Clean Indoor Air As Important As Meds in Controlling Kids' Asthma

To avoid asthma attacks, children with the respiratory disease shouldn't breathe indoor air that's contaminated by pollutants and allergens known to aggravate their symptoms, U.S. doctors advise.Reducing exposure to things like second-hand cigarette smoke, dust mites and furry pets may be as effective as medications at controlling asthma, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.Children may be particularly vulnerable to indoor environmental allergens and pollutants because their airways are still developing and because they may spend more time on the floor in closer contact to these irritants than adults, doctors argue in the report published October 31st in the journal Pediatrics."Exposure to indoor allergens, such as furry pet allergens, mice and cockroaches, and mold, are linked to more severe asthma," said lead report author Dr. Elizabeth Matsui of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore."Children exposed to the things to which they are allergic may require a higher dose of daily asthma medication and have exacerbations more frequently," Matsui added by email. "Once these exposures are removed, children typically have a marked improvement in their asthma."Asthma is one of the most common chronic childhood illnesses, affecting as many as 10 percent of U.S. children, researchers note in the report. Asthma rates are as high as 25 percent in some U.S. communities.For the report, researchers focused on previous studies of indoor irritants and to explore how avoiding certain triggers for asthma attacks might help keep children healthier.Up to about two-thirds of children with persistent asthma are allergic to cats and dogs, according to the report.Dust mites and mold are more common in environments where humidity is high, the report notes. An estimated 30 percent to 62 percent of children with persistent asthma are allergic to dust mites, which are microscopic members of the spider family, and roughly half are sensitive to mold and regularly exposed to it.Cockroaches and rodents may be an even bigger issue, however. Roughly 75 percent to 80 percent of U.S. homes contain detectable amounts of mouse allergen, the report says, and concentrations in homes in urban neighborhoods with high poverty rates are as much as 1,000-fold higher than those found in suburban homes.While second-hand tobacco smoke exposure is a known problem, parents and caregivers also need to keep in mind that fumes and fine particles from gas ranges, wood stoves or fireplaces can be an irritant for some kids with asthma, the report also warns.In addition, chemicals found in household cleaners and air fresheners can be respiratory irritants and trigger asthma symptoms.Blood tests can help identify specific triggers for children with asthma and point parents in the right direction to remove irritants from the home, the report recommends.Strategies to minimize indoor asthma triggers may include using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and allergen-proof mattress, box spring and pillow encasements."The association of exposure to indoor irritants and allergens with poor asthma control and exacerbations has long been established," said Dr. David Stukus, a researcher at Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine."However, the routine assessment of the indoor environment and recommendations for tailored interventions is not conducted for most children with asthma, partly due to lack of awareness and partly due to the amount of time it takes to be thorough," Stukus, who wasn't involved in the study, added by email.Not all kids will be triggered by the same irritants, though, and parents may get a good result for kids by focusing on a select few pollutants or allergens that pose the biggest problem for their child, Stukus said."It is important to understand the multiple different types of exposures that can adversely affect anyone with asthma or allergies and how to reduce exposure. Even things with perceived benefit, such as essential oils or cleaning products, can be harmful to the sensitive airways of children with asthma," Stukus added. "Ongoing exposure to indoor irritants or allergens will lead to suboptimal control of asthma, risk for exacerbations, and ultimately decreased quality of life."

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When Buying a Bed, Beware
By RALPH BLUMENTHALFEB. 22, 1979 This is a digitized version of an article from The Times's print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Please send reports of such problems to . FOR $120, the Sealy quilted fullsize, superfirm mattress and box spring advertised by an East Side bedding center seemed just the thing for Patricia Lyons's guest room. But when she got to me store, a facsimile ad on the window listed the price at $132. Inside, there was no sign of the advertised special. Instead, a salesman steered her to a set costing more than $300. She askedfor the $120 advertised model. "These were all advertised," he insisted.Miss Lyons, a Manhattan advertising director who might have fallen for the classic bait and switch had she not written,a consumer's guide to mattress buying some years ago, demurred and moved on to the uptown shop of another bedding chain, which had advertised the same set at $48 to $68 for each piece.This time a salesman was willing to point out the advertised special. It was in a back storeroom, leaning against the wall, soiled and looking, Miss Lyons said, "like one of these mattresses on the sidewalk waiting for a sanitation pickup.""Naturally," the salesman said, "you'd get a clean one."Misleading sales practices may be catching unwary bedding consumers napping, but the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs isn't taking it lying down. After nine months of monitoring advertising claims by major bed and mattress merchants, investigators have documented and in some cases eliminated patterns of violations:These included misrepresentations of the "original" or "regular" price; supposedly one-time-only sales that went on and on and did not offer the minimum 5 percent discount the law requires; or longstanding "free" offers subsidized by unannounced price increases of associated items.AdvertisementThe stores cited for violations included Macy's, Kleinsleep and Kleinsleep/Clearance, Bed City, Hillside Bedding, Sleepy's Bedding Centers and Paramount.AdvertisementOutside the scope of the inquiry but still a matter of confusion to consumers and merchants alike - is the lack of standardization in the - industry's terminology. Is a Stearns & Foster firm the same as a Simmons firm? Not necessarily. Is ultra firm firmer than super firm? Or extra firm? Or the plethora of orthos: ortho‐firm, orthocontrol, ortho‐rest, some of them endorsed (for a royalty) by different chiropractic associations - a practice approved within certain guidelines by the Federal Trade Commission.Adding to the public's confusion is the profusion of private store labels attached by manufacturers for department stores and other major customers seeking to establish a cachet of exclusivity while discouraging comparison shopping.So instead of wondering why, for example, King Koil Spinal Guard is endorsed by the International Chiropractors Association, while May & Company's Chiropractic Ultra Firm is endorsed by the Indiana State Chiropractic Association, wise bed shoppers might do better bouncing up and down on various store samples to see which feels best to them.And reading the ads with a critical eye.The Consumer Affairs inquiry under investigator Rob Crichton found that Macy's, advertising a Simmons luxury super‐firm queen‐size two‐piece set at the sale price of $249.99 starting last spring, represented the set as having an "original" price of $330. A few months later, the original price was listed as $340. Months later, $360. And finally, late last year, $400. During the same period, the sale price fluctuated between $249.99 and $270.The "original" price of other sale bedding also mounted in a similar fashion. The effect was to make the discount seem larger. But under the city consumer law, "originally" or any similar term must refer to the advertiser's "bona fide selling price" before 'the sale. And stores are forbidden under the regulation to establish "a fictitious higher price on which a deceptive comparison might be based."Macy's paid a fine of $1,750 for the infractions. Two store executives, speaking for Macy"s 34th Street but asking not to be quoted by name, blamed the violations on a new buyer who, they said, erroneously thought the original price quotations should reflect the increasing wholesale prices to the store.Macy's was also cited for violation of a requirement that "sale" items be offered at discounts of at least 5 percent. The store had advertised a mattress on "sale" for $99 that was originally $100. The executives said other mattresses in the sale group did fulfill the discount requirement. The store paid a $250 fine and stopped the infractions.AdvertisementIn another area, the Consumer Affairs Department cited Kleinsleep/ Clearance, associated with the Kleinsleep bedding chain, for advertising its $119 price for a sleep sofa as "our lowest price ever." The store later acknowledged that it had sold the item previously for less. It called this an oversight and paid a $350 fine.The city also issued the store a violation for offering "free delivery" on a sleep sofa selling at $111 and $119 while charging $12 for delivery on the same model priced at $99. Thus, the city contended, delivery was not really free and violated the consumer regulation prohibiting supposedly "free" offers really subsidized by price increases of associated items.In its settlement of the complaints, the store volunteered to be more specific in limiting sale claims of Kleinsleep and the clearance center, but it contested other violations. The president, David Klein, contended that the delivery price structure reflected different customer pickup policies at the Kleinsleep stores and clearance center.Two other chains, Bed City and Hillside Bedding, were cited for various misrepresentations concerning sales. Bed City had been running ads week after week offering merchandise for "3 wild days only" and "3 spectacular sale days" at the same prices. Hillside had been running similar promotions with a headline "2 for 1 sale" that added in finer print "two‐piece set for one low price." Each concern paid $200 fine and agreed to rectify its advertising."I no longer scream sale," acknowledged Walter Finn, owner of Bed City. "1 was forced to do that to survive," he added. Mr. Finn, vice president of the National Association of Sleep Merchants, representing 200 retailers around the country, attended a Consumer Affairs seminar on advertising regulations last November, and officials say he has cooperated extensively with the investigation.Robert Martire, owner of Hillside, said that department stores and other large competitors had the advantage of being able to better afford fines for infractions, which, he maintained, were continuing.Another chain, Sleepy's Bedding Centers, was charged with advertising an ostensible half‐price sale in which the mattress price was alleged to have been increased while the box spring price was cut. In another case cited, the store was said to have increased the price of an Ortho‐Posture set by $20 and then offered "free" a bed frame previously advertised for $18.88. The store had contended the manufacturer's price rose in the meantime. A store official called the allegations "false" but declined to discuss them further. Mr. Crichton said Sleepy's had agreed to pay a $400 penalty.Violations were also laid to the Paramount chain, which the Consumer Affairs Department said made unsubstiantiated assertions in the form of original prices listed as "made to sell for" The store agreed to pay penalty of $350 after failing to respond to the city complaints, Mr. Crichton said. The president, Robert Eisenberg, could not be reached for comment.AdvertisementStill another chain, Laurel Sleep, was alleged to have misused the term "warehouse clearance sale" and to have advertised "continuous free offers," which, under consumer regulations, are considered eventually to become the regular selling price. No violations were issued and the store agreed to sign an assurance of discontinuance. Efforts to reach a company official for comment were unavailing.In one of the more unusual instances of questionable advertising testimonials, found by The New York Times, Bed City had been displaying in a number of its stores a Medicaid requisition form for an orthopedic mattress ordered from Bed City for a private patient by doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery in 1977.The form, giving the patient's name, address, unlisted home telephone number and medical disability, was being shown to prospective customers until last week as evidence of the store's ability to handle orthopedic orders. However, neither the patient nor the hospital nor the doctor knew of or consented to the commercial use of the medical form.After a Consumer Affairs investigator requested a copy of the form, Mr. Finn had all copies withdrawn. "It was outdated," he said, acknowledging, "it was not a good idea to use a person's name."Drawings by Nitalac AsctuA version of this archives appears in print on February 22, 1979, on Page C1 of the New York edition with the headline: When Buying a Bed, Beware. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
Getting a Good Night's Sleep Doesn't Have to Be a Distant Dream
A good night's sleep is something we all cherish, but in our 24/7 plugged-in world, slumber can be as elusive as winning the lottery.Millions of Canadians who settle into bed have a tough time staying in dreamland bliss.If we were thinking outside the box spring, perhaps the remedy to staying asleep is doing what Phoebe Smith does. She's a travel writer and self-described "extreme sleep adventurer.""I sleep much better when I'm in the wilds, more than in my own bed," says Smith, who has slept inside a glacier, suspended in a hammock in a tree, and on mountaintops.Her stories of sleeping in exotic places, such as on the Trans-Siberian Railway train, so captivated Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of the sleep app calm.com, that he asked her to be the app's Sleep Storyteller in Residence. The 17-and-counting stories she has written are read by the soothing voices of such celebrities as author Stephen Fry and have been listened to millions of times. Other stories found on the app are read by famous names such as actor Matthew McConaughey and British singer-songwriter Leona Lewis.Smith, like all of us, has moments of insomnia when she's not on the road."When you're back in your bed, you're worried about paying bills ... that phone call, those emails ... for work. But in the wilds, everything is put in perspective."Sleeping in nature untethered to tech is not something most Canadians can do on a regular basis. Clinically significant insomnia, a disorder requiring medical help, affects about six to 10 per cent of Canadians, says Dr. Charles Samuels, medical director of the Centre for Sleep & Human Performance in Calgary.But a larger proportion of the Canadian population - around 30 per cent - struggle to either fall sleep or stay asleep. One of the causes, says Samuels, is our addiction to technology, a significant issue for teenagers.He predicts the problem will persist."It's going to keep me in business until I'm dead," says Samuels. "This is a serious thing that people don't really acknowledge as serious."Samuels and his team see teenagers daily with severe anxiety causing insomnia. "That is exacerbated by their attachment to technology. The fascinating thing is that when you confront them, they sort of say 'What's the big deal' "Many have "terrible behaviours," like sleeping with phones under their pillow, alerts buzzing all night long. Phones expose them to light, but it is the constant interaction that is more "devastating," in his view.Samuels has done years of sleep research for several organizations, including law enforcement and elite athletes. Educating people about the negative impact of technology can be a big learning curve, he says.Insomniacs often go to bed earlier and earlier because of fatigue. But that only makes them more anxious because they just lay there, fueling the insomnia. To change the behaviour, Samuels says, people actually need to go to bed later and later."Once they do it, within seven days they improve. It's counterintuitive. It's about improving sleep efficiency."Although technology is a cause of sleeplessness, it also has a role in treatment. Many people use trackers which claim to determine the amount of REM sleep achieved. Although Samuels' clinic uses evidence-based trackers customized to each patient, he's a skeptic of commercial models."These trackers are based on technology that uses movement to articulate sleep stage, but it has not been validated."They can be counterproductive. If a tracker indicates you only got four hours of sleep, it can cause more sleep anxiety. Other trackers feed information into an application and offer advice about how to improve sleep."If it's helping a person, (then) fantastic," Samuels says. "If not, (then) they really need to be seen by a sleep physician to be evaluated or their primary care doctor."He says Sleep IO and Shut-Eye are two commercial brands that have been studied and proven to be equally, if not more, effective than one-on-one treatments.Bear in mind, he says, the foundation of treating insomnia is through behavioural therapy. It addresses the hyper-arousal afflicting people with insomnia - the inability to unwind, which some people are genetically predisposed to.But what about sleep apps with dreamy stories, meditations and music, like calm.com or Headspace Samuels says if it works for you, "Hallelujah, off you go."But that doesn't mean it's a pill for your insomnia. It just means you can relax and maybe that will improve your sleep. If you're relaxing and still adopting poor sleep behaviours, it's not going to work."The process of mindfulness - the practise of being in the present moment through meditation - is also gaining proponents among doctors, used to help insomnia and other illnesses.Dr. Nikhil Joshi, a physician, author and speaker, has developed an app called Medical Meditation, a guided series for a variety of conditions, including insomnia. It will be available in April.Mindfulness is the idea that the brain is very active and always producing rational thoughts. "We have to slow down the part of the mind that is creating active thought. We need to evoke a change in our brainwaves to get a more restful sleep," says Joshi, a Calgary-based doctor."Meditation is about preparing your mind for a deeper rest, activating a different part of the brain that is usually active in our day to day life."The irony that we're using technology to treat insomnia isn't lost on Joshi. "We ... have to recognize that the improper use of technology can lead to emotional issues. But proper use of technology can help solve those issues. It's a double-edged sword."Samuels says bedtime rituals are also important."The idea people have in their heads is, 'I should just be able to fall asleep.' No. That's not the way the brain works."Obviously, it also means getting off tech."I tell people to put it away at 5 o'clock," he says. "Of course, people are appalled."
Bed Bugs in an Empty House
Bedbugs are tiny insects that feed on the blood of humans and some animals. Because of their survival skills, bedbugs can exist for periods of time in an empty house without any warm-blooded hosts to feed on. They then pose a threat to the next occupants who move into the house.Young, newly hatched bedbugs are called nymphs. These nymphs are able to go without feeding on the blood of hosts for months. The adult bedbugs can go for even longer, over a year, without feeding. This way, the bedbugs are able to survive in an empty house that was infested before the previous occupants left without getting rid of the infestation. In addition to empty houses, bedbugs can also survive in empty hotel rooms that are not used often, waiting for the next occupant who stays in the room.The most common type of bedbugs have the scientific name "Cimex lectularius," and they adapt to human environments, having existed around the world since ancient times. Although they can feed on animals such as bats, rodents and household pets, their main food source is the blood of humans in the houses and buildings that they infest. Being nocturnal, during the day, bedbugs usually remain hidden in the cracks of mattresses and other parts of the bed. At night, they come out to feed on sleeping human hosts.In addition to the hiding places inside a bed that give bedbugs their name, the insects also make their way to other living spaces as the infestation grows inside a house. When bedbugs are noticed in a mattress, also lift the mattress and box spring to examine the area beneath the bed. Look in chairs and couches, as well as behind picture frames on the wall, along the outer edges of carpets and inside electrical equipment.If you venture into an empty house that is infested with bedbugs, be careful that the insects don't attach to your clothing, and get a ride back to your house or apartment. Bedbugs can also be transported in furniture or luggage when occupants move out of an infested house into a new dwelling.
Pictured: $20million Cash Found Stashed Inside a Bed in Massachusetts During Investigation into an I
About $20million in cash that was hidden inside a box spring in a Massachusetts apartment has been seized as part of a wide-ranging investigation into an internet telecom company that was actually a massive international pyramid scheme.The cash was found Wednesday inside a Westborough apartment by investigators who had tailed a Brazilian man from New York. Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, was charged with conspiring to commit money laundering. He could spend up to 20 years in prison and be finedtwice the gross gain or loss.He was held after an appearance in federal court Thursday pending a detention hearing scheduled for next week. His lawyer could not immediately be reached.The cash seizure was made in connection with an investigation into TelexFree, a Marlborough, Massachusetts-based company that purportedly sold VOIP telephone service.TelexFree had few customers and made most of its revenue from people buying into the company with a promise of payouts for posting online ads for it, prosecutors have said. They were paid with money from new recruits, often friends and family of earlier investors.Although initially aimed at Brazilian immigrants to Massachusetts, authorities allege almost one million people worldwide were swindled out of nearly $1.8 billion.TelexFree filed for bankruptcy in 2014, its assets frozen, and its two principals were indicted on federal charges of wire fraud and conspiracy.One of them, former chief executive James Merrill, pleaded guilty in October and awaits sentencing on February 2.The other, Carlos Wanzeler, fled to his native Brazil where he remains, U.S. prosecutors said.Rocha was part of a scheme to transfer millions of dollars of hidden TelexFree assets to Brazil by laundering the cash through Hong Kong, prosecutors said.According to court documents, Rocha, acting as a courier for Wanzeler's nephew, flew from Brazil to New York City a few days ago. Rocha then met with a cooperating witness at a restaurant in Hudson, Massachusetts, and gave him a suitcase containing $2.2million.After the meeting, agents followed Rocha to the Westborough apartment and later arrested him.
Exclusive Italian Platform Beds - Sooperarticles.com
Platform beds are a great alternative to the traditional bed frames that many people have problems with. As far as comfortable beds go, these are quite an improvement over the traditional rails and box spring mattresses that are used in so many households. Many of the beds have an Asian flair that the bedroom furniture reflects. But more important is how the bed actually feels when you are resting upon it. If you are not familiar with how a platform one works, then read on.Platform beds come in different varieties. These include those in wood, leather, or metal. Wooden platform beds come in exclusive, fantastic, and exclusive Italian designs from European leaders for sophisticated, high-end, and contemporary furnishing. Innovative range in the transitional furniture with different products manufactured with top quality and highest standard is also available. These are made of 100% kiln dried veneers and tropical hardwoods for beds to ensure longevity and strength. A wooden platform bed provides the bedroom with a simple look with a feeling of being close to the nature. Its low physical profile matches other low-set furniture including dresses, low coffee tables, as well as other bedroom furnishings well.These beds are usually made of wood or metal. Now- a- days people mostly go for bed made of wood. The quality of the materials required to design the cot are extremely good. Specialized mirror works are used to add new style to the beds. You have cots made of oak and bamboo, you can choose the one you want from the designs given in plans. There are also many best quality metal cots available and you can opt go for such beds.Platform beds can be extremely simple. The extremely simple platform beds have no headboard or footboard, and certainly no canopy. They incorporate slats, which, in effect, replace the need for a box spring, since, because they are sturdy yet somehow slightly flexible, support the single mattress on top. The result is that you get a good night's sleep, are very comfortable, and yet don't end up with back pains or numb muscles in the morning.These are very easy to maintain. The plenty of models available today suits any room in your house. These add real beauty to your house. The models keep on changing according to the changing needs of the customer.Check out the contemporary platform beds with elegant bed frames, upholstered headboards, clean lines and simple construction. Cramped for space, select from our collection of platform beds w/storage for clutter free look. Need a sophisticated look, we have scouted leather bedroom sets for the discerning buyer.These modern platform bedroom suites are available in various color options from ash to gray oak and they are great to spruce up any bedroom decor. The delicate flavor of your personal taste is magnified in the Italian platform beds with their bold build and elegant appearance.
How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Pay? - CBS News
My daughter's first tooth finally fell out, with a little tug from Dad, the night after Christmas. It had been loose for several weeks, then quite loose, followed by holy-God-that's-disgusting loose for a few days. And suddenly, there it was, sitting on the kitchen table, no bigger than a Rice Krispie.Leah left a note for the Tooth Fairy, advising TF that she'd be sleeping in her brother's room that night, and she put out milk and cookies. (Why should Santa get all the sweets?) We were left to grapple with a question we somehow had failed to ponder in advance: How much does the Tooth Fairy pay? The next morning, she woke up, rolled over, and there it was: Two dollars on the bedside table! Plus a note back: "Thanks for the cookies. Love, TF."Tooth Fairy came! High fives all around! Everyone's happy! Trending News LIVE: Tony Awards Deadly Crane Collapse Trophy Hunting Documentary Women's World Cup Until the next tooth fell out. (This one was plucked by the kindergarten teacher, who is no doubt tired of watching 19 5-year-olds wiggling away inside their mouths all the time.) Leah came home, plopped the tooth on the counter, and started boasting to her brother, age 3: "Two more dollars, coming tonight!""Um, I don't think the Tooth Fairy brings the same amount every time," I said."Why not?" she demanded."Well, the first one is special," I said. "I think when the Tooth Fairy comes back the second time, she doesn't leave as much."One buck it was. Leah was happy enough, envisioning the dollar section at Target. But it did lead me - belatedly - to survey parents around the country about how much their TFs pay.No surprise, Manhattan and the close-by Jersey 'burbs lead the way: $5 for the first tooth, $3 for subsequent teeth. Elsewhere, a dollar or two seems to be the norm for the first tooth - often in the form of a special coin, like a gold Sacagawea dollar - with a couple quarters or a buck thereafter.A few tips from wise TFs everywhere: Stash some singles around the house so that when the night comes, you're not drawing straws with your pajama-clad spouse about who's running to Turkey Hill to buy a lottery ticket and break a $20. Do not, by all means, fall asleep, before the TF finishes her appointed rounds. That can really cost you. "We've had many nights when we wake up to discover that the Tooth Fairy fell asleep before making her delivery," says my sister-in-law, Mary. "My older two have each written to the Fairy asking why she did not come. The price for the Fairy's exhaustion is high -- she has been known to give a couple of dollars for the nights she missed her route.My friend Courtney enters an appointment in Outlook to remind her to stash the dough before she shuts off her computer at night. One time, as her daughter was lamenting that the TF didn't make it, Courtney did a search of the pillow area and managed, unseen, to shove a dollar between the mattress and the box spring. "Oh, look, sweetie, the TF just got a little lost in the dark." (That is parenting brilliance.) It's OK to offer a bonus if there's a lot of blood, an injury, or a trip to the dentist required. Of if your older child knocks the younger sibling's tooth out with the Wii remote. Encourage your child to write notes to the Tooth Fairy. Those notes are priceless. And, they allow the TF to write back - and set the ground rules for future visits. "Congrats on losing your first tooth. Don't expect this much next time."Got any Tooth Fairy tips from your family? Tell us by signing in to add your comment below.More on MoneyWatch:Cost of Raising Kids: $200,000 or More Warp Your Kids with One Easy Web SiteIn Downturn, Kids Get New Money Lessons
Feds Find $20 Million Hidden Under a Mattress in Massachusetts
It might have been the first place they looked.When federal authorities raided an apartment in Westborough, Mass., earlier this month, they found money hidden under the mattress - approximately $20 million.Photos show a box spring stuffed with bricks of cash that were seized during a Homeland Security investigation linked to a pyramid scheme involving a company called TelexFree.Agents found the money after they arrested a Brazilian national named Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, who was charged with one count of conspiring to commit money laundering. The 28-year-old admitted to federal agents that he was in the U.S. to facilitate a money transfer to a founder of the company, court documents state.TelexFree, which sold voice-over-Internet phone service, "was really a massive pyramid scheme," according to court documents. "It make little or no money from selling VOIP, but took in millions of dollars from people signing up to receive financial bonuses from advertising and recruiting."Federal authorities executed search warrants against the company in 2014 - and court records state that "about 965,225 people lost money when TelexFree collapsed, their losses totaling about $1,755,927,755." One of the founders fled to Brazil; another pleaded guilty and admitted the company was a pyramid scheme.In the aftermath of the Massachusetts company's collapse, TelexFree executives in Brazil allegedly plotted to retrieve money left behind.Rocha is said to be one of those people, sent from Brazil. He traveled to the U.S. in January and June 2016, but money hand-offs were cancelled both times, according to court records.On New Year's Eve, Rocha arrived in New York, allegedly for another attempt. He was arrested in Massachusetts on Jan. 4 after he met a "cooperating witness at a restaurant in Hudson, Mass., and allegedly gave him $2.2 million in a suitcase," according to the Department of Justice.Later that day, agents found the cash in an apartment Rocha had visited.He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. On Monday, a federal magistrate judge said he posed a flight risk and ordered him detained pending trial. "There is no incentive for him to remain in the United States, and every incentive for him to flee given the strength of the case against him," she wrote.
New Mattress Features Make Way to Market.
HIGH POINT, N.C.-Retailers looking to expand their beddingdepartments with a broader mix of mattress designs will have their handsfull during this market. Latex, heat-sensitive memory foam, adjustablebeds, flotation and air will all make their mark during the High Pointmarket, as well as some interesting new developments in traditionalinner-spring technology. Several of the specialty bedding manufacturers are riding the crestof a well-attended bedding convention co-sponsored by the SpecialtyBedding Association last month, where visiting retailers includedseveral top furniture retailers and several specialty bedding shops. Theattendance of these mainstream retailers at that show drove home themessage that specialty bedding isn't all that"alternative" anymore, as consumers demand a wider palette ofcomfort choices in bedding. But alternative bedding isn't the only choice. Sealy Inc., with its headquarters only 4 miles from High Point,will have its showroom ready for a parade of dealers. Sealy isintroducing a Crown Jewel Special Reserve in a pillow top with clothhandles and a $999 retail price tag for a queen. Two promotionallypriced introductions are the BackSaver and the PosturePremier lines,with thicker profiles and Shock Abzzorber foundations. Kingsdown Inc., one of the original exhibitors at the High Pointmarket, will be one of the first, if not the first, to introduce apadded, fully coiled base adjustable bed, rather than one with a foambase. Kingsdown's newest adjustable beds will offer a model withlatex, one with memory foam and three other models. "Our motion line has been expanding for five years," saidTom McLean, senior vice president of Kingsdown. "Latex feels goodanyway, but when you put latex on an inner-spring base, it'sunbelievable." "Science" is still the word driving Kingsdown, accordingto McLean. Using the company's DormoDiagnostics electronic comfortmeasuring system, Kingsdown has created what McLean calls the beddingindustry's first vertically zoned mattress. This "VerticalZoning" concept will be introduced as part of Kingsdown'stop-of-the-line hand-tufted Passions line. "Everyone else is using horizontally zoned mattresses, makingthe shoulder lighter and the center heavier," McLean said. "Wehave come up with a way to build different densities of insulationincorporated with the right inner-spring unit and the right box springto let people of different weights and size get the same support andcomfort. That's the first time this has every been done in theindustry." Kingsdown will make full use of the fact that it is now the largestbedding manufacturer showing at the market. The company expanded itsshowroom space to 7,000 square feet last year and has been able to tellits story more fully -- and, with fewer major competitors showing, tospend more time with retailers. "We feel very committed to the High Point market, that'swhy we expanded our space," McLean said. "We are looking at afantastic market and are extremely excited about it." Comfortaire, an airbed company, has tailored its products toinclude a 3-inch-thick urethane air bladder, less than one-half thethickness of conventional air bladder. This feature is found inComfortaire's Healthy Choice Aire model, introduced last month,which combines medical grade urethane material and a viscoelastic topper. The company will also show its new Healthy Choice Latex model,which features a 3-inch-thick topper of latex and a 6.5-inch-thickOmalon foam base. "You get the feel of a full-core depth latex without theweight or cost," said Larry Wride, vice president of sales forComfortaire. "You get the advantages and comfort of latex. Thesebeds are UPS-able." Wride isn't sure how the market traffic will be. "I keepreading that people are still afraid to fly," he said. "But Ido think people have a more positive outlook." Gold Bond Mattress Co., known primarily to High Point visitors as aproducer of futon mattresses, has actually been a longtime manufacturerof inner-spring mattresses servicing the Northeast. Bob Naboicheck,president of Gold Bond, has quietly been expanding its traditionalmattress, last month introducing the Visco Perfection, its first-evertraditional mattress in viscoelastic. But futon mattresses will stillprevail at this market, with Gold Bond's Latex Plus latex futon andWool Wrap, a New Zealand wool-wrapped foam mattress. Tempur-Pedic's marketing staff challenged itsresearch-and-development team to improve on a mattress that was alreadywidely accepted. The company felt it needed to offer an additional modelthat a retailer could include on his showroom floor and stand out asvisually as the other brands. So, R&D created the Tempur-PedicDeluxe, a mattress that is 10 inches high, versus the 8-inch height ofthe existing mattress. The extra height comes from more Tempurpressure-relieving material, two layers of convoluted foam to improveairflow and other components. The company also changed the height of itsbox spring. Instead of being 8 inches high, all box springs will now be9 inches high. The Deluxe queen will retail for $1,899, and the standardmodel will cost $1,499. The United Sleep Products showroom will offer a mix of inner-springmattresses that include new offerings in viscoelastic toppers. SimmonsFutons will also be on display, as well as a section ofready-to-assemble accent furniture. Boyd Specialty Sleep will highlight several new models, includingthe Elissa, pillow-top viscoelastic foam bed covered in a Lyocellfour-way stretch ticking. Boyd has also established itself as a supplierof wood accent furniture for the bedroom and will have its latest styleson display. Natura World continues to enjoy the popularity of itsnatural-material beds, made with latex, pure wool and organic cotton.The company has added several styles of foam pillows and accessories forbedding shops. Bemco Inc. is helping retailers with their marketing efforts byproviding a series of newspaper advertisements that can be usedthroughout the year. PureTouch, the luxury latex bedding division of Ther-A-PedicInternational, will show some samples of its first-ever latex mattressline at the Latin American furniture mart on Business I-85 in HighPoint. Stewart Perry, president of PureTouch, believes his products willfill a niche in latex bedding. "We offer value relative to the competition, in that being avertically integrated organization we purchase and receive latex fromour sister company in Malaysia, skipping a number of middlemen,"Perry said. "Also, our latex is pure, with no synthetics."
New Trends in the Bedroom - Platform Beds
Platform beds are becoming a modern contemporary trend in bedroom designs and are starting to be offered in many types of construction. Featured in many home design shows these beds are becoming very popular with interior designers as they offer clean lines and function in any home decor. This article takes a look at these beds and what makes them different than conventional beds. Trends in furniture designs specifically in the bedroom have been evolving much over the last 15-20 years. One category of furniture that is gaining much popularity in particular is that of platform beds. Many people however aren't sure what these beds are though and this article will try to explain what these beds are and what they can offer your home bedroom decor. Platform beds have come along way since their simple introduction as just a basic flat/solid wood foundation that a mattress could rest on. These beds are now offered with stylish headboards and footboards. Metal designs, contemporary as well as traditional and transitional wood styles. Many of these beds are also available in colors and finishes that have never before been offered to the consumer. This has created so many more choices that had not been previously available in bedroom furniture. Much of today's TV programming of home shows like Extreme Makeover or design channels like HGTV are showing more homes featuring these styles of beds as the central designing point when it comes to the bedroom. Offering more interesting form and function in sleeping spaces. What makes platform beds such a great choice is that they are designed closer to the ground than most mattress/box spring beds making them easy to get in and out of. Since platform beds are designed for just a mattress customers can create a cleaner look as well that sometimes is harder to do with traditional beds since there is an extra foundation or box spring unit to contend with when choosing bedding, bed skirts and sheets. There is also a cost savings as well since the beds already have a built in foundation, there is no longer a need for the purchase of an additional box spring or foundation to go with the mattress. There are many styles and designs in the way of platform beds. Many platform beds are made of solid wood. One such manufacturer by the name of Ramblin Wood offers solid platform beds made of Oak, Maple and Bamboo woods in a variety of sizes and finishes. Metal or steel manufactured platform beds are becoming quite popular. Amisco Industries located in Canada makes metal beds in a wide assortment of tradition, transitional and contemporary styles that are unique and European in design. Several import companies have also brought popularity to modern designed platform beds by offering rich, exotic finishes and styles unique to this furniture. Platform Bed designs offer customers the ease of using just a mattress with their bed. Giving them the flexibility to create a style all their own. Many different styles and designs are available today. From solid wood beds made of oak or maple. To steel and metal beds designed in traditional, transitional and contemporary styles. To import beds offered in exotic styles and finishes. If you are shopping for a new bed or just looking to try something different and unique , then go out and take advantage of owning a platform bed yourself.