Offbeat News

Last Update on August 29, 2014 09:48 GMT

SEX IN CLASSROOM

MCKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania teacher is back in the classroom -- after being fired for having sex in a classroom. Angela DiBattista was canned a decade ago after she admitted to having sex with another teacher. She's fought for years to get her job back. Now, DiBattista is teaching math in the McKeesport Area School District. Her lawyer says DiBattista was rehired after an appeals court overturned her firing. A district spokeswoman declined to comment on DiBattista's status, saying it was a personnel matter.

WSU PLANNER OOPS

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- They're both universities. And they're both in Washington state. But Washington State University isn't the University of Washington. WSU officials are trying to find out how a picture of the University of Washington campus ended up on the WSU student planner. The embarrassing mistake caught school officials by surprise as classes began. KREM-TV reports the academic planners are created by Barnes and Noble in New Jersey.

JOEY CHESTNUT-RIB CHAMPIONSHIP

SPARKS, Nev. (AP) -- There are no spare ribs when champion eater Joey Chestnut is around. He's the world-record holder at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Contest in New York. Now, Chestnut has extended his lock on the rib eating championship at Nevada's Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off. Chestnut claimed his fifth consecutive title in Sparks, downing nearly 9 pounds and 3 ounces of ribs in 12 minutes. He has won eight of the last nine rib championships. But Chestnut's appetite wasn't quite as big as last year. He set the world record then with near 13 pounds, 8 ounces. Chestnut says he bought 30 pounds of the St. Louis-style ribs earlier this week to practice.

OKLAHOMA JOE'S-NAME CHANGE

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -- Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que restaurant is changing its name. That's because you won't find Oklahoma Joe's in Oklahoma. It has three locations in the Kansas City area. So, Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que is becoming Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que. Whatever the name, Joe's has made several national lists of best barbecue stops. Recently, Joe's served about $1,400 worth of food to Air Force One when President Barack Obama was in Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports the business started in Oklahoma, but hasn't had a restaurant in that state for nearly two decades.


Science & Tech News

Last Update on August 29, 2014 09:08 GMT

IN THE NEWS: APPLE SETS DATE FOR ANNOUNCING NEW PRODUCTS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- So, what does Apple have up its sleeve when it comes to new products? We'll find out next month, when the gadget maker rolls out the latest batch. The September 9 event is set for the same Silicon Valley venue where the company's late co-founder, Steve Jobs unveiled the original Mac computer 30 years ago. It's expected Apple will announce a new, larger iPhone -- and possibly some other kind of device like a computerized watch. It's expected to be the most anticipated launch since Apple rolled out the iPad four years ago.

IN THE NEWS: SHOPPING BY PHONE?

NEW YORK (AP) -- Used to be that shopping by phone meant placing a call to a company or store, telling them what you want -- and having them send it to you. But the new phone-shopping the tech world has in mind would see you snap a photo of an electronic device, piece of clothing or accessory using your smartphone or tablet -- then be able to shop for it. So far, no one has been able to master the technology to make it a regular feature of our lives. For example, Amazon's Firefly phone can make out labels of everyday items. But certain patterns vex the software inside and that can make it hard to complete a purchase.


National/International News

Lawyer: Case against Maserati cop car driver silly
August 29, 2014 14:27 GMT

BRAINTREE, Mass. (AP) -- The lawyer for a Massachusetts man facing charges of impersonating a police officer for driving around a Maserati painted to resemble a police cruiser calls the case against his client "silly."

Attorney Russell Matson tells The Patriot Ledger (http://bit.ly/1qmSewZ ) his client "never pretended to be a cop," and even told police in advance he was going to decorate his car to look like the character Barricade from a "Transformers" movie.

Matson did not disclose his client's name. The luxury Italian vehicle's body was painted black and white with a police-style shield on the doors, and police-related decals. The door shield was accompanied by the phrase "Decepticons punish and enslave," from the movie.

The driver was pulled over on Aug. 9. He was not arrested but summoned to court on Sept. 4.

Information from: The (Quincy, Mass.) Patriot Ledger, http://www.patriotledger.com


Australia to fly guns and ammunition into Iraq
August 30, 2014 23:34 GMT

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australian military aircraft will fly guns and ammunition into Iraq to help fight Islamic State militants.

Abbott said in a statement on Sunday: "The United States government has requested that Australia help to transport stores of military equipment, including arms and munitions, as part of a multi-nation effort."

He says: "Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join aircraft from other nations including Canada, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States to conduct this important task."

He did not say when the air drops would begin, but News Corp. newspaper reported on Sunday that the transport aircraft based at al-Minhad Air Base outside Dubai could fly their first mission within days.


Business/Consumer News

US consumer spending dips 0.1 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer spending fell in July, with a drop in auto purchases accounting for most of the weakness. Income growth also slowed in July.

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. Eco-friendly customizable products at EmbroidMe provide a
 solution. Show your prospective customers that your brand aligned with
 the green movement with EmbroidMe's diverse selection of promotional
 items conveniently labeled "green" by the manufacturer.
   Every year, Earth day reminds us how important it is to take care of the
 environment. Promote your business as environmentally conscious with
 products made from recycled and sustainable materials. Pens made of
 post-consumer recycled paper with plastic derived from corn or pad covers
 made of recycled PET (PolyEthylene Terephtalate) are a great choice and
 easily paired with note pads made from recycled paper. Golf balls made of
 100% recycled tire rubber, LED flashlights with rechargeable batteries,
 or calendars made of recycled paper are just some examples of the
 eco-friendly customizable products found at EmbroidMe.
   Eco-conscious businesses can incorporate their mission into their attire
 and work uniforms, with shirts can be made of organic cotton, partially
 recycled cotton, post-consumer PET and recycled polyester. Even the
 customization process can go green when embroidered with cotton thread or
 imprinted with vegetable-based inks.
   "Customers appreciate seeing your logo and knowing you support a cause
 they care about," said Christine Marion, MAS, director of retail
 operations for EmbroidMe. "Our experienced on-site specialists and Eco
 Awareness programs are here to assist you."
   About EmbroidMe
  With hundreds of Resource Centers around the world,
 EmbroidMe is the most comprehensive source for promotional apparel,
 premiums, and advertising specialties, providing its promotional partners
 with full-service custom embroidery and screen-printing for apparel. For
 more information about customized promotional products and to view this
 and additional releases, visit the EmbroidMe News & Press Release section
 of embroidme.com. EmbroidMe's on-site specialists are ready to provide
 you with first-class service and products of the highest quality; just
 click EmbroidMe Locations to find the Resource Center nearest you.
   Media Contact:
 Christine Marion, MAS
 cmarion@embroidme.com
 P: 561-713-2503
   AP-WF-03-21-14 1926GMT

Posted 5:30 AM EDT on March 21, 2014

Eds: APNewsNow.
   BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) -- Nike says strong global demand for its athletic goods helped third-quarter net income beat expectations as it readies for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
   The world's largest athletic clothing maker says that not counting income from discontinued operations, earnings rose 3 percent, to $685 million, or 76 cents per share, in the three months ended on Feb. 28. The year before, profit came to $662 million, or 73 cents per share. The discontinued operations added another $204 million in profit to last year's period. Analysts expected 72 cents per share, according to FactSet. Nike sold its Cole Haan and Umbro brands last year.
   Revenue rose 13 percent to $6.97 billion, beating analysts' expectation of $6.81 billion.
   The Beaverton, Ore.-based company said Thursday that future orders worldwide rose 12 percent.
   AP-WF-03-20-14 2110GMT

Posted 5:27 AM EDT on March 20, 2014

PALO ALTO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/06/14 --
 PunchTab, the leading omni-channel loyalty and engagement platform,
 announced today the release of their Android SDK. The SDK is a free
 toolkit that provides Android mobile and tablet developers the capability
 to add customized loyalty and engagement programs to any app to help
 increase usage, purchase, awareness, and brand engagement.
   With tens of thousands of apps hitting the market every month and
 billions of dollars spent on mobile marketing, the world of mobile
 development has become a congested, competitive marketplace to carve out
 success. Generating user awareness and continued use remain critical
 challenges for organizations that utilize mobile applications to engage
 customers, or add mobile as part of larger omni-channel initiatives.
 Android developers can now implement PunchTab's loyalty and engagement
 infrastructure in mobile apps, incentivizing users to take actions that
 meet marketing agendas and business goals.
   "Mobile is the most important channel for brands when it comes to
 engaging consumers with relevant, real-time messages and offers.
 According to a recent study, 83% of consumers expect to make more
 purchases via mobile in the next 12 months, a 15% increase from today's
 current statistics -- this is a critical proof point of how important
 mobile has become for brands. Awareness, engagement, and enhanced loyalty
 are essential components in the success of a mobile app," said PunchTab
 Founder and CEO Ranjith Kumaran. "With our Android SDK we can provide
 Android developers with the same high-quality, easy-to-use functionality
 that the PunchTab platform offers to over 19,000 active programs on our
 platform."
   The Android opportunity is significant. Google Play accounted for almost
 75 percent of total app downloads in 2013 and according to Distimo,
 Google Play's revenue share has actually been growing at the expense of
 Apple's. Since June 2013, Google Play's revenue jumped 51 percent. The
 statistics are a window into the continuously growing Android mobile
 application market that does not appear to be slowing down. Brands have
 taken notice and with the PunchTab Android SDK, they have an opportunity
 to reach even more consumers on mobile.
   Analyst and TIME tech columnist, Ben Bajarin estimates that over one
 billion Android smartphones will be sold in 2014, and by the end of 2014
 mobile web users will be three times that of the desktop web. "Mobile can
 no longer be a side strategy for brands, it needs to be a central
 strategy as it's an essential element for maintaining consumer
 engagement. The Android opportunity is one that cannot be overlooked,"
 Bajarin reports.
   PunchTab's Android SDK offers mobile developers a free toolkit with an
 easy to integrate static library and customizable features to most
 effectively meet bottom line business goals. Developers can easily
 reward-enable engagement, repeat usage, social sharing, and more.
   For more information on PunchTab's developer kit visit
 www.punchtab.com/developer.
   About PunchTab, Inc.
  Founded in January 2011, PunchTab is an
 omni-channel loyalty and engagement platform that enables agencies,
 brands, and enterprise organizations to incentivize user behavior and
 drive business success. PunchTab's customers use the company's flexible
 solutions to deepen audience engagement, drive purchase, and build
 awareness by leveraging everything from social sharing and UGC and
 awareness campaigns, to sophisticated B2E and B2B programs. PunchTab
 offers both an out-of-the-box product and a fully customizable,
 white-labeled solution that can reward any action with virtual, social
 and real-world rewards. For more information, please visit
 www.punchtab.com.
   Media Contacts:
 Ben Barenholtz
 Sparkpr for PunchTab
 ben@sparkpr.com
 415.241.5207
 Robyn Hannah
 PunchTab
 robyn@punchtab.com
 408.823.3863
   AP-WF-03-06-14 1315GMT

Posted 12:49 PM EST on March 06, 2014

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 02/28/14 --
 ADP Dealer Services, Inc., a division of ADP(R) and a leading global
 technology solutions provider dedicated to helping dealerships drive
 measurable results across every area of their operation, announced today
 that due to the overwhelming interest and positive feedback they received
 surrounding their Fixed Ops Expos, they will be launching a new round of
 Dealer Solutions Expos for automotive retail dealers. They will be
 thought leadership events designed to show what successful dealerships
 are doing to change the way they do business in order to meet
 technology-driven consumers' demand.
   Last year, over 600 dealers attended 25 expos across the country, touting
 them as very insightful and informative. One dealer described their
 experience as the "best three-hour time investment I've made in a long
 time."
   ADP Dealer Services will offer dealers a unique opportunity to join an
 interactive discussion with industry thought leaders as well as their
 peers during each event. The first subject will feature automotive retail
 expert, Mike Stoll, presenting, "How to Optimize Your Front Office for
 Maximum Customer Retention" and business security expert, Jim Foote,
 presenting "Who Let the Data Out?". They will each share strategic best
 practices and insider knowledge designed to give attendees a competitive
 edge around customer retention and security.
   These expos are a key pillar in Dealer Services' strategy to provide
 insights that help their dealer clients transform how vehicles are
 marketed, sold, and serviced using technology.
   The Dealer Solutions Expos is open to all dealership management across
 the country and will begin in early March, extending throughout 2014. For
 more information or to register for an event in your area, please visit
 our website, email events@adp.com or call 866.722.1844.
   About ADP
  With more than $11 billion in revenues and more than 60 years
 of experience, ADP(R) (NASDAQ: ADP) serves approximately 620,000 clients
 in more than 125 countries. As one of the world's largest providers of
 business outsourcing and Human Capital Management solutions, ADP offers a
 wide range of human resource, payroll, talent management, tax and
 benefits administration solutions from a single source, and helps clients
 comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable
 Care Act (ACA). ADP's easy-to-use solutions for employers provide
 superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading
 provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle,
 marine, recreational vehicle, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the
 world. For more information about ADP, visit the company's Web site at
 www.adp.com.
   The ADP logo and ADP are registered trademarks of ADP, Inc. All other
 marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright Copyright
 2014 ADP, Inc.
   Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame--mw?attachid=2528720
 Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame--mw?attachid=2528723
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 Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame--mw?attachid=2528718
   Media Contact:
 Michelle Benko
 ADP Dealer Services
 michelle.benko@adp.com
 847.485.4389
   AP-WF-02-28-14 1106GMT

Posted 5:27 AM EST on February 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 02/26/14 --
 The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors(R)
 President Steve Brown:
   "NAR supports reforms that promote economic growth, but we strongly
 oppose severely altering the rules that govern ownership and investment
 in real estate. Real estate powers almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy,
 employs more than 17 million Americans, and contributes a quarter of all
 federal and state tax revenue and as much as 70 percent of local taxes.
   "We are extremely disappointed with several of the provisions contained
 in U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp's tax reform draft
 released today, namely proposed limits on the mortgage interest deduction
 and capital gains, and the repeal of deductions for state and local
 property taxes. These proposed changes to the taxation of real estate
 will impact every single American, either directly or indirectly.
   "NAR will carefully analyze the details of the Chairman's plan so we can
 best educate Congress and the public about how this plan would impact the
 owners, consumers, and producers of both residential and commercial real
 estate."
   The National Association of Realtors(R), "The Voice for Real Estate," is
 America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members
 involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate
 industries.
   Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other
 news releases are posted in the "News, Blogs and Videos" tab on the
 website.
   For further information contact:
 Jenny Werwa
 202-383-1193
 jwerwa@realtors.org
   AP-WF-02-26-14 2105GMT

Posted 5:26 AM EST on February 26, 2014

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