Wells Fargo CEO faces a grilling from Elizabeth Warren

Get ready for Elizabeth Warren versus Wells Fargo, Part II.

The Senate Banking Committee revealed plans on Thursday to hold a new hearing on the Wells Fargo scandals on October 3.

CEO Tim Sloan, who took over during the bank’s fake-account fiasco, is likely to be grilled by Warren, a vocal critic of Wells Fargo, and her colleagues on the committee.

The Republican-controlled banking committee came under pressure to hold another hearing after the disclosure of a string of additional problems at America’s second-largest bank.

The first hearing, held last September, was triggered by Wells Fargo’s firing of 5,300 workers for creating 2 million fake accounts. Warren unleashed a verbal takedown of former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf that instantly went viral.

Since then, Wells Fargo has run into more trouble. The bank has uncovered as many as 1.4 million more fake accounts by digging deeper into its broken culture. Wells Fargo has also admitted to charging thousands of customers for car insurance they didn’t need. At least some had their vehicles wrongfully repossessed.

That’s not all. Wells Fargo has recently been accused of ripping off mom-and-pop businesses on credit card fees. Some former employees allege Wells Fargo fired them in retaliation for calling the bank’s ethics hotline.

Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has held up the scandals as evidence that regulators need to do more to hold the bank — and all big banks — accountable. She has begged Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen to remove much of Wells Fargo’s board, alleging these directors were asleep at the wheel during the fake-account disaster.

Yellen on Wednesday reiterated that Wells Fargo’s behavior was “egregious and unacceptable.” She said the Fed is “working very hard” to understand what went wrong and decide whether more punishments are warranted. (Regulators outside the Fed fined Wells Fargo $185 million last September for the fake-account scandal.)

Wells Fargo hopes to ease the outrage from lawmakers by arguing it’s taken meaningful action to fix its internal problems. “We welcome the opportunity to further update the Committee about the progress Wells Fargo has made,” the bank said in a statement.

Wells Fargo has in fact done a lot since last fall. Not only was Sloan put in charge, but former Fed official Betsy Duke has been tapped to take over as chairman of the board on January 1. Wells Fargo overhauled the management of its retail bank and clawed back more than $180 million from senior execs. The bank has also revamped the unrealistic sales goals that fueled the unauthorized opening of bank and credit card accounts.

Isaac Boltansky, policy analyst at investment firm Compass Point Research, said Sloan should benefit because he wasn’t at the helm during the fake-account scandal. He predicted Sloan will be far better prepared for his grilling than Stumpf was last fall.

“That hearing was a train wreck,” Boltansky said.

Critics argue the latest controversies show Wells Fargo hasn’t done enough. The Wells Fargo scandals also undercut efforts by President Trump and Republicans to rip up rules they claim are hindering big banks.

Wells Fargo still faces a slew of investigations, including from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

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10th resident of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills dies

A 10th resident of a Hollywood nursing home that had an air-conditioning issue after Hurricane Irma has died.

Martha Murray, 94, died Wednesday, the Hollywood Police Department announced Thursday.

Murray was the most recent resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills to die from heat-related issues in the days after Irma.

“It’s disgusting,” Gov. Rick Scott said. “My heart goes out to every one of those family members who lost a loved one.” 

The Agency for Health Care Administration announced Wednesday that it issued an emergency suspension order on the license of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. 

According to the order, residents at the facility had body temperatures of more than 100 degrees when they arrived at Memorial Regional Hospital, across the street from the nursing home.

Justin Senior, secretary for the state agency, wrote in the order that the facility also made many “late entries” into patients’ medical records, claiming that the entries were made “under dubious circumstances” hours after a nurse visited the patients.

One of the people who died last week had a body temperature of 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit, while others had body temperatures of 108.5, 108.3 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit, the order claims.

The AHCA previously banned the facility from admitting new patients and from receiving Medicaid. The nursing home has filed a lawsuit trying to block those orders.

“We just simply can’t allow natural disasters like a hurricane to knock out power and then to put the frail, elderly’s lives in jeopardy because of the heat,” Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said.

A tip line has been established by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Investigators are asking anyone with information about the deaths or the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills between the dates of Sept. 9 and Sept. 13 to call (866) 452-3461.  

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Puerto Rico seeks to rebuild after Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria’s damage in Puerto Rico is still unknown Thursday afternoon, but President Donald Trump said the Category 4 storm obliterated the Caribbean island. which was already grappling with a debt crisis. He approved a federal disaster declaration. His third after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. 

Hurricane Maria caused at least 10 deaths across the Caribbean, including seven in the hard-hit island of Dominica and two in the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe. Puerto Rico’s governor told CNN one man died after being hit by flying debris.

Lives were still at risk Thursday, as the rain prompted landslides and floods. Rescue workers and volunteers were looking through the damage of the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than eight decades.

“This is going to be a historic event,” Abner Gomez, the island’s emergency management director, said.

The storm’s 155 mph winds finished knocking down some of the power lines and trees that Hurricane Irma left standing Sept. 6. Before the two storms, Puerto Rico’s electric grid was already crumbling amid lack of maintenance and a dwindling staff.

Officials expect the entire island to struggle with restoring electricity for four to six months.

Authorities of dozens of municipalities haven’t been able to communicate regularly with authorities in San Juan, the largest city of the unincorporated territory. Despite the stress of the country’s debt crisis, not every one was losing hope. 

Edwin Rosario, a 79-year-old retired government worker, said an economic crisis that has sparked an exodus of nearly half a million Puerto Ricans to the U.S. mainland will only make the island’s recovery harder.

“Only us old people are left,” Rosario said as he scraped a street gutter in front of his house free of debris. “A lot of young people have already gone … If we don’t unite, we’re not going to bounce back.”

The storm also blew out windows at some hospitals, police stations and stores. Law enforcement issued a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. 

Outside of an apartment building, Adrian Pacheco, 40, a tourism company operator, said he spent eight hours in a stairwell huddled with 100 other residents when the hurricane ripped the storm shutters off his building.

“I think people didn’t expect the storm to reach the point that it did,” he said.

The sound of chain saws and small bulldozers filled the post-storm silence that had spread across San Juan. Firefighters removed trees and lifted toppled light posts. Some neighbors pitched in to help clear the smaller branches, including Shawn Zimmerman, a 27-year-old student from Lewistown, Pennsylvania who moved to Puerto Rico nearly two years ago.

“The storm didn’t bother me,” he said. “It’s the devastation. I get goosebumps. It’s going to take us a long time.” 

Maria turned some streets into roaring rivers and destroyed hundreds of homes across, including 80 percent of houses in a small fishing community near the San Juan Bay, which unleashed a storm surge of more than 4 feet.

“Months and months and months and months are going to pass before we can recover from this,” said Felix Delgado, mayor of the northern coastal city of Catano.

Local 10 News’ Jennifer Correa and Andrea Torres contributed to this report. 

A few photos out of #SanJuan #PuertoRico after #HurricaneMaria. Island without power, many using generators. @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/DxRCTMujMV

— Andrew Perez (@PerezLocal10) September 21, 2017

Can you tell this is one of the few areas with a little bit of wifi right now in #SanJuan ? #PuertoRico #HurricaneMaria @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/OHzgo7pvfq

— Andrew Perez (@PerezLocal10) September 21, 2017

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With Obamacare repeal push, Molina Healthcare cuts jobs in Miami-Dade

Molina Healthcare is cutting about 1,500 jobs from its corporate department and health plans nationwide, and some of those jobs are in South Florida.

The California-based company has a strong presence in Miami-Dade and there were tears at its Doral office Thursday morning when some employees learned they were laid off.

“We are taking aggressive, urgent and determined actions to improve our financial performance,” said Joseph White, the interim chief executive, during a press conference about the April-to-June quarter’s $230 million loss.

In addition to the job cuts, Molina Healthcare will also not be offering government-subsidized marketplace Obamacare plans in Utah and Wisconsin.

Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have a new proposal to scrap President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Their proposal shifts money and decision-making from the federal government to the states, allows insurers to charge higher premiums to seriously ill customers and cuts Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, over time. 

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Middle school teacher gives teens alcohol at Pompano Beach park, deputies say

A South Florida middle school teacher was arrested last week after deputies said they found two intoxicated teenagers in his car at a Pompano Beach park after it had closed.

David Stokes, 45, of North Lauderdale, was arrested Friday on two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and trespassing on a beach or park after hours.

Stokes is listed as a history teacher on the website for Ramblewood Middle School in Coral Springs.

According to a Broward Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, deputies found Stokes and the 16-year-old children in a Honda Accord that was parked inside the closed park at 100 N. Pompano Beach Blvd.

“Both juveniles were visibly intoxicated … with slurred speech and were unbalanced on their feet,” the report said.

The teens told deputies that Stokes picked them up at their homes, unbeknownst to their parents, and gave them alcohol. One of the teens claimed to have taken 24 cough drops bought by Stokes to enhance intoxication.

Deputies didn’t say whether the teens were boys or girls.

Local 10 News attempted to contact the Broward County school district for comment, but schools were closed Thursday for Rosh Hashanah.

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Apple Watch Series 3 is having connectivity issues

The new Apple Watch hasn’t shipped yet, but it’s already running into some issues.

Apple on Wednesday confirmed the new Apple Watch Series 3 is having problems connecting to LTE networks.

“We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular,” an Apple spokesperson told CNN Tech. “We are investigating a fix for a future software release.”

The built-in cellular connection, a first for the Apple Watch, has been a major selling point for the Series 3.

The watch is designed to rely less on the iPhone, and lets users answer calls, get texts, talk to Siri and access third-party apps without being tethered. Soon, users will be able to stream Apple Music from the device.

The tech giant unveiled the Series 3 last week, alongside the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

The latest watch also has a bigger focus on fitness and health. For example, it alerts users when it detects an elevated pulse. In addition, it’s launching an Apple Heart Study later this year with Stanford Medicine to identify irregular heart rhythms.

The Series 3, available in stores starting Friday, will cost $329 without cellular and $399 with cellular.

It works with the four major carriers in the U.S. Subscription plans start at $10 monthly,

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