Tribune News Service
Business Budget for Friday, March 15, 2019
Updated at 4:30 a.m. EST (0830 UTC)
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 wildfire threat could be an opportunity for clean-energy microgrids<
^CLEAN-ERERGY-MICROGRIDS:LA—<To the untrained eye, the shipping containers clustered on the outskirts of Borrego Springs, Calif., don't look like an innovative clean-energy technology that could help California cope with wildfires.
But these containers, in the remote desert of eastern San Diego County, are packed with lithium-ion batteries — and they're part of one of the world's most advanced microgrids. It combines solar panels, diesel generators, energy storage and something called an ultracapacitor to power Borrego Springs, even when electricity isn't flowing through the single transmission line that connects the town to the main power grid.
2000 by Sammy Roth. MOVED
^With Fox, Disney will have an even bigger footprint in Hollywood<
^MOVIE-DISNEY-FOX-MERGER:LA—<Walt Disney Co.'s entertainment kingdom is about to get a whole lot bigger thanks to its pending purchase of 21st Century Fox assets, and the rest of Hollywood has only just begun to grapple with the consequences of the company's increasing power.
The long-anticipated $71-billion acquisition will put the X-Men, Homer Simpson, the Avengers, Buzz Lightyear, Kylo Ren and the gang from "Avatar" under the same roof, giving the Burbank company an unprecedented share of film and television franchises.
The deal, expected to close in the coming days, would boost Disney's share of the domestic box office to at least 40 percent and reinforce its stronghold in toys, theme parks and cruise lines. The Mouse House will have an unrivaled say over when and how movies are released.
2200 by Ryan Faughnder in Los Angeles. (Moved as an entertainment story.)
^No job, no food stamps: Would stricter rules let the poor feel 'power of work' or just be 'cruel'?<
FOODSTAMPS-WORK:TB — For at least a decade, most Illinois residents who receive food stamps have been exempt from a federal law that requires them to work or risk losing their benefits.
But a proposal that would make it harder to obtain those exemptions — a move designed to encourage people to find jobs while unemployment is low — has social service agencies in Illinois, like elsewhere, worried that the poor will only plunge deeper into poverty.
2150 by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz in Chicago. MOVED
^MORE BUSINESS NEWS<
^AUTO STORIES <
^Slingshot effect? What happens when a car hits a pothole<
^AUTO-POTHOLES:DE—<Hitting a pothole can turn a swell day into a lousy one, sometimes requiring a costly and unexpected trip to the repair shop.
We asked one expert — Jennifer Bastiaan — to weigh in on what these craters can do to an automobile. Bastiaan is an assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Kettering University in Flint, Mich., with a Ph.D. in mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Her teaching and research focus is on ground vehicle systems.
650 by Eric D. Lawrence. MOVED
^Could Tesla's shift to online sales mean the end of your friendly local car dealer?<
^AUTO-DEALERSHIPS:TB—<For traditional car dealerships, surviving in the digital age will take more than a good slogan.
When Tesla recently announced it was shifting all sales online and winding down its stores, the electric vehicle manufacturer sent shock waves through the auto industry, signaling perhaps the beginning of the end for your friendly local car dealer.
No more low-budget TV commercials, no more kicking the tires, no more giant inflatable tube men beckoning from lots with unbeatable deals.
1300 by Robert Channick in Downers Grove, Ill. MOVED
^How Cadillac is remaking itself in Detroit<
^AUTO-CADILLAC-REMAKE:DE—<Cadillac's New York offices are on the road — literally.
The brand emptied the final contents of its Cadillac House in the upscale SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan for good and is shipping them to Michigan now, Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said this week.
Separately, Cadillac said that as it rolls out the new XT6 midsized SUV to dealerships later this year, it will be the first Cadillac to debut a new torque-based badging system that will distinguish for customers the power differences across the lineup.
600 by Jamie L. Lareau. MOVED
^AUTO REVIEWS <
^Auto review: The 2019 Nissan Kicks adds another new choice in the small crossover market<
^AUTO-KICKS-REVIEW:PHI—<2019 Nissan Kicks SV: A long test in a new Kia Soul-fighter.
Price: $21,425 as tested, including $545 for two-tone paint. Standard items include blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and Sirius XM.
Conventional wisdom: Motor Trend likes the "strong value, clever interior, kickin' stereo," but not "no AWD, seat comfort, noisy at speed."
Marketer's pitch: "Own your moment."
Reality: It takes more than a moment to grow on you, but it's still a little Soul-less.
What's new: The whole Kicks, front to back. The little crossover replaced the Juke for the 2018 model year (which is the model year I tested).
750 by Scott Sturgis. MOVED
^Auto review: Beefy 2019 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X designed for the highway or the trail<
^AUTO-TITANXD-REVIEW:FT—<The first version of the new generation of Nissan's full-size Titan pickup arrived for 2016, much bigger and bolder than its predecessor and sporting a whopper of a Cummins diesel engine, a first for the Titan.
A few months later, a smaller, lighter version of the new Titan arrived, with a choice of V-6 or V-8 gasoline engines, using a different chassis that's 14.7 inches shorter than that of the XD. Both the XD and the smaller Titan half-ton (1500) models come in three configurations: Single Cab, King Cab and Crew Cab.
1600 by G. Chambers Williams III. MOVED
^DAILY MARKETS GRAPHIC <
Find here a daily Wall Street roundup graphic featuring Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq data.
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^The Week Ahead: Winding down the wind-down<
^WEEKAHEAD:MI—<The Federal Reserve's interest rate proclamations deserve the attention they receive, but that's not what the investment markets will be listening for in the week ahead.
The central bank's regularly scheduled interest rate setting meeting concludes on Wednesday with a statement and press conference with Chairman Jerome Powell. For the first time this year the Fed will release its updated economic projections for the years ahead.
350 by Tom Hudson. MOVED
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