‘Holiday Bandit’ Crosses Hudson to Rob New Jersey Bank

The so-called Holiday Bandit, thought to have robbed seven banks in New York over the last three months, has struck again, according to the F.B.I. But this time he picked a target in New Jersey.

A Sovereign Bank in Woodbridge, N.J., was robbed Friday afternoon, and F.B.I. investigators believe it was the work of Marat G. Mikhaylich, a Ukrainian immigrant who is the prime suspect in a string of bank robberies that began in early December, according to an F.B.I. statement.

Mr. Mikhaylich, who is 6-foot-3 to 6-foot-5 and goes by “Mark,” has netted about $50,000 from the eight robberies, a law enforcement official said.

The F.B.I. released surveillance video still photos from Friday’s holdup that show a tall man, his face mostly shielded by the brim of a black Sacramento Kings cap, casually brandishing a handgun as he stands before a teller. After receiving some money, he fled on foot, according to a law enforcement official.

The bank robber apparently continued to keep busy as the New York Police Department was about to complete the physical reassignment of the six detectives it had on the Joint Bank Robbery Task Force, working with federal agents at the unit’s office in the F.B.I. headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

In recent weeks, the Police Department decided that the volume of armed bank robbery cases was too small to justify the detectives’ continued presence at the task force’s office. Friday was their last day there. They are instead to work out of the satellite offices of the department’s Major Case Squad.

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Facilitation Versus Teaching

The idea of facilitating training programs and presentations is an intriguing one for many professionals. But too often people have a misperception of facilitation thinking that it is more about standing in front of a group of people and demonstrating their expertise on a topic. But the reality of good facilitation is that it is not about being the “sage on the stage,” but instead, about being simply a “guide on the side.”

If we can recognize how the 21st Century function of training is shifting from teaching to facilitating then we will also realize that when facilitating a training program, its less about us and our content, and more about our participants and their learning needs. Facilitation, therefore, speaks to a learner-centered approach to conducting a training program rather than a teacher-driven one.

In training programs, facilitators manage the learning process as well as each and every learner within it. They especially pay attention to group dynamics and the individuals at the center of them. The role of the facilitator demands exceptional interpersonal skills, keen observation abilities, sharp insight, and of course, tact. Facilitators have the knack for effectively drawing people out, balancing participation, and making a space for the more quiet members of a group.

It is certainly critical for the facilitator to also have the aptitude for interacting in ways that add to a group’s learning rather than take away from it. Like a musical conductor, the facilitator works to bring out the best in each member of the orchestra so that there is a successful group performance. In a training program or workshop, the facilitator can be viewed as the one who helps participants learn from any activity. In short, a facilitators role is to create a setting where discussion and interaction, and consequently, learning take place.

This is actually what can make even an average training program a unique and wonderful learning experience. Mastering the techniques of facilitation can give anyone the ability to direct training programs that ultimately produce positive results. So the bottom line in understanding what a facilitator is that this person makes the transfer of learning as easy, smooth, and simple as possible.

This is what it takes to lead a training program of any length. So if you or someone you know is curious about what it takes to be a facilitator then you can tell them this: being a successful facilitator means you have the ability to engage participants in the learning process; ask probing questions that deepen learning; listen intently to whats being said and not being said; provide appropriate feedback that encourages participants to engage in the learning process; direct and support learners in ways that work for them; manage discussions and encourage their continuation; and possess the capacity at building positive relationships. If thats what interests you about facilitating a training program, then by all means, step right up!
Virtual Presentation Mastery

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The advantages of business broadband for companies

A fast and reliable broadband internet connection is now an indispensible utility for many businesses, and you can enhance your online business even further – as well as potentially reduce costs – when replacing your standard broadband network with a service designed specifically for business use.

Business broadband is designed for corporate users who demand high speeds and maximum uptime for their company websites and other online services, without the problems of network downtime or slow loading times common to standard broadband networks – especially during peak traffic times. With a faster network, capable of sending and receiving larger amounts of data than before, you will be free to add all the multimedia content to your site that you desire, without worrying about this advanced content slowing things down.

Users of standard broadband services are often forced to endure slower speeds during evenings and other peak periods, as they are sharing the line with many other users. When you choose business broadband, you will be upgraded to a privileged line where downtime will be kept to a minimum, meaning your online services can be up and running at all hours. Even if something does go wrong with the network, your business broadband service should include access to a dedicated customer support line, where skilled technicians will be able to get you up and running in no time.

Business broadband can also offer greater flexibility to your company, particularly in allowing employees to work from remote locations – such as their home or while on the move, using mobile devices, meaning fewer work hours are lost due to sickness or business travel. You could also choose your other business telecom services such as your phone line to be included in your broadband package, which can reduce overheads further by receiving all your communications utilities from a single supplier.

Despite possessing all these advantages over a standard broadband network, business broadband doesn’t have to cost the earth – and by offering services such as a free domain name, static IP address and customisable email addresses, you could benefit from many advanced tools that add value to your business at no extra cost.

The ability to remain online even during peak traffic times is an invaluable asset to many businesses, which will no longer have to face the prospect of their websites crashing due to high demand, and losing sales to the competition.

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