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March 16, 2023 Evening News

OPD Looking For Credit Card Thieves 


Ocala Police would like to have a little chat with three people, two men and a woman, who they say used stolen credit cards on multiple occasions. Detectives didn’t provide details about where the stolen cards were used or how much was stolen. A reward is being offered for information in the case. 


Mortgage Rates Drop After Five-Week Rise 


The average long-term U.S. mortgage inched back down this week after five straight weeks of increases, good news for homebuyers as the housing market’s all-important spring buying season gets underway. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate slid back to 6.60% from 6.73% last week. The average rate a year ago was 4.16%. The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with those refinancing their homes, also edged back down this week to 5.9%. 


MCSO Arrests Man For Lifting A Wallet 


Marion County Detectives arrested a Summerfield man Wednesday on charges that he stole a wallet from a man who accidentally left his wallet on the counter. The victim told police that the incident occurred in late February at a Circle K in the 5200 block of South Pine. The man lost $1,400 in the process. Police used surveillance video from the Circle K to identify 24-year-old Sean Mathis as the person who picked up the wallet. Mathis was arrested by deputies on Wednesday on charges of grand theft but was released on a $2,000 bond. 


The Warning Signs Were All There


Silicon Valley Bank was expanding at a breakneck pace and pursuing wildly risky investments in the bond market. The vast majority of its deposits were uninsured by the federal government, leaving its customers exposed to a crisis. None of this was a secret. Yet bank supervisors at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the state of California did nothing as the bank rolled over the cliff. Much of the blame belongs to the Trump administration because of the 2018 demise of strict regulations. Critics like Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a leading critic of the banking industry, denounced the bill at the time, saying it would encourage banks to take more risk, and that they did. 


The Latest On TikTok 


TikTok was dismissive Wednesday of reports that the Biden administration was calling for its Chinese owners to sell their stakes in the popular video-sharing app, saying such a move wouldn’t help protect national security. The company was responding to a report in The Wall Street Journal that said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., part of the Treasury Department, was threatening a U.S. ban on the app unless its owners, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., divested. 


West Recovering From Drought 


Parts of California are underwater, the Rocky Mountains are bracing for more snow, flood warnings are in place in Nevada, and water is being released from some Arizona reservoirs to make room for an expected bountiful spring runoff. 


All the moisture has helped alleviate dry conditions in many parts of the western U.S. Even major reservoirs on the Colorado River are trending in the right direction. But climate experts caution that the favorable drought maps represent only a blip on the radar as the long-term effects of a stubborn drought persist. 




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