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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 19,992

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Judge refuses to throw out felony charge against Greitens

A St. Louis judge is allowing the criminal case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to move forward, rejecting a move by the governor's lawyers to dismiss it.

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Thursday disagreed with defense attorneys that the conduct by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and an investigator she hired was so bad that the only way to protect Greitens’ rights to a fair trial was to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy charge.

Although the conduct that has been seen in the discovery of this case is not to be condoned and it is serious, it is however, in the court’s opinion, capable of being cured," Burlison said in a court proceeding on Thursday morning. "Therefore the court, in considering sanctions, will not dismiss this case. The court will order lesser sanctions."

Greitens is accused of taking a semi-nude photo without the consent of a woman with whom he had had an affair, and then transmitting it in a way that it could be accessed by a computer. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and repeatedly called the case a “political witch hunt” by a liberal prosecutor.


Missouri attorney general accuses Greitens of misusing charity donor list

Washington (CNN)Embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who is already facing calls to resign over an extramarital affair and abuse allegations, was accused Tuesday by the state's attorney general of obtaining a charity donor list without permission.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that his office had "uncovered evidence of wrongdoing" by the governor that he could be charged or prosecuted for related to an investigation into a veterans charity Greitens founded.

Hawley told reporters at a news conference that his office had found evidence that the governor obtained an electronic donor list from the charity The Mission Continues without permission and used the internal list for "political fundraising."

"If proven, these acts could amount to the unauthorized taking and use of property -- in this case electronic property. Under Missouri law, this is known as computer tampering and given the value of the list in question, it is a felony," Hawley said.


Boston Store to close; 12 more in Wisconsin face same fate

RACINE — Regency Mall is about to lose another anchor tenant with Bon-Ton Stores’ announcement that it will close 13 Wisconsin Boston Stores including the one here.

Bon-Ton, parent company of Boston Store, has been ailing and notified the state of the mass closure Friday. The timetable was not specified.

The other Boston Stores to be closed include six in the greater Milwaukee area, two in Madison, and one each in Green Bay, Marshfield, Janesville and Eau Claire.

Even after the state issued its Wisconsin Business Closing and Mass Layoff, or WARN Act notice, it appeared the local store had not been notified it was being closed, according to the manager.


Nine West files for bankruptcy


Nine West said in a statement that it plans to sell Nine West and its Bandolino line to Authentic Brands Group. ABG owns Juicy Couture and Aéropostale, among others.

The company's eponymous brand and Bandolino both sell women's shoes, handbags and accessories.
Ralph Schipani, the struggling retailer's CEO, said that the restructuring will help the company reduce debt and increase growth by allowing it to focus on its stronger brands, like Anne Klein and One Jeanswear Group.

"This is the right step," Schipani said. "We will retain our strong, profitable and growing apparel, jewelry, and jeanswear businesses." He added that the changes should help the company to "be well positioned for the future."

Walmart's Future Workforce: Robots and Freelancers

Over the past few weeks, Walmart executives have sketched a picture of the company’s future that features more self-checkouts and a grocery-delivery business—soon escalating to 100 cities from a pilot program in six cities. Personal shoppers will fill plastic totes with avocados and paper towels from Walmart store shelves, and hand off packages to crowdsourced drivers idling in the parking lot. Assembly will be outsourced, too: Workers on Handy, an online marketplace for home services, will mount televisions and assemble furniture.

The Walmart of the future relies more heavily on the gig economy and automation. This is an indication of the fierce competition between Walmart, the world’s largest private employer, and Amazon. A pair of recent studies suggests that it’s also a sign that the U.S. economy is tilting further toward jobs that give workers less market power.

One study, by Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Jeff Jacobs and Suresh Naidu of Columbia University, and Siddharth Suri of Microsoft Research, sought to learn whether crowdsourced workers benefit from being able to choose their tasks and hours. The answer matters to a lot of workers. Flexible work arrangements, which include crowdsourcing platforms such as Uber, as well as freelancers and independent contractors, increased about 50 percent from 2005 to 2015. These jobs account for 94 percent—nearly all—of the net employment growth in the United States over that time.

This shift could be good for workers, in theory, if the flexibility of the gig economy lets them switch more easily between employers to take advantage of higher-paying offers. Yet in their analysis of the online-task marketplace Amazon Mechanical Turk, the researchers find that this isn’t necessarily happening. MTurk workers, or Turkers, get paid for repetitive tasks, such as tagging objects found in images or verifying restaurant phone numbers. According to the study, Turkers’ wages amount to less than 20 percent of their productivity—in other words, for every dollar of value produced on MTurk, workers receive less than 20 cents. The Turkers’ share compares with a share of 50 cents to 80 cents of every dollar for workers in the U.S. economy as a whole, Naidu says. “This suggests that much of the surplus created by this online labor-market platform is captured by employers,” the researchers write.


St. Louis County, Missouri April 3rd Election Turnout

From the St. Louis County Board of Election Website showing unofficial results.

PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 781). . . . . 781 100.00
REGISTERED VOTERS - TOTAL . . . . . 618,726
BALLOTS CAST - TOTAL. . . . . . . 91,646
VOTER TURNOUT - TOTAL . . . . . . 14.81

This was pretty much an election of school boards, local city councils and very few things of much drama to get folks excited enough to get out to vote. In my polling spot with 2 precincts the turnout was just over 7% for an uncontested city council seat and school board election. One nearby polling place showed only 0.64% turnout, while another was at 27%.

Hopefully folks will be more interested come November.

The Lessons of a School Shootingin 1853


This weekend, thousands of people are expected to gather in cities and towns across America for the “March for Our Lives,” a national response to the horrifying school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Will it change policy? Skeptics doubt it, having watched time and again how previous shootings vanish from the headlines with no change to our national debate over guns. But there’s actually precedent, deep in American history, for school shootings to shift the gun debate.

Though little remembered now, the first high-profile school shooting in the U.S. was more than 150 years ago, in Louisville, Kentucky. The 1853 murder of William Butler by Matthews F. Ward was a news sensation, prompting national outrage over the slave South’s libertarian gun rights vision and its deadly consequences. At a time when there wasn’t yet a national media, this case prompted a legal conversation that might be worth resurrecting today.

The deadly encounter between the two men was triggered by a trivial matter: eating a bunch of chestnuts during class. William Butler was a 28-year-old teacher, a Yankee immigrant to Kentucky who had helped found the Louisville School, an institution that attracted students from some of the best families in town. One of those was William Ward, the son of a prominent cotton merchant. Butler, a stern teacher, confronted the young Ward about eating in the classroom. Ward denied it. His teacher called him a liar and administered a whipping. This was a severe form of punishment, but not unusual in the mid-19th century, an age when corporal punishment in schools was the norm in many places.

The punishment did not go over well in the Ward household. The next day the boy’s older brother, Matthews Ward, purchased two small pistols and returned to the school with William and another brother, Bob. Butler had no inkling that his actions had incensed the elder Ward brother, and he greeted all three brothers cordially. Matthews confronted the teacher, calling him a “damned scoundrel” and a “coward.” Matthews and William Butler scuffled, and in the course of the altercation, Ward pulled out his pistol and shot his opponent. The Ward boys fled the building; students rushed to Butler’s aid, carrying him to his house, where a doctor attended him. But to no avail. Butler died within days of the incident.

Claire's Stores jewelry chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection


Mall jewelry chain Claire’s Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, hoping to escape huge debts preventing the company from shimmering in a dim environment for retail.

Claire’s is another victim of a string of private equity buyouts orchestrated by outside investors who loaded up on debt about a decade ago, saddling retailers with burdensome payments.

Others included Toys R Us, which last week gave up its fight to restructure its operations and decided to liquidate all of its U.S. stores, barring a last-minute chance to keep the 200 best locations open.

Struggling malls, online competition and nimble physical competitors have also proven problematic.

Pickle Juice Slushes Are Coming to Sonic

I think this is important news to share in these troubled times in which we live


Sonic Drive-In is adding a potentially polarizing new drink to their menu this summer.

Our sister publication Food & Wine reports that the fast food restaurant plans to roll out pickle juice slushes to locations nationwide in June. Yes, the salty brine is being mashed up with the famous icy drinks that dye your tongue bright colors.

F&W‘s Maria Yagoda got a chance to taste the bright green beverage during a recent trip to Sonic’s headquarters in Oklahoma City—and she was shockingly pleased with the product.

“It’s surprisingly delicious (and makes a good accompaniment to burgers and/or tots and/or corn dogs.)” she writes. “Sweet and tangy, the bright brine compensates for the over-savoriness you might have been worried about.”

Unions Push Back on Trump Administration's Plans to Shrink Labor-Management Agency

The federal agency tasked with overseeing labor-management relations in government is planning to shutter two of its seven regional offices, and federal employee unions are not happy about it.

The Federal Labor Relations Authority announced the closures of its Boston and Dallas offices in its fiscal 2019 budget justification, saying the reductions would save money and eliminate less-used facilities. The Boston and Dallas offices have seen the lowest case intake rates over the last five years, FLRA said, and would result in “operating efficiencies” enabled by technological advances. The agency moved forward with the closures after a majority of FLRA members voted to approve them.

Sixteen employees would be affected by the closures, all of whom will be offered reassignments in other regions or at the Washington, D.C., headquarters. FLRA has also received authority to offer the employees early retirement, and plans to cut its workforce by 8 percent overall.

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