N.Y. Ferris wheel
As New York grapples with rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, developers are pressing ahead with plans for an ambitious addition to the shoreline of storm-torn Staten Island: the world’s largest Ferris wheel. Sandy’s flooding spurred some changes to the $500 million project, which includes an outlet mall and hotel. Yet some residents, a city watchdog and a planning group have asked whether it makes sense to push ahead with a 625-foot-tall tourist attraction, set partly in a flood zone, before officials take a comprehensive look at how to build smarter after Sandy.
$1.3M Apple theft
Masked and armed thieves used a New Year’s Eve fete to rob the flagship Apple store in Paris. Up to $1.3 million in goods were stolen at the store selling products such as Apple’s iPhones and iPads behind the Paris Opera house.
Viking Range bought
Food service equipment maker Middleby Corp. said it will buy Mississippi-based oven and kitchen appliance maker Viking Range Corp. for $380 million. Viking Range is based in Green-wood, Miss., and makes products for use in residential cooking. Middleby said Viking Range has $200 million in annual sales.
Md. bans additive
Maryland became the first state to ban an arsenic additive in chicken feed. Pfizer Inc., which distributes Roxarsone, stopped selling the chemical in July after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study found higher levels of inorganic arsenic in chicken treated with the additive than those that were not.
N. Dakota boom
The oil boom and high agricultural prices have changed North Dakota’s fortunes in the past decade. In the 1990s, North Dakota was losing many of its young people, and the population was stagnating. The state’s population increased 6.6 percent between the 2000 census and the estimate for 2011, as people moved to North Dakota for jobs. The state’s per-capita income jumped from $25,592 in 2000 to $47,236 in 2011, an 86.4 percent increase.
Commune must pay
The Montana Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that forcing a Hutterite religious colony to pay workers’ compensation insurance for jobs outside the commune is not an unconstitutional intrusion into religion. The Big Sky Colony of Hutterites members have no personal property and make no wages as part of their communal life.
Beer kiosk ban
Under a law that took effect on New Year’s Day, selling beer at the ubiquitous kiosks that mushroomed along Russian sidewalks and roadsides after the collapse of the Soviet Union has been banned. In a measure meant to address Russia’s high rate of problem drinking, beer now can be purchased only at restaurants, cafes and stores of at least about 500 square feet.
Nuke plant lawsuits
A federal appeals court in New York has set Jan. 14 as the date for lawyers’ oral arguments in an appeal of a Vermont federal judge’s order last January saying the state could not force the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to shut down. Two days later, the Vermont Supreme Court will hear the anti-nuclear group New England Coalition ‘s claim the plant is is violating its state permit.