Tag Archives: VA

U.S. Treasury Awards Accenture Contract to Support Taxpayer Casework

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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U.S. Treasury Awards Accenture Contract to Support Taxpayer Casework

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The U.S. Department of the Treasury has selected Accenture Federal Services as the lead contractor for the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Account Management Services (AMS) system. As part of the five-year contract, Accenture will help implement new business requirements, tools and other automation processes to better support taxpayer casework.

AMS provides customer service representatives with real-time access to account information regardless of location, focusing on its Correspondence Imaging Inventory (CII). An inventory system within AMS that Accenture helped build in 2003, CII assists customer service representatives in addressing questions from taxpayers filing a range of tax forms. CII has completed nearly 50 million cases since its inception.

Work under the contract will enable the IRS to continue to improve customer service for taxpayers by improving application performance, automating manual tasks, and providing the versatility needed to easily adapt to ongoing legislative changes. The system will be able to display and validate changes to updated taxpayer accounts, and store and manage actions that include case transfers, case closures and correspondence. AMS manages more than 39,000 users and scans more than 60 million taxpayer documents.

“Ensuring that taxpayers have trusted resources available to help meet their tax responsibilities has always been a top priority for the IRS. This work will streamline operations and maintenance, making customer service operations more efficient and effective,” said Matt Tait, who leads Accenture’s work with the Treasury department.

Accenture also will help the IRS implement legislative changes created by Congress, from requirements analysis to design, development, testing and post-production support. Accenture currently is working with the IRS to implement a new inventory system to support casework related to the Affordable Care Act’s Branded Prescription Drug tax provision.

Accenture has served as a trusted partner to the IRS for more than 20 years, helping the agency to redesign, develop and manage three IRS portals and design, implement and operate the Return Preparer Registration System.

Accenture Federal Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture LLP, a U.S. company, with offices in Arlington, VA. Accenture’s federal business serves every cabinet-level department and 20 of the largest federal organizations. The U.S. federal portfolio spans across clients in civilian, defense, intelligence and public safety agencies.

Learn more about Accenture’s work with federal agencies and Delivering Public Service of the Future.

About …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts a "42" Movie Workshop for Students

By <a href="/author-detail/475">Colleen Curtis</a>

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the “42” film workshop in the State Dining Room of the White House, April 2, 2013. Workshop participants included, from left, Brian Helgeland, Chad Boseman, Harrison Ford, Rachel Robinson, and moderator Paulette Aniskoff.

(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama today hosted 80 high school and college students from across the country for a screening of “42,” followed by an interactive workshop with the cast and crew of the movie. “42” tells the story of Jackie Robinson, the very first African American to play major league baseball. The panel was moderated by Paulette Aniskoff, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and featured Harrison Ford, Chadwick Boseman and Brian Helgeland.

The discussion focused on the inspirational themes from Robinson's life that students — who came from Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, DC; Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, MD; TC Williams High School in Alexandria, VA and Amino Jackie Robinson Charter High School in Los Angeles, CA — can apply to their own.

Also joining the conversation was Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson's widow and his partner throughout his incredible life's journey. And as Mrs. Obama explained to the young crowd, Mrs. Robinson's example can be their guide. “Jackie and Rachel Robinson weren't destined for greatness — they prepared themselves for greatness, which meant that they could make a difference outside of baseball, as well. And that is the only thing that is important for you to understand. You can be great in your profession, you can earn a lot of money, you can be famous, but the question is what are you doing for others.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House

Bureaucratic Incompetence

By Susan Stamper Brown

Sadly, bureaucracy is a time-honored tradition in the United States government; but perhaps no greater bureaucratic juggernaut exists today than the Veteran’s Administration (VA) run by the Obama Administration.

The abject failure of the VA under the leadership of the three-ring circus we know as the Obama Administration is a case in point that increasing funding does little to inject competence or efficiency.

Recent documents from an Internal Veterans Affairs Department reveal that some veterans actually die before receiving the care they need, and others are forced to wait up to eight months to see a doctor, well beyond the VA’s standard of 14 days.

A House Veterans Oversight and Investigations committee appointed to look into the problem found evidence the VA is falsifying numbers and closing out veterans’ appointment requests in response to the backlog. According to the Military Times, the committee chairman, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), cites reasons for the closeouts that include: “the request was years old, too much time had elapsed, or the veteran had died.”

A March 14, 2013 witness testimony by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Health Care Director, Debra Draper, stated no one actually knows how long veterans are waiting for care because “the reported dates are unreliable” — a large number of VA appointment schedulers don’t know how to do their job, the whole system is obsolete, and dates are massaged to “show clinic wait times within VHA’s performance goals.”

I digress to note that similar complaints are also documented within Britain’s National Healthcare System, where workers manipulate numbers to meet quotas to keep their jobs. If the VA can’t provide benefits to our nation’s veterans, how does the Obama administration plan to deliver healthcare for 30-plus million Americans?

Liberals would have us believe that a bloated federal government has the ability to play a meaningful role in nurturing people’s lives; but if they can’t get this one right, they should just fuhgeddaboutit. Case closed. Done.

Additionally, internal VA documents secured by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that wait times for first-time disability compensation claims and other benefit claims are much longer than the VA cares to admit, with claims taking anywhere from 316 to 642 days.

In the first year of President Obama’s presidency, 11,000 veterans were on a claim waiting list for more than a year. Five years later, despite promises for improvement and massive dollars “invested,” the situation has deteriorated.

Those on a one-year waiting list for claims rose by more than 2000 percent, to 245,000 in 2012. Currently, the average wait time for 900,000 veterans who have been willing to sacrifice life and limb for our freedom is 273 days. With that kind of malfeasance taking place under my watch, I think I’d do a little less golfing if I were president.

If you think this has something to do with “the mess Obama inherited,” then think again. The Center for Investigative Reporting found that “the average wait time for veterans filing disability claims fell by more than a third under President George W. Bush, even as …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism

Joe's® Opens New Retail Store in Tysons Galleria in McLean, VA

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Joe’s ® Opens New Retail Store in Tysons Galleria in McLean, VA

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Joe’s Jeans Inc. (NAS: JOEZ) announces the opening of its thirty-first retail store, located in Tysons Galleria in Northern Virginia. The Tysons Galleriaboutique, located just outside of Washington DC, will house Joe’s® complete denim and contemporary collections for men, women and children, as well as accessories, including shoes and handbags.

Joe’s Tysons Galleria (Photo: Business Wire)

The approximately 950 square-foot boutique features crystal chandeliers and one-of-a-kind furniture pieces juxtaposed against the clean, neutral colors of the space for a modern yet intimate setting. Creative Director and Founder, Joe Dahan shared, “With Joe’s® new Tysons Galleria store, our goal is to offer Washington DC a highly personal shopping experience with an injection of Southern California style and vibe.”

Joe’s® currently has thirty other boutiques throughout the U.S., including New York City, northern New Jersey, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. Joe’s® Tysons Galleria store is the brand’s first boutique in the Washington DC area and its third location in the mid-Atlantic region of the East Coast.

Marc Crossman, President and CEO of the Company, stated, “We are very excited to open a store in the greater Washington DC area, which is a brand new market for us.” Crossman continued, “DC has a strong up-and-coming fashion community and as the nation’s capital, it is a popular tourist and shopping destination for domestic and international travelers alike. We are thrilled to be part of the shopping experience at Tysons Galleria where we can bring Joe’s® complete lifestyle brand to the DC customer.”

Joe’s Tysons Galleria
– 2001 International Drive, Space 1412, McLean, VA 22102

About Joe’s Jeans Inc

Joe’s® is a casual chic lifestyle brand offering a unique interpretation on classic, modernized wardrobe staples encompassing a versatile range of timeless styles from premium denim and handcrafted collection pieces to contemporary accessories and footwear.

With over a decade in fashion, Joe’s® has remained true to their DNA throughout their expansion, embracing fashion innovation in the creation of a full faceted line for Men, Women and Kids. Joe’s® is available coast …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Health Net Federal Services Sponsors National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Vil

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Health Net Federal Services Sponsors National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Health Net Federal Services, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. (NYS: HNT) , today announced it will be a sponsor of the 27th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colo., March 31 – April 5, 2013. The annual event provides winter sports instruction to Veterans with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, certain neurological conditions and other disabilities.

Chris Devlin-Young, a Paralympic ski champion and U.S. Coast Guard Veteran, is scheduled to appear at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic as a guest mentor. Health Net has partnered with Devlin-Young over the past two years to help motivate and inspire Veterans with disabilities overcome physical and emotional challenges. Photo by: Mark Pecotich

Health Net Federal Services is pleased to support the Winter Sports Clinic for the eighth time as a part of our ongoing commitment to serving Veterans and programs that improve their well-being,” said Tom Carrato, president of Health Net Federal Services. “We are proud to be a part of an event that fosters courage and confidence in Veterans with disabilities. We salute the spirit and determination of these Veterans as they demonstrate that having a disability is not an obstacle to an active and rewarding life.”

Chris Devlin-Young, a Paralympic ski champion and U.S. Coast Guard Veteran, is scheduled to appear at the clinic as a guest mentor. Health Net has partnered with Devlin-Young over the past two years to help motivate and inspire Veterans with disabilities to overcome physical and emotional challenges.

In 1982, Devlin-Young was on a Coast Guard mission in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands when his plane crashed into a mountain. He suffered irreversible spinal trauma as he attempted to save his fellow crew members from the burning wreckage. In 1987, his life was forever changed again when he participated in the first Winter Sports Clinic. Twenty-seven years later, he is a world renowned athlete, most recently winning the 2013 World Cup/Pre-Paralympic Downhill title in Sochi, Russia.

The clinic, which also is sponsored by the Disabled American Veterans and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is open to U.S. military Veterans with traumatic injuries and other disabilities who receive care at a VA medical facility or military treatment facility. More than 400 Veteran athletes are expected to attend and participate in a …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Equinix and NetApp Enable Security and Scale for Flexible Cloud Compute Environments

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Equinix and NetApp Enable Security and Scale for Flexible Cloud Compute Environments

NetApp Private Storage for AWS delivers performance, agility and control for global cloud deployments via Platform Equinix

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the global interconnection and data center company, today announced availability of NetApp Private Storage for AWS in Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX ®) data centers where AWS Direct Connect is deployed including the United States and Asia. The new solution enables organizations to leverage on-demand cloud compute services while retaining full control of their data; data remains secure on a private NetApp storage array.

NetApp Private Storage for AWS allows organizations to balance private and public cloud resources to best meet their business needs. This enables companies to maintain control of their data, comply with the most stringent privacy and security standards, and deliver sub-5ms performance.

Highlights/Key Facts

  • Customers with heavy storage and compute needs can now combine NetApp Private Storage with AWS Direct Connect, to gain all the cost and agility benefits of public cloud while meeting rigorous compliance and security standards, retaining control over data, and maintaining high-levels of application performance.
  • When located within an Equinix IBX data center, NetApp Private Storage for AWS enables sub-5ms response times on data traveling between the hosted NetApp array and AWS. Other data center providers claiming a “direct connection” to public cloud services use long-haul circuits for the connection, which introduces additional latency and impairs performance.
  • Companies can use NetApp Private Storage for AWS for a wide range of applications, such as disaster recovery, development and test, burst, tiered data back-up and recovery, big data analytics, and more.
  • NetApp Private Storage for AWS has been deployed and tested in Equinix data centers located in Silicon Valley and Ashburn, VA. Demo platforms will be made available for testing and validation by Equinix customers in Singapore, Silicon Valley, and Ashburn IBXs.


Shinseki says VA on target for ending backlog

Although the number of veterans’ disability claims keep soaring, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Sunday said he’s committed to ending the backlog by 2015 by replacing paper with electronic records.

Veterans receive disability compensation for injuries or illness incurred during their active military service. About 600,000 claims, or 70 percent, are considered backlogged. The number of claims pending for more than 125 days has nearly quadrupled under Shinseki’s watch.

Shinseki told CNN’s “State of the Union” that a decade of war and efforts to make it easier for veterans to collect compensation for certain illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder have driven the backlog higher during his tenure. He said that doing away with paper records will be the key to a turnaround.

Shinseki said that the VA has puts its new computer system in place in 20 regional offices around the country and all regional offices will be on the system by the end of the year.

“This has been decades in the making, 10 years of war. We’re in paper, we need to get out of paper,” Shinseki said. The Defense Department and other agencies still file paper claims, he said, but “we have commitments that in 2014 we will be electronically processing our data and sharing it.”

Congressional committees have held two hearings on the disability claims bottleneck in the past two weeks. Lawmakers voiced growing frustration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“There are many people, including myself, who are losing patience as we continue to hear the same excuses from VA about increased workload and increased complexity of claims,” Florida’s Rep. Jeff Miller, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said during a hearing on Wednesday.

“No veteran should have to wait for claims. If there’s anybody impatient here, I am that individual and we’re pushing hard,” said Shinseki, the former four-star Army general who became VA secretary when President Barack Obama came into office.

About 4.3 million veterans and survivors receive disability benefits. Most veterans whose claims are backlogged, about 60 percent, are getting some disability compensation already and have filed for additional benefits for other injuries or illnesses.

…read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

Florida Marine vet fights male breast cancer, government

Marine veteran Tom Gervasi has spent the last 10 years fighting cancer and the U.S. government.

The 76-year-old Sarasota man has a rare form of breast cancer that he believes is due to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he trained in the mid-1950s.

On Friday, Gervasi went into the hospital so doctors could snake a camera into his lungs to check for cancerous lesions. He’s been coughing and short of breath in recent months, and can barely shuffle from his living room to his screened-in porch without leaning on his cane and stopping to catch his breath.

Gervasi said he is struggling to stay alive so he can win compensation from the government and not leave his wife, Elaine, with any of his medical debt. They will mark their 57th wedding anniversary on March 24. When they retired to Florida nearly a dozen years ago, they assumed they would play tennis, walk the beach and travel the world.

Those plans haven’t been possible because of Gervasi’s illness, not even quick jaunts up north to visit their grandchildren. The couple has focused solely on Gervasi’s seemingly endless doctors’ appointments and trying to convince the Department of Veterans Affairs that the contaminated water caused the cancer.

According to a VA fact sheet, “at this time available scientific and clinical evidence is not sufficient to establish a presumptive association between service at Camp Lejeune and any subsequent development of particular diseases.”

The Gervasis both have a robust sense of humor and Tom still displays the demeanor of the strapping ex-police detective that he once was, trying to smile and joke around his anger.

“I love life. I’m not ready to die. You know, I believe in God. When God wants to take me, God will take me. But I’m fighting to stay alive,” he said.

VA spokesman Randal Noller wrote in an email Friday that the agency couldn’t discuss individual cases without a signed privacy waiver form.

Despite no scientific link between the water and disease, federal officials have acknowledged problems.

Health officials believe as many as 1 million people may have been exposed to tainted water. A VA representative has said the approval rate for claims related to the contamination is about 25 percent so far. As of September, the VA had granted 17 breast cancer claims and denied 13 others. Not all were men.

In March 2003, Elaine noticed that the nipple on her husband’s left breast was inverted and the skin nearby was dimpled and urged him to get a mammogram. The results were unusual and devastating: he had breast cancer. While the disease affects one in eight women, it affects just one in 1,000 men.

After his left breast and 31 lymph nodes were removed and after he endured chemotherapy and radiation, a cousin showed him a news article. People who had been stationed at Lejeune were getting cancer at abnormally high rates — among the cases were a troubling pattern of men with breast cancer — and authorities were looking into whether contaminated drinking water …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

NewMarket Corporation Announces Exchange Offer for its 4.100% Senior Notes due 2022

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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NewMarket Corporation Announces Exchange Offer for its 4.100% Senior Notes due 2022

RICHMOND, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NewMarket Corporation (NYS: NEU) announced today that it has commenced an offer to exchange $350,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its 4.100% Senior Notes due 2022 that have been registered under the Securities Act for an equal aggregate principal amount of 4.100% Senior Notes due 2022 that were issued on December 20, 2012 and have not been registered under the Securities Act. The terms of the exchange notes are identical in all material respects to the terms of the initial notes for which they are being exchanged, except that the transfer restrictions, the registration rights and provisions for additional interest applicable to the initial notes are not applicable to the exchange notes.

NewMarket is commencing the exchange offer to satisfy its obligations under a registration rights agreement entered into in connection with the issuance of the initial notes. The exchange offer does not represent a new financing transaction.

NewMarket will accept for exchange any and all initial notes validly tendered prior to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on April 23, 2013, unless NewMarket extends the exchange offer in its sole discretion.

Copies of the prospectus, the letter of transmittal and the other transmittal materials governing the exchange offer may be obtained from the Exchange Agent, U.S. Bank National Association, at the following address:

U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust Services
Two James Center
1021 E. Cary Street, Suite 1850
Mail Station: EX-VA-URIT
Richmond, VA 23219-4000
Phone: (804) 771-7935
Fax: (804) 771-7940
Attn: William F. Michie, III

This press release is not an offer to exchange or a solicitation of acceptance of the offer to exchange any notes. The exchange offer is made only pursuant to NewMarket’s prospectus, dated March 22, 2013, which is being filed on or about the date hereof with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of NewMarket’s Registration Statement on Form S-4, and the related letter of transmittal. The Registration Statement was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 22, 2013.

NewMarket Corporation through its subsidiaries, Afton Chemical Corporation and Ethyl Corporation, develops, manufactures, blends, and delivers chemical additives that enhance the performance of petroleum products. From custom-formulated chemical blends to market-general additive components, the NewMarket family of companies provides technology to make fuels burn cleaner, engines run smoother and machines last longer.

Safe Harbor Statement
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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Veterans Express Frustration Over VA Health Care

By Russel Langley

army soldier1 Veterans express frustration over VA health care

“I don’t want my feet kissed but I do want the respect everyone deserves,” said Krystal Hasson, a veteran and VA patient discussing substandard VA care on Facebook.  According to Hasson, it is common for government employees dealing with veterans to be rude and disrespectful.  As a California homeowner, she reports having a similar experience during the buying process with Cal Vet employees.

Chris Hefner, another California veteran, reports filing a claim over 12 months ago and trying to receive an update in the last two weeks.  According to Hefner, the VA claimed they never received his claim despite the fact that he had a confirmation number from filing the claim.

What began as a simple question and expression of frustration to Facebook friends quickly turned into several veterans detailing their frustrations over dealing with the VA for medical care or claims of disability.  Hefner reported being told they had no record at all of him applying despite the fact that he filed his claim twice.  Hasson had to have her claim “escalated” by a government official before action was taken.

Hasson said that in her experience, if you have waited more than 12 months for action, the next step is to contact your local VA representative.

“They will contact your state representative, and that really puts a fire under the VA.  It is a shame that it has to be this way,” Hasson said.

One Facebook user reported being told about two types of VA employees (by a VA employee nonetheless).  “There are those who like veterans and those who think we get too many benefits,” Cal Glass said.

Glass also said that in his experience, there are more good VA employees than bad ones; but the bad ones do make dealing with the VA difficult.

Several attempts to contact the VA for comment and confirmation went unanswered or unreturned.

Photo credit: familymwr (Creative Commons)

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism

Removing orbital debris with less risk

Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC) announced today that the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is publishing an article entitled “Removing Orbital Debris With Less Risk” in the March/April edition of the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets (JSR) authored by Kerry Nock and Dr. Kim Aaron, of GAC, and Dr. Darren McKnight, of Integrity Applications Incorporated, Chantilly, VA. This article compares in-orbit debris removal options regarding their potential risk of creating new orbital debris or disabling working satellites during deorbit operation. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

VA Provides Substandard Care For Veterans

By Russel Langley

Soldier US Flag SC VA provides substandard care for veterans

The veteran sits in his home on hold yet again with the veteran’s administration healthcare facility that is two hours from his home.  It is not his closest facility, but it is the only one he can get an appointment at, and now that appointment needs to be changed.  He has been on hold for over an hour when he screams in frustration that he was now disconnected and will have to begin his wait anew.

That veteran is yours truly, and I was trying to make intake appointments for my wife and me at the Mountain Home VA Hospital in Johnson City, TN.  We are both disabled veterans and have been part of the VA healthcare system for years; but since we moved from California to Tennessee, we had to start all over and reapply for our benefits.  They could not simply transfer us in the computer; and to make matters worse, we were told we cannot have appointments at the local clinic and will have to drive over two hours to see a doctor.

Our story of frustration is felt time and again on a daily basis across the country by disabled veterans who are treated poorly by the very system built to help them.  Operators and phone personnel are rude, offices do not talk with one another, or computer systems are incompatible and make communications difficult or impossible.  Veterans who have been in the VA system for years are subjected to re-testing just to maintain the medication that has helped them in the past.  Veterans entering the system are subject to the same re-testing despite providing complete medical records to the VA time and again.

In a tearful plea for help, Vietnam veteran Carl Harmon of Linn Valley, KS writes, “So here I sit in the middle of the night after two months without pain meds.”

Harmon tells a tale of his wife losing her job due to layoffs and this forcing him to turn to the VA for his long term care for several chronic conditions.  According to the letter written by Harmon, he provided VA care providers with several copies of his medical records.  Despite this, the VA insisted he take tests he has already had that were documented in his medical records; until the tests can be scheduled, administered, and scored, Harmon will have to survive without his pain and anti-depression medication.

Unlike a private practice doctor who is held accountable by the courts for malpractice, it appears no such accountability exists for the VA.  Attempts to hold the VA accountable by several patients have ended only in frustration, according to various websites dealing with VA complaints.

Several attempts to contact the VA regarding this issue of lower-than-standard care for America’s veterans went unanswered at the time of publication.

Photo credit: terrellaftermath

Whistleblowers allege wrongdoing at VA center

A federal investigative agency says employees at a Veterans Administration hospital in Jackson, Miss., disclosed “serious wrongdoing” that raises questions about the facility’s ability to care for the veterans it serves.

In a letter sent Monday to the White House, the Office of Special Counsel said an initial report by a whistleblower employee at the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center alleged in 2009 that the staff routinely failed to properly clean and sterilize reusable medical equipment such as scalpels.

The VA investigated and confirmed many of the allegations and said it took corrective actions. In 2011, however, another whistleblower employee alleged that the problems persisted. A VA investigation did not substantiate that allegation, but the Office of Special Counsel said Monday it found the VA‘s findings unreasonable.

In all, five whistleblower employees lodged complaints; two of the cases are still under VA investigation.

…read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. Announces $0.035 Per Share Monthly Cash Dividend

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. Announces $0.035 Per Share Monthly Cash Dividend

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. (Nasdaq: WHLR) (“Wheeler” or the “Company”), a company specializing in owning, acquiring, financing, developing, renovating, leasing and managing income producing assets, such as community centers, neighborhood centers, strip centers and free-standing retail properties, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a $0.035 per share monthly cash dividend for shareholders of record on March 31, 2013, to be paid on or about April 30, 2013.

About Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc.

Headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. specializes in owning, acquiring, financing, developing, renovating, leasing and managing income producing assets, such as community centers, neighborhood centers, strip centers and free-standing retail properties. Wheeler’s portfolio contains strategically selected properties, primarily leased by nationally and regionally recognized retailers of consumer goods and located in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Southwest regions of the United States.

Additional information about Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. can be found at the Company’s corporate website: www.whlr.us.

Forward-Looking Statement

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. (the “Company”) considers portions of the information in this press release relating to its business operations and the timing and amount of its future dividend payments to be forward‐looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, both as amended. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward‐looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. For example, this press release states that the Company’s monthly dividend rate is $0.035 per share. A possible implication of this statement is that the Company will continuously pay monthly dividends of $0.035 per share, or $0.42 per share per year in the future. The Company’s dividend rates are set and may be reset from time to time by its Board of Directors. The Company’s Board of Directors will consider many factors when setting dividend rates, including the Company’s historical and projected income, normalized …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

ORBCOMM to Acquire GlobalTrak

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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ORBCOMM to Acquire GlobalTrak

Expands end-to-end solutions offering for mobile asset applications, distribution into government sector and new geographic regions

ROCHELLE PARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– ORBCOMM Inc. (NAS: ORBC) , a global satellite data communications company specializing in Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications and solutions, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with System Planning Corporation to acquire substantially all of the assets of its GlobalTrak division. GlobalTrak is an information services company that utilizes satellite and cellular communications networks, sensors and proprietary software platforms to provide real-time situational awareness and intelligence to improve logistics and security processes and operations on a global basis. GlobalTrak’s customer base includes military, international, government, and commercial customers.

The acquisition of the GlobalTrak business supports ORBCOMM‘s growth strategy of expanding its end-to-end solutions portfolio into key vertical markets and new geographic regions. GlobalTrak sells into key markets such as the government sector and operates in the Middle East, Asia and South America. Combining GlobalTrak technology with ORBCOMM‘s existing capabilities will create a suite of transportation related product offerings across the expanded global distribution network.

“The addition of GlobalTrak’s advanced asset monitoring solution and its top-tier customer base adds to ORBCOMM‘s diverse technologies and expertise serving the transportation market” said Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM‘s Chief Executive Officer. “It is an important next step in the evolution of ORBCOMM‘s business as an end-to-end solutions provider, and brings with it significant differentiated technology solutions, such as container tracking, as well as new and important distribution channels. We look forward to welcoming GlobalTrak’s customers and employees to ORBCOMM during this exciting time in our company’s history.”

“Joining with ORBCOMM positions GlobalTrak for long-term growth and creates a leading force in telematics through a powerful combination of innovation, technology and worldwide coverage,” said Richard Meyers, President and Chief Executive Officer of GlobalTrak. “GlobalTrak’s customers will benefit from ORBCOMM‘s proven experience in mobile data communications and leading-edge transportation industry solutions.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions. ORBCOMM expects to realize benefits and synergies from the combined businesses in service delivery, device manufacturing and other operating costs. GlobalTrak will operate out of ORBCOMM‘s Dulles, VA facility.

About ORBCOMM Inc.
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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Whistleblower alleges VA neglected suicidal vets, suppressed study findings

By Rebecca Ruiz, Contributor A leading epidemiologist says that the Department of Veterans Affairs, charged with caring for millions who have served their country, neglected assisting suicidal veterans who participated in longitudinal studies and never released important research data on the exposure of Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to toxins, inhalational hazards and burn pits. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Lawmakers question progress on disability claims

The Veterans Affairs Department is hoping the installation of a new computer system will eliminate the growing backlog of disability claims, but when officials showed the new program off to congressional staff last week, it didn’t work.

That example as well as the ever-growing number of backlogged claims led lawmakers to question the VA Wednesday about whether it can realistically meet its 2015 target of ending the backlog entirely.

The number of claims pending more than 125 days has jumped from 180,000 to 600,000 over the past 3 1/2 years.

Lawmakers on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs say they’re tired of hearing about the longstanding problem.

VA Undersecretary Allison Hickey emphasized the VA was processing more claims than ever — more than 1 million annually.

…read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News