Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Couple on welfare living the high life, Mom denied food stamps shoots children, and freeloading at hotel breakfast buffets

         Good Morning Humboldt County!

Welcome to this mornings hard times post. The recession has affected most Americans in one way or the other. The results range from welfare cheaters to desperate mothers killing their children and themselves, to simple freeloading.

Grab a cup of hot coffee, take a seat, and make yourself comfortable. It’s a tough world out there. 

Feds: Couple claimed welfare, lived in $1.2M home

A Seattle chiropractor and his wife live in a $1.2 million waterfront home and have spent the past eight years flying to Moscow, Paris, Israel, Turkey, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. All the while, federal authorities say, the couple was collecting more than $100,000 in welfare.

Now, the U.S. attorney's office is suing David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova, accusing them of filing false claims and demanding that the couple pay back more than $135,000 in federal housing assistance since 2003. Prosecutors are also seeking tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Officials: Mom who shot her 2 kids was denied food stamps

A mother who shot and critically injured her two children and then killed herself had for months tried unsuccessfully to qualify for food stamps, Texas welfare officials said.

The woman, identified as Rachelle Grimmer, 38, first applied for food stamps in July but was denied because she didn't turn in enough information, Texas Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman told The Associated Press Tuesday.            

Photo - Officials say Rachelle Grimmer, 38, pulled a gun and staged a seven-hour standoff with police that ended with her shooting her two children in the Texas Health and Human Services building in Laredo, above.


Freeloading at the hotel breakfast buffet

Most people have heard the adage “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” But apparently it is not true for breakfast – at some hotels at least.

What started out as a simple complimentary cup of coffee and a doughnut has transformed into a kind of one-upmanship, said Chris Quilty, director of hotel operations for Hersha Hospitality Management, which owns and operates about 80 properties nationwide, representing all the major U.S. brands. About 70 of them offer free breakfast. There's anecdotal evidence to suggest that it's not just paying guests who enjoy this perk; it's not uncommon, say hotel experts and staff, to see people walk in from the street and serve themselves at the buffet.

“If you are savvy and need something to eat, it’s an easy thing to do,” said Bobby Bowers, senior vice president of operations for STR, a hotel research company. STR does not track how many non-guests take advantage of free breakfasts, but “I don’t doubt that it occurs,” Bowers said. “I would say it’s probably more of a problem now because economic times are tough.” But nine out of 10 times staff won’t say anything unless the person is a regular offender or “looks tough and dirty,” he said.

Time to walk on down the road…

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