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LASD Board of education welcomes new board members and begins goodbye to Superintendent

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The Ludington Area School District Board of education met last night. The meeting began with the oath of office for new members, Josh Snyder and Stephanie Reed. Steve Carlson was appointed as Board President. The meeting continued with discussion of the Ludington Area School District experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers. The board discovered that LASD was not competitive with other districts and approved an increase rate of $85 per day to appeal to substitute teachers. Funds from the food service equipment funds were approved to purchase a new  food service oven from Stafford Smith.  Contractors to update the pool were also approved; Welch tile will replace broken tile in the pool area with Elite Floor Covering providing acrylic decking.  Superintendent  Andrea Large provided a monitoring system update, requiring schools to be 100% on target in all areas. LASD was identified as compliant in all areas except holding the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for children with special needs within a calendar year. Ms. Large reported that out of 267, 7 were outside the year meaning LASD was 97% on target. The district will hold 11 month IEPS moving forward to accommodate possible unplanned time conflicts.

Superintendent Andrea Large spoke highly of the school and board as she provided a notice of retirement for June 2017. The board approved contracting with Michigan Leadership Institute to assist with the employee search.  The district will also be seeking community input as the board seeks their new Superintendent

WSCC Board of trustees appoint chairs and discusses building projects

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The WSCC Board of trustees met yesterday afternoon. The meeting began with board members taking their oaths of office. Bruce Smith was appointed Board Chairperson with Richard Wilson appointed vice chair, Dr. Fabaz appointed Secretary and Treasurer was offered to James Jensen.

For the 50th anniversary spotlight, Dr. Kenneth Urban showcased articles from local newspapers in 1967. The articles included opinons on the opening of the community college.

The west shore report began with progress of building projects approved for revitalization. The addition of the maintenance office building shop is within budget and on track for occupancy by February. The Tech Center project is in the design review stage and plans must be submitted before moving onto additional stages. Tech Center additions will include a welding bay, nursing simulation labs, and an early childhood education classroom.

Chrystel Young Director of Business and Community Education presented on current classes available to community for a variety of topics including, business, cooking, health and more. The meeting concluded with the appointment of board committees and chairs.

Shelby Women sentenced in SNAP fraud

Cruz Gonzalez, and her daughter, Fabiola Garcia, of Shelby, Michigan, are convicted of food stamp fraud according to U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles.  Gonzalez was sentenced to 33 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Gordon J. Quist. Her daughter, Garcia, was sentenced to 20 months in prison. Both were ordered to pay restitution to the Department of Agriculture in the amount of $722,149, the total amount of the fraud between February 2008 and January 2014. The two conspired to defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, by illegally exchanging SNAP benefits for cash, cell phones, and other ineligible items at La Fortuna Carniceria in Shelby. U.S. Attorney Miles stated, “The federal government cannot tolerate the theft of federal program benefits meant to aid low income individuals meet daily nutritional needs. Such theft undermines the public’s confidence in the SNAP program and diminishes the government’s ability to provide food assistance to those citizens most in need.”

Gonzalez and Garcia were two of three conspirators charged and convicted in the conspiracy. The third, Gisela Mendoza, also a daughter of Gonzalez, was sentenced in November to six months in prison, two months of home detention, and restitution of an equal amount.

Keeping computer data safe

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How do we keep our data safe in the modern age? Andy Mazur, technical manager for Shelby based marketing firm Envigor, explains some of the most common mistakes people make when attempt to keep their computer data safe.

“One of the biggest ones is simple passwords. Using something that can be easily guessed by a program. A lot of hackers use a method called brute forcing.That's just a program that has a huge list of random names, letters, characters, and they just run through each of those trying to break into your account. Having a strong password, a strong password being something with uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers, a combination of that, will help prevent that.”

 

Andy Mazur also recommend people use caution when using the internet on an open wifi network such as freely through a business. “When you’re browsing on an open network, something not secure, where you don’t have to enter a password,  there are various ways to ensure to prevent your information from being stolen. For example, just making sure the website you’re browsing is encrypted. I’m sure you’ve seen the little green lock or the https in the web URL; that's always a good thing.”

 

A VPN Is also recommended for open networks. It allows users to connect to a private network and encrypts all the traffic between the networks, preventing from any nearby hackers from accessing your data through the open network.

He also recommends two factor authentication. “Instead of just typing in your password for your account, you type in your password and a secondary code. That code is usually sent via text or applications on your phone that can generate these numbers, Basically you're entering a password and a unique number that only your phone has access to.”


Andy Mazur recommends reaching out to your trusted technical support if you have questions about the best software for your computer.

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