– May 28, 2015

AP Sources: Woods to get new sponsor for PGA event 

(AP) — The PGA Tour is closing on a deal for Detroit-based Quicken Loans to become title sponsor of Tiger Woods' tournament at Congressional, The Associated Press has learned.

Two people who have been told about the deal said Quicken Loans could begin its sponsorship before the next tournament, to be played June 26-29. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is not completed and has not been announced.

Dan Gilbert, who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, is the chairman and founder Quicken Loans.

It would be a big boost to the Tiger Woods Foundation, which receives the net proceeds from the event currently called the AT&T National. The foundation has created seven Tiger Woods Learning Centers, three of them in the Washington, D.C., area.

AT&T, in the final year of its contract, was not planning to renew the sponsorship. The Dallas-based company announced two years ago that it would sponsor the Byron Nelson Championship starting in 2015. AT&T already is under contract through 2024 as the title sponsor of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA Tour. It also sponsors a Champions Tour event in San Antonio.

Greg McLaughlin announced Tuesday that he is leaving after 14 years as president and CEO of the Tiger Woods Foundation. McLaughlin was the tournament director of the AT&T National and did well to keep AT&T on as title sponsor through 2014 after the upheaval in Woods' personal life.

Woods had a personal endorsement deal with AT&T — the logo was on his golf bag — for nine months until the telecommunications giant cut him loose in December 2009.

McLaughlin and PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw declined comment Thursday, saying there was nothing to announce.

The title sponsorship would expand on the sports marketing programs of Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online home lender. The company closed $70 billion of volume across 50 states in 2012, with web centers in Detroit, Cleveland and the Phoenix area.

The company sponsors NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, along with involvement in the IndyCar Series and with Team Penske. Quicken Loans is title sponsor of a Sprint Cup race in Brooklyn, Mich., on June 15, which is two weeks before the PGA Tour event at Congressional.

It announced late last year it would sponsor the Sprint Cup series race in Phoenix on Nov. 9.

The AT&T National began in 2007 with a military theme built around the Fourth of July in the nation's capital. It has been held at Congressional for all but two years, in 2010 and 2011, as the course prepared to host the U.S. Open. In those years, it was played at Aronimink outside Philadelphia.

Congressional is under contract through 2014, though discussions are underway to host the tournament every other year.

Three tournaments benefit Woods' foundation. The others are the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, which began in 2003 and now is part of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The other is the unofficial World Challenge, which announced last year it is moving from California to Isleworth, the club near Orlando where Woods once lived.

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Written on 05/28/2015, 1:45 pm by Leah
President Betts Company What we do: Betts Company is comprised of three operating divisions, termed Business Units (BU). Each BU is principally focused...
Written on 05/28/2015, 1:43 pm by Leah
President / CEO Culinary Competitions International What we do: We are a full-service public relations firm with a highly specialized set of talents and experience. Our mission is to creatively assist Agricultural Commodity Boards and Private Branded Agriculture Products to promote the consumption of their products in target markets all over the world. We do this by organizing and producing high profile, culinary competitions, exhibitions, focus groups, as well as public relations initiatives in those target regions. Education:B.A. Marketing & CommunicationsSaint Mary’s CollegeMoraga, Ca Culinary Arts TrainingCulinary Institute of America at GreystoneCollege in St. Helena, CA  Age: 52 Family:Wife: Angela, Son: Nico (20) and Daughter: Gina (19) How did you come to develop Culinary Competitions International?In 1999, we established Alliance Advertising & Public Relations, an award-winning, Fresno based full-service advertising agency, which we still operate today. Through the years we were approached by several commodity boards, on different occasions, to assist them with their international marketing. These organizations challenged us to come up with new ways to get the attention of targeted international consumers in the U.K., Mexico, Indonesia, China and Japan. We were then focused on food service professionals, beverage managers and chefs. We developed a number of events designed to engage these groups in ways they had never experienced. As an agency focused on our clients successes, we quickly realized that we were on to something unique and affective.       How did your involvement in the industry begin? I believe it all started when I was still in grade school. The youngest of nine children in a family that celebrated good food, good times, travel and the art of telling a great story. I published and sold my own “Neighborhood Newspaper” (5 cents a copy) when I was only 7, learned to cook from my amazingly talented parents (before I could ride a bike to the store to buy ingredients) and directed my own television shows in high school and college with guests ranging from the ‘60s rock promoter legend Bill Graham and the very young actor / comedian Rob Schneider to the creators of Gumby. Soon after starting Alliance in 1999, I founded (and still own) the River Park Farmer’s Market — now Fresno’s largest California certified farmer’s Market, where I fell in love with locally grown fruits and vegetables and the amazing people who grow them. The they say, “history” (smile).      The agency has announced the production of dedicated television show for to help showcase its clients, how did that idea develop?Throughout my career I have been a food TV junky. I have seen it all, from the early days of the Galloping Gourmet and Julia Childs (yes, save the liver!) to the explosion of the Food Network and the copycats that followed. When we began to conceive CCI as a standalone company, I knew that the concept of our very own TV show would emerge. In 2014 we made the decision to create something new, something unique in food TV — one part agriculture education, one part international travel, and two parts fun. Global Bites is now in production and follows the clients we serve all over the planet. Our host is TV Celebrity Chef (BRAVO TV’s Top Chef, FOOD Network, YAHOO TV) New York Times Best Selling Author and restaurateur extraordinaire Fabio Viviani.   How many shows have been filmed?We have begun production on what will be our initial six episodes of Global Bites.  Once we have these “in the can” we will share our creations with the History Channel, The Food Network, Discover and other interested networks. How big of an audience are you hoping to reach?We believe that Global Bites will eventually become a household titled TV show that both teaches and entertains. The way people use, say, kiwi in the United States is so very different they are used throughout Europe where chefs cook with them. Every culture prepares foods in a different way, celebrating their own unique cooking techniques, spice parings, etc. Our show will inspire people to try new things and look at food differently. What has been your proudest accomplishment in the industry?CCI is currently coordinating the California Fig Fest (previously the “Fig Fest”) in cooperation with the California Fig Advisory Board. We are taking what was a regional celebration of the amazing fig and turning it into a major, statewide culinary event (August 15th on the campus of Fresno State). It will feature 26 executive chefs and bakers from throughout California, each representing their restaurants and/or bakeries as they compete for fig recipe bragging rights.  Attendees will have an opportunity to sample their fig inspired creations along with leading California wineries, and much more. Additionally, attendees will have an opportunity to be a part of a live TV audience as we shoot an episode of Global Bites with Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani right here at home, in Fresno. We expect a crowd of 3,000 to 5,000 to attend.   What was your first job and what did you learn from it?My first job was a “Petroleum Bi-Product Dispersal Engineer” (I pumped gas at a carwash while in high school). I learned that customer service is an art form and that hard work always pays off. I learned to treat others the way you want to be treated (or served) and that if you don’t take care of the customer, someone else will. Who has been a mentor for you and what did you learn from him/her?My Father was an amazing influence on who I am today. He was orphaned at 12 and had no relatives other that a 15 year old brother. He worked as an elevator operator in the San Joaquin Light & Power building in downtown Fresno (later to become PG&E) and 46 years later retired from PG&E as a vice [resident. All the while he and my mother raised a family of 9 children, all successful individuals in their own right. He taught me to be a good person, to work hard (and smart) and to NEVER GIVE UP. He instilled in me the importance of always doing the right thing and to keep God as the center of my world. He taught by example.   What do you like to do in your spare time?I love to fish, catch and release mostly...unless it’s salmon!  I love salmon. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and to create amazing things for them in the kitchen. I really enjoy going to our farmer’s markets and watching people smile. And yes, I love to travel. I’d better! Right!?
Written on 05/28/2015, 1:41 pm by Gabriel Dillard
The latest employment study from the Fresno Area Workforce Investment Board (WIB) for 2014 finds that while various sectors continue to grow, there’s still a scarcity of manufacturing jobs and mid-level positions.The WIB has conducted four employment studies over the last eight years, providing a forecasting tool as the organization collaborates to address workforce barriers. The next employment study will be conducted in 2016.The health care industry is one bright spot in the study. Fresno County added 1,469 jobs in the sector from 2010 to 2013, faring better than all other industry clusters — accounting for more than 10 percent of all employment in the county.Manufacturing is an area of concern for the county. While statewide, the sector has seen a 1 percent increase in jobs since 2010, Fresno County manufacturers shed nearly 2,000 jobs in the period.Another area of concern, according to Blake Konczal, the WIB’s executive director, is the loss of middle-level jobs among Fresno County employers. As a result of the downturn, many of those positions were eliminated in cost-cutting moves. It has had an impact in the local economy, Konczal said.“There are a small number of highly paid workers and a large number of lesser paid workers,” he said.Another related trend from the employment study found that from 2007 to 2013, most industry cluster businesses in the county diminished in employee size, in terms of the average number of employees per business. Automotive firms have shrunk from an average of 6.2 employees in 2007 to 4.7 employees in 2013. Construction trades experienced a bigger decline from 7.2 in 2007 to 3.8 in 2013.The survey of 1,420 local employers also asked for current obstacles and expansion barriers they face. One of the new barriers identified in 2014 was the Affordable Care Act. Next to market conditions and regulatory constraints, it was the biggest obstacle identified by employers. While the law has had an impact on some employers and the types of health plans they can offer, Konczal believes that part of the problem originates from confusion about the law.“Some of it is a lack of information,” he said.The WIB also works to help displaced workers who have been laid off. While the number of layoffs has fallen from the aftermath of the economic downturn, there is still activity with employers including Fresno Vons stores, Heald College and Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino.One positive change is that Fresno is no longer marketing itself as the cheapest place in the state to do business, as it was when he started helming the WIB in 2002, Konczal said.“Any marketing plan that doesn’t focus on an area’s strengths is not going to work,” he said.“There will always be cheaper places other than us,” he added. Unemployment down in AprilCentral Valley unemployment rates inched lower in April as harvest activities geared up on some area farms, according to new data from the state Employment Development Department.Fresno County's April unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, down from 11.1 percent in March and below 12 percent a year ago.Farm employment grew month-over-month by 8,200 jobs as harvest activity ramped up for crops including, blueberries, strawberries and tree fruit. Nonfarm employment fell by 100 jobs in the period.On a year-over basis, nonfarm employment rose by 12,900 jobs while farm employment fell by 1,100 jobs. The professional and business services category reported the largest year-over jump with 4,100 jobs.The unemployment rate in Tulare County was 11.5 percent in April, down from 13.2 percent month-over-month and below 13.3 percent a year ago. Farms in the county added 6,900 jobs last month, while nonfarm industry gained 700 jobs.On a year-over basis, Tulare County farms shed 300 jobs while nonfarm industries added 3,100 positions.Madera County's April unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, down from 11.4 percent in March and 11.4 percent a year ago. Farms in the county added 600 jobs in April, while nonfarm employment remained unchanged.Compared to last year, the farm sector shed 1,100 jobs while nonfarm employment was static.In Kings County, the April unemployment rate was 10.8 percent, down from 11.9 percent in March and below 12.5 percent a year ago. Farms added 700 jobs in the month, while nonfarm employment was unchanged.Compared to April 2014, Kings County farms lost 300 jobs last month, while the nonfarm sector gained 600 positions.
Written on 05/28/2015, 1:14 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — U.S. stocks are ending modestly lower following a sell-off in the Chinese market and concerns about an approaching deadline for Greece to make a debt payment. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 36 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 18,126 Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged down two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,120. The Nasdaq composite slipped eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,097. The price of crude oil rose 17 cents to $57.68 a barrel in New York after the government reported bigger-than-expected declines in U.S. oil and gasoline supplies Chinese shares plunged Thursday following big gains over the past three months. The Shanghai Composite dropped more than 6 percent. It's still more than double what it was a year ago.  
Written on 05/28/2015, 12:39 pm by MICHELE KAYAL, Associated Press
At noon on a recent Wednesday in May, San Francisco's Lazy Bear restaurant began taking reservations for June. Just 45 minutes later, nearly every seat for the entire month was sold out. Not reserved. Sold. As in, every meal for almost every seat for an entire month bought and paid for in advance. That's because Lazy Bear uses an increasingly popular ticketing system model for its "reservations" that asks diners to pay upfront for their meals much the way theater patrons pay for their seats. The tickets cannot be refunded or changed, though they can be given to someone else, much as one could with tickets to a concert or a baseball game. Lazy Bear and other restaurants across the country are using technology to change the way we book and pay for restaurant meals, and maybe even the way we think about eating out. "The main issue is trying to manage risk, trying to incentivize patrons to keep their reservations," says Northwestern University microeconomic theorist Jeffrey Ely, noting that ticketing systems transfer all the risk to the diner. "These are things that have always been goals or needs of the restaurant market. The only reason they're now manifesting themselves is that the technology is there to make it possible." Restaurant goers have been making online reservations since the advent of Open Table in the late 1990s. But platforms such as ticketing and a bevy of new apps — think table auctions and a digital concierge — could mean more seats for eager diners and fewer empty tables for restaurants. The ticketed reservations model was pioneered in 2011 by Nick Kokonas, co-owner with Grant Achatz of the innovative Chicago restaurants Next, Alinea and The Aviary. Kokonas says this summer he expects to release a commercial version of the computer software he uses called "Tock." Tock will allow restaurants to manage table inventory and create different types of tickets, from fully pre-paid meals to ordinary reservations. For example, one variation would let restaurants collect deposits during the reservation process that later would be applied to the food and drink tab. "When people buy a ticket or put down a deposit they show up at a much greater rate," says Kokonas, who estimates the number of people who fail to show up for unpaid reservations at about 10 percent. Restaurants in nine U.S. cities are currently testing the system, Kokonas says. When Tock is ready to go, he says he expects to offer the program to restaurants for a flat fee of $695 per month. A bevy of new mobile apps also has begun serving the industry. Resy, created by social media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and Eater co-founder Ben Leventhal, says it charges about $25 to nab peak reservations at hot venues in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington. Table8, currently in six U.S. cities, offers similar access to tables at prime, sold-out times for roughly the same fee. Reserve, launched by the high-profile startup lab Expa, offers a digital concierge for $5 per booking. For restaurants, the new technology fixes a problem that technology helped create. The ease of online reservations means that diners often book tables at multiple restaurants, then decide where to eat at the last minute. Mathew Freid, general manager of the 16-seat Boston steakhouse Bogie's Place, says his no-show rate drops to zero with Reserve. Apps that charge for reservations, such as Resy and Table8, also virtually eliminate no-shows, restaurateurs say. In addition to helping restaurants' bottom line by reducing no-shows and filling seats that might otherwise go empty, the apps can generate revenue by charging patrons for prime time seats. Reserve allows eager diners to offer premium payments, for instance 30 percent above menu prices, if the night they want is booked, though such bids don't guarantee a table. Table8 and Resy also apply the ancient principles of supply and demand, charging more for a slot at 8 p.m. on Saturday than for one at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. While business travelers and last-minute diners may welcome the opportunity to pay more for an otherwise elusive seat, some restaurateurs say they are uncomfortable selling tables like airline tickets. "I totally agree with people who say it feels inhospitable," says Megan Bailey, public relations director for Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which has listed three of its 16 Washington, D.C., venues with Table8. Bailey says the company hopes the app will drive more business and tourism traffic, but that the reservation fees are donated to Arcadia, a food and farming nonprofit created by company founder Michael Babin. "People can get a reservation through other means, or walking in, but if you want that seat and you're willing to pay for it, we feel like we've done the best we can by saying the restaurant won't be profiting off that. That's how we've reconciled it with ourselves and with our guests." But some chefs and industry executives see nothing wrong with leveraging demand. Restaurants are now a form of entertainment, they argue, venues that sell an experience as much as a meal. Scaling prices follows the same strategy as other forms of entertainment, they say, such as movies, stage shows, concerts and sporting events. "We have to be able to sell out Tuesday at 6 p.m., not just Friday at 8:15," says Lazy Bear chef David Barzelay, who does two 40-person seatings each night. But even restaurants that have embraced these new approaches warn that diners must be ready for them. Last year, chef Jose Garces launched his 34-seat Philadelphia property Volver with a multi-course, fixed-price tasting menu and a pre-paid ticket system. But the ticketing system — Philadelphia's first — was the only thing the city talked about, says Garces Group vice president of operations Scott Steenrod. Volver soon retreated to a traditional reservations system. "The people in the Philly market were not ready to accept the concept of pay-in-advance dining," Steenrod says. "But it's a movement that is very real... As ticketing gains awareness in the general public consciousness, combined with a platform that's simple and easier to do, it will become more accepted."
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:59 am by Business Journal staff
The board of Fresno-based Central California Legal Services is on the search for a new executive director as current director of 21 years Chris A. Schneider prepares to depart. "We seek highly qualified applicants with a vision and demonstrated passion for serving and advocating on behalf of low-income and other vulnerable populations, said Gregory Francisco Gillett, CCLS board president. Established in 1966, CCLS provides free legal advice and representation in civil matters to low-income individuals in Fresno, Kings, Merced, Mariposa, Tulare and Tuolumne countries. CCLS said in a press release that Schneider announced to the board in January that he would leave the organization at the end of 2015. For more information about the job opening, visit
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:47 am by Business Journal staff
The Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board announced it has been awarded a  $193,300 grant to train people for solid waste management, wastewater treatment and integrated pest management jobs. The award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will go toward training 70 unemployed and under-employed individuals in those sectors as part of the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program (EWDJT). The EWDJT is a joint effort with Fresno Metro Ministries, Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission, Fresno Building Healthy Communities, Reading and Beyond, Central Labor Council, State Center Community College District, West Hills College and the University of California Cooperative Extension. “The Fresno WIB’s latest 2014 Employment Study Report indicates that the training provided through the EWDJT is aligned with the needs of Fresno County employers who forecast an increase in positions within the Integrated Pest Management and Solid Waste Management and Cleanup sectors,” said Blake Konczal, executive director of the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board, in a statement.
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:34 am by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
(AP) — Another first quarter of the year. Another reversal for the U.S. economy. Another expectation of a rebound to come. On Friday, the government will likely estimate that the economy shrank in the January-March quarter for a second straight year, depressed by brutal weather, a reeling energy sector and an export slump caused by a higher-valued dollar. Yet few will see any cause for panic. Steady job gains are widely expected to propel modestly healthy growth for the rest of 2015. A harsh winter is gone. So is a labor dispute that slowed trade at West Coast ports. Home sales and construction are rebounding. Business investment is picking up. Many economists also suspect that the government's calculations have tended to underestimate growth in the first quarter of each year. Some sectors of the economy do remain subpar. Energy drillers, for example, have been damaged by persistently low energy prices and are still cutting jobs and slowing production. The rise in the dollar is still making U.S. manufactured goods pricier overseas. Yet the outlook has brightened considerably since winter. Most economists expect lower gas prices eventually to accelerate consumer spending, the main fuel for the economy. Analysts generally foresee the economy growing at an annual rate of 2 percent to 2.5 percent in the current April-June quarter, with further strengthening later in the year. That pace would mark a significant gain from the 0.8 percent annualized drop they expect the government to report Friday in its revised estimate for the January-March quarter, according to a survey by FactSet. A quarterly economic decline would be the first since the economy shrank by an even sharper 2.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2014. That quarter, too, was depressed in part by a bleak winter, which kept many consumers home and some businesses closed. In its first estimate a month ago, the government reported that the economy grew at a scant 0.2 percent rate in the January-March quarter. That figure is expected to be sharply downgraded in part because economists think the U.S. trade deficit — the gap between the value of exports and the larger value of imports — will be more than first estimated. The stronger dollar hasn't only made U.S.-produced goods more expensive overseas. It's also made imports cheaper for U.S. consumers. That combination produces a wider trade gap, which slows growth. Some also think business stockpiling didn't bolster growth last quarter as much as first estimated. "We got hit with a double-whammy in the first quarter," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University, Channel Islands. "We had a lot of adverse factors, from the harsh weather and consumers unwilling to spend their gas savings to a stronger dollar and weak economies overseas making the trade deficit larger." So far, most consumers haven't used their gasoline savings to spend much more on other goods and services. The average U.S. pump price reached $2.03 a gallon in January, the lowest level in eight years. Though the average has risen back to $2.74, according to AAA, that's still nearly a dollar below its point a year ago. "Even with the recent rise in gas prices, they are still well below the levels of a year ago, and eventually consumers will start spending those savings," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. "We are already seeing gains in restaurant sales." Analysts also say that steadily solid hiring, which has helped cut the unemployment rate to a seven-year low of 5.4 percent, will continue to put money in more people's hands and fuel spending gains. Some of the first quarter weakness may be revised away by government statisticians, who are studying whether their methods for making seasonal adjustments tend to overstate slowdowns during winter. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has said some adjustments will be reflected in the annual updates to economic growth it will issue in June. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said he expects growth to reach an annual rate of around 3.5 percent in the second half of the year on the strength of job growth and consumer spending. For the full year, Zandi foresees growth of around 2.5 percent, roughly equal to last year's 2.4 percent. Before the first quarter pullback, many economists had thought growth for the full year might hit 3.5 percent. That would have been the best showing in a decade and evidence that the economy had broken out of the subpar pace that's marked the first six years of the recovery. Still, Zandi said he thinks "we are on track to get to full employment"— a roughly 5 percent jobless rate — "by this time next year, something we haven't seen in a decade."
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:31 am by TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer
(AP) — Automakers and governments are announcing additional models covered by last week's massive expansion of a Takata air bag recall. Manufacturers, as well as Canadian and U.S. safety regulators are posting documents that spell out vehicles being recalled for air bag inflators that can explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Six people have been killed and more than 100 injured due to the problem. Last week the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that Takata of Japan agreed to double the number of inflators it recalled to 33.8 million. But the makes and models were not available. The increase made it the largest auto recall in U.S. history, according to the agency. The best way to tell if your car or truck is being recalled is to key in the vehicle identification number at The number is stamped on the driver's side of the dashboard near the windshield and also is on many state registration cards. Automakers are still posting recall information by number, and the task may take several days or even weeks. So it's wise to keep checking periodically. These models and numbers were released Thursday by manufacturers and U.S. and Canadian safety regulators. The recalled vehicles include driver and passenger air bags. Some could overlap with previous recalls: — Honda Motor Co.: Adds 350,000 vehicles in U.S. including 2005 Civics and 2006-2007 Accords. No vehicles added in Canada, where 705,000 were recalled previously. Vehicles now covered include 2001-2007 Accord, 2001-2005 Civic, 2002-2006 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2008 Pilot, 2006 Ridgeline, 2003-2006 Acura MDX, 2002-2003 Acura TL, 2003 Acura CL, 2005 Acura RL. — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.: Total number added unknown, but expansion brings total affected to 5.2 million globally. Models include 2003 Ram 1500/2500/3500, 2005-2009 Ram 2500 Pickup, 2004-2008 Ram 1500 Pickup, 2006-2009 Ram 3500 Pickup, 2007-2009 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis, 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis, 2008-2009 Sterling 4500/5500 Cab Chassis, 2004-2008 Dodge Durango, 2007-2008 Chrysler Aspen, 2005-2010 Chrysler 300/300C/SRT8, 2005-2010 Dodge Charger/Magnum, 2005-2011 Dodge Dakota, 2006-2010 Mitsubishi Raider. — BMW AG: Adds about 280,000 vehicles in U.S. including 2002-2005 325i/325xi/330i/330xi, 2002-2005 325xi/325i Sports Wagon, 2002-2006 330Ci/325Ci/M3 Convertible, 2002-2006 325i/330i/M3 Coupe, 2002-2003 M5/540i/525i/530i, 2002-2003 540i/525i Sports Wagon, 2003-2004 X5 3.0i/4.4i Sports Activity Vehicle. U.S. total in recall is nearly 421,000. — Ford Motor Co.: 63,700 Mustang and GT models in Canada from 2005-2014 for driver's side inflators. Also 29,458 Ranger pickups for front passenger inflators from 2004-2006. U.S. numbers not released yet.Eleven automakers have vehicles included in the Takata recall. Other companies include General Motors, Daimler Trucks, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. A spokesman for Nissan Motor Co. said his company wouldn't have any additional vehicles in the latest recall expansion.
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:24 am by The Associated Press
(AP) — Uber and Lyft are pushing back against a New York City effort to regulate app-based ride-hailing services. The city's Taxi and Limousine Commission says the new rules being debated Thursday are minor adjustments to existing regulations. Commission Chairwoman Meera Joshi said at a public hearing that the panel's goal is safety, accountability and car availability. The proposed rule changes would address fares, the availability of wheelchair-accessible cars and restrictions on picking up passengers at airports. San Francisco-based Uber and Lyft say the regulations would discourage innovation. Michael Allegretti of Uber said the rules would be "crushing" to Uber's New York drivers. A few dozen Uber drivers chanted "We love Uber!" outside the commission's Manhattan headquarters before the hearing. The commission may vote on the regulations at its June 18 meeting.

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Written on 05/28/2015, 12:39 pm by MICHELE KAYAL, Associated Press
At noon on a recent Wednesday in May,...
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:23 am by The Associated Press
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Written on 05/28/2015, 11:19 am by 
LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press
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Latest National News

Written on 05/28/2015, 1:14 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — U.S. stocks are ending modestly...
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:34 am by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
(AP) — Another first quarter of the...
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:31 am by TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer
(AP) — Automakers and governments are...
Written on 05/28/2015, 11:24 am by The Associated Press
(AP) — Uber and Lyft are pushing back...