Jury rules against HR businessman Jim Cole

The three-year-old federal case against Hood River entrepreneur Jim Cole reached a landmark Wednesday at U.S. Federal Court in Portland.

A Portland jury ruled that the federal government may keep the $700,000 in cash and other assets seized from Cole, in 2011.

According to a report by Bryan Denson of OregonLive.com, The Oregonian website, the eight-person jury deliberated for about four hours before finding that the assets could be traced to mail or wire fraud perpetrated by Cole’s companies Maxam Laboratories and TurboSonic USA,

The assets include bank accounts, gold bars and Kruggerand coins, a Toyota pickup, and interest in a home.

The government has accused Cole of misrepresenting his Maxam and TurboSonic products as curatives for autism, herpes, varicose veins, and more.

U.S. Attorney Katie Dorenz said she expects more legal proceedings against Cole.

According to Denson’s report, the government has filed an injunction to shut down Maxam Laboratories permanently, or until it stops selling products in violation of federal law.

Cole also faces criminal charges that he filed false tax statements from 2007-09.

According to OregonLive, Cole’s legal team called seven witnesses who testified that Cole’s products made them healthier “and sometimes in miraculous ways,” quoting Boston attorney John J.E. Markham II, who represented Cole.

Markham said both Cole’s companies remain in business, and told the reporter, “We’re going to have to make peace with the FDA and we look forward to doing that.”

Denson quoted Cole as saying he had done business for 22 years without complaints, and “I’m not very happy with it,” Cole said of the jury’s decision.

Cole is owner of the former Big Gym on West Cascade. The facility is now under new ownership and a new name, Power Station.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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