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Workers at downtown Vegas casinos vote to allow strike PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KEN RITTER, Associated Press   
Friday, 28 March 2014 06:27
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Union members at several downtown Las Vegas casinos have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if bargaining doesn't yield a new contract.

A statement from Culinary Union Local 226 said that more than 99 percent voted for the authorization.

The vote involved unionized workers at the downtown Binion's, El Cortez, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Las Vegas Club, Las Vegas Plaza, Main Street Station and The D properties, the Margaritaville bar on the Strip, and linen service workers at Brady Laundries in North Las Vegas.

Khan said more than 5,000 members were eligible to vote. Balloting was held in two-hour shifts in the morning and evening at the East Las Vegas Community Center.

The Culinary is the largest union in Nevada, with some 55,000 workers including bartenders, food service workers, housekeepers, cooks, porters and others at casinos and properties downtown and on the Las Vegas Strip.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 07:34
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Judge won't dismiss 'pink slime' defamation suit PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 28 March 2014 06:11

ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota judge on Thursday refused to throw out a defamation lawsuit against ABC related to its coverage of a meat product called lean, finely textured beef, which critics have dubbed "pink slime."

Beef Products Inc. sued the television network in 2012 seeking $1.2 billion in damages. Dakota Dunes-based BPI says ABC's coverage led to the closure of three plants and roughly 700 layoffs by misleading consumers into believing the product is unsafe.

Attorneys for ABC say the network in each of its broadcasts stated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deemed the product safe to eat. They say BPI might not like the phrase "pink slime," but like all ground beef, it's pink and has a slimy texture.

In her Thursday ruling, Judge Cheryle Gering dismissed some claims but allowed most to go forward. Gering ruled that ABC isn't protected against liability by saying in its news reports that the product is beef, is safe and is nutritious.

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Investigation far from over in Houston oil spill PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press   
Friday, 28 March 2014 06:24

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The barge operator that spilled nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil into the Houston Ship Channel, closing one of the nation's busiest seaports for several days, will be fined by Texas regulators regardless of the outcome of state and federal investigations.

 

Investigators are still trying to pinpoint the cause of last weekend's accident involving a barge owned by Houston-based Kirby Inland Marine Corp., but Texas law considers the company carrying the oil a responsible party, said Greg Pollock, deputy director for the Texas General Land Office's oil spill response division.

"What that will be now I can't say because we don't have a closed case," Pollock said.

It won't be the first fine for the company, which has paid more than $51,000 for at least 77 spills since 2008, most of which were minor incidents.

Saturday's accident closed the main artery linking the area's busy ports with the largest petrochemical complex in the country. The channel in Texas City, about 45 miles southeast of Houston, typically handles about 70 ships and 300 to 400 tugboats and barges a day, and sees more than 200 million tons of cargo move through each year.

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Million jars of peanut butter dumped in New Mexico PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JERI CLAUSING, Associated Press   
Friday, 28 March 2014 06:09

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.

Bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll said he had no other choice after Costco Wholesale refused to take shipment of the Sunland Inc. product and declined requests to let it be donated to food banks or repackaged or sold to brokers who provide food to institutions like prisons.

"We considered all options," Coll said. "They didn't agree."

Costco officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment. But court filings indicate the product was made with $2.8 million worth of Valencia peanuts owned by Costco and had been sitting in the warehouse since the company shut down and filed for bankruptcy last fall.

After extensive testing, Costco agreed to a court order authorizing the trustee to sell it the peanut butter. But after getting eight loads, Costco rejected it as "not merchantable" because of leaky peanut oil.

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