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NEWS
April 2, 2014 | By Robert Calandra and Don Sapatkin, For The Inquirer
For anyone who hadn't heard, Lady B was shouting it over the air Monday afternoon. "I want to tell people one more time that today is the deadline, the deadline, the deadline to get your health coverage," Lady B, who is known as Wendy Clark in real life, told her listeners at Philadelphia's WRNB (100.3-FM). They heard. With triple the traffic of the previous record on Healthcare.gov, Monday had the potential to confirm wildly divergent points of view - that new glitches on the Obamacare website showcased the administration's ineptness or that the clamor for coverage proved that the president's signature initiative was on target.
REAL_ESTATE
March 30, 2014 | By Christine Bahls, For The Inquirer
The financial reality that the Mitchell family faced in 2010 was this: Their perfect home in West Chester had to be sold. Josh Mitchell, now 38, a self-employed contractor, had worked on the fieldstone rancher for 10 years. But a crisis involving wife Dawn's stationery shop - her partner suddenly pulled out - created debt, and when she became pregnant with the couple's third child, she closed the store. So they decided to create a new reality: They'd buy and restore a cheap house in a good neighborhood - luckily, just five minutes away, on the street where Dawn Mitchell's parents lived - and they would nearly double its 1,110-square-foot size.
NEWS
March 23, 2014 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Missouri man was charged Friday with a computer-driven effort to shut down the City of Philadelphia's website by flooding it with more traffic than it could handle. The alleged attack, outlined in charges filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office against Michael Crockett, 29, of Kansas City, occurred in September 2012, prosecutors said. They gave no explanation of Crockett's motive. The charges were included in a document known as an information - typically a sign that the individual is cooperating with authorities and intends to plead guilty.
REAL_ESTATE
March 23, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
While the rest of us were shoveling winter's snow and slipping on ice, the survey-takers were hard at work, often coming up with residential real estate information that has little bearing on this market. OK, repeat after me: "All real estate is local. " Sometimes, however, there are nuggets to be gleaned from the volume of "breaking news" I get e-mailed to me around the clock. One, from the venerable Keith Gumbinger at HSH.com, whom I remember before he was a website, talked about affordability levels based on fourth-quarter 2013 data.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
In the run-up to tax day, April 15, when returns are due to the IRS, you may have to unwind some of the complicated new tax rules - and fend off a few tax scams. Here is some help. The IRS last week issued its annual list of "dirty dozen tax scams" and said identity theft and phone scams lead the list. Many of the scams are perpetrated by tax filers, for example, claiming false expenses or exemptions. In the case of fraud-by-phone, the IRS says, "scams include many variations, ranging from instances where callers say the victims owe money or are entitled to a huge refund.
NEWS
February 12, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman and Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Staff Writers
TRENTONA South Jersey Democratic organization has filed a federal complaint against a Republican campaign group working to reelect U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, saying it had co-opted his Democratic challenger's name on a "deceptive" website to solicit donations. Republicans countered Monday by attacking the challenger, Democrat Bill Hughes Jr., for his association with retiring U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.). The website complaint, brought by Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Jim Schroeder, asks the Federal Election Commission to investigate "fraudulent" activity by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)
BUSINESS
February 10, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
In a power outage, utilities can't charge you for electricity they didn't deliver. But what responsibilities do they have in providing service, and what are your rights - and responsibilities - as a consumer? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission displays the "PA Energy Consumer Bill of Rights" in this document. There's nothing specific about how your utility should respond to an outage, but it notes that utilities "are required to make necessary repairs and improvements to service and facilities.
NEWS
February 3, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Four months ago, the healthcare.gov website wasn't looking so dandy to Ted Trevorrow. The insurance veteran and freshly certified Affordable Care Act navigator was shaken by the exchange's disastrous rollout and the cascade of Web errors that followed. "It took some luster off the ACA," said Trevorrow, speaking at Resources for Human Development's office in Roxborough. But these days much of that luster has returned to the site's bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans. The website has rallied.
NEWS
January 12, 2014 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
'Information is now a core of our business," says Kim Scott Heinle. He is assistant general manager of customer service at SEPTA. You'd think he'd be talking about snow and ice, bus detours, dead equipment, backward-rippling train delays. But here he is, talking like some IT guy: "It used to be just running buses, trains, and trolleys, but now it's information, too. " "Our riders want it," says Ron Hopkins, assistant general manager of operations. And they want it "in real time.
NEWS
December 8, 2013 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
On Monday night, precisely at 10 p.m., I logged on to a site where many have unhappily gone before - HealthCare.gov - to see whether the fixes touted by the Obama administration had taken hold. I chose the late hour because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said people might have better luck buying health insurance during off-peak hours. The site's welcome screen popped up quickly. So far, so good, I thought. And then: "Healthcare.gov has a lot of visitors right now. We need you to wait here so we can make sure there's room for you to have a good experience on our site.
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