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Sunday
Sep172017

Wisconsin lawmakers approve Foxconn deal 

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(MADISON, Wisc.) -- Wisconsin lawmakers have approved a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn.

This comes with a clause that the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer must invest approximately $10 billion in the state and build a factory that could hire up to 13,00 workers.

The legislation is now on the desk of Republic Gov. Scott Walker, who is expected to sign it.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Sep172017

Google sued for alleged gender pay discrimination

Google(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Three former Google employees are suing the company for allegedly paying women less than men for similar work.

Filed in a San Francisco court, the lawsuit alleges that Google discriminates against female employees through limited promotion, lower pay and fewer advancement opportunities.

Kelly Ellis, one of the three women filing the suit and a former software engineer at Google, said she hopes the case will force Google and other companies to change. The lawsuit states that in 2010, she was hired at a lower level than a male coworker who had similar levels of experience.

About 70 percent of Google's employees are men, according to the company.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Sep162017

Carnival worker falls from malfunctioning Ferris wheel 

Brittney Smith/Facebook(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- A tense moment was caught on camera at a North Carolina fair Friday night as a Ferris wheel malfunctioned, leaving two children clinging to each other inside a tilted carriage as a carnival worker fell from the ride while trying to help.

The accident occurred at the Central Carolina Fair in Greensboro at 9:45 p.m. after the Ferris wheel operator had to temporarily shut down the ride when one of the carriages "began to tilt out of its normal position." The operator "followed safety procedures to safely unload all passengers," the Central Carolina Fair said in a statement released on Saturday.

An employee with Michael's Amusements sustained minor injuries while attempting to adjust the gondola car back into place. He was treated on scene before being transported to a local hospital and has since been released, according to fair officials.

The Greensboro Police Department said the worker sustained non-life threatening injuries when he fell from the malfunctioning ride.

Video of the incident taken by eyewitnesses shows the worker falling to the ground as he attempts to fix the malfunctioning carriage.

One eyewitness told ABC News that two little boys were on the Ferris wheel at the time of the incident.

Brittney Smith, 28, of High Point, North Carolina, was at the Central Carolina Fair with her family Friday night when the ride malfunctioned. Smith told ABC News the boys were riding in the same gondola car together when it suddenly tilted sideways.

Smith, who was watching the incident unfold from below, said the boys were holding on to each other, "trying to protect one another from falling out," while carnival workers climbed up the Ferris wheel to help.

As one of the workers climbed onto the tilted carriage the boys were in, the car suddenly flipped back into place and began swinging back and forth, causing the worker to fall off the ride. The other workers then pulled the Ferris wheel down so the boys could exit the ride, Smith said.

Smith said the employee who fell had a cut on his leg, but didn't appear to have other injuries.

"Everyone was OK for the most part. I think maybe the little boys probably suffered from shock," Smith told ABC News in a telephone interview Saturday. "They were pretty shaken."

Central Carolina Fair spokesman Andrew Brown wouldn't confirm whether any children were in the tilted gondola car at the time.

"We are waiting on the report from state officials with other details," Brown told ABC News in an email. "The worker was attempting to adjust that carriage so the wheel could be safely rotated to unload all the passengers safely."

The gondola car was restored to "proper working condition" Friday night and was re-inspected by officials from the North Carolina Department of Labor. State officials approved the Ferris wheel ride to return to use Saturday, according to the Central Carolina Fair.

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Saturday
Sep162017

Equifax says fewer than 400K people affected by data breach in the UK

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The Equifax data breach may have reached beyond U.S. borders.

The company said fewer than 400,000 consumers in the U.K. had their personal information accessed in the breach.

This number pales in comparison with the number of Americans who were affected -- 143 million.

Between mid-May and July, "criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files." As a result of the breach, personal data -- including "names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers" -- could have been retrieved by the hackers, the company said.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating how the data was stolen.

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Friday
Sep152017

Wall Street hits new records as tech stocks climb

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed in the green on Friday, led by technology stocks, despite North Korea's latest missile launch.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 64.86 (+0.29 percent) to close at 22,268.34 for a fourth record close.

The Nasdaq jumped 19.38 (+0.30 percent) and finished at 6,448.47, while the S&P 500 closed at a new record of 2,500.23, 4.61 (0.18 percent) higher than its open.

U.S. crude oil prices remained flat at about $50 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of Apple Inc. climbed 1.01 percent after the company's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus pre-orders began.

A weak earnings outlook for Oracle Corporation caused shares of the computer software company to tumble 7.67 percent.

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Friday
Sep152017

Canoe unearthed by Hurricane Irma could be hundreds of years old

Randy Shots(COCOA, Fla.) -- A Florida photographer on an early-morning bike ride the day after Hurricane Irma ravaged the coast stumbled upon an exciting find: a dugout canoe that may be hundreds of years old, according to officials.

“As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what it was,” Randy Lathrop, a self-proclaimed history buff, told ABC News of his unusual discovery.

The canoe washed up from the Indian River, north of Cocoa, Florida, along what locals have dubbed Florida’s “Space Coast” for its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“I can look across the river and see the launch pad and the vehicle assembly building. It’s a real contrast,” Lathrop said of the area where the canoe was found, which is steeped in Native American history.

He immediately contacted the Florida Division of Historical Resources before someone could mistake it for debris and throw it away.

“It looked just like a log,” said Lathrop. “My main concern was to secure it from harm’s way. I was able to go half a mile away and get my friend with a truck and we struggled to get into the back of the truck. It weighs almost 700 pounds, but to me, it might as well have weighed 1,000 pounds. It’s been water soaked for years.”

The 15-foot-long canoe could be anywhere from several decades to several hundred years old, according to Sarah Revell, a spokeswoman with the department. Carbon dating will help to narrow down the boat's age.

“Florida is a treasure trove of unique history and we are excited about the recent discovery of the dugout canoe,” Revell told ABC News. “As we continue to evaluate and learn more about the canoe, our goal is to ensure it is preserved and protected for future generations in the local community and across Florida to learn from and enjoy.”

The canoe has a squared off form, which Revell said is commonly seen in the historic period (from 1513 to about 50 years ago in Florida), but there are several uncommon features on it too: compartments, square nails and what appears to be a seat.

“The compartments are a bit out of the ordinary,” she said. “The square nails are cut nails. Cut nails were first in production in the early 19th century so that helps to indicate it is a historic canoe.”

Lathrop said he was excited to get the canoe off the road to save it for the public.

“It belongs to the state, it belongs to the people of Florida. That’s the law,” he said.

Revell said the canoe was evaluated by a professional archaeologist based in Canaveral on Sept. 14. It is currently being kept wet in an undisclosed safe place.

“I’m still giddy,” Lathrop said of his thrilling find.

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Friday
Sep152017

Textbook showing Brock Turner's mug shot next to section on rape will be revised, publisher says

Stanford Univ Dept of Public Safety(NEW YORK) -- A publisher is planning to revise one of its criminal law textbooks after it included a picture of Brock Turner next to a section about the definition of rape.

Turner, a former Stanford University student who was found guilty on felony assault charges, was never charged with rape. California law specifies that for a crime to be categorized as rape it must involve sexual intercourse, and Turner's crime did not meet that standard.

He spent three months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on the university's campus, sparking outrage for what was viewed by some as a lenient sentence. He was released in September 2016.

The textbook in question, "Introduction to Criminal Justice: Systems, Diversity, and Change," printed Turner's mug shot next to a section about rape, but now the authors "have reviewed the text" and will be making changes in the next edition, according to the publisher.

The change comes after a college student posted a picture of the page from her textbook featuring Turner online, which went viral likely due to the controversy of the case and the three months that Turner served as punishment.

"He may have been able to get out of prison time but in my Criminal Justice 101 textbook, Brock Turner is the definition of rape, so he's got that goin for him," the student wrote.

Turner's case created national uproar in 2015 when he was arrested after assaulting an unconscious woman after a college party.

Turner, now 22, was found guilty in March 2016 of three felony charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.

He was facing up to 14 years in prison and prosecutors had asked for six years, but Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to just six months in jail and three years of probation, as recommended by the probation department. Turner ended up serving three months.

The textbook's publisher, SAGE Publishing, released a statement Thursday to address the future changes.

"The statutory definitions of rape in the State of California (where Turner was convicted of three charges of felony sexual assault) differ from those of the FBI. Turner’s actions, as determined by the California jury, fit the standards for the FBI definition of rape, as well as certain other state definitions, but not the California definition as of the time of the final book manuscript. The authors and publisher will further clarify the differing definitions of rape in California compared to the FBI in future reprints of the book," the publisher's statement reads.

Turner's lawyer and parents did not return ABC News's requests for comment.

The Facebook post that has a picture of the current version of the textbook shows that the caption beneath Turner's mug shot raises questions for the reader.

"Some are shocked at how short this sentence is. Others who are more familiar with the way sexual violence has been handled in the criminal justice system are shocked that he was found guilty and served any time at all. What do you think?" the end of the caption reads.

The Facebook post has been shared more than 100,000 times since it was first published on Sept. 7 and has prompted more than 4,400 comments.

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Friday
Sep152017

Michigan dad builds lavish 2-story playhouse for his daughters

Flashes of Life Photography(DETROIT, Mich.) -- These little girls from Highland, Michigan, are the queens of their castle, literally.

Their dad, Adam Boyd, president of Atb Building Inc., built them this amazing two-story playhouse in their backyard.

“My wife and the girls went up there and ate lunch in it all summer. She’s a teacher so they spent a lot of time out there,” Boyd, 39, told ABC News.

It has a rock wall, a slide and a loft. Boyd said he plans to add a zip line.

Boyd said his daughters, Avery, 5, and Violet, 2, love the purple wall color. The darker shade is Avery’s favorite, and the violet shade was, obviously, chosen for Violet.

And the 8-foot ceilings provide plenty of room for tea parties.

“Photographing them was just a big playdate. I had to take breaks to have tea parties,” Boyd’s sister, Rachel Goldsworthy of Flashes of Life Photography, told ABC News of their fun photo shoot.

The playhouse is about 24 feet tall at its peak and took Boyd “quite a while” to complete, working on it mostly on weekends and during his free time.

The proud father said Avery loved helping him on the project.

“That was the most rewarding part of it,” he said of the DIY daddy-daughter design. “She was sanding the crown molding with me. She loved it.”

Boyd said he’s gotten so much positive feedback on the elaborate playhouse that he is now starting a new business, Spoiled Rotten Homes, which will focus on over-the-top playhouses for children.

“A lot of people, friends and family included, thought I was nuts for doing what I did, but I’m very satisfied with the outcome,” he said. “I’m happy to watch them play in it, and play in it with them. It’s worth every penny I’ve spent and it’s gonna be there forever.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Sep152017

Trying out three popular clothing re-sellers

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While retail brick-and-mortar sales are struggling, resale is booming. Value-conscious millennials have helped drive secondhand sales to become a booming multibillion-dollar industry, according to some estimates.

“Now resale clothing is even bigger and better,” said Marshal Cohen, the chief industry analyst for retail with the N.P.D. Group. “It’s amazing how many products you can buy that have the expression 'new with tags' that basically means you’re buying used clothing that has never been worn."

Today’s secondhand buyers can shop dozens of online sites for everything from accessories to formal wear. The average discount on items of 80 percent off retail has lured shoppers to online and traditional brick-and-mortar resale stores, which are also expanding their presence on the web.

Dana Avidan Cohen, executive style director at Pop Sugar, a lifestyle website, calls shopping secondhand the green approach to shopping.

“It is becoming such a huge market for people who want a really savvy customer experience,” Avidan Cohen said.

The growth in resale outlets has created a market for buyers and sellers. Many consignors and resellers rely on their customers to support their inventory. ThredUP adds that 50 percent of their shoppers also sell with them.

“This is a way you’re sort of taking the stuff that you’re not using anyway and you’re getting cash for it or credit to shop for more stuff,” Avidan Cohen said. “I think that’s really exciting to women because you’re not just refreshing trends your body changes your lifestyle changes.”

With so many re-sellers vying for your new or barely used castoffs, "Good Morning America" wanted to see where we could potentially make the most money. We asked Avidan Cohen to help with our experiment, looking at three re-sellers: thredUP, one of the largest online markets for secondhand clothing, Tradesy, an app that makes reselling entirely mobile, and Beacon’s Closet, a New York City–based re-seller, has four locations and offers cash on the spot.

Avidan Cohen selected three items that "GMA" purchased brand new: a Kate Spade handbag, which "GMA" bought for $178, a pair of J. Crew pumps for $160 -- both on sale -- and a little black dress "GMA" bought from Zara for $39.90.

We sent one set to thredUP, posted another set on Tradesy and took our items to Beacon’s Closet.

The instant payout at Beacon’s, which they say is based on 30 percent of their selling price, and netted us a total of $25 for the shoes and the purse. They refused to take the Zara dress even though it was brand new, citing the store already had too many of the same kind of dress.

“There is no waiting to receive cash or store credit the same day when sellers come in. We buy items outright on the spot,” said Carrie Peterson, president and founder of Beacon’s Closet, Inc. “We are happy that the secondhand market is thriving, and that people understand that something doesn't have to be shiny and new for it to have value.”

ThredUP took all of our items and paid us a total of $114.55. But it took, nearly two months to process our bag and get paid. The company now has a new policy of charging an optional $10 to process your bag in a week.

A ThredUP spokesperson said, “There are places where you earn more money but nowhere that’s more convenient.”

It took us about the same amount of time to sell our items on Tradesy. Over time we dropped our asking price several times to attract buyers, but in the end, Tradesy came out on top in our experiment, earning us $148.42 for all three items, after fees.

“Our systems are designed so that sellers earn more, while buyers pay less,” said Tracy DiNunzio, Tradesy founder and chief executive officer.

When it comes to cleaning out your closet, “Don’t hang on to what you’re not using,” said Avidan Cohen. “There’s no expiration date on clothes or shoes but current items with tags will fetch better prices.”

And keep tags and shoe boxes, as they help authenticate the things you want to sell and that helps make you more money.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Sep142017

Iconic Charging Bull statue on Wall Street vandalized with blue paint

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Charging Bull statue on Wall Street in New York City was vandalized with paint early Thursday morning.

A worker at a nearby office building spotted an unidentified woman throwing blue paint on the head of the iconic bull statue and tying a blue ribbon around the neck of the Fearless Girl statue.

The vandalism was discovered at 5:50 a.m. and a nearby cleaning crew was called in to clean off what they said they believed to be water paint.

The workers gave responding NYPD officers a description of a middle-aged blonde woman who they said walked away from the scene. NYPD told ABC News that no arrests have been made.

The vandalism is believed to be a response to the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement climate accord.

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