• North Carolina Cherokees challenge Tribal Council pay raises

    Yesterday

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A group within the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is fighting a Tribal Council decision to give itself half a million dollars in raises. The group says the lawmakers violated tribal law by voting in October to give current and former council members pay raises retroactive to 2010. They sent a letter to council members and acting Attorney General Hannah Smith. Smith declined to comment. Attorney Meghann Burke says the group plans to file a lawsuit if the council doesn't return the money by its May 7 meeting. The group quotes tribal law as saying pay raises can't go into effect until the 12-member council's next term.

  • Pipeline survey approved in part of national forest in W.Va.

    Yesterday

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has approved a permit to survey part of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for a proposed natural gas pipeline. The temporary permit for the survey involves 17 miles of forest through Randolph and Pocahontas counties. The Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/1DES8Ez) reports the yearlong survey will include studies of plants and animals, wetlands, water, soil and cultural resources. Dominion Resources Inc. and its partners in the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline are proposing to deliver natural gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the Southeast. The pipeline would run from West Virginia to North Carolina, with much of its path through Virginia.

  • Smithsonian series chronicles lives of oil patch residents

    Yesterday

    A documentary on the Smithsonian Channel will chronicle the lives of residents and workers in the North Dakota and Montana oil patch. "Boomtowners" will start airing Sunday. The six-episode series is the latest television project aimed at capturing the complexities of life in the Bakken shale region. The area has attracted thousands of workers from around the country and their families as they seek high-paying jobs in the oil fields. The documentary focuses on several people including a judge whose caseload has soared, a Phoenix-native trucker who hauls oil across the region, and an oil field worker who's a street preacher on his days off. David Royle with the Smithsonian Channel says the oil boom is a "matter of great

  • Nasdaq Record: Then and Now

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Fifteen years after peaking during the dot-com boom, the Nasdaq composite has reached a new all-time high. But this isn't the Nasdaq of Pets.com and Webvan, when companies were valued on "cash burn rates" and "eyeballs." This Nasdaq, while still focused on technology companies, is a little more diversified than it was back then. And while the index, which tracks 2,500-plus stocks, has been steadily climbing since 2011, its ascent isn't the crazed surge that preceded its last record close. As the tech-mania took hold, investors pushed up the prices of all kinds of internet-related stocks. Some were never profitable and disappeared. Others, like Priceline.com and Amazon, have survived and prospered. <

  • Volvo prepares to send 'Made in China' cars to US

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    CHENGDU, China (AP) — On the verge of exporting the first "Made in China" cars to the United States, Volvo is determined to show they are as good as vehicles it produces in Europe. In contrast to its European factories that check a few completed cars from each batch, every vehicle that rolls off Volvo's 3-year-old assembly line in this city in China's southwest goes through a five-hour battery of tests on a driving track. Once a month, or three times as often as in Europe, Volvo tears apart a finished car in Chengdu to examine the quality of welds and other work. The effort to persuade Americans to buy a premium car from China is a new step up in Volvo Car Corp.

  • China, Japan stocks fall on data, Nasdaq boosts some markets

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    BEIJING (AP) — Chinese and Japanese stocks fell Friday on weaker global manufacturing data while other Asian benchmarks rose after the U.S. Nasdaq index hit a new high. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 20,050.99 points and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6 percent to 4,390.40. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.2 percent to 5,917.70, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent to 27,935.92 and Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,178.13. Singapore, Jakarta and New Zealand also advanced. MANUFACTURING WEAKNESS: A survey by HSBC Corp. found China's manufacturing activity weakened this month to its lowest level in a year in a new sign of economic weakness. A survey of Eurozone manufacturers by Markit Economics f

  • US announces plans to reduce agricultural carbon emissions

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    DETROIT (AP) — Federal agricultural officials announced Thursday voluntary programs and initiatives for farmers, ranchers and foresters meant to build on President Barack Obama's efforts to combat global warming — and they don't require congressional approval. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the plans at Michigan State University, where Obama signed the sweeping farm bill into law last year. The efforts, many of which have their roots in that law, aim to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, boost carbon capture and storage and come with various enticements, including grants, low-interest loans and technical assistance. Vilsack said the agriculture industry accounts for about 9 percent of U.S.

  • Listeria: Jeni's 2nd ice cream company to recall products

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A second ice cream company has recalled all of its products after health officials found listeria in a sample of its frozen treats. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams of Ohio said on its website Thursday that it recalled its frozen products after the listeria discovery. The action follows a similar recall by Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries Monday. Blue Bell's ice cream was linked to 10 listeria illnesses in four states, including three deaths, and listeria was found in several of the company's products. The recalls are uncommon: Listeria isn't usually found in ice cream, since the bacteria can't grow at freezing temperatures.

  • ND Senate amends proposed oil tax rewrite bill

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's oil industry may soon start enjoying the benefits of a big tax cut that could decrease state revenues by millions monthly unless oil prices suddenly rebound. That prospect has sent lawmakers scrambling in the waning days of the legislative session to consider a new oil tax framework. North Dakota's Senate on Thursday approved a measure 32-15 after a three-hour floor fight that shaves the state's oil tax rate from 11.5 percent to 10 percent while abolishing an incentive for drillers that normally would take effect if crude prices continue to decline.

  • Connecticut urged to consider euthanizing rescued goats

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — After rescuing dozens of neglected, malnourished goats this winter, the state of Connecticut is being asked whether the costs involved in their care are worth keeping them alive. As the goats recover at a state facility, which has been monitoring them for disease, some legislators are questioning why officials don't just euthanize them. "Farmers make those decisions every day and sometimes these farmers make the decision that that animal has to go to protect the herd," Rep. Melissa Ziobrion, R-East Haddam, said at a legislative hearing this week. "At what point does the state, this department, start acting like a farmer and make those decisions?" It's not that easy, said State Agriculture Commis

  • Google lavishes chairman with $109 million pay package

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google paid its billionaire Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt nearly $109 million last year while the company's stock slumped. Most of the compensation consisted of stock valued at $100 million. It was the largest stock package that Schmidt has received since 2011 when Google Inc. awarded him a bundle valued at $94 million at the time he relinquished the CEO's job to company co-founder Larry Page. Documents filed with regulators Thursday also disclosed that Page and the company's other founder, Sergey Brin, limited their 2014 pay to $1 each, as has been their practice for years. Schmidt also pocketed a $1.25 million salary, a $6 million bonus and perks valued at nearly $1 million.

  • Judge in Colorado theater shooting case won't move trial

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The judge in the Colorado theater shooting case has denied defense attorneys' longstanding request to move the death penalty trial to another county, saying he would have to search outside the state and perhaps even the country to find jurors who haven't been exposed to extensive publicity. District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said in an order Thursday that he's confident the 12 jurors and 12 alternates selected this month in the trial of James Holmes are fair and impartial. Opening statements are scheduled for Monday in Arapahoe County, just south of Denver, where the shooting took place. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to killing 12 people and wounding 70 in the July 2012 attack

  • Obama's trade agenda draws GOP support in House

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to strengthen President Barack Obama's hand for a new round of trade deals advanced Thursday in the House courtesy of Republicans and over the protests of Democrats, a political role reversal that portends a bruising struggle over passage later this spring. The vote was 25-13 in the House Ways and Means Committee as pro-business Republicans outpolled labor-aligned Democrats. It was the second straight day the GOP-controlled Congress voted handed Obama a victory on trade. The Senate Finance Committee approved a nearly identical bill Thursday night that would allow lawmakers to vote yes or no without making changes in trade deals, like the one now taking shape among Pacific Rim trading partners.

  • Fishing regulators approve some New England habitat changes

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Federal fishery regulators say they will keep much-debated protections for Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine in place as part of a broad effort to alter the scope of New England's fishing grounds. The decision to preserve Cashes Ledge came as the New England Fishery Management Council debated changes to habitat protections in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, southern New England waters and other key fishing areas. The council met Wednesday and Thursday to approve pieces of the long-awaited habitat plan. The changes will impact the way fishermen harvest key food species — including cod, clams and scallops — in federal waters from Maine to Rhode Island.

  • Blue Bell closing all 3 creameries for training, cleaning

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — Blue Bell Creameries says it will close all three of its creameries in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama for intensive cleaning and employee training in response to listeria illnesses linked to its ice cream. In a statement Thursday, the Brenham-based creamery said the program comes after a thorough review of its operations and discussions with an expert microbiologist. The creameries will be closed next week and possibly into the following week. Ice cream produced this week will be used for testing and gathering baseline data and won't be sold to the public.

  • Cablevision cuts lowest Internet-only price, adds antenna

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York-area cable company Cablevision is offering an Internet package that bundles in a digital antenna for TV service and is aimed at so-called "cord-cutters" who detest pricey channel packages. The cheapest offering, for about $35 a month, includes 5 megabit-per-second Internet downloads, a complementary Mohu digital antenna that retails for $70 and access to the company's public Wi-Fi hotspots. Free Wi-Fi voice service is available with the purchase of a Moto G smartphone for $100. Another package for $45 per month offers 50 mbps download speeds. Subscribers can add HBO Now for an extra $15 a month, and rent modems for $5 extra per month.

  • Starbucks extracts more money with pricier drinks, food

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is extracting more money from customers with offerings like a "Flat White" espresso drink and revamped baked goods that cost a little more. The Seattle-based chain reported a higher quarterly profit Thursday, with sales jumping 7 percent at established U.S. stores. The company said much of the increase came from higher spending per visit. New drinks like the "Flat White" espresso drink and Teavana "Shaken" iced teas help drive up sales because they're a little pricier than other drinks, Starbucks Chief Financial Officer Scott Maw said. He noted the company is also charging more for baked goods like croissants, which are being made with new recipes. "What we're seeing is a premiumization, a tr

  • Dates announced for two '50 Shades' sequels

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — "Fifty Shades of Grey" stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan will reprise their roles in the sequels "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed" on Valentine's weekends in 2017 and 2018 respectively, Universal Pictures announced Thursday. The studio said the release dates would be Feb. 10, 2017, and Feb. 9, 2018. It also confirmed that the script for "Darker" will be written by the husband of series author E L James, Niall Leonard, who is also a published author. The first "50 Shades" film opened this year on Valentine's Day weekend and became one of the biggest R-rated openings ever. It has grossed $569 million worldwide. Kelly Marcel penned the original adaptation but isn't returning.

  • Ford to lay off 700 workers due to slow car sales

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it's laying off 700 workers at a Michigan assembly plant because of slow sales of the small cars and hybrids it makes. The Michigan Assembly Plant, in the Detroit suburb of Wayne, will move from three shifts to two starting June 22, spokeswoman Kristina Adamski said. The plant, which makes the Ford Focus and C-Max hybrid, has been operating on three shifts since 2012. The plant is the same one President Barack Obama visited in January to hail the resurgent U.S. auto industry. But even during that visit, the plant was temporarily shut down to prevent overproduction of the slow-selling cars. The plant also makes electric versions of the Focus and C-Max. It's the first time sin

  • Fee increase for natural gas, oil wells gets broad support

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Conservation and business groups are supporting a Nevada bill that would increase registration fees on natural gas and oil wells. Nevada Division of Minerals chief Richard Perry presented SB44 to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. The measure passed unanimously out of the Senate earlier in April. Perry said the bill would repeal the state's flat $200 permit fee on oil and gas wells and would instead set a sliding scale for wells based on depth, location and whether the well uses wastewater injections or fracking. Perry said the bill was needed because the $200 fee hardly covered a quarter of regulatory costs. Numerous conservation and drilling groups testified in favor




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