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    Ford recalls older Ranger vehicles with air bag inflator issue

    Excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture

    Ford Motor Company is recalling 361,692 model year 2004-2006 Ranger vehicles manufactured March 24, 2003, to May 4, 2006.

    The driver's side front air bag inflator could rupture upon deployment.

    In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver's front air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

    Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the air bag inflators, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 7, 2016.

    Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 16S03.

    Ford Motor Company is recalling 361,692 model year 2004-2006 Ranger vehicles manufactured March 24, 2003, to May 4, 2006. The driver's side front a...
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      Proximity to Trader Joe's might make your home worth more

      Zillow finds proximity to trendy grocery stores linked to rising home values

      Looking for a home that will quickly appreciate in values? Yes, good schools are important, but grocery stores may be even more influential.

      Real estate marketplace Zillow reports homes increase in value faster if they are close to a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. These are stores favored by Millennials and higher-income consumers.

      Zillow says it found that between 1997 and 2014, homes near the two grocery chains were consistently worth more than the median U.S. home. At the end of 2014, homes within a mile of either store were worth more than twice as much as the median home in the rest of the country.

      "Like Starbucks, the stores have become an amenity in their own right – a signal to the home-buying public that the neighborhood they're located in is desirable, perhaps up-and-coming, and definitely improving," Zillow Group Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in a release.

      Boosts lagging neighborhood

      Zillow concludes that these two stores can actually drive home prices. All it takes is for one to open in a neighborhood that has lagged the rest of the community in value and, voila, the neighborhood starts to take off.

      The observation is contained in a book by Humphries and Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff. The contention draws on Zillow's 10-year history collecting and analyzing real estate data.

      "The grocery store phenomenon is about more than groceries," said Rascoff. "It says something about the way people want to live – in the type of neighborhood favored by the generations buying homes now. Today's homebuyers seek things in neighborhoods that weren't even in real estate agents' vocabularies a generation ago: walkability, community, new urbanism – and maybe we should add words like sustainable seafood and organic pears."

      It's not a fluke, the authors insist. Home values are definitely linked to proximity to the two popular grocery stores.

      Here's what Zillow said it learned: the median home within a mile of a future Whole Foods store appreciates more slowly than other homes in the same city before the store opens.

      But once it is announced that one of these stores is moving into a neighborhood, the trend flips. Homes near the future site begin to appreciate. After the store opens, the appreciation picks up momentum.

      10% gain

      Two years after a Trader Joe's opened, the median home within a mile of the store had gone up 10% more than homes in the city as a whole over the previous year.

      The trend could mean a couple of things. First, it might mean the two companies are very good at picking real estate, choosing locations that are under-valued but about to pop.

      It could also mean that the two companies themselves are responsible for driving real estate higher. Trendy consumers – and they are often the ones with the most money – want to live near trendy stores.

      Whatever the reason, a savvy homebuyer might take the locations of these stores into account when choosing a place to live.

      Looking for a home that will quickly appreciate in values? Yes, good schools are important, but grocery stores may be even more influential.Real estate...
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      Consumer confidence up for a second straight month

      People are expecting better business conditions and higher incomes

      After increasing in December, The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index was up moderately again in January, rising 1.8 points to 98.1. While the Present Situation Index was unchanged at 116.4, the Expectations Index advanced from 83.0 to 85.9.

      “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions held steady, while their expectations for the next six months improved moderately,” said Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco. “For now, consumers do not foresee the volatility in financial markets as having a negative impact on the economy.”

      Little change seen in attitudes

      Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was relatively flat in January. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” was virtually unchanged at 27.2%, while those who said business conditions are “bad” declined slightly from 18.9% to 18.5%.

      Their assessment of the labor market was modestly more positive. The proportion who see jobs as “plentiful” fell from 24.2% to 22.8%, while those who think jobs are “hard to get” dipped to 23.4% from 24.5%.

      Optimism about the short-term outlook improved somewhat. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to get better over the next six months rose from 14.5% to 16.2%, while those expecting them to worsen edged down from 10.8% to 10.3%.

      The outlook for the labor market was also slightly more optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 12.4% to 13.2%, while those expecting fewer jobs dropped slightly from 16.8% to 16.5%.

      The proportion of consumers looking for their incomes to increase improved from 16.3% to 18.1%. However, the proportion expecting a reduction in income also increased -- from 9.5% to 10.8%.

      The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was January 14.

      After increasing in December, The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index was up moderately again in January, rising 1.8 points to 98.1. While the Pre...
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      Another increase in home prices

      The gains show further recovery from the housing meltdown

      Home prices in the U.S. continued to rise in November, according to two widely watched measures of prices.

      In the first, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (HPI) show that prices posted a year-over-year gain of 5.3% in November, following a 5.1% increase in October.

      The 10-City Composite was up 5.3% , while the 20-City Composite’s year-over-year gain was 5.8%.

      Portland, San Francisco, and Denver continue to report the highest year over year gains among the 20 cities with another month of double digit annual price increases. Portland led the way with an 11.1% year-over-year price increase, followed by San Francisco with 11.0% and Denver with a 10.9% increase.

      Fourteen cities reported greater price increases in the year ending November 2015 versus the year ending October 2015. Phoenix had the longest streak of year-over-year increases, reporting a gain of 5.9% in November -- the twelfth consecutive increase in annual price gains. Detroit posted a 6.3% year-over-year price, the largest annual increase this month.

      Month-over-month

      Before seasonal adjustment, the HPI was up 0.1% month-over-month in November. The 10-City Composite was unchanged, while the 20-City Composite reported gains of 0.1% month-over-month. After seasonal adjustment, the HPI, along with the 10-City and 20-City Composites, all increased 0.9% month-over-month in November.

      Fourteen of 20 cities reported gains in November before seasonal adjustment; after seasonal adjustment, all 20 cities increased for the month.

      “Home prices extended their gains, supported by continued low mortgage rates, tight supplies and an improving labor market,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Sales of existing homes were up 6.5% in 2015 vs. 2014, and the number of homes on the market averaged about a 4.8 months’ supply during the year; both numbers suggest a seller’s market.”

      Home prices continue to recover from the collapse that began before the recession of 2007-2009 and continued until 2012. Three cities -- Dallas, Denver, and Portland, Ore., -- have reached new all-time highs; San Francisco is even with its earlier peak and Charlotte N.C., is less than 1% below its previous peak.

      The S&P/Case-Shiller National HPI is about 4.8% below the peak it set in July 2006, and 29.2% above the bottom it touched in January 2012.

      FHFA HPI

      ​Separately, the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) monthly HPI was up 0.5% in November on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month. The previously reported 0.5% gain in October was unchanged.

      For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from October 2015 to November 2015 ranged from -0.4% in the West South Central division to +1.8% in the Mountain division.

      The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +2.6% in the Middle Atlantic division to +10.0% in the Mountain division.

      The FHFA monthly HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From November 2014 to November 2015, house prices were up 5.9%. The index levels for October and November 2015 exceeded the prior peak level from March 2007.

      The complete report is available on the FHFA website.

      Home prices in the U.S. continued to rise in November, according to two widely watched measures of prices.In the first, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price...
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      Job growth to hold steady in 2016, CareerBuilder says

      The forecast also reveals five employment trends to watch

      Looking for a job this year?

      According to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast, 36% of employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in 2016 -- the same as 2015. Additionally, nearly half of employers (47%) plan to hire temporary or contract workers.

      The forecast says workers can also expect to see higher starting salaries, more teens in internships, more women and minorities in leadership, and more opportunities to move from low-skill to high-skill jobs, among other trends.

      “On average, the U.S. has added 200,000 jobs each month over the last two years, and we expect 2016 to produce similar results, if not better,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “The market is also showing signs of broader wage pressure. While employers have been more willing to pay a premium for high-skill labor, they now have to pay more competitive wages for entry-level positions. Workers are gaining leverage.”

      Full-time, permanent hiring

      While more than a third of employers are increasing full-time, permanent headcount, 45% anticipate no change. One in ten plan to decrease staff levels, while 9% aren't sure.

      Comparing industries, financial services (46%), information technology (44%), and health care (43%) are expected to outperform the national average for employers adding full-time staff. Manufacturing (37%) is expected to reflect the national average.

      Temporary and contract hiring

      Employers are also optimistic about temporary employment. Forty-seven percent reported they will add temporary or contract workers in 2016, compared with 46% percent last year. Of these employers, 58% plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles in 2016.

      Hot areas for hiring

      Of the employers who plan to increase the number of full-time employees in the new year, the top areas they’ll be recruiting for include:

      • Customer Service – 32%
      • Information Technology – 29%
      • Sales – 27%
      • Production – 24%
      • Administrative – 20%
      • Marketing – 18%
      • Business Development – 16%
      • Human Resources – 16 percent
      • Accounting/Finance – 15 percent
      • Engineering – 13 percent

      Small business hiring

      Small business managers are feeling better about their financial prospects in 2016 and are looking to expand their staff.

      Of businesses with 50 or fewer employees, 27% plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, versus 20% last year.

      Of those with 250 or fewer employees, 33% plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up 4% from last year.

      Among larger companies with more than 500 employees, 42% plan to add full-time, permanent employees, on par with last year (43%).

      Hiring by region

      At 42%, the West has the highest percentage of employers expecting to add full-time, permanent headcount, followed by the South (36%), Midwest (34%), and Northeast (30%).

      However, the West also houses the highest percentage of employers expecting to decrease staff, at 12% with 10% in both the Northeast and Midwest and 9% in the South.

      Five trends to watch in the new year

      Looking at key trends that will help shape the employment landscape in 2016, several are tied to higher competition for talent, innovation in sourcing, developing high-skill workers, and a push for more diversity in leadership.

      1. Opening New Doors for Low-Skill Workers – Many employers are concerned with a growing skills gap (63%) and report extended vacancies within their organizations (48%).Thirty-three percent of employers plan to hire low-skill workers and invest in training them for high-skill jobs in 2016.
      2. Hiring younger interns – To encourage the next generation to pursue STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering and math) and other in-demand areas, employers are building relationships with students at an early age. One quarter plan to hire high school students as interns over the next 12 months.
      3. Increasing wages at all levels – To retain and attract top performers, 83% of employers plan to increase compensation for existing employees – on par with 82% last year. Sixty-six percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees, versus 64% last year.
      4. Reaching beyond U.S. borders – Employers will continue to look at talent pools outside the U.S. to help fill labor deficits. Nineteen percent say they will hire workers with H-1B visas in 2016, which will let them employ temporarily foreign-born workers for specialized occupations.
      5. Diversifying management – Companies are expanding demographics in their company leadership. Fifty-five percent of employers plan to hire or promote more women for management roles, and 53% plan to do the same for diverse workers. Forty-seven percent of employers plan to promote workers under the age of 30 into management roles.

      The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Nov. 4 to Dec. 1, 2015, and included a representative sample of 2,338 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries.

      Looking for a job this year? According to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast, 36% of employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in 2016 -- t...
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      Whole Foods recalls frozen pizza products

      The products contain uncured pork pepperoni, which is not listed on the label

      Whole Foods/North Atlantic Kitchens of Everett, Mass., is recalling approximately 73,898 pounds of pepperoni pizza products.

      The products are labeled as containing uncured beef pepperoni, but contain uncured pork pepperoni, which is not listed on the label. Some individuals have a sensitivity or intolerance to pork.

      There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

      The following items, produced Jan. 5, 2015, through Jan. 22, 2016, are being recalled:

      • 10-oz. vacuum-sealed packages of “WHOLE FOODS MARKETS, PIZZA, PEPPERONI, 8”
      • 19-oz. vacuum-sealed packages of “WHOLE FOODS MARKETS, PIZZA, PEPPERONI, 12”

      The recalled products bear establishment number “EST. 20234” inside the USDA mark of inspection and Sell-by dates of Jan. 12, 2015 through Jan. 30, 2016 printed on the packaging.

      The products were shipped for wholesale and retail sale in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

      Customers who purchased these products are urged not to consume them. They should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

      Consumers with questions about the recall may contact the company at (512) 477-5566 ext. 20060 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (CST).

      Whole Foods/North Atlantic Kitchens of Everett, Mass., is recalling approximately 73,898 pounds of pepperoni pizza products.   The products are label...
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      Finally, some good news for renters in 2016

      The pace of rent increases expected to slow down a bit

      Consumers who rent their homes don't want to hear any talk about the low U.S. inflation rate. Their cost of living has gone up considerably since the Great Recession.

      With fewer people able to buy homes in the wake of the financial crisis, even at rock-bottom interest rates, more consumers have competed for available rental homes. And you don't have to be an economist to know what happens when demand exceeds supply.

      But in a new report, real estate marketplace Zillow says a little relief may be on the way this year. It expects rent increases to slow dramatically, to an annual rate of 1.1% by the end of the year.

      In December, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies warned that rental vacancy rates were at their lowest point since 1985 and inflation-adjusted rents were rising 3.5%. Making matters worse, renters' paychecks weren't growing, meaning a record number of renters paid more than 30% of their income on housing costs.

      Most rental housing

      What's changed? Contractors went on a building spree last year, focusing more of their efforts on multi-family housing units – otherwise known as apartment buildings. Most of the building activity has taken place in markets with the strongest demand.

      Because of that, Zillow said it believes rising rents will slow the most in Nashville, San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and Denver. Zillow says rents in San Francisco saw a 12.5% gain in 2015, but that should slow to 5.9% this year.

      That may be small consolation, however, to renters in high-priced markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where consumers can expect to pay 40% or more of their income on rent.

      Hot markets still hot

      "Hot markets are still going to be hot in 2016, but rents won't rise as quickly as they have been," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. "The slowdown in rental appreciation will provide some relief for renters who've been seeing their rents rise dramatically every single year for the past few years. However, the situation remains tough on the ground: rents are still rising and renters are struggling to keep up."

      The Harvard researchers, meanwhile, warn that it may take longer for the growth in the supply of rental housing to catch up to demand. Because of demographic trends and economic reality, they say most new household formation is going to be rental.

      “The crisis in the number of renters paying excessive amounts of their income for housing continues, because the market has been unable to meet the need for housing that is within the financial reach of many families and individuals with lower incomes,” said Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center For Housing Studies at Harvard.  

      Consumers who rent their homes don't want to hear any talk about the low U.S. inflation rate. Their cost of living has gone up considerably since the Great...
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      Home remodeling project sales expected to boom in 2016

      Lowe's hires more seasonal employees to prepare

      If you’re thinking of making improvements to your home this year, you’re not alone. Members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) are predicting double digit growth (13.1%) this year.

      Postponed projects were the number one growth driver, with economic growth and increasing home prices tied for number two. Experts say this bump in home improvement sales may also be the result of 2014’s upswing in housing market conditions.

      According to Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center, new construction, price gains, and sales are encouraging owners to invest in their home. Strengthening housing market conditions, he says, are “encouraging owners to invest in more discretionary home improvements, such as kitchen and bath remodeling and room additions, in addition to the necessary replacements of worn components, such as roofing and siding."

      Economic impact

      The predicted spike in home improvement sales has not gone unnoticed by home improvement stores. Lowe’s is already preparing for the forecasted boom in home remodeling projects by hiring more seasonal employees.

      The company announced recently that it hired 46,000 employees to help customers during spring and summer — 6,000 more than were hired last year.

      But experts say the foot traffic in your local home improvement store may only see a temporary increase.

      May not extend past spring

      While there are strong expectations for growth in the first half of 2016, experts say numbers may dwindle during the second half of the year.

      According to Abbe Will, a research analyst in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center, further gains in remodeling activity could be tempered by several factors, including slowdowns in the shipments of building materials, remodeling contractor employment trends, and restrictive consumer lending environments.

      These factors, according to Will, are “lowering remodeler sentiment and could keep spending gains in the mid-single digit range moving forward."

      Remodeling ideas

      Winter days filled with HGTV may also be contributing homeowners’ itch to remodel in the spring.

      If you’re looking for cost-effective projects that will increase the value of your home, HGTV offers these 30 tips and ideas— some of which can even be done before spring (unless, of course, winter storm Jonas has your car so entrenched in snow that a trip to the hardware store is impossible.)

      If you’re thinking of making improvements to your home this year, you’re not alone. Members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) a...
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      Carnivore Meat Company recalls frozen pet food

      The product may be contaminated with Salmonella

      Carnivore Meat Company is recalling one lot of Vital Essentials Frozen Chicken Patties Entree for Dogs.

      The following product, which may be contaminated with Salmonella, is being recalled:

      • Vital Essentials Frozen Chicken Patties Entree for Dogs, Net wt. 6-lbs., UPC 33211 00807, Lot # 11475, Best by date 20161108 (11/08/16)

      The "Best By" date code and lot # is located on the back of the package.

      The recalled product was sold in California, Florida, Georgia, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington.

      Customers who purchased the recalled product should dispose of it in a safe manner by securing it in a covered trash receptacle, and contact the company for help in obtaining replacement or a full refund from your local retailer for your original purchase.

      Consumers with questions may contact the company at 920-370-6542 Monday – Friday from 9:00AM - 4:00PM (CST), or be email at info@vitalessentialsraw.com.

      Carnivore Meat Company is recalling one lot of Vital Essentials Frozen Chicken Patties Entree for Dogs. The following product, which may be contami...
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      Dole Fresh Vegetables recalls salads processed in Springfield, Ohio

      The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

      Dole Fresh Vegetables is withdrawing from the market all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at its Springfield, Ohio production facility.

      The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

      The company is also temporarily suspending operations at its that facility.

      Recalled products are identified with a product code beginning with the letter “A” in the upper right-hand corner of the package and are sold in the following states and Canadian provinces:

      • Alabama
      • Connecticut
      • Florida
      • Georgia
      • Illinois
      • Indiana
      • Kentucky
      • Louisiana
      • Michigan
      • Massachusetts
      • Maryland
      • Minnesota
      • Missouri
      • Mississippi
      • North Carolina
      • New Jersey
      • New York
      • Ohio
      • Pennsylvania
      • South Carolina
      • Tennessee
      • Virginia
      • Wisconsin
      • List of provinces included in the voluntary withdrawal:
      • Ontario
      • New Brunswick
      • Quebec

      Consumers who have the recalled product not consume it, but discard it.

      Consumers with questions may call the Dole Food Company consumer response center at 800-356-3111 from 8:00am-8:00pm (ET) Monday through Friday.

      Dole Fresh Vegetables is withdrawing from the market all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at its Springfield, Ohio production facil...
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      Five million more vehicles recalled after Ford pickup driver killed by airbag fragments

      The latest recall includes Ford, VW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz models, among others

      The death of a Ford pickup truck driver has touched off a massive recall of about 5 million additional vehicles equipped with Takata airbags. The new recalls include vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Ford, who had escaped previous recalls.

      The recalls are based on continuing tests of the Takata airbags and on the investigation in to the death of a South Carolina man whose 2006 Ford Ranger struck a cow in Georgia, Automotive News reported.

      The truck's airbags deployed and the driver was struck by flying metal parts from the airbag inflator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

      The latest recall brings the total number of vehicles recalled because of Takata airbag inflators to 28 million worldwide, 24 million in the U.S. 

      About 4 million other vehicles will be recalled due to additional testing on Takata airbags, including vehicles from Honda, VW and other automakers, NHTSA said today.

      Takata has been fined $70 million for safety violations and could face additional penalties of up to $130 million. 

      The death of a Ford pickup truck driver has touched off a massive recall of about 5 million additional vehicles equipped with Takata airbags. The new recal...
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      Former NJ Nets player sentenced to nine years in Ponzi scheme

      C. Tate George scammed victims for more than $2 million, feds charged

      Former New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks player C. Tate George has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in orchestrating a $2 million investment fraud scheme.

      After a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper in September 2013, a jury deliberated for four hours before convicting George, 47, of Newark, N.J., of all of four counts of the indictment. 

      According to testimony in the case, George held himself out as the CEO of The George Group and claimed to have more than $500 million in assets under management.  He pitched prospective investors, including several former professional athletes, to invest with the firm and told them their money would be used to fund The George Group’s purchase and development of real estate development projects, including projects in Connecticut and New Jersey.  

      But, said prosecutors, the supposed "opportunity" was really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

      “Those who perpetrate Ponzi schemes shamelessly trade on relationships with those who trust them,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.  “In this case, George relied on his sports stardom to attract unwitting investors. His crimes justified today’s lengthy sentence.”

      “By shamelessly cashing in on his celebrity C. Tate George stole $2 million from investors who trusted him as a former NBA athlete,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel for the FBI’s Newark Division.  “George used the money to pay other investors in the Ponzi-style scheme and lined his pockets with the rest, funding extensive renovations on his home, paying for his daughter’s sixteenth birthday party, and producing a reality video about himself.”

      During the sentencing proceeding, prosecutors asserted George had presented the court with fraudulent character witness letters arguing in favor of a light sentence.

      The prosecutors became suspicious when they noted the letters were strikingly similar. They checked with the individuals who purportedly sent the letters and found that they denied writing them.

      In addition to prison time, Judge Cooper also sentenced George to three years of supervised release, ordered him to pay $2.55 million in restitution and entered a forfeiture money judgment of $2.55 million.

      Former New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks player C. Tate George has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in orchestrating a $2 million inve...
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      Glassdoor predicts the 25 best jobs in America for 2016

      Survey says that data scientist is the best job available in the coming year

      Jobs site Careerbuilder recently released a survey suggesting more employees will be looking for a new job in 2016. If you plan to be one of them, what kind of job should you look for?

      Another employment site, Glassdoor.com, has released a list of what it says will be the 25 best jobs in America in 2016.

      The best position, according to the survey, is data scientist, with an estimated 1,736 job openings and a base salary of $116,840.

      Number two on the list is tax manager. Glassdoor predicts 1,574 job openings for that job with a median base salary of $108,000.

      In third place is solutions architect, with 2,906 job openings and a median base pay of $119,500.

      Filling out the top 10

      Other occupations in the top 10 include engagement manager, mobile developer, HR manager, physician assistant, product manager, software engineer, and audit manager.

      What's at the bottom of the list? Software engineer comes in at number 25. It's still a pretty good job. According to Glassdoor, it pays a median base salary of $130,000 – but is highly competitive, since Glassdoor counts only 653 openings.

      The Careerbuilder survey found that 21% of employees were determined to leave their current employers in 2016, an increase of 5% from those who expressed that sentiment in the 2014 survey. Younger workers expressed the strongest desire to make a move.

      Of the 18 to 34 age group, 30% said they expect to have a new job by the end of 2016, compared to 23% the previous year.

      “Just because a person is satisfied with their job doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t looking for new work,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “Because of this, it’s critical to keep up with your employees’ needs and continue to challenge them with work they feel is meaningful.”

      Jobs site Careerbuilder recently released a survey suggesting more employees will be looking for a new job in 2016. If you plan to be one of them, what kin...
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      The millennials are coming -- eventually

      It won't be long before 25-34 year-olds start shaping housing preferences

      It may take a while, but the millennial generation is poised to make a significant impact on home design, according to speakers at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders' Show.

      But first, they have to move out of their parents' homes and into a place of their own.

      About 15% of adults ages 25-34 lived with a parent, about 3% more than the highest share between 1983 and 2007 – 12%, according to NAHB Assistant Vice President for Survey Research Rose Quint. That translates into 1.3 million people who she says normally "would be out there, forming their own households, demanding their own units," either as buyers or renters.

      Speaking at a press conference on housing preferences for millennials, Gen Xers, boomers, and seniors, Quint said she had anticipated that new mortgage programs and looser mortgage insurance requirements unveiled a year ago would have led to an increase in consumers buying homes for the first time.

      But a look at the size of the typical new single-family home in 2015 found the opposite: home sizes grew to an average of 2,721 square feet, the highest yet, and an indication that the new-home market continues to be dominated by move-up buyers, rather than first-time buyers.

      "Before we see that expected pullback in square footage and price, we're going to have to see a significant return of the first-time buyer," who is more likely to buy a smaller home at a lower price point, Quint said.

      What buyers want

      This year, home buyers of all ages say they are looking for homes with separate laundry rooms, energy-star appliances and windows, exterior lighting, and a patio.

      What they don't want are rooms with cork flooring, elevators, pet washing stations, expensive outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, and two-story entryways and family rooms. And their countertops should be granite, but never laminate, according to a Fall 2015 survey of potential buyers.

      In terms of house type, buyers want a detached, single-family home: 65% of all buyers and 68% of millennials expressed that preference. That number rises to 72% with Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1979) but falls somewhat to 55% with those born before 1945, Quint said.

      Driven by smartphones

      Better Homes and Gardens Brand Executive Editor Jill Waage echoed Quint's findings on preferences for well-equipped kitchens and casual, comfortable living spaces -- especially outdoor living rooms, where millennials want to entertain their families and friends.

      What's important about this generation is their comfort with technology. Millennials "are leading the way on this," Waage said. "They are the first generation to walk into homeownership with a smartphone in their hands."

      These millennials want to use technology to make entertainment choices easier, monitor the comings and goings of packages, repairmen, and their children, and improve their health and well-being. When it comes to product choices, "they've read the ratings, comments and reviews, and they know what's worth it," and have probably created a Google alert so they know when it's on sale, she said.

      The survey results are also important to home builders in the 55+ market, said David Peskin, president of Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC (RMF), which sponsored the NAHB study on consumer preferences. “The boomer generation is currently experiencing a transition to their next phase of life,” he noted, “so the home building and finance industries should commit to better understand the wants and needs of this generation to offer the best possible solutions for them.”

      It may take a while, but the millennial generation is poised to make a significant impact on home design, according to speakers at the National Association...
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