By Kelly Sargent
Erin is graciously letting me hijack Tucker Law one more time to see if we can find a home for this little ginger boy. We thought we'd found a home for him, but they've gone quiet.
He's getting neutered and vaccinated on October 20, and we'll pick him up from southwest Iowa on the 30th. If you don't have room for him, will you ask friends and family if they might have room for him? Surely there's somebody somewhere who will love him.
By Kelly Sargent
I’m hoping you will excuse this personal note. I feel lucky to work for a law firm led by attorneys who are genuinely compassionate. They're letting me borrow this forum for a moment to look for a home for an abandoned cat.
Over course of a week, I was contacted by two different women, one from Lucas County, one from Oskaloosa, each looking for help finding a home for a cat. Thanks to a bucket brigade of people from South Carolina to Utah, we found a home for one of them, a sweet (so sweet) little Bengal whose pet parent had the magnanimity and moral courage to recognize that with five children of her own, seven daycare little ones and a dog in her home, it was too chaotic an environment for a cat to be happy.
She posted on Facebook's Cat Lover's Community, someone from Utah commented, and a friend who lives in South Carolina, alerted me that this kitty, currently in Oskaloosa, needed rehoming. I wrote about it, my husband Paul shared it, and a college friend of his saw it, and said, "I'll take her!"
I launched out for Oskaloosa with a kennel in the back of the van, we got her transferred by putting the owner's kennel open end to end with mine. She cried all the way home to my house.
I was feeling pessimistic about my chances — and hers. I'd been warned that she was a hider who would scratch and claw if I tried to get her out from wherever she would hide, but I didn't want to leave her in the kennel all afternoon until Paul got home and we could leave for Omaha. When I came back into the den half an hour later, she was invisible, but to my surprise, she called to me. She had climbed up into the top of a very tall closet where I would not have been able to remove her, and then contrary to what I had been led to expect, she warmed up quickly. Soon she was sitting next to me on the couch and finally laying in my lap purring.
The next challenge was getting her back into the kennel for transport. I wondered whether I could succeed or if I would finally meet the scratching, clawing cat I was warned about. I carried the cage back in the room, put the big blanket back in and sprayed it heavily with anti-anxiety cat pheromones. The aroma attracted her and she walked into the kennel of her own accord. Whew!
I told Paul that I thought we should be silent on the drive because from Oskaloosa to our house, talking to her only made her cry louder. We drove half the way not speaking, but I couldn’t bear how miserable she sounded, so I climbed into the back of the van and opened the cage to see what would happen. She climbed up in my lap and stopped crying! I petted her all the way to Omaha.
She is now happily ensconced in her new home where she is the only pet and utterly adored.
Now we need to find a home for this sweet little ginger boy picture above who was dumped on a gravel road far out in rural Iowa. The woman who found him is caring for him, but can't afford to keep him. Can you help me form another bucket brigade and find him a home? I will drive him anywhere within a day's drive of Des Moines. He will already have been neutered and vaccinated.
By Erin Tucker
Whenever there’s a calamity — local, regional or national, there will always be scam artists intent on taking advantage of people who have been impacted by preying on their misfortune and fear.
Recently, the Better Business Bureau issued a report citing numerous cases of scammers impersonating representatives of high-profile companies, offering COVID-themed discounts.
Here’s how the scam runs:
You receive a text message from a large, reputable company. The message claims that due to the pandemic, the company would like to help people by offering them a deal. They range from free or discounted services to gift cards and cash
Below are two fake offers the BBB listed that unsuspecting consumers have received lately.
“COVID-19 REFUND. VERIZON COMPANY is giving out $950 to all users of our Verizon service, If yes kindly text your Verizon”
“Due to the pandemic, Hulu is giving everyone a free 1-year subscription to help you stay at home. Get yours here [link].
Of course these messages don’t really originate with that company. They’re phishing attempts from con artists who are trying to steal your personal information.
If you click the link, you may be prompted to log into a lookalike website that scammers use to get hold of your login ID and password. With that information, scammers can access your accounts and even make purchases using your saved payment methods.
The latest BBB report mentions scammers impersonating Hulu, Netflix, and Verizon, but watch out texts that pretend to be from other companies too. If one name stops producing victims, these fraudsters simply use another company's name.
Here’s what the BBB recommends to avoid being taken in by text message scams
Treat messages from unknown senders with caution. If you receive a message from a number you don’t recognize, be careful. If you haven’t given a company permission to text you, it’s probably a scam.
Don’t click on links from strangers. Scammers often send shortened links that don’t let you see where they really lead in the body of their text message. If you click the link, you could be directed to a dangerous
website, or you could download malware onto your device.
Confirm deals directly with the company before you accept. If you are really hoping the deal is
legitimate, go to the company’s official website and send them an email, or call to inquire. The company can
let you know if the deal is real or not.
Install antivirus software on your computer and mobile devices. This kind of scam can come from text
messages or emails, so make sure all your electronics are protected. Antivirus software can scan for malware
and alert you before you open a malicious website link.
Tucker Law appreciates the work the Better Business Bureau does to alert consumers to potential frauds and scams. Rob and I and the rest of our staff are always here if you need us.
By Kelly Sargent
There’s still enough time to enjoy some warm-weather swimming in ponds, lakes or pools, but here’s a word of warning.
According to a recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is one of the leading causes of death from unintentional injuries in kids ages 1 to 19 . Of those, 75% are boys. Teenage boys 15 to 19 in particular are 10 times more likely to drown than girls.
The AAP report also found that In the specific category of swimming pool deaths, Black children aged 5 to 19 are five-and-a-half more likely to drown than White children.
In very young children, 1 to four, drowning isn’t just a major cause of unintentional-injury related death; it’s the leading cause.
Dr. Linda Quan, pediatric emergency medicine physician at Seattle Children's Hospital, who is the author of the AAP report, emphasized that young children must be supervised at all times when they’re in any kind of water including a bath because they’re not able to prevent themselves from drowning.
Quoted by CNN, Dr. Quan said, “It seems ridiculous, but I've watched my own 2-year-old stumble and sit down in a body of water covering her nose and do nothing to save herself. I had to yank her up to standing."
Unsurprisingly the most child drowning deaths take place between May and August. The riskiest hours are between 4 PM and 6 PM, — that surprised us, during which about half of child drownings occur.
In addition to supervising children at all times when they're in water, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that bath water should be drained immediately after the bath. Infants should never be left unsupervised because bath seats can tip over.
As an additional measure of protection, AAP suggests that parents enroll children in swimming classes beginning at the age of 1. And if you have a pool in your yard, install a fence surrounding it that's at least four feet high and has self-closing gates.
Water can be fun, but it can be dangerous, so keep your eyes on those kids! And as always, if you need us, call us.
By Kelly Sargent
All of us want life to go back to pre-pandemic normal. You remember what that was like . . . when we didn’t have to wear masks everywhere we went or be afraid of going out to eat or to concerts and movies or any other indoor social gathering.
Just when this back-to-the-future looked reassuring and promising, along comes the delta variant of COVID-19 — and it’s a doozy. The United States Center for Disease Control recently described it as “hypertransmissable,” and now accounts for more than half of the Covid-19 cases in many areas of the US.
Immunologist and former executive director of medical affairs for vaccines at Merck, John Grabenstein, said that because the delta variant is more contagious, it’s more likely to find the people who are not vaccinated. The White House announced that as of the end of June, nearly everyone who died from COVID in the United States was unvaccinated. And just today, July 8, the medical website Medscape reported that 99.5% of those killed by COVID-19 in the last six months had not been vaccinated.
At a July 7 press conference, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, disclosed that all of the 130 people who died of Covid-19 in his state last month were unvaccinated. Unvaccinated people made up 95% of new Covid-19 cases there and 93% of new Covid-19 hospitalizations. Infectious disease experts say that the connection between vaccination status and Covid-19 is not specific to Maryland; their stats are not an anomaly.
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, said that there’s “no question that almost all of the deaths and hospitalizations will be in unvaccinated individuals, and therefore we should expect (that) most of severe illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths will occur predominantly in areas of low vaccination and high Delta.”
The flip side to that is obvious; being vaccinated is highly effective. The Associated Press analyzed government data from the month of May and found that COVID infections in fully-vaccinated people accounted for less than 1200 of more than 107,000 COVID hospitalizations. That’s about 1.1%. And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths that month were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to less than 1%.
On July 6 CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that the vaccine is so effective that “nearly every death, especially among adults, due to COVID-19 is, at this point, entirely preventable.”
This resonates personally for me. One of my friends has a granddaughter, Amber, who lives in Texas. Young, healthy and ambitious, Amber's husband was in the process of starting his own company. Together they sank every bit of their money into it, but Marc was a hard worker, and they were optimistic about their chances. Neither one, however, had bothered to get vaccinated.
In May Marc came done with COVID-19 and first was hospitalized and then had to be intubated. He died ten days later. Now Amber has to sell their home, find somewhere else to raise the two small children Marc left behind and get a job to support herself and them.
As of now, 606,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. So get the jab, as my British friends refer to it. It could save your life.
July 9 Update:
Today, Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, reported "exponential" growth in COVID-19 cases as the delta variant takes over. The case rate doubled over the last week, and 99.96% of all new infections are in unvaccinated individuals, according to Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
By Kelly Sargent
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a dad. Mine was out of the picture while I was still a baby; my grandpa did his best to sub in.
Of course technically everyone has a ‘father’, but mere genetic contribution doesn’t make for an actual dad.
On this Father’s Day, Tucker Law celebrates all loving dads, stepdads, adoptive dads and substitute dads.
By Erin Tucker
Tucker Law team member, Kelly Sargent, writer that she is, has been scouting agents for a television show concept she developed. Talk about a steep hill to climb.
Any information uploaded to a prospective agent through that site grants . . .
“without any credit or compensation to you, a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, unrestricted, irrevocable, and fully transferable, assignable and sub-licensable license to use, modify, display, copy, reproduce, disclose, sell, translate, create derivative works of, distribute, and export any of the information, in whole or in part, or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, software or technology of any kind for any purposes whatsoever.”
Wowza. In other words, the purveyors of that site could take her concept, written text, ideas, format or anything else that is her professional work product and use it anyway they want with no credit or compensation to her whatsoever.
You’re probably not going to try pitching a TV show anytime soon, but there are other scams literally right at your fingertips that are easy to fall prey to.
I’m talking about Facebook quizzes. Not all Facebook or other social media quizzes are scams, but the Better Business Bureau warns that some of them are. It might be at fun little personality test offering to match you with a character from a favorite TV show or some other which-something-or-other-are-you quiz. Sounds innocuous and entertaining, but if you’re asked questions such as what the first car was you owned or the name of the street you grew up on or other seemingly trivial personal things, they’re fishing for the answers to common security questions used to provide access to insurance, banking and credit card accounts.
The site Scam Detector warns that the notifications pictured below are a red flag and cautions
To be extra safe, consider changing your privacy settings from “Public” to “Friends” and consider removing details on your profile such as where you grew up, where you went to school, where you live, where you used to live and where you work. Information of that sort can also make you vulnerable to attempted scams.
And if you need help, we’re always here.
By Kelly Sargent
For many of us, bringing planters, flowers, flags and other adornments to decorate the graves of family members on Memorial Day has been a tradition since we were small children. This weekend is also considered the unofficial start of summer; lots of grills are rolled out and fired up for use.
What we know as Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and came into being after the Civil War ended to honor those who had been killed; an estimated 498,332 died in the war. Soon afterward, communities began holding springtime tributes to honor the fallen by decorating their graves and holding prayer services.
In 1868 General John A. Logan, who was a leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a national day of remembrance. His declaration read, “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,”
When World War I came along, the holiday evolved to also honor those who died in that war too — and then World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as a federal holiday on the last Monday in May and became effective in 1971.
Unfortunately, many lives have been lost this past year including friends and family members of those of us at Tucker Law. On this Memorial Day, we send our heartfelt condolences to anyone who is grieving and wish you peace and healing.
By Erin Tucker
A work-related injury can have long-lasting, effects on your health and livelihood. If you've been injured on the job, it's essential that you know your legal rights so that you don't risk losing access to the workers' compensation you are legitimately and legally entitled to.
Regardless of the industry, your employer may be reluctant to compensate you if you've been injured at work. Without the aid of an experienced attorney, it can be difficult to obtain full compensation. Here are some important things to know.
At Tucker Law, we are committed to helping you navigate this process. We'll guide you through step by step to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us if you need us.
By Erin Tucker
If you've been injured, or if you've lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, at Tucker Law we know there is no amount of money that can return things to the way they were before the accident. But that doesn't mean that a financial settlement is irrelevant. It's money that can be put toward lost wages, medical bills, car repairs or funeral expenses.
Our entire staff at Tucker Law is committed to helping you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We have more than 30 years of experience successfully handling personal injury cases including:
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