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Colorado mulls lessons from first month of pot sales PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 07:27

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's marijuana experiment is going well, but there's a lot of work to do regulating the newly legal drug, state regulators and lawmakers said Monday in a panel reviewing successes and failures of the nation's first retail pot industry.

Colorado's top marijuana regulator, Department of Revenue head Barbara Brohl, said it's too soon to know how much tax revenue legal weed is going to produce, but that Colorado appears to have avoided major public safety problems, at least in the six weeks since marijuana sales began.

On Jan. 1, Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow legal retail sales of recreational marijuana. Washington state, where voters also legalized the drug in 2012, is expected to launch its marketplace in the coming months.

Brohl said other states and nations have asked how Colorado is regulating marijuana, from product safety to rules on how retailers market and sell pot.

"We've had to kind of duplicate a lot of the things the federal government does when it comes to regulation," Brohl said.

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Sochi's merchants ride Putin's Olympic dream PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ANGELA CHARLTON, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 07:24

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Vladimir Putin isn't the only one with a lot riding on the success of the Sochi Olympics. Local businesses and residents have a lot to gain if these Olympics fulfill Putin's pledge to turn Sochi and its environs from a summer playground for well-off Russians into a year-round international resort for everyone.

But that's a big "if."

The limited number of foreign spectators at these games is dampening dreams. So is all the negative attention around the not-quite-finished hotels, and the many "For Rent" signs on empty apartments around the Olympic Park.

So merchants are trying to keep their spirits up by looking past the Olympics to an upcoming new Formula 1 race in Sochi and the 2018 World Cup. Maybe by then, the tourists will come?

"It would be nice to be able to stay open all year, so that no one has to take an extra job," says Marina Nagabedian, whose family owns a convenience store near the sands of the Black Sea shore, not far from Olympic Park. In the past, her husband took a second job in the winter to help feed their two kids, and they just "waited for summer again."

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Michelin profits slump in 2013 on restructuring PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 07:26

PARIS (AP) — Tire maker Michelin SA says earnings slumped sharply last year as restructuring and falling prices hurt profitability.

Michelin said net profit fell 28 percent to 1.13 billion euros ($1.5 billion), down from 1.57 billion in 2012.

Earnings were hit by around 260 million euros in restructuring costs as part of the company's bid to lift profitability by 2015. Last year profitability slumped to 11 percent of sales, down from 11.3 percent in 2012. Falling prices and volumes in the market for construction equipment and other specialty tires was behind the drop.

Profits were also squeezed by the strong euro, as much of the company's sales are made in dollars.

Sales fell 5.7 percent to 20.2 billion euros, Michelin said in a statement Tuesday.


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

 
Owner closes Elkhart, Ind., Monaco RV plant, idling 85 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 07:22

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — The owner of Elkhart's Monaco RV plant closed the factory's doors Monday, idling 85 permanent employees and turning away those who arrived for work in the morning.

WSJV-TV reported that when employees arrived for work Monday, security guards informed them that the plant had been shut down and gave them copies of a letter saying owner Allied Specialty Vehicles had decided to exit the market for towable recreational vehicles produced by the plant.

The plant had produced the R-Vision and Holiday Rambler towable RV models, said Melissa Schober, an office manager at Orlando, Fla.-based Allied Specialty Vehicles.

"There is no change to our other motorized RV business, which is growing and profitable, including American Coach, Fleetwood RV, Holiday Rambler and Monaco," Schober said, reading from a statement. "We will continue to honor our warranty obligations for our towable products."

Employees were told they will receive a check for 60 days' severance pay on Feb. 28 and can keep their insurance through April 10.

Allied bought financially troubled Monaco last May from Navistar International Corp. It then closed Monaco's factory in Wakarusa, near South Bend, and shifted its production work to Decatur, about 20 miles south of Fort Wayne.


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

 
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