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Dominos Debuts Chicken Pizza Crusts

Dominos(NEW YORK) -- In a world of crazy food mash-ups with one chef outdoing the next, Dominos has officially entered the arena.

Let us introduce what the brand calls its new “specialty chicken,” which is fried chicken covered with traditional pie toppings for a new take on “pizza.”

The new chicken comes in four varieties: Crispy Bacon & Tomato, Spicy Jalapeno-Pineapple, Classic Hot Buffalo and Sweet BBQ Bacon. The toppings come over 12 pieces of breaded and fried boneless white meat chicken for $5.99.

“The CEO said they sell almost as much chicken as they do pizza -- more than anything else -- so this is a way of combining. They say they already have all the pizza ingredients in the stores,” ABC’s Lara Spencer reported on Good Morning America. “So why not? Starts on Monday and they say if it goes well, they’ll do more.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Google Glass ‘Explorer’ Offer a Sell Out

Google(NEW YORK) -- The hot item at Tuesday’s one-day-only Google Glass public sale was the “cotton” colored frames, which sold out in a matter of hours once the wearable tech devices became available.

The sale was part of an expansion of Google’s Explorer program, in which they allow a small pool of users to wear Glass and help experiment with different capabilities before it becomes widely available.

The company said Wednesday that all of the new spots in their Explorer program had been filled up during the one-day sale.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon Google announced that it had sold out of white frames.

“Wow, what a morning! We’re happy to see so many new faces (and frames) in the Explorer Program.  Just a quick update that – ack – we’ve sold out of Cotton (white), so things are moving really fast,” the company said on Google +.

The frames also come in colors like charcoal, shale, tangerine, and sky. The cost of the device and joining the program is $1,500.

Google declined to say how many devices were sold during the sale.

“All spots in the Explorer Program have been claimed for now,” the company wrote shortly after midnight, “but if you missed it this time, don’t worry. We’ll be trying new ways to expand the Explorer program in the future.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Why People Are So Obsessed with Wawa

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Not too many convenient stores are popular enough to have their own fan clubs, but Wawa is.

Most people from Philadelphia, where Wawa originated, will argue that it’s more than a place to buy a pack of gum or get gas -- Wawa is a one-stop shop for made-to-order meals, gourmet coffee and clean bathrooms.

Why are people so fanatical about what appears, to the rest of the country, to be a glorified service station?

Fans brag that the brand is family-owned and began as a dairy business in Wawa, Pennsylvania. Wawa’s Facebook page has more than 1 million likes with countless comments from customers begging it to expand beyond current locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and central Florida.

And Wednesday, Wawa is offering free coffee at all of its 645 locations in honor of its 50th birthday. One customer promised he would stop by on the way to his wedding. Dozens posted grateful thank you notes.

Even Mitt Romney has chowed down on a hoagie from Wawa.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Best of the Best? 4 Companies on Best Places to Work Lists

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What are the best places to work in the U.S.? There's no lack of lists claiming to answer this question. Earlier Wednesday, Business Insider released its list of the 50 best places to work. It has little in common with Fortune's annual list of 100 best companies, released in January.

The lists have very few similarities and different methodologies. Fortune utilizes company surveys collected by the Great Place to Work Institute. Business Insider's methodology ranked companies in the Fortune 500 using PayScale's salary and survey database, looking at six criteria factors: high job satisfaction, low job stress, high work-schedule flexibility, high job meaning, experienced median pay, and salary delta.

Meanwhile, Outside Magazine compiled its own list of 100 best places to work with the help of the Outdoor Industry Association, a trade group, and the Best Companies Group. For that list, companies with at least 15 employees in the U.S. filled out confidential employee satisfaction surveys about benefits, compensation, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives and community outreach. Companies in Outside Magazine's list are smaller and tend to lean toward employees with a penchant for the outdoors.

Here are the four firms that show up in more than one of the three lists:

Google, Inc. -- Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.

Tech giant Google has repeatedly appeared at the top of Fortune's list, but was only number eight in Business Insider's rankings. Though Google has dropped from the number two spot last year, Business Insider noted employees' high rates of work-schedule flexibility (83 percent) and job satisfaction (81 percent)" and median pay is $127,000 after five years, which is "very high compared to industry peers."

Qualcomm -- Headquarters: San Diego

Semiconductor company Qualcomm was 32nd in Fortune's list but 13th in Business Insider's. Business Insider pointed out that Qualcomm employees report "high rates of work-schedule flexibility (93 percent) and job satisfaction (80 percent)" while median pay is $113,000 after five years, which is "very high compared to industry peers."

NetApp -- Headquarters: Sunnyvale, Calif.

Data and cloud storage company NetApp ranked 33rd in Fortune's list and 16th in Business Insider's. Fortune wrote, "Employees at this data-management and -protection company enjoy five paid days off a year to volunteer within their community."

Chesapeake Energy -- Headquarters: Oklahoma City

Chesapeake Energy, which calls itself the second-largest producer of natural gas and the 10th largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S., came in at 51 in Fortune's list and 75 in Outside's rankings. Outside Magazine wrote back in August: "Chesapeake has the largest corporate mentoring program in Oklahoma. Now starting its 19th year, mentors meet weekly one-on-one with more than 500 students to help with homework and serve as positive role models."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Inflation Still Low but Many Prices Climbed Anyway in March

moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After the brutal winter weather of January and February, people who use oil to heat their homes saw costs fall a bit in March along with dropping prices at the pump. However, other homeowners weren't so lucky as the price of natural gas and electricity were higher than during the comparable period in 2013.

Meanwhile, the persistent drought in the West also drove up costs of meat, produce and dairy at the supermarket. Renters were also hit harder in March as were people who tried to escape winter by vacationing in a nicer climate. High demand also pushed up hotel room prices.

Nevertheless, inflation remains at about 1.5 percent, a half-percent lower than what's acceptable to the government.

While most people can deal with this inflation rate, it's those who live from paycheck-to-paycheck who were most affected by the various higher prices in March.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ten Most Awful Jobs for 2014 Revealed

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Lumberjacks aren’t cutting it.

That’s according to CareerCast.com, which says being a tree-feller is the absolute worst, most going-nowhere job of any in the U.S. It’s also dangerous and underpaid.

The site’s annual ranking of 200 different vocations across North America was released on Wednesday.

CareerCast’s publisher, Tony Lee, tells ABC News the next-worst job after lumberjack is being a reporter. Other loathsome vocations among the 10-worst include prison guard, military personnel, broadcaster, garbage collector, firefighter and taxi-driver.

Coming in at sixth-worst, “head cook” is a category new to the list this year, says Lee. He explains it does not refer to chefs (celebrity or otherwise), but to hourly workers “at Denny’s or your high school cafeteria.”

Each vocation on the 10-worst list includes the job’s median annual salary, its projected growth between now and 2022, and a brief blurb explaining why it earned itself a circle in Career Hell.

Some bad jobs, Lee says, are crucial to society. The reason they rank among CareerCast’s worst is because they expose workers to extraordinary stress or physical risk. He includes, for example, fire-fighters (ninth-worst).

“Broadcaster” ranks fifth-worst. The broadcast industry, says Lee, has seen its job growth “evaporate,” meaning there are fewer opportunities for young, aspiring broadcasters. Competition is high; so is stress.

With the U.S. prison population exploding, you might think “corrections officer” would be a promising career. It’s not, says Lee, owing to the ongoing privatization of prisons.

“They’re not well paid,” he says of corrections officers, whose median salary CareerCast gives as a little under $40,000. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities. In terms of danger, it’s a pretty tough.”

As far as the best job in the country: Mathematician, says Lee.

A complete explanation of CareerCast’s methodology can be found on its website. To see the entire list, click here.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Coke's Soda Sales Flat in First Quarter

LouieBaxter/iStock Editorial/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Could it be time for another New Coke?

Although the 1985 attempt at introducing a new, improved Coca-Cola fizzled, the soft-drink giant may now be wondering if it's time to shake things up again with overall global sales of its carbonated beverage line falling by 1 percent during the first three months of 2014.

It marks the first decline in worldwide sales of carbonated sodas in 15 years for Coke.

One of the low spots for the company was in Great Britain with sales down by more than 10 percent compared to last year.

However, it might not have been people in the U.K. losing their taste for the beverage as much as it was the bottle getting smaller with prices staying the same, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Are These Four Companies Really the Best Places to Work?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Where are the best places to work in the U.S.? There's no lack of lists claiming to answer this question. Earlier Tuesday, Business Insider released its list of the 50 best places to work. It has little in common with Fortune's annual list of 100 best companies, released in January.

The lists have very few similarities and different methodologies. Fortune utilizes company surveys collected by the Great Place to Work Institute. Business Insider's methodology ranked companies in the Fortune 500 using PayScale's salary and survey database, looking at six criteria factors: high job satisfaction, low job stress, high work-schedule flexibility, high job meaning, experienced median pay, and salary delta.

Meanwhile, Outside Magazine compiled its own list of 100 best places to work with the help of the Outdoor Industry Association, a trade group, and the Best Companies Group. For that list, companies with at least 15 employees in the U.S. filled out confidential employee satisfaction surveys about benefits, compensation, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives and community outreach. Companies in Outside Magazine's list are smaller and tend to lean toward employees with a penchant for the outdoors.

Here are the four firms that show up in more than one of the three lists:

Google, Inc.
Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.


Tech giant Google has repeatedly appeared at the top of Fortune's list, but was only number eight in Business Insider's rankings.

Though Google has dropped from the number-two spot last year, Business Insider noted employees' high rates of work-schedule flexibility (83 percent) and job satisfaction (81 percent), and median pay is $127,000 after five years, which is "very high compared to industry peers."

Qualcomm
Headquarters: San Diego, Calif.


Semiconductor company Qualcomm was 32nd in Fortune's list but 13th in Business Insider's.

Business Insider pointed out that Qualcomm employees report "high rates of work-schedule flexibility (93 percent) and job satisfaction (80 percent)," while median pay is $113,000 after five years, which is "very high compared to industry peers."

NetApp
Headquarters: Sunnyvale, Calif.


Data and cloud storage company NetApp ranked 33rd in Fortune's list and 16th in Business Insider's.

Fortune wrote, "Employees at this data-management and -protection company enjoy five paid days off a year to volunteer within their community."

Chesapeake Energy
Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Okla.


Chesapeake Energy, which calls itself the second-largest producer of natural gas and the 10th-largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S., came in at 51 in Fortune's list and 75 in Outside's rankings.

Outside Magazine wrote back in August: "Chesapeake has the largest corporate mentoring program in Oklahoma. Now starting its 19th year, mentors meet weekly one-on-one with more than 500 students to help with homework and serve as positive role models."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Stocks End Higher After Unsteady Trading

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks took a roller-coaster ride Tuesday. Despite big gains after the opening bell, the markets were in a free fall by mid-session. Stocks advanced again by the close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 89 points at 16,262.56. The Nasdaq Composite rose 11 points to end at 4,034.16. The S&P 500 added 12 to end at 1,842.98.

More U.S. companies are turning in their latest financial results. Strong sales of non-carbonated drinks pushed Coca-Cola's latest numbers up, and Johnson & Johnson rose 2 percent on higher profits. Homebuilders, however, fell following a survey showing weak sentiment among builders.  Earnings from Apple, Yahoo and Netflix were short of expectations.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

'Bud and Breakfast' Joins Emerging Marijuana-Friendly Colorado Hotels

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- Travelers heading to Denver with a desire to "wake and bake" will have a new lodging to consider this May, when a local hospitality group launches the latest in a handful of marijuana-friendly accommodations in the area.

The MaryJane Group has announced that it will be taking over the Adagio Bed and Breakfast, a longstanding inn located in the Wyman Historic District, and relaunching it as "the first all-inclusive Bud and Breakfast," catering to clients who desire a fully immersive cannabis-infused vacation.

"When the previous owner Helen [Strader] ran it, she allowed it to be 420 friendly but all of the smoking was done outside the premises and she didn’t advertise it," Dawn Schiermeyer, the new director of lodging at the property, told ABC News. "So it’s been an easier transition for us because some people are already aware of it. But we’re in the process of modernizing the space to make it appealing to a younger crowd."

On the way out: all of the antique Victorian furnishings.

On the way in: fully renovated, themed guest rooms, marijuana-edibles from a local dispensary as well as a "humidor smoking room" on the third floor.

The Adagio 'Bud and Breakfast' joins just a handful of properties in the Denver area that have braved this uncharted travel territory. But despite such small numbers, the options are diverse.

Get High Getaways, a clothing-optional, marijuana-friendly environment, advertises a raucous yet private environment complete with female staff wearing pot-leaf pasties on its website.

Meanwhile, The Cliff House, a historic property in nearby Morrison that was built in 1864, offers eight romantic cottages and also entreats those who indulge in cannabis.

"Even with the legalization of 'Mary Jane,' finding a friendly hotel environment might not be as easy as you think," reads a blog post on The Cliff House Lodge's website. "It may take some time before others join in, but until then, we have no problem being the leader in this movement! Cliff House Lodge welcomes the responsible connoisseur."

For gourmands whose tastes extend beyond hashish, The Adagio Bud and Breakfast will also be employing an in-house chef, said Schiermeyer.

"We'll begin with a basic breakfast menu and then expand to lunch and dinner options," she said, adding that dispensary sample packages, drivers and add-on tours will be available by the beginning of May.

"Our concept is to provide our guests with a complete all-inclusive package where they can enjoy the marijuana lifestyle without having a care in the world," said Joel C. Schneider, president and CEO of The MaryJane Group, in a statement. "The Adagio is our pilot project in the marijuana-friendly lodging industry. If our concept is successful, we intend to expand through the leasing or acquisition of additional inns and bed and breakfast establishments."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Odd Tax Write-Offs the IRS Must Accept

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's April 15, time to assess whether your 2013 federal tax bill was too high. You may be surprised to learn that the IRS allows tax breaks for some unusual reasons. With the help of Laura Scherler from MyFreeTaxes, ABC News made this list of offbeat tax write-offs. And remember that you can file an amended return if, per chance, you overlooked one of these this year.

1. Sex-Change Operations

Individuals diagnosed with gender-identity disorder, where individuals experience strong discomfort with one’s assigned sex and persistently identify with the opposite gender, can file for tax deductions for a sex-change operation and additional hormone therapy.

Expenses for breast augmentations, however, cannot be considered for tax deductions, according to the IRS, because these are cosmetic surgeries and are not essential to the general improvement of one’s health.

In the case of Robert Donovan, a male who wanted approximately $22,000 in tax deductions as a result of out-of-pocket medical expenses, the tax court did in fact award him $14,500 for his hormone treatments and surgery.

2. Significant Others

Couples who can claim their significant other as a dependent can also use them as a tax break. In order to do so, couples must have lived together for an entire tax year and the significant other must have an annual salary of less than $3,900. Also, the individual claiming the tax break must show they have paid for more than half of their significant other’s expenses.

A total of $3,900 can be claimed if all the qualifications are met.

Wes Fuco had supported his girlfriend, Danielle Wissbroeker, for more than 10 years. Wissbroeker took care of their three children but earned no income. This tax break, paired with Fuco’s ability to claim his children as dependents, allowed Fuco to receive more than $8,000 each year for the 10 years he was with Wissbroeker.

3. Babysitters

Babysitting expenses may also be used as tax deductions if a child’s mother is performing charitable deeds during the time she is away.

Generally, babysitters are considered as personal expenses. However, a mom challenged this when she deducted payments for child care expenses when she was volunteering for a qualified organization. The tax court ended up supporting her claim by overruling the initial IRS decision against her.

4. Lawn Care

If the home and the workplace are one and the same, tax deductions can be made for paintings and repairs, utilities and lawn care.

In order to claim that one’s home is also one’s workplace, part of the home must fall under one of the IRS’ requirements. It must be a place completely set aside exclusively for business purposes. This does not include bedrooms that double as studios or occasionally working from home.

If the office occupies 10 percent of the home, tax deductions for paintings, repairs and utilities can only be applied to 10 percent of the utilities.

If an individual is able to demonstrate that the state of their lawn has some relevance to the performance of their business, then one can receive tax deductions for any landscaping costs. This includes showing a lawn if an individual is part of a lawn-care business.

5. Sport Utility Vehicles

Entrepreneurs can also get a tax break if they can claim their SUV is pertinent to their business. SUVs like Chevrolet Silverados or the Ford F Series must be over 6,000 pounds in order for a person to receive a deduction on its full purchase price.

Initially this rule was intended for small farmers who purchase heavy machinery. The rule has since changed to prevent self-employed professionals such as doctors and lawyers from taking advantage of it. Now one must file a corporate tax return to claim this deduction.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cocktails, Free Food and Other Tax Day Deals

Arbys(NEW YORK) -- On Tax Day, corporate America feels your pain.

Providers of everything from French fries to cocktails to hotel rooms to apple-scented urinal screens reading "Abolish The IRS" will be going out of their way Tuesday to try to make you feel better (or less bad, at least) about having to fork over your money to Uncle Sam.

"No taxation without relaxation" says one sympathetic hotel chain's slogan.

Some upscale deals are aimed at "the one percent," others at "the 99 percent." You'll find a wide assortment of deals, freebies and limited-time offers listed below. Some apply only to April 15, while others run longer.

For details and restrictions, and to find out whether or not a coupon may be required, we suggest you contact each provider to confirm what terms apply.

Food: Takeout and Sit Down

  • For the fourth year running, Arby's will be offering free snack-sized Curly Fries on April 15 to customers who have downloaded a coupon from Arby's website.
  • Orange Leaf Yogurt, at all of its 300-plus locations, is offering a soothing tax day deal on any flavor yogurt, including flavor-of-the-year, New Banana. You get a full cup for just $4.15. Customers must download a coupon to be eligible.
  • $10.40 will get you a "Tax Day Deal Chicken Meal" for two at Boston Market on tax day. Each consists of half a rotisserie chicken plus a choice of two sides and cornbread. (No coupon needed.) Company CEO George Michel says in a press release that, "while no one enjoys 1040 forms," the deal gives customers something to feel good about.
  • For any taxpayer willing to sing, the Hard Rock Cafe is offering a special deal on selected entrees on April 15. The "Sing For Your Supper" promotion applies to guests willing to take to the stage and sing a complete song.
  • One day after tax day, Kona Ice, purveyors of gourmet shaved ice in 41 states, won't just give you a complimentary (and refreshing) cup of ice on April 16, they'll throw in a complimentary Hawaiian lei. Look for Kona Ice trucks that will be parked in community parks.

Hotels

  • In honor of tax day, the mixologists at the Burritt Room in San Francisco's Mystic Hotel by Charlie Palmer have created a special cocktail -- The Tax Man -- made of gin, thyme liqueur, Aperol, lemon, strawberry and seltzer. Price: $12.
  • The Hotel Monaco in Chicago has an IRS (Imbibe, Relax and Save) special, which includes: $25 beverage credit, $50 in room spa credit, and no taxes on your room rate. Mention rate code "NOTAX."
  • The Hotel Monaco in Portland, Ore., meantime, is offering complimentary in-chair massages to tense taxpayers during the cocktail hour on the 15th. Champagne will be on hand, should you have a refund to toast. To receive a complimentary cocktail at the adjacent Red Star Tavern, customers must present their tax return.

Novelties, Miscellaneous Services

  • What better time to incorporate than right after you've had to pay a confiscatory personal tax rate? On tax day, MyCorporation is offering a promotion where filers can form either an LLC or their own corporation for free. The offer is good in all 50 states.
  • On April 16, the day after tax day, Southern California's South Coast Air Quality Management District opens registration for an annual exchange program that gives the energy-conscious 75 percent off the cost of a brand-name electric lawnmower for any gas-powered mower they bring in.
  • MVPee.com, which makes apple-scented urinal covers, is giving away 1,000 covers emblazoned with the words "Abolish the IRS" to the first 1,000 taxpayers who request them.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Social Security Administration Ceases Old Debt Collection

zimmytws/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After objections by some taxpayers, the Social Security Administration has decided to stop trying to collect on taxpayers’ debts that are more than 10 years old.

Until now, the U.S. Treasury was seizing state and federal tax refunds that were due to be sent out to hundreds of thousands of people.

The Washington Post said the cases involved children of those who owed money because of over-payments of Social Security benefits.

Many of these debts were decades old. Some of the taxpayers who had their refunds seized said they had never heard of money being owed to the government.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Detroit Launches eBay-Like Site to Buy Abandoned Homes

BuildingDetroit.org(DETROIT) -- In the amount of time it took you to click on this story, you could be on your way to purchasing a house in Detroit.

The city launched a new website Tuesday allowing users to bid for homes on auction as if they were items on eBay.

Well, almost. The houses have been acquired by the city after being left vacant and in disrepair by their owners and then forfeited through court procedures, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Bidders will be required to show the city signs of restoration and occupancy within a short time frame following the purchase in order to keep the homes -- ensuring that the houses help repopulate neighborhoods, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said at a news conference announcing the program.

“Were laying another huge piece in place in Detroit’s strategy to fight blight,” Duggan said. “It is not enough to just demolish."

The city will auction off a home each day on the site www.buildingdetroit.org. Bidding will take place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Buyers then have 60 or 90 days to complete the purchase, depending on the price.

All bids start at $1,000.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Want a Bargain Wedding? Try a Sewage Plant

King County WTD(KING COUNTY, Wash.) -- For hundreds of dollars less than typical venues, you can host your wedding at a Washington state sewage plant.

“Need a place to party?” the King County Wastewater Treatment Division wrote on its Facebook page last week. “With a full catering kitchen, state-of-the-art AV equipment, dance floor, ample parking, beautiful outdoor grounds, and room for up to 260 people, our LEED Platinum certified Brightwater Center has everything you need for your wedding reception or special event.”

Weddings start at $400 for eight hours outside the building, which includes trails and a garden, and $2,000 for eight hours inside one of the buildings.

An added bonus: the facility is a “zero odor” waste treatment center.

Although the center has no weddings scheduled yet, there is a spot available for later in the year, and the division center rents out its facilities regularly to the community, Wastewater Treatment Division spokeswoman Annie Kolb-Nelson said.

She added that the room rentals help fund the division’s community programming, which offers environmental education opportunities to kids.

It’s so nice, Kolb-Nelson said, that wedding guests won’t even know they’re at a sewage center.

“The center itself is on the treatment plant campus site, but it’s not actually part of the wastewater treatment facility,” she said. “You can’t even see the treatment plant from the education facility center.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio