Financial
Child dies from infected rat; family sues Petco PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JULIE WATSON, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 07:00

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego family is suing Petco after the death of their 10-year-old son from a bacterial infection they say he contracted from his pet rat.

Attorney John Gomez told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his firm filed the lawsuit Monday in San Diego County seeking an unspecified amount for the suffering endured by the Pankey family, whose son, Aidan, died June 12, 2013, hours after he was rushed to the hospital with severe stomach pains.

The San Diego County medical examiner's office ruled that the cause of death was streptobacillus moniliformis infection, commonly known as rat-bite fever, after exposure to an infected rat.

The retailer in a statement expressed its condolences.

"We are deeply saddened by the Pankey family's tragic loss," Petco said in a statement. "The health and safety of people and pets is always a top priority, and we take the family's concerns very seriously."

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Tiny houses help address nation's homeless problem PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CARRIE ANTLFINGER, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 06:53

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless.

There's a growing effort across the nation from advocates and religious groups to build these compact buildings because they are cheaper than a traditional large-scale shelter, help the recipients socially because they are built in communal settings and are environmentally friendly due to their size.

"You're out of the elements, you've got your own bed, you've got your own place to call your own," said Harold "Hap" Morgan, who is without a permanent home in Madison. "It gives you a little bit of self-pride: This is my own house."

He's in line for a 99-square-foot house built through the nonprofit Occupy Madison Build, or OM Build, run by former organizers with the Occupy movement. The group hopes to create a cluster of tiny houses like those in Olympia, Wash., and Eugene and Portland, Ore.

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Local politics affects senators on minimum wage PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ALAN FRAM, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 06:55

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Mark Pryor is doing a delicate dance over congressional Democrats' upcoming push to boost the federal minimum wage. The Democrat from Republican-leaning Arkansas says he'll vote against the bill, but on the key roll call may oppose GOP efforts to filibuster it to death.

Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, another red state where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular, has no such qualms. He not only backs the legislation to gradually raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour by 2016 but is co-sponsoring it.

The two Marks, both seeking re-election this fall, exemplify how local politics is complicating Democrats' push on what most of them consider a can't-miss campaign-year issue.

Tentative plans to debate the bill have slipped several times since late last year, and Democratic leaders delayed Senate debate on the proposal yet again Tuesday, saying it would come up after lawmakers return from a recess in late March.

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Asiana Airlines penalized over crash PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JUSTIN PRITCHARD, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 15:40

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Asiana Airlines has been penalized $500,000 for failing to assist family members of passengers on a flight that crashed last year at San Francisco airport, federal transportation officials said Tuesday.

The fine announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation was a first: No airline has broken U.S. laws that require prompt and generous assistance to the loved ones of crash victims.

Three people died and dozens were injured on July 6 when Asiana Flight 214 clipped a seawall while landing.

An investigation by the Department of Transportation concluded that some family members had not been contacted two days after the crash, and it took five days to reach the families of all 291 passengers.

"The last thing families and passengers should have to worry about at such a stressful time is how to get information from their carrier," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a prepared statement.

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