MRI Software buys Texas company CheckpointID

Fast-growing MRI Software, a Solon-based provider of real estate software and services, has made another acquisition.

The company announced on Tuesday, Oct. 13, that it has bought CheckpointID LLC, a Carrollton, Texas-based provider of ID verification and fraud prevention technology solutions to the multifamily industry. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

CheckpointID has 27 employees, according to an email from an MRI Software spokeswoman. MRI Software’s employee count stands at about 2,000.

MRI Software said in a news release that CheckpointID’s technology “validates government-issued domestic and international IDs in real time to protect against rental fraud and increase safety in both guided and self-guided apartment tours.” It also allows leasing agents “to quickly perform checks in person or online, and provides an efficient and secure alternative to the traditional paper-based process,” the release stated.

Patrick Ghilani, CEO of MRI Software, said in a statement, “The impacts of COVID-19 have only accelerated the need for digitalization, and residential property managers are under increasing pressure to deliver a modern, online customer experience.”

MRI Software said in the release that CheckpointID “will continue to serve and support its clients without interruption and will continue to offer its ID verification and fraud prevention software solutions to users of all property management systems in the market.”

The CheckpointID deal is the seventh acquisition MRI Software has made in 2020. (Go here for MRI Software’s announcements of previous deals this year.)

MRI Software in January received what it described as “substantial” strategic investments to help fuel continued global growth.

The company did not disclose the size of the investments.

MRI Software said one investment came from funds managed by Harvest Partners LP, a private equity firm based in New York, which joined existing investors GI Partners of San Francisco and TA Associates of Boston as

Haenisch: Dependable internet access might save rural Texas – Opinion – Austin American-Statesman

As Texas educators redesigned teaching on the fly in the spring of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the frustration level among educators and parents was high. For families there was the stress of being together 24/7 along with the day-to-day issues of schooling: homework, inconsistent internet and, in many cases, no internet at all, establishing a routine for home-school, and too many more to count.

The stories educators can tell about the challenges remote learning presented for them and their students. Talk about blended learning – schools became responsible for producing paper packets with lessons for those without internet or computers and online lessons for students with internet connectivity.

Many parents and educators can tell of slow internet where at times students might watch a screen with a spinning circle for 45 minutes waiting for the internet to connect. A lesson planned for 30 minutes might take hours to complete as the signal would fade in and out, and the child would still have three more classes to complete.

The Texas Association of Community Schools is an organization that works with small and mid-sized school districts in Texas. While our members come from all parts of the state, it is fair to say that the majority of our members are from rural communities. The pandemic has been cruel for all Texans, but especially to those in rural areas. Let me tell you why:

According to Connected Texas, approximately 300,000 rural Texas families do not have access to broadband internet connectivity which is defined as a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speed. What does that mean to the 300,000 families without broadband internet connectivity? It means that even if a school district provided a laptop or Chromebook with a hot spot to every school-aged

Texas Renaissance Festival to open with new programming and safety measures

The Texas Renaissance Festival will open for its 46th season on October 3 in Todd Mission, with new programming and safety measures.

The 16th-century-themed festival is getting several new attractions, including the manually propelled DaVinci’s Flying Machine, Dragon Tower Slide, Airy Botter’s Escape Room and a pirate ship museum, according to a Friday release.

The lineup of performers ranges from singer, songwriter, and accordionist Amanda Kitchens to pyro-juggler Thomas Wood.

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New food and drink vendors include The Kackle King serving drunken chicken and pork; Wyrmwood Public House offering craft cocktails; and Tea and Strumpets offering ethically sourced teas as well as a high tea available by reservation.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival said it canceled the After Dark Saturday entertainment experience, costume rentals and annual School Days event for the 2020 season.

The 60-acre outdoor event also announced social distancing guidelines, including 50 percent capacity, vehicles parked six feet apart in lots, plexiglass partitions at several food booths, socially distanced seating at performance venues and eating areas, and hand sanitizing stations situated throughout the grounds.

Face masks, spot cleaning at high traffic areas and line monitors outside