State Farm, Progressive stop insuring some Kia and Hyundai models due to thefts

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — Some Kia and Hyundai owners might have to find another insurance company.

State Farm and Progressive are not writing new policies on certain Kia and Hyundai vehicles in some markets. 

As we know in Milwaukee, the problem is some models of the vehicles are easy to steal. It’s not clear yet which markets will be impacted.

In a statement released Tuesday, State Farm said:

“State Farm has temporarily stopped accepting new customer applications in some states for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles because theft losses for these vehicles have increased dramatically. This is a serious problem impacting our customers and the entire auto insurance industry.

We take seriously our responsibility to manage risk and the impact of excess claim costs on all our customers. In this case, it became necessary to take action to protect our policyholders and our business.

We are monitoring this situation very closely and will adjust our approach as appropriate.”

Progressive released a statement saying:

“Progressive is committed to providing affordable insurance solutions. During the past year we’ve seen theft rates for certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles more than triple and in some markets these vehicles are almost 20 times more likely to be stolen than other vehicles. Given that we price our policies based on the level of risk they represent, this explosive increase in thefts in many cases makes these vehicles extremely challenging for us to insure. In response, in some geographic areas we have increased our rates and limited our sale of new insurance policies on some of these models.

We continue to insure existing customers who own these types of vehicles, however, have taken steps to communicate this elevated risk to them and provide them with tips to try and prevent their vehicles from being stolen. We’ll continue to monitor how this issue plays out, and if we see a change in theft rates to more typical levels, we’ll adjust our pricing and acceptance criteria accordingly.”

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NHL’s Pride Nights show insincerity for the cause – The Daily Free Press

Two recent debacles have revealed the National Hockey League’s “Hockey is for Everyone” campaign leans more toward PR propaganda than a genuine attempt at inclusion. While the initiative has undoubtedly made positive change in the past, the recent actions of the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers begs the question of its sincerity — especially in regards to the league’s support of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Alexia Nizhny/DFP STAFF

All 32 teams host a Pride Night throughout the season. This usually entails rainbow warmup jerseys and stick tape at the very least. The special event is supposed to show that the sport of hockey isn’t just for one type of person, and regardless of sexual orientation, there is a place for everyone — fan or player. 

These nights are important. The NHL has long been synonymous with the old boy’s club — it’s predominantly male, white and heterosexual. The league has to actively work to change the culture and norms of a power structure that has never really been threatened, and the impact of events like Pride Night feel mitigated when the buy-in is clearly inconsistent. 

The Flyers held their annual Pride Night at Wells Fargo Arena on Jan. 17 when they faced the Anaheim Ducks. The Flyers took the ice for warmups per usual, but defenseman Ivan Provorov was nowhere to be seen. It was later noted that because of his Russian Orthodox faith, Provorov opted out of wearing the rainbow jersey with the rest of his teammates. He proceeded to play over 20 minutes that night. 

“I respect everybody,” Provorov said after the game. “I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.” 

Provorov refused to answer any more questions regarding his decision to opt out of participating in the Flyers’ Pride Night celebration. 

Flyers head coach John Tortorella — who is not one to shy away from sharing his real opinion — didn’t see anything wrong with Provorov’s unwillingness to participate in Pride Night. Following his group’s 5-2 win, Tortorella addressed Provorov’s absence.

“This has to do with his beliefs and his religion,” he said. “It’s one thing I respect about Provy: He’s always true to himself.” 

This is the same man who, while coaching Team USA for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, said he would bench any player who did not stand for the national anthem. Doesn’t a player’s stance on the anthem — or more accurately, systemic racism in the United States — have just as much to do with individual beliefs and “staying true” to oneself as Provorov’s perspective on the LGBTQ+ community? 

While the majority of the Flyers wore the Pride Night jerseys, Provorov’s rejection of the event and Tortorella’s defense of him stole the headlines from a game that was supposed to uplift a minority community. It sent a message to young LGBTQ+ players and fans that there are people in professional locker rooms who do not accept them for who they are. 

The Rangers made matters worse 10 days later. Leading up to their Jan. 27 contest against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Rangers promoted Pride Night by saying they would be wearing special-edition rainbow practice jerseys.

Madison Square Garden’s iconic ceiling panels were lit up in rainbow colors, fans were given complimentary pride-themed fanny packs and the organization made an in-game donation to the Ali Forney Center, which helps homeless LGBTQ+ youth across the nation. Yet when the Blueshirts skated out for warmups, the anticipated Pride Night jerseys were nowhere to be seen. 

While the LGBTQ+ community was celebrated in other ways that night, the Rangers’ decision to forgo their rainbow attire left a bitter taste in many fans’ mouths — mine included. Two unidentified players later told the New York Post that there was no team conversation about wearing the jerseys and none of them knew why the decision was reversed. 

The Rangers released a statement following the flurry of Twitter fury that evening: “Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night. In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.”

No real explanation was provided. Were the Rangers trying to avoid controversy like the Flyers and decided that no one would wear the jerseys? If so, why not consult the players? Furthermore, why be so cowardly and not stand for equality — the fear that user12678038 might have something to say about it? 

If the NHL and the teams that make up the league truly want change and genuinely support the LGBTQ+ community, I can’t comprehend what’s so hard about donning Pride Night jerseys for 15-minute warmups. 

No one is asking these teams and players to skate out onto the ice and take a stance on gun control or abortion rights. It’s a simple gesture to show that, at the most basic level, we are all equal. That there’s a respect in the hockey world to freely be whatever you want to be. Whether intentional or not, The Flyers and Rangers discouraged this sentiment.

This is not an issue of freedom of speech or freedom of expression. It’s the NHL’s failure to enforce the expectation and standard that hockey really is for everyone. As of now, I’m not convinced that it is. 

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Eagles Super Bowl shirts: These Philadelphia businesses sell unique gear

In case the overall jovial mood across Philadelphia — pole climbers and all  hasn’t tipped you off, the Eagles are headed to the Super Bowl.

Along with finalizing watch party plans (or trips to Arizona for those who have thousands of dollars laying around), fans are working on the perfect game day outfit, one that is festive, unique, shows team spirit and hopefully includes a sprinkle of good luck.

While the official Eagles Pro Shop sells a wide variety of recognizable merchandise, multiple designers in the area are putting their own creative twists on Eagles-themed gear.

Here are just a few of the locally-based shops selling Eagles apparel for fans who want to stand out during Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 12.


ArtHistory101 sells authentic Philly streetwear, including tees, hoodies, pants, hats and even baby onesies. The store is a favorite among Eagles players and coaches, and is offering free domestic shipping.

Among the shop’s designs are “It’s a Philly Thing” shirts and hoodies and “Bleed Green” tees featuring images of Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook and Reggie White. Note some sizes and colors are backordered and stock is dwindling among what’s left.

ArtHistory101 also has created its own NFC Champions designs. T-shirts and hoodies are available for pre-order and will be shipped directly to customers.


BL215Store (Brotherly Love 215 Store) sells Philadelphia-inspired hoodies, crewnecks and long-sleeve shirts, and they recently restocked their best-selling merchandise in honor of the Super Bowl. The stores Eagles apparel is printed with messages like “Fly,” “Brotherly Love” and “Bird Gang.”


Jennifer Basile, a sixth grade teacher in Philadelphia, started her Blessed in Distress line in 2020, originally selling concert tees before pivoting to fulfill the need for stylish game day outfits. The company now sells unique made-to-order Philly sports gear that can be ordered through Instagram.


Cracked Bell is a Hatfield-based brand selling merch inspired by the local pro sports teams. Those looking for Super Bowl outfits can browse shirts with messages like “Out for Blood” and “Grease the Pole,” as well as a variety of hats. Fans who order ASAP can expect the apparel to arrive by the big game.


Screen-print artist Stephanie Harvey created exit343design in 2007, and now prints her unique designs on all sorts of wares from her basement studio located just outside Philly. Fans can check out her Eagles-themed designs, including the beloved “Philly Special” play, on T-shirts and other merchandise.

For the Super Bowl, exit343design is making tie-dyed, Kelly green T-shirts with Harvey’s Bird Gang logo. Orders of that shirt are promised to be shipped by Feb. 9.


Hog Island Press is a print shop and design studio founded by Mark Adams in South Philly in 2011. Along with tees from a recent collaboration with former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, Hog Island Press currently has Eagles-themed shirts with quips like “Fuggin Birdgang” and “Grease those Poles.”


Those looking for trendy options can check out Made by Taylor Nicole for unique crew necks and tees featuring players’ names in bubble letters and “Eagles Road to Victory Tour” concert-style designs. The custom clothing company was established in May 2020 by NHL cheerleader and Temple alumna Taylor Zubkousky, who wanted to create a game day line geared toward female fans.


Paul Carpenter, a Philadelphia-based multi-disciplinary visual artist, has printed some of his Eagles-inspired illustrations onto T-shirts and sweatshirts. Fans can stand out at Super Bowl parties with intricate designs featuring Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia skyline doodled within an eagle.


South Fellini, run by Temple alumni Tony Trov and Johnny Zito of South Philly, specializes in wares that put a fun twist on Philadelphia’s iconography. The unique apparel has been worn by legends like Adam Sandler, Bryce Harper and M. Night Shyamalan, and now fans can rock the brand’s Eagles-inspired apparel — like the new “Grease The Poles” shirts, available for pre-sale — during the Super Bowl. It’s all available on the online shop, but South Fellini has also fully reopened its brick-and-mortar store at 1507 East Passyunk Avenue, which had been operating in “lockdown mode” during the pandemic.


Veterans Shirtium, independently owned and operated by a Philly sports fan, has embroidered, printed and tie-dyed Eagles merchandise. The company, aptly named after the Eagles’ former stadium, recently released an “On the Road to Victory” Super Bowl drop. Plus, they have accessories like beer koozies that say “Dallas Sucks,” just in case fans need a friendly reminder while toasting to the Birds on Super Bowl Sunday.

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The Best Method for Business Meals Deductions

You are obligated to handle all expenses related with your business travel and meals. You need to pay taxes on what you spend on food. A lunch deduction is available to freelancers and self-employed people who operate their own firm. Your lunch costs are considered a tax-deductible business expense during the time you were self-employed. The costs of meals and travel increase if you are managing a large workforce community. You can claim meal tax deductions for certain types of meals, which will lower the total amount of your tax bill.

 Business Meals DeductionsLunch with a client

One of the easiest ways to increase the amount of business meals you may deduct from your regular practice is to use this strategy. You may take your customer out to dinner instead of asking them to your office and giving them a snack. This tactic enables you to establish a relationship that is mutually beneficial and ensures productive dialogue. With the outdoor client meeting, you are eligible for a tax deduction. The business meal deduction enables you to eat a full lunch without making a larger financial commitment, giving you the most benefits.

Appealing to a potential customer

It’s crucial for your business to develop strong networks and keep them up and running. Without paying higher sums for dining bills, you cannot guarantee that. You must get together with former coworkers from related fields for a satisfying lunch if you want to expand your network and ensure the sustainability of your personnel. For the sake of strengthening your company, you might even plan this as an event. To help make them into possible customers during the process, you must feed them a royal feast. Additionally, this can take place when a new person or product enters your business. Furthermore, you are not required to do the act in accordance with a contract for your meal expenditure on such occasions. You may simply deduct them from your taxes by counting them as business meals.

Meeting a coworker for lunch

To boost your tax deduction, ask a coworker to a leisurely lunch if you’re planning one. You can contact a person who works as a freelancer in your line of industry when you are not employed by an organization. Your ability to unwind and learn more about business networking will both increase as a result. You can have some taxes knocked off without providing further documents during this leisurely meal.

Having a meeting with a prospective referral

It’s common practice for a startup or freelancing firm to meet with clients and recommendations. To qualify for a business meal deduction, you can schedule such an appointment for noon and eat lunch with them. Even if you order your lunch through a delivery service, you can deduct up to $500 for work meals. You can refer to your buddy as your recommendation after you add them to such a lunch menu. Your chances of getting a business meal deduction can be improved by using this method.

Any possibility for networking

If you want your company to keep on top of trends in your industry, you cannot ignore this technique. Anyone who can assist and aid you in your business should be consulted when planning for networking opportunities. The most recent, top-trending news in your business might be yours if you use this method. To establish a network and obtain consumer or client exchange, you may even think about attending professional meetings. Using this advice, you may increase the visibility of your company and guarantee its expansion. Simply write down or make a note of the conversation. With this easy memo, you may start deducting business meals from your paycheck.

Non-deductible food

When claiming a business meal deduction, some food complements cannot be included. For additional business lunch deductions, you can cut back on the following food costs:

  • During work hours, avoid snacks.
  • Don’t get groceries to fill your home office.
  • Stop having meals alone.

Not everything is deductible and it’s best to know what you can deduct, like the moving expenses tax deduction, food and entertainment tax deduction, the dental premium tax deduction or the self-employed health insurance deduction

Final Verdict

With the right documentation of your spending for work meals, you may easily enhance your meal deduction and FlyFin can help you keep track of this. You may want to think about the tactics mentioned above to maximize your tax deduction or use a 1099 tax calculator.

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An Alaska gold and copper mine project blocked over environmental impact

A worker with the Pebble Mine project digs in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska near the village of Iliamma, in 2007.

The US Environmental Protection Agency took an unusually strong step Tuesday, January 31, and blocked a proposed mine heralded by backers as the most significant undeveloped copper and gold resource in the world because of concerns about its environmental impact on a rich Alaska aquatic ecosystem that supports the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

The move, cheered by Alaska Native tribes and environmentalists and condemned by some state officials and mining interests, deals a heavy blow to the proposed Pebble Mine. The intended site is in a remote area of southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

It’s accessible only by helicopter and snowmobile in winter, developer Pebble Limited Partnership said in a permit application with the US Army Corps of Engineers. As proposed, it called for a mining rate of up to 73 million tons a year. An appeal by the Pebble partnership of a separate rejection of a key federal permit is unresolved.

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In a statement, Pebble Limited Partnership CEO John Shively called the EPA’s action “unlawful” and political and said litigation was likely. Shively has cast the project as key to the Biden administration’s push to reach green energy goals and make the US less dependent on foreign nations for such minerals. The Pebble Limited Partnership is owned Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. The Pebble deposit is near the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed, which supports a bounty of salmon “unrivaled anywhere in North America,” according to the EPA.

Workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma, in 2007.

‘Science over politics’

Tuesday’s announcement marks only the 14th time in the roughly 50-year history of the federal Clean Water Act that the EPA has flexed its powers to bar or restrict activities over their potential impact on waters, including fisheries. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said his agency’s use of its so-called veto authority in this case “underscores the true irreplaceable and invaluable natural wonder that is Bristol Bay.”

The veto is a victory for the environment, economy and tribes of Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, which have fought the proposal for more than a decade, said Joel Reynolds, western director and senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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The mine would have jeopardized the region’s salmon fishery, which brings 15,000 jobs to the area and supplies about half the world’s sockeye salmon, Reynolds said. The 2022 harvest was more than 60 million fish, state officials reported last year. “It’s a victory for science over politics. For biodiversity over extinction. For democracy over corporate power,” Reynolds said. The EPA, citing an analysis by the Army Corps of Engineers, said discharges of dredged or fill material to build and operate the proposed mine site would result in a loss of about 100 miles (160 kilometers) of stream habitat, as well as wetlands.

The Pebble partnership has maintained the project can coexist with salmon. The partnership’s website says the deposit is at the upper reaches of three “very small tributaries” and expresses confidence any impacts on the fishery “in the unlikely event of an incident” would be “minimal.”

The veto shouldn’t be used as a ‘precedent’

Republican Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said the EPA’s veto was a dangerous precedent that could affect future development in the state, while state Attorney General Treg Taylor called the agency’s action “legally indefensible.” “Alarmingly, it lays the foundation to stop any development project, mining or non-mining, in any area of Alaska with wetlands and fish-bearing streams,” Dunleavy said.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she opposed the mine but that the EPA’s veto shouldn’t be allowed to jeopardize future mining operations in the state. “This determination must not serve as precedent to target any other project in our state and must be the only time EPA ever uses its veto authority under the Clean Water Act in Alaska,” Murkowski said in a statement. Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell called the EPA’s action “the final nail in the coffin for the Pebble Mine” and the culmination of a hard-fought battle. “Now, we will have a thriving Bristol Bay salmon run for generations to come,” she said.

Tribes in the Bristol Bay region in 2010 petitioned the EPA to protect the area under the federal Clean Water Act. Alannah Hurley, executive director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, said that to call the EPA announcement “welcome news is an understatement.” Tim Bristol, executive director with the group SalmonState, lauded the EPA’s decision, saying it “may be the most popular thing the federal government has ever done for Alaska.”

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The EPA’s decision is the latest in a yearslong back-and-forth over the project that has spanned administrations. Leila Kimbrell, executive director for the Resource Development Council for Alaska Inc., called the decision “a dangerous abuse of power and federal overreach.” The National Mining Association, citing high demand for minerals and fragile global supply chains, said domestic mining has “never been more important.” It said EPA’s decision is “in stark contrast to national and global realities.”

Le Monde with AP

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Hospitals Address Recent String of Gun Violence

St. Louis Children’s Hospital has begun distributing free gun locks to anyone who needs them.

here have been over 40 mass shooting events in the United States during the month of January. To further combat the recent string of gun violence among youths, St. Louis Children’s Hospital has begun giving away free gun locks to anyone who needs them – no questions asked, CNN reports.  

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital saw the average number of those seeking treatment for gunshot wounds increase by 50 percent, according to St. Louis Public Radio. Last year, 1,672 children and teens were killed by gun violence and 4,476 were injured.  

Nearly 5,000 locks have been taken from the “No Questions Asked” basket, which also holds pamphlets explaining how to properly store firearms. The initiative aims to reduce the stigma of addressing gun violence.  

St. Louis Children’s Hospital isn’t the only hospital that has recently addressed gun violence. Over the course of 2022, over one dozen of hospitals and other healthcare facilities signed a gun safety campaign led by New Hyde Park that aims to reduce deaths caused by guns among children. The campaign promises to teach community members the important of asking family and friends whether they have unlocked guns in their homes and how to safely store weapons.  

Meanwhile, in June 2022, the CEOs of The Permanente Medical Group, Northwell Health and Children’s Minnesota signed a letter to the senate urging them to take action on gun control. 

“We urge the Senate to take immediate action,” according to the letter. “Gun violence can be prevented. Our families, our communities, and our places of business are depending on you. Stand with us and the American public. Put the safety of your constituents and their children first. Transcend partisanship and work together to pass bold legislation to address gun violence in our country.” 

Shortly after the Uvalde school shooting that occurred last May, a bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement on principle for gun safety legislation, which includes “needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons,” according to CNN. The legislation also includes a “red flag provision” that allows for the government to provide resources to states and tribes to ‘create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves and others.” 

Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor for Healthcare Facilities Today. 

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Summer Walker’s Label LVRN Gets Investment From Matt Pincus’ MUSIC – Billboard

MUSIC, a holding company co-founded by SONGS Music Publishing founder Matt Pincus, has invested in LVRN (Love Renaissance), the Atlanta-based label and management company behind R&B recording artists Summer Walker, 6lack and BRS Kash.

The investment values LVRN at more than $100 million. Pincus declined to reveal the amount of the investment but disclosed to Billboard that he’s invested a total of $80 million across four deals — including Kobalt, U.K.-based ticketing company Dice and, an AI generative platform — in amounts ranging from $10 million to $40 million. The size of the LVRN investment is “over the midpoint of that range,” he says.

LVRN is expected to use the new capital to expand benefits and programs for its employees while continuing to expand internationally, with a focus on the U.K. and West Africa.

LVRN was founded in 2012 by Georgia State University students Carlon Ramong, Justice Baiden, Junia Abaidoo, Sean Famoso McNichol and Tunde Balogun. Its management clients include dvsn, a Toronto R&B duo signed to Drake‘s OVO Sound label. LVRN’s label is distributed through Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records. It also has a publishing partnership with Warner Chappell Music.

Pincus says he was attracted to LVRN for its combination of youth and experience. “They’re just really good,” he says of LVRN’s founding team. “Young and seasoned is really hard to find.” The co-founders, who were joined by former Capitol Music Group executive Amber Grimes as executive vp/gm in 2022, have built solid relationships throughout the industry, he adds. “They’ve done a good job at championing their artists but also getting people to champion them because they’re good people.”

Pincus’s MUSIC, a joint venture with merchant bank LionTree, with additional backing from JS Capital Management and Schusterman Family Investments, raised $200 million in May 2022.

Previously, Pincus founded SONGS Music Publishing, which was acquired by Kobalt Capital for a reported $160 million in 2017.

Balogun cited Pincus’s entrepreneurship as a crucial factor in his involvement with LVRN. “His hard-earned expertise makes him a very valuable resource for LVRN and we are so fortunate to have him play a role in our continued expansion,” he said in a statement. “This infusion of capital will empower us to continue to expand our operations globally and support local Black-founded businesses as we do so.”

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Fired New Jersey social media manager goes rogue, hijacks ex-employer’s TikTok account

A fired social media manager in New Jersey went rogue after his former employer forgot to remove his access to the nonprofit’s TikTok account. 

Instead of continuing to promote local businesses, the former social media drastically changed tone and began trashing his old bosses and dragging the small town’s attractions, reported.

Colligan shares his list of New Jersey's worst malls after he was fired.

Colligan shares his list of New Jersey’s worst malls after he was fired.
(Summit Downtown TikTok via

Graham Colligan, kept posting on the official account for Downtown Summit, a nonprofit that represents and promotes businesses in the town, even after he was terminated from the position. 

“Summit NJ fired me as their social media manager, but I’m still logged into their TikTok account lm*o,” Colligan wrote in the caption of one video.


In another video, Graham stated, “time to start some N.J. drama.”

In a series of videos, Colligan railed on his former employer, blasting local businesses, and slamming the cost of living in the quaint New Jersey town. 

Colligan alleged that his former bosses forbade him of talking poorly about the local Mall at Sort Hills, which he dubbed a “mega capitalist corporate America type sh*t. Like, cookie-cutter stealing away from, like, small businesses,” according to 

Graham Colligan, former social media manager for Summit Downtown, kept posting from the organization's TikTok account after he said he was fired.

Graham Colligan, former social media manager for Summit Downtown, kept posting from the organization’s TikTok account after he said he was fired.
(Summit Downtown TikTok via

The former social media manager also called out the home prices in Summit, stating that he only made $23 an hour and worked 10 to 15 hours a week in his part-time Summit Downtown job.

A TikTok account for the Downtown Naperville Alliance of Naperville, Illinois, replied to his TikTok video, according to 

“Looking for someone to help launch our TikTok page,” Downtown Naperville Alliance wrote. “But not someone that will take it over and lock us out.”


Colligan reportedly also locked out others from accessing the account, which had amassed 1,375 followers, according to After the debacle, Summit Downtown deleted its entire TikTok account.

After Summit Downtown NJ's TikTok was hijacked, administrators removed the social media account.

After Summit Downtown NJ’s TikTok was hijacked, administrators removed the social media account.
(Summit Downtown TikTok via

Colligan’s LinkedIn account states that the social media manager is “Open to work,” after his public departure from Summit N.J. 


Colligan and Summit, New Jersey did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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State Farm, Progressive deny new policies to Kia, Hyundai owners amid rise in thefts

Owners of certain Kia and Hyundai models are being denied insurance policies by some companies due to a steep rise in thefts of the vehicles.

State Farm said in a statement that it has temporarily stopped accepting new customer applications in some states for certain models made by both brands because thefts have “increased dramatically.”

“This is a serious problem impacting our customers and the entire auto insurance industry,” the company said. “We take seriously our responsibility to manage risk and the impact of excess claim costs on all our customers. In this case, it became necessary to take action to protect our policyholders and our business. We are monitoring this situation very closely and will adjust our approach as appropriate.”

Progressive is also taking steps to limit the sale of new policies to owners of those vehicles. “During the past year we’ve seen theft rates for certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles more than triple and in some markets these vehicles are almost 20 times more likely to be stolen than other vehicles,” a spokesperson for the company told CNN. “In response, in some geographic areas we have increased our rates and limited our sale of new insurance policies on some of these models.”

Chicago is one of the cities that has experienced a spike in thefts of those vehicles, but the companies didn’t say whether Illinois was among the affected states.

In August, the Cook County sheriff’s office warned residents of a spike in thefts of those vehicles, urging owners to take precautions. Between July 2022 and early August, there was a 767% increase in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles in the county, compared with the same period in 2021.

Last week, the Chicago Police Department announced that vehicle thefts, robberies and catalytic converter thefts had spiked across the city. Police determined that Kia and Hyundai vehicles are among the most frequently stolen and are being used to commit violent crimes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said many 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia models lack an electronic immobilizer that prevents thieves from breaking in and bypassing the ignition. The device was standard on 96% of models from other manufacturers sold in the year 2015, but they were installed on only 26% of Hyundai and Kia vehicle models.

The increase in thefts is believed to be connected to the sharing of videos on YouTube and TikTok that demonstrate how to start these vehicles without a key, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department said. Thieves appear to be targeting unoccupied vehicles that require a physical key, not a starter button.

“Hyundai Motor America is concerned about the recent rise in auto thefts of certain Hyundai model vehicles,” the company said in a statement. “While all of our vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, unfortunately, our vehicles have been targeted in a coordinated effort on social media.”

The availability of the how-to videos sparked a coalition of insurance industry entities to send a letter to YouTube executives this month, asking the company to take down the videos.

“Everyday consumers are being victimized by criminals using social media platforms to learn their newest illegal tricks and techniques,” said David Glawe, president and chief executive of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “Some platforms are not doing enough to protect innocent victims from unnecessary harm.”

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