Horizon High School & Mountain Ridge High School Students Receive BBB Ethical Athlete Scholarship


(Lake Havasu City, AZ – April 24, 2017) In partnership with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), Better Business Bureau serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona (BBB) awards Horizon High School’s June Obata and Mountain Ridge High School’s Saikou Gueye BBB Ethical Athlete scholarship, presented by Isagenix.

In its second year, the BBB Ethical Athlete Scholarship recognizes deserving student athletes across the state for doing the right thing on and off the playing field. Nominated by coaches, teammates, and fans, two student athletes (a male and a female) are selected each month to receive a $1,000 scholarship. At the end of the school year, BBB selects two Ethical Champions to receive an additional $2,500 scholarship.

June Obata is a senior softball player at Horizon High School. She was recognized as a BBB Ethical Athlete April 12, 2017, at BBB’s Torch Awards for Ethics accompanied by Isagenix’s VP of Corporate Affairs Cheryl Lewis and BBB’s President/CEO Matthew Fehling.

“Last year, June endured a personally crushing experience, but now makes herself available to teammates dealing with difficult situations,” said her teacher Dr. Yvonne Perot. “She is known for her unwavering integrity, positive attitude and genuine caring spirit.”

Saikou is a senior basketball player at Mountain Ridge High School. He was recognized as a BBB Ethical Athlete April 19, 2017, joined by Principal Shona Miranda and Athletic Director Junior Michael.

“Saikou was the target of racists taunts during a game and finding himself in a situation no student athlete should endure, he responded by taking the high road, continuing to play and winning the game,” shared his teacher Debbie Moore in her nomination.

BBB has recognized the following students as BBB Ethical Athletes during the 2016-2017 school year:

  • Zachary Patterson from Mohave High School

  • Jacob Adams from Sahuaro High School

  • Whitney Weaver from Mountain View High School

  • Sarah Jane Schott from Prescott High School

  • Charles Walker from Desert Edge High School

  • Bailee Liska from Lake Havasu High School

BBB and AIA review public nominations every month and select ethical athletes to be honored throughout the year. Nominate Arizona high school athletes for the BBB Ethical Athlete Scholarship, presented by Isagenix at athlete.arizonabbb.org.  

ATHLETE.ARIZONABBB.ORG

For more information or to schedule an interview with a BBB spokesperson, please contact Elaine Cullen at 928-302-3701 or ecullen@arizonabbb.org.

 

Lake Havasu City, Arizona Wins $2 Million for Revitalization in “America’s Best Communities” Competition

Lake Havasu City, Arizona Wins $2 Million for Revitalization in “America’s Best Communities” Competition

 

Lake Havasu City brings home one of the grand prizes, secures a top spot in three-year competition

 

Sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, $10 million program inspires revitalization in Rural America

 

DENVER, Colo.; April 19, 2017—Lake Havasu City, Arizona has won $2 million as one of the top finishers in the America’s Best Communities competition, a $10 million community revitalization campaign sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel.

 

Launched in September 2014 to inspire revitalization and growth in small towns and rural communities across the country, America’s Best Communities challenged local leaders to bring their neighbors together to envision a stronger future and build a strategy to improve lives and livelihoods. It has served as a catalyst for positive change by awarding seed funding to help communities turn their exceptional ideas from vision to reality.

 

About 350 communities entered the competition. The field was narrowed to 50 in the quarterfinals, 15 in the semifinals and down eight finalists. Communities advanced in the competition based on the effectiveness of the revitalization plans developed, fine-tuned and implemented over the course of the three-year competition.

 

The eight finalists gathered this week in Denver, Colorado, the home of sponsoring companies DISH Network and CoBank, to present their revitalization strategies and share progress made in achieving new growth. Following the presentations, the top three were announced during the America’s Best Communities Grand Prize Ceremony.

 

With its $2 million prize, Lake Havasu City will accelerate its Vision 20/20 plan, which focuses on five pillars: economic development and job creation, education and workforce talent, tourism and place development, water preservation and management, and community engagement. Combined, these strategic initiatives are designed to jumpstart economic growth.

 

“When we launched America’s Best Communities, we hoped to inspire revitalization in small towns and cities across rural America. As we celebrate the culmination of the campaign, it feels like a dream fulfilled,” said Maggie Wilderotter, former CEO of Frontier Communications. “After three years of hard work, and from a pool of about 350 communities, Lake Havasu City has earned the $2 million prize and one of the top spots in America’s Best Communities — and we’re thrilled to extend our congratulations. With hard work and determination, they have forever changed the trajectory of their communities. The America’s Best Communities prize grants they’ve secured will help them continue on the path to prosperity.”

 

“From our start in rural Colorado to our growth across the country, DISH has maintained its deep connections to America’s small towns, and we’ve been proud to be a part of this effort to inspire innovation in rural communities,” said DISH Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen. “With all that these communities have achieved over the last three years, we hope each community’s story and revitalization strategy will serve as inspiration for other rural places that hope to pursue their own positive change.”

 

“These communities have developed innovative ideas that can be emulated in other rural areas to jumpstart growth, jobs and economic resurgence,” said Robert B. Engel, retired CEO and Senior Advisor, CoBank. “As a financial institution dedicated to supporting America’s rural economy, we commend all the ABC participants for the enormous efforts they have made and the leadership they have shown in bringing their vision for a better future to reality.”

 

“In covering major weather events across the nation, The Weather Channel has told memorable, compelling stories; often about small, rural towns which are often impacted the most by weather.  We are inspired by revival stories of the small towns and cities that competed in America’s Best Communities,” said Dave Shull, CEO of The Weather Channel. “They’ve faced tough times, but they refused to give in. They saw an opportunity to improve their community, and they worked hard to make it happen. Congratulations to all of the communities that entered this competition.”

 

“When I’m on tour, I travel across America’s heartland. I’ve visited some of the hardest-hit small towns, and I’ve gotten to know the people who call those places home,” said Vince Gill, ambassador for the competition and country music legend. “They’re hardworking, resilient people, and America’s Best Communities has proven that when opportunity presents itself, rural communities will rise to the challenge and find innovative ways to create a better future for themselves and their neighbors.”

 

During each phase of America’s Best Communities, the best strategies — those with the most innovative ideas being effectively deployed — were advanced to the next round and awarded funding to accelerate implementation. In April 2015, 50 quarterfinalists were awarded $50,000 each. Then, from the field of 15 semifinalists, eight finalist communities were presented with $100,000 prize grants, with the remaining seven receiving $25,000 to initiate their plans.

 

Throughout the competition, from its start through the grand prize round, an independent panel of judges reviewed and scored communities’ proposals based on an objective set of criteria to select winners.

 

The eight finalist communities that gathered in Denver included:

  • •Chisago Lakes Area, Minnesota
  • •Darrington/Arlington, Washington
  • •Huntington, West Virginia
  • •Lake Havasu City, Arizona
  • •Madison, Indiana
  • •Statesboro, Georgia
  • •Tualatin, Oregon
  • •Valley County, Idaho

 

By crowdsourcing new ideas to revitalize rural America, the campaign has helped identify innovative solutions that can serve as roadmaps to economic revival for other small and medium-sized communities across the U.S. The competition’s organizers are encouraging local leaders across the country to view the communities’ revitalization plans, which are available publicly at the America’s Best Communities website.

 

For more on the competition, visit www.americasbestcommunities.com.


Photos



BBB Warning: IRS May Call You After All


BBB Warning: IRS May Call You After All

Some Taxpayer Debts Assigned to Private Collection Agencies

(Lake Havasu City, AZ – April 20, 2017) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has changed the way it deals with overdue taxes, and that means third party collection agencies may now call.

Like the IRS, Better Business Bureau (BBB) is concerned this change might lead to scammers trying new ways to trick people. Here is what you need to know about the program that started in April 2017.

A federal law signed in 2015 allows four contractors to collect unpaid tax debts for the government. According to the IRS, these are unpaid tax debts that were assessed several years ago and which the agency is no longer trying to collect directly.

The four companies contracted by the IRS are BBB Accredited Businesses:

The C B E Group, Inc.

1309 Technology Pkwy

Cedar Falls, IA 50613

ConServe

200 CrossKeys Office park

Fairport, NY 14450

Performant

333 N Canyons Pkwy

Livermore, CA 94551

Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc.

325 Daniel Zenker Dr

Horseheads, NY 14845

There are many ways to tell whether a call about tax debt is legitimate. According to the IRS, people with overdue taxes will receive multiple notifications, including letters and phone calls, from the IRS first. The IRS will also notify taxpayers before sending accounts to a private collection agency.

Here’s how it will work and how you can tell the difference between a legitimate debt collector and a scammer:

  • The IRS and the private debt collection company will both send a letter to the taxpayer first. If you get a call first and had no idea you owed taxes, be cautious. NOTE: Taxpayers who have recently moved may have missed notification letters, which can lead to confusion if their first contact is from the collection agency. Taxpayers can use Form 8822 to update the IRS with a new address at www.irs.gov/uac/form-8822-change-of-address.
  • Private debt collectors will be able to identify themselves as contractors of the IRS collecting taxes. These employees must comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and, like IRS employees, must be courteous and respect taxpayers’ rights. If the caller yells, curses, or threatens arrest, it is not a legitimate collector. Hang up.
  • Private debt collectors will not ask for, and cannot accept, credit card information over the phone. Consumers will pay the IRS directly and will not need to send any money to the private debt collection company. Learn about payment options at www.irs.gov/payments. You can also see your balance and payment history online. If the caller asks you to pay them directly, and especially if they ask for an unusual form of payment, such as wire transfer or gift card, it’s a scam. Hang up!
  • Taxpayers can ask for their account to be transferred from the private debt collection back to the IRS.

The IRS adds that private collection firms will only be calling about longstanding tax debts notified about previously. Taxpayers can check whether they have unpaid tax debt atwww.irs.gov/balancedue.

BBB reminds consumers, particularly those who have outstanding tax debts, that the IRS will explain the new process clearly and will make every attempt to work with them to set up payment plans. The IRS will also give taxpayers the chance to question or appeal the amount owed.

For more information and updates, visit www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/private-debt-collection.

Five Companies Win 2017 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics


Five Companies Win 2017 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics

BBB Luminary Award Recognizes Retired CEO Susan Frank

(Lake Havasu City, AZ – April 13, 2017) Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Arizona (BBB) awarded five companies with a 2017 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics last night during its 16th annual dinner sponsored by Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. BBB also presented its Luminary Award to one of the first women in the country to lead a credit union with one billion in assets.

The BBB Torch Awards for Ethics recognize firms whose business practices and related activities exemplify BBB’s mission and principles to ensure the marketplace remains fair and honorable.

2017 Winners Revealed

1.     Loud Rumor – a marketing company for fitness studios and gyms located in Scottsdale with a mission to help 100,000 people start a healthy lifestyle.  Loud Rumor is the category one winner with 1-10 employees.

More: loudrumor.com

2.     Champs Family Automotive – a neighborhood automotive and diesel specialist in Goodyear that strives to bring customers the very best every time.  Champs Family Automotive is the category two winner with 11-20 employees.  

More: champsfamilyautomotive.com

3.     Lucid Agency – a digital marketing agency in Tempe that solves complex business problems through the use of technology and interactive marketing strategy. Lucid Agency is the category three winner with 21-50 employees.

More: lucidagency.com

4.     Howard Air – a family owned and operated heating and air conditioning business in Phoenix that stays on the cutting edge of technology.  Howard Air is the category four winner with 51-150 employees.

More: howardair.com

5.     WebPT – a Phoenix based, leading rehab therapy platform for enhancing patient care while fueling business growth. WebPT is a category five winner with over 150 employees.

More: webpt.com

“These winners join a community of trustworthy businesses that understand how important trust, transparency and integrity are to business success,” said Matthew Fehling, BBB President/CEO.

BBB also honored these 10 finalists for their dedication to ethical practices:

1.     Larson Air Conditioning (Scottsdale)

2.     Southwest Services Company (Phoenix)

3.     Benefit Logic, Inc. (Flagstaff)

4.     Spa Lamar (Scottsdale)

5.     Arizona Foundation Solutions, LLC (Phoenix)

6.     Two Men And A Truck (Scottsdale)

7.     Arrowhead Honda (Peoria)

8.     Dircks Moving & Logistics (Phoenix)

9.     American Vision Windows (Mesa)

10.  George Brazil Air Conditioning & Heating (Phoenix)

Additionally, BBB honored its 2017 Luminary Award recipient Susan Frank who is a former BBB board director and recently retired as CEO of Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. The award honors an Arizona leader for positively impacting the community while embodying the spirit of BBB.

Another highlight of the night included an inspiring keynote address from Anthony Robles, 2011 NCAA Champion and author of Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion. Robles’ incredible story of perseverance and determination as a one-legged wrestler highlighted how qualities key in athletics also play an important role in business.

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union served as presenting sponsor for the first year and surprised attendees with a Prosperity Bowl centerpiece created by local artist Trisha Burrough. Radio and television personality Pat McMahon, along with media personality Catherine Anaya, served as masters of ceremonies.

For more information on the winners and finalists of the 16th annual BBB Torch Awards for Ethics, visit torchawards.arizonabbb.org.

-TORCHAWARDS.ARIZONABBB.ORG-

Sam’s Spring Clean-Up

You know Good Ole Sam has best dang-gum prices on firearms, ammunition and accessories there is! So why has Sam gone plumb-loco on his Spring Clean-Up sale? When the wife tells you to clean up there’s nothing more to say.

Save ten percent off everything in the store, excluding consignments and red tagged items. Glock pistols are five percent off during Sam’s Spring Clean- Up Sale at Sam’s Shooters Emporium. Make sure you use the code word “BOBBY BUNNY” and save today at Sam’s Shooters Emporium


BBB Offers Digital Spring Cleaning Tips to Protect Your Personal Data and Identity All Year Round

(Lake Havasu City, AZ – April 11, 2017) The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) are encouraging consumers to get their online lives in order by conducting a thorough cleanse of their cyber clutter and making “digital spring cleaning” an annual ritual to help protect valuable personal data. A NCSA survey found that preventing identity theft is a top safety concern for Americans, and there are several easy steps everyone can take that will go a long way in tidying up digital disorder.

“Chances are that over the years you’ve accumulated lots of digital clutter that can impact your cybersecurity posture. It’s critical to remember that just as you shred sensitive paper documents before discarding, you should properly destroy important electronic data,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “By following a few easy-to-use digital spring cleaning tips, you can be significantly safer and more secure online. In addition, you will have a renewed peace of mind that you are helping to protect yourself, your family and the community at large. NCSA and BBB want everyone to enjoy the internet’s extraordinary benefits with increased confidence.”

“Just as we urge people to safely shred old paper records, BBB is also urging consumers and businesses to make sure that electronic files are properly disposed of when no longer needed,” said Bill Fanelli, chief information officer with the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Old hard drives, data sticks, cell phones, tablets…anything that contains sensitive data should be securely destroyed. Digital spring cleaning also means deleting old files, updating passwords and taking other steps to make sure your private information stays private.”   

BBB and the NCSA urge consumers to follow this four-week outline and clean up their online life with an easy-to-follow timeline and plan (click here for a downloadable PDF of the checklist):

Week 1: Keep Machines Clean

As a very basic first step, make sure all web-connected devices ‒ including personal computers (PCs), mobile phones, smartphones and tablets ‒ are free from malware and infections.

·         Keep all critical software current: Having all software current is one of the best security measures to take. This includes security software, web browsers, document readers, operating systems and any other software regularly used.

·         Clean up your mobile life: Most of us have apps we no longer use as well as ones that need updating. Delete unused apps and keep others current, including the operating system on your mobile device. An added benefit of deleting unused apps is more storage space and longer battery life. Actively manage location services, Bluetooth, microphone and camera – making sure apps use them appropriately.

Week 2: Make Sure You’re Secure

Building on Week 1, users can enhance the security of their online accounts – a fast and simple way to be safer online. There are quick and easy things you can do that have long-term safety and security benefits.

·         Get two steps ahead: Turn on two-step authentication ‒ also known as two-step verification or multi-factor authentication ‒ on accounts where available. Many of the internet’s most popular email services, social networks and financial institutions offer this key security step free of charge, but you must opt in to turn it on. Visit stopthinkconnect.org/2stepsahead to learn more and view a list of the websites that offer two-step authentication.

·         Secure your router: Make sure your router has a strong password and does not broadcast who you are through its name, such as “the Jones Family” or “123 Elm Street.” Update router software as well.

·         Create better passwords: If your passwords are too short or easy to guess, it’s like leaving the front door to your home unlocked. Longer passwords and those that combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols provide better protection.

·         Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords ‒ at least for key accounts like email, banking, and social networking ‒ helps to thwart cybercriminals.

·         Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place.

·         Secure your phone: Use a passcode or a finger swipe to unlock your phone.

Week 3: Digital File Purge and Protection

Tend to your digital records, PCs, phones and any device with storage just as you would paper files.

·         Clean up your email: Save only emails you really need. Your inbox is likely stuffed with lots of outdated materials. Delete or archive what you don’t need and be sure to empty your deleted mail folders.

·         File upkeep: Delete or archive older files such as numerous drafts of the same document and outdated financial statements.

·         Manage subscriptions: Unsubscribe to newsletters, email alerts and updates you no longer read.

·         Dispose of electronics securely: Wiping data isn’t enough. When you dispose of old electronics, look for facilities that shred hard drives, disks and memory cards.

·         Update your online photo album: Back up photos you want to keep and delete old or less flattering pictures of yourself and your family and friends. In addition to not showing your best side, they take up space.

·         Update your online relationships: Review friends on social networks and contacts on phones and PCs to make sure everyone on those lists still belong.

·         Back it up: Copy important data to a secure cloud site or to another drive where it can be safely stored. Password protect backup drives and keep them in a different location off the network for maximum security. Commit to doing backups on a regular basis.

·         Empty your trash or recycle bin on all devices: Make sure to permanently delete old files.

Week 4: Clean Up Your Online Reputation

Parents and older kids with social media accounts can take an active role in making sure their online reputation is squeaky clean.

·         Own your online presence: Review the privacy and security settings on websites to be sure they remain set to your comfort level for sharing. It’s OK to limit whom you share information.

·         Clean up your social media presence: Delete old photos and comments that are embarrassing or no longer represent who you are.

·         Update your “online self”: Are your social media sites up to date? Review your personal information and update it where needed.

For more consumer tips on digital safety, check out the National Cyber Security Alliance at staysafeonline.org.

Businesses can do a cyber safety check-up with BBB’s “5 Steps to Better Business Cybersecurity” at bbb.org/cybersecurity.

Veterans interested in starting your own business

April 7, 2017

Good
morning Everyone,
I attended a seminar at the Mohave Community College in Kingman yesterday.

It was conducted by Edward (Ed) Molina, the Arizona Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Centers. Mr. Molina’s goal was to inform Active military, Veterans and their spouses that there are programs available to assist them to make the transition from BOOTS TO BUSINESS.

If you have had thoughts and the passion to start your own business and didn’t know where to turn for help, the Arizona VBOC​, ​the SBA​ and SBDC*​ will provide help in the following areas:

  • Business training
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Access to Capital
  • Contracting Opportunities
  • And more

Also, if you have already started your own business and need help, it is available.

Our VBOC ​and SBDC* ​Director in Lake Havasu ​C​ity is Mr. Mark Retersdorf. He works out of the Mohave Community College, Lake Havasu City.

Contact information:
928.757.0895
mretersdorf@mohave.edu
If you have any questions feel free to call Mark. He’ll be glad to assist you.

Kind regards & Semper Fi,
Russ

​*Small Business Development Center​

Vietnam Veterans’ Breakfast

Lake Havasu City​
has been a Vietnam War
Commemorative Partner since 2013.

Lake Havasu City is proud to honor our Vietnam Veterans with an open invitation to all veterans and their families to attend the Vietnam Veterans’ Breakfast, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Aquatic/Community Center.

Ceremony begins promptly at 6:45am with a presentation of “Colors” by ​the Marine Corps League.

This City event, hosted by the community for the community, provides a comfortable atmosphere to share a traditional pancake breakfast with fellow veterans. This City event is also sponsored by various veteran organizations, and is produced by many volunteers. The breakfast is free to all veterans and their families.

Anyone interested​   in donating, please contact Donna Brister-McCoy at (928) 208-1091 orbristerd@lhcaz.gov

Don’t Get Fouled by Ticket Scams During March Madness

Don’t Get Fouled by Ticket Scams During March Madness

(Lake Havasu City, AZ – March 16, 2017) Large sporting events, such as March Madness, draw massive crowds with consumers looking to score a ticket to their favorite game. Considering the high desirability of these tickets, fans will often have to resort to the secondary resale market. Scammers take advantage of fans looking for great deals by capitalizing on tickets that may not even exist. Before printing brackets and mapping out a schedule, know what to look for when purchasing highly desirable tickets. Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers tips to avoid buying fake tickets and missing out on a great game.

To avoid ticket scams during March Madness, BBB shares tips for buying tickets:

  • Consider the source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.

  • Buy from secure sites.  Use secure sites such as StubHub.com, SeatGeek and Vivid Seats for second-hand purchases. When buying online, look for the lock symbol and/or an “s” in “https:” to make sure a secure connection is in place before sharing payment information. Don’t click on email links or online ads, as scammers often create web sites that look very similar to well-known companies.

  • Know the refund policy. Understand the terms and conditions of the ticket seller. Sellers should disclose seat numbers and reference a seating chart. If tickets are not available immediately, seller should state an exact date and time when they will be shipped or ready for pickup.

  • Use a credit card. If possible, use a credit card to purchase tickets. Most credit cards offer additional protection and recourse should there be a problem with a purchase. Wire transfers and cash purchases are hard to track and recover if tickets turn out to be fraudulent.

  • Don’t fall for flashy ads. Online searches will likely result in advertisements for cheap tickets. Use good judgment; some ads might be scams, particularly if prices are extremely low.

  • Verify tickets. For peace of mind, verify tickets before purchasing. Visit the arena where the event will be held and present tickets at “Will Call” (customer service) where they will be able to verify legitimacy.

When looking for trusted ticket sellers, visit bbb.org. In Arizona, there are seven BBB Accredited providers ready to help you find tickets.

NOTE: The National Association of Ticket Brokers is a BBB National Partner. We thank them for their assistance with this tip.

March 6th, 2017: Bullhead City Press Release

Bullhead City Press Release

 

BULLHEAD CITY, AZ, March 6, 2017 – The City of Bullhead City Public Works Department has the following projects going on in addition to regular work around our city during the week of March 6:

 

  • City crews performing clean up at Rotary Park baseball tri-plex.
  • City crews will be slurry sealing a variety of streets within the City.  Please see official NSIP 28 Press Release for more details.
  • RTR Paving & Resurfacing will be doing roadway and drainage work along Gold Rush Road, Black Mountain Road, and Arcadia Blvd. between the southern edge of Riverview RV Resort and North Oatman Road.  Please follow all traffic control through the construction zone.
  • City crews will be performing city wide sewer cleaning in various neighborhoods.
  • McCormick Construction will be doing roadway and drainage work along Riverview Drive between Highway 95 and Balboa.  Please follow all traffic control through the construction zone.
  • City crews will be performing city wide sewer video inspection.