Day: August 8, 2016

County prosecutor in Ind. accidentally fires gun in Texas Roadhouse; says ‘carrying a gun in my pocket is probably not the smartest move’

The latest crime news across the world of 48,000 restaurants*.

Crime scene tapeMadison County prosecutor Rodney Cummings says a 9-millimeter gun he was carrying in his pocket in a Texas Roadhouse accidentally fired into the floor as he was leaving late Saturday night, blowing a hole in his pants in the process.

No one was injured during the 11 p.m. incident in Anderson, Ind., which is about 43 miles northeast of Indianapolis, according to news accounts.

Another customer, Aaron Taffner, said he heard the gun go off while he was eating, and ran to the parking lot to get his own gun, according to WISH-TV. As he walked back in, Taffner said he saw Cummings leaving. “He had a big hole in the side of his shorts,” Taffner said.

Rodney Cummings

Cummings said he started to walk out of the restaurant with the gun in the front pocket of his shorts. He usually keeps the safety on, he told WISH, but the safety might have come off.

Police arrived on the scene, questioned Cummings, and then let him leave without citing him. “It was an accident,” Cummings told the TV station. “That’s not a crime or a violation. It’s an accident.”

Cummings sounded more contrite in a story today by The Indianapolis Star.

“It was a new gun. I’ve only had it for a couple weeks,” he told the newspaper, adding that he’d carried a firearm for 36 years as a prosecutor and a police officer. “I always try to be as safe as I can,” Cummings said. “Carrying a gun in my pocket is probably not the smartest move.”

* Yum has 43,000 KFCs, Pizza Huts and Taco Bells in nearly 140 countries; Papa John’s has 4,900 outlets in 37 countries, and Texas Roadhouse has 485 restaurants across the U.S. and in five other nations. With that many locations, crimes inevitably occur — with potentially serious legal consequences for the companies.

Insider Louisville names new managing editor: former New York Times-er Meece

Mickey Meece‘s appointment is effective Aug. 15, the online news site launched in 2010 said this afternoon. A Louisville native, Meece worked at the Times for 13 years on the business and features desks, including assistant to the editor, small business editor, weekend editor and staff editor.

Mickey Meece

Insider didn’t say whether Meece’s position is new, or whether she’s replacing someone.

The site’s executive editor and vice president of content, Sarah Kelley said: “Mickey brings with her a wealth of journalism experience, and she will be an asset to IL as our news operation continues to gain momentum.”

As to her specific responsibilities, IL says only that Meece “hopes to start a lot of conversations with Louisville residents to find out what they want to see covered on a daily basis.”

CEO Niccol: ‘I think it’s the responsibility of companies like Taco Bell to step in and help these young people get their first job’

That’s Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol speaking to NPR’s Marketplace; listen to the just-broadcast interview. The Yum fast-Mexican division is among employers holding job fairs around the nation with the goal of getting 100,000 more young people on the payroll by the year after next. Taco Bell accounts for 6,500 of Yum’s 43,000 restaurants worldwide with a combined 505,000 employees.

Taco Bell logoNiccol, 42, has been CEO since January 2015. He learned some of his earliest lessons as a teenager running a lawn-mowing service with friends, according to the Los Angeles Times. Pricing varied by location, and to get a contract, marketing was a must — an idea he took to future jobs. “At the time you do it, you don’t realize how it’s influencing you going forward,” he said. “I think it carries on with you in the subconscious.”

Man tries to smuggle pet turtle disguised as a KFC sandwich through a Chinese airport (seriously)

The latest crime news across the world of 48,000 restaurants*.

Crime scene tapeA former employee has been arrested for robbing a Des Moines KFC assistant manager preparing a bank deposit Saturday morning. Shaun Michael Haltiner, 22, of Des Moines was booked into the Polk County Jail about 2 p.m. on a first-degree robbery charge, according to the Des Moines Register.

The unidentified manager was sitting in his car outside the KFC at about 10:45 a.m., organizing a $900 cash bank deposit, he told police. A masked man, later identified as Haltiner, opened his car door and put a black handgun in his face, according to a police report cited by the newspaper.

Haltiner mug shot
The manager handed over the cash, and the robber fled, only to be arrested later that day by police.

In South China, meanwhile, a man has been caught trying to smuggle his pet turtle through security at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by disguising it as a KFC burger.

The man, identified only by his Li surname, was headed for a China Southern Airlines flight to Beijing when X-ray scanner staff spotted “odd protrusions” from a fast food wrapper, according to a Guangzhou Daily newspaper report cited by the Telegraph.

“There’s no turtle in there, just a hamburger,” Li reportedly told security staff after initially refusing a bag search. “There’s nothing special to see inside.”

Li eventually admitted he didn’t want to be separated from his pet, so he hid the turtle in a sesame seed bun and packaged it in KFC paper. The turtle was eventually freed and Li was told it wasn’t allowed on the plane.

(Note: the photo illustration above is neither the fake sandwich nor the real turtle.)

* Yum has 43,000 KFCs, Pizza Huts and Taco Bells in nearly 140 countries; Papa John’s has 4,900 outlets in 37 countries, and Texas Roadhouse has 485 restaurants across the U.S. and in five other nations. With that many locations, crimes inevitably occur — with potentially serious legal consequences for the companies.

Walmart’s $3B Jet buy hurting Amazon? (Wall Street says nope); a Humana DOJ loss could be Louisville’s gain; and Baxter Avenue Theatres plans big upgrades

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 4:28 p.m.

Amazon vs. Walmart
Amazon’s stock (blue) rose and Walmart’s stock (red) fell today on the Jet deal.

AMAZON: Walmart’s $3 billion bet on discounter Jet may reinvigorate growth in its online shopping business, which has slowed in recent quarters even as Amazon’s overall sales have rocketed above $100 billion annually (CNN). Wall Street’s not holding its breath; Amazon’s stock rose a smidge and Walmart’s fell a bit by the time trading closed at 4 p.m. ET (Google Finance).

Jet logoEarlier today, news emerged that Amazon’s office has been searched by Japan’s Fair Trade Commission over its dealings with merchants who sell goods through the retailer, a person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. The antitrust agency is looking into whether Amazon sought deals with sellers that gave it more favorable conditions over other e-commerce companies in one of its biggest foreign markets. It wasn’t immediately clear when the JFTC inquiry took place (Bloomberg).

The retailer’s shipping costs are skyrocketing, underscoring why it just unveiled its first branded Prime Air cargo plane. Amazon’s shipping expenses soared 43% vs. a year ago during the first half of the year. In 2013-2015, those costs were rising 29% to 32% annually. This year, it’s already on track to spend nearly $6 billion on shipping.

Amazon logo“Bottom line,” says ZD Net, “Amazon has no choice but to become more efficient than UPS and FedEx. If Amazon can use its own air fleet to even come close to its shipping vendors, it’ll potentially save billions of dollars simply by cutting out the middleman.”

Here’s a time-lapse video showing the new Prime Air Boeing 767 being readied for its debut this weekend at the annual Seafair air show in its corporate hometown of Seattle; more news coverage about Prime Air.

Amazon and UPS are both big employers in the Louisville area; UPS has 22,000 workers at its Louisville International Airport hub, and Amazon employs 6,000 at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Shephardsville.

KINDRED has just filed its detailed quarterly 10-Q report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The hospital and nursing giant reported strong earnings on Thursday (SEC document).

HUMANA could lose its Justice Department battle to win approval for the insurer’s proposed $37 billion merger with Aetna, but Louisville’s economy could wind up a winner — if the history of GE Appliances’ auction is a guide (WDRB).

In other news, the Baxter Avenue Theatres is adding powered reclining chairs and a full bar to the seven-screen Highlands complex at Mid-City Mall, an approximately $500,000 upgrade that will start in October (Insider Louisville).