CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - It was standing room only at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Citrus Heights on May 30, 2018. Hundreds of men, women and even children pushed their way through the crowd to reach the 100 chairs set up for the panel of three who had completed and posthumously published the book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer written by Michelle McNamara.
They came to hear the compelling story of one women’s growing obsession to identify the man who, for over 40 years, had come to be known as the East Area Rapist and later the Golden State Killer.
The panel, which answered questions for an hour, was made up of Billy Jensen, investigative journalist and friend of McNamara, Paul Haynes, lead researcher, aka The Kid, and Michelle's husband, actor and comedian Patton Oswalt.
Attendees came from throughout California and beyond, some with a close and personal connection to the 1970s and 80s reign of terror Joseph James DeAngelo unleashed on California. This fear carried on for more than four decades, affecting hundreds of thousands of lives of single women, couples and families over the course of DeAngelo’s suspected crime spree of at least 12 murders, 50 rapes and 120 known burglaries.
McNamara had completed much of the first half of the book before her death. She died in her sleep at 46 years old, the result of complications from taking prescription drugs with an unknown heart problem. Her own entries end with a sentence added by Oswalt that reads simply, “Michelle McNamara died on April 21, 2016.”
The panel spoke of the hardest issue they faced following McNamara’s death as working to maintain her unique style of writing to the end. “Finishing the book was like putting together puzzle pieces (from her drafts).” It only worked because they all knew her rhythm.
The epilogue to the book is a five and a half page “Letter to an Old Man” which McNamara wrote. It includes all her questions to the rapist when he is caught and it ends with an ironic challenge, considering her book was published two months before DeAngelo’s arrest.
‘“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,”’ you threatened a victim once. Open the door. Show us your face. Walk into the light.”
Comcast Service Problems Continue
Carmichael, CA (MPG) – Comcast services are down again today, affecting all services at Messenger Publishing Group. They were down most of the day yesterday, June 6th, which was our main deadline day for our production week.
Unfortunately, the message Comcast has for any calls coming into our office says “This number is no longer in service” – which is not true.
When trying to contact a service representative at Comcast their recorded message says they will not have representatives answer calls to try to fix this recorded message problem. Instead, they continue with the message that makes it sound like we are no longer in business – which is not true.
Comcast problems in this part of Carmichael have been historic. We realize that they are trying to upgrade their system, but we have heard from other businesses that they are experiencing problems all over the region.
If you are also having problems at your business this week with Comcast send us an email at Editor@MPG8.com. We would love to hear about it so we can cover these problems as a local news story.
We regret any inconvenience to our customers.
Paul V. Scholl, Publisher
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Taxpayers who owe tax and file their federal income tax return more than 60 days after the deadline will usually face a higher late-filing penalty. For that reason, the Internal Revenue Service urges affected taxpayers to avoid the penalty increase by filing their return by Thursday, June 14.
Ordinarily, the late-filing penalty, also known as the failure-to-file penalty, is assessed when a taxpayer fails to file a tax return or request an extension by the due date. This penalty, which only applies if there is unpaid tax, is usually 5 percent for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late.
If a tax return is filed more than 60 days after the April due date -- or more than 60 days after the October due date if an extension was obtained -- the minimum penalty is either $210 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. This means that if the tax due is $210 or less, the penalty is equal to the tax amount due. If the tax due is more than $210, the penalty is at least $210.
The late-filing penalty does not apply to the more than 135 million taxpayers who met this year’s April 18 deadline to file their individual tax return. It also won’t apply to the estimated 14 million taxpayers who asked the IRS for a six-month extension of time to file, as long as they file by Oct. 15, 2018. Though a tax return claiming a refund is also not subject to penalty, the IRS reminds taxpayers that, by law, they only have three years to file for the refund.
For those who did not file or request an extension, the IRS recommends filing by June 14 to avoid a penalty increase. The late-filing penalty will stop accruing once the taxpayer files.
In addition, the IRS urges taxpayers to pay what they owe to avoid additional late-payment penalty and interest charges. The late-payment penalty, also known as the failure-to-pay penalty, is usually ½ of 1 percent of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month the payment is late. Interest, currently at the rate of 5 percent per year, compounded daily, also applies to any payment made after the original April 18 deadline.
After a return is filed, the IRS will figure the penalty and interest due and bill the taxpayer. Normally, the taxpayer will then have 21 days to pay any amount due.
Taxpayers can use their online account to view their amount owed, make payments and apply for an online payment agreement. Before accessing their online account, taxpayers must authenticate their identity through the Secure Accessprocess.
Penalty relief may be available
Taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify to have the late filing and payment penalties abated. A taxpayer usually qualifies for this relief if they haven’t been assessed penalties for the past three years and meet other requirements. For more information, see the First-Time Penalty Abatement page on IRS.gov.
Even if a taxpayer does not qualify for this special relief, they may still be able to have penalties reduced or eliminated if their failure to file or pay on time was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. Be sure to read the penalty notice carefully and follow its instructions for requesting this relief.
Many taxpayers delay filing because they are unable to pay what they owe. Often, these taxpayers qualify for one of the payment options available from the IRS. These include:
Special filing deadline rules apply to members of the military serving in combat zones, taxpayers living outside the U.S. and those living in declared disaster areas. For those who qualify, these special deadlines affect any penalty and interest calculations. Visit IRS.gov for details on these special filing rules.
Taxpayers who owe tax for 2017 can avoid having the same problem for 2018 by increasing the amount of tax withheld from their paychecks. For help determining the right amount to withhold, use the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - We’re encouraged by declines in overall youth tobacco use over the last several years reflected in the 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Protecting our nation’s youth from the dangers of tobacco products is among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s most important responsibilities and we’re taking aggressive steps to make sure all tobacco products aren’t being marketed to, sold to, or used by kids. These efforts are a cornerstone of our comprehensive plan announced last summer. They are also the focus of our Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan announced in April. We’re actively examining a policy to prevent future generations from becoming addicted in the first place by rendering cigarettes minimally or non-addictive and taking every opportunity to disrupt the cycle of successive generations of nicotine and tobacco addiction.
While fewer youth are using cigarettes and other combustible tobacco products, we must do more to address the disturbingly high number of youth who are using e-cigarettes and vaping products. We must not lose sight of the fact that for the past several years, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among both middle and high school students and a total of 2.1 million youth used e-cigarettes in 2017.
These figures are particularly concerning because youth exposure to nicotine — whether it comes from a cigarette or an e-cigarette — affects the developing brain and may rewire it to be more susceptible to nicotine addiction in the future. And while there was no change in e-cigarette use from 2016 to 2017 among high school-aged teens, it’s too soon to tell whether this represents a leveling off, following a steep decline from 2015 to 2016. But this bears watching.
Our work to protect youth from dangers of nicotine and tobacco products is first-and-foremost focused on making sure e-cigarettes — or any other tobacco products — aren’t getting into kids’ hands in the first place. That’s why as part of our Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan we conducted a nationwide blitz of brick-and-mortar and online retailers in April that led to warning letters to businesses that sold JUUL brand products to minors. We’re also planning to conduct additional nationwide blitzes in the near future as part of our sustained enforcement efforts to reduce tobacco product sales to minors. Additionally, we issued numerous warning letters — many in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission — to manufacturers, distributors and retailers for selling e-liquids used in e-cigarettes with false or misleading labeling and/or advertising that cause them to resemble kid-friendly food products such as juice boxes, candy or cookies, and some of them with cartoon-like imagery. These efforts are the start of a sustained campaign to address sales to minors.
As we work to address youth use of, and access to, these novel nicotine-delivery products, we’re also taking a hard look at whether certain design features and product marketing practices are fueling the youth use. To that end, we’ve required JUUL Labs Inc. and the manufacturers/importers of several other similar products to provide critical information for us to further examine marketing practices and the youth use and appeal of these types of products. We’ll explore all of our regulatory options, including enforcement actions, based on what we learn from this information. We’re also adding JUUL as a specific e-cigarette example in future tobacco use surveys to ensure we’re accurately capturing patterns of youth use of e-cigarette products.
In addition, we’ve been conducting focus groups with teens across the country about e-cigarettes to hear directly from young people to best inform our public education efforts about the dangers of youth tobacco use. And we know our compelling, science-based campaigns are having a meaningful impact through powerful messages that raise awareness, shift beliefs and ultimately save lives by changing behaviors. “The Real Cost” campaign has already helped prevent nearly 350,000 kids from smoking cigarettes since it launched in 2014. Capitalizing on that success, we expanded the campaign last fall with messages focused on preventing youth use of e-cigarettes. Later this year, we’ll be launching a full-scale campaign focused on youth use of e-cigarettes. We’ve had a lot of success with our campaigns in the past. And we expect that this new public effort will impact youth use of e-cigs in the same manner that our campaigns have impacted children’s use of combustible tobacco products.
Along with these efforts, we’re continuing to advance our framework for the regulation of products like e-cigarettes through our premarket review process to address youth initiation. Additionally, we’re exploring clear and meaningful measures to make tobacco products less toxic, appealing and addictive — with an intense focus on deterring youth use and exposure. This could include measures on flavors/designs that appeal to youth, child-resistant packaging and product labeling to prevent accidental child exposure to liquid nicotine. We also plan to explore additional restrictions on the sale and promotion of electronic nicotine delivery systems to further reduce youth exposure and access to these products.
E-cigarettes may present an important opportunity for adult smokers to transition off combustible tobacco products and onto nicotine delivery products that may not have the same level of risks associated with them. We are working hard to develop a pathway to put products like e-cigarettes through an appropriate series of regulatory gates to properly evaluate them as an alternative for adults who still want to get access to satisfying levels of nicotine, without all the risks associated with lighting tobacco on fire. And we will continue to encourage the development of potentially less harmful forms of nicotine delivery for currently addicted adult smokers. That also includes the development of medicinal nicotine products.
But these public health opportunities are put at risk if all we do is hook another generation of kids on nicotine and tobacco products through alternatives like e-cigarettes. Ultimately we need to make every effort to prevent youth tobacco use. This responsibility falls on all of us, including the companies that develop and market these products, the retailers selling them, and the online venues that help to fuel the teen popularity of, and access to, these products. We’re going to hold industry participants responsible for actions that promote youth addiction. There’s no acceptable number of children using tobacco products. We’ll take every opportunity to protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers throughout Northeast California to be wary of an increase in computer repair scams happening throughout the region; one Sacramento resident lost $5,000 to the scam.
Computer repair scams typically begin with a phone call, pop-up advertisement, email attachment or link.
Pop-ups will include an urgent message alleging that the computer was infected with malware, and instruct the user to contact the computer repair company in the ad. In reality, once the “computer repair company” is contacted, they are in fact the individuals responsible for installing malware on the user’s device.
Once installed, internet criminals may have access to important information on your computer, tablet, or smartphone including:
Tax documents you may have saved on your device.
Banking passwords and other financial information.
Access to your email and social media accounts.
And to any other documents or photos you have stored.
Scam artists will attempt to legitimize their offer by spoofing legitimate companies such as Microsoft, Google, or Apple. This includes using their company logo on advertisements and emails, and spoofing the company’s phone number to appear as if the call is legitimate.
In addition to gaining access to your personal information, scam artists will oftentimes collect a fee for their services either via credit or debit card, or wire transfer. If a payment is made via prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer it is almost impossible to recover your funds.
How to protect yourself:
Do not click on unknown links or attachments. Inspect email addresses very carefully; scam artists will attempt to mimic email addresses of well-known companies, or even those of your friends and family members in order to gain your trust. Do not click on links or attachments unless you are absolutely sure you know who the sender is.
Do not believe everything to see or hear. If you see a pop-up on your device, do not click on it and do not follow the instructions on your screen. Instead, turn off your device and if you believe it may have been compromised, find a local reputable computer repair service with a physical location.
Never send money, or personal information to people you do not know. Internet criminals and scam artists will often make a request for your money via prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. Once money is sent this way, it is almost impossible to recover.
Report scams when you see them. Use Better Business Bureau’s online Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker to browse, and report scams in your area.
What to do if You Have Been Scammed
Call your bank or credit card issuer and report the fraud. Change your passwords. If the scammer was given remote access to your computer, it's safe to assume they had access to all of your information, so be on the safe side and change all of your passwords, including passwords to your online banking accounts, credit card accounts, email accounts, etc. Don't trust any software installed by the scammer, it may be malware.
Even if you didn’t see them download something, they still could have placed malware on your machine.
If you are computer-savvy, you may be able to remove the malware using the guidelines provided by Microsoft or by using the directions on another reputable website. However, if you’re not sure if the malware is in your computer, or your computer is slow or otherwise acting strange after the episode, assume the worst and get help. You can search for and compare Accredited computer repair businesses at bbb.org.
LINCOLN, CA (MPG) - Thunder Valley Casino Resort will celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the casino on Saturday June 9th, 2018. Various promotions will be offered throughout the day, including commemorative Thunder Rewards Cards and the first day of the Camaro-A-Day Giveaway for 15 days. Additional anniversary celebration promotions will be held on June 5th, June 7th, and June 9th to June 23rd.
For 15 years Thunder Valley Casino Resort has offered award-winning services and accommodations, as well as charitable support for hundreds of non-profit organizations. In 2010 Thunder Valley expanded to include a 17-story luxury hotel with over 400 rooms, a full-service spa and a spacious outdoor pool complete with private cabanas and a poolside bar. In 2018, Thunder Valley opened a new 27 table Poker Room and a new 800 seat Bingo Hall.
Since 2011, Thunder Valley Casino Resort has been rated as a AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort. “Over the last 15 years, Thunder Valley Casino Resort has experienced significant growth and monumental success,” said Dawn Clayton, General Manager of Thunder Valley Casino Resort. “The accomplishments of our award-winning property are a true testament to our loyal guests and the hard work and dedication of our phenomenal team members. We look forward to continuing to offer exceptional amenities and services to our guests for years to come.”
To learn more about the expansions of Thunder Valley Casino Resort over the past 15 years, visit: https://youtu.be/4kHUwfVCx1c
The Crystal Anniversary Play and Get
Tuesday June 5th, Thursday June 7th
Guests can receive a Mikasa crystal vase once they have earned 750 points.
15th Anniversary Camaro-A-Day Giveaway
Saturday June 9th - Saturday June 23rd
At 7 p.m. every day for 15 days, a winner will be announced for the Camaro-A-Day Giveaway on the Promotions Stage. Guaranteed one winner each day!
15th Anniversary Logo Dessert Truffle
Saturday June 9th
Starting at 12 p.m., the first 3,000 guests may receive a free dessert truffle with our anniversary logo at the Main Stage. Guests must visit the self-service kiosk to print out the voucher and redeem at the Main Stage.
15th Anniversary Commemorative Play and Get
Saturday June 9th
The first 1,500 guests to earn 150 points may receive a pair of 15th Anniversary Commemorative stemless wine glasses. Guests can start earning points towards this giveaway at 6 a.m. Printed vouchers can be redeemed at 12 p.m. at the Rewards Center.
15th Anniversary Thunder Rewards Center
Saturday June 9th
Starting at 12 p.m., commemorative Thunder Rewards Card will be distributed at the Rewards Center, available while supplies last.
15th Anniversary Commemorative T-shirt
Saturday June 9th
Approximately every 15 minutes from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. a random bank of slot machines or table games with active guest play can receive a 15th Anniversary Commemorative T-shirt.
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Starting next week, you may begin to notice a few key letters missing from your favorite brands’ logos. But don’t worry – it’s not a mistake. It’s a part of the International Missing Type campaign in which blood donation organizations across the globe unite to promote awareness around the need for blood donation.
And in the case of blood donations, a shortage of any blood type could be particularly worrisome for the 4.5 million Americans who have a lifesaving blood transfusion each year.
While the campaign originally started in the United Kingdom in 2015, this year Northern California is excited to participate in the International Missing Type campaign – and BloodSource is asking local businesses and media outlets to join us in dropping the As, Bs and Os from their logos for this special event.
“We are excited to bring the global movement drawing attention to the urgency of donating blood to Northern California,” said Erin Frye, Marketing Manager at BloodSource. “Participating in this special outreach is an opportunity to highlight the importance of blood donation and show that we care about the health and well-being of our community.”
If you are interested in participating, please contact 916.453.3677 for more information and to join our list of local partners. For more information on the Missing Type campaign, visit missingtypeus.org.