THIS AND THAT —
Here are 10 conversation starters to keep in your back pocket should you need them today while attending a barbecue, graduation party or family gathering:
• Prime time: If you pay someone $119 for a product, is it free? Amazon not only says yes, but it has also convinced 100 million people across the world such is the case. That’s the number of “paid” subscribers Amazon has to its “free” Prime Membership service, the Seattle Times reports. Prime offers “free” two-day shipping on most items purchased through Amazon. The price of a membership now costs $119 a year following a $20 increase on May 11, its first increase in four years.
• By the way: Not everyone who works for Amazon is carrying around a fat billfold. While it is true most technologists, business managers and marketers can make more than $100,000, the median yearly wage at Amazon in 2017 was $28,446, according to its annual proxy report. That’s $13.67 an hour.
• Gotta have it? “Mayochup” — a pre-mixed mayonnaise-ketchup product — will be on store shelves later this year, Kraft Heinz announced. It asked Twitter users if it should bring the hybrid condiment to a store near you. Just over 930,000 people voted, with 55 percent in support.
• That’s McCrazy: A McSpicy Chicken Sandwich from Hong Kong, anyone? You can get it at the new McDonald’s that opened in Chicago’s booming Fulton Market district. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant offers every food item available from McDonald’s restaurant around the world.
• Stop it! You’re not imagining things: The number of annoying robocalls to mobile phones are increasing every month, reports the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Robocallers made a record 3.36 billion calls in April — a 6.5 percent increase over the previous record in March.
• $6,000 apology: Southwest Airlines sent passengers of Flight 1380 a letter of apology that included a check for $5,000 to cover any “immediate financial needs” after the plane suffered an engine failure and had to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. The letter also said the passengers would separately receive a $1,000 flight voucher.
• A summer bonus: Walt Disney World is doubling its hiring bonuses for some summer jobs as it seeks to hire 3,500 positions in a tight Orlando, Florida job market. A housekeeper can get a hiring bonus of $1,250 for a job that pays $10.50 per hour. Lifeguards can get a $1,000 hiring bonus and culinary chefs can get a $3,000 bonus, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
• I was there first: Instead of having their own desks, workers will need to find an empty workstation when they come to the office in the morning at JPMorgan Chase’s new campus in Plano, Texas. Having unassigned worker seating for all or some employees is a growing trend in office settings, the Dallas Morning News reports. A word to the wise: Don’t be late to work, or you could wind up sitting by the dumpster.
• Beware! The Ohio Highway Patrol and local police departments soon could be driving a Dodge Durango Pursuit, which is being offered for a limited time by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The SUV is a cousin to the Dodge Charger Pursuit, which is the top-selling police sedan in the U.S.
• Meals on wheels: Panera Bread has hired more than 13,000 drivers to deliver orders in cities across the country, including Lima. Deliveries now account fore more than 30 percent of sales and could climb to 50 percent, said CEO Blaine Hurst. “At some point, all restaurants will have (delivery). I’m not sure it’s an option anymore — you must have it,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
ROSES AND THORNS: A consumer advocate is welcomed into the rose garden.
Rose: To Jack Kindle, of Lima. He monitored area gasoline prices for nine months and found Speedway always led the charge when it came to raising gas prices.
Rose: To Allen County Sheriff Office detectives, who had a 13-year-old youth in custody hours after the boy threatened a shooting incident at Bath Middle School.
Rose: After an 8-month absence, Neil Armstrong’s F5D-1 Skylancer has been restored and returned home to the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta.
Thorn: If it wasn’t bad enough that a bus crash ended Delphos Jefferson’s senior class trip before students made it to New York City, the demolished bus was looted with cash and personal items stolen from the teens’ luggage. The thieves did have a neatness streak: They made sure the clothing was properly folded and put back in the luggage following the thefts.
Thorn: To Rashmikant B. Patel, owner of the Royal Inn in downtown Lima. A city lawsuit says the building has bug infestations, broken windows, holes in doors, unapproved cooking devices, faulty sinks and outlets and leaking roofs. The Lima Police Department has logged 452 calls for service at the premises since January 2016. The Lima Fire Department responded to 60 emergency calls in the same time frame. Thirteen of those calls involved suspected drug overdoses.
Thorn: To Marvin Bridges, 21, of Lima. He shot an AK-47 assault weapon outside a Lima residence, inadvertently wounding a man who was sleeping in a nearby apartment.
PARTING SHOT: Don’t be like school in the summertime — no class.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.