uGAP RAISING MINIMUM WAGE FOR ITS US EMPLOYEES: SAN FRANCSICO (AP) — Clothing chain Gap says it will raise the minimum hourly wage for its U.S. employees to $10 in 2015.
The San Francisco company said Wednesday that the minimum wage for workers at all of its brands will be raised to $9 an hour in 2014 and $10 an hour in 2015. Gap said the increases will affect about 65,000 store employees.
Gap Inc.’s stores include Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.
President Barack Obama applauded the move by Gap, noting that in his State of the Union address last month, he had asked businesses to do what they can to raise wages. Obama has also signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for workers covered by new federal contracts to $10.10.
But Obama said only Congress can act raise wages nationwide, urging the House and Senate to take up a bill that Democrats are pushing.
Gap shares fell 4 cents to $42.19 on Wednesday.
uOHIO DRIVER RESCUES KITTEN FOUND FROZEN TO ROAD: ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — A driver who found a gray kitten frozen to the road in northeast Ohio and rescued it says she initially thought it was a chunk of ice and was shocked when it tried to move.
Dara Taylor of Elyria said she found the cat Monday covered in ice, as though it had been in water, and it couldn’t open its eyes. She says she freed the cat from the road and took it to the Friendship Animal Protective League.
The group’s chief financial officer, Shelley MacDonald, says the male cat has warmed up and is being treated for a respiratory infection. Officials are hopeful he will fully recover.
The organization says it is already getting adoption requests for the kitten, which has been named Frosty.
uNBC ANCHOR WILLIAMS: SORRY FOR ARSENIO HALL SNUB: LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC News anchor Brian Williams made an on-air apology to Arsenio Hall for leaving him out of a photo gallery of late-night hosts.
In his newscast Wednesday, Williams responded to the complaint that Hall had lodged the night before on “The Arsenio Hall Show.”
The photo graphic excluding Hall was used on Monday’s newscast as part of a story on “The Tonight Show” debut of Jimmy Fallon. Williams called it “incomplete” and promised the omission wouldn’t happen again.
Hall was smiling on his syndicated show Tuesday as he needled Williams about the montage of all-white talk show hosts his newscast aired. But Hall said he was holding journalism accountable for NBC’s snub and others.
uWOMAN SAYS SHE WOKE, FOUND INTRUDER ASLEEP IN HOME: MOUNT DORA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman says she awoke to find an intruder asleep on her couch.
Police say they arrested the man Tuesday at a home in Mount Dora and charged him in connection with some recent business burglaries.
Tthe woman heard snoring coming from her living room while she made her coffee.
She said she then found the man asleep on her couch, covered with a blanket, and that he had helped himself to a beer from her refrigerator before falling sleep.
When police arrived, they say they woke him up by removing the blanket and found him holding a butcher knife taken from the kitchen.
uSOLDIER SUSPENDED FOR DEFENDING EMPTY CASKET PHOTO: MILWAUKEE (AP) — A second Wisconsin National Guard member has been suspended in an investigation stemming from a photograph showing soldiers clowning around by an empty flag-draped casket, a Guard spokesman said Wednesday.
Sgt. Luis Jimenez was suspended because of comments he posted on social media defending the photo, which was taken at a guard training facility, spokesman Maj. Paul Rickert said.
Jimenez’ comments have since been taken down, but in a screen shot confirmed by Rickert he defended the woman who originally posted the photo.
“She isn’t disrespecting anyone,” Jimenez wrote of Spc. Terry Harrison. “... It’s actually a selfless commitment she has made. These practice sessions are very long. It’s good to let loose a little. When your job constantly asked you to be serious. And no there’s no one in the casket.”
uJUDGE CHIDES COUPLE FOR OFFENSIVE JURY SUMMONS: SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A northeastern Pennsylvania couple have been cited for contempt of court for sending back a jury questionnaire filled with profanity, crude language and racial slurs.
A Lackawanna County judge cited 25-year-old Tina Keller and 23-year-old Drayke Jacobs-Van-Tol. That landed the Taylor couple a court date Tuesday. Judge Vito Geroulo dismissed the contempt citation but warned that the pair could have spent up to six months in jail for what he called the most “intentionally disrespectful” jury form he’d ever seen.
Keller said she let her fiance fill out her summons and she didn’t look it over before sending it in. Both of them apologized to the judge.
WOMAN WHO FAKED CANCER SENTENCED TO 1-YEAR TERM: SANDUSKY, Mich. (AP) — A judge sentenced a Michigan woman to a year behind bars Wednesday in an “almost mind-boggling” scam that tricked an insurance company and swindled big-hearted people in small communities who believed she was dying of cancer.
Authorities said it was all an extraordinary lie: No doctor has ever stepped forward to even suggest that Sara Ylen had cancer.
Ylen, 38, already is serving a minimum five-year prison sentence in another case of deceit, and the one-year punishment for fraud will run at the same time.
Ylen claimed she developed cervical cancer from a sexual assault in 2001 and was regularly treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Ill. The Michigan-based Mercy Hospice cut her off in 2011 after two years when tests showed her life wasn’t in peril. The cancer hospital said it had no record of her as a patient.
The Lexington resident accepted thousands of dollars from supporters who for years regularly read of her plight in the Port Huron Times Herald. She repeatedly forged medical records, including documents that bore the letterhead of cancer specialists at the University of Michigan.