Which States Allow Criminal Record Expungement?

With so many laws being passed and repealed every day, it’s hard to keep up. And although most people are unaware of new laws being passed in their state, there is one new law that many cannot afford to ignore. Criminal expungement is now legal in several states within the country. This new law allows past criminals to seal or restrict their past arrests and convictions from public view. There are endless benefits to this law, but not all states have approved it yet. Continue reading to learn more about criminal record expungement and which states have approved the law.

Expunging Criminal Records

The new criminal record expungement laws have the ability to change people’s lives in a dramatic way. With certain criminal records weighing over a person’s head and lingering on their public record, there are certain consequences. Aside from criminal stigma and judgement, a criminal record can hold a person back from any benefits that require a background check. This includes applying for a loan, renting an apartment, getting a job, and more. Now, in cooperating states, people have the opportunity to have these past criminal records sealed or restricted from the public, with the exception of police and government officials. This allows people to take advantage of certain benefits, like better jobs and home loans, and live a better life.

Most states have adopted this new criminal record expungement law, but some are still lingering on the back burner. Since most states have not approved and passed this new law, it is more efficient to list the ones that have so far. Here is a list of states that allow expungement:

  • Indiana
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Ohio
  • Utah
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Washington

Although these states have approved the law, it is not a permanent law. They have only approved it for a trial period. And since there are several opposed to this law, there is no telling when or if it will get repealed. This means it is important to take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts. The only catch is that not everyone will qualify for criminal record expungement. There are guidelines that one must meet to be eligible to conceal or expunge their records. This is why it is necessary to hire a licensed criminal attorney for accurate and professional help. A person can only file one time in their life, and just one mistake can take that chance away. A lawyer can determine your eligibility and ensure everything is carried out precisely.

Quarterback Contraversy in DC?

It is obvious who ought to take the first snap for the Washington Redskins next fall. The answer is so clear, anybody that thinks otherwise needs to have their brain examined. Maybe new head coach Joe Gibbs should order Patrick Ramsey get a CAT scan before mini-camp takes place.

Mark Brunell should not only be anointed starting quarterback right now, he should not have to compete for the job until at least 2005. Simply put, Brunell is a proven NFL quarterback, and Ramsey is not. Brunell has started for eight seasons (excluding 2003), while Ramsey has yet to start 20 games. Owner Dan Snyder gave Gibbs an unspoken mandate to get to the Super Bowl within the next three seasons. Who is more likely to accomplish this?

There is no legitimate argument that anybody can give for Ramsey to start ahead of a healthy Brunell in 2004. Let’s break down a few of the reasons given why Ramsey should start:

-Ramsey is the quarterback of the future – There is no question Ramsey has the potential to solidify the Redskins’ quarterback situation for years to come. If the organization believes that Ramsey is the guy for years to come, he will have to assume the starting job someday. However, he will have growing pains to endure if or when he does assume the job. Ideally, a third-year quarterback who has started parts of his first two years should be ready to start seasoning his game. In Ramsey’s case, everything he has learned in his first two seasons needs to be discarded. The coaching staff needs to handle Ramsey as if he were a rookie. This is not an ideal situation to claim a starting quarterback job. With up to a third of the roster changing, the new players need to be transitioned in with a proven quarterback.

-Ramsey has a great upside – If this is a reason to give a quarterback a starting job, then Browning Nagle, Rick Mirer, and Heath Shuler should be starting in this league. Ramsey has potential, but he is hardly sure thing. Although he posted good statistics when he was playing at Tulane, he did it in a pass-friendly offense against mid-major competition. He cannot be fairly evaluated on his first two seasons, because he did not get legitimate NFL coaching and was not in an adequate offensive system. A year from now, after he has been evaluated by an offensive staff with about 70 years of NFL experience, how much upside he actually has will be determined. This determination should be made on the practice field, not FedEx field.

-Ramsey’s toughness earned him the right to lead the team in 2004 – Since when were NFL games won on the ability to take a beating? There is much more to being an NFL quarterback then sitting in the pocket and taking a whipping. While his attitude and competitiveness were excellent in a very bad situation last year, it does not mean he can be an effective NFL quarterback. Ramsey’s toughness endured his teammates to him, but to maintain that respect, he is going to have to produce yardage, points, and wins. He will be in a much better position to produce in 2005 when he has a year under this coaching staff.

What has not been mentioned is how Ramsey’s response to this situation clarifies that he is not ready to lead this team. After the Redskins announced that they were acquiring Brunell, Ramsey’s agent publicly campaigned for a trade, where Ramsey could start. Since he can earn nearly $2 million in incentives, it is understandable why he wants to start somewhere in the league. However, he did agree to the contract when he signed it, and he may not want to risk his image over $2 million when he could make between $30 and $100 million before his career is up. Any dispute should have taken place behind closed doors. The fact he tried to force this publicly calls into question his ability to be a professional. Taking a beating does not make a quarterback a professional. There are thousands of people that would have taken the same physical beating for his base salary last year.

Snyder has been scrutinized for many personnel moves since he has owned the Redskins, and justifiably so. Brunell could be the most expensive backup quarterback in the NFL by next year. At least Ramsey will likely get one year to rest his body and learn how to be an NFL quarterback. Maybe he should learn how to bite his tongue while he is at it. If he is going to be the quarterback people think he can be, it will be a good lesson.

Trout Fishing in the Ozark Mountains

One thing is for sure. There is no shortage of trout streams in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas. Some are spring-fed rivers and creeks. These provide everything from daily stocked put and take fishing for gullible trout, to the pursuit of wild rainbows in a pretty spring creek. There are also trophy brown trout streams that can and do produce stream grown trout in the ten pound range. In all, there are eighteen spring-fed streams in the Ozarks that are managed for year-round trout fishing, seventeen of which are in Missouri. All have public access. Of these, the freestone section of the North Fork of the White is often considered to be the best, with trout populations in the thousands per mile, with the upper section holding lots of wild rainbows and some browns, and the lower section holding a lot of browns and some rainbows. Other streams that are well worth fishing are the Eleven Point, Little Piney, Current, Meramec, and Niangua Rivers in Missouri, and the Spring River in Arkansas.

The tailwaters of the Ozarks are a completely different animal. All of the Ozark tailwaters are part of the White River System. All of these tailwaters of bottom draw dams hold thousands of rainbow trout per mile, as well as the constant chance of catching a world record brown. Cutthroat and brook trout can be found as well. There are about 150 miles of year-round trout tailwaters in the Ozarks, and about 130 miles of these can be found in Arkansas. Access is ample. The White River below Bull Shoals Dam is the most well known, providing one hundred miles of quality trout water. The upper twenty miles is the most heavily fished of this tailwater, but there are year-round populations of trout all the way to Guion, which is 92 miles below Bull Shoals Dam, and trout range considerably further downstream in the winter. The reason why this tailwater can produce trout for such a long distance is due to the fact the North Fork River flows in about fifty miles below the dam. The North Fork River also provides world class tailwater trout fishing, and it gives the White River the shot of cold water it needs to extend its trout water by fifty miles. Every true trout fisherman should make a visit to the White River in their lifetime, because 100 fish days can, and regularly do happen. This article just scratches the surface of trout fishing in the Ozarks, and I will describe specific streams in detail in coming articles.

In short, there is something for every trout fisherman in the Ozarks. There are not as many streams as there are in the Appalachians or the Rockies, but the ones that we do have compare favorably to the trout streams anywhere else in the world. Come and give Ozark trout fishing a try.

Construction Zone Traffic Laws

In order to prepare for increased motor traffic during the summer months, the state of Missouri has already started increasing levels of construction and maintenance road work.

There are several important traffic laws to reiterate to drivers to keep everyone safe during this construction season.

Making Merging Move Faster

Merging lanes of traffic on a highway or interstate can be very frustrating for drivers, especially during rush hours and in traffic traffic areas. The best way to merge when the roadways are not busy is to merge into the open lane as soon as warning signs start to appear. However, in very congested traffic areas, it is much more efficient to merge in a zipper form at the destination of the merge area in order to decrease traffic build up.

Endangering a Highway Worker

The Highway Work Zone Law was implemented to regulate the crime of endangering a highway worker. If any person creates an indemnity that endangers a highway worker, but does not injure or take the life of the worker, a maximum fine of $ 1,000 and four points will be added to the driver's license.

If the highway worker is injured, the offender shall be fined a maximum of $ 5,000 and have 12 points assessed to his or her license. However, if the offender takes the life of the highway worker, the offender shall be fined a maximum of $ 10,000 and have 12 points assessed to his or her license.

Fines and Penalties

The Highway Work Zone Law also increased several of the most recent offsets' penalties in order to help protect highway workers. The law states that a person who is persuaded more than once with a moving violation will be subject to a penalty of $ 75.

In addition, the law states that a fine of $ 300 can be assessed to any person with multiple charges of speeding or passing of another vehicle in any work zone with a worker present ( http://www.modot.org/workzones/ ).

The 2012 "Move Over" law

In 2012, Missouri implemented a law that requires motorists to slow down or move into the other lane when coming upon any sort of parked emergency, law enforcement, or Missouri Department of Transportation vehicle.

This law helps protect both the workers in the parked vehicles as well as the people driving by as it significantly decrees the risk of an accident occurring.

Following these traffic laws and making sure to pay attention in work zones can help make the roads safer for everyone during this construction season.

Lost Ancestors II – Solving Genealogy Mysteries by Finding Americans in Unexpected Objects

When we think of American migration in the mid-1800s, the imagination often wanders to images of wagon trains and pioneer families trudging westward across the plains. "Westward, Ho!" was a reality, a great immigration spurred by the opening of new territories and the California Gold Rush. Our "one-way" vision of migration toward only the west has been perpetuated by Hollywood movies. The reality was not so tidy.

Our ancients actually the ability to travel in all directions! The first steamboat on the Mississippi, the major North-South waterway, was launched in 1811. The first transcontinental -railroad was completed in 1869 and connected the east to the west. From the 16th century onward ships crossed the Atlantic bringing new immigrants to the US and American visitors to the Old World. Sure people migrated to isolated homesteads on the Great Plains, however others flocked to the small towns that grow on rivers and rail lines. With various modes of transport in place, our ancestors were more mobile than their film stereotypes.

For nearly ten years I've been engaged in a surname research project (Tennessee Pryors). I continue to be amazed at how far people traveled and where they went causing them to disappear from the census and other public records for years at a time. When you can not find an ancestor in an expected location, then, try searching records in the unexpected places I've discovered.

Eastward, Ho! For some pioneers life in the frontier was just too unforgiving. When crops failed and homesickness set in, some of our ancestors went back to their eastern homes. Some cautious people when faced with the uncertainty of what was in store for them in the Wild West, never sold their eastern land. So, just because an ancestor was found in the west and then disappears from records, do not discount their possible return to their original community or nearby areas. Pay attention to birthplaces on the census: while investigating a family in Virginia I found one of their children was born in Missouri. That opened the door to finding them on Missouri census records.

Washington, DC. When you know a family was educated and held social prominence you may find them in Washington, DC or surrounding areas. Like today, successful families back to their community by running for political office. If in doubt, Wikipedia has numerous lists of political offices and who has held them.

France, Mexico, and Indian Territory. Before Louis and Clark, St. Louis was a pioneer town in the part of France (and for a time Spain) that would become the State of Missouri. More than 20 years before the Mexican War and the annexation of Texas, Stephen Austin took a group of American pioneers into an area of ​​Mexico that would not become Texas until after the fall of the Alamo. Other pioneers headed into Indian Territory to establish homesteads or trading posts. Sites like the Missouri Secretary of State Digital Heritage have some territorial records. Often records are in the form of letters to territorial governors or land grants that have to be translated from Spanish or French, nor have they been transcribed into digital documents, so a meticulous search is needed to find reference to these pioneer families.

Travel Abroad. One family I research appeared to be deceased or forgotten in the census records. They were in the South up to the 1860 census and then they were gone. It was not until I playfully searched the UK Census that I found them. Business had caused the family to move abroad. The UK Census provided the clue and subsequent searches of ships' manifests and passenger lists cave the details of their return to the US-landing and setting in the North after the Civil War. The Canadian Border Crossing records on Ancestry are also helpful to the researcher.

Lost ancestors? All are not lost! With some diligent detective work in the unexpected places, you may find ancestors who you thought were missing.

Attempts to End Slavery – African American History – American History

One of the greatest consequences of the Revolutionary Era was a growing movement in opposition to slavery. As a result of mechanization and farming, slavery became dominant and very important to the economy, particularly in the south. Many white people began to question the morality of slavery, noting the injustice in denying people of their liberties. Soon, antislavery societies were becoming common, and the north gradually provided for the abolition of slavery while the south still considered it a "positive good". The antislavery movement, which eventually developed into the abolition movement became radicalized during the early 1830's.

The beginnings of the antislavery movement were evident right after the revolution. Every state except for Georgia and South Carolina had outlawed the slave trade. Then, in 1782 Virginia passed a law that stated that owners must free their slaves. Consequently, by 1790, over ten thousand slaves had been set free. Ten years later, antislavery societies were forming from states ranging from Virginia to Massachusetts. Gradually, other northern states had followed, providing for the abolition of slavery. However, after the cotton gin was introduced to the economy, instead of eliminating the need for slavery, it actually had the opposite effect – the south now needed slavery more than ever. In addition, before Missouri joined the union, many northerners opposed the idea of ​​Missouri becoming a state because it would allow the expansion of slavery and also give them an advantage in the senate. In the Missouri Compromise of 1820, Henry Clay proposed to let Missouri enter the union as a slave state, and Maine as a free state. It was accepted since it retained the balance between slave states and free states. With the passage of the Missouri Compromise, slavery became a national issue.

Soon the abolitionist movement arose, a crusade based on the idea that slavery was an unjust and immoral evil that needed to be eliminated as soon as possible. Since religion was the undering motive for most abolitionists, Protestant churches usually became the common-ground for their activities. In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison started to publish a newspaper called the Liberator. His determination to abolish slavery was the basis for this theory to call for immediate freedom for all blacks, rather than formal emancipation. With the help of his followers, in 1832, he established the American Anti-Slavery Society. Along with Garrison, Theodore Dwight Weld wrote a famous novel condemning slavery. During 1935, he traveled around Ohio and western New York preaching abolitionism. Even though he and his associates faced angry mobs, they did convince thousands of people to become abolitionists and form new societies. Those two people were a few of the most radical of the abolitionist leaders. As more antislavery organizations were being founded, many abolitionist leaders began to emerge as well.

Latermore, in New York City, the Tappan brothers, Lewis and Arthur, were two successful merchants who used their wealth to finance antislavery activities. They supported a huge effort to give out antislavery pamphlets and distribute them to the US. Unfortunately, since many people considered them dangerous radicals, they made relatively few conversions in 1835. Also, it was the antislavery movement that had given a woman an important chance to become involved in politics and the government. Two of the very first women that were given a right to speak publicly about the immorality of slavery were the sisters Angelina and Sarah Grimke. They argued that if a great moral reform of American society was to occur, that women had to equal equality in dealing with the issue. Later on, more women such as Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton took a stance against slavery.

These abolitionists instituted one of the most controversial movements in American history. From the first, their aim was to transform the conscience of each white American, Northerner and Southerner, by preaching against the sin of slavery. They believed that through such agitation it was possible to convince slaves to show repentance by releasing their slaves. This in turn, caused numerous problems and the issue would continue to divide the nation, extremely leading the US into a period of bitter turmoil and event, war.

Beware Of The Hurricane Katrina E-Mail Identity Theft Charity Scam

Just how low will people go. It seems there are a handful of dishonest people sending out E-Mails Requesting Donations to help the Hurricane Katrina Disaster victims. Not only will these Low Down Belly Crawling Pond Scum Steal your donation, they will steal your credit card or bank account information and often your identity.

The best way to protect yourself is never click on a link in an E-mail requesting a donation. Never send a Credit number in response to request for a donation from an E_mail. If you want to donate money to a charity to help the Hurricane Katrina Disaster relief victims do so by typing there address directly into your browser. CNN has a list of trustworthy charities that you can feel safe about donating to online (go to cnn.com/helpcenter and click on Donate & Volunteer).

Here are some safeguards to keep in mind when it comes to charitable contributions. Charities will never send you unsolicited E-Mail requesting donations. If you get a request for money from a charity in an E-mail more then likely it is an attempt to steal your Identity.

Charities will never call your phone number requesting a donation. There is a whole industry of telemarketers that raise money for charity. The Problem is the companies doing the telemarketing keep up to 90% or more and only send a small amount to the charity, If you receive a call from a telemarketer ask him what percent of the money goes to charity, They will either say they don’t know or refer you to an 800 Number where your questions will be answered. You are far better off politely telling the telemarketer no and contacting the charity directly.

Energy Efficient Roofing Materials

Everyone is interested in saving energy-and theseby money-these days, and roofing companies in mid-Missouri can help make it happen. When it comes time to add or replace a roof, there are materials that can be used to better insulate the roof area, which insulates the entire building. This should equate to energy savings from the moment the roof is complete. These days, contractors for roofing in Jefferson City, MO, offer many of these materials to their customers.

Metal roofs are one option for energy efficient roofing through mid-Missouri. Such roofs are most commonly made of steel, copper, or aluminum. Because these metals do not absorb heat as well as asphalt shingles do, they will not radiate heat inside the buildings that they cover. In warm climates, this can be a major factor in energy efficiency, especially during summer months. Certainly metal roofing in mid-Missouri can bring this kind of benefit to a home or building owner.

A clay roof is also more energy efficient than asphalt shingle roofing in mid-Missouri. If the clay tiles are corrugated, air flow will benefit them, cooling the roof boards and drawing heat out of the roof. That keeps the heat from infiltrating the house or building. Slate roofs offer similar energy efficiency, and they have the side benefit of being extremely durable. In fact, if a slate roof is installed properly, it can last for a century or more. That saves a lot of money over time. Fortunately for today's homeowners, many companies involved in roofing in Jefferson City, MO offer clay or slate tiles.

If these types of roofs are too expensive, a shingle roof can be made more energy efficient through the application of a reflective coating. This coating is brushed directly onto the shingles, giving them the ability to reflect heat. In fact, covered shingles have been shown to reflect about 80% of the heat that falls on them, saving cooling costs for the homeowner. Many companies that offer roofing in Jefferson City, MO can apply such coatings at reasonable prices.

A solar roof may provide the ultimate in energy savings. Known as building-integrated photovoltaics, these rooftops are comprised of tiles that are covered with a film that can convert sunlight into electricity. While the amount of energy generated by such a roof is not much, it can power several lights or small appliances. Over time, the energy savings should add up significantly. Companies that do roofing in Jefferson City, MO can advise homeowners on the feasibility of adding such a roof.

A new idea in energy efficient roofing is to utilize roof turbines to generate electricity. Still being developed, this method of using wind power to spin the roof turbines and create energy has shown promise. Of course, the amount of energy generated will depend on the amount of wind flowing over the roof. Again, roofing contractors in Jefferson City, MO can advise anyone interested in this new technology.

Technology changes rapidly, and new energy efficient roofing materials are being developed. In time, every building owner may benefit when roofing in mid-Missouri becomes more energy efficient.

3 Myths That Disturb Business Dreams – The Story of Jack Spooner

This is the story of Jack Spooner. Although Jack is being heralded as a genius by some, in the eyes of most entrepreneurs is nothing more than a stupid kid.

Every business person worth their weight understands that the economy is bad so this is no time to be starting a new business. Jack Spooner apparently does not understand economics. Perhaps it's because he's only 13 years old and does not read the paper or watch news on television. Perhaps he is not hooked up to any entrepreneurial networking groups like Linked In or Facebook. Perhaps he just does not understand the culture of the business world for a generation of Millennials.

Whatever the reason, Jack recently decided to open up a lawn services business in Parkville, Missouri, called Yardwork Paradise. Here are the important facts he did not consider.

1. It's the wrong time to start a business. With the economy in a drastic downturn even well established businesses are struggling to survive. Many have stopped doing those important things such as employee development, launching new products, or looking at strategies for growth. Instead they have circled their wagons, just as the pioneers did, because they do not like what they see in the distance.

2. In order to keep employees you have to give them huge paychecks. Jack can barely afford minimum wage. This low-wage is already able to retain his employees. He does this by developing a strong bond with them. The supplements the paycheck with extra money for a movie or other entertainment. He has made a strong connection to his employees and because of this they are engaged with his vision.

3. You must focus on one core product. Jack has also failed to focus on core product. In this case his core product is yard maintenance. Conventional wisdom is that in tough economic times it should focus solely on yard maintenance. Yet Jack also offers power washing. That's totally unrerelated!

So how did Jack get to be so successful? How is it has grown its business to the point that he has four employees and is increasing his sales regularly?

Jack took a path that many adults have strayed from – a path to his dreams. He had a vision of his company and his vision was surrounded with a halo of success. He focused on that vision. He saved money so he could buy lawn equipment. He developed a slogan for his business. He took extra care with his first customers so he could build a strong reputation.

Despite any opposition Jack moved towards the horizon.

Stupid? Definitely not!

Naïve? Probably! Yet Jack's naivety provides a powerful life lesson for all of us. It is so difficult to remain positive when all we hear is bad news. However if we can remain focused on our dreams we can achieve success.

Millions of people around the world have listened to the YouTube video of Susan Boyle. A simple looking middle-aged woman from a small village in Scotland that shocked the world with a powerful song sung for British television's "Britain's Got Talent". People talk about how great her voice was – every note perfect. Others talk about her looks – curious about a makeover. Some focus on the challenges and audience – low expectations were turned to utter surprise. Yet few focus on the song itself – about how a young girl had dreams but life got in the way.

The three facts mentioned above are only facts if you allow them to be. For those who choose not to believe them there nothing more than myths that dreams.

Do not let life destroy your dreams. Be like Jack Spooner. Be a success!


Long Term Care Insurance – Low Cost Alternatives For Budget Conscious Seniors!

With Nursing home Cost’s running $4,000 to $6,000 a month and outpacing inflation, it is a small wonder that most seniors cannot afford the Long term Care insurance premiums. Their are low cost Alternatives available for seniors who just can’t afford the rising cost of these Premiums.

Many Seniors even question if they need Long Term Care Insurance. Take a look at the Stats and decide for yourself.

Long Term Care by the Numbers

  • In the year 2010 about 12 million older Americans may need long term care
  • A Study by the U.S. Department of Health and human Services predicts that 40% of all Americans over the age of 65 will need Nursing home care
  • 22% of all Americans over the Age of 85 are in a nursing Home
  • According to the US Government 40% of the People Currently receiving Long Term Care Services are between 18 and 64.

Many older People are under the belief that Medicare and Medicaid will cover the cost of Long Term Care. Every State has their own rules about what income and net worth requirements will qualify you for Long Term Care assistance. Here are some qualification rules in use by the State of Missouri as published in the Consumer Guide for seniors from the official Web page for the State (http://insurance.mo.gov/consumer/senior/ltcguide.pdf)

(For other States check the State.gov web page and then search on insurance and long term care)

In the State of Missouri Medicare Pays Long Term Care as follows

  • First 20 Days Medicare will pay all
  • For the Next 80 Medicare and the Senior Split the Cost based on some Formulas
  • Beginning on the 101st Day you are responsible for all Long Term care Costs.

What About Medicaid? Here are some Rules in place in the State of Missouri.

  • A Single person has to spend down their assets to under $1,000 before Medicaid will pay.
  • A Married couple would have to spend down 1/2 of their assets or more. According to the following rules A Spouse may keep between $13,740 and 68,700. So if a Couple only has $13,740 the Spouse gets to keep it all and Medicaid will pay the long Term Care Costs. But if a couple has $500,000 in Assets the Spouse only gets to keep $68,700 before Medicaid will Pay.
  • Certain Assets are Exempt from the Spend Day requirement and it is strongly advised if you have significant assets that you contact a Financial Advisor or attorney, who specializes in asset protection for seniors in your State.

Now that you have the Facts the Question is how do you protect yourself at a reasonable cost. Many Insurance companies offer Annuities and Equity Indexed Annuities with a Nursing Home Benefit. These Annuities would allow you to take your Annuity over a Span of 5 Years to help pay for your long term Care Expenses. In Addition to the long term care benefit these annuities offer Tax Growth, Up to 10% Bonuses for the first 5 years and many other Benefits.

If you are a Senior concerned about the High Cost of Long term Care but really cannot afford the High cost of Long term Care Insurance Premiums then Annuities with a Long Term Care Rider may just be the solution you seek.