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    Pandemic gives megaphone to the oft-maligned New York accent

    #palmettobay #news #localnews #florida | Hey, they’re talkin’ here! With New York City at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and its native-born among those offering crucial information to the nation in televised briefings, the New York accent has stepped up to the mic — or maybe the megaphone.Holly Kelsey, for one,

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    Stimulus Check and Stimulus Package Update – Friday April 17th

    This is your IRS Economic Stimulus Checks update as of Friday, April 17th. This is in reference to the stimulus package that passed under the Trump Administration back in March of 2020. We cover the stimulus check under the stimulus bill under the CARES Act. To check the status of your stimulus check and or […] More

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    Ivanka Trump skirted coronavirus guidelines to travel to N.J.

    The president’s daughter has promoted staying at home during the pandemic. WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump and her family traveled to the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey last week to celebrate Passover despite federal guidelines that advise against nonessential travel and a stay-at-home order is in effect in Washington, D.C., according to The New […] More

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    CORONAVIRUS Delays to coronavirus stimulus cash cause angst, con

    Americans are on edge as some get their payments while others wait — and struggle to use the new IRS system to speed up the process.

    WASHINGTON — Americans began to receive their coronavirus relief payments in their bank accounts this week, but not everyone was relieved. As of midweek many were angry or perplexed as the Treasury Department scrambled to push billions of dollars out the door to tens of millions of people.

    Some confused their stimulus cash with tax refunds because both were coded identically on bank statements as “TAX REF” from the Treasury. Those expecting a bigger refund or a bigger coronavirus payment and mistook one for the other feared they had been stiffed.

    Others were upset when they saw their payment was less than $1,200, wrongly interpreting that number as a flat payout rather than the maximum amount a person can get based on their income. Others said the extra $500 for their children never arrived.

    Still others complained that the new IRS portal released Wednesday to upload bank information or check the status of a payment was failing. By midafternoon, “Payment Status Not Available” was a trending topic on Twitter with countless viewers venting about their inability to find out where their money is, some with screenshots of the IRS website delivering an error message.

    “After long wait times to log in, the system fails to locate the information and after several attempts to retry, it locks you out for 24 hours,” Alfred Nordgren, 59, of Philadelphia, said in an email. “Obviously they didn’t test it sufficiently prior to the ‘rushed’ launch!”

    Some were frustrated when they heard from friends who got their payments quickly while they continued to wait. For Alejandro Alarcon of Miami, who said he’s unemployed and facing growing debt, it was vexing to learn that others who were working in the U.S. on visas got their money before he did.

    It didn’t help when he, too, was unable to track down his payment status from the IRS portal.

    “This is all just insane,” said Alarcon. “I cannot imagine people with literally no savings who are desperate and can’t find another way to get this page to work.”

    The chaos is a product in large part of the extraordinary task given to the IRS, which has faced budget cuts of about 20 percent in real dollars since 2010, at a time when tens of millions of Americans are desperate for speedy relief during an economic calamity. The payments are a lifeline for cash-strapped families who are struggling to pay rent or mortgage or put food on the table as joblessness shatters records with some 17 million claims in just three weeks……..

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    As coronavirus deaths in nursing homes skyrocket, House Dems urg

    “We fear that there may be hundreds if not thousands more COVID-19 cases that have gone unreported,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., wrote in a letter.

    A group of House Democrats is urging the Trump administration to track and publicly report coronavirus infections in nursing homes, as deaths from the virus are skyrocketing in long-term care facilities around the country.

    The federal government does not keep a formal tally of coronavirus cases in nursing homes. An NBC News investigation this week found more than 5,600 deaths linked to long-term care facilities in 29 states, but limited testing and some states’ refusal to disclose data means that the national death toll is likely far higher.

    The absence of comprehensive federal data risks endangering even more lives, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    For more on this story, watch NBC’s “Nightly News with Lester Holt” tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT.

    “[T]he Administration and the Congress lack essential information to adequately respond and protect older Americans and individuals with disabilities who rely on these facilities to survive and are particularly at risk for COVID-19,” Schakowsky wrote in the letter, which cited NBC News’ reporting on nursing home infections and deaths.

    “We fear that there may be hundreds if not thousands more COVID-19 cases that have gone unreported,” Schakowsky said.

    Families fear for loved ones in nursing homes as coronavirus toll grows

    APRIL 15, 202002:02

    The letter was signed by 77 other House Democrats, adding to the growing call from legislators, nursing home advocates and industry groups for the federal government to take more aggressive action to slow the deadly spread of the coronavirus by tracking infections in long-term care facilities.

    Nearly 3,500 long-term care facilities across the United States have known coronavirus infections, according to health officials in 39 states. But not all states have released data on infections or deaths in these facilities, and some say they are not tracking them at all.

    The last federal data was provided more than two weeks ago, showing infections in more than 400 nursing homes based on an informal survey of state health departments. The federal government has not provided any data on nursing home deaths.

    Verma told reporters on Wednesday that the federal government would soon be doing more to track nursing home outbreaks, but she did not detail those plans.

    Download the NBC News app for full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

    Schakowsky said there is an urgent need for the Trump administration to act swiftly.

    “If HHS fails to collect these data, we fear that the fatalities of congregate living facilities will linger in hindsight as a national and avoidable tragedy,” she said in the letter. “We must not leave any person behind.”

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    Small-business loan program just hit its $350 billion cap and is

    One of the main coronavirus relief fund sources for suffering small businesses hit its $350 billion limit Thursday and is no longer accepting any more lenders or applications, the Small Business Administration announced.

    “The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding,” SBA spokesperson Jennifer Kelly said in a statement. “Similarly, we are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time.”

    The SBA approved 1,661,397 loans from 4,975 lenders before it was exhausted. Due to bottleneck issues between the agency and banks, only a fraction of those have actually been credited to customers’ bank accounts.

    The emergency fund offered a lifeline to small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, providing loans that turn into grants if used to cover payrolls and avoid layoffs. The hastily constructed program has been bedeviled with administrative issues since its launch less than two weeks ago, with the SBA’s loan system crashing under the demand and the nation’s largest lenders reduced to manually pushing through a trickle of applicants at a time.

    The depletion of the fund’s resources had been expected for several days, and is set to launch a battle between Democratic and Republican lawmakers over the shape of additional relief funding.

    After Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin asked Congress for an additional $250 billion funding, the Republican-led effort ended in an impasse as Democrats balked at authorizing additional funds without adding protections for more vulnerable borrowers, such as minority- and women-owned businesses.

    President Donald Trump attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday over the logjam, one day after threatening to adjourn Congress. A “pro forma” session in the Senate scheduled for the afternoon Thursday looks unlikely to resolve the divide.

    The PPP loan program was well intended but had a “structural flaw” in how it was executed, said Mehrsa Baradaran, a professor specializing in banking law at the University of California, Irvine.

    “Any time you create a big program and give banks the ability to choose which customers to prioritize, you’re going to have disparities. Banks are incentivized to choose the customers that make them the most money,” she said.

    Major banks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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    Stimulus Check and Stimulus Package Update – Wed April 15th

    This is the update for the IRS Economic Stimulus Checks for Wed April 11th. This is in regards to the latest update of IRS Economic Stimulus Check from the stimulus package and stimulus bill. Here is the IRS web portal to enter your bank info and check the status of your stimulus check:…The best way […] More

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    Nine Kinds of Ancestors You Could Find on Your Family Tree (Open list) (7 submissions)

    Family trees often have a kaleidoscope of different people who led fascinating, inspiring, and sometimes heartbreaking lives. If you’d like an idea of the many types ancestors you can discover on your tree, here’s a list of nine kinds of ancestors frequently found in family trees. Also check out the Ancestry collections below, which can […] More

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    More than 472,000 unemployment claims have been filed in Florida

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nearly 170,000 first-time unemployment claims were filed last week in Florida, as the coronavirus-caused surge continues, according to an estimate from the U.S. Department of Labor. Florida’s number — part of a second consecutive week of 6.6 million claims being filed nationwide — was down from the prior week. However, it represents […] More

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