76 Washington consumers receive checks for misleading vehicle service contracts, thousands more may be eligible

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined three other state attorneys general today in announcing that approximately 19,000 consumers nationwide will share more than $9.3 million to compensate them for their problems with U.S. Fidelis, a now-defunct dealer of vehicle service contracts. Checks are going in the mail today for those who filed a claim.

A vehicle service contract provides protection against unexpected or costly vehicle repairs. 

“Consumers received a bad deal from U.S Fidelis,” said Ferguson. “My office will go after businesses that mislead consumers and don’t play by the rules.”

U.S. Fidelis deceptively marketed and sold vehicle service contracts for itself and other businesses. It also operated under the name of National Auto Warranty Services and Dealer Services. U.S. Fidelis filed bankruptcy in March 2010.

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  • Local Car Warriors Compete

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – A couple of locals will be building cars on TV tonight, Billy Bob Customs will be featured on SpeedTV’s “Car Warriors” at 6pm. The team consists of Aberdeen natives Chris Mull, and Scott Heller, Ben Neal, Nathan Kahler, Elma resident Rod Emerson, and Ryan Craighead of Olympia. Chris Mull, or Billy Bob himself, tells us the show pits two teams of 6 to build a complete car from the ground up in 48 hours. Billy Bob’s Customs is located at 115 South Jefferson in Aberdeen, The show can bee seen at 6 tonight on SpeedTV, check with your cable provider for local listings.

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  • Attorneys general urge Federal Trade Commission to strengthen advertising disclosures

    OLYMPIA – There’s only one government-authorized Web site where consumers can get their free annual credit report, and it’s not the one with the catchy jingles in television ads. Attorney General Rob McKenna says more needs to be done to protect consumers attempting to obtain the free credit report allowed by law.

    “Credit reports are crucial in helping consumers detect whether they’ve become victims of identity theft or credit fraud,” McKenna said. “Credit reporting agencies are required to provide you a free copy of your report, but some see this as an opportunity to sell additional products. Under the law, ‘free’ means ‘at no cost,’ not ‘free with a purchase’.”

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  • Earthquake Felt By Shelton Grays Harbor County Residents

         SHELTON, WA (AP) – The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says a minor earthquake with a magnitude of 3.4 was reported Wednesday night about six miles west-southwest of Shelton, Wash.

    The quake was recorded at 8:10 p.m. at a depth of 27 miles. KING-TV says there have been no reports of injuries or damage. 

    The Seismic Network is based at the University of Washington.  UW seismology lab coordinator Bill Steele says Western Washington experiences frequent quakes of about magnitude 3.0 – about 10 a year.

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  • Hoquiam Police warn of High-Value Burglaries

    HOQUIAM, Wash. – Hoquiam Police are warning of recent residential burglaries that seem to be targetting high-end electronics Seargent Steve Fretts said items stolen include large flat-screen TV’s "it’s stuff that they wouldn’t be able to easily come in and out of a house with"

    the burglaries appear to be during times when the suspects know the residents would not be home, and it appears the targets are opportunistic, Fretts reminds residents to always lock their windows and doors when they leave, and not take chances "it’s a little bit better to have your house warm when you come home, than it is to come home to an empty house."

    One house was broken into in the 400 block of Emerson during logger’s playday, another on Riverside Avenue two nights ago.

    The Hoquiam Police Department is asking that if you observe any suspicious activity, to contact Seeargent Steve Fretts at 532-0892, extension 102 – if you see a crime in progress you should call 911

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  • Footprints in The Snow Help Bust Burglar

    OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – A smoke alarm and footprints in the snow led to the arrest of a burglary suspect in Ocean Shores last night. Ocean Shores Police were first to respond to a possible fire at the home on Point Brown Avenue just after 8 pm Tuesday when the officer noticed a window had been removed from it’s frame, and no evidence was seen of a fire.

    The officer followed fresh footprints to the suspect hiding under a deck, the 34 year old Hoquiam man admitted to breaking into the home and stealing a TV and VCR, selling the items in Hoquiam, and then returning for more loot when the fire alarm went off for no known reason. The man was later booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for the Burglary.

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  • H1N1 (swine flu) Information for Washington Residents

     OLYMPIA, Wash. – H1N1 vaccine remains in short supply in most Washington communities, however, the amount available is growing. The state Department of Health is making it easier for people to find the latest information with a variety of easy access resources.

    "We know there’s a lot of concern about flu this season, and we want Washington residents to have current, easy-to-find information that will help them protect themselves and their families," said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. "We’ve got useful guidance on how to avoid getting sick, and what to do if you get sick. Putting it all online and using social media makes it easy for most people to find quick answers."

    Visit the Washington Department of Health Web site at http://www.doh.wa.gov for a healthy dose of information.

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  • Join Grays Harbor PUD at Disaster Preparedness Event September 26

    Remember December 2007? It was a time when our community faced disaster as hurricane force winds hit the coast. While Grays Habor PUD worked to restore power to the thousands left in the dark by the December 2007 storm, we were all reminded of the importance of disaster preparedness.  September is Disaster Preparedness and Weather Radio Awareness Month in Washington State. Saturday, September 26, 2009 Disaster Preparedness events will be held in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties to help residents prepare for disasters. The special events will be held at the following locations:

    Grays Harbor County-Event held 10am-3pm
    Aberdeen Wal-Mart store, 909 East Wishkah

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