National

10.30.14:  Wal-Mart tests matching prices with online rivals

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is considering matching online prices from competitors like Amazon.com, raising the stakes for the holiday shopping season.

 

The world’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, has matched prices of local store competitors but hadn’t followed moves by other retailers like Best Buy or Target to match prices of online rivals. It said it has been testing the strategy in certain markets and is trying to figure out whether to go ahead.

 

The strategy comes as Wal-Mart is trying to rev up sluggish sales in the U.S. but it could also erode profits.

 

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman says many store managers have matched online prices for customers on a case-by-case basis.

 

The move was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.


10.30.14:  US gov’t tells Takata to make more air bag parts

 

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are telling a company that made faulty air bags to manufacture replacement parts faster and do more testing to find out what’s causing the problem.

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, under fire for its slow response to safety issues, sent letters Wednesday to Japanese air bag maker Takata Corporation and 10 automakers seeking information about air bags.

 

Millions of Takata air bags can potentially inflate with too much force, blowing apart metal canisters and sending shards flying at drivers and passengers. Safety advocates say that four people have died due to the problem.

 

Tests have shown that prolonged exposure to high humidity can cause the problem. Some automakers have limited their recalls to a small number of high-humidity areas.


10.30.14:  Lava won’t chase out some people

 

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Civil defense officials on Hawaii’s Big Island say lava from the Kilauea volcano is moving at only about 15 to 30 feet an hour, but it’s persistent, and it’s getting closer to the small town of Pahoa.

 

The slow pace has given residents time to pack their valuables and get out of the way. But it’s been agonizing for those wondering whether the lava might change directions.

 

Scientists say the lava near Pahoa’s main road, so far, has remained on course.

 

Once the lava crosses the road and a bypass road, it’ll effectively slice the town in half, and most residents won’t be able to get to the area’s only supermarket a mile from the town center.

 

Some of Pahoa’s 950 residents already have left and some businesses are closing. But other people are vowing to stay.


10.30.14:  Nurse defies Ebola quarantine in Maine

 

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A nurse who promised to defy Maine’s quarantine for health care workers who’ve treated Ebola patients has followed through on her vow.

 

Kaci Hickox left her Fort Kent home with her boyfriend on Thursday and went for a bike ride, trailed by reporters and a state police cruiser. They returned about an hour later.

 

State officials are going to court to keep Hickox in quarantine for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period for Ebola that ends on Nov. 10.

 

Police are monitoring her, but can’t detain her without a court order signed by a judge.

 

Hickox contends there’s no need for quarantine because she’s showing no symptoms after treating Ebola patients in West Africa. She told reporters on the bike ride that she hopes that a compromise can be reached “amicably.”


10.29.14:  Lava advancing in Hawaii

 

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) —Some Hawaii residents living near the path of a slowly-moving lava flow already have left town, and others are getting ready to leave.

The lava from the Kilauea volcano is just 370 yards from the main road in the town of Pahoa, on the Big Island.

The lava already has entered private property and is burning tires and other materials.

Authorities have told downwind residents with respiratory problems to stay indoors.


10.28.14:   Searching for clues following rocket explosion

 

ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) —They’re searching this morning for debris from an unmanned rocket that exploded seconds after launch on Wallops Island, Virginia last night.

The rocket from Orbital Sciences Corp. was supposed to deliver supplies and experiments for NASA to the International Space Station.

Today, NASA and officials from the company are hoping debris found will lead to answers to what caused the explosion.

The rocket was carrying 5,000 pounds of experiments and equipment for NASA.

 

Some of the experiments on the rocket were created by Michigan students.

4 Detroit-area students from Wilkinson Middle School designed an experiment on the effect iodine tablets will have on E. coli bacteria in zero gravity.

Another experiment was made by 4 girls from St. Monica Catholic School in Kalamazoo.

 

The experiments were part of NASA’s student Space Flight Experiment Program.


10.29.14:  Another automaker issues a recall

 

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler is recalling more than 566,000 SUVs and trucks because the fuel heaters can cause fires, or a software glitch can disable the electronic stability control. Chrysler says the fuel heater problem could happen in Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups and Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs from 2010 through 2014. And in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Durango SUV, a debris cover over a circuit board can disrupt communications and disable the stability control.


10.28.14:   Nurse who had Ebola to be released

 

ATLANTA (AP) — An Emory University Hospital spokeswoman says a Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola will be released Tuesday.

 

Emory spokeswoman Holly Korschun told The Associated Press that Amber Vinson will be leaving the hospital Tuesday after a 1 p.m. news conference to make a statement after tests showed she’s virus-free.

 

Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital.

Vinson’s family announced Oct. 22 that doctors could no longer detect the virus in Vinson’s body.

 

Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. The other nurse, Nina Pham, was released Oct. 24 from a hospital attached to the National Institutes of Health.

 

Meanwhile, a nurse who was quarantined at a hospital in New Jersey after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has returned to Maine, where her partner is a student.

 

An attorney representing Kaci Hickox said Tuesday that she’s at an “undisclosed location.” Her partner’s home in Fort Kent was quiet with no sign of activity.

 

Maine health officials have announced that she agreed to be quarantined at home. That’s a step beyond what’s required by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that call for monitoring for health care providers who show no symptoms after treating Ebola patients.

 

Attorney Steve Hyman said he’s working with state health officials in Maine. He said Hickox deserves to be “honored, not detained” for her work in Africa.


10.27.14:  Washington state community looks for answers following high school shooting

 

MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) — A close-knit community north of Seattle is still trying to understand why a popular high school freshman opened fire at his school in Marysville, shooting several students.

 

One student was killed at the scene Friday, and a 14-year-old girl died last night.

 

The shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, shot himself to death as he struggled with a teacher.

 

Two of the students who were wounded were Fryberg’s cousins.


10.27.14:  America’s UN ambassador visits Ebola region

 

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power is visiting the region of West Africa hardest hit by the Ebola virus.

 

Power met Sunday with religious leaders in Guinea, telling them, “We are in this with you for the long haul.”

 

Today she’s visiting Sierra Leone.

 

The outbreak has killed nearly 5,000 people, mostly in those two countries and in Liberia.

 

Meanwhile, the governors of New York and New Jersey are at odds with scientists over Ebola as the governors back 21-day quarantines for medical workers returning from West Africa.

 

The governors are requiring health workers who’ve worked with Ebola patients in West Africa to stay in their homes during the Ebola incubation period.

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the quarantines may discourage health workers from going to West African to help stop the spread of Ebola.