Tribune News Service
Business Budget for Friday, February 8, 2019
Updated at 6 p.m. EST (2300 UTC)
Adds WELLSFARGO-OUTAGE:SJ, FOXCONN-PROMISES:TB
This budget is now available at www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^California's biggest utilities are losing their monopolies. Is that a good thing?<
^UTILITIES-CALIF-MONOPOLIES:LA—<San Diego's decision to go into the power business was the last straw.
Ever since the city's announcement last year, San Diego Gas & Electric has been telling state lawmakers it wants out of the business of buying and selling electricity. That may sound like a radical plan for a monopoly utility with nearly 1.5 million customers and annual profits that regularly exceed $500 million.
But given the state's rapidly shifting energy landscape, it might actually make sense.
1850 by Sammy Roth. MOVED
^'Why are you looking at me? I see you watching me.' Smart devices like Nest getting hacked in digital home invasions<
^CPT-SMARTHOME-HACKING:TB—<Arjun and Jessica Sud routinely use a baby monitor to keep tabs on their 7-month-old's bedroom. Last month, they heard something chilling through the monitor: A deep male voice was speaking to their child.
"Immediately I barge into the room because I'm like, 'Oh my God, maybe someone got in there,'" said Arjun Sud, 29. "The moment I walk in, it's quiet."
The couple grabbed their son, now fully awake, and headed downstairs. When they passed their Nest thermostat, normally set around 72 degrees, they noticed it had been turned up to 90. Then, the voice was back, coming through the speaker in a downstairs security camera. And this time, it was talking to them.
1800 by Ally Marotti. MOVED
^As Foxconn changes Wisconsin plans, job promises fall short<
^FOXCONN-PROMISES:TB—<It's been 18 months since the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group announced to great fanfare that it was building a $10 billion factory to make TV screens on farmland in southeastern Wisconsin.
The plan was as big as it was audacious: Fueled with billions in taxpayers subsidies, Foxconn would build a 22 million-square-foot campus, filled with 13,000 highly paid workers. In the process, it would transform the sleepy village of Mount Pleasant, Wis., into a high-tech international manufacturing hub.
1250 by Robert Channick. MOVED
^OTHER BUSINESS NEWS <
^FDA says Walgreens has worst record of all pharmacies on selling tobacco to kids<
^WALGREEENS-TOBACCO:TB—<Walgreens has the worst track record among all pharmacies when it comes to selling tobacco products to minors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based pharmacy chain has racked up nearly 1,800 violations since 2010 for selling tobacco products to kids, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. About 22 percent of the more than 6,300 Walgreens stores inspected since 2010 have illegally sold the products to young people, the agency said.
650 by Lisa Schencker. MOVED
^Wells Fargo customers vent as outages continue into payday<
^WELLSFARGO-OUTAGE:SJ—<The service outage at Wells Fargo, one of the nation's largest banks, extended into a second day Friday, which for many people is payday.
Despite a statement from the San Francisco-based company late Thursday and another Friday morning that it had restored most services, many customers were reporting on social media that they could not access their accounts, see direct deposits or pay their bills.
300 by Levi Sumagaysay. MOVED
^AUTO STORIES <
^Polaris powers into vacation rentals with fleet of 'adventure' vehicles in 30 states<
^AUTO-POLARIS-ADVENTURE:MS—<Three years ago, a couple of Polaris employees had a hunch.
If vacationers could rent the latest models of Polaris snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles or Slingshot three-wheelers, they would gain "an experience" and become fast fans of one of America's top power-sports vehicle makers.
900 by Dee Depass. MOVED
^Ford cranks up massive V-8, towing capacity for 2020 Super Duty pickups<
^AUTO-SUPERDUTY-TRUCKS:DE—<The pickup wars are about to get bigger and badder. Ford is unveiling a massive new V-8 engine and what the automaker says are the most powerful versions ever of its F-series Super Duty medium-duty pickups to face challengers from Chevrolet, GMC and Ram.
Medium-duty pickups can tow and haul more than light-duty pickups like the F-150. They're mainstays of construction, agriculture and utilities, but many are also loaded with luxurious interiors and advanced driver assistance features for personal use. They can cost more than $100,000.
600 by Mark Phelan. MOVED
^AUTO REVIEWS <
^Auto review: The 2019 CTS-V is a superb performer, but is it a superb Cadillac?<
AUTO-CADILLAC-CTSV-REVIEW:MCT — The Cadillac stand at the North American International Auto Show last month neatly summarized Cadillac's current product predicament, one that goes beyond how many crossover SUVs it sells.
For 15 years, Cadillac has hoped that its V performance vehicles would join the hallowed ranks of BMW's M Series and Mercedes-Benz AMG models. And it has succeeded admirably, producing cars that equal or beat the competition in performance, only to be shunned by consumers as Cadillac's sales and reputation continues its long, painful slide into irrelevance, despite producing cars that out-German the Germans.
And perhaps, that's where the problem lies.
750 by Larry Printz in Detroit. MOVED
^Auto review: 2019 Chevy Blazer is here — and nothing like what you remember<
AUTO-BLAZER-REVIEW:DE — The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer midsize SUV is poised to jump to the head of its class, thanks to great looks, a roomy and comfortable five-passenger interior and good performance.
If you remember the boring old Blazer and TrailBlazer midsize SUVs, forget them now. The 2019 Blazer doesn't share a nut or bolt with them. It's long, elegant and surprisingly luxurious — Chevrolet's answer to people who fear booming SUV sales will mean highways full of bland lookalikes.
550 by Mark Phelan in San Diego. MOVED
^Auto review: Buick's TourX offers a premium wagon version of Regal sedan, AWD included<
^AUTO-TOURX-REVIEW:FT—<Buick introduced a luxury station wagon version of the Regal sedan in 2018, the Regal TourX, which went on to boost sales of the Regal lineup.
For 2019, the five-passenger TourX comes in three trims base TourX ($29,070), Preferred ($32,670), and Essence ($35,070). It's identical to the 2018 model, with one small change: an ionizing cabin air cleaner has been added to the Essence trim.
1300 by Emma Jayne Williams. MOVED
^DAILY MARKETS GRAPHIC <
Find here a daily Wall Street roundup graphic featuring Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq data.
The 1-column x 4-inch graphic, Wall Street, will be posted by 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday.
To find the graphic, visit the Graphics section of TribuneNewsService.com.
Those with questions regarding the graphic should contact the graphics team at 312-222-4131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
^Consumer Confidential: 'Medicare for all' sounds good, but Democrats need to spell out exactly what they mean<
^CNS-CONFIDENTIAL:LA—<Democratic politicians are increasingly bold about supporting a Medicare-for-all or single-payer healthcare system as a means of extending coverage to the tens of millions of Americans currently lacking insurance.
But two things are quickly becoming clear as presidential wannabes, including Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, jockey to establish themselves as the Savior of American Healthcare.
First, no one other than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has committed to any details about how a Medicare-for-all or single-payer plan would work. And Sanders' plan is so idealistic, it's a non-starter.
1350 by David Lazarus. MOVED
These features regularly move on Friday:
^Motormouth: Unraveling the mystery of the engine oil dipstick<
^AUTO-MOTORMOUTH-QA:TB—<What is the proper way to interpret the reading on the oil dipstick? I have a 2017 Chrysler 200 that takes six quarts of oil. The fill line on the dipstick has a section that reads "safe zone." The car was driven with the oil at the bottom of the safe line for about 3,000 miles. Was any engine damage possible? Is that safe zone simply a reserve area to protect from potential engine damage? My car actually came from the factory with the reading halfway on the safe zone, and I was told that was quite normal.
650 by Bob Weber. MOVED
^Under the Hood: How many miles driven, and what kind, should dictate oil change schedule<
^AUTO-HOOD:MCT—<If you have a car that doesn't rack up a lot of miles, do you still need to change the oil every six months? I only put about 2,000 miles a year on my car. I've heard different opinions on this.
600 by Brad Bergholdt. MOVED
^Mark Phelan: 2019 Ram 1500 pickup adds 4-way tailgate for easy cargo loading<
^AUTO-PHELAN-COLUMN:DE—<Ram Trucks this spring will add a new four-way tailgate that simplifies loading cargo in tight spaces. Due in dealerships on the 2019 Ram 1500 light-duty pickup in the second quarter, the Multifunction Tailgate will be a $995 option.
The tailgate is split 40/60, and has hinges on either side in addition to the bottom hinges all pickup tailgates have. The object is to allow owners to open just a part of the tailgate sideways when they don't have enough room to lower the tailgate. That can happen in tight parking spots or when a trailer is hooked up behind the pickup.
400 by Mark Phelan. MOVED
^The Week Ahead: Dual deadlines looming<
^WEEKAHEAD:MI—<Two self-imposed deadlines are approaching fast. One comes on Friday, while the highest-level talks yet to meet the second get underway in the week ahead.
The first deadline is to get a portion of the federal government funded through September. Another government shutdown looms if President Trump and the Democratic Congressional leaders can't agree on border security. If not, it will mark the fourth time in two years pieces of the federal government can't operate and hundreds of thousands of families could see their pay interrupted or skipped altogether.
350 by Tom Hudson. MOVED
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