Real estate Q&A: Homeowners need permits to cut down trees in their own yards

Business / Business News /

Q: Last week as I was about to cut down a tree in my yard that was dumping leaves into my pool, my neighbor came running out of his house to tell me I could be in trouble for doing this without our town's permission. I held off because he was so insistent. Is this true?

-- Harry

A: Be sure to thank your neighbor because he probably saved you ...Read more

Kwik Trip will buy 34 PDQ stores, pushing total store count above 600

Business / Business News /

MILWAUKEE -- Kwik Trip Inc. has agreed to buy 34 PDQ convenience stores, a move that will push Kwik Trip's overall store count above 600.

La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip said Wednesday that it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of employee-owned PDQ Food Stores, of Middleton, Wis., for an undisclosed price.

The purchase will give ...Read more

T-Mobile's 2Q revenue climbs 10 percent as profit doubles

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- T-Mobile US added 1.3 million customers during its second quarter, continuing its rapid growth as more consumers switch to what the company calls its Uncarrier model.

The telecom, based outside Seattle, reported second-quarter revenue of $10.1 billion, up 10 percent from the year-ago period and beating analyst estimates.

T-Mobile ...Read more

McCormick $4 billion deal could spur global growth of iconic mustard and hot sauce brands

Business / Business News /

BALTIMORE -- McCormick & Co.'s stock price dropped more than 5 percent Wednesday morning amid concerns that the spice giant will overpay for the chance to fold iconic brands Frank's RedHot Hot Sauce and French's Mustard into its vast spice and flavorings portfolio.

McCormick, based outside Baltimore, announced late Tuesday it plans to acquire ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Managing a reverse mortgage when one spouse is significantly older than the other

Business / Business News /

Q: I am 75 years old, my wife is 56, and our home is worth $400,000. Our equity in the house will be her main financial resource when I have departed. She wants to live in our home until the end. What is the best way to use a reverse mortgage to meet her needs after I'm gone?

A: A great question pertaining to a common situation. The U.S. ...Read more

Airport parking takes hit from Uber, Lyft

Business / Business News /

Ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft already have struck a financial blow to their competitors in the taxi industry. Now many officials fear they may take a big bite out of airport parking revenue.

Rather than driving and leaving their cars at garages, a growing number of passengers are tapping their smartphone apps and turning to ride-...Read more

Entrepreneur brothers find e-commerce success catering to custom-car enthusiasts

Business / Business News /

PHILADELPHIA -- Forget great attendance and stellar customer service. Those are highly valued at Turn5, but what gets employees prime parking is driving to work in a Jeep Wrangler, a Ford Mustang or a few types of personal trucks.

Judging from the lineup in front of Turn5's headquarters outside Philadelphia on a recent afternoon, it's a popular...Read more

Entrepreneur parlayed early experiences into bigtime background-screening business

Business / Business News /

BALTIMORE -- Richard Kurland has been an entrepreneur most of his life -- and he started young. He was just 14 and an avid tennis player when he opened a racket-stringing business out of his parents' Baltimore-area home, calling it String Along With Me.

While in college during the early 1980s, he opened a wrestling supply store on the boardwalk...Read more

Storied pen shop closing doors as owner switches focus to online sales

Business / Business News /

WAUWATOSA, Wis. -- Daly's Pen Shop is something of a museum.

It has custom-made cabinets dating to the 1920s; walls lined with old advertisements and photos; displays of vintage inks; and shelves stocked with pens that, with their gold nibs and gleaming barrels, could double as fashion accessories.

It has Sinatra, Mel Torme and Ray Charles on ...Read more

Small Business Professor: Starting a new business from scratch

Business / Business News /

Q: After many years at a job, I was recently let go. I have two children and a mortgage and I don't want this to happen again. I'm looking to start a new business. What do you recommend?

A: Perseverance is the key. Beyond that, of course, there are several steps you should take to make the path to success a bit smoother. Here they are:

ANALYZE...Read more

High-end home technology company has rock star clients — literally

Business / Business News /

MIAMI -- Audio One, based in Miami and nearby Dania Beach, is a company that designs and builds sophisticated home and office automation networks, audio-visual systems that can include home IMAX theaters, and state-of-the art recording studios.

Their clients are wealthy -- and include rock stars -- and their work costs from a minimum of $50,000...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: Help finding the right streaming TV package and other cord-cutting tidbits

Business / Business News /

This week, instead of elaborating on a new streaming service or delving into the life of a would-be cord-cutter, I've decided to gather a hodgepodge of interesting cord-cutting tidbits.

I hope they either help shed some light on column-related decisions I've made in the past or inform you as to what cable alternative might be the best option ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Deleting unwanted Android photos synced from Google app

Business / Business News /

Q: To free up storage space on my Android smartphone, I often go to the photo gallery and delete some pictures. But I can't seem to delete the 203 photos that were synced to my phone from Google's Picasa online photo app. How can I get rid of these photos?

--John Knoderer, Manning, S.C.

A: The Picasa photos were automatically downloaded to ...Read more

Harley-Davidson eliminating 180 jobs after earnings fall from weaker US sales

Business / Business News /

MILWAUKEE -- Harley-Davidson Inc. is eliminating about 180 production jobs at its plants this fall, union officials said Tuesday, with locations in suburban Milwaukee and Kansas City, Mo., to be hit the hardest.

The 180 permanent job cuts are coming in the next couple of months as the company throttles back production amid weak U.S. motorcycle ...Read more

Netflix stock hits all-time high after strong earnings report

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- It was Netflix at the open and Netflix at the close, as the internet streaming TV giant conquered the stock market Tuesday.

The Los Gatos-based company's quarterly report pleased just about everyone, from its subscribers to its investors and the Wall Street analysts that cover the company.

Netflix shares climbed 13.5 ...Read more

UnitedHealth Group second-quarter earnings surge 30 percent

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- On the same day congressional Republicans realized their latest efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would come up short, UnitedHealth Group reported that its second-quarter income surged by 30 percent, prompting the company to boost its full-year guidance on earnings per share.

The company, based outside the ...Read more

Bank of America looks for more cost-cutting

Business / Business News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bank of America executives said Tuesday they remain focused on shedding expenses to meet targets outlined a year ago -- and are open the possibility that the Charlotte-based company could go beyond those goals.

The bank disclosed plans last July to reduce annual noninterest expenses to $53 billion by the end of 2018. On ...Read more

Can Google, planning big San Jose campus, prevent traffic, housing woes?

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Google will be traveling a razor's edge of love and hate all the way to its planned new 20,000-worker San Jose campus as it brings jobs and star power to a city that needs both while delivering extra helpings of the ills that have sparked public ire against Silicon Valley's big technology companies.

The potential downsides ...Read more

Helpware: 3 huzzahs, 1 raspberry for these tech support teams

Business / Business News /

Software and computer companies are judged by the quality of their products. But I also judge a company on how well it supports its products. I write about my tech support winners and sinners and customer service experiences more often these days because I've realized the quality of support can go from great to awful practically overnight.

I ...Read more

How Silicon Valley silences sexual harassment victims

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Even as Silicon Valley applauds the bravery of more than a dozen women who have come forward to report sexual harassment in recent weeks, some tech companies and venture capital firms muzzle their own employees with policies that prevent them from speaking out.

Tech workers often sign nondisclosure agreements promising not ...Read more

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