Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County authorities said Wednesday that two men posing as chimney inspectors have been indicted for bias crime charges after they allegedly stole jewelry and cash from two elderly women last month. The District Attorney’s office accused 32-year-old Bruce Wimmer of Bohemia and 28-year-old Michael Windland of Lake Ronkonkoma of allegedly scamming a 77-year-old Huntington woman two weeks ago by telling her that they were chimney repairmen and needed to get into the house for an inspection. Once inside, the pair allegedly stole jewelry from the woman’s bedroom, the DA’s office said. Several days later, Windland and Wimmer entered a 92-year-old Bellport woman’s home under the guise of inspecting her chimney and allegedly stole $160 cash, a portion of which came from church envelopes, and the victim’s prescription medication, authorities said. The alleged burglars also quoted the woman $3,000 for chimney work and said they’d drive her to the bank to withdraw money. The DA’s office didn’t immediately say if they followed through with that plan. Both men were scheduled to be arraigned on the grand jury indictment Wednesday morning in Riverhead.
Last week’s jobless numbers are lower than the previous week around the country, they are also much lower in Florida.More than three-million more Americans are out of work according to the Labor Department.According to today’s report, more than 3.1 million workers filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week. That’s half-a-million fewer than the previous week’s total. More than 33-million U.S. workers have lost their jobs over the past seven weeks. The biggest increases in claims were in Washington, Georgia, New York, Oregon, and Alabama. The sharpest decreases were in California, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.Florida was most responsible for the big dip in unadjusted numbers, reporting about 260,000 fewer claims over the past week. Maryland reported a jump of 27,337.At the current pace, the week claims numbers should fall below 1 million by mid-June, according to Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “We’re very hopeful that June will see the beginnings of a rebound as states begin to reopen,” Shepherdson said.The layoffs associated with social distancing practices have wiped out all of the job gains the economy has seen since the recovery from the Great Recession.
Facebook21Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Sitara Nath“And what makes this country great for me, as an immigrant and now, a United States citizen, is really that America is a place I can finally call home,” said Meenu Nath, a local Olympia constituent and one of the 12 community members who lobbied Congressmen Denny Heck’s Lacey office for compassionate immigration reform on Thursday, May 18. The combination of leaders, local activists and faith-based organizations came together to ask Representative Heck to cosponsor the BRIDGE Act, a bipartisan bill which will protect young, undocumented immigrants if their protected status is revoked.Along with Charo Portaro, CIELO’s Director of Educational Programs, a team from the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, and local activists, Representative Heck’s conference room was entirely filled by the Olympia advocacy network. Photo courtesy: Sitara NathThe visit was organized by Sitara Nath, a local community organizer who takes part in the Advocacy Corps Intern Program with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a DC – based Quaker lobbyist group in the public interest. Last year, after attending a conference in Washington D.C. just days after the presidential election, Nath’s interest in compassionate immigration reform grew stronger as anti-immigrant rhetoric continued emanating from the White House. Now back in Olympia, Nath has teamed up with the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, a local coalition of faith activists who seek to support immigrant communities in the area. Dallas Roberts, the congressman’s district representative, met with the constituents and reiterated the power of stories in immigration advocacy.“What we really need is people like all of you out there and sharing these stories with other members of Congress as well – it would really support the Representative if other Washington leaders were united on this issue,” said Roberts, who also noted that the Representative is supportive of the BRIDGE Act but, due to the bipartisan nature of the bill, needs a Republican congressional member to sign on alongside him.At the visit, the constituents discussed their personal stories in relation to the BRIDGE Act in an effort to bring politics back to personal roots. Beth Halpern, a member of Strengthening Sanctuary and an ally through the Temple Beth Hatfiloh, shared a moving story of a young woman she is acquainted with who has excelled in her education but is restricted from further pursuing her dreams due to her undocumented status.Charo Portaro, the Director of Educational Programs at CIELO (Central Integral Educativo de Olympia) also joined the visit to discuss how the Congressman’s legislative decisions impact the immigrant communities she works with.“We are working to change lives through education,” said Portaro of the programs which CIELO offers, including English classes, GED preparation courses and sewing classes, to build support for immigrant families in Olympia. Portaro concluded firmly that, “This is an issue which comes down to our basic humanity and that’s why I am here – that’s why we want the Representative to support this issue.”You can learn more about CIELO and their volunteer-based programs by visiting the CIELO website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find information regarding the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, which provides ‘Know Your Rights’ training and Family Safety Planning, through the local Interfaith Works newsletter. To contact Sitara Nath about local lobbying opportunities for compassionate immigration reform, you can email her at email@example.com.