Tag Archive: death

The Slow Death of Best Buy Begins

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Best Buy Co. Inc. said Thursday that it will close 50 big box stores this year and eliminate 400 jobs, mostly at its corporate headquarters, in a bid to boost profits amid declining stores sales in the United States.

The Richfield-based consumer electronics giant expects to save about $800 million in three years, including $250 million this year alone.

“I’m not satisfied with the pace of our transformation,” Dunn told analysts during a conference call.

The company has not yet finalized the list of stores to be closed, said spokeswoman Susan Busch.

As of noon, Best Buy stock has fallen nearly $2, or 8 percent, to $24.61, a sign investors are not impressed with Best Buy’s plan.

For the fourth quarter, Best Buy said it lost about $1.7 billion, or $4.89 per share, compared to a profit of $651 million, or $1.62 per share, during the same period a year ago. Sales at stores open for at least a year, a key measure of growth for retailers, fell 2.4 percent.

For the year, the company lost $1.2 billion, or $3.36 per share, compared to a profit of $1.3 billion, or $3.08 per share during fiscal 2011. Same-store sales declined 1.7 percent.

As consumer electronics have become more affordable and ubiquitous in recent years, Best Buy has lost sales to Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Costco and Target. Last holiday season, the company acknowledged losing TV sales to other big-box stores, as well as retailers such as Staples and Office Depot.

In the past, as Best Buy’s stores lost market share, Dunn emphasized the retailer’s profit margins and driving sales through its multi-channel operations, including its website, mobile devices, phone centers and Geek Squad.

However, Dunn reversed course of late, telling invsetors that the company must instead focus on protecting its core store operations. And that means using promotions and discounts to fight Amazon and Wal-Mart for sales and market share.

In order to build out its multi-channel operations and to sell higher-value services to consumers, Best Buy must first drive shoppers to its stores, Dunn said.

“These changes will also help lower our overall cost structure,” Dunn in a statement. “We intend to invest some of these cost savings into offering new and improved customer experiences and competitive prices — which will help drive revenue. And, over time, we expect some of the savings will fall to the bottom line.”

The company said it expects to fully roll out this year its newly remodeled “connected” store formats in the Twin Cities and San Antonio. The formats feature “Central Knowledge Desks,” similar to the famous Genius Bars at Apple Stores where people can receive technical support and take classes.

Overall, Best Buy wants to reduce its retail square foot presence in those cities by 20 percent.

“We’re going to have more doors and less square footage,” Dunn said during the call.

He also left open the possibility that the retailer could close more big boxes in the future.

“I’m not wedded to a retail square footage” number, Dunn said.

Best Buy wants to speed up its digital sales, one of the company’s fastest growing businesses, but a relatively small unit compared to revenue from the company’s physical stores. Earlier this month, the retailer hired former Starbucks chief information officer Stephen Gillett to oversee its digital operations, including online and mobile offerings.

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Artificial Marijuana Causes Death of Westmoreland Boy

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A Westmoreland County boy whose lungs were damaged after smoking artificial marijuana died this morning.

Tonya Rice of Tarrs said her son, Brandon, was a “fighter, a real fighter.”

The 13-year-old Southmoreland eighth-grader lost the fight for his life at 8:21 a.m. today in UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, his mother said.

Brandon had a double-lung transplant in September after becoming ill from smoking a synthetic form of marijuana known by various names, such as K2, Spice, Blaze and Vanilla Sky. In June, Brandon was placed on a respirator to keep him alive. He developed an infection because the drugs he has been administered since the transplant surgery had weakened his immune system, making it difficult for him to overcome the infection, said his mother.

“He was smart. He was caring. He was a good baseball player. He loved to hunt. He loved to fish. He was a fighter,” said Tonya Rice. “It was hard, very hard. He couldn’t talk to us. We had to read his lips. A lot of times we couldn’t understand what he was saying. He fought and fought and fought.”

Brandon smoked the fake drug from a plastic PEZ candy dispenser. The chemicals in the drug caused extensive damage .

“Thursday’s a month to the day he had the transplant,” his mother said. “He was sick going into it but he was so strong. He would have made it through but he got an infection he couldn’t fight.”

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Daredevil Dies While Getting Fired From Cannon in England

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LONDON – British police say a man has died after a safety net gave way during a human cannonball performance at a “daredevil” stunt show in southern England.

Police in Kent said Monday the show was canceled after the 23-year-old died.

They said they believe the death was caused by the safety net “failing to engage,” but did not provide further details.

“Scott May’s Daredevil Stuntshow” said on its Website that all shows have been canceled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

The show has toured the U.K. since 1991, and features Monster Truck destruction, car-crushing and crashes, fire stunts and the human cannonball.

“Hear the twisting metal of the car crashes… Smell the burning rubber of the full throttle motorcycle stunts,” the website promises.

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2 NY Men Arrested in Shooting Death of DJ Megatron

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You know I dont usually post shit like this, but Mega was an acquaintance of mine, so I gotta keep my readers up to date on the story.

NEW YORK — Two New York City men have been arrested in the shooting death of radio and TV personality DJ Megatron.

Police say 21-year-old William Williams and 20-year-old Richard Cromwell were arrested Wednesday on charges of murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. It wasn’t clear whether they had lawyers.

Police say the 32-year-old disc jockey, whose real name is Corey McGriff, was shot once in the chest while walking to a store near his home on New York’s Staten Island last month.

DJ Megatron worked on BET’s “106 & Park” music countdown series, mainly in a role interacting with its live audience. He also did some on-camera work for the show and BET’s website.

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Brooklyn Teen Faces Felony Charge in Death of Family Hamster

Hamster RARE

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York teenager has been charged with a felony, with the possibility of a two-year prison sentence, for killing her family’s pet hamster, authorities said on Wednesday.

Monique Smith, 19, of Brooklyn was arguing with a family member in June when she reached for the hamster, choked it and threw it outside the house, police said.
Her arrest stemmed from an investigation into the incident after Smith’s father contacted the America Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said ASPCA assistant director Joe Pentangelo.

Smith is charged with one felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals. If convicted, she faces the possibility of two years in prison.

“Sadly, very often, pets find themselves in the middle of these situations,” said Pentangelo.

“A family will have a disagreement and unfortunately the animal is the recipient of misdirected or redirected rage.”

The hamster died from blunt force trauma, liver damage and a brain hemorrhage, he said.
A grand jury selection to consider Smith’s case is set to begin on Friday in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

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10 Haunted US College Campuses

Penn State University
State College, PA

The inspiration for this whole list was the story of Betsy Aardsma who was a student at the university in 1969. She was doing research for her English class when she was stabbed to death in one of the aisles of books in The Pattee Library. Her murder goes unsolved even today. Her ghost is said to wander the library late at night. One student who was looking at books in the very aisle that Betsy was killed in, awoke that night to the sensation of being strangled so much so that she could not call out for help to her roommate sleeping in the same room. If this isnt enough, the spirit of an ax murderer is said to haunt Brumbaugh Hall on Halloween nights.

Bradford College
Haverhill, MA

This now abandoned college is host to a number of ghosts from the days when the college was still occupied by students. One of the more famous ghosts is that of a young girl who had a relationship with a priest at the school. When she became pregnant she either committed suicide or was murdered by the priest. Both her spirit and the spirit of the priest haunt the old Academy Building. Ghost hunters have also recorded numerous voices, screams and unexplained images on the abandoned campus.

University of Notre Dame

In a school with as much history as Notre Dame, it is no surprise that it has its share of haunts. George Gipp, a legendary Notre Dame Football star who gave the famous Win one for the Gipper speech, is believed to haunt the university. A friendly ghost, he is often observed hovering over students shoulders, sometimes giving them a friendly pat, only to vanish when they turn around. While it would appear he is watching over students, the Patawatami Indians that also haunt the school are not so friendly. It is believed that Columbus Hall is built on their burial grounds, and the ghostly warriors are often seen riding horses up and down the steps of the hall as if protecting something within.

University of Georgia
Athens, GA

Another old school holding many mysteries and mysterious occurrences; from old confederate soldiers to murder and suicide, this campus is full of haunts. The Phi Mu sorority house is reportedly haunted by a girl named Anna Hamilton who witnessed her boyfriend murdered before her eyes and his body buried under the buildings front steps. Students have been able to talk with her using a Ouija board, and her crying is often heard in the houses empty rooms. Another haunted sorority house is the Alpha Gamma Delta house. Being one of the universities oldest sororities, it is no surprise that is houses one of the oldest haunts, going all the way back to the founding family. Their daughter, Susie was stood up on her wedding day. Heartbroken, she hung herself in the attic. To this day occupants and visitors alike report seeing a women glaring at them from the attic windows.

Montclair State University
Upper Montclair, NJ

More specifically the Clove Road Apartments at Montclair State. Like Notre Dame, the apartments are also built on an Indian burial groundnever a good idea. Doors and windows slam and lock unexpectedly. Lights flicker on and off. The building always feels cold, even with the thermostat on max. Roommates report feeling random feelings of dread, and many fights have occurred for seemingly no reason at all. A man dressed in 19th century clothes hovers over the beds of sleeping tenants, only to vanish with their screams. Worst of all are the figures seen darting between the trees in the woods at night, believed to be the ghost of the Indians no longer at rest. No one will go near the woods after sundown for fear of the unknown.

St. Josephs College

This college was used as a field hospital during the civil war. Unlike hospitals of today, civil war hospitals were often the equivalent of a modern day butcher shop. With little to no treatment options for the wounds suffered by battlefield weapons, the primary treatment was amputations. Stories are told of nurses carrying buckets of severed arms and legs away from these hospitals surgery wards. The screams of these men and, if youre unlucky enough, the smells of the hospital are present throughout the campus. A few students have reported walking into full ghostly hospitals late at night. Amidst all this horror, a friendly ghost walks among them. Mother Seton, founder of the American Sisters of Charity, is often seen walking around campus smiling at students and rushing to attend to the eternally injured phantoms of soldiers.

Drew University
Madison, NJ

Surprising that a theological university and seminary would be full of haunts but Drew University has its fair share. A misty apparition haunts Asbury hall, believed to be of a student who hung himself from the rafters. The campus is also known for the haunting of Roxanna Mead Drew, wife of the founder. One day, a fire broke out in Mead Hall (named after Roxanna) and members of the Madison Fire Department were called in to douse the flames. Two firefighters who were fighting the blaze saw a woman apparently trapped inside the burning hall and went in after her. Witnesses say that she was dressed in 19th Century attire and that the flames burned right through her. She glanced at them then disappeared.

Cal State University
Channel Islands (Camarillo, CA)

It is never a good idea to build a university on the grounds of an old insane asylum as Cal State decided to do. Ever since the university first opened its doors in 2002, students have reported seeing the universities old residents wandering the grounds, halls, and streets of Cal State. Inmates are seen entering rooms which are empty upon investigation. Another inmate dances in a parking lot at night, only to fade as he approaches the streetlights. Scarier still are the violent ghosts who have thrown objects, knocked students over, and vandalized locked classrooms.

University of Illinois
Urbana, IL

After a night of drinking, a sister at the Alpha Phi Omega Sorority Hall returned to her room late one night. While ascending the stairs to get to her floor she noticed that she was being watched by a figure at the top of the stairs. Upon further inspection she realized that the figure, that of a man, was wearing a grey uniform and had no face. She quickly ran and told her friends; however the building was searched and nothing was found. Ever since then the man has been seen in numerous locations on campus. Some years ago, in Crampton Hall, a student was found hung in his closet. It was quickly determined that the student had been the victim of foul play, however no killer was ever found. Fast forward to 2007. When a student didnt show up for a party, his friends went looking for him. They found him in his closet, hanging bound and naked upside-down, alive but terrified. That same night, several students were awakened by a man standing over them, who would turn and disappear into their closets. The man has never been identified.

Ohio University
Athens, Ohio

This should not be a surprise. It is well known and documented that Ohio University is perhaps one of the most haunted places in the world. From ghost teachers that talk to students, sounds and voices heard in sealed rooms, to an entire ghost basketball team, this campus is truly full of haunts. Nearly every single building on campus has at least one ghost associated with it. In a place literally full of ghosts, one manages to stand out among the rest. Wilson Hall is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the United States, and was featured in the TV series Scariest Places on Earth. A female student practicing satanic rituals supposedly died violently in room 428. While this story has no real backing, what is true is that school officials have closed and sealed the room because no student could live in it peacefully. Voices are heard throughout the halls, doors lock and unlock, open and close on their own, and ghostly figures wander the building. The building is also dead center of a pentagram formed by five cemeteries which surround the campus. Rumor has it that this building itself was built on top of an old mental hospital cemetery, however this was proven to be untrue.

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Transformers 3 Extra in Critical Condition After Accident (Story and Video)

Production on what was to be the final day of on-location shooting for Michael Bay’s Transformers 3 in Chicago was halted after an extra was critically injured during shooting in Hammond, Indiana.

24-year old Gabriella Cedillo from Chicago was driving in a Nissan during filming with a cable broke and crashed through her windshield. She was hit in the head and taken to Loyola Medical Center per My Fox Chicago.

“The vehicle was being towed by another vehicle,” explained extra Blaine Baker to ABC Chicago. “The cable between the two vehicles broke. It whipped around and sliced through the woman’s car and sliced through her skull, apparently.”


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Joe Rollino Dead: 104-Year-Old Strongman, Dies After Being Hit By Minivan

NEW YORK — A famed strongman who once lifted 3,200 pounds at Coney Island during its heyday and was still bending quarters with his fingers at age 104 died Monday after he was hit by a minivan.

Joe Rollino was struck as he crossed Bay Ridge Parkway in Brooklyn, and suffered a broken pelvis, head trauma and broken ribs. He died a few hours later at an area hospital. Police said the driver was going the speed limit and had not been drinking. No criminality is suspected, but the driver was issued a summons for a defective horn.

During his storied life, Rollino hobnobbed with Harry Houdini, watched Jack Dempsey knock out Jess Willard and was friendly with Mario Lanza. He even had a bit part in “On the Waterfront.”
(more…)

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