SLABBED Daily – May 1

The Sun Herald reminds us it’s May Day for the 1910 Mississippi residents that have relied on FEMA housing assistance for some or all of the 44 months following Hurricane Katrina. 

As of Thursday, 1,849 Mississippi households were living in FEMA trailers. In Louisiana, there were 3,006.  FEMA said the $5.6 billion housing assistance program was the largest federal temporary housing operation in the nation’s history. At its peak, 143,000 households along the Gulf Coast were living in temporary housing units.

Make no mistake about it, every one of those 143,000 grateful households came with a story.  Some of those stories we know well.  One of the three post-Katrina moves Mr. and Mrs. Polizt made before he died, for example, was in and out of a FEMA trailer.

Among the remaining 1,849 living in a FEMA trailer here, like the 3,006 in Louisiana, are those who come with a story like that of Brenda Steele told in today’s Sun Herald.

Steele…her husband and children moved into a FEMA owned mobile home in July 2006, four months before her husband died.   She once worked 16-hour shifts, but feels she can no longer afford a job. Her children would lose their Medicaid, she said. One of her daughter’s prescriptions is $600 a month.

In addition to her family’s health problems, her mobile home is on a piece of land to which she does not have clear title. She said her husband inherited the property from his mother, but the deed had not been transferred to his name.

She is uncertain what she will do, other than wait to see if FEMA comes for the three-bedroom mobile home, packed with donated furniture and curio cabinets brimming with glass angels. Her husband’s ashes sit in a box among them.

FEMA will come, when I don’t know.  When it does, the trailer Brenda calls home – the place where she grieved for her husband and consoled their children – will be hauled away.

A place of ashes and angels that means the world to her.  The Brendas of our nation, never get a bonus – some never even get a break.

Familar Problems in Alabama’s X-Wind Homeowners Insurance Market

The first week of April, Jeff Amy at the Mobile Press Register authored an excellent story on the coastal X-wind HO market in Alabama. His story, unlike our coverage of it, is very timely. However, unlike justice delayed, Mr Amy’s piece has gotten better with time. The reason for that also explains my detour back to November 29, 2006 and the deposition of State Farm Senior Vice President Mr Robert Trippel, an otherwise useless character who still managed to provide some enlightening commentary when he was deposed in Watkins v State Farm about several Katrina related matters. While the meat of Mr Trippel’s depo is dedicated post on its own he had a few things to say about X-Wind policies in his zone, which includes Mississippi and Alabama so it is on page 103 of his deposition that we begin as the Watkins lawyer Jeff Marr questions Mr Trippel:

Q All right, Mr. Trippel, after you identified — what are these called, initiatives, is that what we’d call them — in these different states these things that are being conducted, what are they called?

A I would say it’s the new underwriting guidelines.

Q Okay. And you covered Mississippi and Georgia. Which state is next? What’s another state in this zone that’s been affected by the change of underwriting guidelines following Katrina?

A Alabama.

Q How has Alabama’s underwriting guidelines been changed following Katrina?

A Very similar with a mile setback off the coast and hurricane deductibles for new business.

Q Okay. So similar to Mississippi in that new business is only a mile off the coast, correct? Is that correct?

A Correct.

Q And then the wind hurricane — excuse me, hurricane deductible is now 2 percent to 5 percent?

A Correct.

Q Any others?

A No.

Mr Marr, like Nowdy and I must have been scratching his head wondering what skills besides the ability to recite the company line Mr Trippel brought to his very senior position on the Farm. He certainly does not know the basics of insurance finance as we continue on the bottom of page 104: Continue reading “Familar Problems in Alabama’s X-Wind Homeowners Insurance Market”

I tawt I taw a puddy tat – but there’s nobody here but Joey Langston

Judge Bobby DeLaughter’s devolution into USA v DeLaughter began when Joey Langston punched his ticket to the best plea agreement ever by confessing to the crime of bribery-by-flattery of Judge Delaughter.

SLABBED reported on the benefit of Langston plea agreement when two of his alleged co-flatters reported to prison for their role in USA v Scruggs.

Langston was sentenced last December for a Jan. 15 report, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office got Judge Michael Mills to delay his imprisonment until March 16 so he could continue helping with some investigations. However, prosecutors apparently renewed their request, sources say, and asked the court to postpone Langston’s report a few more weeks to keep him close as he apparently continues to cooperate with their investigations into the DeLaughter case and perhaps others.

However, that post was written on March 23 and it also reported the absence of the standard Letter to Report in Langston’s case docket – notable because he should have reported seven days earlier on the 16th and, according to information on the docket tonight, he reported on the 16th of April – and that’s Loony Tunes because a few weeks ago the BOP inmate locator showed him in transit.

It’s also Loony Tunes that there was a Motion to postpone his reporting but no Order when the Daily Journal checked on the afternoon of the 16th of March or when I sylvester2checked checked the 23rd; but, it’s on there now and dated the 11th of March with a note that the entries for both the Motion and the Order were modified on the 30th of March with no indication of how – and that’s when it struck me that Langston was popping up like Sylvester,  the Loony Tunes cat.

Sufferin’ succotash, Continue reading “I tawt I taw a puddy tat – but there’s nobody here but Joey Langston”