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Suspicious store clerk ends crime spree

BY Brae Canlen

A Home Depot sales associate in Deerfield Beach, Fla., helped end an organized crime operation that defrauded the retailer of more than $97,000 in merchandise, according to an article in the Sun Sentinel.

Authorities arrested Bobby Joe Ellis Staley, 34, who they claim was able to make fraudulent purchases by duping the company that handles credit card accounts for Home Depot into adding him as an authorized purchaser.

Staley made many purchases at Home Depot stores in Broward and Miami-Dade counties during the months of September, October and November 2010, according to investigators.

"He’d buy expensive items like impact windows and power tools," Detective John Calabro of the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s told the Sun Sentinel. "Some of his transactions were up to $25,000." Most of the store employees thought Staley was legitimate except for one sales associate, who got suspicious and notified authorities, according to the police affidavit.

In addition to the alleged fraudulent transactions in Broward and Miami-Dade counties during the three months in 2010, investigators from Palm Beach County said they had arrested Staley many times in 2009 on similar charges.

The suspect was arrested and charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud and 12 counts of unlawful use of credit cards. He was held on a bond of $12,000 at a Sept. 29 court appearance.

According to the affidavit, investigators determined that Staley had been arrested at least 40 times throughout South Florida and Southwest Florida, on charges including grand theft, credit card fraud and issuing worthless checks. He has 34 convictions, the document said.

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d.rutter says:
Oct-11-2011 12:16 pm

Old time justice solves
Old time justice solves problem..... You steal... lose hands... You lie ...lose tongue..... 40 times WHAT?

M.FEIJAO says:
Oct-03-2011 05:45 pm

Staley had been arrested at
Staley had been arrested at least 40 times. Do you think he's ever gonna stop?

E.GRISHAM says:
Oct-03-2011 02:55 pm

Gotta love it. 34 Convictions
Gotta love it. 34 Convictions and they let him out on $ 12,000.00 bail which means he will only have to come up with $ 1,200.00 for a bail bondsman. After stealing $ 97,000.00 from one company alone do you think he will have trouble posting bail?. Justice at it's best! No worries just white collar crime...unless it's your company he stole the $ 97,000.00 from!!!!

T.Calistro says:
Oct-03-2011 02:47 pm

40 arrest and 34 convictions.
40 arrest and 34 convictions. Doesn’t that just speak volumes for our justice system.

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Pending home sales slow

BY Brae Canlen

Pending home sales, an index that tracks contracts signed but deals not yet closed, slipped 1.2% in August 2011, according to figures released Sept. 29 by the National Association of Realtor (NAR).

Results were mixed across the country, with the Northeast seeing the biggest declines. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun blamed this Northeastern decrease on Hurricane Irene, which “seriously disrupted” sales in the closing weekend of August. “But broadly speaking,” he said, “contract signing activity has been holding in a narrow range for many months.”

The pending home sale index, at 88.6 in August 2011, is 7.7% higher than last year, however, when it stood at 82.3 in August 2010.

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Wood is green, says Forest Service

BY Brae Canlen

A new U.S. Forest Service study is urging U.S. builders to prioritize wood as a green building material due to its environmental benefits, low carbon emissions and verifiable third-party rating system for “green” certification.

The authors of “Science Supporting the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Using Wood and Wood Products in Green Building Construction” reviewed the scientific literature and found that using wood in building products yields fewer greenhouse gases than using other common materials.

"This study confirms what many environmental scientists have been saying for years," USDA secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Wood should be a major component of American building and energy design. The use of wood provides substantial environmental benefits, provides incentives for private landowners to maintain forest land, and provides a critical source of jobs in rural America."

"The argument that somehow non-wood construction materials are ultimately better for carbon emissions than wood products is not supported by our research," said David Cleaves, the U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Adviser. "Trees removed in an environmentally responsible way allow forests to continue to sequester carbon through new forest growth. Wood products continue to benefit the environment by storing carbon long after the building has been constructed." The use of forest products in the United States currently supports more than 1 million direct jobs, particularly in rural areas, and contributes more than $100 billion to the country’s gross domestic product, according to the Forest Service.

"In the Rockies alone, we have hundreds of thousands of dead trees killed by bark beetles that could find their way into the building supply chain for all types of buildings," said Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell. "Taking a harder look at wood as a green building source could reduce the damages posed by future fires, maintain overall forest health and provide much-needed jobs in local communities."

The U.S. Forest Service report identifies several areas where peer-reviewed science can contribute to sustainable green building design and decisions. These recommendations address the following needs for use of wood as a green building material:

• Information on environmental impacts across the lifecycle of wood and alternative construction materials needs to be updated and revised;

• Green buildings codes and standards should include adequate provisions to recognize the benefit of a lifecycle environmental analysis to guide selection of building materials; and

• A lack of educational, technology transfer and demonstration projects hinder the acceptance of wood as a green building material.

Research recently initiated by the wood products industry in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory will enable greater use and valuation of smaller diameter trees and insect and disease-killed trees. Research on new products and technologies has been initiated, including improved cross-lamination techniques and the increased use of nanotechnology.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on the country’s lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

To view the full Green Building report, click here.

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