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  • Glendale police seek gunmen who shot, wounded boy

    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Police are searching for two gunmen who shot and wounded a teen Thursday afternoon, a city police spokesman said.The incident happened around 4 p.m. near 45th Avenue and Glendale Road.Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O'Neil said two teens were walking in an alley near 45th Avenue and Glendale Road around 4 p.m. when the two men, walking in the opposite direction, pulled out guns and opened fire on the teens. It is unclear whether the suspects and victims knew each other.O'Neil said one of the teens was hit but was able to make his way to a nearby McDonalds, where he collapsed. He was later taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.Police are still searching for the shooting suspects.The suspects are described as a black and a Latino, each 20-30 years old.

  • IHOP celebrates Halloween with free Scary Face Pancakes

    Participating IHOP restaurants nationwide are giving families a safe place to celebrate Halloween and offering kids 12 and under a free Scary Face Pancake from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 31.Each order comes with one of IHOP restaurants’ buttermilk pancakes decorated with a whipped topping smile and eyes, and a strawberry nose. Then, kids can use a kit of toppings — eight pieces of sweet candy corn and two mini Oreos -- to finish decorating the face any way they choose.As a way to say thank you to the local communities in which it operates, IHOP wants to provide families a safe and fun environment this Halloween. Instead of stocking up on just candy this year, IHOP is a neighborhood stop that will hand out pancake treats to its guests instead.The Scary Face Pancake will be offered throughout the month of October and, like all IHOP ‘Just For Kids’ menu items, is less than 600 calories.

  • 4 Glendale firefighters on leave after incident

    GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Four firefighters in Glendale have been put on paid administrative leave after an incident with a patient last weekend. Glendale Fire Department officials say the firefighters will remain on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation and the four aren't being identified. They were transporting James Murillo from a home near Glendale and 83rd avenues on Sunday after he reportedly overdosed on prescription medication. In a video of the incident, the firefighters are seen calling the 30-year-old Murillo "dead meat" and making other threats. Firefighters say Murillo turned combative at the home, resisted going to the hospital and swung at members of the crew. Police later arrested Murillo. But the man's family and neighbors who witnessed the incident say the firefighters overreacted and used excessive force on Murillo.

  • Sun City West Relay for Life looking for survivors, volunteers

    The American Cancer Society is having its third annual Relay for Life Walk in Sun City West at Beardsley Park.The event will take place noon to 7 p.m. Feb. 22. The event kickoff meeting will be at the Sun City West Foundation building in the Palo Verde Room at 1 p.m. Nov. 12. If you are a survivor or know someone with cancer, you are encourage to join the event. If you would like to start a team of your own or join the walk, you can learn more at the meeting.For information, to sign up or to make a donation, go to www.relayforelfie.org/suncitywestaz or contact Sandy Guyan at 218-556-6775. Another event to mark on your calendar is the American Cancer Society Charity Golf Tournament that will be at Deer Valley Golf Course in Sun City West Jan. 24.

  • Sun City swimmers post wins in Flagstaff

    Ann Case and Sue Ketterer each posted victories on Oct. 18 at the 2014 Masters Fall Classic at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.Competing at 7,000 feet was a first for both Sun City swimmers.Case placed first in all her events within her age/gender.She swam in the 50-meter butterfly and freestyle as well as the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle.Ketterer also placed first in her four events. She swam in the 200 and 400 freestyle as well as the 100 and 200 breaststroke within her age/gender.

  • RCSCW revises Palm Ridge, Kuentz hours

    Because of concern from some residents, some of the Recreation Centers of Sun City West’s planned revision of hours at Palm Ridge and Kuentz recreation centers have been postponed pending further evaluation.Reducing the weekend hours at Palm Ridge has been postponed until Dec. 1 to see if usage from the 7 to 9 p.m. period increases. If it does, the later hours will continue. If usage does not increase, the change to closing Palm Ridge earlier will be put in place as planned Nov. 1.So, until further notice, hours at Palm Ridge aquatics and fitness will be: Monday through Friday: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. At Kuentz, some residents who enjoy swimming at 6 a.m. were concerned with the planned change to a later opening time. In response, the Rec Centers will revise the changes going into effect Nov. 1. Kuentz’s aquatics and fitness hours will be:Monday-Friday: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  • Glendale’s Tanger Outlets poised to open expansion

    Four new stores are scheduled to open next month in Glendale’s Tanger Outlets Mall in what will be the first wave of a two-part expansion at the retail location off Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.A 60,000-square-foot addition will include Eddie Bauer, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, and Tilly’s, all opening in mid-November. Another four stores in that addition are expected to open during the first quarter of 2015, said mall general manager Jessica Reeves. New stores in the second portion of the expansion will be announced at a later date, she said.“We’re really excited. We’re set to open before the busy Black Friday weekend,” Reeves said.The two latest groups of additions will give the outlet mall over 90 stores, including some of the foremost retail names. The outlet concept includes grouping brand-name stores together. Directly connected to their producers, outlet stores typically offer merchandise at prices below traditional retailers.Tanger’s newest stores will add outerwear, clothing, shoes and gear (Eddie Bauer); surf and skate clothing (Tilly’s); chic women’s clothing (Ann Taylor); and men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories (Abercrombie & Fitch). The rectangular-shaped structure that will house the new stores will replace parking areas along the southern end of the mall.Reeves, who has been with Tanger for more than two years, said it always has been the company’s intent to enlarge the Glendale site since opening in November 2012. The decision to grow now has been fueled by faster-than-anticipated customer and retailer demand, she said.

  • Judge refuses to toss campaign-finance allegations against AG

    PHOENIX -- A Maricopa County Superior Court judge rejected efforts by Attorney General Tom Horne to kill charges that he violated state campaign-finance laws in his 2010 election.In a ruling late Thursday, Judge Crane McClennen said there was "substantial evidence'' to support the conclusion by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk that Horne had illegally coordinated his campaign with what was supposed to be an independent committee run by Kathleen Winn. McClennen also rejected a series of legal arguments about how Polk reached her conclusions.The ruling, unless overturned, requires Horne to refund nearly $400,000 -- the amount his campaign illegally obtained through the help of Winn and her Business Leaders for Arizona. The law actually allows a penalty up to three times that amount.Horne could not be reached for comment.At issue is $513,340 spent by Business Leaders for Arizona on a last-minute television commercial attacking Felecia Rotellini, Horne's 2010 Democrat foe.In his seven-page order, McClennen went through the evidence compiled by Polk. She got the case after Horne's office, which normally would investigate such charges, opted to send it out to her. That evidence, the judge said, included a series of phone calls and emails involving, at various times, Winn, Horne and campaign consultants about fundraising and what should be in the commercial.

  • GOP senators urge Obama to hold off on immigration

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The three Republican senators responsible for comprehensive immigration legislation, which remains stalled in Congress, Thursday urged President Barack Obama to hold off on any steps to shield millions of people from deportation. "Acting by executive order on an issue of this magnitude would be the most divisive action you could take — completely undermining any good-faith effort to meaningfully address this important issue, which would be a disservice to the needs of the American people," Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida wrote to Obama. Obama has said he would act after next week's midterm elections as Congress has failed to pass legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration system. The president said he would take steps to increase border security, upgrade the processing of border crossers and encourage legal immigration. He also said he would offer immigrants who have been illegally in the United States for some time a way to become legal residents, pay taxes, pay a fine and learn English. The president had promised to act this past summer, but delayed any decisions until after the elections, drawing the wrath of immigration advocacy groups and complaints from Republicans of "raw politics." The three senators said in the letter that no presidential action should be taken until "we have properly secured our southern border and provided for effective enforcement of immigration laws." They complained that any executive action would undermine congressional efforts to reform the system. McCain, Graham and Rubio were members of the so-called Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group that put together a broad overhaul of immigration that boosted border security, increased visas for legal immigrants and a provided a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally. The Senate passed the measure on a bipartisan vote in June 2013, but the Republican-led House has failed to act on any broad measure despite promises from GOP leaders that they would address the issue. Time is running out on the Senate-passed bill, with no indication that the House would vote during a postelection, lame-duck session.

  • Prosecutors: Ariz. leaders should oppose marijuana

    PHOENIX (AP) — Three of Arizona's top prosecutors are calling on political and civic leaders to oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk are asking state leaders to stand on the side of decreasing drug use among youth. The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project filed paperwork in Arizona to begin fundraising for a marijuana legalization ballot measure for 2016. A University of Michigan survey shows states with medical marijuana make up the top 10 states for illicit use of marijuana by minors between ages 12 and 17. Prosecutors say an Arizona Youth Survey shows the number of students who use illicit marijuana by getting it from someone with a medical marijuana card is on the rise.

  • MCSO: Body of a missing hiker found in mountains

    PHOENIX (AP) — A 68-year-old hiker missing since Monday has been found dead in the White Tank Mountains, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office announced late Thursday. The body of Cheryl Case was located Thursday, and foul play is not suspected, an MCSO spokesman said. Detectives believe she got off the trail at some point and ended up on the west side of the mountain, where she succumbed to the elements in the desert mountain park. A friend reported Case missing when she failed to return late Monday from a hike in the park. Case had been visiting the Phoenix area from California. Her hometown was not immediately known. Her car was found at a trailhead, and searchers used horses, tracking dogs, aircraft and all-terrain vehicles in their effort to locate her.

  • Maine in standoff with nurse over Ebola safeguards

    FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — Insisting she is perfectly healthy, nurse Kaci Hickox again defied the state's Ebola quarantine Thursday by taking a bike ride with her boyfriend, and Maine health authorities struggled to reach a compromise that would limit her contact with others. Hickox, 33, stepped out of her home on the remote northern edge of Maine for the second day in a row, practically daring authorities to make good on their threat to go to court to have her confined against her will. On Wednesday evening, she went outside for an impromptu news conference and shook a reporter's outstretched hand. By evening, it was unclear whether the state had gone to court or whether there had been any progress toward ending the standoff that has become the nation's most closely watched clash between personal freedom and fear of Ebola. The governor's office and Hickox's lawyers would not comment. Hickox, who returned to the U.S. last week from treating Ebola victims in West Africa as a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders, has been under what Maine is calling a voluntary quarantine at her home in this town of 4,300 people. She has rebelled against the restrictions, saying that her rights are being violated and that she is no threat to others because she has no symptoms. She tested negative last weekend for Ebola, though it can take days for the virus to reach detectable levels. Her 21-day quarantine — the incubation period for the Ebola virus — is scheduled to end on Nov. 10. Gov. Paul LePage said state attorneys and Hickox's lawyers had discussed a scaled-down quarantine that would have allowed her to go for walks, runs and bicycle rides while preventing her from venturing into populated public places or coming within 3 feet of others. Around midday, however, LePage said that the hours of negotiations had gone nowhere, and that he was prepared to use the full extent of his authority to protect the public. "I was ready and willing — and remain ready and willing — to reasonably address the needs of health care workers meeting guidelines to assure the public health is protected," he said. Hickox stepped into the media glare when she returned from Sierra Leone to become subject to a mandatory quarantine in New Jersey. After an uproar, she was released and traveled more than 600 miles to the small town on the Canadian border where she lives with her boyfriend. She said she is following the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation of daily monitoring for fever and other signs of the disease. An unmarked state police cruiser followed Hickox on her hour-long morning bike ride on trails near her home, but police could not take action to detain her without a court order signed by a judge. "I really hope that we can work things out amicably and continue to negotiate," she said. Her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, met with reporters Thursday evening to tell them she was staying inside. Addressing the bicycle ride, Wilbur said they purposefully rode away from town to avoid coming into contact with people. "We're not trying to push any limits here. We're members of this community, too, and we want to make people comfortable," he said. Maine law allows a judge to confine someone if health officials demonstrate "a clear and immediate public health threat." States have broad authority under long-established law to quarantine people to prevent the spread of disease. But legal experts said there are differences here that could work in Hickox's favor in court: People infected with Ebola are not contagious until they have symptoms, and the virus is not spread through casual contact. Word made its way quickly around the town about Hickox. Priscilla Staples said that some are fearful of Hickox's presence, but Hickox "has done nothing wrong, and she has every right in the world to go for a bike ride." Some states like Maine, New York and New Jersey are going above and beyond the CDC guidelines to require automatic quarantines. So is the U.S military. President Barack Obama, the nation's top infectious-disease expert and humanitarian groups have warned that such measures could cripple the fight against the disease at its source by discouraging volunteers like Hickox from going to West Africa, where the outbreak has sickened more than 13,000 people and killed nearly 5,000 of them. "The volunteers are heroes to the people they help, and they are heroes to our own countries. They should be treated like heroes when they return," Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in Brussels. In other developments: — Ebola fears infected a medical conference on the subject. Louisiana state health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical-diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days. — Liberia is making some progress in containing the outbreak, while Sierra Leone is "in a crisis situation which is going to get worse," the top anti-Ebola officials in the two countries said. — The World Bank announced it will give an additional $100 million to help bring in more foreign health workers. That raises the money it has given to the fight to $500 million.

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  • IHOP celebrates Halloween with free Scary Face Pancakes

    Participating IHOP restaurants nationwide are giving families a safe place to celebrate Halloween and offering kids 12 and under a free Scary Face Pancake from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 31.Each order comes with one of IHOP restaurants’ buttermilk pancakes decorated with a whipped topping smile and eyes, and a strawberry nose. Then, kids can use a kit of toppings — eight pieces of sweet candy corn and two mini Oreos -- to finish decorating the face any way they choose.As a way to say thank you to the local communities in which it operates, IHOP wants to provide families a safe and fun environment this Halloween. Instead of stocking up on just candy this year, IHOP is a neighborhood stop that will hand out pancake treats to its guests instead.The Scary Face Pancake will be offered throughout the month of October and, like all IHOP ‘Just For Kids’ menu items, is less than 600 calories.

  • Gentlemen of swing croon in Wickenburg Sunday

    Vocalist Joe Bourne brings a special program featuring favorites from Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Lou Rawls, Al Jarreau and others to the Friends of Music concert Sunday in the Wickenburg Community Center.Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.The Massachusetts native began singing in church as a youngster. He’s performed all over the world, including Australia, Aruba, Brazil and Indonesia and lived in the Netherlands for 25 years. While there, he entertained the American and Dutch militaries and on radio and television. A Christmas special with Ray Charles was filmed in Germany and broadcast internationally. Germany honored Bourne as Entertainer of the Year. He relocated to Arizona in 2000 and continues to sing, create and perform special shows, including a salute to Lou Rawls, a tribute to Nat King Cole and his acclaimed Motown show.Playing in the band is Mike Vax, jazz trumpeter, band leader, composer and clinician. A native of the San Francisco Bay area, he performs exclusively on Getzen trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns and has the status of an International Artist for the Getzen Company. He has played lead and solo trumpet with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, the Clark Terry Big Bad Band and the U.S. Navy Show Band. As a recording musician, he has performed on more than 75 albums, including 20 under his own name.Saxophonist Tony Vacca began his professional career at age 7 in the family band and continued throughout his teen years playing sax and keyboards. He received his formal training in Arizona State University’s jazz department and went on to perform and teach in the Phoenix area. Moving to Chicago in 1982, Vacca spent 16 years as a musician and educator. Back in the Phoenix area since 1998, he now teaches jazz history and rock history at Scottsdale Community College.Guitarist Stan Sorenson began lessons at age 8. After seven years of private lessons, he began his professional career performing on the guitar in an accordion-based pop/polka band and an all-original jazz/rock band.

  • Toe-tappers head out to Wickenburg bluegrass festival

    The 35th annual Four Corner States Bluegrass Festival Nov. 14-16 is sponsored by the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce, and is one of the oldest bluegrass festivals in the Southwest.Featured bands entertaining all three days at the festival are James Reams & The Barnstormers, Dry Branch Fire Squad and Chris Jones & The Night Drivers.Additionally, contestants will compete in 13 categories for prizes and cash awards. Some of the categories bring championship designation, such as Open Fiddle, Mandolin, Flat Pick Guitar and Banjo.The festival is outdoors at the Everett Bowman Rodeo Grounds, 935 Constellation Road, a half-mile east of Highway 60/93 in Wickenburg. Limited reserved self-contained RV camping is arranged through the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce.The festival opens to the public at 11 a.m. Nov. 14, with entertainment from 1 to 5:30 p.m. On Nov. 15 and 16, gates open at 7 a.m. for a pancake breakfast, and entertainment follows from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $8 for children; three-day passes are $45, $40 and $20 at the gate.   

  • Glendale’s Tanger Outlets poised to open expansion

    Four new stores are scheduled to open next month in Glendale’s Tanger Outlets Mall in what will be the first wave of a two-part expansion at the retail location off Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.A 60,000-square-foot addition will include Eddie Bauer, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, and Tilly’s, all opening in mid-November. Another four stores in that addition are expected to open during the first quarter of 2015, said mall general manager Jessica Reeves. New stores in the second portion of the expansion will be announced at a later date, she said.“We’re really excited. We’re set to open before the busy Black Friday weekend,” Reeves said.The two latest groups of additions will give the outlet mall over 90 stores, including some of the foremost retail names. The outlet concept includes grouping brand-name stores together. Directly connected to their producers, outlet stores typically offer merchandise at prices below traditional retailers.Tanger’s newest stores will add outerwear, clothing, shoes and gear (Eddie Bauer); surf and skate clothing (Tilly’s); chic women’s clothing (Ann Taylor); and men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories (Abercrombie & Fitch). The rectangular-shaped structure that will house the new stores will replace parking areas along the southern end of the mall.Reeves, who has been with Tanger for more than two years, said it always has been the company’s intent to enlarge the Glendale site since opening in November 2012. The decision to grow now has been fueled by faster-than-anticipated customer and retailer demand, she said.

  • Apple CEO publicly acknowledges that he's gay

    NEW YORK (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook's declaration that he's "proud to be gay" wasn't exactly news in Silicon Valley, where his sexual orientation was no secret. But advocates say that given Apple's immense reach and visibility, his coming-out could help change attitudes in workplaces across America. The 53-year-old successor to Steve Jobs made the announcement in an essay published Thursday by Bloomberg Businessweek. He is the highest-profile U.S. business executive to publicly acknowledge that he's gay. In a country where more major-league athletes have come out than top CEOs, business leaders said Cook's disclosure was an important step toward easing anti-gay stigma, particularly for employees in the many states where people can still be fired for their sexual orientation. Cook, who led Out magazine's top 50 most powerful people for three years, said in the essay that while he never denied his sexuality, he never openly acknowledged it, either. He said he acted now in the hopes that his words could make a difference to others. "I've come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important," he wrote. Cook said he considers being gay "among the greatest gifts God has given me" because it has given him both a better understanding of what it means to be in the minority and "the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the CEO of Apple." Besides Cook, there are no other openly gay CEOs in the Fortune 1,000, even though statistically, 3.4 percent of Americans identify as something other than straight, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. Some executives of major U.S. corporations who are openly gay at their companies declined to comment to The Associated Press. John Browne, who resigned as British Petroleum CEO in 2007 after being outed by a tabloid and who is the author of "The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out Is Good Business," said Cook has become a role model "and will speed up changes in the corporate world." Fifty-three percent of workers in the U.S. who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender hide that part of their identity at work, according to a study by Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-rights group. "I think it depends on where they're located, and it depends on their position in a company," said Wendy Patrick, a business ethics lecturer at San Diego State University. She points out that executives in the 29 U.S. states that do not protect employees from being fired based on sexual orientation may still feel hesitant to come out at work. Cook's announcement "will save countless lives," said Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign. "Apple has consistently fought for the LGBT community, and we're incredibly grateful that today's announcement will bring even more to their work for equality." Three days ago, Cook challenged his home state of Alabama to better ensure the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Alabama is among the states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, and it offers no legal protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Cook is a native of Robertsdale, Alabama and attended Auburn University. In Silicon Valley, there's less of a stigma than in other industries and parts of the country. "It's an engineering-based industry," said author Michael Malone, who has written several books about the evolution of Hewlett-Packard, Intel and other leading companies. "Either the person does the job or they don't. And if they don't, they're gone. And if they do the job, nobody really cares about their personal life." It remains to be seen how the news will affect Cook's reception in conservative countries where Apple Inc. does business. "The global reaction to this is going to be very interesting," said Todd Sears, who runs Out Leadership, a group that promotes gay rights. "Will Singapore arrest Tim Cook the next time he is there?" In Russia, Vitaly Milonov, a city legislator in St. Petersburg notorious for his anti-gay statements, called Thursday for a lifetime ban that would bar Tim Cook from entering Russia. But Cook's coming out is unlikely to affect Apple's sales in Russia, where most people don't mix ideology with consumption. The appeal of Apple's products and the company's clout probably made it easier for Cook to take a stand, said Richard Zweigenhaft, a Guilford College psychology professor who co-wrote the book "Diversity in the Power Elite." "This is not going to help Apple, and it's not going to hurt Apple. It's almost sort of immune because their products are so successful," he said. Cook's revelation has the potential to make people worldwide rethink their attitudes toward gays because Apple's products are beloved around the globe. Said Sears: "It is going to be hard being a homophobe while holding an iPhone now."

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay'

    NEW YORK (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's proud to be gay. The public declaration, in an essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek, makes Cook the highest-profile business CEO to come out as gay. Cook said that while he never denied his sexuality, he never publicly acknowledged it, either. The executive said that for years he's been open with many people about his sexual orientation and that plenty of his Apple colleagues know he is gay. Cook wrote in the column, published Thursday, that it wasn't an easy choice to publicly disclose that he is gay, but that he felt the acknowledgement could help others. "I've come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important," he wrote. Three days ago, Cook challenged his home state of Alabama to better ensure the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Alabama is among the states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, and it also doesn't offer legal protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Cook is a native of Robertsdale, Alabama, and attended Auburn University. The announcement is a "huge deal," said Richard Metheny of executive search firm Witt/Kieffer. "This really sets the stage for 'It's OK,'" he said. "Anything CEOs do is very magnified, very complicated, and it affects a lot of people. ... There's no taking away that he has become a role model and will have a positive influence on lots of people that would like to be comfortable being out in the world of business." "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me," Cook wrote in the essay Thursday. The executive said that "being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day." Cook said he's been lucky to work for a company that "loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people's differences." Cook, 53, succeeded Apple founder Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple Inc. in 2011. Apple Inc. has been an outspoken champion for diversity since Cook succeeded Jobs as CEO. The company has trumpeted the phrase, "Inclusion inspires innovation," as a rallying cry. Cook has reinforced that message on his Twitter account with periodic posts supporting gay rights in the workplace. Cook's public declaration that he is gay comes a little more than two months after Robert Hanson — the former CEO of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. — wrote a piece for Time in which he talked about being an openly gay man for as long as he's been in business and running companies. Hanson is currently the CEO of luxury jewelry brand John Hardy. There are no other publicly gay CEOs of major companies. United Therapeutics Corp. CEO Martine Rothblatt, who was born male and is now female, has been open about her transgender status. ___ AP Technology Writer Mae Anderson contributed to this report from New York. MICHELLE CHAPMAN, AP Business Writer

Featured columns

  • OPINION: Sometimes, government is essential

    Two years ago, President Obama was striding the beaches of New Jersey and spearheading the federal response to the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy.Gov. Chris Christie was praising the president and Washington’s help for his battered state — much to the dismay of his fellow Republicans.Four out of 5 voters shared Christie’s support for the president’s actions, and Sandy helped solidify Obama’s decisive victory over Mitt Romney just a few days later.Today, the political landscape has shifted dramatically. The role of government has turned from an asset to a liability for Obama. His favorable rating in the latest ABC/Washington Post poll has sunk to 40 percent, the lowest mark of his presidency.Since those heady days on the Jersey shore, a string of missteps has soured the public and provided Republicans with a prime political opening. The botched rollout of Obamacare was compounded by scandals at the Veterans Administration, the IRS and the Secret Service. Then came Ebola.A patient being treated at a Texas hospital died from the disease. Two nurses were infected, and one was allowed to board a plane to Cleveland.

  • Secret car warranties provide free service

    Nothing’s more frustrating to a car owner than a vehicle whose paint starts peeling or whose roof is leaking just a few years after leaving the dealer’s lot, says Consumer Reports. Having to make expensive, post-warranty repairs sends a signal to consumers that says: You’re getting ripped off.Fortunately, you can often save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair bills by taking advantage of special, unadvertised automaker programs that provide free or discounted service work. Though manufacturers often call these programs service actions or customer satisfaction campaigns, many people refer to them as secret or hidden warranties because they’re rarely announced to the public.Two examples: Owners of 2006 to 2009 Honda Civics may qualify for a free engine block, or even a whole new engine, if their car has been leaking coolant from a crack in the block. Chrysler minivan owners may notice that the front wheel bearings on models from 2008 to 2010 are subject to premature wear, so dealers will replace them for free during a vehicle’s first five years or 90,000 miles.How do these “secret warranties” come about? They usually originate when automakers discover that some component or system in a given model is failing at a greater rate than expected. They learn about the problems from numerous sources, including complaints to their customer service departments and reports from dealers.Programs that offer subsidized or free repairs are usually presented as a “warranty extension,” since they last for a specified time and mileage. Occasionally, they’re good for a limited number of years from the original purchase date but have no mileage limit. They’re often enacted in the name of good customer service. Sometimes, though, a free repair program is instituted as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit brought by consumers.How secret are secret warranties?

  • OPINION: The audacity of Greg Orman

    Overland Park, Kan. • The image some conservatives have of Greg Orman, the wealthy businessman running as an independent against veteran Republican Sen. Pat Roberts here in Kansas, is that Orman is, in the words of a recent Weekly Standard story, a “vacuous cipher.”Watching Orman’s performance in a recent debate with Roberts before a business group in this large suburb of Kansas City, it’s safe to say that image is wrong, or at least incomplete.Calling Orman a cipher suggests he has no positions, or nothing to say. But on some important topics, Orman outlined policies in more detail than Roberts. Some of Orman’s views, although certainly not all, would fit comfortably within the range of Republican orthodoxy.For many Republicans, the real problem is not that Orman is a cipher. It’s the suspicion that his entire campaign is a ruse.Yes, Orman can be slippery on some big issues. What would he do about Obamacare? Nobody really knows.Orman also seems to have some ideas that go beyond most in the GOP. At one point in the debate, he was asked for his plan to shore up the dwindling Highway Trust Fund. Orman suggested the government might start by cutting social welfare spending.

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