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Reports: Gymboree expected to file for bankruptcy, close 900 stores

Gymboree is expected to close all 900 stores under its various brands as part of filing for bankruptcy this week, according to reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported the news Sunday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

>> Read more trending news 

One person told CNBC that Gymboree Group, which operates stores under Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 brands, is trying to sell its high-end brand, Janie and Jack. That brand has about 139 stores, the person said.

The CNBC source asked to remain anonymous as the information is confidential.

The bankruptcy would be its second in recent years. Gymboree announced a bankruptcy filing  in 2017, in which it said it would close up to 450 of its stores as it reorganized. At the time, the San Francisco-based company had 1,281 stores. 

Gymboree has not commented on the latest bankruptcy reports.

Waffle House employees fired after pouring food on passed-out customer, sharing video online

Two employees at a Waffle House in DeKalb County, Georgia have been fired after they were seen on video pouring food on a passed-out customer and making him appear to dance. >> Watch the news report here

“We have been in contact with the customer and have apologized,” company spokesman Pat Warner said in a statement. “When we learned of this event, we launched an investigation, and have terminated the employees involved. Their actions in no way represent our company or our thousands of associates who strive to provide our customers with a positive experience daily.” 

The victim’s fianceé, who asked not to be identified, told WSB-TV the man did not know he had been humiliated until the video was shared to a now private Instagram page featuring similar videos of other customers at a location in Lithonia. 

"As soon as I saw it, I was in awe, and I busted out crying,” she told the news station in an exclusive interview. 

In the video shared with WSB-TV, the employees were seen pouring salt on the man’s head as he rested it on a counter. They topped the salt with a slice of cheese and a squirt of ketchup. 

While there were others working that night, only two were directly involved, Warner said. 

At another point in the video, a male employee was seen taking hold of the customer’s arms and making him dance. He told the news station he was unaware of the entire incident. He went to the Waffle House that night to sober up.

– Visit for more on this developing story.

Toyota recalls 1.7 million more vehicles over risk of exploding Takata airbags

Nearly 2 million more Toyota and Lexus vehicles in North America are being recalled for a possible defect that could cause airbags to explode, spraying shrapnel at drivers and passengers, the automaker announced Wednesday.

>> Ford recalls 953K vehicles for faulty airbag inflators

According to The Associated Press, the latest recall involving Takata airbag inflators includes 1.7 million vehicles – 1.3 million of which are in the U.S. Officials believe the defect has resulted in at least 23 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide, the AP reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The affected models include the following:

  • 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner
  • 2010-2013 Toyota Corolla
  • 2010-2013 Toyota Matrix
  • 2011-2014 Toyota Sienna
  • 2010-2015 Scion XB
  • 2010-2012 Lexus ES 350
  • 2010-2017 Lexus GX 460
  • 2010-2015 Lexus IS 250C
  • 2010-2015 Lexus IS 350C
  • 2010-2013 Lexus IS 250
  • 2010-2013 Lexus IS 350
  • 2010-2014 Lexus IS-F 

The company said it will notify owners of the affected vehicles about the recall by mail "or other means" later this month. If you own one of these models, "Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace either the front passenger airbag inflator or airbag assembly at no cost," a news release said.

Read more here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Daisyfield sausage recalled due to possible rubber contamination

An Ohio company is recalling nearly 2,000 pounds of raw pork sausage products that may be contaminated with rubber, the USDA announced Wednesday.

The products fall under the Daisyfield brand and were distributed by J. H. Routh Packing Co. in Sandusky, Ohio. The products were shipped to Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania before the problem was discovered on Jan. 7.

>> On See the labels of the recalled products here

There have been no confirmed reports of illnesses or reactions to the product, but, as a precaution, customers are being asked to return or throw away the products.

The raw ground pork bulk and link sausage items were produced from Jan. 1 to Jan. 4. The following products are subject to recall: 

>> Read more trending news 

  • 5-pound plastic packages containing loose, bulk “Daisyfield Brand FRESH PORK SAUSAGE” with production dates “010119” or “010219” or “010319” or “010419” on the label.
  • 5-pound paper-lined cardboard packages containing large link “Daisyfield Brand FRESH PORK SAUSAGE” with production dates “010119” or “010219” or “010319” or “010419” on the label.
  • 5-pound paper-lined cardboard packages containing country-style rope “Daisyfield Brand FRESH PORK SAUSAGE” with production dates “010119” or “010219” or “010319” or “010419” on the label.
  • 5-pound paper-lined cardboard packages containing small, breakfast-style link “Daisyfield Brand FRESH PORK SAUSAGE” with production dates “010119” or “010219” or “010319” or “010419” on the label.
  • 5-pound plastic packages containing loose, bulk “Daisyfield Brand ITALIAN SAUSAGE” with production dates “010119” or “010219” or “010319” or “010419” on the label.
  • 5-pound paper-lined cardboard packages containing large link “Daisyfield Brand ITALIAN SAUSAGE” links with production dates “010119” or “010219” or “010319” or “010419” on the label.
  • 5-pound paper-lined cardboard packages containing country-style rope “Daisyfield Brand ITALIAN SAUSAGE” links with production dates “010119” or “010219” or “010319” or “010419” on the label.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 818” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Read more here.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos divorcing wife MacKenzie after 25 years of marriage

Amazon founder, president and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, announced they are divorcing after a period of trial separation. They were married for 25 years.

Bloomberg reported that Jeff Bezos tweeted a statement about the news Wednesday morning. It was signed by the couple.

>> Read more trending news 

“We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” the statement said. “We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.

“We’ve had such a great life together as a married couple, and we also see wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures. Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.”

CNBC reported that, according to the statement, it appears the couple will continue working together professionally. They launched a $2 billion Day One Fund in September. The fund was created to help homeless families and create preschools.

According to a 2013 Vogue profile, MacKenzie Bezos, now a 48-year-old novelist, met Jeff Bezos, now 54, when she interviewed for a job at a New York hedge fund. She asked him out to lunch and they got engaged after three months of dating. They were married three months later. Once married, Jeff Bezos brought his idea of an online bookstore to her. She supported the idea, and they moved from New York to Seattle so Jeff Bezos could found Amazon.

The couple has four children together.

Breweries can't release new beer until government shutdown ends

The government shutdown is preventing some breweries from releasing new beer

>> Watch the news report here

Small, family-run Night Shift Brewing in Everett is in danger of missing the release of a new summer brew it has been planning for months, thanks to the government shutdown.

>> Trump border wall speech: Read the full transcript

"If the government opens tomorrow, we probably can't get the beer any sooner than May, and if it’s longer than that, then there’s the question should we even bother to release this summer beer in late August or something like that," said Night Shift co-founder Rob Burns

>> Full transcript of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s response to Trump’s speech

That's because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is shut down. The little-known agency must approve new beers and their labels before they can be sold in stores and restaurants. 

>> On TSA workers feeling effects from partial government shutdown

"And that then affects the retailers and bar owners who are also expecting to sell these beers, so it’s a trickle-down effect," Burns said. 

>> Trump's border wall: What is a national emergency and can Trump use it to pay for the wall?

Night Shift also has a distributing business that imports wine and spirits from Europe, which also needs the same label approval, but right now that liquor can't get on a boat until it gets the green light from the TTB. 

>> Read more trending news 

Burns is also the president of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and says right now there are about 30 breweries across Massachusetts in the planning stages, but they can't open for business until they get approval once the government shutdown ends. 

Nordstrom co-president Blake Nordstrom dies at 58

Nordstrom co-president Blake Nordstrom died in Seattle on Wednesday at age 58, according to a news release from Nordstrom. He disclosed in December that he was battling lymphoma. 

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2019

Nordstrom released the following statement Wednesday afternoon: 

"It is with deep sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Blake Nordstrom. Blake died in Seattle early this morning, January 2, 2019, at the age of 58. Executive leadership of Nordstrom will continue under company co-presidents Pete and Erik Nordstrom. We appreciate your respect for the privacy of the family during this difficult time.

“My heart goes out to the Nordstrom family and everyone at the company during this difficult time. Everyone who worked with Blake knew of his passion and deep commitment to employees, customers and the communities we serve. We are fortunate to have continued leadership from co-presidents Pete and Erik Nordstrom,” said Nordstrom chairman of the board Brad Smith."

>> Read more trending news 

Nordstrom was founded in 1901 by the Nordstrom family and is still headquartered in Seattle. 

Read more here.

Suspected malware attack hits several major newspapers

Several major U.S. newspapers reportedly have been hit by a possible malware attack.

The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that a computer virus "prevented the Times and others from publishing the Saturday print edition on time." 

Affected publications included the Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and "all papers within the Times' former parent company, Tribune Publishing," the Times reported. The computer virus also hampered "distribution of the West Coast editions of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times," according to the report.

>> Read more trending news 

The attack appeared to target publishing software, preventing some files from being made into plates for the printing press. The Chicago Tribune said its Saturday print edition was missing "paid death notices and classified ads." The Union-Tribune said as much as 90 percent of its Saturday edition "did not reach subscribers on Saturday morning," the Los Angeles Times reported.

"There is no evidence that customer credit card information or personally identifiable information has been compromised," Tribune Publishing spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said in a statement, according to NBC News. "The personal data of our subscribers, online users and advertising clients has not been compromised."

Kollias said the malware "affected the timeliness and in some cases the completeness of our printed newspapers," The Associated Press reported.

The Times, citing an unnamed source, reported that Tribune Publishing believes "the cyberattack originated from outside the United States." The company reported the incident to the FBI, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Read more here.

Social Security checks to increase in January

Retirees may experience a significant increase in the amount of money they receive from Social Security in 2019, according to the Social Security Administration.

>> On Will Social Security checks be affected by possible partial government shutdown?

The United States Social Security Administration’s new 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment will add approximately $39 per month (or $468 per year) for the average beneficiary and $73 per month for folks who retire at full retirement age.

About 67 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will be affected in the largest boost since 2012.

>> Read more trending news 

In 2018, cost-of-living was adjusted at 2 percent “but was largely perceived to be offset by increases in Medicare costs,” according to FOX Business.

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees in 2019 will increase by $1.50 per month, totaling an annual cost of $135.50 from $134 in 2018.

More information about Medicare premiums and deductibles at

New Year's resolutions: 4 tips for avoiding gym membership scams

After the holiday season, many people try to get back in shape, but officials are warning consumers about potential gym membership scams.

>> Read more trending news 

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office received about 140 complaints involving fitness or health club memberships. Top problem areas included cancellation and billing issues. Under Ohio’s Prepaid Entertainment Contracts Act, consumers generally have three business days to cancel a contract for gym memberships and other “health spa services,” martial arts training, dance studio lessons, or social referral services (such as a dating service).

>> How to keep your New Year’s resolutions this time

“This is a time when many people are thinking about joining a gym, and that can be a great way to get in shape. We just want consumers to understand what they’re signing up for,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “A little bit of prevention can go a long way.”

DeWine’s tips for avoiding scams include the following:

1. Research the gym. Look for complaints on file with your local attorney general’s office or Better Business Bureau, and check online reviews for feedback from current or past customers. Pay attention to how a business addresses customer complaints.

2. Read contracts carefully. Make sure verbal agreements are put in writing. Otherwise, they are not guaranteed.

3. Watch out for extra fees. Determine the total cost of your membership. Find out if there are any extra fees for services like fitness classes or personal training. Also find out if payments will be withdrawn automatically from your account.

4. Check the cancellation policy. Understand what you would need to do to cancel your contract and how far in advance cancellations must be made. Many contracts renew automatically, so be sure to check the total length of the contract. 

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