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NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NATION

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POSTED February 24, 2014 8:00 p.m.

• PREMIUMS MAY RISE FOR 11 MILLION WORKERS: NEW YORK (AP) — The new health care law may raise insurance premiums for 11 million small business employees and lower rates for 6 million others.

That’s an estimate from a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The report says higher rates are partly due to the law’s requirement that premiums can no longer be based on a person’s age. That has sent premiums higher for younger workers, and lower for older ones.

The estimate is far from certain, partly because many small businesses renewed their policies in 2013. Renewing before the end of the year allowed them to avoid higher premiums that went into effect Jan. 1, when coverage was required to conform to the law.

 

• McDONALD’S EYES EXTENDING BREAKFAST HOURS: OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — McDonald’s is in the early stages of looking at whether it can make breakfast available later in the day.

Fans of the Egg McMuffin and Sausage Biscuit have long wanted the option to get breakfast at McDonald’s after 10:30 a.m. But offering both the breakfast and lunch menu was considered logistically impossible, given the tight kitchen spaces of the restaurants.

Still, it’s an option the chain is eyeing more seriously at a time when people’s eating habits are changing — particularly those coveted customers in their 20s and 30s known as Millennials.

“We know, as an example, that breakfast on the weekend cut off at 10:30 doesn’t go very well,” Jeff Stratton, head of McDonald’s USA, said in an interview.

McDonald’s has long entertained the idea of serving breakfast throughout the day. But the chain has been inching closer to making the idea a reality as it faces heightened competition and slumping sales. Last year, for example, the company began offering an “After Midnight” menu at select locations. The menu, available from midnight to 4 a.m., consisted of a limited mix of breakfast and lunch items so kitchen operations wouldn’t be overwhelmed

 

• WOMAN WHO LEFT BABY ON CAR ROOF PLEADS GUILTY: PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman who left her 5-week-old baby in a car seat on the roof of her car when she drove off has pleaded guilty to child abuse and misdemeanor DUI.

Maricopa County Superior Court spokeswoman Karen Arra says Catalina Clouser is scheduled to be sentenced March 26 on the plea she entered Monday.

Phoenix police arrested Clouser last year after witnesses found an infant strapped in a safety seat in the middle of an intersection. The baby was in good condition.

According to police, Clouser forgot the boy was on the roof her car when she left the home of friends where she had smoked marijuana.

 

• RARE 1778 LETTER FROM GEORGE WASHINGTON FOR SALE: PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An inspirational 1778 letter written by George Washington to the leaders of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War is for sale.

Nathan Raab, a dealer in rare letters and autographs, tells Newsworks.org that Washington wrote the letter in December 1778, shortly after British forces withdrew from Philadelphia.

The soon-to-be first president wrote that he hoped that “the same national virtues which have hereto frustrated the designs of the enemy will perpetuate to this city a full enjoyment of all the blessings which have been the objects of the present glorious and important contest.”

Raab said the letter “breathes with the optimism that Washington instilled and that made him famous.”

The Ardmore, Pa.-based Raab Collection purchased the letter from a private collector. It is for sale for $120,000.

 

• ACTOR ALEC BALDWIN CONTEMPLATES LEAVING NYC: NEW YORK (AP) — Alec Baldwin says he misses the days when New Yorkers signaled their appreciation of celebrities briefly and politely while taking care to maintain privacy.

The 55-year-old actor writes in New York magazine that he “probably” needs to move out of the nation’s largest city.

Baldwin says he has a happy home for the first time in his adult life. He says he’s considering Los Angeles, living insulated behind a gate with his wife and their child.

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