Recordkeeping – Payday Loans VMR Thu, 23 Jun 2022 18:34:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Recordkeeping – Payday Loans VMR 32 32 Sheriff’s office announces ‘greater accountability’, ‘more robust’ record keeping along the way • Georgia Virtue Thu, 23 Jun 2022 16:34:36 +0000

Following a host of headlines regarding the sheriff’s office accounting and record keeping, Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams said “more robust” practices are on the way.

Over the past two weeks, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office has come under increased scrutiny following a story in the local newspaper, The true citizen, on June 7 regarding supposedly “hidden” grants in the possession of the agency. At a subsequent press conference held by the sheriff, Williams vehemently denied the allegations, calling the article “bullshit” and “reckless.” Williams explained that there was more to the story than what is portrayed in the article.

Following a public records request, Georgian Virtue published an article on June 16, which detailed the lack of credit card statements and the lack of itemized receipts for over $40,000 in expenses. TGV described a host of record retention policies that were not followed by BCSO, even though the office has full discretion over the use of funds, as well as issues with the mixing of funds from another BCSO grant. the local housing authority.

In this week’s edition of The true citizen, the sheriff released a statement about “spending issues.” Specifically, Williams said:

“[T]his experience leads us to review our record keeping practices and do it in a more robust way. We will retain original receipts and related documentation more strictly….[W]We envision greater accountability to reassure our citizens that we are operating in a fiscally responsible manner and within proper guidelines.

The statement did not otherwise delve into the details of the reforms or the $40,000 spent from September 2021 to May 2022, but it did highlight a number of other matters of public concern.

Journalist Ben Roberts of The true citizen however, did not mince words in an op-ed he wrote about the events as they unfolded. In a separate column he wrote:

“[Williams’] His arrogance and, frankly, ignorance of the law has thus far cost Burke County taxpayers a few hundred thousand dollars in legal fees. His latest antics could cost us more. Burke County taxpayers should demand answers… The commissioners should hold the sheriff accountable. And Williams should be embarrassed. He could also start looking for a criminal lawyer, in case the Feds or the GBI come up with their own set of questions. (You can read the rest here if you have a subscriptionnot)

Williams’ statement as published in the newspaper is below in full.

Sam Robert Recognized as a Catalyst Leader by Fulcrum Partners, a OneDigital Company Tue, 21 Jun 2022 13:01:30 +0000

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ATLANTA, June 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fulcrum Partners, a OneDigital company, announced SamRobert as a 2022 Catalyst Leader. Sam serves as the company’s Vice President – ​​Retirement and is based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He is the fourth member of the Fulcrum Partners team to receive recognition as a Catalyst Leader in 2022, joining the company’s Vice Presidents – Retirement, Kenny DePaola, Christine Scott and Adam Monson.

General director Mike Powers said, “At Fulcrum Partners, a OneDigital business, we realize that our organization’s ability to meet and meet the needs of a changing workforce is directly aligned with the quality of young talent we bring into our enterprise. Although Sam has not been part of the Fulcrum Partners team for long, he has quickly distinguished himself with his attentive and thorough customer service and his exceptional knowledge of the industry.

“It’s a real pleasure to work with such a knowledgeable team of advisors,” Sam said. “I’ve spent half my career partnering with this team on the recordkeeping side, so amazing experience to now work with this team every day and call them my peers.”

“Sam is an industry expert,” said the senior vice president Mount Harrickone of Sam’s mentors and project partners. “As a member of Fulcrum Partners, a OneDigital company, Sam is well positioned to provide what we believe to be the most holistic and comprehensive customer service available in the industry. He seizes the opportunity and the companies he serves take advantage of it.”

Sam added, “I’m passionate about helping plan sponsors create innovative non-qualified plan solutions. Providing a state-of-the-art unqualified plan well positioned within the organization can be the difference between hiring the right candidate or retaining a key contributor. I love watching the light bulb go on for plan committee members, or when the HR manager looks at you across the table and says, “I never thought of it that way.” or “We are implementing this immediately”. And while it’s always exciting to work with new plan sponsors to create new plans, I particularly enjoy developing unique education campaigns for existing plans that lead to increased plan participation.

Sam is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and holds Series 66 and Series 7 licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Learn more about Sam Robert and all the benefits specialists at Fulcrum Partners, a OneDigital company ( To learn more about how organizations and leaders can benefit from using unqualified deferred compensation (NQDC), follow Deferred compensation news.

About Fulcrum Partners, a OneDigital company

Fulcrum Partners ( With a team of seasoned industry professionals who offer diverse skills, focused experience and deep expertise in executive compensation and benefits consulting, the finance professionals at Fulcrum Partners, a OneDigital company, focus on an integrated approach to the design, funding and plan administration of executive benefits programs. Originally founded in 2007, the company is now part of consulting firm OneDigital and has benefits consulting offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Ill.; Charleston and Bluffton, South Carolina; Cleveland, Ohio; Delray Beach, Orlando and Ponte Vedra, Florida; Los Angeles and Irvine, California; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City, Utah; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas and Washington DC

About OneDigital

OneDigital provides strategic advice and technology solutions to more than 85,000 employers across the country. As health care, wellness and employee benefits continue to converge, companies of all sizes have relied on OneDigital’s exceptional consulting teams for advice on employee benefits, -being, human resources, pharmacy consulting, property and casualty insurance solutions, as well as retirement and wealth management services provided by OneDigital Investment Advisors. OneDigital’s commitment to technology and innovation enables its 3,000 advisors to deliver the most modern and intuitive customer experience in the industry.

OneDigital was named Best Workplace in Insurance by Business Insurance. For more information, visit

This document has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal or tax advice. Any tax advice contained herein is general in nature. You should seek advice from your tax advisor before pursuing any idea contemplated herein. Please carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in mutual funds. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained directly from the fund company or from your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether or not to invest.

Securities offered by Lion Street Financial, LLC (LSF) and Valmark Securities, Inc. (VSI), each a member of FINRA and SIPC. Investment advisory services offered by Lion Street Advisors, LLC (LSA) and Valmark Advisers, Inc. (VAI), each an SEC-registered investment adviser. Please refer to your investment advisory agreement and the information provided on the ADV form for more information. VAI/VSI and LSF/LSA are unaffiliated entities and separate entities from OneDigital and Fulcrum Partners.

Unless otherwise stated, VAI/VSI, LSF/LSA are not affiliated with, associated with, authorized, endorsed by, or officially connected in any way with any other company, agency, or government agency identified or referenced herein.

Lion Street Councilors // Lion Street Financial


Steve Broadbent


[email protected]

A photo accompanying this ad is available at

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Sam Roberts, Executive Benefits Specialist, Recognized as a Catalyst Leader at Fulcrum Partners

Sam Robert, Vice President – Retirement, Honored as Catalyst Leader, Fulcrum Partners at OneDigital Company

Source: Fulcrum Partners, LLC

IRS Treatment of Cryptocurrency for the 2021 Tax Year and Beyond Sun, 19 Jun 2022 15:30:54 +0000

Cryptocurrency plays a larger societal role, from personal income tax, retirement/estate planning, transactions, and even professional athlete salaries.

Those engaged in the crypto market will want to know how to comply with current tax laws and how to navigate the tax rule changes regarding crypto that are expected to arrive.

While crypto enthusiasts have a good case for supporting its viability, those doing business using crypto may not be aware of the tax reporting and compliance obligations that come with its use. In addition to the reliable, long-term reserve of crypto stocks with stocks, crypto investors favor mathematical algorithms that cap the cryptocurrency and prevent governments from weakening its value through inflation.

However, those who invest in crypto and those who buy and sell it will likely face new reporting/disclosure obligations as the market continues to develop. This article (the first in a series) focuses on the general federal income tax rules for virtual currency and examines potential taxpayer reporting and compliance pitfalls in this developing market.

For now, the IRS argues that cryptocurrency is a taxable capital asset, similar to traditional stocks. You realize a taxable gain if you sell your crypto for a profit, and you can claim a capital loss (potentially offsetting other income taxes) if the crypto market fell before your sale. Long-term appreciation rates, which may be favorable depending on your income, only apply to crypto if you’ve held your crypto for a year or more before selling, giving away, or trading it. ‘swap.

Michael Pollock

The record-keeping requirements of IRS Form 8949 (to report other dispositions of fixed assets) can be onerous, especially for those who conduct business using crypto throughout a given year. Additionally, the IRS can track these transactions using multiple channels. The IRS is working to “fill the virtual currency information gap” by developing third-party reporting systems (broker returns) to identify crypto transactions that cannot be easily identified on typical reporting forms, such as a W-2 form (for salary employees), a 1099-MISC form (for non-employee payments made in connection with business or commercial activities), and, more relevantly, a 1099-K form (for third-party payment network transactions made through platforms such as PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle or, in the context of crypto, a crypto exchange such as Coinbase, Binance.US, or

Although the IRS has little interest in reviewing unreported virtual currency transactions of relatively low value, taxpayers who find they have failed to report and fail to act are playing a dangerous game that could result in the imposition of interest and penalties or even criminal prosecution. . Additionally, whistleblowers who report missing activity to the IRS are eligible for monetary rewards in the form of a percentage of any penalties collected. Crypto investors and traders should beware: transactions added to the blockchain are indelible. The federal government does not have a time limit for bringing civil tax evasion suits against a taxpayer.

Investors and their businesses that report no virtual currency-related income have a three-year look-back period to change past returns. They should seek professional tax and legal representation.

Nonetheless, if you are a compliance-minded crypto investor/trader, consider getting a full accounting of all your crypto activities on every platform you use. This allows you to do some of your own tax planning (e.g. determining what capital gains treatment you qualify for (long-term/short-term)), but more importantly, it ensures at least some basic tax compliance. .

Michael Pollock is an associate attorney at Wright Lindsey Jennings who advises and represents corporations and individuals in tax and commercial matters. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Verisk and LIMRA partner with Co Fri, 17 Jun 2022 13:25:41 +0000

JERSEY CITY, NJ, and WINDSOR, CT., June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Building on the unique strengths of both organizations, LIMRA and Verisk are partnering to provide enhanced capabilities for insurers and archivists to help fight fraud and financial criminal attacks against their customers.

FraudShare, LIMRA’s latest industry solution developed in conjunction with its members to address common industry challenges, helps leading financial services companies combat the growing prevalence of account takeover (ATO) fraud in life insurance, annuity and pension plan accounts. Launched in October 2019, FraudShare now serves 53 companies, representing 70% of the US life insurance market, 60% of the US annuity market and 25% of the retirement services market.

This partnership expands Verisk’s extensive anti-fraud portfolio, which includes ClaimSearch®, the world’s largest property and casualty claims database, used by more than 90% of the property and casualty industry, as well as for life insurance, long-term care and disability claims.

“For more than two years, the industry has relied on FraudShare to detect and combat account takeover fraud. Today, as fraudulent attacks become more sophisticated, we want to leverage of greater technology and data insights to strengthen our product and better serve our members,” said David Levenson, President and CEO, LIMRA and LOMA. “By combining Verisk’s unique data assets , state-of-the-art technology and deep domain expertise with LIMRA’s anti-fraud services, we are able to provide life insurers with state-of-the-art anti-fraud solutions at competitive prices.

“LIMRA offers a valuable early fraud detection system for the financial services industry for the life insurance, annuity and retirement markets,” said Maroun Mourad, President of Life and Growth Markets at Verisk. “Working together, we can provide a comprehensive suite of anti-fraud and financial crime solutions for a wider range of financial products with real-time access capabilities.”

Initially, LIMRA and Verisk will focus on creating more robust solutions while improving overall automation. This will include integration with Verisk’s FAST life insurance platform, giving joint customers real-time access to FraudShare and additional threat intelligence data. The partnership will provide all FraudShare users with enhanced threat intelligence data and expanded data analytics and automation capabilities. Through this partnership, LIMRA and Verisk will enable FraudShare clients to mitigate a wider range of fraud threats facing the insurance, retirement and recordkeeping industries.

To support life insurers throughout the policy lifecycle, Verisk has developed a suite of solutions that apply advanced analytics, automation and machine learning to existing and emerging data sources. The solutions are designed to help transform current workflows in life insurance underwriting, life and retirement analytics, claims information, unclaimed property/equity, compliance and fraud detection and actuarial and portfolio modelling.

To learn more about FraudShare, visit

To learn more about Verisk life insurance solutions, visit

About Verisk
Verisk (VRSK) provides data-driven insights and analytical solutions for the insurance and energy industries. Through advanced data analytics, software, scientific research and deep industry knowledge, Verisk enables customers to enhance operational efficiency, improve underwriting and claims results, fight fraud and make informed decisions on global issues, including climate change and extreme events, as well as ESG policies and topics. With offices in more than 30 countries, Verisk regularly achieves certification by Great place to work and promotes a inclusive culture where all team members feel like they belong. To learn more, visit and the Verisk Newsroom.

Serving the industry since 1916, LIMRA offers industry knowledge, insights, connections and solutions to help more than 700 member organizations face change with confidence. Visit LIMRA at

Insurance-Services-Office-Inc-.png ]]> New York State Legislature Seeks to Regulate Work-Related ‘Quotas’ for Warehouse Workers | Smaller Tue, 14 Jun 2022 21:59:16 +0000

On June 3, 2022, the New York Legislature passed Senate Bill 8922, the Warehouse Worker Protection Act (WWPA), which, if enacted, would further regulate the working conditions of warehouse workers in New York State. As detailed below, the WWPA, following similar legislation in California, would restrict and regulate the use of labor-related “quotas” in warehouses. The WWPA will be delivered to Governor Hochul by the end of the calendar year and will become effective 60 days after signing. Governor Hocul has yet to decide whether she will sign the WWPA.

WWPA would create a new section 21-A of New York’s labor law, applying to “warehouse distribution centers” with more than 100 “non-exempt and non-administrative” employees at a single location, or more than 500 of these employees across several distribution centers in the state.1 WWPA broadly defines “quota” to include specified productivity speeds, quantified number of tasks, quantified amount of material, and defined time periods during which employee performance will be measured for purposes of continued employment. .

WWPA would require, among other things, that employees be provided with a written description of any work-related “quota” required by the employer, as well as specific details regarding the actions and timing of any quota, and the associated consequences in the event of a no respect. to reach such a quota. The employer-required written description of all quotas must be provided to employees upon hire or within 30 days of the effective date of WWPA, and within two business days of any quota changes . WWPA does not specify whether notice must be in writing or whether electronic notice may suffice, and does not require employees to sign or agree to such notice.

WWPA would further prevent warehouse employers from instituting a quota if it would prevent an employee from having a mandatory meal or rest period, including “reasonable time to and from the restroom.” The WWPA does not specify whether unionized employees and their employers may voluntarily agree, through collective bargaining, to institute quota requirements consistent with agreed-upon meal and rest periods.

WWPA would impose additional record-keeping requirements on employers covered by the law. Specifically, covered employers would be required to keep records of each employee’s “personal work speed data”, “aggregate work speed” for “similar employees” at the same establishment, and job descriptions/reviews. writings of quota employees were previously provided. . Covered employers would be required to keep these records throughout the employment relationship. Employers would be required to retain the last six months of the aforementioned records for a period of three years from the date of termination of employment of a covered employee. In addition to being available to New York State Department of Labor inspectors, current and former employees would have the right to request copies of these records for themselves as well as aggregate data for similar employees. .

WWPA would establish a rebuttable presumption of unlawful retaliation for any adverse action, including discipline or termination, taken within 90 days of an employee’s request for records under WWPA or a complaint of a perceived violation. of WWPA, including complaints made “in error but in good faith.” WWPA does not define “good faith” nor does it address the myriad of circumstances in which an employee’s employment could be discontinued for reasons entirely unrelated to a request for records or a complaint (even a baseless but “good faith” complaint) under the WWPA.

The New York commissioner of labor would be charged with the enforcement of the WWPA, including the power to issue orders to comply under section 218 of the New York labor law. The WWPA does not specify whether it creates a right of private civil action for enforcement, but does explicitly provide that the New York Attorney General may enforce the provisions of the WWPA through civil and criminal suits. Pursuant to Section 218 of the Labor Act, penalties for violations of WWPA, which include providing written descriptions of quotas to current and former employees, can be up to $1,000 for the first violation , $2,000 for the second offense and $3,000 for all subsequent offenses. offences. The WWPA would require the New York State Department of Labor to pass implementing regulations prior to the effective date of the WWPA. These regulations could resolve some of the ambiguities discussed above.

If enacted, the WWPA would create significant obligations for warehouse employers, and affected employers would be required to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the new law. Littler will continue to monitor the progress of this pending item.


Lack of standing travel (another) excessive expense suit Mon, 13 Jun 2022 05:26:45 +0000

A federal judge has dismissed an excessive expense lawsuit involving a $7.8 billion 401(k) plan, accepting the argument that the plaintiff participant was not even invested in the funds in question.

Remember, as we noted earlier, the legal standard for surviving a defendants’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit is relatively high. Basically, there must be a failure to state a plausible allegation (not mere speculation) upon which relief may be awarded, while making “all reasonable inferences” in favor of the party that does not seek to dismiss the claim. affair.

Well, in the opinion of Judge Anthony J. Trenga (Morales vs. Capital One Fin. Company., ED Va., No. 1:21-cv-01454, 05/27/22), the case presented by participant-plaintiff Raul Morales (represented by Capozzi Adler,[1] a company that has been very active in these lawsuits lately) was not enough to withstand even this level of scrutiny.

He was apparently persuaded by the facts advanced by the Capital One defendants, who in their motion to support the dismissal of the case explained that if the lawsuit involved three national equity funds[2] available to scheme participants between 2015 and 2020,” however, the applicant has never invested in any of these funds. Instead, since joining the scheme in early 2019, the applicant has always invested his plan assets in a different investment option that the complaint does not dispute.” In other words, no harm, no fault – and therefore no reason to sue.

However, Capital One’s rebuttal didn’t stop there (although it probably could have), but went on to say that even if the lawsuit claimed the funds in question were more expensive than the medians and averages in their investment category and underperformed their peers, the participant-plaintiff here had cited a “single study that courts consistently reject – without identifying any specific investments purported to be prudent alternatives.” Capital One also noted that “…the Complaint separately alleges recklessness based on the assertion that the Plan’s recordkeeping fees were higher – in a single year over the entire alleged Class Period of six years – than the fees allegedly paid by seven other plans,” going on to state that “…even though a handful of other plans paid less in a single year, it doesn’t show recklessness, that is, say that the plan’s fees were outside the range of fees that other plans pay.

They also disputed the comparison of the total alleged charges of the Capital One plan with only the direct charges of the other comparator plans, and that the lawsuit focused “only on the price that different registrars would have charged to other plans, without any service claims. these plans received or how they compare to the services provided by Fidelity to the Capital One plan. The motion goes on to state that “the incomplete valuation says nothing about the reasonableness of the alleged Plan costs, and it certainly does not support the inference that the Plan Trustees’ process was so flawed as to be outside the “range of reasonable judgments” that trustees make.

That said, Judge Trenga gave the plaintiff 14 days to “fix” (amend) his claims for excessive recordkeeping fees.


[1] This is not the first action brought by Capozzi Adler for lack of standing by the participant-plaintiff.

[2] The Northern Small Cap Value Fund, the Fidelity Capital Appreciation Fund and the T. Rowe Price Institutional Large Cap Value Fund. As of 2020, the Plan no longer offers these investment options.

LIMRA and Verisk Partner to Expand Anti-Fraud, Financial Crime Offerings in Life Insurance, Annuity and Retirement Markets – InsuranceNewsNet Thu, 09 Jun 2022 11:33:06 +0000

WINDSOR, Conn., June 9 — LIMRA issued the following press release on June 7, 2022:

Building on the unique strengths of both organizations, LIMRA and Verisk today announce a partnership that will provide greater capabilities to insurers and registrars to help them fight fraud and financial criminal attacks on their customers.

FraudShare, LIMRA’s latest industry solution developed in conjunction with its members to address common industry challenges, helps leading financial services companies combat the growing prevalence of account takeover (ATO) fraud in life insurance, annuity and pension plan accounts. Launched in October 2019FraudShare now serves 53 companies, representing 70% of the WE life insurance market, 60% of the WE annuity market and 25% of the pension services market.

“For more than two years, the industry has relied on FraudShare to detect and combat account takeover fraud. Today, as fraudulent attacks become more sophisticated, we want to take advantage of a more great technology and data insights to strengthen our product and better serve our members,” said David Levenson, President and CEO, LIMRA and LOMA. “By combining Verisk’s unique data assets, cutting-edge technology and deep domain expertise with LIMRA’s anti-fraud services, we are able to provide insurers with market-leading anti-fraud solutions at competitive prices. »

“LIMRA offers a valuable early fraud detection system for the financial services industry for the life insurance, annuity and retirement markets,” said Maroun MouradPresident of Life and Growth Markets at Verisk. “Working together, we can provide a comprehensive suite of anti-fraud and financial crime solutions for a wider range of financial products with real-time access capabilities.”

Initially, LIMRA and Verisk will focus on creating more robust solutions while improving overall automation. This will include integration with Verisk’s FAST life insurance platform, providing joint customers with real-time access to FraudShare and additional threat data. The partnership will provide all FraudShare users with enhanced threat intelligence data and expanded data analytics and automation capabilities. Through this partnership, LIMRA and Verisk will enable FraudShare clients to mitigate a wider range of fraud threats faced by the insurance, retirement and recordkeeping industries.

This partnership extends Verisk’s extensive anti-fraud portfolio, which includes ClaimSearch(R), the world’s largest P&C claims database, used by over 90% of the P&C industry, as well as for life insurance, healthcare long-term and disability.

Support life insurers throughout the life cycle of contracts, Verisk has developed a suite of solutions that apply advanced analytics, automation and machine learning to existing and emerging data sources. The solutions are designed to help transform current workflows in life insurance underwriting, life and retirement analytics, claims information, unclaimed property/equity, compliance and fraud detection, as well as actuarial and portfolio modelling.

* * *

Original text here: annuity-and-retirement-insurance-markets/

What ancient Greece teaches us about the commemoration of the dead Mon, 06 Jun 2022 20:25:31 +0000

What ancient Greece teaches us about the commemoration of the dead

‘Antigone leads Oedipus out of Thebes’ painting by Charles François Jalabert. Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts of Marseille via Wikimedia Commons

By Joel ChristensenJune 6, 2022

Professor Joel Christensen is the chairman of the department of Classical studies at Brandeis University. This article originally appeared on The conversation.

The official tally of Americans lost to COVID-19 exceeded one million. It’s the latest grim milestone that has marked the rise in deaths and infections since the virus took hold in the United States in March 2020.

Such numbers make it difficult to commemorate individuals – a problem that has existed through the ages.

As a scholar who studies Greek myth and wrote a book on psychology and Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey“I continue to try to understand what we have been through in the United States in the age of COVID-19 through my research.

The Greek texts cannot name all of their countless fallen heroes, but they show how to honor the lives of those who lost in war or plague, and the importance of doing so.

Moral Tales and the Countless Deaths

Some early texts on the dead in plagues and war of ancient Greece emphasize the difference between individuals who drag their citizens into disasters and the masses of people who suffer and die because of them.

Homer’s other epic, “The Iliad”, which is set in the conflict between the Greeks and the city of Troy, begins by lamenting the “a myriad of Greeks sent to their doomnot by the war itself but by the superhuman rage of Achilles, son of the goddess Thetis, and the most powerful of the Greek warriors. Achilles’ rage during the war against his commander, Agamemnon, leads to the death of his own people.

Unnamed victims also haunt Sophocles’ Athenian tragedy, “Oedipus Tyrannus” or “Oedipus the King”, when a plague afflicts the city of Thebes. An oracle says that the plague will not end until the murderer of Oedipus’ father, Laius, is brought to justice. Oedipus struggles to realize that he is the killer and the cause of the plague, like the one who murdered his father and married his mother, without knowing who they are.

Probably the most famous account of an ancient Greek plague comes from Thucydides’ “History of the Peloponnesian War”, a generational war between the city-states of Athens and Sparta from 432 to 404 av. 430 BC

First-person account of Thucydides describes fevers and boils and frustrated doctors, but little sense of the individuals who suffered from it. Instead, it focuses on the breakdown of social order, how people have abandoned their neighbors and loved ones, and how, shockingly, traditional traditions funeral rites have been abandoned.

Modern estimates place Athenian losses in this plague at 25% of the population, perhaps more than 75,000 people.

Can we even design the numbers?

Homer and Sophocles do not give names to individuals among the dead masses. As the narrator of the Iliad announces, someone would need “ten mouths and an inexhaustible voiceto name all those who fought at Troy. The contrast between the large number of undifferentiated deaths and the heroes or leaders responsible for them helps readers think about guilt. But it could also be a reflection of the limits of human cognition.

Our brain is not well adapted to understand large numbers: we are good at comparing sums, but the larger a number, the more difficult it is for us to attach concrete meaning to it. This is partly why the COVID-19 milestone death toll of 100,000 and 1,000,000 mean perhaps as much to us as the “myriad of Greek deaths” at the beginning of the “Iliad”.

Our ability to identify with and feel compassion for victims of violence decreases as the number of victims increases, leaving us numb. We are also psychologically more apt to mourn our loved ones, or a handful of people, that a group. This is, sadly, why massacres and genocides are so difficult to deal with emotionally for many people.

Burial and rhetoric

Our inability to understand large numbers of the dead renders them faceless and nameless. This can create tension with practices to honor those we have lost. The burial of mythical Greek centers rites such as honor due to the dead. Their practices included the care of the body through cremation or burial, but also through lamentation and the creation of memory.

Achilles lamenting the death of his friend Patroclus. Painting by artist Gavin Hamilton (1723 – 1798).Scottish National Gallery, CC BY-NC

Indeed, the last two books of Homer’s “Iliad” are lessons in how to commemorate the dead. First, Achille organizes a funeral and games in honor of his friend Patroclusthen the Trojans recover and mourn their fallen defender, Hektor.

Modern funeral eulogies work in part to help create a shared memory of a lost loved one. COVID-19, however, has not only exhausted people’s ability to grieve because of numbers, it also upset memorial practices.

In ancient Athens there was a practice of providing a annual funeral speech for those who had died in the service of the city. The speech was a sacred occasion that honored the dead as a group. These discourses tied their sacrifice to civic survival and state glory, situating their deaths within a story that connected their survivors’ past to future endeavours.

One of the most famous examples of ancient rhetoric comes from this practice. Thucydides places the Pericles’ funeral speech, ruler of Athens and architect of its war with Sparta, at the end of the first year of the conflict, just before the outbreak of the plague. Pericles rallies his people not to mourn their losses but to praise their sacrifice.

The counting policy

Nations can choose to commemorate the dead through a monument or a holiday. This memorialization is a matter of public and political will. But the number of lives lost is subject to selection.

Deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, for example, can be underestimated by a third due to local and national decisions on record keeping and classification. The impact of these losses is impossible to estimate. Around the world, COVID-19 has become a long-term disabling event for millions of people. In the United States only, a quarter of a million children have lost a caregiver to the pandemic.

It’s important to count the numbers and tell their stories, because what countries officially count in part tells who they think counts. Consider, for example, that the the number of Iraqis and Afghans killed during the American wars in these regions is not known. On the other hand, the the number of American servicemen killed is well known.

The contrast between what is countable and what is felt puts the narratives of the Iliad, Oedipus and Thucydides’ “History of the Peloponnesian War” under tension. Misread, these accounts glorify their failing leaders, but careful examination can help readers see how much was lost to preserve a handful of names.

The number of our nations today will go a long way in telling future generations the story of the era of COVID-19. And it will also help define those who lived through it.

Stolen and lost fentanyl leads to license suspensions at Cheshire Medical Sat, 04 Jun 2022 18:36:00 +0000

June 4 – State councils recently suspended the licenses of Cheshire Medical Center’s head nurse and two other staff after gallons of fentanyl solution disappeared from Keene Hospital, according to the NH Office of Professional Licensure and Certification.

The state medical licensing authority, which oversees the New Hampshire Boards of Pharmacy and Nursing, issued Chief Nurse Amy Matthews’ emergency suspension on May 26. She issued the emergency suspensions of chief pharmacist and pharmacy manager Melissa Siciliano and pharmacist Richard Crowe on March 30.

The documents ordering the suspensions indicate that hundreds of bags of fentanyl solution were stolen by a nurse. But according to the OPLC, neither Matthews nor Siciliano, whose license has since been reinstated, were involved in the theft.

Rather, the documents note the supervisory nature of their roles at the hospital and their responsibilities for safeguarding the controlled substances used there.

The document ordering the suspension of Matthews’ license states: “The loss of such a significant amount of fentanyl under its direction, even after the implementation of corrective measures, indicates that the licensee is negligent and/or negligent. in their work, so that they constitute an imminent threat to public health, safety or well-being”.

The document ordering Crowe’s license suspension says the OPLC investigation implicated him “as having played an essential role in the diversion and/or failure to report the diversion” of the fentanyl solution. He notes that he was responsible for reconciling controlled substance reports at Cheshire Medical between September and February.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency confirmed an ongoing criminal investigation into the lost fentanyl on Thursday. She declined to comment further on the investigation.

A Cheshire Medical Center spokesperson declined to answer emailed questions about the situation and only responded with a brief statement.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used in the medical field for sedation and pain relief. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and highly addictive and dangerous when used illicitly, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Since September, more than 7 1/2 gallons of fentanyl solution from Cheshire Medical’s intensive care unit have gone missing, much of it stolen by the nurse, according to suspension documents. But not all of the fentanyl lost can be attributed to that theft, according to the documents, which indicate that hospital staff said a winter surge of COVID-19 also impacted record keeping related to the fentanyl and other drugs.

Around February 4, Alexandra Towle, a nurse in the hospital’s intensive care unit, said she stole fentanyl from Cheshire Medical Center, according to OPLC documents. Towle died in March.

A preliminary agreement not to practice that she signed on February 9 indicates that she stole 12 bags of fentanyl in October, 50 to 100 bags in November, approximately 100 bags in December and 200 bags in January.

She said in an email to an OPLC investigator that the drugs were for her own use to deal with work stress during the pandemic, but that representation differs from what she provided to the hospital in a separate email, according to an OPLC document. In that email, she said she gave 12 bags of fentanyl to a friend, the document says.

Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4, the OPLC received complaints about the theft of fentanyl from the ICU, according to documents from that office.

On February 2, the OPLC received a controlled substance loss form and letter from the hospital, indicating that there were 23 bags, or 1,150 milliliters, of fentanyl solution that had been stolen, but that he expected those numbers to rise due to an ongoing internal investigation, the documents say.

In response to emailed questions to Siciliano, her attorney, Rick Fradette, said she became aware of the theft of fentanyl on Feb. 1 and reported it to the pharmacy board the next day.

Over the following months, the hospital submitted at least three updated lost controlled substance forms which, as of April 14, showed a cumulative amount of lost/unaccounted fentanyl solution totaling 583 bags, or 7.7 gallons. , all attributable to the period between September and January, according to OPLC documents.

OPLC investigators held a meeting with hospital staff on March 8, during which staff explained that the spike in critically ill COVID-19 patients during the winter surge resulted in the non- application of controlled substance procedures, according to the OPLC document restoring Siciliano’s license. .

Siciliano said she worked 50 to 60 hours a week before the flare-up, but more than 80 hours during it, the document says. She oversaw multiple machines dispensing a fentanyl solution that hundreds of professionals had access to, and some of the discrepancies in record keeping are also due to software changes made by the hospital, the document said.

Hospital reports from the time the fentanyl was stolen indicate that patients treated with the drug were still receiving their prescriptions, this document states.

In February and March, the hospital responded to the loss and theft of fentanyl by implementing corrective measures, including permanently locking down the medication room, training nursing and pharmacy staff in prevention and detecting theft and implementing a daily count of controlled substances, according to OPLC documents. .

After implementing those measures, the hospital submitted another controlled drug loss form showing that an additional 553 milliliters — or about 11 bags — of fentanyl solution had gone missing between April 10 and May 7, according to the documents, which indicate the hospital did not believe this fentanyl was stolen.

“Cheshire Medical Center continues to work closely with government agencies on the ongoing investigation into this matter, even as we review and refine our policies and protocols regarding the safe handling of pharmaceuticals,” the hospital said. in a statement emailed to The Sentinel. “Patient and employee safety is always our first priority, and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding the diversion of any controlled substance.”

Citing an inability to comment on staffing issues, Cheshire Medical Center spokesman Matthew Barone declined to answer emailed questions that included whether Matthews, Siciliano or Crowe remained employed at the hospital. He also did not address questions about the medical uses of fentanyl solution at the hospital, the most recent total of fentanyl wasted, or how much of the drug the hospital had in stock at any given time.

The pharmacy board reinstated Siciliano’s license on April 20, according to the OPLC. But she has resigned from her duties at Cheshire Medical Center, as stated in a letter she sent to the Pharmacy Board dated May 25. She will remain employed at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, which is affiliated with the Cheshire Medical Center, as the clinical lead for the pharmacy services system, the letter says.

Matthews could not be reached for comment. An email sent to her Cheshire Medical Center address returned an out of office reply and attempts to reach her by phone were unsuccessful. Crowe also could not be reached for comment by phone or email.

The OPLC did not return multiple requests for comment on whether Matthews or Crowe appealed their license suspensions.

Ryan Spencer can be reached at 352-1234 ext. 1412 or Follow him on Twitter at


GOP’s Cornyn tipped to lead as Senate discusses gun law changes Fri, 03 Jun 2022 14:36:15 +0000 WASHINGTON (AP) — Less than 48 hours after a gunman stormed an elementary school and killed 19 children and two teachers in his home state of Texas, Senator John Cornyn walked straight from the U.S. Senate floor into the office of Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

The Texas Republican had just returned to Washington from the scene of the horrific school shooting in Uvalde when he was called in by McConnell to lead the GOP in tense negotiations over a possible legislative response to the tragedy. Eager, if suspicious, he took the job.

“I’m not interested in making a political statement,” Cornyn said at the time. “I’m actually interested in what we can do to make the terrible events that happened in Uvalde less likely in the future.”

Cornyn is at the center of a bipartisan group of senators working hard to try to broker a compromise on gun safety legislation, a political long run despite heartbreaking pleas from the Uvalde community to “do something.” after the massacre.

A four-term senator, Cornyn has been here many times before, a central figure at the forefront of recurring discussions with Democrats over gun policy changes that almost never pass. As gun owners and the powerful gun lobby wield influence, Congress has proven unable to respond in any substantive way, even as more gruesome mass shootings tear communities across the country. America.

Along with his former negotiating partner, Sen. Chris Murphy-D-Conn., Cornyn convened a small group of four senators to meet privately this week, some part of a larger group led by Murphy in a desperate search of possible compromise firearms safety measures.

President Joe Biden has implored Congress — and especially Republican senators, who have spent years blocking nearly every gun control measure — to act.

“This time it’s time for the Senate to do something,” Biden said in remarks from the White House.

Biden, too, is looking to Cornyn to lead.

“I think there’s an awareness on the part of rational Republicans – and I think Senator McConnell is a rational Republican; I think Cornyn is too — I think there’s a recognition in their party that they — we can’t go on like this,” Biden said earlier in the week after his visit to Texas.

Expectations are low that even the most modest gun control measures can find support among Republicans in Congress, especially in the 50-50 evenly split Senate where at least 60 votes are needed to push legislation forward in beyond a buccaneer.

Senators aren’t even expected to broach ideas for assault weapons bans or other popular restrictions with the public as potential ways to curb the deadliest mass shootings.

Instead, the bipartisan group is stepping up talks to reach an agreement on phased changes to national gun laws, after a decade of mostly unsuccessful efforts since a gunman killed 20 children in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

At most, the senators will be able to reach a consensus in a few distinct areas – strengthening school security measures; add more mental health resources to communities; and maybe send money to states to encourage red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of those who might do harm.

“That may be all they can do,” said Matthew Bennett, a longtime gun policy advocate at the centrist think tank Third Way.

It’s been nearly 30 years since Congress tackled sweeping gun safety legislation with the passage of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which has since expired.

One of the only gun-related bills to become law in the decade following the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was Cornyn’s fix-NICS bill – a modest effort he and Murphy have developed to encourage states to comply with record keeping of the National Instant Criminal Background Check. System.

Cornyn first pushed the bill forward after another tragedy in his state, the 2017 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, when the Air Force court-martial case for violence domestic had not been sent for inclusion in the federal database used for firearms purchases. .

The Fix-NICS bill stalls in the Senate, until months later another gunman opens fire on a high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 in a massacre on the day of Valentine’s Day in 2018.

“Let’s do what we can and build from there,” Cornyn said at the time.

But by then Democrats and some Republicans were circulating broader proposals and Donald Trump, who was president, suggested raising the legal age to buy guns to 21. But the efforts fell through after Trump had an Oval Office meeting with the National Rifle Association.

The Fix-NICS bill was finally approved by Congress, not on its own, but after being included in a government funding measure later in the spring. He had the support of the NRA.

Cornyn, who has an A+ rating from the NRA’s Political Victory Fund for his support of Second Amendment issues, said last week that the Uvalde killings could provide momentum for further reform.

A former judge and member of the Supreme Court of Texas, Cornyn, 70, is a member of McConnell’s leadership team and widely considered a candidate to become leader of the Republican Senate whenever McConnell retires. McConnell tasked him with working with Murphy as well as Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a negotiator close to Republicans.

A multiple gun owner who hunts frequently in Texas, Cornyn did not attend the NRA convention in Houston alongside Trump and fellow GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the days following the Uvalde shooting, even as he rejected some of the red flag laws or broader federal gun policy changes being proposed.

“He’s the central figure — or at least one of them — because he has the respect of Republicans but is also a critical thinker,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., About Corny.

“If he really wants to do it, he will potentially make a crucial difference.”

Many Democrats doubt Senate Republicans are coming to the table. Already, the Senate has desperately blocked two measures passed by the House to strengthen background checks for gun purchases online or at gun shows.

Instead, House Democrats are moving forward with their own set of gun safety measures, the “Protecting Our Children Act,” which includes raising age limits for purchases of semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21. He has almost no hope of making it to the Senate.