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California wine-grape growers celebrate bumper crop PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:39

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — California agriculture officials reported good news for wine lovers and vineyard operators alike: a record harvest of wine grapes.

Growers in the nation's premier wine region brought in a bumper crop last year, thanks to expanded acreage and overall favorable weather.

Wine brokers told The Modesto Bee (http://bit.ly/1f0YxmG) that two back-to-back years of large harvests will mean wine aficionados should find plenty of bargain bottles on grocery store shelves.

"Consumers are in a great position because of the amount of wine that is coming out of California," said Erica Moyer of Riverbank, a grape and wine broker for Turrentine Brokerage in Novato.

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Los Angeles workers seek record for largest concrete pour PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:14

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Crews were pouring concrete around the clock to lay the foundation for the tallest building to be constructed west of the Mississippi — and they're hoping it's one for the history books.

The marathon concrete pour began Saturday evening and was expected to last 20 hours without interruption. The attempt will be verified by an official from Guinness World Records.

About 2,000 truckloads of concrete will be driven throughout the weekend to the construction site in downtown LA where a skyscraper called the New Wilshire Grand will be built.

"In LA I think people are enthused about downtown, they're excited about this building. ... It means jobs, jobs, jobs," Mayor Eric Garcetti told KABC-TV at a festive ceremony featuring the University of Southern California marching band. He mused on Twitter whether the construction project should be dubbed "#pourzilla" or "#thegrandpour."

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Ohio to seize tax refunds from fraud debtors PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:32

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state says it plans to start seizing federal tax refunds sent to Ohioans who have committed unemployment compensation fraud.

Such fraud typically occurs when people return to work but continue to claim that they are unemployed.

The state says Ohio has about $40 million in outstanding fraud debt for state unemployment benefits, along with an additional $30 million in outstanding fraud debt for federal unemployment benefits paid to Ohioans.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says it already steps in to collect state income tax refunds and lottery winnings from those with outstanding fraud debts. It also can take legal action.

State officials say they expect to recover tens of millions of dollars more through the new program, which is in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Powerball estimated jackpot surges to $400M PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:11

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lottery officials say there was no jackpot winner in Saturday's Powerball drawing, adding the current estimated jackpot has jumped to $400 million or $227.8 million in cash value.

Powerball said the next drawing will be Wednesday, Feb. 19. It added in a statement that the previous estimated jackpot total was an annuitized $330.8 million, or $188.4 million as a cash option.

Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of matching all six numbers in the game are 1 in about 175 million, according to statistics pf the nonprofit Multi-State Lottery Association whose members offer one or more of the association's games.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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