Law Suit Charges Firm Put Dubious Charges On Vectren Bills

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Law Suit Charges Firm Puts Dubious Charges On Vectren BillsDAVE STAFFOR FROM INDIANA LAWYERS center_img An untold number of Vectren utility customers were duped into paying dubious utility-line protection plan charges that went to a different company after Vectren presumably took a kickback on the charge, a proposed class-action lawsuit claims.The suit filed Tuesday before Judge David Dreyer in Marion Superior Court Civil Division 10 alleges Nicor Energy Services Co. of Naperville, Ill., entered into an agreement to include unregulated charges on Vectren bills.On those bills, “Nicor categorizes its charges as ‘Non Vectren Energy Delivery Charges’ in contrast to ‘Vectren Delivery and Supply Charges,’ which masks and fails to disclose what the charges are actually for,” according to the suit filed today by Cohen & Malad P.C. of Indianapolis.“Utilities provide essential services and Hoosiers shouldn’t have to scour utility bills to see whether a private third party company has slipped charges onto their utility bills,” Cohen & Malad partner Lynn Toops said in a statement announcing the suit.A Nicor spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation. A Vectren spokeswoman did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.Lead plaintiff Kristyn Plummer alleges in the complaint that her bill for February of this year contained a charge of $45.50 for “Vectren Home Solutions” in addition to delivery and supply charges. The amount appears in the balance due section of the bill, but a fine-print disclaimer says nonpayment won’t result in service disconnection.“You must directly contact your service provider at the number above to elect to cancel these optional services,” says the disclaimer, which does not name Nicor. “Your responsibility for these charges is dependent upon the terms of your agreement with the service provider.”The suit claims that regulators in Illinois and consumer-protection experts warn that the line protection plans are of little or no value. “Nicor’s plans are not insurance, but essentially valueless repair plans that consumers would not knowingly purchase because these plans are unnecessary, expensive, and provide very little coverage, if any at all,” the suit alleges. It calls Nicor’s arrangement with Vectren a “scheme to scam public utility customers.”The suit claims that the charges began appearing on Plummer’s bill last August when she moved and transferred Vectren service from one apartment to another, presumably opting into the service then. Even after Plummer called Vectren to opt out of the service when she noticed the fee last November, the charges continued to appear on her bills for the next several months, according to the suit.The complaint seeks a class action for all Vectren customers who were billed for a “Non Vectren Energy Delivery Charge.” It asserts these charges violate the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, the Indiana Telephone Solicitations Act, the Indiana Commercial Solicitation Act, and represent unjust enrichment for Nicor.The suit notes Nicor also operates in Indiana under the assumed names of Vectren Services, Pivotal Home Solutions, NIPSCO Home Solutions, Nicor Home Solutions, Nicor National, Nicor Services, Service Protection Group, D.M. Dykstra, Hawthorn Heating & Air Conditioning, and Tradewinds Heating & Air Conditioning.The suit is Kristyn Plummer, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, v. Nicor Energy Services Co., 49-D10-1705-PL20673.last_img read more

USNS Comfort Arrives In NY To Aid In Coronavirus Battle

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: Bill Mesta / U.S. NavyNEW YORK — Critical relief arrived to New York on Monday in the form of the U.S. Naval Ship Comfort.The ship is expected to help doctors and nurses on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.There have been more than 66,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State. Only Seneca County has no reported cases.“Anyone who says this situation is a New York City-only situation is in a state of denial,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “You see this virus move across the state. You see it move across this nation.” The Governor had a statewide healthcare establishment meeting to work together and foster more coordination.“We have hospitals in Upstate New York that are experiencing none of this — where they have staff capacity; they have bed capacity,” he said. “We need you now, here, in this fight and engaged.”As the virus spreads, Cuomo said the state “desperately” needs supplies. He said states, private hospitals and the federal government continue to compete against one another, which drives the prices up.“We’ve created a situation where you literally have hundreds of entities looking to buy the same exact materials, basically from the same place, which is China,” Cuomo explained.The Governor said that ventilators that once cost $20,000 to $30,000 can now cost $50,000.last_img read more

These are QLD’s top 10 suburbs for consistent capital growth

first_imgA bedroom in one of the units in The Jefferson at Palm Beach.First home buyers Scott Johnstone and Sarah Major have been renting in Palm Beach since 2015, but recently bought a unit off-the-plan in a new development called The Jefferson.“When Sarah and I decided to purchase our own home we had two pre-requisites — it needed to be in Palmy and it had to be by the beach,” Mr Johnstone said.“We thought we wouldn’t be able to afford a brand new apartment so close to the beach for at least 15 years but we were able to secure a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in The Jefferson and we are absolutely thrilled.” This four-bedoom house at 15 Wienholt St, Auchenflower, is for sale for $1.1 million. A two-bedroom unit in this complex is available for offers over $399,000. This two-bedroom unit at 5/20 Mawarra St, Palm Beach, is for sale.Noosa Heads was the only suburb where double digit capital growth has been consistent for both units and houses over 12 months, three years and five years. HOUSE PRICES BOUNCE BACK STRONGER Main beach at Noosa, which has seen consistent capital growth in houses and units.IF YOU like to live beside the seaside, you’ll be happy to know it also pays handsomely.Three quarters of the top 10 suburbs for consistent capital growth in Queensland are by the beach, according to a new CoreLogic report.Houses in Tewantin and Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast all recorded double digit house price growth in the past year and around 40 per cent growth over the past five years. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Interstate migrants are flocking to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.The working class suburb of Underwood took out the top spot for Queensland in the report on Australia’s best-performing suburbs, with the Logan suburb’s median house price climbing nearly 25 per cent in the past 12 months and more than 57 per cent in the past five years to sit at $601,345. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago MEGA MANSION SELLS FOR $11M This three-bedroom house at 26 Wantima St, Noosa Heads, is on the market.CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said people who had bought in one of those coastal suburbs in the past 12 to 24 months would be sitting pretty.Mr Kusher said the latest statistics revealed interstate migrants were not just moving to Brisbane, they were also flocking to the Gold and Sunshine coasts.“I think some people in Brisbane are tending to move to the coast as well,” Mr Kusher said. “Suburbs there are highly desirable and until recently haven’t shown a lot of growth in values in the past decade. “People are now starting to see value in them.” A house on the water at 6 Yidney St, Maroochydore, is available for $649,000.Units in Palm Beach, Sunrise Beach and Noosaville have outperformed in the past year and longer term, with Palm Beach apartments increasing in price by more than 20 per cent in just the past 12 months and more than 50 per cent in five years. WINTER FEAST FOR PROPERTY BUYERS This four-bedroom house at 12 Mowie Close, Underwood, is on the market for offers over $539,000.Mr Kusher admitted it was a bit surprising given the suburb’s location, 17km from Brisbane’s CBD, but it’s affordability and access to the highway and Gold Coast made it attractive.“But its median (house) price is now up over $600,000, so it’s not really that cheap anymore,” he said.The suburb of Auchenflower also recorded strong capital growth of nearly 23 per cent in just the past 12 months to reach a median house price of more than $1 million. This brand new three-bedroom house at 6 Yidney St, Maroochydore, is available for $649,000. Inside the house at 15 Wienholt St, Auchenflower.Mr Kusher said Ashgrove, Toowong and Hawthorne had also performed strongly, reflecting demand for Brisbane’s inner city suburbs. The national report identified suburbs where the median value growth across 12 months, three years and five years had been higher than 18 per cent. Across the state, eight suburbs were identified as having capital growth of more than 15 per cent in the past year, 44 suburbs achieved that growth over the past three years and 48 suburbs recorded value growth of more than 15 per cent in the past five years.The question is whether these suburbs will continue to record consistent capital growth.“With Sydney and Melbourne slowing, you might see more people looking to cash out of those markets and look to southeast Queensland,” Mr Kusher said. This three-bedroom house at 26 Wantima St, Noosa Heads, is on the market for offers over $799,000. Scott Johnson and Sarah Major at Palm Beach, where they have bought a unit in The Jefferson at60 Jefferson Lane.Tony Holland of McGrath Estate Agents said half of the apartments in the Lacey Group development had sold to buyers under the age of 45, reflecting a new wave of residents now calling Palm Beach home.RiskWise Property Research chief executive Doron Peleg said lifestyle suburbs in coastal locations were outperforming other housing markets across the country, which explained the growing attraction of property on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.“That’s part of a national trend we’re seeing of beachside suburbs enjoying increasingly stronger demand,” Mr Peleg said.TOP PERFORMING SUBURBS IN QLD Suburb Property type Median price 12 mth change 3 yr change 5 yr change 1. Underwood House $601,345 24.4% 30.9% 57.7% 2. Auchenflower House $1.1m 22.9% 18% 29.7%3. Noosa Heads House $1.03m 21.3% 36.9% 57.2% 4. Palm Beach Unit $471,758 20.2% 34.6% 52.2% 5. Sunrise Beach Unit $507,521 19.4% 38% 46.1%6. Noosa Heads Unit $789,150 18.3% 37% 44.7% 7. Tewantin House $577,942 16.2% 27.9% 39.4%8. Ashgrove House $1.02m 15% 20% 49.4% 9. Maroochydore House $610,635 14.9% 31.3% 41.2%10. Noosaville Unit $486,468 14.4% 22.4% 36.9%11. Loganlea House $391,469 14.3% 23.8% 43.8%12. Buddina House $768,715 14.2% 24.9% 43.1% 13. Reedy Creek House $774,948 14% 22.7% 47.7%14. Toowong House $901,431 13.6% 15.5% 28.8%15. Mudgeeraba Unit $399,637 13% 27.5% 37.8%16. Tallai House $868,162 12.6% 24.5% 33.7%17. Moggill House $573,618 12.6% 12.8% 32% 18. Varsity Lakes House $615,972 12.3% 23% 41.2%19. Logan Village House $608,096 12.1% 18.9% 39%20. Tugun House $659,733 12% 35.4% 50.2%(Source: CoreLogic)last_img read more

Libya protests: Al-Bayda security chief ‘sacked’

first_imgNews Libya protests: Al-Bayda security chief ‘sacked’ by: – February 17, 2011 Share Sharing is caring! Tweet BBC NewsThere has been non-stop coverage of the government rallies in TripoliA regional head of security has been removed from his post following clashes with protesters in the Libyan town of al-Bayda on Wednesday which left several people dead, local media say.The move came as anti-government activists called for a “day of anger”, trying to rally support via social networking sites.Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s supporters gathered in Tripoli.Unconfirmed reports said there were clashes in the second city Benghazi.Pro-democracy protests have recently swept through several Arab nations, with the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt forced to resign amid growing unrest.But this week’s demonstrations were the first display of defiance in Libya, where dissent is rarely tolerated.‘The revolution continues!’Mr Gaddafi’s supporters gathered in Green Square in the centre of the capital Tripoli.The demonstrators shouted: “We are defending Gaddafi and the revolution!” and “The revolution continues!” Others hurled insults at foreign media.Correspondents say all streets leading to the square are gridlocked, and there is non-stop coverage of the rally on state media.But the situation is unclear elsewhere in the country, with unconfirmed reports of clashes in several cities.Opposition websites said violence in Benghazi left at least six people dead, with four killed in al-Bayda on Wednesday.The semi-independent newspaper Quryna, which is subject to Libyan censorship laws, has confirmed just two deaths, in al-Bayda.“Today the Libyans broke the barrier or fear, it is a new dawn,” exiled opposition leader Faiz Jibril was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.The New York-based organisation Human Rights Watch said 14 people were arrested on the eve of the planned demonstrations.Mid-East unrest: Countries affectedOpposition newspaper Libya al-Yawm showed the police station in al-Bayda on fire.There are a number of unconfirmed reports of the government opening fire on the protesters on Wednesday.Reports on social networks talk of government forces possibly firing from helicopters on to the crowds. Other sources said snipers were used.Protests in Benghazi were reportedly begun after the arrest of Fathi Terbil, who represents relatives of more than 1,000 prisoners allegedly massacred by security forces in Tripoli’s Abu Salim jail in 1996. He was later said to have been freed.More than 100 members of a banned Islamist militant group were freed from Abu Salim on Wednesday. It is not clear if the Benghazi clashes and the release of the inmates were connected.‘Police state’Col Gaddafi is the Arab world’s longest-serving leader, having ruled oil-rich Libya since a coup in 1969.He has always insisted that the country is run by a series of people’s committees, though most outside observers believe it is a police state with him firmly in control, the BBC’s Jon Leyne reports.The Middle East has recently seen a wave of protests fuelled by discontent over unemployment, rising living costs, corruption and autocratic leaderships.This began with the overthrow of Tunisia’s leader, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, in January. Last week, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt resigned.In recent days there have also been anti-government demonstrations in Yemen, Bahrain, and Iran.center_img Share 56 Views   no discussions Sharelast_img read more