Business
Subscribe To This Feed

Best Labor Day Deals This Weekend


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer is coming to an end but the cooler weather heralds the beginning of some of the best sales of the year. First up: Labor Day weekend’s big bargains.

Ashley Lutz of the website Business Insider says shoppers should be on the lookout for washers and dryers, bicycles, mattresses, and clothing that will take people out of the summer and into fall and winter.

Lutz explained why washers and dryers and vacuum cleaners tend to be available at such good prices this year, saying: "A lot of retailers are clearing out their merchandise and they're going to start offering the new models for the holidays...so they want to clear out that merchandise now to make way for the new models."

Here's a list of some of the weekend's sales:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch is offering everything in stores and online for up to 60 percent off. They’ll also have jeans for $39.
  • Shop Gap.com for up to 40 percent off select items today and tomorrow, and get 40 percent off your entire in-store and online purchases through Tuesday. Online shoppers must use the code DAY.
  • Banana Republic is offering discounts of up to 40 percent off through Tuesday.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Cheapest Labor Day Gas Prices Since 2010: Forecast


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Americans behind the wheel may get some relief in their wallet this weekend, as Labor Day gas prices are forecasted to reach the lowest holiday levels since 2010, according to a study by GasBuddy.

The price drop is part of a decrease that began in July and will likely continue through the autumn, according to the gas price tracking company.

The average national gas price is $3.45 for a gallon of regular, according to the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration's weekly report released on Monday. That price is about two cents cheaper from last week, and nearly 10 cents cheaper from a year ago.

Regions that source gasoline from the U.S. Gulf Coast, which GasBuddy says accounts for more than 51 percent of American refinery capacity, will likely see the cheapest gas prices.

However, there are some areas that will still have to pay average or higher prices. States around the Great Lakes may get the short end of the stick due to price adjustments at their regional refineries.

Geopolitical tensions such as violence in the Middle East and uncertainty about long-term Russian energy supplies have not altered the oil supply yet, according to GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan.

It helps that refineries have operated with few problems this summer and rising domestic oil production is putting downward pressure on oil and thus gasoline prices, he said.

The lack of major hurricanes, which generally propel oil prices higher, is another factor he said.

"The good news for motorists doesn’t end there: the conclusion of Labor Day weekend also brings summer driving season to a close, and demand drops off, easing prices," DeHaan said.

Much of the U.S. also will switch back to winter gasoline in mid-September, which should also put downward pressure on pump prices as winter gasoline is cheaper to produce, he said.

Parts of the country may already notice isolated instances of prices as low as $2.99 a gallon, he said, such as Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.

DeHaan predicts that the national average this fall will drop to around $3.30 to $3.39 a gallon, with a small chance of even $3.20 a gallon, meaning some states will see averages under $2.99 a gallon.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Bud Light Donates $500K to Descend on Town, Council Approves


Anheuser-Busch(CRESTED BUTTE, Colo.) -- One small mountain town in Colorado is apparently "up for whatever."

The town council in Crested Butte, Colorado, approved a special permit allowing Bud Light to take over the town for a three-day event "of unexpected fun," ABC affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver reported Thursday.

Bud Light, one of Anheuser-Busch's beer brands, doubled its original donation for the town to $500,000. The event will turn the town into a fictitious one: Whatever, USA.

"Ever since we were first approached by Bud Light earlier this summer, we've been impressed with the creativity and level of detail they've put into the planning process for Whatever, USA,” Crested Butte Mayor Aaron Huckstep said in a statement released by the beer brand. "This is going to be an incredible event for our community that will help bring the beauty of Crested Butte to 1,000 new visitors."

Crested Butte was selected because of "its breathtaking natural beauty and colorful cast of characters," according to a statement from Bud Light.

The plan had its critics. One resident, former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, called the originally proposed $250,000 donation a "paltry and insulting sum."

"My own view is that this is truly an inappropriate function for a town that has built its reputation so carefully," Wirth told ABC News. "It should cost them a pretty penny and they won’t even notice it."

Bud Light's "UpForWhatever" ad campaign began during the Super Bowl, in which random people on the street, seemingly between the ages of 21 and 35, are whisked off to celebrity-laden adventures. In Bud Light commercials for the town of Whatever, USA, there's a fake, bearded mayor.

For this specific campaign in Colorado, the company will select 1,000 Bud Light fans across the United States who auditioned with a 10-second video explaining why they should be flown into Whatever, USA. Winners will be notified 48 hours before the trip.

The audition deadline is next Thursday and more than 150,000 people have applied so far.

The proposed plans include street performers, a parade, music, dancing, closing off the local Big Mine Ice Arena and, of course, lots of Bud Light.

"There are a lot of different opinions in the town," town manager Ted Crossett said. "There are a lot of people who support it and a lot of people who do not for a variety of reasons."

Crossett's staff report about the weekend describes some of the activities, including "stumble upon events, which are low impact activities such as games, low-key races and curiosities. Most would be open to the public."

"Some would be closed to contestants. Activities would take place on both the street and in private businesses," the Aug. 23 report states.

Prior to the approval, Wirth said the town council has "allowed themselves to be put into this dreadful corner" that has divided the town. He proposed Bud Light pay $10 million to host the event.

David Ochs, executive director at the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, argued that the event will bring an unknown amount of extra cash to local businesses and the town coffers, as the high tourist summer season comes to an end.

"Keep locals working, keep paychecks coming and keep everything rolling," he said. "Bud Light has been very good in incorporating retail businesses into the event, but the real benefit might be in the long term: the exposure and marketing of it is what they will see and want to come back to Crested Butte, and that's our bread and butter."

Kevin McGruther, a town resident of 18 years, attended the most recent hearing about the proposed event Monday. He said he wasn't arguing for or against the event, but pointed to the local government's failure to adhere to its typical town-event application process.

"The issue is the transparency, the preemption of the process and disenfranchisement of the community," he told ABC News.


Watch more news videos | Latest from the US

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Hotel Guests Regularly Socked with Extra Fees


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Just when you were getting used to the idea of the airlines charging you extra for things that used to be included in the price of a ticket comes a report about the U.S. hotel industry that is bound to raise more hackles.

NYU professor Bjorn Hanson says that hotels managed to collect over $2 billion from fees and surcharges alone in 2013 and this year they’ll make an even bigger profit.

Hotel guests are regularly socked with resort or amenity fees, early departure fees and early reservation cancellation fees.

In some instances, guests pay for the safe in their rooms that they don’t even use. And of course, there’s the added cost of restocking the minibar.

Just like the airline industry, hotels seem reluctant to raise their prices to reflect market value, which Hanson said would actually eliminate the need for fees.

However, customers seem more willing to put up with the surcharges than pay a little extra for a room even if it costs them more money in the long run.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Google Working to Develop Drone Delivery Program


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Google is working to develop its own drone delivery program, called Project Wing.

In a video posted to YouTube by the company, Google says it tested the system in Queensland, Australia, and "successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water" to Australian farmers. The project is still early on in development.

The company states that it anticipates the potential to transport goods "more quickly, safely and efficiently." It is also looking for "partners who can help [them] bring this technology to the world safely."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

IRS Warns Taxpayers of Continued Phone Scams Around the Country


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Internal Revenue Service said on Thursday that taxpayers continue to receive scam phone calls from individuals purporting to be with the agency.

The scammers, the IRS says, may claim that their victims have a refund due, or use another method to attempt to acquire personal information. Callers use fake names and fake IRS identification numbers.

"These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. He urged people not to fall prey to such calls, noting that the IRS has formal procedures for those individuals with tax issues. "The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business," Koskinen said.

The IRS also offered Americans five tips to help identify suspicious calls. The agency says that its agents will never call about your taxes prior to mailing you an official notice, demand payment without allowing you the chance to appeal, require a specific method of payment for taxes, ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or threaten to involve law enforcement groups.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Investigation into JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack Continues


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As an investigation into a cyberattack continues, JPMorgan Chase said on Thursday that it had not seen any unusual fraud activity.

One official told ABC News that when a bank as large as JPMorgan is targeted, the investigation looks at the incident not just as a financial crime, but as a potential national security matter.

The bank reaffirmed on Thursday that it would work with the FBI and the Secret Service, who are investigating the cyberattack. JPMorgan is still working to determine who, if anyone, might have been impacted by the attack.

Still, if any JPMorgan customers believe that they have been the victim of fraud, they should contact the bank immediately.

The breach also apparently impacted at least one other financial institution.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Instagram Dealing with Server Issues, Users Upset


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Instagram crashed Thursday afternoon, leaving Internet denizens without a place to post pictures of pets and food.

In a tweet, the company acknowledged the problem, saying that they are "experiencing some technical difficulties."

Instagram is experiencing some technical issues. We're aware and working on a fix.

— Instagram (@instagram) August 28, 2014

 

The website "Is It Down Right Now" shows that Instagram's server is not responding.

The social media service's mobile app seemed to properly load older photos, but was unable to reload the service. The web client returned a "500 Internal Server Error" that prevented users from accessing the website.

On Twitter, the phrase "Why is instagram" was briefly trending worldwide, as users sought other means of sharing their selfies and Throwback Thursday photos.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Wall Street Posts Losses After Hot Start to Week, Labor Department Releases Positive Unemployment Numbers


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After a strong start to the week, Wall Street posted losses on Thursday, while a Labor Department report indicated slightly improved unemployment numbers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,079.57, down 42.44.

The Nasdaq finished at 4,557.70, a drop of 11.92 from Wednesday's close, while the S&P 500 slipped 3.38 to 1,996.74, finishing below 2,000 for the first time since it broke that mark earlier this week.

The Labor Department's weekly report indicated a slight decrease in jobless claims last week. The department also noted that there were no "special factors" that helped to decrease the figures.

Also on Thursday, the investigation into a cyberattack against JPMorgan Chase continued. Wednesday night, the FBI and Secret Service announced the investigation, though they were unable to definitively determine whether customer information was at risk due to the attack.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Apple Sends Invitations for Mysterious Sept. 9 Event


Apple Press(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- The wait is almost over.

Apple sent out mysterious invitations on Thursday for a Sept. 9 media event in Cupertino, California.

Much of the speculation has centered around the possible release of an iPhone 6 and a wearable device, however Apple isn't commenting on what it has up its sleeve.

A gray and white invitation sent out to members of the media on Thursday teases, "Wish we could say more."

The event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, at 10 a.m. PT.

It will be the first time Apple has held an event at the 2,405-seat theater since 1999, when it launched a new iMac, according to Mashable.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Bud Light's $250K Offer to Descend on Town Hits a Wall


Anheuser-Busch(CRESTED BUTTE, Colo.) -- Bud Light wants to know whether a small mountain town in Colorado is "up for whatever." The answer this time from the divided townspeople: maybe, although $10 million might be just enough to swing more support toward the beer-inspired party.

Bud Light, one of Anheuser-Busch's beer brands, is planning to host a three-day event "of unexpected fun" that will transform part of Crested Butte, Colorado, known for its outdoor activities and music festivals, into a fictitious town of Whatever, USA.

As part of the deal, Anheuser-Busch will donate $250,000 to the town, as a sign of gratitude, but some of the 1,500 residents are not thrilled with the idea of Whatever from Sept. 5-7.

One resident, former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, called the $250,000 donation a "paltry and insulting sum."

"My own view is that this is truly an inappropriate function for a town that has built its reputation so carefully," Wirth told ABC News. "It should cost them a pretty penny and they won’t even notice it."

Bud Light's "UpForWhatever" ad campaign began during the Super Bowl, in which random people on the street, seemingly between the ages of 21 and 35, are whisked off to celebrity-laden adventures. In Bud Light commercials for the town of Whatever, USA, there's a fake, mustached mayor.

For this specific campaign in Colorado, the company will select 1,000 Bud Light fans across the United States who auditioned with a 10-second video explaining why they should be flown into Whatever, USA. Winners will be notified 48 hours before the trip.

The audition deadline is next Thursday and more than 150,000 people have applied so far.

The town will host a public hearing and council vote Friday about the proposed plans, which include street performers, a parade, music, dancing, closing off the local Big Mine Ice Arena and, of course, lots of Bud Light.

"There are a lot of different opinions in the town," town manager Ted Crossett said. “There are a lot of people who support it and a lot of people who do not for a variety of reasons.”

Crossett's staff report about the weekend describes some of the activities, including "stumble upon events, which are low impact activities such as games, low-key races and curiosities. Most would be open to the public."

"Some would be closed to contestants. Activities would take place on both the street and in private businesses," the Aug. 23 report states.

The town council has "allowed themselves to be put into this dreadful corner" that has divided the town, Wirth said.

Wirth and other residents decry the council's working behind the scenes with Bud Light to coordinate such a major event. But Wirth said he was proud of the “democracy in action” during Monday’s hearing at which residents spoke openly with town leaders.

"Crested Butte has every bit of leverage right now to say to Bud Light, 'We’ll approve your event if you send us a check for $10 million from a multibillion-dollar corporation,'" he said.

As for Anheuser-Busch, it is "optimistic" the town council will vote to approve the Whatever, USA activities, according to a company statement to ABC News.

"We’ve spent several months planning and preparing with the town and local vendors, and hope that Whatever USA’s temporary citizens will get a chance to experience everything Crested Butte has to offer," the statement reads. "We can’t imagine a better setting for a weekend of unexpected, unparalleled fun."

David Ochs, executive director at the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, told ABC News he believes the majority of the 300 active members in the organization support the event. He argues that the event will bring an unknown amount of extra cash to local businesses and the town coffers, as the high tourist summer season comes to an end.

"Keep locals working, keep paychecks coming and keep everything rolling," he said. "Bud Light has been very good in incorporating retail businesses into the event, but the real benefit might be in the long term: the exposure and marketing of it is what they will see and want to come back to Crested Butte and that’s our bread and butter."

Kevin McGruther, a town resident of 18 years, attended the most recent hearing about the proposed event Monday. He said he is not arguing for or against the event, but points to the local government's failure to adhere to its typical town-event application process.

"The issue is the transparency, the preemption of the process and disenfranchisement of the community," he told ABC News.

Wirth, the former U.S. senator, said if Anheuser-Busch can pay big money, possibly millions, for celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger to play table tennis in a Super Bowl ad, the company should cough up for using the resources of the town and its reputation.

"They paid him Schwarzenegger millions and they’re going to be here ripping up the town for a week for $250,000?" Wirth said. "That gets my indignant juices running."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

FBI, Secret Service Investigating Cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI is investigating a cyberattack earlier this month against JPMorgan Chase that may have been carried out by Russian hackers.

It is not clear whether customer data was compromised by the attack. The FBI released a statement on Wednesday saying that they were working with the U.S. Secret Service to determine the scope of the breach, noting that it may also have impacted other financial institutions.

JPMorgan Chase spokeswoman Trish Wexler told ABC News that "companies of our size unfortunately experience cyberattacks nearly every day." JPMorgan, she said, has "multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels."


Watch more news videos | Latest from the US

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Jobless Claims Fall to 298K


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Jobless claims were slightly lower last week, decreasing by 1,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Aug. 23, the number of people filing for benefits declined to 298,000. The previous week, claims stood at 299,000.

The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures.

The four-week moving average dipped lower, falling 1,250 to 299,750.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

Loyal Customers Sometimes Have Unreasonable Expectations


iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Do you have a sense of “deservingness?”

That’s the term Ohio State University researcher Rebecca Walker Reczek has for people who think that just because they’re a loyal customer of some retailer or business that they deserve special treatment.

Very often, customers do receive perks but as Reczek points out, deservingness even extends to promotional contests where winners are chosen at random and the rules specify that no purchase is necessary to enter.

She gives the example of someone who regularly uses the same hotel chain and the feeling that they’re more entitled to win a free gift basket “even though the drawing is open to all hotel guests, including those who are not regular customers.”

Although there’s really no logic to it, Reczek contends, “Devoted customers think they are luckier than others when it comes to these contests with random outcomes.”

This “lucky loyalty effect” is something that corporate managers should be aware of, according to Reczek, although those with a sense of entitlement should try and scale back their expectations when outcomes can’t be controlled.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Subscribe To This Feed

EPA, DuPont Corp. Agree to $1.275 Million Settlement over Chemical Violations


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday a settlement with DuPont Corp. for allegedly releasing hazardous substances into the Kanawha River in West Virginia over a four-year span.

An EPA press release alleges that the company released chemicals into the river on eight occasions between 2006 and 2010. As compensation, DuPont will pay $1.275 million and take corrective actions to prevent similar activity in the future.

The EPA notes that the releases posed significant risk, with one worker dying after exposure to a toxic gas that was released due to the company's failure to comply with industry accident prevention procedures.

DuPont estimated that it will spend over $2 million to complete the mandated improvements.

The settlement "will ensure that the proper practices are in place to protect communities and nearby water bodies," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

God Bless America!

970 KSYL On Air Now
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
2:00pm - 5:00pm
Sean Hannity
iheart Radio

Talkradio 970

Now A Member Of The

I Heart Radio Family!

Click The Logo To Listen!

KSYL News

The KSYL Morning Report

Monday Thru Friday 7:10a

Host

Dave Graichen

Click Player To Listen


 

The CBS World News Roundup

Click The Logo to listen

 

State Wire
On Twitter
North Rapides Business & Industry Alliance

Weekends

 

All Weekend Long

It's a

Political Free Zone!

Kim Komando, The "Weekend" Roundup, Leo Laporte (The Tech Guy!), Art Bell, The Real Estate Show, Bill Handel, Chef John Folse "Stirin' It Up" , Doug Stephan's Weekend, The Pet Show & When Radio Was!.

Chef John Folse

Chef John Folse & Company

"Stirin' It Up"

Saturday At Noon!

 

 

 

Leo LaPorte

LEO LAPORTE

THE TECH GUY

SATURDAY / SUNDAY

1 TO 5PM

Doug Stephan

Resources
LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services