Angela Reinhardt / Photo
Randy and Jessica Casey, with sons Trey, 2, and Zachary, 15, in front of their new home in New Hope Acres.
Earlier this year the Caseys were living with parents in Hinton, but after taking a leap of faith and applying for a Pickens County Habitat for Humanity house, the family is in their own home in the New Hope Acres community.
“We just felt like if we applied God might be willing to help us get approved,” said Randy Casey, who along with wife Jessica and their sons were presented with keys to their new home at a Sunday dedication ceremony.
Free Herbs from nature
By Crystal Merrell
Free stuff is great. Everybody knows that. Backroad blackberries gathered on a hot summer morning taste better than those bought at the store. Squash and cucumbers gifted from your aunt’s overflowing garden come with a heaping helping of love on the side. And my favorite - free and plentiful wild local herbs. It is like your birthday combined with a scavenger hunt! You get the free gift of the herbs AND the joy and experience of the hunt and gather.
Dan Pool / Photo
Jasper Radio Club members scan and listen for contacts in the competitive Field Day.
Ham radio operators worked around the clock in Lee Newton park last weekend scanning dials, calling out lingo, sending Morse code and listening for other radio users around the world as part of a 24-hour competition.
The Jasper Radio Club hoped to repeat past success (they have won in several previous years) by making contact with more people than any other group their size between 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
The Herald-News / Photo
Miraculously, pilot Theodore Owens is recovering after he crashed his plane in a field in Tennessee.
Just before 1 p.m. Monday, June 20, Bent Tree resident Theodore Roosevelt Owens, 71, crashed his single-engine plane in Rhea County, Tenn. and was transported to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.
According to media reports in Rhea County, Owens was conscious when he was pulled from the plane, which went down in an open field. He sustained “serious injuries” in the crash, but he has since been upgraded to “fair”
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VW Required to Repurchase or Fix Falsely-Marketed Diesel Vehicles, Provide Restitution and Address Environmental Harms; Attorneys General Obtain More Than $570 Million in Civil Penalties
Atlanta, GA – Attorney General Sam Olens today announced a settlement requiring Volkswagen to pay more than $570 million for violating state laws prohibiting unfair or deceptive trade practices by marketing, selling and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed defeat device software. This agreement is part of a series of state and federal settlements that will provide cash payments to affected consumers, require Volkswagen to buy back or modify certain VW and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles, and prohibit Volkswagen from engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection with its dealings with consumers and regulators.
Today’s coordinated settlements resolve consumer protection claims raised by a multistate coalition of State Attorneys General co-led by attorneys general in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington, and joined by Georgia and 36 other states and jurisdictions against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Porsche AG and Porsche Cars, North America, Inc. – collectively referred to as Volkswagen. They also resolve actions against Volkswagen brought by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), California and car owners in private class action suits.
“Volkswagen’s deliberate circumvention of federal emission standards deceived consumers,” said Attorney General Olens. “This settlement brings justice to affected Georgia consumers.”
The attorneys general’s investigation confirmed that Volkswagen sold more than 570,000 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the United States equipped with “defeat device” software intended to circumvent applicable emissions standards for certain air pollutants, and actively concealed the existence of the defeat device from regulators and the public.Volkswagen made false statements to consumers in their marketing and advertising, misrepresenting the cars as environmentally friendly or “green” and that the cars were compliant with federal and state emissions standards, when, in fact, Volkswagen knew the vehicles emitted harmful oxides of nitrogen (NOx) at rates many times higher than the law permitted.
Under the settlements, Volkswagen is required to implement a restitution and recall program for more than 475,000 owners and lessees of 2.0-liter diesel vehicles, of the model year 2009 through 2015 listed in the chart below at a maximum cost of just over $10 billion. This includes 17,157 vehicles in Georgia.
Once the consumer program is approved by the court, affected Volkswagen owners will receive restitution payments of at least $5,100 and a choice between:
· A buy back of the vehicle (based on pre-scandal NADA value); or
· A modification to reduce NOx emissions provided that Volkswagen can develop a modification acceptable to regulators. Owners will still be eligible to choose a buyback in the event regulators do not approve a fix. Owners who choose the modification option would also receive an Extended Emission Warranty; and a Lemon Law-type remedy to protect against the possibility that the modification causes subsequent problems.
The consumer program also provides benefits and restitution for lessees (restitution and a no-penalty lease termination option) and sellers after September 18, 2015 when the emissions-cheating scandal was disclosed (50 percent of the restitution available to owners). Additional components of today’s settlements include:
· Environmental Mitigation Fund: Volkswagen will pay $2.7 billion into a trust to support environmental programs throughout the country to reduce emissions of NOx.This fund, also subject to court approval, is intended to mitigate the total, lifetime excess NOx emissions from the 2.0-liter diesel vehicles identified below. Under the terms of the
mitigation trust, Georgia is eligible to receive $58,105,433.35 to fund mitigation projects.
· Additional Payment to the States: In addition to consumer restitution, Volkswagen will pay to the states more than $1,000 per car for repeated violations of state consumer protection laws, amounting to $570 million nationwide. This amount includes $18,872,700 paid for affected vehicles Volkswagen sold and leased in Georgia.
· Zero Emission Vehicles: Volkswagen has committed to investing $2 billion over the next 10 years for the development of non-polluting cars, or Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV), and supporting infrastructure.
Volkswagen will also pay $20 million to the states for their costs in investigating this matter and to establish a fund that state attorneys general can utilize for future training and initiatives, including investigations concerning emissions violations, automobile compliance, and consumer protection.