Business briefs

2013-06-12T00:00:00Z Business briefsFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
June 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

ARIZONA

Funeral-trainees measure vetoed by Brewer is revived

PHOENIX - The House has revived a bill vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer allowing Arizona's 51 crematories and 163 funeral homes to hire intern trainees.

Brewer vetoed House Bill 2271 last month and said the eight hours of training it required for interns wasn't enough. She said there could be unintended consequences if funeral homes employed intern trainees with inadequate training and minimal academic training work.

Republican Rep. Tom Forese of Chandler revived the bill by adding it to Senate Bill 1342 on Monday. It now requires 16 hours of training and passed the full House on a 57-0 vote. It now returns to the Senate for action.

Forese said it's important for people who want to work in the industry to do so before attending a mortuary-science college.

Tourists regain access to Grand Canyon Skywalk

FLAGSTAFF - Tourists who had been denied access on the main road to the Grand Canyon Skywalk now have a way to get to the glass bridge, be it through a bypass route or a rancher's checkpoint.

The Hualapai Tribe, which operates the Skywalk, received a federal permit to create a three-quarter-mile route that will run adjacent to Nigel Turner's ranch. A spokesman said it would be complete Tuesday.

It allows tourists to avoid a fee Turner had imposed to drive through his property.

Turner had shut down part of the road last week. He said he has reopened it and lowered the fee from $20 per person to $5 per car.

NATION

Illness tied to frozen berries sold at Costco is spreading

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an outbreak of hepatitis A linked to a frozen berry mix sold at Costco has grown to 87 people with illnesses in eight states.

The CDC said Tuesday that illnesses have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Washington.

Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., last week recalled its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, packaged under the Townsend Farms label at Costco and under the Harris Teeter brand at those stores. So far the illnesses have been linked only to the berries sold at Costco.

More Americans quit jobs, showing market confidence

More Americans are quitting their jobs, suggesting many are growing more confident in the job market.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of people who quit their jobs in April jumped 7.2 percent to 2.25 million. That's just below February's level, which was the highest in 4 1/2 years.

Overall hiring also picked up in April, though not as dramatically. Employers filled 4.4 million jobs in April, a 5 percent increase from March.

Hiring fell in March, and April's level was below February's.

Google snaps up Waze, upstaging Facebook, Apple

SAN FRANCISCO - Google is buying online mapping service Waze in a $1.03 billion deal that keeps a potentially valuable tool away from its rivals while allowing it to gain technology that could improve the accuracy and usefulness of its own popular navigation system.

Google Inc. is believed to have trumped two of its fiercest foes, Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc., in the bidding for Waze, which is based in Israel but has a Palo Alto, Calif., office.

Waze, which started five years ago, is the latest mobile startup to blossom into a billion-dollar baby.

DEA settles painkiller case with Walgreens for $80M

MIAMI - Federal authorities have reached an $80 million civil settlement with the Walgreens pharmacy chain over rules violations that allowed tens of thousands of units of powerful painkillers such as oxycodone to illegally wind up in the hands of drug addicts and dealers, officials said Tuesday.

Mark R. Trouville, chief of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Miami field office, said Walgreens committed numerous record-keeping and dispensing violations of the Controlled Substances Act at a major East Coast distribution center in Jupiter, Fla., and at six retail pharmacies around Florida. The drugs also included hydrocodone and Xanax. Authorities said the Jupiter center failed to flag suspicious orders from pharmacies, and the retail outlets routinely filled prescriptions that clearly were not for a legitimate medical use.

"As the largest pharmacy chain in the U.S., we are fully committed to doing our part to prevent prescription drug abuse," said Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreens.

Microsoft, Sony show off next-generation consoles

LOS ANGELES - Microsoft and Sony hyped their respective next-generation consoles at this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Microsoft touted new games for the Xbox One, which will cost $499, while Sony unveiled its boxy $399 console, the PlayStation 4. Both feature richer graphics and deeper social networking capabilities.

WORLD

World's air fleet to double in 20 years, Boeing says

PARIS - Boeing predicts that the number of commercial aircraft in operation globally will double in the next two decades, with the bulk of 35,000 new planes going to Asia. Speaking ahead of the Bourget international air show in Paris, Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Co., said rising oil prices create demand for smaller planes that burn less fuel.

The Associated Press

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