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94-year-old woman celebrates 44 years working at McDonald’s

Posted on: March 26th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Katie Kenworthy/McDonalds Evansville(EVANSVILLE, Ind.) — One 94-year-old woman is celebrating 44 years behind the counter at McDonald’s.

“When I started, I didn’t start to stay,” Loraine Maurer told ABC News, adding that she started working at McDonald’s in 1973 after her husband retired on disability. “I told him we were too young to stay at home and so I went for a job.”

Maurer was feted by her co-workers at an Evansville, Indiana, restaurant, including owners Chip and Katie Kenworthy.

“Loraine has quite a following. That’s to say the least, really,” Katie Kenworthy, who has owned the restaurant for almost two years, told ABC News. “She has lots of very loyal costumers who come especially to our restaurant to see her.”

So Kenworthy decided to plan a party to celebrate Maurer, inviting her church — Good Shepherd Catholic Church Parish — along with her family and friends.

“It was wonderful,” Maurer said of her party. “The only thing is there were so many people there that I couldn’t talk to them all.”

Maurer, who has four children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, said the relationships she has with her customers are particularly important, since they helped her get through a very tough period in her life — the loss of her husband, Kenneth, in 1980.

“They were my live savers when I lost my husband,” she recalled. “The customers helped.”

Every winter, Maurer contemplates retiring, but she says she just can’t give up her shift, which now consists of two days per week.

“I would miss it too much,” she said. “I don’t want to get depressed and it’s not that I don’t look forward to going to work. … It’s not a job.

“I really and truly enjoy it,” Maurer added. “Life is what you make it. And so I’m trying.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

94-year-old woman celebrates 44 years working at McDonald’s

Posted on: March 26th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Katie Kenworthy/McDonalds Evansville(EVANSVILLE, Ind.) — One 94-year-old woman is celebrating 44 years behind the counter at McDonald’s.

“When I started, I didn’t start to stay,” Loraine Maurer told ABC News, adding that she started working at McDonald’s in 1973 after her husband retired on disability. “I told him we were too young to stay at home and so I went for a job.”

Maurer was feted by her co-workers at an Evansville, Indiana, restaurant, including owners Chip and Katie Kenworthy.

“Loraine has quite a following. That’s to say the least, really,” Katie Kenworthy, who has owned the restaurant for almost two years, told ABC News. “She has lots of very loyal costumers who come especially to our restaurant to see her.”

So Kenworthy decided to plan a party to celebrate Maurer, inviting her church — Good Shepherd Catholic Church Parish — along with her family and friends.

“It was wonderful,” Maurer said of her party. “The only thing is there were so many people there that I couldn’t talk to them all.”

Maurer, who has four children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, said the relationships she has with her customers are particularly important, since they helped her get through a very tough period in her life — the loss of her husband, Kenneth, in 1980.

“They were my live savers when I lost my husband,” she recalled. “The customers helped.”

Every winter, Maurer contemplates retiring, but she says she just can’t give up her shift, which now consists of two days per week.

“I would miss it too much,” she said. “I don’t want to get depressed and it’s not that I don’t look forward to going to work. … It’s not a job.

“I really and truly enjoy it,” Maurer added. “Life is what you make it. And so I’m trying.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ride-sharing app Lyft to help riders donate to charity

Posted on: March 26th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The popular ride-sharing app Lyft will soon install a new feature that will allow users to donate extra change to charity.

The company announed in a blog post that it will allow users to opt into the “Round Up & Donate” selection, which will be located on the app’s Settings page. When users choose to opt in, their ride will be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar, and that extra change will be distributed across causes that include environmental and veteran care and LGBTQ equality.

Users will not be able to choose to donate on a ride-by-ride basis, but they could opt out entirely at any time if they want.

Lyft Vice President of Marketing Melissa Waters talked about the latest feature in a statement:

“Lyft is a values driven company and we deeply believe in participation. Round Up and Donate is a program that makes it easy to participate in a meaningful way by allowing people to give back to the causes they care about within our communities.”

The feature is not yet available, but the company announced riders will be able to start donating “in a few weeks.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ride-sharing app Lyft to help riders donate to charity

Posted on: March 26th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The popular ride-sharing app Lyft will soon install a new feature that will allow users to donate extra change to charity.

The company announed in a blog post that it will allow users to opt into the “Round Up & Donate” selection, which will be located on the app’s Settings page. When users choose to opt in, their ride will be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar, and that extra change will be distributed across causes that include environmental and veteran care and LGBTQ equality.

Users will not be able to choose to donate on a ride-by-ride basis, but they could opt out entirely at any time if they want.

Lyft Vice President of Marketing Melissa Waters talked about the latest feature in a statement:

“Lyft is a values driven company and we deeply believe in participation. Round Up and Donate is a program that makes it easy to participate in a meaningful way by allowing people to give back to the causes they care about within our communities.”

The feature is not yet available, but the company announced riders will be able to start donating “in a few weeks.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

5 ways to save on summer vacation flights

Posted on: March 26th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Rick Seaney is the CEO of FareCompare, a website that curates the best deals on flights from around the world. He explains how you can save some money if you are planning on travelling this summer by doing a few simple things right now.

1. Look at money-saving destinations

If you’ll vacation in the U.S., consider a tour of New England after flying into Boston, or revel in the Rockies after landing in Denver. Both have been “cheaper destination” cities for years. Lately, we’ve also seen good deals to sunny San Diego, Seattle and the always-fun New Orleans.

In Europe, deals to Iceland and Scandinavia continue, while Paris has been a bargain for some departure cities. More recently, we’ve been seeing more and more deals to Barcelona.

2. Sign up for faster security

Time is money, and if you miss a flight, the airlines will prove it to you by charging a very expensive change fee (up to $200).

Avoid running late by gliding through security checkpoints — you can do this by joining PreCheck and using the members-only lanes. The cost is $85 for five years. International travelers pay $100 for five years for Global Entry, which includes PreCheck. Ask anyone who’s in it and they’ll say it’s worth it for the speed alone.

Join now because you have to make an appointment for an in-person interview, and while that usually takes all of five minutes, it can take a few weeks before membership is officially approved and that all-important Known Traveler Number reaches you.

3. Your precise vacation days matter

If flying domestically, you can often find much better deals by flying Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. If you can’t build your vacation around those days, try flying one of them, maybe Saturday to the following Sunday — at least you’ll save something.

Next, take a look at No. 4 before turning in your days-off request.

4. Check fares now

This will give you a good idea about the cheaper times to fly. It’s also a good time to sign up for airfare alerts. In both cases, if you see a fare you like, book it; cheap seats don’t last.

Example: In early March, I received a question from a man in the Midwest who wanted to know if he should purchase $690 round-trip tickets to Ireland for late August or wait. Normally, one should wait to buy Europe fares five months to two or three months from departure but that was a great price, and I said buy.

Tip: Late last week, I saw summer tickets for Los Angeles to Dublin in mid-August for $500 round-trip, and Boston to New Orleans for a mere $80 each way. Get going!

5. Know your airline, avoid painful fees

Plan your bags in advance and you won’t over pack and you won’t pay fees (or pay too much). Here’s a quick tip sheet:

– Free carry-on bags: Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United (unless you buy basic economy tickets on American and United; then you’ll be charged a fee and the carry-on must be checked)
– Free checked bags: Southwest allows passengers two checked-bags for free
– No free bags: Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit charge for all bags. Be sure to look at the fees carefully; these discounters often charge more for carry-ons than checked-bags
Last-minute travelers: The biggest money-saving tip for summer (or anytime) is, before booking airline tickets, always compare airfares. No single carrier always has the best deal on every route.

Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Uber self-driving SUV involved in accident in Arizona

Posted on: March 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Uber(TEMPE, Ariz.) — An autonomous Uber vehicle was involved in an accident in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday night.

According to ABC affiliate KNXV-TV, police said a car failed to yield to the self-driving SUV and hit it. As a result of the crash, authorities said the SUV rolled onto its side, KNXV-TV reports.

Although there were no injuries reported, there was a passenger in the self-driving SUV, police said according to KNXV-TV, and the driver of the other vehicle was cited for a moving violation.

Uber confirmed to ABC News the ride-hailing service was aware of the incident, but did not have any more information.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Uber self-driving SUV involved in accident in Arizona

Posted on: March 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Uber(TEMPE, Ariz.) — An autonomous Uber vehicle was involved in an accident in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday night.

According to ABC affiliate KNXV-TV, police said a car failed to yield to the self-driving SUV and hit it. As a result of the crash, authorities said the SUV rolled onto its side, KNXV-TV reports.

Although there were no injuries reported, there was a passenger in the self-driving SUV, police said according to KNXV-TV, and the driver of the other vehicle was cited for a moving violation.

Uber confirmed to ABC News the ride-hailing service was aware of the incident, but did not have any more information.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Americans are dying with an average of $62k of debt

Posted on: March 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

BernardaSv/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — You’re probably going to die with some debt to your name. Most people do. In fact, 73 percent of consumers had outstanding debt when they were reported as dead, according to December 2016 data provided to Credit.com by credit bureau Experian. Those consumers carried an average total balance of $61,554, including mortgage debt. Without home loans, the average balance was $12,875.

The data is based on Experian’s FileOne database, which includes 220 million consumers. (There are about 242 million adults in the U.S., according to 2015 estimates from the Census Bureau.) To determine the average debt people have when they die, Experian looked at consumers who died from October to December of 2016,

It found that 73 percent of consumers had debt when they died. Sixty-eight percent of those with debt had credit card balances. The next most common debt category was for mortgages (37 percent), followed by auto loans (25 percent), personal loans (12 percent) and student loans (6 percent).

These were the average unpaid balances: credit cards, $4,531; auto loans, $17,111; personal loans, $14,793; and student loans, $25,391.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Americans are dying with an average of $62k of debt

Posted on: March 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

BernardaSv/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — You’re probably going to die with some debt to your name. Most people do. In fact, 73 percent of consumers had outstanding debt when they were reported as dead, according to December 2016 data provided to Credit.com by credit bureau Experian. Those consumers carried an average total balance of $61,554, including mortgage debt. Without home loans, the average balance was $12,875.

The data is based on Experian’s FileOne database, which includes 220 million consumers. (There are about 242 million adults in the U.S., according to 2015 estimates from the Census Bureau.) To determine the average debt people have when they die, Experian looked at consumers who died from October to December of 2016,

It found that 73 percent of consumers had debt when they died. Sixty-eight percent of those with debt had credit card balances. The next most common debt category was for mortgages (37 percent), followed by auto loans (25 percent), personal loans (12 percent) and student loans (6 percent).

These were the average unpaid balances: credit cards, $4,531; auto loans, $17,111; personal loans, $14,793; and student loans, $25,391.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

3 can’t-miss tips for cheap summer flights

Posted on: March 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ipopba/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Can’t seem to find a reasonably-priced summer flight? ABC News’ travel editor gave her top three tips to “Good Morning America.”

1. July 9 is the day to avoid this summer, according to CheapAir.com, an American online travel agency. The site analyzed hundreds of thousands of airfares and found the Sunday after July 4 will cost $100 more than the average fight this summer at about $480. In general, Sundays are a day to avoid flights as they’re popular with both leisure and business travelers. July is the most expensive month to travel behind the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays.

2. If price is more important than anything else, June 6 is your day. Tuesdays are almost always the cheapest day to fly, no matter the season. Can’t make June 6 work? The second half of August is also a good bet after many schools are back in session.

3. Good news for summer travelers: Airfare is trending slightly cheaper this summer than last, about $20 per ticket. That said, expect fares to go up as the summer gets closer. Average summer airfare is about $380, so keep that price point in mind when shopping. If you’re in that range, you’re getting a fair price.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

3 can’t-miss tips for cheap summer flights

Posted on: March 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ipopba/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Can’t seem to find a reasonably-priced summer flight? ABC News’ travel editor gave her top three tips to “Good Morning America.”

1. July 9 is the day to avoid this summer, according to CheapAir.com, an American online travel agency. The site analyzed hundreds of thousands of airfares and found the Sunday after July 4 will cost $100 more than the average fight this summer at about $480. In general, Sundays are a day to avoid flights as they’re popular with both leisure and business travelers. July is the most expensive month to travel behind the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays.

2. If price is more important than anything else, June 6 is your day. Tuesdays are almost always the cheapest day to fly, no matter the season. Can’t make June 6 work? The second half of August is also a good bet after many schools are back in session.

3. Good news for summer travelers: Airfare is trending slightly cheaper this summer than last, about $20 per ticket. That said, expect fares to go up as the summer gets closer. Average summer airfare is about $380, so keep that price point in mind when shopping. If you’re in that range, you’re getting a fair price.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ICAO calls for cockpit cameras in all newly-designed planes by 2023

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(MONTREAL) — The aviation-safety arm of the United Nations has called for all newly-designed planes to have video cameras in the cockpit, according to a letter obtained by ABC News. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) sent the letter to national aviation regulators.

Supporters of the cockpit cameras say video footage would enable investigators to see what pilots were dealing with – and how they responded – in the case of a crash. However, many pilots oppose the move, citing privacy concerns.

As a compromise, the ICAO’s proposal suggests the installation of cameras pointed directly at the flight instruments, with video records that could be deleted after successful flights.

The proposal would apply only to aircraft both certified and built after 2023 – meaning that any currently-flying plane models (like the A320 or 737) will not be mandated to include cameras, even if specific planes are built after that date.

The ICAO does not have the authority to require countries or companies to follow their recommendations, but the industry often opts to do so of its own accord. The regulators who received the letter have until April 20 to respond, with debate over the proposal likely to take even longer.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ICAO calls for cockpit cameras in all newly-designed planes by 2023

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(MONTREAL) — The aviation-safety arm of the United Nations has called for all newly-designed planes to have video cameras in the cockpit, according to a letter obtained by ABC News. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) sent the letter to national aviation regulators.

Supporters of the cockpit cameras say video footage would enable investigators to see what pilots were dealing with – and how they responded – in the case of a crash. However, many pilots oppose the move, citing privacy concerns.

As a compromise, the ICAO’s proposal suggests the installation of cameras pointed directly at the flight instruments, with video records that could be deleted after successful flights.

The proposal would apply only to aircraft both certified and built after 2023 – meaning that any currently-flying plane models (like the A320 or 737) will not be mandated to include cameras, even if specific planes are built after that date.

The ICAO does not have the authority to require countries or companies to follow their recommendations, but the industry often opts to do so of its own accord. The regulators who received the letter have until April 20 to respond, with debate over the proposal likely to take even longer.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

OK Foods recalls chicken products over possible metal contamination

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — OK Foods Inc. is recalling about 933,272 pounds of its breaded chicken products over fears that they may have been contaminated with metal and other materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

The recall was initiated after five consumer complaints were issued over metal objects found in the chicken producer’s “ready-to-eat” chicken products, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Thursday.

“After an internal investigation, the firm identified the affected product and determined that the objects in all the complaints came from metal conveyor belting,” a USDA statement said of the Oklahoma City establishment.

The statement added, “There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products” and that the products “should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

The recall affects products dated from Dec. 19, 2016, to March 7, 2017.

The company did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

OK Foods recalls chicken products over possible metal contamination

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — OK Foods Inc. is recalling about 933,272 pounds of its breaded chicken products over fears that they may have been contaminated with metal and other materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

The recall was initiated after five consumer complaints were issued over metal objects found in the chicken producer’s “ready-to-eat” chicken products, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Thursday.

“After an internal investigation, the firm identified the affected product and determined that the objects in all the complaints came from metal conveyor belting,” a USDA statement said of the Oklahoma City establishment.

The statement added, “There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products” and that the products “should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

The recall affects products dated from Dec. 19, 2016, to March 7, 2017.

The company did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Is gourmet popcorn worth the price tag?

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Popcorn sales are skyrocketing, with Americans eating three billion gallons a year. And now, there are new gourmet flavors ranging from the simple to exotic.

But as the variety goes up so does the price tag. In fact, some premade brands cost eight times what you would pay if you made it yourself at home.

So do you have to spend a lot to get a great bag of popcorn? ABC News got to the bottom of it. You can watch the full investigation below:

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Is gourmet popcorn worth the price tag?

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Popcorn sales are skyrocketing, with Americans eating three billion gallons a year. And now, there are new gourmet flavors ranging from the simple to exotic.

But as the variety goes up so does the price tag. In fact, some premade brands cost eight times what you would pay if you made it yourself at home.

So do you have to spend a lot to get a great bag of popcorn? ABC News got to the bottom of it. You can watch the full investigation below:

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tax Tip: Getting deductions for higher learning

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/ThinkstockEducation is a good investment but it isn’t cheap. Thankfully, there are ways you can cash in on your kids’ higher learning when you file your taxes.

“The American Opportunity Tax Credit is available for the first four years of college, dependent on the income reported on the tax return, but you could get as much as a $2,500 tax credit,” says accountant Janice Hayman.

And the tax breaks aren’t just for kids.

“Let’s say you’re going for your Masters or you’re continuing a degree, but you’ve already done your first four-year degree. This would fall under the Lifelong Learning Credit,” Hayman notes.

Whether you’re eligible for the full credit or not is also dependent on your income, she adds.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tax Tip: Getting deductions for higher learning

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/ThinkstockEducation is a good investment but it isn’t cheap. Thankfully, there are ways you can cash in on your kids’ higher learning when you file your taxes.

“The American Opportunity Tax Credit is available for the first four years of college, dependent on the income reported on the tax return, but you could get as much as a $2,500 tax credit,” says accountant Janice Hayman.

And the tax breaks aren’t just for kids.

“Let’s say you’re going for your Masters or you’re continuing a degree, but you’ve already done your first four-year degree. This would fall under the Lifelong Learning Credit,” Hayman notes.

Whether you’re eligible for the full credit or not is also dependent on your income, she adds.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Trump climbs into an 18-wheeler and pretends to be a trucker

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump, trucker-in-chief?

That’s the role the president briefly assumed Thursday when he climbed into the drivers seat of a Mack 18-wheeler parked on the South Lawn of the White House.

Trump, who wore an “I Love Trucks” button on his lapel, tried his best to emulate a truck driver: He enthusiastically pumped his fists, made a series of facial expressions that lit up the Twittersphere, and excitedly tooted the big rig’s horn at least six times.

And Trump clearly didn’t run out of gas: following his spirited session of trucker role play, he met with truckers and CEOs from the American Trucking Association to discuss healthcare.

“No one knows America like truckers know America,” he said during the meeting. “You see it every day. You see every hill, and you see every valley and you see every pothole in our roads that have to be rebuilt.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump Hotel in DC not in violation of government lease, GSA says

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The General Services Administration (GSA) announced on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s lease of a luxury hotel from the government in Washington, D.C. — which raised
eyebrows among some ethics watchdogs — is in good standing.

The lease of the Old Post Office property prohibits government officials from profiting from the agreement. In a letter released on Thursday, the GSA said that Trump International Hotel has not
violated the terms of that agreement.

“Based on my review of the Lease, discussions with Tenant, and documents submitted by Tenant, I have determined that Tenant is in full compliance,” GSA Contracting Officer Kevin Terry wrote.
“Accordingly, the Lease is valid and in full force and effect.”

The announcement comes as a blow to a number of ethics experts, who have contended that Trump violated the lease upon taking office. Some argued that Trump may be in violation of the Emoluments
Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits U.S. officials from profiting from foreign officials.

A suit from January accused Trump of profiting from the hotel and other international business ventures, a claim Trump said was “without merit.”

The Trump Organization said in a statement at the time that Trump had resigned from leadership positions in the organization and affiliates. Before the inauguration, Trump handed control of his
businesses over to his sons and a long-time associate through a financial trust, but that didn’t satisfy the call from some to completely divest of his interests.

According to the letter from the GSA, the reorganization of the hotel’s management and organization structure and the creation of a revocable trust have satisfied the terms of the agreement.

“During his term in office, the President will not receive any distributions from the Trust that would have been generated from the hotel,” Terry wrote in the letter.

A spokesperson for the hotel thanked the GSA “for their diligent review of this matter.”

“We are immensely proud of this property and look forward to providing our guests with an unrivaled luxury experience for years to come.”

Ahead of his inauguration, Trump announced that he would be placing his assets in a revocable trust and transferring control of his business to his two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. His lawyer, Sherri
Dillon, also said Trump would “voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the United States Treasury.”

The hotel is located just blocks from the White House at the site of the historic Old Post Office. Trump Hotels acquired the right to lease the property for 60 years in 2013. The hotel opened in
October 2016 following a $200 million renovation.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump Hotel in DC not in violation of government lease, GSA says

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The General Services Administration (GSA) announced on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s lease of a luxury hotel from the government in Washington, D.C. — which raised
eyebrows among some ethics watchdogs — is in good standing.

The lease of the Old Post Office property prohibits government officials from profiting from the agreement. In a letter released on Thursday, the GSA said that Trump International Hotel has not
violated the terms of that agreement.

“Based on my review of the Lease, discussions with Tenant, and documents submitted by Tenant, I have determined that Tenant is in full compliance,” GSA Contracting Officer Kevin Terry wrote.
“Accordingly, the Lease is valid and in full force and effect.”

The announcement comes as a blow to a number of ethics experts, who have contended that Trump violated the lease upon taking office. Some argued that Trump may be in violation of the Emoluments
Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits U.S. officials from profiting from foreign officials.

A suit from January accused Trump of profiting from the hotel and other international business ventures, a claim Trump said was “without merit.”

The Trump Organization said in a statement at the time that Trump had resigned from leadership positions in the organization and affiliates. Before the inauguration, Trump handed control of his
businesses over to his sons and a long-time associate through a financial trust, but that didn’t satisfy the call from some to completely divest of his interests.

According to the letter from the GSA, the reorganization of the hotel’s management and organization structure and the creation of a revocable trust have satisfied the terms of the agreement.

“During his term in office, the President will not receive any distributions from the Trust that would have been generated from the hotel,” Terry wrote in the letter.

A spokesperson for the hotel thanked the GSA “for their diligent review of this matter.”

“We are immensely proud of this property and look forward to providing our guests with an unrivaled luxury experience for years to come.”

Ahead of his inauguration, Trump announced that he would be placing his assets in a revocable trust and transferring control of his business to his two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. His lawyer, Sherri
Dillon, also said Trump would “voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the United States Treasury.”

The hotel is located just blocks from the White House at the site of the historic Old Post Office. Trump Hotels acquired the right to lease the property for 60 years in 2013. The hotel opened in
October 2016 following a $200 million renovation.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Customer returns to Starbucks with apology note, $50 after rude treatment of barista

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Courtesy of Andrew Richardson(NEW YORK) — One California Starbucks barista got a surprise on March 21 when a customer returned to apologize for her behavior from the day before.

Andrew Richardson, 20, was floored when he received a handwritten card and $50 bill from his customer named Debbie, whom he admits he didn’t even think was that rude.

“On the 20th, this woman, Debbie, came through the drive through while I was working. She was extremely pleasant, and we had some friendly conversation while her drinks were being made,” Richardson, of Bishop, California, told ABC News. “She had multiple drinks, and we didn’t have drink carriers. I informed her and she was a touch frustrated like anyone would be.”

In addition to being out of drink carriers, he also couldn’t take her trash she was hoping to throw away.

“I cannot do this because it would be a California health code violation,” he explained. “She then became a bit more frustrated, but nothing that I would perceive as rudeness. At worst, she was playfully sassy. I really didn’t think too much of it.”

Richardson carried on with his day and didn’t give it a second thought.

“It was not a big deal at all in my eyes,” he said. “Being in customer service you can experience a lot of negativity and frustration. I try and counter it with positivity and patience. This was an extremely mild interaction compared to other incidents.”

But Debbie apparently felt otherwise.

“The next day, she came back. I happened to walk by the window when she was there,” Richardson recalled. “She asked me if I was working the window yesterday. I said ‘yes.’ She then became extremely apologetic. She felt genuinely terrible about our interaction the day before. I was so heart warmed to even get a verbal apology. It doesn’t happen much.”

The two chatted for a few minutes and Richardson said her in-person “genuine apology” alone was enough to lift his spirits, without even knowing what was going to happen next.

“She then handed me the card, [and] I was even more grateful and uplifted,” he said. “I thanked her for another minute and she left.”

He hadn’t yet opened the card before Debbie drove away.

“I returned to it later, opened it, and I was completely shocked,” he said of discovering the money. “Without the money, this was one of the most beautiful and heartfelt things I have ever read. It absolutely made my day when I read it. The money was unnecessary. The card alone was the best part. I would have turned the money down had I opened it when she was there. It’s hard to take things like that.”

Richardson’s supervisor told him he could keep the money.

“She handed it to him in a personal card so of course he was able to keep it,” one of the location’s supervisors, Angie Harris, told ABC News.

“I think it was great. It’s always good to see those customer connections,” she added. “We’re really proud of him.”

“Nothing like this has ever happened, it’s unprecedented,” said the humbled barista. “This was easily one of the kindest things I’ve ever received. I’m very happy to know that there are still good, caring people in this world. I’m still smiling about it.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jobless claims jump to 258K

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims spiked higher last week, increasing by 15,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending March 18, the number of people filing for benefits jumped from a revised level of 243,000 the previous week to 258,000.

Now at 240,000, four-week moving average also increased by 1,000 from last week’s revised average of 239,000.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jobless claims jump to 258K

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims spiked higher last week, increasing by 15,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending March 18, the number of people filing for benefits jumped from a revised level of 243,000 the previous week to 258,000.

Now at 240,000, four-week moving average also increased by 1,000 from last week’s revised average of 239,000.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tax Tip: What happens when you can’t pay the IRS?

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/ThinkstockYou’ve gone through your receipts, crunched the numbers, checked them twice and now you’re ready to file your taxes. But there’s one problem: You can’t pay everything you owe Uncle Sam.

Certified public accountant Richard Lavina says don’t panic.

“If you can’t just shell out one check, you know, a huge check for hundreds of thousands of dollars, what you can do is set up a payment plan,” he says. “There are plenty of CPAs that can do that. It’s a nice option, as opposed to saying, ‘Uh, ok, here’s $10,000 right here.'”

Just make sure you keep the agreement because if you don’t, the penalties add up quickly.

And remember: There’s only one way to guarantee you won’t owe the IRS.

“You could always overpay them. The IRS loves when you overpay. That’s essentially what you have when you have withholdings and they give you a refund because you paid or withheld, as an employee, too much throughout the year,” Lavina explains

If you need to change your withholdings for next year, do it now.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tax Tip: What happens when you can’t pay the IRS?

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/ThinkstockYou’ve gone through your receipts, crunched the numbers, checked them twice and now you’re ready to file your taxes. But there’s one problem: You can’t pay everything you owe Uncle Sam.

Certified public accountant Richard Lavina says don’t panic.

“If you can’t just shell out one check, you know, a huge check for hundreds of thousands of dollars, what you can do is set up a payment plan,” he says. “There are plenty of CPAs that can do that. It’s a nice option, as opposed to saying, ‘Uh, ok, here’s $10,000 right here.'”

Just make sure you keep the agreement because if you don’t, the penalties add up quickly.

And remember: There’s only one way to guarantee you won’t owe the IRS.

“You could always overpay them. The IRS loves when you overpay. That’s essentially what you have when you have withholdings and they give you a refund because you paid or withheld, as an employee, too much throughout the year,” Lavina explains

If you need to change your withholdings for next year, do it now.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Virgin America will disappear into Alaska Airlines in 2019

Posted on: March 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Virgin America(SEATTLE) — The Virgin America name is embarking on its final voyage.

The parent company of Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday that it would be phasing out Virgin’s name following the merger of the two companies last December.

“After careful consideration, the combined company will adopt Alaska’s name and logo, retiring the Virgin America name likely sometime in 2019,” a statement said. However, the combined airline
will adopt many of the brand elements that Virgin America enthusiasts love about their favorite airline, including enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire
to make flying a different experience for guests. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe.”

Vice President of Marketing Sangita Woerner,said they wanted one name for their airline in order to be more consistent and efficient.

The combined forces of the Alaska Air Group make up the fifth-largest carrier in the nation.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Virgin America will disappear into Alaska Airlines in 2019

Posted on: March 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Virgin America(SEATTLE) — The Virgin America name is embarking on its final voyage.

The parent company of Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday that it would be phasing out Virgin’s name following the merger of the two companies last December.

“After careful consideration, the combined company will adopt Alaska’s name and logo, retiring the Virgin America name likely sometime in 2019,” a statement said. However, the combined airline
will adopt many of the brand elements that Virgin America enthusiasts love about their favorite airline, including enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire
to make flying a different experience for guests. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe.”

Vice President of Marketing Sangita Woerner,said they wanted one name for their airline in order to be more consistent and efficient.

The combined forces of the Alaska Air Group make up the fifth-largest carrier in the nation.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Starbucks to open 12,000 new locations by 2021

Posted on: March 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Starbucks(NEW YORK) — If you already feel like there’s a Starbucks on every street corner, get ready to see a whole lot more of the coffee chain’s stores.

The company announced on Wednesday plans to open 12,000 new stores globally by 2021, 3,400 of which will be in the U.S.

The new locations will amount to more than 240,000 jobs around the world, including 68,000 positions in the U.S. alone.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.