SACRAMENTO, REGION, CA (MPG) - Beginning in June of this year, consumers from across the United States began reporting that they were losing money to one of eight similar online retailers advertising a California address, including the websites: BestDealBaby.com, AutomotiveXX.com, Banozoo.com, BeautyCareDeal.com, ChangeAX.com, Yokooza.com, BestDealAppliances.com, and ElectroxDeal.com.
These ecommerce websites advertised a variety of merchandise which Better Business Bureau (BBB) found to be available for purchase from other online retailers, including one of a kind handmade products from members of the website etsy.com. Additionally, addresses advertised on the websites did not appear to be legitimate store fronts or warehouses and included apartment complexes and residences. Scammers often advertise fake addresses at which no one representing the alleged business is actually located.
Complainants reported to BBB that shortly after completing their purchase they received an automated email stating:
“Your order on [website URL] has been refunded. [. . .] While our website may have indicated an in-stock status, one or more items in your order were not in stock at the time your order was to be fulfilled. Your order cancellation will process today, and we are currently processing your refund. However, depending on your card issuer, it may take up to 7-21 days for the money to be available in your card balance.”
Despite the promise, consumers received neither their purchase nor a refund. In total, consumers who contacted BBB of Northeast California reported losing $5,753.51 to these scam websites.
In the past year BBB of Northeast California has received 102 reports of Online Purchase scams. These reports make up almost twenty percent of all scams reported in Northeast California, and are the number one scam reported in California and the U.S. overall. Considering the popularity of online shopping, it is not surprising that scammers have been taking advantage of the opportunity it presents.
BBB urges consumers to avoid becoming victims by verifying the validity of all ecommerce websites before making a purchase. A website may be a scam if:
It was recently created. You can verify the website's creation date by checking the URL on the website, whois.com.
It does not prominently display verifiable contact information, such as a phone number, email address, and a street address.
The street address is fake, a home address, or belongs to a different business. Do an online search of the advertised address; you may be surprised.
The price is too good to be true. Fake websites often lure potential victims with their amazingly low prices. If you know the product costs $500 everywhere else, and the website you are looking at has the exact same product for $150, it may be a scam.
Other consumers have reported being scammed by the website. Check for other online reviews and search the business name and URL on bbb.org.
If you do decide to purchase from an online retailer, BBB suggests paying with a credit card, instead of a debit card. If the company fails to deliver the product, you can file a dispute with your credit card company. If you can’t tell whether an online retailer is legitimate, use the BBB Locator to contact your local Better Business Bureau.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - As students return to school, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges parents and guardians to ensure immunizations are on their back-to-school checklist. Many vaccine-preventable diseases, such as whooping cough and measles, can easily spread in child care and school settings.
“Immunization can help keep our children healthy, in school and ready to learn,” said Dr. Karen Smith, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “If you haven’t done so already, check with your child’s doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs. Vaccinations are the best way to ensure that students are protected against serious and preventable diseases.”
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for getting sick and spreading diseases to students in their classrooms, and children and adults within their communities. Babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions are especially susceptible.
California law requires students to receive certain immunizations in order to attend public and private elementary and secondary schools as well as licensed childcare centers. Schools and licensed childcare centers are required to enforce immunization requirements, maintain immunization records of all children enrolled, and report students’ immunization statuses to CDPH.
Families that are having difficulty obtaining required immunizations prior to the start of school can contact their local health department for assistance in finding other local immunization providers.
Visit www.ShotsforSchool.org for more information on immunization laws and required vaccinations for students in California.
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - In early spring of this year, Patrick Larkin, the District Administrator for the Cordova Recreation and Park District, turned to community partner Rebecca Budge, a Program Assistant for the Folsom-Cordova Unified School District’s Homeless Student Services, to find out what area youth need most.
Upon hearing the answer, the Cordova Recreation and Park District launched “We’ve Got Your Back,” a backpack and underwear drive for elementary to high school aged youth. Last week, Cordova Recreation and Park District made their first delivery to Rebecca Budge, who will work to distribute donations to those that need them most. This first delivery included over 50 contributions made by a combination of district residents and CRPD employees.
A number of teens, all members of the Cordova Recreation and Park District’s HYDE Out Teen Center, also joined the “We’ve Got Your Back” effort. During their afterschool program, the teens personalized the district’s plain collection containers, covering them with inspirational quotes, bright flowers and colorful designs.
In addition to the backpack and underwear drive, the Cordova Recreation and Park District partners with the City of Rancho Cordova’s Homeless Outreach Team to engage and assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness and help them improve their situation. The Homeless Outreach Team, comprised of two officers, code enforcement and a Homeless Navigator, builds relationships with homeless individuals and families to assist them in finding services, education and resources to help them become self-sufficient, while also enforcing violations of the law, throughout the city.
The backpack and underwear drive will continue until the close of the year and donation bins can be found at locations across the Cordova Recreation and Park District. Call 916-842-3300 for more information.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Now in its ninth year, the Multicultural Business Expo has relocated to the Patriot Event Center at Milagro Centre on Fair Oaks Boulevard at Marconi Avenue. Olga Ivannikov, CFO of Russian American Media and the event’s organizer, is excited about the new location. “The expo is going to be both outdoors with canopies and indoors with a hall filled with exhibitors,” she said, adding that local restaurants, breweries, and wineries would be on hand with samples for hungry attendees and exhibitors.
More than 100 businesses and non-profit agencies are expected to exhibit at this year’s event, which, based on the event’s continued growth, should draw more than 2,000 attendees from the greater Sacramento region. “This year we wish to make an emphasis on personal connections,” she said. The face to face meeting is why the event draws so many people.
The expo provides a forum for small business owners to connect with other small business owners or with banks, credit unions, or with many businesses that offer subcontracting opportunities. For students and recent graduates, there will be opportunities to connect with businesses that may have job opportunities like the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department or California Highway Patrol. Mid-career business people will also find opportunities to connect and pass out resumes. The general public can connect with possible service providers, pick up samples, and wander the booths.
Some exhibitors will be familiar names throughout the region. SMUD’s Supplier Emerging Enterprise Development (SEED) team will help small business owners learn about state certification and bid on SMUD contracts. “They’ll provide an overview of our business contracting procedures and explain the SEED program in detail,” said Chris Capra, SMUD’s Public Information Specialist. Exhibiting at this business expo helps SMUD grow its pool of qualified potential contractors and helps business owners learn how to maneuver the state’s certification program, a win-win for both. “SMUD also realizes reciprocal benefits by promoting the economic development of its customers who own the company,” added Capra.
Other exhibitors, like Language World Services, Inc., may be less familiar. This translation and interpretation organization, located in Carmichael, provides services in more than 80 languages for healthcare, law enforcement, conferences, insurance, disaster preparedness, and many other areas. Job opportunities are available throughout the Sacramento region and San Francisco Bay Area.
Exhibitors will be on hand in three different areas. The business expo will feature government and corporate entities offering resources and contracting opportunities to small business owners. Joining SMUD will be Siemens, DGS, and others. Owners interested in business financing, presenting their products or services, investigating export opportunities, and reaching new customers should stop by with business cards.
Students and recent high school graduates may wish to peruse the educational opportunities area. Asher College, Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA), Pacific Charter Institute, and CSUS will be on hand with information about undergraduate programs, the transfer process for community college students, opportunities for working adults, and the all-important financial aid. Asher College, founded in 1998, is a trade school specializing in medical, business, and IT with campuses in Sacramento, Dallas, and Las Vegas. SETA, now in its fourth decade, features Sacramento Works with offices in Sacramento, Mather, Galt, Rancho Cordova, and Citrus Heights.
Job seekers should be prepared with resumes and proper business attire to meet with the many businesses that will be on hand. Connect with Wells Fargo Bank, SAFE Credit Union, American River Bank, and others to learn about available positions, the hiring process, or to submit your resume in person.
Other exhibitors with business or learning opportunities include GRID Alternatives, a non-profit organization based in Oakland. GRID works in the highly popular field of renewable energy and offers volunteers the opportunity to assist with installation projects, a sort of try before you buy idea. GRID also has training, certification programs, and jobs. ANG Health Care, Inc., located in Folsom, will be on hand to discuss its offerings in skilled nursing, speech therapy, and in-home care services. Insurance companies, accounting firms, medical offices, and health clubs are expected to be on hand to answer questions and provide information.
The expo has grown each year and draws people from Sacramento County and surrounding areas. “We started out as a local community fair and grew into a major business exposition which is organized by a number of non-profits and all major chambers in the Sacramento valley,” said Ivannikov. “We reach out to Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Elk Grove, West Sacramento, Sacramento. We contact all of the multicultural chambers, the Asian Pacific, Hispanic, African American, and the metro chamber.” For more information: visit www.russianamericanmedia.com/our-events/business-career-expo/ or call 916-677-9397. If you visit: The Multicultural Business Expo will be held on Wednesday, September 5 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 6241 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael, CA 95608.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - While visiting the Fine Art Exhibition at the California State Fair this year people were gathering around a man tossing clay into the crowd, telling them to, “Make something.” He let participants know that it was a judgement free zone. Chris Thompson volunteered every day of the fair, inviting young and old to join in the act of creating something from a lump of clay. Thompson was the featured representative of a local sculpture group, Valley Sculpture Artists (VSA), which promotes three-dimensional art.
He shared how his own love of making things with clay began at the age of nine when his mother tossed him a hunk of porcelain clay. He was hooked.
“People return year after year to see Chris in action,” said Sue Foster, President of VSA, the sponsor of the booth showcasing a variety of sculptures created by members. “Chris has the gift of engaging people in the creative process. He tosses a small piece of clay to onlookers with an invitation to make something; and they do.”
Surprising numbers of children and adults lingered while working their clay - some for up to 20 minutes. When they finished, Thompson invited them to keep it or add their sculpture to what has become known as the “ArtValanche.” It is art until the time a portion crashes to the ground (which it did at least 40 times), then it is an avalanche. He carefully retrieves each piece and places it back on the mountain of creations, some intricately crafted with striking detail.
Thompson estimated approximately 18,000 fairgoers had accepted his ‘clay experience’ during his 19 days at the fair, turning over 1,000 pounds of clay (donated by Alpha Ceramics) into their own works of art. He noted the incredible amount of energy put into each piece.
He also noticed that many of those who seemed the least excited to accept his challenge, claiming that they weren’t artists, produced some of the best tiny sculptures.
Thompson is not new to sharing his love for art with his community. He received the Artist of the Year Award from the Sacramento Arts and Business Council after facilitating a five county project creating “A Thousand Bowls to Feed the Hungry” in 2013. He tossed and shaped the bowls and local art organizations volunteered to glaze and sell them. This project helped to raise awareness for the arts while yielding over $42,000, which was donated to local non-profits. In addition, Thompson recently received the prestigious 2018 Don Herberholz Award for Sculpture.
When not creating and exhibiting his own ceramic art, Thompson teaches classes to children and adults at A.C.A.I., an up and coming gallery in Fair Oaks. He is a celebrated ceramic artist and member of Valley Sculpture Artists.
Visitors are welcome to visit Allied Ceramics Art Institute and Gallery (ACAI) located at 7425 Winding Way in Fair Oaks. A new show of exciting pieces begins each third Saturday of the month with an artist reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hours are Wednesday-Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.
13 Additional Charges Filed
SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced today that the case against Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, Citrus Heights, will be prosecuted jointly in Sacramento County, where the defendant is being housed after his arrest on April 24, 2018. This joint prosecution will involve Contra Costa, Orange, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura Counties. An amended complaint charging all crimes together in one case, as well as 13 counts of kidnapping to commit robbery, was filed today in Sacramento Superior Court.
DeAngelo now faces 13 felony counts of murder with special circumstances allegations of multiple murders, murder during the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary. DeAngelo was charged today in an amended complaint with 13 felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife during the commission of the offenses. He faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. DeAngelo is expected to appear in Sacramento County for arraignment on Thursday, August 23rd at 1:30 p.m. in Department 61.
In announcing this decision, District Attorney Schubert stated, “The joining of this case in one county is in the best interest of victims, the efficiency of the case and the fair administration of justice. I look forward to all counties working together collaboratively in seeking justice in this case.”
Circumstances of the Case
Contra Costa County – District Attorney Diana Becton
Four felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife.
Tulare County – District Attorney Tim Ward
One felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a firearm
Sacramento County – District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert
Two felony counts of murder with a sentencing enhancement for multiple murders and personal use of a firearm
Nine felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife.
Santa Barbara County – District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley
Four felony counts of murder with a sentencing enhancement for multiple murders, personal use of a firearm, and special circumstances sentencing enhancements for murder during rape, and murder during burglary
Ventura County – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten
Two felony counts of murder with special circumstances sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during rape, and murder during robbery
Orange County – District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Four felony counts of murder with special circumstances sentencing enhancements for multiple murders and murder during the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary.
Source: Sacramento District Attorney
Red Cross Working to Help Those in Need. You Can Help and Donate.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Conditions are slowly improving in California as thousands of firefighters gain more ground on containing the large wildfires which have charred hundreds of thousands of acres. The American Red Cross is there, providing shelter, relief supplies and comfort for those affected.
In California, more than 1,000 Red Cross disaster workers and multiple emergency response vehicles are responding to the fires. The Red Cross opened more than 20 shelters since the fires began and has provided more than 8,600 overnight shelter stays. Red Cross workers have also provided more than 102,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 25,000 relief items. Health and mental health disaster workers have provided more than 11,600 services and caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people to assist them in getting the help they need.
As evacuation orders are lifted in some areas and people return home, the Red Cross will continue working closely with state and local officials to ensure people get the help they need.
STAY IN TOUCH People can reconnect with loved ones through both the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell and by using the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App. The Safe and Well site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand including shelter locations and severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires and countless other crisis by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37864, Boone, IA 50037-0864.
You can also help people affected by the California wildfires. Donors can designate their donation to the California wildfires relief efforts and the Red Cross will honor donor intent. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check. The Red Cross honors donor intent, and all donations earmarked for California wildfires will be used for our work to support these disasters.
Source: American Red Cross