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Wednesday
Aug162017

Man sells entire video game collection for $20K

BananaStock/iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, man decided to sell his extensive Nintendo video game collection online, and he reportedly made quite a hefty sum.

Charles Amble has loved video-gaming since he was a kid.

"It's kind of a nerdy hobby that a lot of people who are my age, you know, that grew up in the late '80s, early '90s can appreciate," Amble told ABC affiliate WISN.

He told WISN he started amassing the video game-related gear when he was young, but about a decade ago, he really upped his gathering.

"Most of my collection came from, like, garage sales and Goodwill finds, auctions, stuff like that," Amble told WISN.

Amble decided to sell the items now because, he said, the hobby of video-gaming has started booming again in the past few years.

He posted the assortment of video games on eBay, asking $29,900 for the lot.

Amble said he received a few serious bids, but he decided to go with a cash offer of $20,000 by a man in Ohio. The buyer drove up and picked up the impressive collection.

Amble's home is now lined with empty bookshelves instead of droves of video games, figurines and paraphernalia.

"You know, man, it's super sad, like, the past 10 years, this has really been a huge part of my life," Amble told WISN.

According to Amble, he sold 750 games across three Nintendo platforms. He told WISN he plans to use the money to travel with his wife and possibly buy a boat.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

Report: Cutting Obamacare subsidies could hike some premiums

Creatas/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Health insurance premiums could rise by roughly 20 percent next year for some consumers if President Donald Trump decides to end key Obamacare subsidy payments to insurers, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Prepared at the request of congressional Democrats, the estimate sought to model the impact of Trump carrying out his threat to pull back the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers that help lower health care costs for low-income Americans.

"Implementing the policy would increase the federal deficit, on net, by $194 billion from 2017 through 2026," the report also reads.

According to the analysis released Tuesday, the number of uninsured Americans would increase next year without the subsidy payments, but become slightly lower -- relative to the current figures -- beginning in 2020.

The CSR payments, valued at approximately $7 billion this year, are made monthly, and the next installment is due on Aug. 21. While Republicans and Democrats in Congress want to continue the payments to stabilize insurance markets, it's unclear what the White House will do in the coming weeks, given Trump's threats to let Obamacare fail.

Senate Republicans failed to advance their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare last month, coming up one vote short.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

Trump: CEOs leaving advisory council 'out of embarrassment'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- After four members of his American Manufacturing Council resigned earlier this week, President Donald Trump explained away the actions as ones made out of "embarrassment" over the issue of outsourcing.

"Some of the folks that will leave, they're leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside [of the United States,]" Trump said Tuesday as he fielded questions following scheduled remarks on his infrastructure plans.

This week, the CEOs of Merck, Intel, Under Armour and the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing all announced their departures from the advisory panel in the wake of Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday.

Two more leaders, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO labor union, and Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO's former deputy chief of staff, announced their resignations following Trump's comments, which assigned "blame" to protesters on "both sides" last weekend.

Trump said that he had been "lecturing" business leaders about returning manufacturing to the U.S.

"You have to bring this work back to this country," said Trump Tuesday. "That's what I want. I want manufacturing to be back into the United States so that American workers can benefit."

The president has himself admitted to producing Trump-branded products internationally on various occasions after it became a critique of his rivals during last year's presidential election. As recently as mid-July, during the White House's self-proclaimed "Made in America" week, then-press secretary Sean Spicer explained Trump's rationale for allowing such items to be manufactured overseas.

"I can tell you that in some cases, there are certain supply chains or scalability that may not be available in this country," said Spicer on July 17.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier announced Monday that he was resigning from the president's council, saying in statement that as a "matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal," he said.

The president responded first on Twitter, slamming Frazier's decision.

 

 

Since then, Frazier has been joined by Intel's Brian Krzanich, Under Armour's Kevin Planck and the Alliance for American Manufacturing's Scott Paul in leaving the group.

On Saturday, Trump said the hatred, bigotry and violence in Charlottesville need to end on "many sides."

He was summarily criticized for not directly condemning white supremacist and extremist groups.

A White House official said Trump was "condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides" when asked what he meant when he condemned the "many sides" involved in violence in Charlottesville.

On Monday, Trump issued a second statement, taking a stronger stance on hate groups, including white supremacists, in remarks from the White House.

"Racism is evil," said Trump, two days after a driver rammed a car into a crowd of people in the midst of violent clashes over a white nationalist rally in the city. "And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the [Ku Klux Klan], neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."

Just after taking office, Trump announced the establishment of a manufacturing council, with Frazier as the only black male executive included.

Trump called Frazier one of the "great, great leaders of business in the country" at a July 30 event at the White House.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

US stocks little changed despite retail sales boost

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street was little changed on Tuesday despite strong U.S. retail sales data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 5.28 (+0.02 percent) to finish at 21,998.99.

The Nasdaq slid 7.22 (-0.11 percent) to close at 6,333.01, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,464.61, down 1.23 (-0.05 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was up 0.55 percent higher with prices under $48 per barrel.

Retail Sales: Retail sales in July were above analysts' expectations, rising 0.6 percent, with a boost in automobile purchases and raised discretionary spending.

Winners and Losers:  Deutsche Bank upgraded Wynn Resorts Ltd.'s stock to "Buy" and shares of the hotel operated soared 6.41 percent.

Shares of Home Depot Inc. sunk 2.65 percent, despite higher-than-expected quarterly sales in its earnings report.

An earnings miss by Dick's Sportings Goods had shares tumble 23.03 percent.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

This rescue turkey is living his best life 

Brant Pinvidic(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- Albert the turkey could have been someone's Thanksgiving dinner, but instead he's an internet sensation.

"We had no idea Albert would be how he is," Brant Pinvidic, Albert's owner, told ABC News.

The turkey, he said, was rescued as a "symbolic gesture" from a slaughterhouse on Thanksgiving 2016.

"My contractor knew a farm where they raise turkeys for slaughter and he asked if I wanted one for Thanksgiving," Pinvidic said.

Now, less than a year later, Albert is a full member of Pinvidic's household in Santa Clara, California.

He's even been a "best man" at a wedding.

He hangs by the family pool.

"Albert is part of our everyday life," Pinvidic said. "I see him every morning and evening. He will follow us everywhere almost all day. He simply wants attention and to cuddle. He’s very much like our dogs."

And, somewhat ironically, Albert seems perfectly comfortable at the kitchen counter.

But he's most famous for giving hugs.

"He’s a complete showoff," Pinvidic said. "He only wants attention. He doesn’t want food, he doesn’t want to play, he just wants you to notice him. He’s very pompous. He really believes he is the most interesting thing going on wherever he is."

The turkey, who has 9,000 Instagram followers, has inspired his own animal rescue foundation, Albert and Friends. The organization was formed after Albert's rescue and primarily works with St. Bonnie's shelter, which takes in cats, dogs and horses, among other animals.

"His fans get a lot of joy from his posts and his interaction and that makes us very happy. We hope to expose more people to the joy of rescue animals," Pinvidic said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

7-year-old hosts princess party for foster kids at Disney World

Positive Proof Productions(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- A 7-year-old has led an effort that gave a group of girls, many in foster care, the ultimate princess experience at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Jordan West hosted the special event known as "Princess for a Day," in which 14 girls joined her at the Magic Kingdom for a fun day filled with rides and meeting their favorite Disney princesses.

Jordan raised nearly $10,000 through fundraising efforts, with the help of her mom, Olivia West.

"She's really excited to interact with the girls," West of Rochester, New York, told ABC News about her daughter. "She writes affirmations for these girls [that say], 'You are beautiful, you are loved.' That really touches me as a mom and I really hope that she continues thinking about others."

West, a mom of three, said Jordan is familiar with giving back to others thanks to her two 12-year-old brothers, Jeremiah and Joshua. The two run their own organization, "Champions of Change," which gives back to those who are less fortunate through charitable outreaches.

In July 2016, Jordan held her very first princess party at the now-closed Sweet and Sassy children's spa in Pittsford, New York. About 24 girls who were in foster care at the time attended the event. They were transported to the salon in a limo and received gifts from Jordan, including pink travel bags.

West said that the White House caught wind of Jordan's princess party and invited her to Washington, D.C., to host another one months later. About 115 girls who lived in the area participated in the event.

This year, Jordan and her mom received a suggestion to host a more over-the-top "Princess for a Day" experience at Walt Disney World.

In addition to private donations, Jordan held garage sales, lemonade sales and a "Pennies for Princesses" event where she asked her friends and family to come to the local bank and donate their pennies for her cause. Jordan also sells a children's book she wrote titled, "Princess for a Day," on Amazon and on the Champions of Change website. All of the profits went towards funding for her Disney princess party, West said.

On Aug. 4, 15 girls including Jordan arrived in Orlando for the princess party. Many of the children were in foster care.

The girls were treated to a party and princess spa experience at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Cinderella's Castle. They received park passes, gift bags, princess gowns and had meet-and-greets with Disney princesses.

“They had a lot of activities for them, a lot of surprises for them along the way so I think it went very well,” said Tan Mitchell, a Florida resident who brought her foster daughter to the event and chaperoned three girls. “For this organization to step in and do this was really amazing. It really did a lot to make these girls smile and make them feel like princesses for a day.”

Taren Sykes Harris, spokeswoman for the Pinellas Council On Adoptable Children in partnership with Pinellas County Foster Care Association, said four children affiliated with her organization attended Jordan's princess party.

"I know all the children had a wonderful time at the event and it was overwhelming," Harris said. "It was an experience that they will remember for a lifetime. We were so grateful and honored to participate."

West said that she and Jordan have received many thank you notes from the girls and their foster moms since the trip to Disney World.

"We wanted it to be the best day ever," West said. "Learning about foster care and [how] some of these kids have traumatic experiences and unpleasant memories, it's nice to be able to place some great memories in their memory box."

Jordan hopes to host more princess parties for young girls in the future.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

This unlikely investor saved a plus-size fashion retailer

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- James Rhee is not the person you’d expect to be the driving force behind the revival of America’s largest plus-size, retail chain for African-American women.

The company was Ashley Stewart. It was founded in 1991 as one of the first and only fashion brands for plus-sized, African-American women. It was built around the idea of serving a community. Store managers were referred to as “Miss Ashley” by shoppers. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters would shop together for special occasion clothing. And in 2013, it was on the brink of declaring bankruptcy for the second time. That’s when Rhee -- an Asian-American man, the son of Korean immigrants, with no retail experience at all -- stepped up to take over as CEO. He left behind his career as a financial investor to run Ashley Stewart and give the brand one last shot to stay alive.

“It was one of those things where ... I just felt what was going to happen to the business was wrong,” said Rhee. “The company hadn’t had a really fair shot in a long time.”

He went on, “I think as an investor, you’re trained not to be emotional,” said Rhee. “But I think some of your best investments of money and your time are things driven by emotion. But you have to have the rational sense to make sense of that emotion.”

For Rhee, that emotion was tethered to his own experience, growing up a first-generation American in New York. His father, a pediatrician, became involved in their community through his work. But Rhee’s mother remained home to take care of him and his two siblings. English remained a barrier.

“I remember her asking for some anti-rust spray at a local hardware store,” Rhee shared. “And she was treated really poorly. And I remember going in there and saying – you know, I must’ve been 14 years old – and saying, 'Why would you speak to my mother like that? It’s not nice.’”

He continued, “There were times growing up when I saw my mom enter into a place where she could speak Korean, and she was a different person. Like, she was just so comfortable. I could see it in her neckline, her shoulders – the stress was out.”

Today, Ashley Stewart is thriving. Its digital business is booming, the customer base has grown, and the brand is leveraging its name to help promote new entrepreneurs from the same community it serves. But for Rhee, the last four years were not about serving one particular brand, nor one particular community.

“I really believe people are the same,” he said. “At the end of the day – particularly after being a father – what [people] want is just to have something decent for their kids. And to be able to feed them, and send them to a good school, if they want to go to school, and to have grandkids. I really believe it’s that simple.”

To hear about Rhee’s own story, check out the full conversation on this week’s episode of "Uncomfortable."

Download and subscribe to the "Uncomfortable" podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and ABC News podcasts.

Rhee was interviewed as part of a series called "Uncomfortable," hosted by Amna Nawaz, that offers in-depth honest conversations with influential figures about issues dividing America.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

Best ways to save on back-to-school supplies, clothing and tech essentials

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With students across the country heading back to school, the often dreaded list of back-to-school supplies can certainly weigh heavy on parents’ wallets.

But Lisa Lee Freeman, the editor-in-chief of ShopSmart magazine, has great secrets to scoring the best deals on school supplies, clothes and tech gadgets.

Where are the best deals?

“Try dollar stores,” she told ABC News. “In addition to walk-in dollar stores, check online dollar stores like Hollar.com.”

Freeman also suggested cherry-picking the best deals in fliers.

“Use apps to scan the weekly ads and snap up the 50-cent deals on pens, pencils and crayons at stores like Walmart and Staples,” she said.

How can parents buy now for the entire school year?


“Shop the warehouse stores,” said Freeman. “Costco and Sam’s Club are your best bet for heavily discounted bulk purchases of things you need to replenish often, such as computer paper (less than a penny a sheet) and plastic sandwich bags (2 cents a bag). Shop with another parent to split the cost of membership and bulk purchases.”

Clothes are always a big expense this time of year. How can parents save on them?

“Load up on T-shirts starting at just $5,” she said. “Stores like Five Below and Target have tons of super-cheap and super-cute graphic T-shirts, which are hot this year. [There are also] tanks for girls at only $3 and sneakers from Five Below are just $5.”

Freeman also said to “stock up on end-of-season bargains and hold off on fall wardrobes.”

“Wait for Columbus Day sales to load up on fall shoes and apparel as well as sporting goods,” she explained. “The next few weeks are best for closeouts on summer clothing, which your kids will be wearing for at least the first couple of months of school.”

What can parents hold off on buying now but save on later?

“Check for student discounts,” said Freeman. “Bring along those student IDs and take advantage of 10 to 15 percent student discounts at PacSun, Levi’s, H&M, Forever 21, J. Crew and many other stores.”

Tech is a big expense. What can parents do to bring those prices down?

“The No. 1 way to maximize your savings [is to] buy a refurb,” said Freeman. “A refurb can save you up to 60 percent or more. Just be sure to buy from reputable sellers, check return policies and read product descriptions. One of the biggest sellers of refurbs is Ebay.”

She also suggested checking for student discount programs.

“Go online to find out about the programs before you head into the stores,” she said. “Best Buy, Dell and Apple offer student deals that can save you hundreds of dollars. Also, you can get Microsoft Office Suite software for free with a student email address.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

US stocks close higher as North Korea fears ease

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Investors were less fearful of threats from North Korea on Monday and U.S. stocks closed mostly in the green.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 135.39 (+0.62 percent) to finish at 21,993.71.

The Nasdaq climbed 83.68 (+1.34 percent) to close at 6,340.23, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,465.84, up 24.52 (+1.00 percent) from its open.

Crude oil sunk more than 2.5 percent with prices at $47.50 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. both finished 1.5 percent higher at the close.

JC Penney Company Inc continued its downward spiral, tumbling 4 percent.

Despite volatile trading earlier, Snap Inc.'s stock finished Monday 6.5 percent higher.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Amazon issues refunds to customers who bought counterfeit solar eclipse glasses

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With millions purchasing protective eyewear ahead of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Amazon is working to remove potentially counterfeit glasses from its marketplace and issue refunds to those who have already bought them online.

A company spokesperson told ABC News in a statement overnight that it asked third-party sellers offering solar eclipse glasses to provide documentation to verify that their "products were compliant with relevant safety standards."

"The offers from sellers who provided this safety documentation remain available to customers," the spokesperson said.

Sellers who did not provide documentation for their listings have been removed from the site. Amazon did not name any of those listings or specific brands in its statement.

Amazon confirmed that it issued refunds to some customers who purchased glasses that may not meet industry standards.

Last week, Fred Espenak, retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer, told ABC News that he has heard rumors of counterfeit glasses being sold online.

Espenak, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) suggest that consumers purchase off the AAS's approved list of companies that manufacture and/or sell eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers, which have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.

"They've been put through a testing procedure to demonstrate that they're dark enough to prevent visible as well as ultraviolet and infrared light from passing through it," Espenak said.

Some companies are placing an ISO label on their counterfeit glasses, which is why following the list of manufacturers is a surefire way to know you're being safe, according to the AAS.

Here is a growing list from the AAS of approved companies that manufacture and/or sell glasses through vendors and retailers.

  • American Paper Optics (Eclipser) / EclipseGlasses.com / 3dglassesonline.com
  • APM Telescopes (Sunfilter Glasses)
  • Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold Film)
  • Celestron (EclipSmart Glasses & Viewers)
  • Daylight Sky (plastic glasses only)
  • DayStar (Solar Glasses)
  • Explore Scientific (Solar Eclipse Sun Catcher Glasses)
  • Halo Solar Eclipse Spectacles
  • Lunt Solar Systems (SUNsafe SUNglasses)
  • Meade Instruments (EclipseView Glasses & Viewers)
  • Rainbow Symphony (Eclipse Shades)
  • Seymour Solar (Helios Glasses)
  • Thousand Oaks Optical (Silver-Black Polymer & SolarLite)
  • TSE 17 (Solar Filter Foil)

The AAS says on its website that just because they do not list a supplier, that does not indicate that "their products are unsafe," but rather that the AAS does not yet have the knowledge of that particular seller or that they have not verified the brand is safe.

The consequence of wearing glasses that aren't specially made to deal with the visible light from a solar eclipse and invisible radiation could be "serious eye injury, perhaps even blindness," according to the AAS, which also noted that special-purpose solar filters are many thousands of times darker than ordinary sunglasses.

Read more on how to avoid buying counterfeit glasses ahead of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse here.

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