What Do You Call a Soft Drink? Depends Partly on Which State You Live In

The United States is a huge country. It encompasses 50 states,
five territories, and nine minor outlying islands – and over 3.8 million square
miles.

With the population scattered so widely – and people from different ethnic backgrounds having settled in different areas — it’s only natural that some different terminology for common words has developed over the generations.

We come across these terms when we interact with people from
other parts of the country, or when we consume media – or when we move.

Some of these words and phrases are easy to pick up, while
others are a bit more mystifying. (One of the strangest we’ve come across: In
Rhode Island, they call a milkshake a cabinet.)

Bubblers, cokes, and hotdishes

For example, let’s say you’re on vacation in Wisconsin and are exploring a city park with your local relatives. Mention that you’re thirsty, and you just might be directed to the nearest “bubbler.”

What are they trying to tell you? Where to find the closest
water fountain (or drinking fountain).

On that same vacation, your relatives have a casual potluck at their home, and you overhear them asking a neighbor if they could bring a “hotdish” to share.

Are they looking for something spicy? No, they’re just
referring to a casserole.

Now, let’s say you’re a native of Louisiana, and you’ve just
relocated to California. On your second day in town, you wander into a café for
a late lunch. The waitress welcomes you and asks what you’d like to drink. “A
coke would be great, thanks,” you say. You’re caught off guard when she leaves
to fulfill your order without asking which kind of coke you wanted…

Whereas a lot of the population of the west coast and Midwest uses the term “pop,” and “soda” is common throughout the Northeast as well as most California and Florida, it’s a different story down south. There, “coke” is not only used to refer to the famous cola drink. The Coca-Cola company has its headquarters in Atlanta, and its influence spreads far and wide. So you can go into a restaurant and request a coke and be given a myriad of options (Sprite, orange soda, root beer, etc.).

Do you say firefly or lightning bug?

Regional vocabulary variances often give an indication of
where people are from. Even if you now live in New Mexico, if you grew up in
Massachusetts, there may be some words and phrases that have stuck with you. So,
if you share a childhood anecdote about catching lightning bugs, you may have
to explain that you’re referring to fireflies.

Here are some other regional words and phrases. Which ones
do you use?

Do you refer to athletic shoes as sneakers (common in the
northeast but also fairly widespread) or tennis shoes (commonly used outside
the northeast)?

When you’re hungry for a big sandwich, do you ask for a hoagie (mid-Atlantic), a hero (New York), a grinder (New England), or a sub sandwich (widespread use)?

Do you put your groceries in a shopping cart (widespread use), a grocery cart (slightly less common), or a shopping buggy (used in the south)?

When you want to wash your hands, do you turn on the faucet
(north) or the spigot (south)?

And, if you’re waiting on the sidewalk to buy concert tickets, are you standing on line (something you’ll primarily hear from New Yorkers) or in line (heard most everywhere else)?

A handy source of information about
each state

Of course, regional vocabulary isn’t the only thing that
distinguishes one state from another.

You probably already know that Intelius is a great resource
for reverse phone lookups, people searches, and more.

But did you know that it also has tons of useful information
about each state? This can be helpful if you’re looking to relocate and are
considering options.

Just visit the Intelius state directory home page, and click on any state. You’ll instantly see a wealth of facts and figures, such as:

  • Population growth
  • Largest city
  • Rank in state size
  • Top causes of death
  • Median annual income based on household size
  • Area codes
  • And more

And, to make things even easier, you can conduct an Intelius
search right from the same page.

Perhaps while enjoying an ice-cold soda (or pop or coke) …

Source: Wikipedia
unless otherwise indicated

Intelius does not provide consumer reports and is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This site should not be used to determine an individual’s eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing or any other purpose covered by the FCRA.

6 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy During Summer Vacation

Author: PeopleFinders on May 29th, 2019

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Kids love summer vacation. But parents often find it hard to keep them active while they’re not in school. That’s why summer vacation can sometimes end with kids merely languishing in front of the TV or playing on their phones. That’s not great for kids nor parents.

One of the reasons this happens is because parents aren’t quite sure how to encourage their kids to get outside. Push these six ideas, and your kids will love staying active much more than they love sitting on the couch.

1. Summer Camps

Summer camps are an incredibly effective way to keep kids active when school isn’t in session. Sending your kids to a summer camp is great for both you and your kids; your kids will become immersed in something they love, and you’ll get to have some time in a quiet house.

Some summer camps even mimic the schedule of school, having kids come for 8-10 hours during the day and then return home afterward. This can be a great way to allow your kids to enjoy camp while still spending time with them each day.

2. Swim Teams

In especially hot climates, it’s likely that you’re used to visiting the pool during the summer. Enrolling your kids in a swim team allows them to improve their swimming skills while feeling like they’re part of a community of peers. They’ll make new friends, feel accomplished through competing, and get exercise every day. Swimming is a fun leisure activity anyway, so it’s usually not hard to convince kids that this is a good idea.

3. Group Outings

If you already know some other parents with kids around the same age as yours, you may want to invite them on a group outing. With your family and other families, you can go to more places and have a good time. Whether you decide on a waterpark, a theme park, a hike, a visit to a national park, or something else, you can expand the fun by bringing along other families.

4. Museum Visits

Many kids may scoff at the idea of visiting a museum, but that’s usually because they’re not quite sure what it entails. Many museums have imaginative ways to reach out to kids, and even more center on concepts that kids enjoy quite a bit. For example, the renowned fossil exhibits at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History can introduce kids to dinosaurs and other astonishing natural wonders. Find a museum near you that caters to concepts that your kids love, and they’ll have a great time while learning important information.

5. Offer Activity Bonuses

An especially good way to keep your kids active throughout the summer is to give them incentives to get off the couch. Consider offering an allowance. Or, suggest a fun outing as a prize that your kids can earn by performing household chores and certain physical activities.

If you want to kick it up a notch, you can even track certain things. Investing in a simple pedometer for your kids can be useful if you want to encourage them to do a specific amount of activity every day.

Staying Safe While Staying Active

The activities you plan for your family are only part of making sure your kids have a good summer vacation. It’s also important that you stay away from situations where they may be in danger. You need to be looking out for your kids’ safety, which is where a public records people search site like PeopleFinders can help.

Using PeopleFinders, you can perform a criminal records check on other adults with whom your children may spend time. Such a search can help you to get info to try and make sure everyone is safe to be around when inviting friends along on a trip, or when letting your kids visit their friends’ houses. You can also use the address lookup to check out the locations where your kids are planning to visit, and gauge the safety of the area and those in it.

Conclusion

Keeping your kids active is as easy as showing them that there are things out there much more interesting than the TV or cell phone. It can sometimes be difficult to plan a fun activity, especially if your kids would rather just be lazing around the house. But the right activity can bring you together as a family and make everyone’s summer brighter and healthier.

Image attribution: yanlev – stock.adobe.com

Tags: Children, family, friends, Holidays

Categorized in: Culture

Young Workers Report an Alarming Increase in Depression

Symptoms of depression have surged among U.S. workers in the past five years, with younger employees showing the most dramatic increase, according to a survey of nearly half a million workers. 

The proportion of workers with symptoms of depression rose 18 percent from 2014 to 2018, and Generation Z employees (those ages 18-24) had the largest increase: The number of workers in this age group who showed symptoms of depression rose 39 percent over those five years, according to the research from New York City-based Happify Health, which provides mental health and wellness technology. Women of Generation Z had the hardest time, showing the greatest increase in the prevalence of depressive symptoms (up 44 percent) among all age groups. 

While Millennials (ages 25-34) fared a bit better, they also experienced a large jump in symptoms of depression—up 24 percent in those five years.

Symptoms of depression may tend to decrease with age, the research found. The oldest age group (55-64) actually showed a slight improvement in their mental well-being in 2018 compared with 2014.

“Young adulthood is a transitional time when we’re often just entering the workforce, figuring out who we are and what we want to do with our lives, which can be very challenging and, for some, can cause very negative psychological reactions while not having yet developed the skills to combat those feelings,” said Ran Zilca, chief data scientist for Happify Health. “While this analysis doesn’t tell us if the causes are internal or external to their employment, we know from prior Happify research that younger adults tend to be more stressed and worried about job-related matters than older workers.”

The research is a retrospective analysis of more than 480,000 first-time Happify Health users ages 18 to 64 who self-identified as employed. It examined the prevalence of depressive symptoms among these workers from January 2014 through December 2018.

Relative Percent Change in Symptoms of Depression

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement]

Overwhelmed by Options

Acacia Parks, Ph.D., is chief scientist at Happify Health. She sees two main reasons why younger workers in particular show signs of depression.

One reason is they have too many choices, which Parks said can leave young workers feeling “paralyzed.”

Younger workers “going to college now face so many more options in terms of where to go to school, what to major in and what job to aim for,” Parks said. “They have access to so much information via the Internet—a universe where the possibilities are endless—which can be both exciting and overwhelming.”

Another reason, she suggested, is that young workers must cope with more uncertainty than their older colleagues did when first entering the workforce.

“Because technology has upped the pace of everything, college students are preparing for jobs that do not yet exist but will by the time they graduate. Young adults in previous generations may have easily chosen a profession as they finished high school. Nowadays, preparing for a job is like trying to sail to an island that’s moving. Being a young adult in 2019 means accepting a greater amount of uncertainty than young adults of previous generations, and intolerance of uncertainty is linked to numerous psychological difficulties.”

Likes and Fans Can’t Replace Relationships

Dan Schawbel is author of Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2018) and research director at Future Workplace, an executive development firm. He sees depression among young workers as the consequence of a host of complex social, political and financial pressures.

“It’s never one thing; it’s the combination of many things happening at once,” he said. “It’s [college] loan debt, anxiety about our future as a country and about things like climate change, paying health care bills. Too many people who’ve graduated from college are still living paycheck to paycheck.

“Then you have the technology component, and it has made people more anxious and depressed. They compare their lives to the lives of other people who are actually fabricating their lives [on social media]. A lot of people are looking for fans, followers, likes and views—instead of real human connection. If you’re lacking relationships, you feel isolated and lonely, which leads to depression.”

Andrew Sumitani, director of marketing for Seattle-based TINYpulse, which creates employee engagement surveys, put it another way: “Picture a young person who’s been on Instagram for five years, collecting likes and comments with every post. But at their new job, no one celebrates or acknowledges their achievements. No pay raise or perk in the world will be able to fulfill that need for a sense of accomplishment and purpose.”

The Plight of the Young Woman

Young women, Schawbel said, may feel particular pressure at work because they recognize that despite education and hard work, the gender wage gap persists, as do shortages of women in C-suites and other leadership positions.

“I think it’s knowing that [things] are almost stacked against you,” he said. “And it’s knowing you’re up against trade-offs in work and family life.”

Said Sumitani: “The promise of gender equity is profoundly unfulfilled, from paychecks to workplace recognition and everything in between. If we use the definition of happiness as reality minus expectations, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a compounded effect in young women for the realities they face at work. Young women are intensely aware of the challenges they face without seeing progress. That’s got to be discouraging.”

Scribe-X Northwest to Pay $80,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Company Rejected Applicant Once It Learned She Was Pregnant, Federal Agency Charged

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland-based medical documentation service Scribe-X Northwest will pay $80,000 and make significant changes to its policies and hiring practices to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s investigation, 28-year-old Brittany Frisby applied online for a scribe position, got an offer, and completed all pre-hiring screens. But when she told Scribe-X she was ex­pecting a baby several months later, the company’s
CEO called her and rescinded the offer. The CEO told Frisby that she should have notified the company about her pregnancy because it would not have hired her had it known. She tried pleading for her job to no avail, the EEOC said.

Rejecting a qualified applicant because of pregnancy is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Case No. 3:17-cv-01520-SI,
after an investigation by EEOC Investigator Isabel Jeremiah and after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit provides Frisby with $80,000 in damages for emotional distress and lost wages, and calls for important changes to Scribe-X’s personnel practices. The company has agreed to implement policies that
explain employee rights and responsibilities, provide anti-discrimination training to employees with the express commitment of leadership as well as separate training for upper management, and report to EEOC on consent decree compliance. The parties
also settled the EEOC’s claim that Scribe-X failed to preserve employment-related records.

“Why assume that becoming pregnant suddenly cancels out all the strengths and skills I bring to the table?” said Frisby. “If anything, I was even more motivated to prove my value and excel at my job because of my pregnancy. I’m glad the EEOC
defended my workplace rights, and happy to know Scribe-X will make significant changes to its practices.” 

EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney John Stanley said, “Ms. Frisby sought to earn a steady paycheck at a stable job to support a new child. By bringing her story to the EEOC, she tried to right a wrong, and this positive outcome allows her move on
and ensures positive changes for current and future employees at Scribe-X.”

EEOC Seattle Field Director Nancy Sienko added, “Pregnancy discrimination continues to be a serious workplace problem. This case raised awareness of pregnancy issues, and the settlement gives the company a chance to set the right example for all
employers in the Portland Metro area.”

Scribe-X Northwest has about 140 employees and, according to http://www.scribe-x.com, serves physicians and other health care providers by providing real-time documentation of physician-patient interactions
in outpatient settings.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

EEOC Sues Houma Sandblasting, Painting, and Coating Service Provider for Disability Discrimination

Tamco Professional Coating Services Fired an Employee Due to Hearing Loss, Federal Agency Charges

NEW ORLEANS – Tamco Professional Coating Services, Inc. violated federal law when it discriminated against an employee because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed here today. Tamco
Professional Coating Services, Inc., (Tamco) which is based in Houma, La., performs sandblasting, painting, soda blasting, pressure washing, water blasting, cleaning, coating, and minor fabrication and repair services.

The EEOC’s suit charged that Tamco told the employee, a foreperson, that its insurance costs would increase because of the foreperson’s hearing loss. Soon after, it fired the foreperson, purportedly for failing to wear hearing protection. Tamco
did so without following its own progressive discipline process. It has claimed that, apart from the foreperson, it has never fired anyone for failing to wear hearing protection.

Such alleged conduct violates Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-10775) today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation
settlement through its conciliation process.

The EEOC, which has authority to bring the suit on behalf of the public, has asked the court to permanently enjoin Tamco from engaging in future discrimination. It has also asked the court to order the company to pay the foreperson both punitive
and compensatory damages, in addition to lost wages and benefits.

“Employers cannot make – and rely upon – unsubstantiated assumptions about an employee’s physical or mental impairments,” said Keith Hill, director of the EEOC’s New Orleans Field Office.

Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney of the Houston District Office, cautioned, “Employers cannot discharge an employee because they fear or suppose that their insurance costs will increase as a result of his mental or physical impairment.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.

What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy?

Author: PeopleFinders on May 30th, 2019

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Bankruptcy is a word that scares most people. For many individuals, bankruptcy is simply seen as the very last option. It’s something that destroys your financial reputation and essentially wipes out any credibility you have.

In fact, bankruptcy can give struggling people a second chance. Although it definitely has a number of consequences, declaring bankruptcy can give debt-ridden people a chance to start over. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the bankruptcy process.

Determine if Bankruptcy Is the Right Option

Obviously, you don’t want to just jump into bankruptcy without knowing if you have other options available to you.

For some people, debt consolidation/settlement can be a great option that doesn’t have the kind of financial impact that bankruptcy does. This is especially useful if you have a few big debts (such as medical bills), rather than numerous small debts (like multiple credit card balances).

Checking your credit report for any incorrect entries is a good way to keep your credit score up. So, it’s easier to go through the process.

Consult a Credit Counseling Official

This isn’t just a useful step; it’s mandatory. To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is most widely used by low-income individuals, you must receive credit counseling within six months before you file. The United States Trustee’s Office publishes a list of approved counselors, and you must get counseling from one of them. Include your certificate of completion when you file, or the court will automatically dismiss your case.

File Your Paperwork

This is the point where many people realize that they need to hire a lawyer. It’s possible to make your way through the bankruptcy process without a lawyer. But it’s much more difficult and much more likely that you’ll make a mistake.

Although many bankruptcy lawyers are expensive (the average bankruptcy attorney costs between $1,000 and $2,500), you may be able to work out a payment plan or find an organization that can help for a reduced cost.

When shopping around for your bankruptcy lawyer, make sure you do your due diligence regarding their licenses and professional organizations. Be wary of anyone who claims to be able to help for an unrealistically low price, or that they can do it extra-fast.

Work with Your Trustee

Once you’ve filed your paperwork, the court will appoint a trustee to your case. This trustee will review your paperwork and liquidate any non-exempt assets to pay for administrative fees and to give partial payment to creditors. Your trustee is usually the person you’ll be dealing with the most, rather than directly with creditors or the court. The trustee will seize certain types of property to liquidate it.

Complete a Financial Management Course

Before you receive your discharge, you’re required to complete a course in personal financial management. Once you’ve filed your bankruptcy paperwork, it’s a good idea to find a financial management course as soon as possible. You have to file your certificate of completion within 60 days of your 341 hearing, which is the first time you meet with creditors.

Receive Your Discharge

About three to six months after you file your bankruptcy paperwork, you’ll receive your discharge paperwork through the mail. It will lay out all the information about what debts the court dismissed, what assets it liquidated, and what debts are ongoing. Your attorney and the trustee can also help you get this information while the procedure is happening. Just make sure you stay in contact with them.

Rebuild Your Credit

This is the hardest part, and the reason why filing for bankruptcy is such a difficult decision. It’s true that bankruptcy can be incredibly helpful for many people, but it also impacts your credit score tremendously. An individual with a normal credit score will usually lose between 130 and 150 points.

Even more importantly, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your FICO report for 10 years. And debts settled through bankruptcy stay on your credit report for seven years. Those marks can severely impact your eligibility for loans and credit cards, making it difficult to make any large purchases in the decade after declaring bankruptcy.

It also carries a social stigma, as bankruptcy signals to many people that you’re bad at managing your money.

Stay Up-to-Date with a People Search Engine

If you’re going through bankruptcy, a public records site like PeopleFinders can help you stick with trustworthy people. After all, there are sure to be scammers looking to take advantage of you and your precarious financial situation. If you get a call from someone you don’t know, PeopleFinders’ reverse phone lookup may help you determine if official-sounding phone calls are really from scammers.

Even if you’re not going through a bankruptcy yourself, the same site can help you find out more about those who have. Bankruptcy filings become part of a person’s public records. So, if there’s someone you know who you think may have had to file for bankruptcy, you can try to locate that info via an online public records search.

Is It Okay to Declare Bankruptcy?

Although declaring bankruptcy can be incredibly helpful for many people drowning in debt, it’s not without some serious consequences. Bankruptcy may well be your best option, but you should keep your eyes open. And use PeopleFinders to stay safe throughout the bankruptcy process. Be cautious, and you can get a second financial chance.

Image attribution: designer491 – stock.adobe.com

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Categorized in: People Data

How to Establish a Neighborhood Watch

Author: PeopleFinders on May 24th, 2019

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A neighborhood watch can be a great way to make your neighborhood a little safer. Although a call to 911 is effective, it takes time for police and other responders to react to calls. Even with the fastest response time, it may end up being too late to keep someone from being harmed.

A better approach may be to stop problems before they start. With a neighborhood watch, people are incredibly close to the action at all times, which means it’s easier to recognize potential problems. Forming a neighborhood watch isn’t as hard as you might think. Follow these steps to establish a watch for your neighborhood.

Determine Interest

The first step is to make sure you have enough individuals interested in forming a watch. A neighborhood watch is a community effort, not a solo one. You’ll want a substantial number of people to make your neighborhood watch work properly.

The best way to encourage individuals to join a watch is simply to go around your neighborhood and talk about the inherent dangers that may be lurking. A number of resources exist to help you create flyers that let people know you’re planning to start a neighborhood watch.

Request that people let you know if they’re interested. Or just see how many people seem receptive to the idea. (The side benefit is that you can take a deeper look into anyone that seems wholeheartedly against the idea.) To help convince people of the benefits, you should:

Recognize Problems in Your Community

You don’t have to have an active crime problem to start a neighborhood watch; preemptive tactics work well when it comes to community policing efforts. But there may be important problems that your community isn’t yet addressing. This can include crime issues, or it can just be bringing your neighbors together.

Other problems include the potential hurdles that you’ll have to overcome to establish a watch. If you live in an urban area, for example, it can be hard to form a watch because neighborhoods tend to be apartment complexes.

Write down anything you can think of, so you’re more prepared to build a plan.

Contact Local Law Enforcement

Neighborhood watches always work closely with local law enforcement. There aren’t usually any specific legal requirements. But letting law enforcement know you’re planning to start a watch can help officials work with you to police the area more effectively. In addition, getting an endorsement from law enforcement in your area can increase the credibility of your neighborhood watch, making it more likely that people will join.

You may want to ask local law enforcement if they’ll meet with you before you even hold a meeting in your neighborhood. In a meeting, they can let you know if they have any experience with neighborhood watches, if they’re willing to help you track crime in your neighborhood, and if they know of any ways to overcome the problems you’ve already recognized. They can also tell you if there are any persons of interest in your neighborhood.

Bring Your Neighbors Together

The last step is to figure out a meeting time and invite all your neighbors to come. Places of worship may be willing to give you a space and time to meet, or your local law enforcement office may even have the ability to do so. Make it a social event; combine a neighborhood event with the neighborhood watch meeting. And let everyone know there’ll be time to get to know everyone at your meeting.

Before you decide who to invite to this meeting, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone is really a well-intentioned neighbor. You don’t want someone who’s a sex offender, drug dealer, or has some other criminal history to be part of the watch.

To try and figure that out, you can perform a criminal records search on anyone interested in becoming part of the neighborhood watch. Once you know more facts about those people and their backgrounds, the watch can actually be a good way to keep an eye on them.

Check On Your Neighbors

As mentioned, the last thing you want in your watch circle is an individual that could be part of the crime problem. Whenever a new person moves into your neighborhood or requests to join the neighborhood watch, use a public records search site like PeopleFinders to perform a criminal records check to make sure the person is safe to be around. A neighborhood watch can make things safer. But as the leader, you need to do your due diligence.

Conclusion

Creating a neighborhood watch is a group effort that requires the community to pitch in. By getting in contact with your local law enforcement, being the one to encourage participation, and listening to people’s concerns, you can establish an effective neighborhood watch that keeps everyone safer.

Something you can use to enhance that watch is PeopleFinders, which allows you to perform criminal records and background checks on anyone that moves into the neighborhood. For even more ideas on how to stay safe, be sure to check out the PeopleFinders blog.

image attribution: Syda Productions – stock.adobe.com

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Categorized in: Safety

Felon Voting Rights: An Explanation

Author: PeopleFinders on May 30th, 2019

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Felon voting rights have been a hot-button topic in recent months, with plenty of opinions on either side of the fence. That wealth of opinion is incredibly obvious when you look at the various felon voting laws across the United States. States range from being very lenient with felons to incredibly strict, and everywhere in-between.

Here’s the rundown on how felon voting laws work, and why you might want to pay attention to them.

Who Decides If a Felon Can Vote?

There are no federal laws governing felon voting rights. Rather, these rights are established by individual states. This means that someone convicted of the exact same crime may have different voting rights depending on the state of conviction.

There are three general categories of felon voting rights into which states fall. Two states–Maine and Vermont–never revoke the voting rights of felons, regardless of the felony. They even allow them to vote within prison.

Two more states–Iowa and Kentucky–only allow voting rights to be restored via an individual petition passed by the state government; they never automatically restore them.

The other 46 states, as well as the District of Columbia, fall somewhere in the middle. These states generally restore voting rights upon release from prison, discharge from parole, or completion of probation.

Do All Felons Have the Same Voting Rights?

Not only do states have different voting laws for felons, some states also differentiate between serious felonies and less serious felonies. Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming all have distinct provisions in their laws for those convicted of certain types of felonies.

However, while most of these distinctions are between “violent” and “nonviolent” felonies, such as murder versus embezzlement, some distinctions are more arbitrary. For example, in Mississippi, being convicted of a felony for writing a bad check automatically bars an individual from ever voting again unless his or her rights are restored by the governor or the state legislature.

How Long Does It Take a Felon to Regain the Right to Vote?

In locations where a felon’s voting rights are restored at some point, the timing varies wildly. Fifteen areas, including the District of Columbia, have voting rights restored upon release from prison. In five other states, voting rights are restored upon being discharged from parole. Twenty states restore voting rights upon full completion of a sentence, including prison, parole, probation, and any applicable fines. The remaining six states mostly vary, depending upon the exact type of conviction.

Although this gives a basic idea of how long it may take an individual felon to be allowed to vote again, it’s still broad. Felony probation, for example, can be anywhere from 18 months to 25 years. When the lengths of sentences, parole periods, and probation periods so widely run the gamut, an individual could get voting rights back as soon as a few years after being sentenced, or as long as decades afterward.

Essentially, every case is different. It doesn’t always have to do with whether an individual was convicted of a violent or nonviolent felony, or even with how long the individual’s sentence lasted. The same person committing the same crime in two different states could end up with vastly different convictions, sentences, and voting rights.

Conclusion

The conversation about felon voting rights is ongoing. But understand that a person’s right to vote or otherwise be in the public sphere doesn’t mean that they are automatically safe to be around.

For example, someone’s been in jail multiple times for robbery. In that case, you probably don’t want to leave them alone with any of your valuables. And if he or she has a record of violent crimes, then you’ll likely want to protect yourself even more. To try and learn these vital pieces of information, you can use PeopleFinders to perform an online criminal background check.

Felony charges vary substantially, and different felonies tend to have different levels of risk. Unfortunately, many felons aren’t upfront about their status. And those are usually the people with whom you want to be most cautious. You need to take your own steps to make sure you’re staying safe.

Anytime you start to get close with someone you don’t know that well, a criminal records search is just a smart idea. You could get information about whether the individual has committed a felony. And you may also get much more in-depth information about the type of felony.

Felony voting laws are complicated. But with PeopleFinders, determining your own safety doesn’t have to be.

Image attribution: Aleksandar Radovanov – stock.adobe.com

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Categorized in: News

Legitimate Reasons to Use the Dark Web

Author: PeopleFinders on May 17th, 2019

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What do you think about the dark web? You probably think exclusively of drug dealing, hiring hitmen, and the selling of Social Security numbers. If those are your only thoughts on the dark web, it makes sense that you’d want to stay as far away from it as possible. After all, there’s no way anyone could use that to do good, right?

In actuality, plenty of people surf the dark web every day to do legitimate things. On the dark web, they consume legal entertainment, talk to friends and family, and even purchase general goods. They just do it carefully. If you’ve never thought about using the dark web in a legal manner, consider these reasons you might want to start.

It’s Incredibly Private

For most people, the dark web sounds scary. The idea of talking with anonymous people on a network of sites that feature genuinely terrifying behavior isn’t exactly thrilling to most people. However, that’s only part of the story. The dark web can be a very safe place if you know how to use it properly. This was, in fact, the guiding light for the dark web’s existence. Tor, the browser that’s essentially the key to accessing the dark web, was created and is maintained to protect users’ privacy.

The Tor browser is named after the acronym for “The Onion Router,” a reference to “onion routing.” This concept, which Tor uses to make its users anonymous, essentially sends you through dozens of proxies, eventually losing the original source. That allows you to stay anonymous to do what you want to do. Whether you’re just interested in reading copyrighted books or you’re planning to start a revolution, the dark web can help.

It’s true that this privacy has also had unfortunate side effects, including the illegal communities that have sprung up inside it. However, it’s a crucial part of its popularity among law-abiding citizens as well. With so many proxies built into the software, you can do whatever you want without the fear of being tracked.

That tracking can be as benign as annoying ad targeting or as intense as avoiding people who want to hurt you. It’s important to remember that this privacy is a double-edged sword, and it can allow someone to fake an identity easily. Being cautious on the dark web is a must.

You Can Circumvent Government Censors

Again, this is actually one of the reasons the dark web as it exists today was created. The Tor browser is routinely used to access the internet as a whole in countries with governments that restrict access to certain portions of the internet. There’s even a function built into the Tor browser that allows it to be set up from inside a country where it’s banned.

A number of societal movements and changes have been built on the dark web. Many individuals in strictly controlled countries such as Saudi Arabia or North Korea can use Tor to contact friends and family outside of the area without fear of being tracked by the government.

There Are Specialized Websites

When you use the dark web, you don’t just get access to a clear version of the internet where you can’t be tracked. You get brand new services that you genuinely can’t get anywhere else. The dark web has its own range of websites. And those websites can’t be found on the general internet for the most part.

Some of the most interesting dark web sites include a cadre of scientific papers that would otherwise be behind a paywall, and a user-run wiki that categorizes website links. There are even mirrors of existing websites that you probably already know of, such as ProPublica.

Staying Safe on the Dark Web

Plenty of legitimate reasons exist to use the dark web. It’s not all drug dealing and hiring hitmen! While perhaps a strange place to be, it’s also a great place to be anonymous and pursue your interests.

However, due to its shady nature, it’s important to take due diligence to the next level. It can be quite difficult trying to tell who’s being honest on the dark web. But an online people search service can help. Whether you’re buying, selling, or just chatting, you need to make sure that the other party is legitimate. PeopleFinders can help in this regard, allowing you to check all manner of records with just a name (assuming you have their real name, that is).

Conclusion

The dark web may seem to be primarily a frightening collection of websites with nefarious intent. However, large portions of the dark web are not only safe, but also highly useful for those who simply want to remain anonymous.

It never hurts to be extra careful, though. A background check at PeopleFinders makes it easier to try and find info about people you meet on the dark web. That may be someone you’re buying goods from, or someone who’s buying from you. Or maybe it’s just someone whose shadowy virtual company you enjoy.

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4 Ways to Find Out if Someone You Know Has Been in Jail

Author: PeopleFinders on May 22nd, 2019

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Determining whether someone has served jail time is an important part of keeping yourself safe, especially if you’re planning to spend time with that person in the future. Whether it’s a neighbor, a potential romantic partner, or just someone you’ve met recently, you need to know this person’s safe to be around.

However, it’s not as easy as merely asking. Some honest people might tell you whether they’ve been arrested in the past, especially if it was for a minor charge. But people with violent criminal backgrounds might not disclose that information freely. That could put you in danger if the individual still has those violent tendencies. Instead of taking someone at his or her word, you can take steps to check criminal history yourself.

Check the Local News

Checking news sources usually only works if the person in question has done something particularly bad, and done it in your area. If both of those things are true, however, then this is a great way to check. Although most headlines will only use the words “local man” or similar phrasing, they’ll often publish the name of the individual in the article somewhere. Search some of the biggest local news stations to see whether they’ve published anything.

Ask His or Her Friends

Are you currently in touch with this individual’s existing friend group? Talking to such people can be a great way to get some background info, as well as some info on his or her overall character. If you get an uncomfortable or downright dangerous feeling from those friends, it’s a good idea to separate yourself from the person as quickly as possible.

People tend to surround themselves with a friend group that reflects who they are. By paying attention to that, you can save yourself a lot of trouble. You can also find out whether the person has any criminal history. It’s much harder to hide that information from multiple people than it is to keep it from just one, and the likelihood that an entire group would lie for someone is slim.

Pull Public Records

State records are technically free to access. If you want to take the time to go to the county sheriff’s office or court recorder’s office to pull the arrest records directly from, you can do so. The Freedom of Information Act allows the public access certain records kept by the state or county.

However, if you do decide to use this route, it’s important to remember that you may need to pay a filing fee or other access fees to receive the records. You can find that fee information by using your county or state website, or by calling ahead.

Use a Public Search Engine

Sometimes, there’s no way to find information about someone by talking to friends and checking news sources. Pulling public records is time-consuming, difficult, and may even end up costing you a surprising amount of money. Whether you’ve exhausted all your resources–or you want to use the simplest tactic from the beginning–use a public records search engine such as PeopleFinders to access someone’s criminal records quickly and easily.

With an online search, you can get immediate access to information about millions of U.S. adults. It only takes a minute or two to perform a criminal records search and try to find out whether someone you just met could be dangerous. From arrest records to sex offender data, you can try and get the scoop on someone’s past. Enter the person’s first name, last name, city and state, and brace yourself.

Conclusion

Safety is an important part of everyday life, and you should be on the lookout for anything that could place you in danger. That doesn’t mean you have to be paranoid; it just means that your day-to-day life should include looking out for yourself, especially when it comes to people you’ve just met.

PeopleFinders offers the easiest solution to that problem. Use the tools at PeopleFinders (and the information on the blog) to stay safe in your daily life, regardless of whether you’re checking on your neighbors casually, or you’re doing some research on someone that worries you.

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Categorized in: People Search