07.13.14

No More Gimmicks To Fix Student Loan Debt | Commentary

As President Barack Obama indicated when signing his memorandum on student loans, the student debt crisis shows no sign of abating. Though the obvious causes are the ever-growing cost of college and the weak job market for recent graduates, the real culprit is congressional inaction.

Congress has failed to propose substantive changes to the federal loan program that would prevent colleges from saddling students with burdensome debt loads. To be sure, Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a few measures, such as lowering student loan interest rates to near-zero and allowing students to refinance their loans, but they?ve failed to take off. These proposals, moreover, are gimmicks....

07.13.14

Buncombe boosts school funding after budget debate

ASHEVILLE – The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on a 5-2 vote Tuesday adopted a county budget intended to offset some, but not all, of the cuts to education being considered by the state General Assembly.

The total county property tax rate stays the same at 60.4 cents per $100 valuation under the $292 million general fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. County spending actually drops slightly from the $292.2 million budgeted for the just-ended 2013-14 fiscal year.

The budget includes about $670,000 to offset potential changes in the state budget that otherwise would mean county schools would lose 9.5 teaching jobs and city schools roughly...

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07.12.14

Janice Hahn introduces bill that would create funding source for freight projects

Janice Hahn introduces bill that would create funding source for freight projects

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07.12.14

Stalled funding threatens highway work

WASHINGTON #x2013; Congressional gridlock soon could soon be coming to a highway near you.

The federal Highway Trust Fund, which provides at least part of the funding for 25 ongoing highway projects in Erie and Niagara counties, is quickly running out of cash, and the federal government will start trimming back highway aid to the states next month.

That#x2019;s just the first step in a potential two-step gridlock-induced disaster that could see all federal highway funding shut off around the end of August.

While the state Department of Transportation says it will be able to use its own funds to temporarily pay the federal share of the cost for those local repairs through...

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07.12.14

United Way cuts funding for 15 programs

Metro United Way is cutting funding to about a dozen charities in the Louisville area, leaving some of the nonprofits scrambling to find money from private sources and elsewhere.

There simply isnt enough money to fill all the needs, said Joe Tolan, United Way president and CEO, adding that he didnt believe the cuts would cripple anyone and that in many cases the agencies that were reduced may be able to find comparable funds.

Last years United Way campaign raised 3 percent less — about $800,000 — than the year before. Some programs, particularly those that focus on early childhood education, are getting more money.

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07.12.14

Crumbs Collapses: Cupcake Chain Shuts Down All Locations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)  Crumbs is shuttering all of its stores just a week after the struggling cupcake shop operator was delisted from the Nasdaq.

The New York City-based company said all employees were notified of the closures Monday. A representative for Crumbs could not immediately say how many workers were affected or how many stores it had remaining on its last day.

Regrettably Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options, the company said in an emailed statement. That will include filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.

A press release from...

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07.12.14

Oregon’s Pay-Per-Mile Road-Funding Program Continues to Evolve2:04 PM ET

Weve seen this movie before, where Congress heads straight toward atransportation funding cliffittotally saw coming, so we know that lawmakers will find some awkward-and-unnecessarily-dramatic way to stop at the edge. Thats great for all the jobs spared in the short term, but bad for the hope of learning any long-term lessons. Because the real danger is not this fiscal cliff, but the massive funding sinkhole coming to take car and cliff alike; heres SenatorOrrin Hatch, viaThe Hill:

I think well resolve this problem, Hatch said. But the big problem is, what do we do about the approximately $100 billion we really need to raise in the future? And were going to have to come...

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07.11.14

Here’s The Student Loan Strategy That Could Simplify Your Monthly Bills

If youve taken out multiple student loans to pay your way through school, you likelyhave a handful of payments to make each month, with different interest rates or from different providers.

Student loan consolidation is an easy way toboil those bills down into only one or two.

Consolidating your loans simply means gathering all of them into one new loan, with one interest rate, requiring one payment.

When Brendon McQueen, the founder of student loan debt management app Tuition.io, graduated in 2009, he was paying seven separate loans. Since then, hes consolidated his public loans (but left his low-interest private loans alone), narrowing seven payments a month down to three.

Aside...

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07.11.14

Delta County road nominated for special improvement funding

Thanks to $115 million of state funding, roads across Michigan, including in the Upper Peninsula, will be seeing some improvements in the next year.

County Road 521 in Delta County, which serves as a cut-across between M-35 and US-2 in Ford River Township, has been named a candidate for $660,000 in special state funding through the Priority Road Improvement Program. Plans and funding are already in place to improve the surface of the southernmost 3.5 miles of the road and add new guardrails. Receiving this additional funding could allow for reallocation of resources to other projects.

We have $660,000 already obligated to that project through our 12B task force, said Delta...

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07.11.14

Why Old-School Bankers Will Become New Age Dinosaurs

I was in charge of financing and development at one of the largest development-finance institutions in the US where we acquired companies and financed more than 450 businesses and projects using equity, debt and leases. Now I consult with corporations (including Medtronic and General Mills), governments (US and state) and financiers. And I teach in MBA and Executive MBA programs around the world. After 12 years at the University of Minnesota, I am now at Florida International University. I write books, including Business Financing: 25 Keys to Raising Money (NY Times MBA Series), and Bootstrap to Billions. I have engineering and business administration degrees. My next book is about how many...

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