permitting marijuana and that it would focus enforcement on eight priorities, which include preventing its distribution to minors and keeping revenue away from criminal enterprises.
Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, 20 states, including California, and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use.John Urquhart, the sheriff of King County, Wash., called on the government to allow banks to open accounts for marijuana businesses, which are currently prohibited under a federal law. Cash-only businesses are targets for robberies, he said, and are difficult to audit.
Deputy Atty. Gen. James Cole said the federal government was looking at ways to address the banking issue within existing laws.Urquhart told the committee that in 37 years as a police officer, “my experience shows the war on drugs has been a failure.””We have not significantly reduced demand over time,” he said, “but we have incarcerated generations of individuals, the highest incarceration rate in the world.”
Urquhart said that states and the federal government had shared goals regarding marijuana regulation.”We all agree we don’t want our children using marijuana,” he said. “We all agree we don’t want impaired drivers. We all agree we don’t want to continue enriching criminals. Washington’s law honors those values by separating consumers from gangs, and diverting the proceeds from the sale of marijuana toward furthering the goals of public safety.”
Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the committee’s ranking Republican, raised concerns about the transport of marijuana across state lines, to states like Iowa that have not legalized it. He also cited findings from audits that found problems in Colorado’s medical marijuana program, even before the state legalized recreational use.”Why has the department decided to trust Colorado to effectively regulate recreational marijuana when it is already struggling to regulate medical marijuana?” he asked.
Cole said the federal government aimed to “trust but verify” that states legalizing marijuana create “robust” regulations to address public safety concerns and comply with federal guidelines.”We’re trying to find the best of the imperfect solutions that are before us,” Cole said.
Read more – latimes.com/nation/la-na-senate-marijuana-20130911,0,4973827.story
No one supports pointless regulations. If regulations exist, there should be a good reason for them, a reason that applies not only to the time of their adoption, but to present circumstances. Regulations that require unnecessary protections or no longer apply do not serve the common good and can become impediments to commerce. This is the sensible premise on which House Bill 74 signed into law last week by Gov. Pat McCrory purports to rest. Its title says as much: “An act to improve and streamline the regulatory process in order to stimulate job creation [and] to eliminate unnecessary regulation.” On signing the bill, the governor repeated the sentiment, saying, “This common sense legislation cuts government red tape, axes overly burdensome regulations and puts job creation first here in North Carolina.” Sounds logical and harmless. Except the bill is not what its title and the governor claim it is. It is illogical and dangerous. It is concessions to developers and polluters crammed into a massive bill that was rushed through the legislature in the crush of closing business.
This bill will “streamline” regulatory process with a sledgehammer and blowtorch. The thousands of regulations state agencies have adopted based on laws passed by the General Assembly must each be evaluated and given one of three labels: necessary but controversial, necessary and not controversial, or unnecessary. If regulators can’t complete the review within a certain timetable, the rules or regulations will simply expire. This review is being fast-tracked for rules and regulations relating to water quality. They must be reviewed within a year or they could expire. The task of doing that accelerated and exhaustive review is being handed to divisions of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in which consolidations and likely layoffs are imminent.
So it is that state rules and regulations on water quality that emerged from a deliberative process, presumably in response to real concerns, may soon be discarded with a cavalier “time’s up.” “This bill is so sweeping and it doesn’t have any safeguards. If you haven’t readopted them in a year, they’re not going to exist anymore,” said Jane Preyer, director of the Southeast Office of the Environmental Defense Fund.
This is what the governor calls “common sense?” This is uncommon recklessness. Regulatory agencies will not be able to carry out their missions if they are engaged in a lengthy review of every regulation and the effort of having them readopted. The cynical may say distracting agencies and taking the teeth out of them is the hidden intent of this new law. But even if we accept the claim of the new law’s Republican backers that it isn’t intended to weaken regulators, but streamline regulation to spur more business, it’s hard to see the connection. North Carolina has a good business climate in large part because it has effective environmental laws and regulations. The beauty of the state and the consistency of the laws that protect it are what have attracted businesses, newcomers, students and tourists. The wholesale stripping away of regulations in a misguided effort to liberate business from limits on pollution and excessive development hardly seems like a formula for making North Carolina more appealing.This law – rather than a host of water quality regulations – is the one that should be eliminated. Unfortunately, the state may have to endure a period of anarchy in environmental regulation and lasting damage to the environment until new lawmakers can be elected who understand the meaning of common sense and the common good.
Read more – newsobserver.com/2013/08/28/3144969/a-reckless-law-on-nc-regulations.html#storylink=cpy
Source : criminallawyerphiladelphia.com
By : Brian Zeiger
Category : Attorney General
Posted By : Attorney Matthews Bark
Philadelphia drug defense lawyers are going to be in high demand after a bust this weekend in the northern part of the city. News sources like CBS Philly claim that authorities found 10 guns and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs. The incident occurred on Thursday, April 18. Toward the end of March, investigators had grown somewhat suspicious of two residences on North 7th Street.
“Due to the violence in that area and drug trafficking in the area, it got us to where we wanted to be,” stated a Philadelphia police department captain, according to the news outlet.
The officer said that five males and one females – and weapons including an AK-47 – were removed from the houses.
”We can sit here and speculate, but you can see by the firepower here we’ve probably prevented several people from being victims of violent crime,” he told journalists on April 19.
Some of the drugs that were recovered included more than 530 grams of marijuana, which was valued at approximately $5,340, two Xanax pills that were thought to be worth around $20 and more than 5 grams of crack cocaine, which would cost an individual about $520.
The defendants were arraigned at an undisclosed date and were charged with conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, manufacture, delivery or possession of narcotics with the intent to manufacture or deliver and possession of an instrument of crime.
Because the six individuals were unable to pay 10 percent of their bail, which was set at $10,000 each, they were held in jail.
If you have been accused of the crimes above, make sure you hire experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers. The locally based professionals at Levin and Zeiger Law Firm can assess your claim and defend you in a court of law.