NYC RESTAURANTS GET CALORIE BREAK: Health officials have pushed back a deadline for national chain restaurants to put calorie counts on their menus in New York City outlets. The requirement was supposed to take effect Monday, but a restaurant trade group has challenged it in court. The city Health Department said Thursday that it was postponing the regulation's start date until April 15 because the court ruling is expected soon. Health officials say the measure will combat obesity by forcing diners to face the caloric consequences of their orders. But the New York State Restaurant Association says the rule violates the First Amendment by forcing businesses to put what amounts to a message on their menus. Still, one major chain -- Starbucks -- says it will meet the Monday deadline.
FLIGHTS GET BACK TO NORMAL: American Airlines canceled a handful of flights Friday as it finished up its inspections of wiring bundles on some of its planes, while Delta Air Lines resumed normal service after completing its inspections. American canceled four of its 2,300 daily flights, American spokesman Tim Wagner said early Friday. He said six planes still were being worked on. "That's pretty much as close to normal as you can get," Wagner said. Of the 300 aircraft inspected, 151 needed to be modified, he said. Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Betsy Talton said the airline completed its inspections Thursday night and planned no cancellations for Friday.
MANTECA TARGET GOES SOLAR: The Target store on Spreckels Avenue in Manteca is running partly on solar power. In a press release, Target officials said the solar panel system installed at the store this month will provide 20 percent of the store's energy needs. Target's release said the solar panels were installed in cooperation with the California Solar Initiative, which rewards companies for installing solar systems and reducing the drain on the state's electricity infrastructure. Ten Target stores in California added solar panels in 2007, and the Minneapolis-based retail giant has plans to add panels at more stores this year.
TAPE MEASURED: Prosecutors say 3M has agreed to pay Fresno County $600,000 to settle a dispute over whether the company exaggerated the width of various types of tape sold in California. Maplewood, Minn.-based 3M agreed to remove labels from some of its products but admitted no wrongdoing. Fresno County prosecutors started their investigation in 2006, after inspectors from the Fresno office of the state Division of Measurement Standards reported the company's tape was smaller than advertised. Prosecutors say 3M's Scotch and Tartan brand adhesive and packaging tapes were 6 percent narrower than their packaging claimed.
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NEWSPAPER AD REVENUE DROPS: Newspaper print advertising revenue fell by the biggest percentage on record in 2007, an industry trade group reported Friday. Revenue from online newspaper ads grew but at a slower pace than a year ago. The growth in online ad revenue was not enough to overcome the print decline, as total newspaper ad revenue fell 7.9 percent to $45.4 billion. Print advertising revenue fell 9.4 percent to $42.2 billion last year, according to data released by the Newspaper Association of America. That marks the largest decline since the association began tracking the data in 1950. The previous biggest contraction was a 9 percent decline in 2001. Print ad revenue fell 1.7 percent in 2006. The NAA reported a 16.5 percent drop in print classified ads in 2007 to $14.2 billion. Advertising declines, particularly for real estate and classified ads, led to lower sales at nearly all major newspaper publishers last year. Internet advertising revenue grew 18.8 percent to $3.17 billion, but slowed from the year-ago pace of 31.5 percent.
BEE NEWS SERVICES
28.5: Percentage of Americans who filed their tax returns by mid-February 2008, according to a survey conducted by BIGresearch
31.5: Percentage of Americans who will prepare their tax return using a computer software program
14.7: Percentage who will do it by hand
23.5: Percentage who will use an accountant
18.7: Percentage who will use a tax preparation service
11.6: Percentage who will have a spouse, friend or relative handle it
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