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Modesto wins in dry cleaner pollution case, CA

May 20, 2009 10:53 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — A Superior Court jury says two chemical companies must pay Modesto $18.3 million to remove dry cleaning chemicals from the soil and groundwater.After 11 years of litigation and a 114-day trial, jurors in San Francisco County Superior Court decided Monday that Dow Chemical of...

Ohio amusement parks again open under recession, 1st Ld-Writethru, OH

May 20, 2009 10:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Amusement park operators preparing for their annual Memorial Day weekend rush are wondering how many customers will show up at their gates this summer — the second straight season under a recession.Gas prices and reduced consumer spending will again challenge the sports and...

AC casinos' profits fell 38 pct in 1st quarter, 1st Ld-Writethru, NJ

May 20, 2009 10:47 am | by WAYNE PARRY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Heaping on the bad news, Atlantic City's 11 gambling halls reported Wednesday that their first-quarter gross operating profits were 38 percent lower than in 2008.The casinos earned $151.2 million in all the first three months of 2009, compared with $243.8 million in the...

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Appeals court affirms dismissal of Jakks lawsuit, APFN

May 20, 2009 10:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — Jakks Pacific Inc., maker of Hannah Montana and Girl Gourmet toys, said Wednesday that a federal appeals court agreed to dismiss a lawsuit filed by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. that accused the toy maker of bribery and other actions.The U.S. Court of Appeals for the...

Wash. pension board sues over Lehman Bros. losses, APFN

May 20, 2009 10:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state's pension investment board is suing to recover more than $100 million in losses from investments with Lehman Brothers, which went into bankruptcy protection last year.The Washington State Investment Board says the defendants are former Lehman officials, the...

DEP fines western Pa. company $34K for acid cloud, PA

May 20, 2009 10:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PETROLIA, Pa. (AP) — State environmental officials have announced a $34,187 fine against a chemical company for a toxic leak that caused and acid cloud that forced hundreds of western Pennsylvania residents to evacuate.Indspec Chemical Corp. already faces $121,500 in federal workplace safety fines...

Baker: GOP chair should not raise sexuality, 1st Ld-Writethru, AR

May 20, 2009 10:46 am | by ANDREW DeMILLO - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — State Sen. Gilbert Baker said Wednesday he does not think the Arkansas GOP chairman should be raising a state lawmaker's homosexuality as an issue during party appearances.State Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb when criticizing Democrats has reportedly mentioned the fact...

Capital One cutting 180 jobs in Baton Rouge, 1st Ld-Writethru, LA

May 20, 2009 10:46 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Capital One Financial Corp. said Wednesday that it will eliminate 180 jobs at a Baton Rouge telephone sales and loan processing service center.The McLean, Va.-based banking and credit card provider is consolidating the functions of telephone sales to small businesses,...

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Recession makes vacation scheduling more complex

May 20, 2009 10:46 am | by JOYCE M. ROSENBERG - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Many small business owners are likely to find a perennial summertime challenge, keeping their companies staffed during peak vacation times, even harder this year.Layoffs and jobs lost to attrition mean that many companies have leaner staffing, while employees still want to take time...

Maui Divers Jewelry want to buy Hilo Hattie, HI

May 20, 2009 10:46 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

HONOLULU (AP) — A $1 million offer has been made to buy Hilo Hattie out of bankruptcy.Maui Divers Jewelry wants to acquire the Hawaiian souvenirs and aloha attire company.Maui Divers is Hawaii's largest jewelry manufacturer and retailer. It is owed more than $1 million by Hilo Hattie, which filed...

Senator says it's time to change immigration laws, 5th Ld-Writethru, US

May 20, 2009 10:46 am | by EILEEN SULLIVAN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Contending that U.S. borders are more secure than ever, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said Wednesday it's time for the White House and Congress to overhaul immigration laws to stem the number of people coming into and living illegally in the U.S."We can pass strong, fair,...

Commission approves pay cut for Calif. officials, 1st Ld-Writethru, CA

May 20, 2009 10:41 am | by STEVE LAWRENCE - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A California commission voted Wednesday to slash the pay of the Legislature and other state elected officials by 18 percent, a day after voters offered their own rebuke by rejecting five budget-related measures drafted by lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.The California...

Details about Illinois' multiyear highway plan, IL

May 20, 2009 10:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Here's a breakdown of the multiyear transportation improvement plan the Illinois Department of Transportation released Wednesday:___FUNDINGTotal: $11.25 billionFederal: $7.499 billionState: $3.047 billion, including $1.552 billion from the mini-capital plan lawmakers adopted in April.Local: $704...

House votes to allow guns in national parks, US

May 20, 2009 10:40 am | by MATTHEW DALY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has voted to allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.The House approved the measure, 279-147, on Wednesday, one day after the Senate acted.Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., sponsored the measure, which would restore a Bush administration policy...

Illinois officials focus on 'maintenance' of roads, IL

May 20, 2009 10:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois isn't planning any new road work in the next five years unless lawmakers approve new money for a major construction plan.Officials released an $11.25 billion long-term road plan Wednesday. But Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig warned that there's very little...

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