Your Money: What I didn’t know about auto insurance until an accident

Smart Spending John Ewoldt As I was driving along Hennepin Avenue recently, another driver made a U-turn in front of me, dented my front panel and cracked some housing around one headlight. No one was hurt, no air bags deployed, and the driver’s vehicle looked undamaged, according to him. The damage to my aged Malibu was about $1,800. It was my first auto accident in decades. That’s my excuse for knowing so little about collision insurance. My first reactions ranged from “My car is still drivable. Should I even get this repaired? ” to “This will cost me $500,” my collision deductible. As I walked toward the other driver, he said, “I’m so sorry. This is totally my fault.” I figured that didn’t matter. Minnesota is a no-fault state. I was wrong. A call to my insurance agent revealed that no-fault applies only to PIP, personal injury protection insurance, which is required to be carried by every licensed driver in Minnesota. It pays the first $20,000 of medical expenses related to injuries regardless of who’s at fault. It does not apply to collision insurance.My $1,800 repair bill is covered 100 percent by his property damage liability insurance, not collision. I also learned that a police report is unnecessary when no one is injured and no crime has been committed. “The two parties can exchange personal information, driver’s license numbers and insurance companies, but without a crime or an injury, a police report is generally not needed,” said Sgt. Catherine Michal, a Minneapolis police spokeswoman. I called the other driver’s insurance company to give a statement about the accident. It jibed with the driver’s statement, so the claims agent suggested a body shop near me to do the repair. The repair was done to my satisfaction at no cost to me. The story had a happy ending. After admitting what I didn’t know about my car insurance, let me tell you what I do know. Shop Continue Reading

TRUMP’s first official trip to California: 55 minutes at the Wall, 3.5 hours at RNC fundraiser — PROTESTERS, BACKERS plan big rallies at Otay Mesa — State Assembly’s ‘setback’ for victims in ‘Me Too’ investigations?

By Carla Marinucci ([email protected]) and David Siders ([email protected]) with Candice Norwood ([email protected]) THE BUZZ: Time for a reality check on President Donald Trump’s much-heralded visit to the border wall prototypes at Otay Mesa, to view those eight imposing slabs that symbolize the central promise of his 2016 presidential campaign. The priorities of this first official trip to California, the world’s sixth largest economy, may be all in the numbers:Story Continued Below -- 55 minutes: That’s what Trump’s official itinerary has carved out for his on-site visit to the wall prototypes. -- 3 hours, 35 minutes: That’s the time he’ll spend at a private residence in Los Angeles, the site of a Republican National Committee fundraiser, where tickets range from $35,000 to $250,000. That includes a 90-minute “round table” sit down discussion with RNC donors and backers. -- 50 minutes: That's what he's expected to take addressing members of all five branches of the military at Miramar Air Station — a little more than half the time of that roundtable with the GOP donors. -- And it all comes just hours after firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. THE PRESIDENT’S VISIT: -- This AM's DRUDGE REPORT BANNER HEAD -- "Welcome to California! Illegals Vow to Scale Wall,'' via Yahoo. Story. -- TARGETING PELOSI, FEINSTEIN -- “White House slams 'sanctuary' supporters in advance of Trump visit,’’ by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein: “As President Donald Trump prepares for his first trip to California since taking office more than a year ago, the White House is lashing back at prominent Golden State politicians who've trained their fire on Trump's aggressive enforcement of immigration laws. Story. -- "Trump's LA visit so closely held even law enforcement doesn't know all the details,'' via KPCC's Mary Plummer: "Freeway and surface road traffic could get congested, although Continue Reading

After Oklahoma City bombing, McVeigh’s arrest almost went unnoticed

Like all the local legends in this little town, Charlie Hanger has a portrait hanging on the wall of the Kumback Cafe, between the photo of outlaw Pretty Boy Floyd (said to have once eaten the biggest steak in the place) and the state champion wrestling teams."Town Hero," Hanger's photo says.On April 19, 1995, Hanger — an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper so by-the-book that locals swore he'd ticket his own mother — arrested Timothy J. McVeigh, 90 minutes after a fertilizer bomb in a Ryder rental truck exploded outside the federal building in Oklahoma City.Sunday marks 20 years since the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people and injured hundreds more in what was then the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.Around these parts, Hanger —a quiet, unassuming man who now serves as sheriff of rural Noble County —will forever be known as the Man Who Caught McVeigh. To hear Hanger tell his story is to recall how skilled police work, but also luck, led to the arrest of the decorated Army-veteran-turned-radical who was later convicted and executed."I call the fact that I was put in the right spot at the right time divine intervention," Hanger said last week. "I've never sought attention for it. I'm not a person who likes a lot of attention."On that cool spring morning, Hanger had been ordered to the disaster site and had driven just few miles outside Perry — a town of about 5,000 people 60 miles north of Oklahoma City — when he was told to stay in his area.Hanger was driving north on Interstate 35 when he passed a rusting, yellow 1977 Mercury Marquis with no license plate. He stopped the car and found behind the wheel a clean-cut, 26-year-old Timothy McVeigh wearing military boots and a windbreaker.McVeigh also wore a T-shirt with a picture of Abraham Lincoln and the words his assassin, John Wilkes Booth, shouted in Ford's Theater: "Sic semper tyrannis." ("Thus always to tyrants.") On the back was a Continue Reading

Trump’s ambassador to Netherlands was asked to name a person ‘burned’ because of Islam. He couldn’t.

Eli Rosenberg and Amar Nadhir, The Washington Post Published 8:42 pm, Wednesday, January 10, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-39', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails Continue Reading

Bruce Springsteen book excerpt: From a ‘Tunnel of Love’ with Julianne Phillips to ‘Dancing in the Dark’ with Patti Scialfa

In “Bruce,” biographer Peter Ames Carlin delivers the book Springsteen fans have been waiting for. Everyone talked to Carlin — family, friends, members of the E Street Band and Bruce himself. Carlin follows The Boss from his beginnings in Freehold, N.J., to the pinnacle of fame. He captures all the passion, including Springsteen’s conflicted romantic life. He married actress Julianne Phillips in 1985, but by the end of the Tunnel of Love Express Tour, his passionate duets with bandmate Patti Scialfa were becoming a bit too realistic. Was Bruce really messing around with his backup singer? BY PETER AMES CARLIN Throughout the Born in the U.S.A. tour, Bruce’s song introductions and midshow stories focused on a subject he had rarely mentioned in a specific way: sex and romance. Mostly sex, though. Almost entirely sex, now that you mention it. Introducing “Glory Days,” he reminisced about teenage encounters in the bedroom of his parents’ house, conducted under the aural cover of balls banging around his pool table. (The occasional sweep of an arm did the trick.) Various tales setting up “Pink Cadillac” made its horndog lyrics all the more vivid, while the introduction to “I’m Goin’ Down” traced the arc of a relationship in terms of a couple’s sexual patterns. “(First) you’re making love to ’em all the time, three or four times a day. Then you come back a little bit later, and uh-oh … it’s like ‘Are you gonna make love to me tonight, or are we gonna wait for the full moon again,’ y’know?” The giggly sex talk got started a few weeks after the tour’s start in late June 1984 but took an abrupt leap in late October after a seven-night stand at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. It was not a coincidence. “I knew people who knew a lot of actors, so I got to know Julianne,” says Bruce’s tour agent, Barry Bell. Continue Reading

8 ‘gotcha’ travel fees and how to avoid them

You booked the flight, you got the hotel, the rental car, maybe you even figured out how much your food costs are going to run you on your upcoming vacation. You're set, no surprises. Right? Well, maybe not.As we too often find out when traveling these days, the cost of the trip is not necessarily, well, the cost of the trip. Little fees, taxes, charges and surcharges pop up along the way, sometimes so often that before you're even in your destination, your budget has been all but blown up.Hitting the road? Keep your eyes peeled for these eight, often very expensive travel fees. With a little extra effort, many of them can be avoided. #1 The "what the hell?" rental car feeFrom convention center expansions in San Diego to sports stadiums in Houston and Seattle, cities are increasingly finding the airport rental car counter to be a swell place to pick up some quick cash. At Chicago's O'Hare Airport, you'll pay $8 per day – on top of your already giant pile of taxes and fees – for the city to be able to build a fancy new rental car center at the airport. In Charlotte, travelers unwittingly helped build one of the city's most popular attractions, the NASCAR Sports Hall of Fame. Often, these fees show up as murky, undecipherable line items on your final bill. You may have no idea what you just paid for, but you paid. Sometimes, a great deal.How to avoid: In many destinations, you'll find that the overall tax burden is far lighter when you rent a car at an off-airport agency location. Anyone headed to a destination that has reasonable public transit links might consider picking their car up a few stops away. You may be surprised at how much you'll save; you'll also be surprised to find out that very often, you can pick up a car at an in-town location and return it to the airport without an additional charge, streamlining your trip home. #2 The "resort fee" Remember when you used to get a newspaper, a cheap packet of in-room coffee, some Internet and access Continue Reading

Marijuana businesses pay taxes, but many don’t have bank accounts

It's now legal to use marijuana, medically or recreationally, in 28 U.S. states. But many cannabis businesses still can't access the banking system — and that has repercussions far beyond where dispensaries store their cash.Marijuana remains illegal to buy, sell or possess under federal law. And because most banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), they must comply with federal law. A 2014 regulation allowed banks to accept cannabis revenue, but the majority still refuse to do so — and if they learn that a client is depositing theserevenues in an existing account, they often close that account. Entrepreneurs seeking startup money need to turn to private backers.But now, cities and states are taxing the industry, often collecting millions of dollars in revenue. As the Trump administration enters the White House — with strident anti-marijuana Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., nominated to be its Attorney General — the industry, and those who benefit from the money it generates, are waiting to find out if they're at risk."The conflict between federal and state rules creates a number of problems for the states that have legalized cannabis use, including difficulties collecting tax revenue, increased risk of serious crime, and the inability of a newly legal industry under state law to effectively engage in banking and commerce," wrote California state Treasurer John Chiang in a December letter to President-elect Donald Trump and California's members of Congress, urging them to clarify the administration's stance on marijuana enforcement. READ MORE: With California legalization, marijuana industry approaches 'the end of the beginning' Hillary Bricken, an attorney specializing in cannabis with Seattle firm Harris Bricken, said that under federal law, anyone who accepts payments from a cannabis business "technically... is money Continue Reading

Lance Armstrong and his publishers being sued by California men claiming books cyclist wrote were fraudulent

Embattled cyclist Lance Armstrong has a new foe: readers. Two California men sued Armstrong and his publishers on Tuesday, claiming the disgraced athlete committed fraud and false advertising when he claimed in his best-selling memoirs that he did not use banned drugs when he returned to the Tour de France after battling cancer. Plaintiffs Rob Stutzman, who served as an aide to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and professional chef Jonathan Wheeler say, “It’s Not About the Bike” and “Every Second Counts” portrayed Armstrong as a heroic and inspiring figure. The class-action lawsuit, filed in Sacramento federal court, says the men feel cheated after Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey last week that he used banned drugs en route to his seven Tour de France victories. “Plaintiffs and class members would not have purchased the books had they known the true facts concerning Armstrong's misconduct and his admitted involvement in a sports doping scandal that has to his recent and ignominious public exposure and fall from glory," the suit says. The 57-page lawsuit quotes extensively from the explosive "reasoned decision" released by the United States Anti-Doping Agency last year that said Armstrong led the most sophisticated drug program in the history of sports. It details why USADA officials rescinded Armstrong's Tour victories and banned him from competition for the rest of his life. The suit also includes long passages from the books in which Armstrong denies doping or claims his athletic accomplishments were achieved without the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The suit says Stutzman "does not buy or read many books," but he was so impressed with "It's Not About the Bike" that he recommended it to friends who were battling cancer. He met privately with Armstrong in 2005 while working for Schwarzenegger and told him the memoir was "inspiring." Wheeler, the suit adds, is an avid cyclist who has Continue Reading

Delaware inventors aim to reduce police-involved shootings

Rahim El is praying to get pulled over."I thought about speeding just to get stopped," the Wilmington businessman said. "But I'm not really looking for trouble."Instead, he's hoping to test out a device he designed specifically to keep drivers like himself and police safe during a traffic stop.The LRI Safety Wallet is a palm-sized, folded plastic sleeve that holds a driver's license, registration and insurance – a list that gives the product the acronym in its name. The wallet attaches to a vehicle's sun visor with Velcro and is designed to be unfolded when a driver is stopped by police."When the officer approaches your window, all of your identification is right there, and you can keep your hands on the wheel," El said. "That way there is no confusion from the driver reaching in their pocket or glove box."The goal, he said, is to eliminate the police-involved shootings that result from those misunderstandings."People today are fearful of being stopped by law enforcement," El said. "But you don't have to be scared; you need to be prepared."Almost every driver will be stopped by police at some point. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics says those traffic stops make up 42 percent of the face-to-face interactions Americans have with law enforcement. Black and Hispanic drivers are more than three times as likely to be stopped.Amid an intense national focus on police-involved shootings, several high-profile cases have stemmed from traffic stops.One of the most controversial incidents occurred in July when Philando Castile, a black man, was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in St. Anthony, Minnesota. The aftermath of his death was recorded in a Facebook Live video by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, a passenger in the vehicle. The shooting remains under investigation.Just weeks later, a San Diego police officer and a New Mexico police officer were shot and killed during Continue Reading

Corrections & Clarifications

To report corrections & clarifications, contact:Please indicate whether you're responding to content online or in the newspaper.The following corrections & clarifications have been published on stories produced by USA TODAY's newsroom: February 2018Life:An earlier version of this report incorrectly credited the 1996 Summer Olympics performance of The Power of the Dream. Celine Dion sang the theme at the opening ceremony; the song was performed again at the closing ceremony by Rachel McMullin and a choir of other children.​ Sports: A previous version of this graphic incorrectly located hockey player Megan Keller's hometown on the map. Sports: An earlier version of this story misidentified the U.S. hockey player who is quoted in the third paragraph. Opinion: An earlier version of this column mischaracterized who could receive a tax credit for campaign donations. It would be refundable and available to all Americans who file taxes. Sports: A photo in some editions Feb. 8 incorrectly identified the person next to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The person was special teams coach Joe Judge. Sports: A headline in some Feb. 12 editions had an incorrect result of Serena and Venus Williams’ doubles match in the Fed Cup. The sisters lost. Twitter: On Feb. 11, a previous tweet misidentified Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson. Continue Reading