Mayor Saenz Addresses Business Leaders
Mar24

Mayor Saenz Addresses Business Leaders

Special to The Laredo Sun LAREDO, TEXAS –  Mayor Pete Saenz addressed nearly 200 business and civic leaders with a detailed presentation titled: Vision 100: The City. This served as the City’s first official “State of the City” address since Saenz took office. Today’s event, hosted by IBC Bank is the official kick-off of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary Centennial Speaker Series. Mayor Saenz discussed many of the significant projects currently under development in the Gateway City, including the latest updates on the City’s budget, the unemployment rate, bridge and sales tax revenues, and building permits among others.  “The State of the City of Laredo is the best it has ever been and getting better,” said Mayor Saenz. The Speaker Series will host two more engagements with high profile speakers touching on the progress and future of Laredo and its surrounding areas. Future series dates are tentatively scheduled for June 3 and Aug. 12 of this year. On June 3, the Centennial Speaker Series will welcome the honorable Webb County Judge, Tano Tijerina with an update on the State of the County. For reservations call (956) 722-9895 or email liz@laredochamber.com.  The 100th Anniversary Centennial Celebration is a year-long celebration commemorating the Chamber’s 100 years of existence in Laredo. The festivities include numerous business and social events for Chamber members and the Laredo public. The momentous occasion celebrates over 10 decades of significant milestones that the Laredo Chamber has reached and established since its founding in 1915. This landmark birthday positions the Laredo Chamber among a small and elite group of chambers throughout the country that have reached the 100-year mark. The Laredo Chamber of Commerce is the oldest established business organization in Laredo, Texas and represents over 650 members in various industries ranging from financial institutions and retailers to transportation, logistics and service providers. The Laredo Chamber of Commerce is accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with a 4-star accreditation rating. It is a member of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC), the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For more details on the 100th Anniversary Centennial Celebration visit www.laredochamber.com and stay connected on Facebook at Laredo Chamber of...

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Powell Watson GMC Buick Cadillac Opens State-of-the-Art Dealership
Mar24

Powell Watson GMC Buick Cadillac Opens State-of-the-Art Dealership

Special to The Laredo Sun LAREDO, TEXAS – Powell Watson GMC Buick Cadillac, Laredo’s premier General Motors dealership, recently moved from Auto Road South over to Bob Bullock Loop to better serve the community with their new State-of-the-Art dealership. The new location brings them next door to the other Powell Watson dealerships, including Toyota of Laredo and Mercedes-Benz of Laredo – all adjacent to the Laredo Arena. Powell Watson GMC Buick Cadillac has one of the largest new and used GMC, Buick and Cadillac inventory mixes of cars, trucks and SUVs in Laredo and across South Texas. The new facility will not only allow Powell Watson to feature more vehicles on their lot, but also provide their customers with a world-class shopping experience and state-of-the-art service facilities. “Customer service and satisfaction is our number one priority across all of our Powell Watson dealerships. It is with great pride that we opened our new Powell Watson GMC, Buick and Cadillac facility on Bob Bullock Loop alongside our other dealerships and look forward to continuing to provide Laredo and South Texas with unmatched selection, prices, service and now a state-of-the-art customer- friendly dealership” – Jonathan Watson, Jr....

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Don’t Let AC Repair Spring Up On You
Mar23

Don’t Let AC Repair Spring Up On You

Special To The Laredo Sun LAREDO, TEXAS – Spring is in the air and Texans know the hot weather days are not far off. In preparation, Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin suggests homeowners and businesses get their air conditioning (AC) units checked by a trustworthy professional to make sure it’s in good working order. Don’t get burned by hiring the wrong service company. Nationally, BBB received more than 1,400 complaints against commercial and residential air conditioning repair and service contractors in 2014. Complaints against AC repair service contractors often allege problems with the final price or payment process, as well as complaints that the service was ineffective. If you’re due for an upgrade, spending a little money on improvements can save you a lot over time.  Air sealing is one of the quickest ways to cut your heating and cooling costs. Also, you can visit the Energy Saver website for DIY Savings Projects that provide step-by-step instructions on how to weatherstrip your windows and seal air leaks with caulk. According to Energy.gov, turning your thermostat back from its normal setting by seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can save you as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs. Small changes have big results. Another way to save is by simply using a programmable thermostat and keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away. BBB offers this advice when hiring a trustworthy air conditioning contractor: Consult your owner’s manual. Before doing anything, check the warranty on your current air conditioning unit to determine whether any tune-ups, repairs or replacements may be covered. Hire a professional to maintain your heating and cooling system. Arrange for annual maintenance with a qualified technician. This includes checking the airflow over the coil, testing for the correct fluid (refrigerant) level, checking the combustion process and ensuring proper air-flow to each room. Research the company. Visit bbb.org for the BBB Business Review of any air conditioning service or energy auditor you plan to hire to learn details about the company, like its history of complaints. Visit checkbbb.org for a list of Accredited Businesses. Check Licensing. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation requires a license for heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians and electricians. Ask to see a copy of the license before work starts. Compare prices. Get at least three estimates in writing. All bids should provide a full description of the services provided and the materials used. To find an accredited AC contractor that you can trust, go to checkbbb.org. For the latest news and information, follow us on watchyourbuck.com, Facebook and Twitter. To check out...

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Here Are The Top 10 Billionaires Of 2015
Mar03

Here Are The Top 10 Billionaires Of 2015

The Huffington Post On Monday, Forbes released its annual list of the world’s billionaires for 2015. There were some surprises: Michael Jordan made the list! — but when it comes to the richest people on earth, some things don’t change much. Here are the top 10 billionaires of 2015, listed with the source of their wealth and estimated net worth according to Forbes: 10. Liliane Bettencourt, L’Oreal, $40.1 billion 9. Jim Walton, Walmart, $40.6 billion 8. Christy Walton, Walmart, $41.7 billion 7. David Koch, Koch Industries, $42.9 billion 6. Charles Koch, Koch Industries $42.9 billion 5. Larry Ellison, Oracle, $54.3 billion 4. Amancio Ortega, Zara, $64.5 billion 3. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, $72.7 billion 2. Carlos Slim Helu, telecom, $77.1 billion 1. Bill Gates, Microsoft, $79.2 billion This year’s list is pretty similar to 2014’s — Gates and Slim Helu were ranked numbers one and two last year, as well — but there was a bit of shuffling, including Loreal heiress Lillian Bettencourt rising one spot to reach the rarified air of the top 10. In fact, it was a good year for women overall, Forbes reports. Though men make up an overwhelming majority of the full list, this year women accounted for 197 out of the 1,826 billionaires — up from 172 the year before. For the full list of 2015 billionaires, head over to...

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Hackers Steal Up To $1 Billion From Banks
Feb17

Hackers Steal Up To $1 Billion From Banks

AP NEW YORK.- A hacking ring has stolen up to $1 billion from banks around the world in what would be one of the biggest banking breaches known, a cybersecurity firm says in a report scheduled to be delivered Monday. The hackers have been active since at least the end of 2013 and infiltrated more than 100 banks in 30 countries, according to Russian security company Kaspersky Lab. After gaining access to banks’ computers through phishing schemes and other methods, they lurk for months to learn the banks’ systems, taking screen shots and even video of employees using their computers, the company says. Once the hackers become familiar with the banks’ operations, they use that knowledge to steal money without raising suspicions, programming ATMs to dispense money at specific times or setting up fake accounts and transferring money into them, according to Kaspersky. The report is set to be presented Monday at a security conference in Cancun, Mexico. It was first reported by The New York Times. The hackers seem to limit their theft to about $10 million before moving on to another bank, part of the reason why the fraud was not detected earlier, Kaspersky principal security researcher Vicente Diaz said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. The attacks are unusual because they target the banks themselves rather than customers and their account information, Diaz said. The goal seems to be financial gain rather than espionage, he said. “In this case they are not interested in information. They’re only interested in the money,” he said. “They’re flexible and quite aggressive and use any tool they find useful for doing whatever they want to do.” Most of the targets have been in Russia, the U.S., Germany, China and Ukraine, although the attackers may be expanding throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, Kaspersky says. In one case, a bank lost $7.3 million through ATM fraud. In another case, a financial institution lost $10 million by the attackers exploiting its online banking platform. Kaspersky did not identify the banks and is still working with law-enforcement agencies to investigate the attacks, which the company says are ongoing. The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a nonprofit that alerts banks about hacking activity, said in a statement that its members received a briefing about the report in January. “We cannot comment on individual actions our members have taken, but on balance we believe our members are taking appropriate actions to prevent and detect these kinds of attacks and minimize any effects on their customers,” the organization said in a statement. “The report that Russian banks were the primary...

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Walmart Heiress’ Ex Wants A Whopping $400,000 A Month, Including Money For Charitable Donations
Feb08

Walmart Heiress’ Ex Wants A Whopping $400,000 A Month, Including Money For Charitable Donations

The Huffington Post Walmart heiress Paige Laurie filed for divorce from her husband of six years, Patrick Bode Dubbert, last March. Eleven months later, he’s reportedly decided Laurie should pay him $400,000 a month in spousal support before taxes. Dubbert’s monthly necessities include his rental home (between $40,000 and $60,000), furniture ($10,000), personal chef ($6,700), clothes ($5,000), personal trainer ($2,500), vacations ($30,000), entertainment ($80,000), personal stylist ($1,000) and driver ($4,000), according to TMZ. He is also reportedly asking for a monthly stipend of $2,500 to make charitable donations — yes, you read that right. Dubbert says he was used to living an extravagant lifestyle with Laurie, and because they had a company together — a retail center in Malibu, California — he needs some time to get back into the job market. According to Page Six, the couple has a prenup entitling Dubbert to spousal support. Laurie is the granddaughter of James “Bud” Walton, the co-founder of Walmart. Dubbert and Laurie were high school sweethearts, according to The Daily Mail, and had a secret wedding in Columbia, Missouri, in June 2008. The couple’s divorce has been a messy one so far. In May, Dubbert claimed Laurie was having an affair and was using the divorce as a cover-up, and Laurie filed a civil lawsuit against Dubbert saying he was taking thousands of dollars from their...

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