Walmart joins forces with Google on voice-activated shopping
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is diving into voice-activated shopping. But unlike online leader Amazon, it’s not doing it alone. Walmart is working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items for voice shopping through Google Assistant. The move illustrates how serious Walmart is about being competitive in an area dominated by Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo devices.
BOSTON (AP) — One of the nation’s largest student-loan companies is accused of mismanaging programs that offer debt forgiveness to public servants.
A lawsuit filed Wednesday by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says problems at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency have caused financial harm to many teachers and other public servants.
The agency oversees a federal program that forgives remaining student loans for public servants after they make 120 qualifying monthly payments. Healey says processing delays at the agency have prevented borrowers from making payments and set them back on their path toward forgiveness.
DORAL, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence’s visit in South Florida to meet with Venezuelan exiles. (all times local):
Vice President Mike Pence has met with 15 Venezuelan exiles in South Florida who told him more help is needed to restore democracy in the socialist regime.
Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart joined Pence in listening to testimonies of established leaders of the Venezuelan diaspora and recently exiles politicians and judges.
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina police chief says officers have arrested a man wanted in the deaths of two South Carolina bank branch workers.
Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman told local news outlets Wednesday the department received a 911 call that someone had seen 32-year-old Brandon Council near a restaurant on the city’s south side.
Holtzman said an officer followed a vehicle to a motel, where Council got out and ran before he was captured. Two others who were with the suspect also were detained.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A former Tampa police detective faces up to 10 years in prison for her part in a tax-refund scheme.
A U.S. attorney’s office news release says 51-year-old LaJoyce Houston pleaded guilty Wednesday to receiving stolen government property. A sentencing date hasn’t been set.
Authorities say Houston received goods, services, money orders and cash from debit cards loaded with fraudulently obtained tax refunds in 2011 and 2012. The accounts connected to these debit cards contained more than $284,000 in fraudulent refunds. Payments to Houston came from Rita Girven, who was sentenced in 2015 to 12 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California judge is allowing money laundering charges against the creators of a website that prosecutors have labeled an online brothel.
Prosecutors filed the new charges against Backpage.com chief executive Carl Ferrer and website founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin this spring.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Larry Brown on Wednesday dismissed pimping conspiracy and other allegations against Backpage.com’s operators.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia truck driver has been sentenced to prison in a 2015 highway collision that killed five people after the trucker fell asleep at the wheel.
A State Court judge in Savannah sentenced 61-year-old David Jerald Gibbons of neighboring Pooler to two years in prison and three years on probation. The Savannah Morning News reports Gibbins was convicted Tuesday of misdemeanor vehicular homicide and other counts.
PROVO, Utah (AP) — A Utah man charged with murder after prosecutors say he filmed a teenage girl killing herself using a rope he bought for her went before a judge on Wednesday to decide if he’ll be tried on a murder charge.
Prosecutors played cellphone video they say Tyerell Joe Przybycien, 18, made starting just before the death and continuing for several minutes after the girl hanged herself. A voice can be heard on the video occasionally calling out to the girl and getting no response.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the abandonment of a nuclear power project in South Carolina (all times local):
Legislators ended a hearing on the failure of a nuclear power project in South Carolina debating whether they could legally ask state regulators about their role in the debacle.
A House panel adjourned Wednesday after House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford argued the law legislators passed in 2007 to encourage nuclear construction bars the regulators from discussing rulings that may impact future decisions.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is poised to receive a new kidney — from his son.
The superintendent who disclosed in January after suffering a public dizzy spell that he’s on a waiting list for a kidney transplant told reporters on Wednesday that 25-year-old Daniel Johnson would be the donor of the kidney.
Johnson, who met with reporters to announce that his officers have seized nearly 6,000 illegal guns so far this year, expressed pride in his son when he was asked about the transplant and his son’s decision to donate one of his kidneys to his father.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The West Wing has fresh paint on the walls, new carpet underfoot, cool, crisp air and more than a few new eagle decorations.
The White House renovations took place while President Donald Trump was on his “working vacation” this month. Updates included replacing the 27-year-old heating and cooling system, refreshing the paint and carpets throughout offices and meeting rooms and hanging Trump-approved wallpaper in the Oval Office.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man charged with killing three people in 2008 has turned down a plea deal that called for a 70-year prison sentence.
The Hartford Courant reports 35-year-old Harold Patterson on Wednesday opted to instead face a jury. Patterson faces up to 180 years behind bars if convicted. A trial date has not been scheduled.
Prosecutors allege Patterson fatally shot Raymond “Flip” Hite in June 2008 and used the same gun to kill Lamar Gresham and Carlos Ortiz in a drive-by shooting two months later.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — At the U.S. Naval Academy, where the names of the nation’s military heroes adorn many buildings, two structures honor the memory of American naval officers who fought against the United States of America.
The Naval Academy superintendent’s stately home, which hosts thousands of visitors every year, and a building that houses the academy’s division of Weapons and Systems Engineering are both named for Confederates who took up arms against the U.S. in the Civil War.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal authorities on Wednesday issued a permit to a politically conservative group for a Saturday afternoon rally in San Francisco that local officials fear could turn violent.
The National Park Service had earlier told Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson that he had permission for the event, but withheld issuing the permit until the group agreed to several conditions, which include banning guns, tiki torches and other items that can be turned into weapons.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman is suing an Oregon cremation company for $2.5 million, claiming it gave her the remains of a stranger instead of her deceased father.
Kimberly Grecco, 53, discovered the remains were her not her father’s as she prepared to spread the ashes on Father’s Day last year, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://bit.ly/2xtnN0l ) Tuesday.
Grecco, of Portland, said she opened the box from Crown Memorial Center and found a tag indicating the remains belonged to someone else, according to the lawsuit.