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By Jon Van and Jon Van,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | March 29, 2005
CHICAGO - U.S. Cellular Corp. drew fewer customer complaints to federal regulators in 2004 than any other mobile phone carrier, according to an analysis released yesterday by Consumers Union. U.S. Cellular, a regional company, logged 39 complaints per million customers, the analysis of records at the Federal Communications Commission found. Verizon Wireless, which posted 79 complaints per million customers, topped the national wireless companies. At the other end of the list, Cingular Wireless - which took over AT&T Wireless last year to become the nation's largest cell-phone carrier - logged 289 complaints per million customers.
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HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | June 14, 2014
Revelations that a former Catonsville doctor obtained his Maryland medical license despite having a rape conviction on his record is sparking a push for criminal background checks of physicians - a proposal that has failed and been ignored in recent years. As recently as 2013, state lawmakers considered a bill that encouraged checks for a wide range of health care providers, including doctors. It breezed through hearings and appeared headed for passage, but was pulled after a dispute over a single word, and was not reintroduced in this year's General Assembly session.
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NEWS
October 30, 2003
THERE SHOULDN'T BE a price tag on free speech. Exercising our constitutional right should not be a matter of whether we can afford to legally defend a controversial or unpopular view of a public figure. But a ruling by a federal appeals court in California sets a new standard in libel cases that undermines protections for consumer groups and the media and threatens the integrity of their work. The U.S. Supreme Court shouldn't hesitate to review the case of Suzuki Motor Corp. vs. Consumers Union, publisher of the popular magazine Consumer Reports.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2012
Alan Mark Silbergeld, a retired Consumer Union attorney and consumer advocate who was an aficionado of vocal music, died Friday of complications from lymphoma at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Homeland resident was 72. "He was a leading consumer advocate on federal policy in Washington for the last 40 years," said Stephen Brobeck, Consumer Federation of America executive director and a friend. "He also loved Baltimore. " Born in Greenville, Ill., and raised in St. Louis, Mr. Silbergeld earned a government degree at Indiana University and a law degree from Washington University.
BUSINESS
By Kenneth R. Harney | June 25, 1995
Washington -- So you're dying to know what the new neighbors down the street paid for their house, but you don't want to ask and you're certainly not taking a trip to the county courthouse to check?Or maybe you're trying to figure what your own house is worth with an eye to refinancing or selling later this summer? You need what real estate agents call "comparables," but you have no access to computerized property sales databases, like local multiple listing services (MLS).Or perhaps you're considering a job offer that would require you to relocate to a community 1,500 miles away.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | September 20, 1999
Consumer Reports, the magazine millions turn to before shopping for everything from cosmetics to cars, is under fire from two auto makers in lawsuits that constitute the most serious attack ever on the 63-year-old publication.Judges in Southern California could decide as early as this week to send the federal cases to trial. Some legal experts say the lawsuits could have a dangerously chilling effect on the media's willingness to publish negative product reviews.The product-disparagement suits, by Japanese auto makers Suzuki Motors Corp.
NEWS
By Susan Hansen and Susan Hansen,Washington Bureau of The Sun | January 11, 1991
WASHINGTON -- Health-care costs rose more than twice as fast as the earnings of working Americans in the past decade, and the current medical insurance system has been increasingly unable to keep pace, witnesses told a Senate committee yesterday.While medical costs rose 10.4 percent, annual average pay increased just 4 percent, the witnesses said, noting that health-care costs are now gobbling up almost 12 percent of the gross national product."The system is bankrupt -- and its consequences are literally bankrupting many American families," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
NEWS
By Mary Beth Regan and Mary Beth Regan,Special to the Sun | January 25, 2004
Long before the first apothecary opened in this country, Native Americans knew the secret of crushing a common purple flower, called echinacea, to treat everything from snakebites to stuffy noses. Today millions of Americans turn to natural remedies, from echinacea to Vitamin C to elderberry, to treat winter ailments such as the cold or flu. In 2002, for example, consumers spent roughly $800 million on these products to boost their immune systems and to treat illnesses, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, which tracks the industry.
NEWS
By New York Times | January 16, 1992
Much of the raw seafood sold in stores is contaminated or mislabeled, according to a six-month Consumer Reports investigation released today.The study was based on 113 samples of fish and clams that were purchased in 40 randomly selected supermarkets and specialty fish shops in New York and Chicago. The group found that 34 samples were spoiled, 50 were contaminated with fecal coliforms, and eight of 20 samples of swordfish had more than the permissible level of mercury. What's more, one-third of the sample, taken from a number of different stores, was misidentified, usually as a more expensive variety.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,Sun Reporter | September 27, 2006
Aside from glitzy ads on TV and in magazines, information on prescription drugs can be tough to come by for Gregory Wollon, a 62-year-old Havre de Grace resident. "You don't choose a prescription because beautiful people are using it," said Wollon, adding that she has been researching acid reflux medications. This search could get easier starting today when the Harford County library system plans to launch a service providing access to a Web site from Consumer Reports magazine on costs, types and availability of prescription drugs.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | October 10, 2011
Ken Rose is a Bank of America customer, but he has also done business for years with Destinations Credit Union in Parkville. Now, with the bank's announcement that it will charge many debit-card users a $5 monthly fee, the Edmondson Village resident says he plans to switch all his banking to the credit union. "They do everything," Rose, 60, said of Destinations. "Nobody's going to banks anymore. " While that might be an overstatement, local credit unions are seizing on the public's discontent with big banks — Wells Fargo and Chase are also testing debit fees, and Citi recently announced new charges for checking accounts — to step up their marketing efforts and pull in more customers.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2010
No one can expect to escape childhood without a few bumps and scrapes. But federal regulators, manufacturers and parents are still grappling with ensuring the safety of products for babies and toddlers. Several widespread product recalls this year have stoked the debate — and made navigating the consumer market potentially heart-wrenching. At least half of more than 500 recalls by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission each year are for children's products, said Don Mays, senior director of product safety for Consumer Reports.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay | liz.kay@baltsun.com | March 14, 2010
T he most useful tool to keep up with a dizzying array of food recalls might be in your wallet. Food safety advocates are urging retailers to use purchasing records culled from store loyalty cards to notify customers that they have bought a recalled product. But while they say that could be the best way to reach consumers and prevent illness, opponents raise privacy concerns. It can be a daunting task tracking food recalls, and debate over the issue continues.
BUSINESS
By Humberto Cruz and Humberto Cruz,TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES | October 28, 2007
My first car, a nine-year-old Ford I bought before my junior year in college, lasted me the two years I needed it to hold a part-time job until graduation. Not bad considering I paid just $50 for the clunker, all I could afford. I also had to carry jugs of water in the car. Every five miles or so I had to stop, open the hood and pour water into the radiator so the engine wouldn't overheat. After graduation, I sold the car for $35. I warned the buyer about the car's condition, but he let it overheat and die in the middle of downtown Miami three days later.
FEATURES
By Nick Madigan and Nick Madigan,Sun Reporter | October 24, 2006
A Federal Communications Commission plan to ease restrictions on consolidation of media companies would lead to less local news and fewer choices for radio and television audiences, according to studies released yesterday. The Benton Foundation and the Social Science Research Council, authors of the studies, concluded that media consolidation does not create better, more local or more diverse media content, as the FCC maintains. For instance, the studies said, a radio company that owns multiple stations in a local market is less likely to offer niche formats such as easy listening, bluegrass, tejano and classical music.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,Sun Reporter | September 27, 2006
Aside from glitzy ads on TV and in magazines, information on prescription drugs can be tough to come by for Gregory Wollon, a 62-year-old Havre de Grace resident. "You don't choose a prescription because beautiful people are using it," said Wollon, adding that she has been researching acid reflux medications. This search could get easier starting today when the Harford County library system plans to launch a service providing access to a Web site from Consumer Reports magazine on costs, types and availability of prescription drugs.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | September 21, 2001
The Maryland Preferred Provider Organization run by CareFirst BlueCross Blue- Shield ranks at the top in member satisfaction in a national survey published in the October issue of Consumer Reports magazine. Based on survey responses from 83,000 of its readers, the magazine reports on customer satisfaction with 16 PPOs and 44 HMOs. CareFirst's was the only PPO in this area included. It scored 83 and topped the PPO list. The lowest rating was 68. Donato Vaccaro, research program leader for Consumers Union, which publishes the magazine, said HMOs and PPOs were included in the rankings if there were more than 150 questionnaire responses.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 25, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Kate and Brian Stenz were devastated in 1996 to learn that their newborn son Zachary had hemophilia, which robs the body of its blood-clotting function.They were confident that Brian's health insurance would cover at least the first 10 years of the expensive medical treatment he would need.But in June, with insurance picking up as much as $35,000 a month for medication, the Stenzes learned they had "capped out" on the policy's $1 million lifetime limit.Having spent $8,000 out of pocket and facing medical bills of $100,000 a year in a best-case scenario, the young Columbus, Ohio, couple found themselves staring into a financial abyss.
NEWS
By JAMES S. GRANELLI and JAMES S. GRANELLI,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 6, 2006
Telephone giant AT&T Inc. said yesterday that it agreed to buy BellSouth Corp. for $67 billion worth of stock in a deal that would make AT&T the dominant carrier in 22 states, rekindling concerns about building a new Ma Bell monopoly. The new company, with $130 billion in sales, about 235,000 workers and 70 million local phone customers, would re-create a big chunk of the former AT&T monopoly that was broken up a generation ago. If the transaction is completed, the seven regional Baby Bell companies created in the government's 1984 breakup of AT&T Corp.
NEWS
By MARI PERRY and MARI PERRY,CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE | January 1, 2006
Matthew Robb has a problem with his cell phone: He has trouble hearing the person on the other end and often can't even place calls. Robb said he gets poor reception at best on his Sprint cell phone anywhere in his hometown of Frederick. He said the company's response to his complaint is that it doesn't guarantee reception. "The problem with that is the only reason you get a cell phone is reception," Robb said. "It's not a paperweight." Robb recently filed a complaint with the Maryland attorney general, making him part of a growing number of Marylanders who are frustrated with their cell phone service and no longer inclined to suffer in silence.
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