Atlantic hurricane predictions get upward revision
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revised its 2017 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, predicting there is a 60% chance there will be more named storms and hurricanes than an earlier 45% forecast. NOAA predicted there will be between 14 and 19 named storms (up from 11 and 17) and between 2 and 5 major hurricanes (up from 2 and 4). There have been six named tropical cyclones (Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily and Franklin) in just the first nine weeks of the 2017 season, which is double the number that would typically form by early August, NOAA said.
Scammer used FTC’s press releases for trickery
Daniel Croft of Lake Worth, Fla., was ordered by a federal judge to never again claim an affiliation with the Federal Trade Commission and to stop peddling computer tech services using email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. The FTC said Croft used unsolicited emailings to contact consumers and used fake FTC press releases and the names of real FTC staff to trick consumers into contacting him so he could sell them unnecessary tech support services.
Epilepsy count reveals 3.4 million are affected
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of U.S. children and adults with epilepsy is increasing and there are presently at least 3.4 million who are living with the brain seizure disorder. For the first time, CDC estimated an epilepsy tabulation for each of the 50 states, ranging from 5,100 in Wyoming to 367,900 in California. The number of adults with active epilepsy rose from 2.3 million in 2010 to 3.0 million in 2015, the CDC said, attributing much of the increase to population growth.
Federal court interpreters speak 180 languages
More than 3,600 interpreters who speak 180 languages are registered in the National Court Interpreter Database, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said. In 2016, there were approximately 265,400 requests for foreign language translators of which 254,736—or about 96%–were for Spanish, followed by 1,640 for Mandarin Chinese, 952 for Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, and 950 for Russian.
School electrician charged with bribery
Andres Barroso, 52, of Hialeah, Fla., was charged with engaging in a scheme that cashed in on his position as an electrical foreman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Department of Justice said. Barroso used his authority to order lighting products and to participate in a bid-rigging conspiracy, DOJ said. In some instances, Barrosa approved invoices to pay for lighting supplies that were not delivered to the school system.
Postal service pummeled by Internet
For the U.S. Postal Service, the Internet giveth and the Internet taketh away. The USPS posted a $2.1 billion operating loss for the third quarter of the 2016 fiscal year (April 1 to June 30), posting large losses from its delivery of First-Class Mail and equally large profits from its Shipping and Packaging business. Much of the loss could be attributed to the declining use of mail for receiving and paying bills, and much of the increase could be attributed to the delivery of items sold through the Internet. USPS reported $16.7 billion in third quarter revenues and $18.8 billion in expenses.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.
The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Thursday, August 10