Friday, May 29, 2009

Doctor! Doctor! Give me a Break...

Up Clarksdale way...

A county supervisor in the Mississippi Delta thought he was meeting two prostitutes from when he pulled into the Shady Nook truck stop, but instead was arrested by the FBI, federal agents said in court documents.

Coahoma County Supervisor and Clarksdale cardiologist Dr. Roger Weiner was charged with the federal crime of soliciting prostitution across state lines Sunday and arraigned Monday.

A federal investigation began in December when Weiner’s former colleague gave FBI agent Justin Newsome the doctor’s ‘‘electronic communications’’ from a work computer the two shared, according to a seven-page affidavit filed Monday in federal court.

The agent began monitoring, which he described as an online chat room for wealthy ‘‘Sugardaddies’’ to meet ‘‘Sugarbabies’’ for ‘‘companionship and entertainment.’’ Newsome said in court documents he found Weiner’s ‘‘attempts to solicit sexual acts and companionship from female members in exchange for gifts and monetary payment.’’

The information was used to obtain a search warrant to view Weiner’s e-mails.Weiner did not immediately respond to messages left Tuesday on his cell phone and at his office, the Weiner Heart and Cardiovascular Institute. Weiner’s lawyer, Kevin Hovan, said the allegations will be investigated. He declined further comment.

The affidavit describes the investigation in salacious detail, alleging that Weiner promised to pay women hundreds of dollars per sexual tryst. An FBI agent posing as a prostitute began communication with Weiner on the Web site in January, according to the affidavit, under the screen name ‘‘wild—ginger.’’ Weiner gave the agent his e-mail address to set up a meeting.

At one point, the agent wrote that ‘‘you can expect to be treated like a king but this princess can only meet if she knows she is getting at least $500.’’

‘‘500 is no problem,’’ Weiner responded, according to the affidavit. ‘‘If you are truly ’wild’ and good looking your potential for spoiling is enormous.’’

Then on May 11, another undercover officer who began chatting with Weiner agreed to set up a ‘‘threesome’’ with Weiner and another supposed prostitute, court records state.

Authorities say Weiner called a few days later and offered to pay the women $400 each. But when Weiner pulled into the truck stop Sunday morning in his black BMW coupe, he was arrested. Authorities said he was carrying nearly $1,100 in cash.

He was arraigned in federal court in Greenville on Monday and released on $20,000 bond. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in U.S. District Court in Greenville.

Weiner came to Mississippi from Philadelphia and opened his medical practice in the late 1990s, according to the clinic’s Web site. He was elected supervisor in 2007.

I suppose that the "good" news is... this didn't happen in Greenville! It is difficult to imagine that the same person in whom we trust our cardiovascular health, frequents the Shady Nook truck stop in his spare time. What happened to golf?

To further add insult to injury, we elected this sleazy surgeon as Supervisor which leads one to wonder whether some of his political cronies may have also had a finger in this pie... (sorry).

The sad news is that this article made national news, which will help perpetuate the stereotypical view of Mississippians as uncultured reprobates.

At any rate, this entire saga is prime fodder for a book and a mini-series... perhaps: "Surgeons and Sugarbabies", or simply, "Shady Nooky". The final chapter of this Delta novel will star an equally sleazy Southern lawyer who successfully defends the good doctor by quoting Johnny Cochran's now infamous line... "If it don't fit, you must acquit!"


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Who's Watching the Kids?

GREENVILLE - A four-day work week was unanimously adopted at Tuesday's Greenville School District Board of Trustees meeting. According to interim school Superintendent Joyce McNair, the four-day week will begin June 1. The move affects 240-day employees, such as principals, secretaries and custodians. Recently, the School Board adopted a reduction of force policy.

A four day work week is a great concept to save money... but in a public school? Do you think that the kids may figure out that when the principal is away, it might be easier to "play"? Secretaries generally run a school office, so who is going to deal with all of those issues? As for custodians, they are too few in number already... duh?

Sure, public schools are financially challenged, but these "reductions in force" will only denigrate the entire system. Examples: A bomb threat is called into your child's school... who is in charge if the principal is "off" that day? Who deals with the irate parents who storm in daily to speak to the person in charge? Who cleans the restrooms on a daily basis to prevent infectious waste from spreading disease and illness?

My view is that these "cuts" are ill-conceived and will ultimately cost the districts more money in "ancillary costs". Educating our children is not a part-time job... especially in the Delta.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Location, location, location!

Greenville Real Estate agent said...

Having personal family photos out, during a showing, makes people uncomfortable to feel that they are invading a family's privacy. It shows "ownership" and discourages that customer imagining their family or themselves in that home. Get it out of there, store it.

As for staging, that is the best and most attractive placement of furniture, decor and accessories to play up the best points of the home. So many times, people accumulate so much "stuff" that the rooms in the house are overwhelmed with clutter or too large furniture. In the end, a buyer only sees that and not the rooms. The rooms may be average or above average in size, but who can see it?? This applies to all the rooms, bathroom and kitchen. Too many chachkis or decorative items can block the eye of the buyer. Clean out closets, cabinets, etc. to show that spaciousness.

Minimal is highly encouraged in staging. Spaciousness is the goal sought for the buyer to see, airy, light, CLEAN rooms, it is critical.

Get the floors in shape, take up the ugly carpet or replace it, if the underfloor is in good shape, clean it, repair or replace with more updated products for flooring. Buy area rugs! In the front and back yard, clean up is key! Rake, keep mowed, weed and trim up! Put the toys up, get rid of the yard art and any other clutter. Plant some new flowers or bushes, landscape and trim back bushes away from the windows and house, put down stepping stones to designated outdoor relaxing areas. Clean up the patios and porches. Have none? Set up an outside garden or yard entertainment area, to show the joy of outdoor living.

Fountains are so popular today and don't have to be expensive to be enjoyed. The water sounds encourage relaxation and will be pleasing to the buyer.Get rid of junk, old lawnmowers, old useless bikes, and trikes, "crapola". Clean out the garage or carport, so the buyer can see that there is, indeed, room for two vehicles.Curb appeal is critical to that first impression of the buyer. If it looks bad on the outside, they will never call to see the inside.

Paint, paint, paint! Do a professional job or hire one! Paint inside and outside, with attractive, neutral colors that anyone would accept. No outlandish colors on the inside or outside, not everyone wants a pink house, walls of installed mirrors or purple bedrooms.

How about the roof? Does it need to be replaced? Most homeowners insurance will cover the delta homes for years of past hail damage, windstorms and winds of hurricanes. All you have to pay is the deductible and claim roof damage. YOUR POLICY WILL NOT BE CANCELLED for making a roof claim! That is what you are paying your premiums for! Call your Ins. agent or if in doubt, call a roofer to see if a new roof is required, if not, ask him for a statement of roof condition for the potential buyer. One less worry for a buyer!

Defunk any home odors from pets and children. Get rid of any mold or mildew, insects, rodents, inside and outside.Burn candles during showings to be sure their are enticing aromas and not horrid smells. Take out the garbage before a showing!! Just because YOU don't smell it, does not mean it does not smell! Be sure the temperature in the home is comfortable. If not, no buyer will hang around to take in the house sweltering or freezing! (Maintenance is important too! If it makes noises or is not working properly, get it fixed or replaced!)

Most of all of this is a matter of elbow grease, common sense and a few dollars. Most can be done by the seller and family, but if you need help, there are decorators in town, part time and full time, who can help you pull it all together to look its best. It is worth the investment of a few hours of their time for consultation advice or decorating for you, that will pay off in a big way to make that sale happen at the end! If you can not afford it, find a friend who has a great knack for home decor to help you see what you no longer see.

By the way, FYI, trailers are very hard to find financing for through the banks, nearly impossible, due to depreciation. Be prepared, make the price right to attract cash buyers or see if financing it for the buyer is an option.

Good luck!

Great advice for selling a house in a competitive market. The one tip that this local realtor left out is... "Location, location, location!"

Unfortunately, Greenville has few prime locations left. Even residents of stable neighborhoods like Gamwyn Park are "getting out" due to crime and plummeting home values. Look what has happened to Washington Avenue and Main Street. Sure, there are some real bargains on the market right now, but who wants to buy a house whose value will only depreciate over time?

A home is generally the largest purchase that we make and most people expect to be able to recoup their initial investment, plus improvements, over time. This is where the "location" piece of the puzzle becomes important!

For people to purchase homes, they must have jobs. For jobs to exist, there has to be a skilled workforce. To obtain a skilled workforce, you have to have quality "public" education. Greenville has none of these, which is why students who pursue "higher education" never return to Greenville.

Greenville has become a welfare community. "Entitlement" is the most prevalent source of income for most of our residents and this "life-style" is being passed on to subsequent generations at an alarming rate. Until this cycle is broken, Greenville will continue to decline.

To my "rose-colored" glasses fans, I apologize for my candor and "negativity", but these are the realities of Greenville's evolution. If you want "smoke and mirrors", I suggest you attend the next city council meeting.