Alcohol License Fight Returns To Legislature, For Now

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

Alcohol License Fight Returns To Legislature, For Now Legislation that would establish a new class of alcohol licenses for convenience stores, supermarkets and other businesses may lead to another statewide ballot question, an opponent of the proposal testified Monday.Cumberland Farms and Market Basket, for example, could be eligible for an unlimited number of so-called food store licenses for wine and malt beverages under the Rep. Daniel Cahill bill (H 253) — unlike package stores and other retailers subject to stricter alcohol license caps under existing state law, warned Robert Mellion, executive director and general counsel at the Massachusetts Package Stores Association.“H 253 is a blueprint for a ballot question. Here we go again,” Mellion told members of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on Monday afternoon.Package stores can have only nine licenses, but Cumberland Farms could theoretically control 206 licenses at all of its Massachusetts locations, he said.“I don’...

MLB’s new pitch clock may be leading to more blown saves

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

MLB’s new pitch clock may be leading to more blown saves NEW YORK (AP) — The pitch clock has sped up baseball as hoped — and it might be leading to more exciting endings, too.A quarter of the way through Major League Baseball’s first season with the pitch timer, relief pitchers seem to be bearing the most stress from it, with save conversions dropping to 61.4% from 67.8% at a similar point last season.The save percentage is near the bottom range of the past decade, which averaged 65.1%, MLB said Monday. The high was 70% in 2015 and the low 61% in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.“Whenever relievers are coming in, it’s mostly a stressful situation,” said Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano, whose time between pitches dropped from to 14.8 seconds from 20.5 last season. “It was nice before when you did have those extra few seconds.“Now you’ve just got to get your thoughts together and go,” the 2022 All-Star added. “I haven’t noticed it too much but yeah, I guess in the times I’ve struggled, a couple extra seconds w...

Man sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing autistic girl, sharing images

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

Man sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing autistic girl, sharing images PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A former special education technician who sexually abused a 6-year-old autistic girl and recorded it was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison on Monday.Benjamin Conroy, who pleaded guilty last year to sexual exploitation of a minor, must serve 15 years of probation when he’s released from prison, the judge said.Conroy, 34, sexually abused the student at an elementary school in Portland and sent explicit images to a person who contacted the Portland Police Department, according to court documents.U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee said Conroy sexually exploited a child in a place where parents should be confident in their children’s safety — a school — and “used his position as a school employee to victimize a young child with special needs.”The defense contended Conroy suffered sexual abuse as a boy, and had suffered from a head injury and from mental illness and addiction to painkillers at the time he perpetuated the abuse.Conroy was arre...

Chicago Bears and school districts tangle over taxes for potential stadium property in Arlington Heights

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

Chicago Bears and school districts tangle over taxes for potential stadium property in Arlington Heights The Chicago Bears and a trio of school districts whose financial resources stand to be impacted by the football team’s proposed redevelopment of Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights are deadlocked over how much the Bears should pay in property taxes for the site.Team President and CEO Kevin Warren said in a May 4 letter to three school district superintendents that their proposal of a $95 million valuation for the property is a “non-starter” and “not viable.” The valuation would result in the Bears paying $7.9 million in yearly property taxes.“This is an excessive sum for property that will sit idle and will have no commercial use for at least the next two years,” Warren wrote.The Bears countered by proposing annual tax payments of $4.3 million, and called for returning to the negotiating table.Warren’s May 4 letter, obtained by Pioneer Press, addressed collectively to the superintendents of Palatine Community Consol...

Jets’ Quinnen Williams contract situation warrants concern, but not panic

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

Jets’ Quinnen Williams contract situation warrants concern, but not panic On Monday morning, several Jets fans panicked when they saw star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams’ Twitter profile.Williams changed his Twitter bio to say “Defensive Tackle for ………..” He also now has a photo from his college days at Alabama instead of a more recent one in a Jets uniform.It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Williams is unhappy with his contract situation with the Jets. He is entering the final year of his rookie deal, which is scheduled to pay him $9.5 million.Williams told reporters in January he would not attend the Jets’ optional offseason program without a contract extension. Until this point, he has kept his word, as Williams was a no-show for the start of the team’s offseason program on April 17. Along with being unhappy with the lack of progress with his contract situation, Williams has been preoccupied as he and his wife are expecting the birth of their child during the next few weeks.This was ...

Real estate’s popularity as investment tumbles to 5-year low

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

Real estate’s popularity as investment tumbles to 5-year low Real estate is again a top investment choice, at least according to an annual poll of typical Americans.But its popularity has tumbled to a five-year low.In a Gallup poll of 1,013 U.S. adults, 34% of respondents in April said property is the best place for their money when asked to choose between real estate, stocks, bonds, golds and savings accounts. It’s nothing new. This poll has ranked real estate No. 1 for 11 consecutive years in a survey dating to 2011.But real estate’s popularity took a steep fall. Its slice of the best-investment pie shrank from last year’s record high of 45% to a low not seen since 2018. That pullback in sentiment aligns with the property industry’s tough conditions – notably costlier financing, weak pricing and overall shaky economics.Now, just how investors define “real estate” is tricky. Ponder some investment results from market watcher Charles Rother at Sector Logic in Santa AnaFor example, do people see real estate ...

US soccer officials to discuss head injuries as 4 more ex-players diagnosed with CTE

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

US soccer officials to discuss head injuries as 4 more ex-players diagnosed with CTE English soccer star Jimmy Fryatt was known for his ability to head the ball, and the proof of his prowess may be in the damage it did to his brain.Still physically fit in his late 70s, Fryatt played tennis but couldn’t keep score or remember which side of the net he was supposed to be on. He lived in Las Vegas for almost 50 years but started to get lost while riding his bicycle in the neighborhood.“I had to put a tracker on him,” his wife, Valerie, said this week. “I’d call him and say: ‘Stop. I’m coming to get you.’”A North American Soccer League champion who played 18 years in Britain, Fryatt is one of four former professional soccer players newly diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The Concussion Legacy Foundation announced Tuesday that English pro and Oregon State head coach Jimmy Conway, Scottish and Seattle NASL midfielder Jimmy Gabriel, and NCAA champion Franny Pantuosco also were found to have the degenerative brain disease that has been linked to concussions in...

Retail sales up 0.4% in April, buoyed by solid job market and declining prices in some areas

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

Retail sales up 0.4% in April, buoyed by solid job market and declining prices in some areas NEW YORK (AP) — Americans picked up their spending modestly in April, spending money online and dining out, buoyed by a solid job market and a retreat in prices for some things. Car sales also rose despite prices that continue to soar, according to the Commerce Department report issued Tuesday. But consumers are facing plenty of challenges heading into the second half of the year from tightening credit to a weaker job market. Retail sales increased 0.4% in April compared with March, when sales decreased 0.7%. That is the first retail sales increase since January, when unusually warm weather and a big jump in Social Security benefits juiced spending. Retail sales data from the U.S. are not adjusted for inflation unlike many other government reports, so the headline increase only matched the monthly rise of 0.4% in the government’s consumer price index for April. That indicates that shoppers are struggling to keep up with inflation. Sales at car and auto parts dealers rose 0.4%. Busin...

Executives from failed banks questioned on CEO pay, risk management at Senate hearing

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

Executives from failed banks questioned on CEO pay, risk management at Senate hearing NEW YORK (AP) — Executives from two of three banks that recently failed appeared in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to respond to questions about why their banks went under and what regulators could have done to avoid the calamities.Along with questions about how these banks failed, senators used the hearing to also address executive pay and whether senior executives in the U.S. are being rewarded more for short-term gains — like rising stock prices — than for ensuring their companies’ long-term health. Executives at Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank were paid millions of dollars over their tenures up until their banks failed, the bulk of the compensation coming in the form company stock. That stock is now largely worthless but the CEOs still pocketed millions from the planned sales of their shares before the banks’ collapse. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democratic chair of the Senate Banking Committee, took aim at executive compensation t...

Crypto rules get final approval to make Europe a global leader on regulation

Published Mon, 26 Feb 2024 23:53:38 GMT

Crypto rules get final approval to make Europe a global leader on regulation LONDON (AP) — The European Union’s sweeping set of beefed-up cryptocurrency rules got final approval from member states Tuesday, giving the 27-nation bloc a global lead in regulating the freewheeling sector. The European Council adopted the package of rules — known as Markets in Crypto Assets, or MiCA — in the final step of the bloc’s legislative process. European Parliament lawmakers endorsed the rules in April, and they’re expected to start taking effect in phases starting in July 2024. The tighter European scrutiny follows a spate of high profile crypto scandals including the collapse of trading firm FTX and the implosion of the TerraUSD stablecoin. The rules are aimed at improving transparency and combating money laundering and will cover stablecoins — which are usually tied to a hard currency or a commodity like gold that make them less volatile than normal cryptocurrencies. Other digital tokens as well as bitcoin-related services such as trading platforms and...

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