EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 26, 2013

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for local newsmakers

CHEERS to Jimmy Morgan of Windham, who will compete in the U.S. Figure Skating National Championship in Boston Jan. 5-12. Morgan is a 2010 graduate of Salem High.

Morgan, now a senior at Boston University, competes in the pairs competition. The top two teams will represent the United States at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

We wish him and his partner Alex Shaughnessy the best in the competition.

JEERS to computer hackers and identity thieves. Last week, hackers stole the credit and debit card information of some 40 million Target customers nationwide.

The theft provided an unneeded headache for shoppers at the height of the Christmas season as they rushed to cancel their cards and have their banks issue new ones. Banks have advised anyone who shopped at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 with a debit card to cancel their cards and get new one. While liability for fraudulent charges on credit card is limited by law to $50, the liability for fraud on a debit card could be $500 or more.

Despite the millions that retailers like Target spend on security and fraud prevention, hackers remain able to defeat their protections.

The penalties for such crimes must reflect the disruptions they cause to people’s lives. The Target thieves, if they are caught and convicted, should face long prison terms.

CHEERS to holiday “angels.” Several shoppers at a Newburyport Kmart have found their layaway accounts paid in full by an anonymous benefactor. Store officials told our sister newspaper the Daily News of Newburyport that the “layaway angels” paid for more than $2,500 worth of gifts held in the accounts of others.

Customers would arrive at the store to pay off their accounts and pick up the gifts, only to find someone else had paid for them. One such customer was Rhonda Miller of Seabrook, who went to Kmart to pick up a Doc McStuffins checkup station play set for her granddaughter Kylie.

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