Tom Witt(TACOMA, Wash.) -- Automotive students and faculty at a community college in Washington are distraught after learning that their beloved 1992, one-of-a-kind, $250,000 Dodge Viper has been ordered destroyed by the car's manufacturer, Chrysler."It's like taking a family pet, putting it in front of kids and destroying it," Norman Chapman, automotive professor at South Puget Sound Community College, told ABC News.The car was donated to the Tacoma, Wash., college eight years ago by Chrysler for students in their automotive program to use the car as an educational tool."We destroy cars all of the time, but that's usually because they have lost their educational value," Chapman said. "This here is kind of unique and the students are definitely up in arms about it. It has around 600 horsepower and it will go 200 mph really easy. It's definitely a race car. There are no frills in it, but it's definitely a speed machine."In addition to the students' use of the car, it is also used for promotional purposes to attract high school students to the school program."It's a much-beloved car on campus," Dean of College Relations Kellie Purce Braseth said.The Viper model is so rare that Jay Leno once tried to buy the car from Chrysler, but they would not sell it to him because the car is not street legal.An e-mail was sent by Chrysler to Chapman earlier this week, simply telling the school that, "Chrysler Group LLC will be eliminating all Dodge Vipers from its educational donations fleet."The school has two weeks to destroy the car and present the proof of its destruction to Chrysler.School officials say that Chrysler has not said why they want the car destroyed, but that a contract signed when the car was donated by Chrysler states that the school is responsible for having it destroyed if Chrysler wants to eliminate the fleet."I have no idea. That's pretty secret there, but the contact that I talked to said it was for liability reasons," Chapman said. Chapman also said that it was rumored that similar cars had "gotten loose" at other schools and were involved in accidents.A statement from Chrysler said, "As part of the donation process, it is standard procedure -- and stipulated in our agreements -- that whenever vehicles are donated to institutions for education purposes that they are to be destroyed when they are no longer needed for their intended educational purposes. With advancements in automotive technology over the past decade, it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students.""Chrysler Group has no record of any legal proceedings involving Dodge Viper vehicles donated to educational institutions being involved in accidents and product liability lawsuits," Chrysler said.The school's Viper is a pre-production car and its VIN number indicates it was the fourth vehicle off the production line and one of the first hardtop Vipers made.Students have started an online petition to save the Viper and maybe have it preserved in an automobile museum, but Chapman says there is no way to save the car unless there is some sort of presidential pardon or the governor's support."Chrysler Group fully understands and appreciates the historical significance of the Viper and is very active in preserving many of its legendary models and designs for historic purposes however, none of these vehicles fit into this category," Chrysler said."If they can pardon a turkey at Thanksgiving, they can pardon a Viper," Chapman says.
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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A positive weekly employment report kept the markets mostly higher on Thursday.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 63 points at 16,421.89. The Nasdaq Composite fell 6 points to 4,352.13. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to finish the session at 1,877.03. The number of people who filed for unemployment benefits last week fell much more than economists expected -- a sign that fewer workers are being laid off, according to the research firm Fact Set. The February employment numbers from the government come out on Friday. Though unemployment claims appear to be declining, the rate is still high in the U.S. According to a survey by recruiting firm Career Builder, more than half of employers say they're having trouble finding qualified workers. Many told the firm that some jobs go unfilled for three months or more.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Four former leaders of the now-bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf were charged Thursday in New York with what prosecutors called “blatant accounting fraud” and other questionable conduct.The indictment of former chairman Steven Davis, former executive director Stephen DiCarmine, former chief financial officer Joel Sanders and ex-client relations manager Zachary Warren came two years after Dewey & LeBoeuf, once one of the most prominent firms in the world, collapsed in the largest law firm bankruptcy ever. Some 3,000 people lost their jobs and creditors were out $500 million.The firm was established in late 2007 as a result of the merger of Dewey Ballantine LLP and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP. Dewey was former New York Gov. Thomas Dewey. The firm had cash-flow problems from the start as the U.S. economy tanked, and, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said, the defendants “simply lied” to cover them up.“For years, these defendants had been fraudulently been claiming revenue that the firm did not have and pushing off expenses and financial obligations into the future,” Vance said.Vance said seven unnamed Dewey finance department employees have already pleaded guilty for their role in a scheme that, he said, ran from 2008 until the firm’s collapse in 2012.“As alleged, rather than speaking openly with creditors about mounting debt and shrinking revenue, the defendants deliberately manipulated the firm’s financial statements,” said FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos. “In the height of the crisis, the defendants used every trick in the book in an elaborate attempt to cover up the increasingly dire situation.”The four defendants surrendered.One defense attorney said his client committed no crime.“The actions taken by Steven Davis when he was chairman of Dewey & LeBoeuf were taken in good faith in an effort to make the firm a success,” attorney Elkan Abramowitz said.Other defense attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One day after RadioShack announced plans to close 1,100 stores, Staples has announced a big cost-cutting move. Staples will shut 225 stores by the end of next year -- part of a bid to make annual savings of $500 million. The office supply retailer says nearly half of its sales are now generated online, so it will aggressively cut costs to become more efficient.Staples, RadioShack and many other stores are struggling to fight back against Amazon and other discount online retailers.Staples store sales plunged 7 percent in the latest quarter compared to the year before.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots by cronut creator Dominique Ansel. (@dominiqueansel/Instagram )(NEW YORK) -- The summer of 2013 may go down in foodie history as the summer of the cronut.But now that the cronut craze has (maybe slightly) subsided, creator Dominique Ansel had to come up with something else. All hail the Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots.It’s a shot glass made out of a chocolate chip cookie and filled with icy cold milk. Shoot the milk, then eat the cookie.Ansel posted his latest creation to his Instagram account earlier this week. A spokesperson told ABC News the first Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots will be sampled on Sunday, March 9, at the SXSW Allison+Partners event. Yes, Ansel will be there and yes he will be making cronuts.But when will Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots be coming to a city near you? Unclear. “As of right now it’s exclusively for SXSW,” the spokesperson said.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Safeway(NEW YORK) -- The private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has made a buyout offer for Safeway, America’s second-largest supermarket chain. But there may a bidding war. The Wall Street Journal reports Kroger could make a rival bid. The move could lead to further consolidation in the supermarket industry where some smaller chains have been gobbled up by larger competitors.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Theo Wargo/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Pee-wee Herman's iconic bicycle in the 1985 film Pee-wee's Big Adventure is up for auction on eBay. There's one catch: the red beach cruiser is in pieces, though all the parts are included.The bike also comes with an autographed photo of Herman, whose birth name is Paul Reubens.You better act quickly if you're interested: the auction ends Thursday at 5:48 p.m. Pacific time. At last check, the highest bid was $25,200.Pee-wee's Big Adventure focused on the titular character's search for his beloved bike after it's stolen. Multiple red bikes were used during shooting of the Tim Burton film.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
glegorly/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Jobless claims wrapped up the month of February by plummeting to 323,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday morning.For the week ending March 1, the number of people filing for benefits dropped by 26,000. The previous week, claims stood at 349,000 -- an upward revision of 1,000.The four-week average also went down, decreasing by 2,000 to 336,500.On Friday, Americans will see just how well the job market fared in February when the Labor Department releases its monthly employment report at 8:30 a.m. ET.
TBE/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- American Express has introduced a new, cash-back “EveryDay” credit card that charges no annual fee and doesn’t require customers to pay their balance in full each month, and yet gives them a number of attractive perks.But how good a deal is it compared to competing cards?The card -- which, according to AmEx, will become available by April 2 -- rewards customers based on how often they use it, not just on how much they spend. If they use the card 20 or more times per month, they earn 20 percent extra reward points on those purchases, less returns and credits.The company says it created the card with “busy moms” and other multi-takers in mind. Users get double reward points at supermarkets on purchases of up to $6,000 a year.The card also incorporates advanced EMV anti-fraud technology, which uses a code and an embedded chip, rather than a magnetic stripe, to connect with retailers’ registers at check-out.Asked by ABC News for his opinion of the new card, Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of CardHub, a site that helps consumers comparison-shop for card plans and features, calls it a good card with above-average features.“But from a rewards standpoint,” he says, “it’s not anything that would make you say, ‘Wow.’”He also calls the EMV feature “not a big deal.” Most U.S. merchants, he says, don’t yet take EMV-equipped cards because their registers haven’t yet been updated to accept that technology.
lucky336/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When something big happens in your life, you might want to do something a little bit more substantial than just changing your Facebook status. "It is very important to contact your tax professional when you do some major changes in your life, such as get married, or get divorced, if you have children," says tax accountant Janice Hayman.She tells ABC News Radio you should consult with a professional before you automatically go and change your W-4. For recent newlyweds, tax professional Richard Gartland with H&R Block says, "of course you're now required to have a married status. That often changes things, often for the good -- you often have better deductions available to you."Having a child may also increase your refund."The birth of a child adds a dependent. There are also some child-related tax breaks. There is a child tax credit for people at certain levels of income. There are also credits for child care," says Gartland.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Moving in might be one of life’s most stressful experiences. The process can be a minefield of potential rip-offs. Linda Bauer Darr, president and CEO of the American Moving and Storage Association, recently shared with ABC News’ 20/20 some of her moving tips. Check out Darr’s top eight tips for making the move a smooth and reasonably priced experience:1) Hire a mover with an established track record, not the one that just pops up first on your Google search.As consumers are buying more moving services online, the rogues have figured out a way to scam the system. The rogues are investing all their money in the technology it takes for them to have priority placement in the online environment, whether it’s search engine optimization or some other set of tools they’re using.But, ultimately, they are using their dollars for those marketing purposes, and they’re not necessarily using those dollars to invest in things like safe drivers and maintaining their vehicles. Those are the costs of compliance that professional movers take on in their everyday business.2) Get that estimate in person.It’s important that the mover is invited into the home and is able to evaluate everything that needs to be moved. Is there a playground set that needs to be moved? Is there special equipment or a plasma TV that needs to be disassembled and taken off the wall that’s going to have to be packed in special crating? Those kinds of things add to the cost. If that kind of an estimate is provided online or over the phone, chances are the movers aren’t really going to be able to give you a sound estimate if they haven’t been in the house and had a chance to eyeball it.3) Make sure your estimate is binding. Then, by law, a mover can’t charge more than 10 percent beyond the estimate.If a mover shows up at your house and you have a binding estimate, you should expect to pay the price that was listed in the binding estimate unless there are special unforeseen circumstances. For example, with something that requires extra shuttle services or things that were unanticipated in the move initially, the mover can charge 10 percent beyond that binding estimate. But anything beyond that 10 percent would have to be negotiated.4) Know who you’re dealing with: movers vs. brokers.It’s important that when you choose your mover, you understand who you’re dealing with. Is the company that you’re working with the actual mover? Are they the people who are going to load your goods and move them, or are they front men for a series of companies that do that? There are a lot of middle men involved in the business, and when you have middle men involved, there’s often an additional charge. There’s also another layer of distance between you and the ultimate service provider, so that can get a little bit tricky. I would recommend that you go direct to the mover. Make sure that you know who you’re doing business with.5) Weigh that sucker. In order to make sure that you are being charged correctly and in accordance with how much the load actually weighs, you should ask for the receipt that the mover receives at the weigh station that says exactly how much that load weighs.6) Be clear when you want stuff delivered, but be flexible, too.If you’re within a 24-hour window of the goods being delivered to your destination, I think it’s very important that you arrange to be flexible. You don’t know for sure when that truck is going to pull into town. I think you need to clear your schedule and make sure that you’re available to the mover. You don’t want a mover to be waiting with a loaded truck on a city street or in your community. You’re upsetting your neighbors, and you’re wasting his time and probably yours.7) One burly dude alone cannot move your stuff.If a mover shows up at the destination by himself and he is the only person available to unload that truck, that’s not a good sign. As a consumer, I think that I would call the company immediately and ask for reinforcements. That’s a big job, and you don’t want to leave it to one individual person.8) What to do in the worst-case scenario of hostage loading.If the mover is refusing to remove your goods from the loaded tractor and requiring you to pay more money than you believe is reasonable, you’re in a hostage-goods situation. When that situation comes up, it really is a civil issue and not at that point a criminal issue. You might want to call local law enforcement just for the presence because I think that is going to put additional heat on the rogue during the operation. You can also call the American Moving and Storage Association, because we can help to negotiate between the mover and the consumer and make sure that we and the consumer really understand what’s going on, what the consumer’s rights are and what the proper actions are to take. You can also report rogue activity on this website.Finally, there is actually an industry-lead program called Move Rescue that employs 5,253 moving-industry experts and legal experts who can be called upon at a moment’s notice in real time when a hostage situation is taking place so that someone can come to the scene and help negotiate through what’s taking place.Tune into ABC News’ 20/20 Friday, March 7, at 10 p.m. ETCopyright 2014 ABC News Radio
iStock/Thinkstock(HOLLYWOOD, Fla.) -- Deana Valorose knows that each click of the camera on her smartphone could mean money in her bank account.Valorose, of Hollywood, Fla., said she’s made more than $300 from selling 68 of her pictures - from breakfast to sports and nature – through a free app called Foap.The app sells the photographs to big brands like MasterCard for use in their advertisements.Each photograph on Foap sells for $10. The owner gets $5 and Foap gets $5.“The picture that I’ve sold the most of is parasailing -- people parasailing,” Valorose said.Business is booming, according to Foap, because it’s much cheaper for companies to buy stock photos from sites like Foap than from the professionals.Foap said that half of its users were making money and that half were raking it in.The app’s user base has grown 25 percent in the last financial quarter as the company seeks to win a share of the $4 billion market for stock photos, competing against longtime stakeholders iStock, Getty and The Associated Press. Duyum Dulom of California made almost $4,000 in less than a year by uploading his photos and winning competitions on Foap. Sony and MasterCard each have bought his images. And, he said, Heineken paid him $100 for an image.Some big brands have even started sending users out on specific missions. MasterCard paid Foap user Adam Hamilton, 42, of Portland, Maine, $500 for this picture of his son playing in the snow.Sneaker and apparel brand Puma paid Hamilton $2,000 for an image.At first, Valorose said, she was skeptical about selling her images.“Once I sold a couple pictures, I went to cash out,” she said, “and got my money. … This is the real deal. Yep!”
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The markets didn't see much change even after a private survey showed U.S. companies added slightly more jobs last month than in January. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 36 points to 16,360.18. The Nasdaq Composite rose 6 points to close at 4,357.97. The S&P 500 closed up a fraction at 1,873.81.Payroll processor ADP says businesses added 139,000 jobs in Februrary, up from the 127,000 added the month before. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses, and they often differ from the government's monthly employment numbers, which are due out on Friday. Encouraging corporate earnings also didn't help much. The maker of Jack Daniel's Whiskey and other alcoholic beverages is toasting a robust report. Shares rose almost $3.00 to $87.00.GameStop's latest earnings were better than expected. The video game retailer is increasing its annual dividend by 20 percent to a $32 a share. Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Target(NEW YORK) -- Target's technology chief Beth Jacob resigned Wednesday in the wake of a series of massive data breaches that affected more than 40 million customers. The investigation into the holiday security incident is still ongoing. Gredd Steinhafel, Target's chairman, president and CEO, said the company will conduct a search for an interim chief information officer and will hire externally for the position. In addition to filling her position, Target is also searching outside the company for a chief compliance officer. The period is one of major transition during which an external advisor will help evaluate the company's technology, structure, processes and talent, Steinhafel said. "While we are still in the process of an ongoing investigation, we recognized that the information security environment is evolving rapidly," he said. "To ensure that Target is well positioned following the data breach we suffered last year, we are undertaking an overhaul of our information security and compliance structure and practices at Target."A data breach following Black Friday in 2013 affected 40 milion credit and debit card accounts, and the company later disclosed hackers took information such as phone numbers and addresses from as many as 70 million customers. Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Dunkin' Donuts(LOS ANGELES) -- An East Coast coffee staple is coming to California.
With a few locations already open, Dunkin' Donuts is rolling out a California expansion. The coffee and donut chain plans to open 45 stores throughout the state.
The first store opened a few months ago in rural Barstow -- mainly a rest stop town on the way to Las Vegas. And this week, San Diego is opening its second Dunkin' Donuts to great fanfare.
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