Conrad Reviews Loan, Decides to Refinance

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Conrad Reviews Loan, Decides to Refinance

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said yesterday that he is donating $10,500 to charity and refinancing his loan on an apartment building after he reviewed documents showing that he received special treatment from Countrywide Financial Corp.

Conrad said it appears that Countrywide waived 1 point on his mortgage for a Bethany Beach, Del., vacation home. He said he would donate the equivalent amount of money to Habitat for Humanity.

"Although I did not ask for or know that I was receiving a discount, and even though I was offered a competitive loan from another lender, I do not want to have received preferential treatment," Conrad said in a statement.

Conrad said that it also appears he was given special treatment on a mortgage when he was financing the purchase of a Bismarck, N.D., apartment building from his brothers. He said he would refinance that loan with another lender.

Tomatoes to Begin Returning

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's says that it will begin serving sliced tomatoes again after a multistate salmonella outbreak caused the world's largest restaurant chain to yank the vegetable from its sandwiches. A spokeswoman said that the company's U.S. restaurants will reintroduce sliced tomatoes in the next seven to 10 days. At least 228 illnesses in 23 states have been linked to salmonella-tainted tomatoes.

Lawyer: Mansion's Alarm Off

HOUSTON -- A lawyer for Texas state troopers said that a security system intended to detect intruders at the governor's mansion was not working on the night that an arsonist set fire to the building. The security system was supposed to sound an alarm to troopers stationed in a carriage house behind the mansion if someone got over the property walls. A Department of Public Safety spokeswoman declined to comment on the allegation, saying that the fire is still under investigation.

-- From News Services

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