Mark Phelan: Driving a stick isn't dead — and this Michigan company proves it

Business / Business News /

Who cares about manual transmissions?

You might be surprised.

Technically, manuals rank somewhere between an anachronism and an affectation. They're slower and less efficient than the best automatic transmissions. Feet held to the fire, even manuals' biggest fans would have to admit they're a nuisance in heavy stop-and-go traffic.

But a ...Read more

Larry Printz: You don't need to spend a lot to get a great ride

Business / Business News /

You know the drill; you're out to buy a new car or truck, but then you check your finances and it looks like you might have to bike to work.

But there is an answer.

Any buyer can get the essence of a higher-priced ride without the price tag if you know which vehicles to consider. Some spendier rides are little more than mundane vehicles with ...Read more

These best-selling cars and SUVs are about to get safer

Business / Business News /

Some of America's favorite, best-selling vehicles are about to get safer.

Advanced driver assistance systems like collision alert and autonomous emergency braking are increasingly common in affordable, high-volume cars and SUVs at the heart of the market.

"Our surveys show shoppers increasingly want more technology that assists in making them ...Read more

Many hoped for a rebound in Kentucky coal jobs under Trump. It hasn't happened.

Business / Business News /

The number of coal jobs edged down in Kentucky between April and the end of June, illustrating the continued struggles of the industry despite President Donald Trump's campaign promise to "put our miners back to work."

Statewide, the number of coal jobs averaged 6,238, according to a report published this week by the Kentucky Energy and ...Read more

Auto review: Zero DSR electric motorcycle feels like a magic carpet ride — for everything but longer trips

Business / Business News /

Bring on the hate mail: I love electric motorcycles.

I love their power, their torque and their stealthy silence. I love their ease of operation and their low cost of maintenance.

Although I am not alone in this, I don't have a lot of company. Resistance to electric motorcycles is fierce.

Detractors -- many of whom have not actually ridden ...Read more

T-Mobile's magenta semitruck hits the road to showcase 5G technology

Business / Business News /

T-Mobile's next magenta-heavy, super-visible campaign won't be encouraging customers to switch to the company's cellphone service. Instead, the Bellevue, Wash., carrier plans to take a decked-out semitruck around the country to showcase its ideas for the next generation of wireless connectivity, 5G, and how it envisions people and businesses ...Read more

The Week Ahead: A presidential promise on prices, impact on profits

Business / Business News /

The grammar is classic Trump -- two consecutive adverbs to punctuate a promise.

In the week ahead, President Trump has pledged to make an announcement on prescription drug prices "to get them down really substantially."

Going after the cost of medicine is a political winner. It holds the potential of real economic benefits for the millions of ...Read more

McDonald's new flagship: Not ketchup-red or mustard-yellow, but green — and not quite cooked

Business / Business News /

Behold the new McDonald's flagship in Chicago!

This temple of the Big Mac is billed as a model of energy-saving architecture -- sustainability! It's supposed to bring people together -- community! It even aims to be visually subtle, which amounts to a revolution for a company whose stores, once decked out in ketchup red and mustard yellow, ...Read more

Fewer than 1 in 5 residents can afford a home in Bay Area

Business / Business News /

The Bay Area continues to lead the state in shattered home-ownership dreams.

Record home prices and rising interest rates have pushed statewide home affordability rates to a 10-year-low. In the Bay Area, fewer than 1 in 5 residents can afford to buy into one of the nation's most expensive real estate markets, according to a study released ...Read more

New private equity firm Donerail bidding for Tronc

Business / Business News /

Donerail Group, a newly formed investment firm headed by former Starboard Value LP executive Will Wyatt, is in advanced negotiations to buy Chicago-based newspaper company Tronc, sources familiar with the deal said Thursday.

There is no certainty a deal will be struck, and sources said the financing might not be fully in place. But if a sale ...Read more

Microsoft threatens to pull gab services over anti-Semitic posts

Business / Business News /

Microsoft Corp. threatened to suspend web-hosting services it provides to after getting complaints about anti-Semitic posts on the social-media site, a new twist in the technology industry's controversial crackdown on hate speech.

Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing division said it would take action in two business days if Gab didn't ...Read more

First marijuana-derived prescription drug will cost $32,500 a year

Business / Business News /

A new marijuana-derived drug to treat rare forms of severe epilepsy in children will cost about $32,500 per patient, per year.

Epidiolex, the first cannabis pharmaceutical to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, contains the active ingredient cannabidiol (CBD). It does not contain psychoactive molecule THC, which generates the ...Read more

Cars soon will be unwelcome on Playa Vista's main drag. And a lot of people are happy about it

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- On any given day, cars roll slowly down the main shopping street of Playa Vista, just as they do in small towns everywhere.

After all, when it came to building a town center on land around famed aviator Howard Hughes's old airplane runway, it seemed right to let people drive through and perhaps park to grab a cup of coffee.

But ...Read more

Amazon welcomes first graduates of program to turn veterans into technologists

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Mike Cooper and his four colleagues in Amazon's inaugural class of veterans-turned-technologists won't make a dent in the company's roughly 17,000 job openings.

But the five former armed service members represent the lengths the Seattle giant will go to satisfy its insatiable appetite for workers.

Cooper, a 31-year-old Coast Guard ...Read more

Report: SEC examining Elon Musk tweets about taking Tesla private

Business / Business News /

Tesla CEO Elon Musk could be the subject of a new investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission following his Tuesday tweet saying he wanted to take the electric car company private.

The SEC has inquired with Tesla about Musk's tweet and a regulator is studying if Musk's statement in the tweet was truthful, the Wall Street ...Read more

Tribune Media terminates $3.9-billion sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group

Business / Business News /

Sinclair Broadcast Group's proposed $3.9-billion deal to acquire of Tribune Media is dead.

Tribune announced Thursday that it is terminating the merger agreement. The companies had the option to kill the sale if it had not closed by Aug. 8. The deal was first announced in May 2017.

Tribune also said it filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit ...Read more

More than 130 arrested in immigration raids in Minnesota, Nebraska

Business / Business News /

Christensen Farms, a family-owned pork producer based in Sleepy Eye, Minn., was one of about a dozen businesses raided by federal immigration officers Wednesday for allegedly hiring and mistreating workers suspected of being in the country illegally.

The operation was led by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the investigative arm of ...Read more

Among Minnesota farmers, support for Trump is bent, not broken

Business / Business News /

MORGAN, Minn. -- Harlan and Pauline Hecksel sell custom skidloader attachments, but they're not selling many right now.

Farmers with bins full of grain they can only sell at a loss don't buy new equipment. And, to add insult to injury, the Hecksels got word from their steel broker on Monday that a shipment of forks already ordered and on the ...Read more

Aldi unveils new products in aggressive push toward fresh and organic

Business / Business News /

Some 10 years ago, Aldi didn't sell olive oil; today it sells four kinds. The Batavia, Ill.-based discounter also now sells vegan kale burgers, organic hummus and a slew of gluten-free products.

Amid a major remodeling and expansion effort nationally and in Chicago, Aldi is also accelerating its launch of more premium products marketed as fresh...Read more