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Las Vegas casino workers union holds strike vote PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 06:26

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Union members at several Las Vegas casinos are set to vote whether to authorize a strike if bargaining doesn't yield a new contract.

Culinary Union 226 spokeswoman Bethany Khan says voting takes place Thursday in two shifts at the East Las Vegas Community Center — from 10 a.m. to noon and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Unionized casino workers at Binion's, El Cortez, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Las Vegas Club, Las Vegas Plaza, Main Street Station and Margaritaville and The D are due to vote, along with linen service workers from Brady Laundries.

Results could be known later in the evening.

The union represents thousands of bartenders, food service workers, housekeepers, cooks, porters and others at casinos and properties downtown and on the Las Vegas Strip.


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Union ruling comes at bad time for NCAA PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TIM DAHLBERG, AP Sports Writer   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 06:10

They're battling in courtrooms, and could one day meet over a bargaining table. About the only things the two sides in the debate over big-time college athletics agree on is that things are changing.

Schools bringing in hundreds of millions in bloated television contracts. Coaches making the kind of salaries that late UCLA legend John Wooden wouldn't recognize. Athletes insisting on basic rights, if not outright cash.

And now a union for football players at Northwestern that would previously have been unthinkable in college sports.

A ruling Wednesday that the Northwestern football team can bargain with the school as employees represented by a union may not by itself change the way amateur sports operate. But it figures to put more pressure on the NCAA and the major conferences to give something back to the players to justify the billions of dollars the players bring in — and never see.

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California drought spurs mini gold rush in Sierra PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TERENCE CHEA, Associated Press   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 06:11

COLFAX, Calif. (AP) — There's gold in them dry hills!

Or gold seekers anyway. And they see a historic opportunity in California's historic drought.

Low water levels have led to a mini gold rush in the same Sierra Nevada foothills that drew legions of fortune seekers from around the world in the mid-1800s, as amateur prospectors dig for riverbed riches in spots that have been out of reach for decades.

"With the drought going on, we're able to dig in more locations that wouldn't be accessible at later times," said Tim Amavisca, who wore waterproof overalls as he panned in the Bear River near Colfax with his teenage daughter on a recent Friday afternoon.

Amavisca, a 38-year-old from Sacramento who recently left the military, has been prospecting several times a week this winter — a time when it's usually raining and river levels are too high for gold panning.

Leaning over a bed of rocks, Amavisca reached into the river and scooped shovelfuls of sand into a plastic bucket. He and his daughter then poured the sand into a sluice box that's used to trap gold flakes on textured rubber mats.

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$270M chocolate plant proof of U.S.'s sweet tooth PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOHN HANNA, Associated Press   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 06:08

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Americans aren't losing their taste for chocolate. Need proof? Look to Kansas, where candy giant Mars Inc. is opening its first new plant in 35 years to churn out millions of chocolate bars and other sweets every day.

Company officials are throwing a grand opening Thursday for the sprawling, $270 million chocolate plant — which they say exists mostly to meet U.S. demand for its M&M's- and Snickers-brand candy.

The plant, built south of Topeka, will be able to produce 14 million bite-sized Snickers each day, as well as 39 million M&M's, enough to fill 1.5 million fun-sized packs.

"It's just unbelievable, the production," said Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast, who keeps a dispenser of peanut M&M's on his desk at City Hall.

It's a sweet deal for state and local officials, too. The 500,000-square-foot facility is bringing about 200 jobs to the Topeka area, and the company plans to open a store downtown for several weeks.

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