Sears files for Chapter 11
Sears Holdings, whose presence permeated American life for generations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday. The company, which also owns discount retailer Kmart, will close another 142 stores by about the end of the year, on top of a recently announced round of 46 closures. CEO Eddie Lampert has also resigned but remains chairman. The company still had 506 Sears locations, including 482 full-line department stores, as well as 360 Kmart stores, as of an Aug. 4 public filing. Here’s what Sears shoppers should know, plus a timeline of its rise and fall.
With Sears closing stores amid a mountain of debt, the end may be drawing near for the iconic American retailer, and many of us aren’t ready.
Trump plan to limit protests draws howls
A Trump administration proposal to limit protests at the White House and the National Mall, including by potentially charging fees for demonstrations, is meeting stiff resistance from civil rights groups who say the idea is unconstitutional. The National Park Service is considering a plan to push back a security perimeter so that it would include most of the walkway north of the White House, a spot closed to traffic since 1995 that has become a regular venue for demonstrations.Thousands have submitted public comments on the proposal, including more than 8,700 this week. The comment period closes Monday.
Signs of progress after Michael
Classes will resume Monday at Florida State’s sprawling, 40,000-student campus in Tallahassee and several other area universities. State offices there are also scheduled to reopen. It’s a victory for the state as gas is in short supply and power outages are rampant after the devastation of Hurricane Michael. President Trump is scheduled to visit the hard-hit Bay County communities on Monday where search and rescue crews will continue the solemn task of picking through the rubble of Panama City and Mexico Beach. The storm killed at least 17 people across multiple states. Entire communities were wiped out by the Category 4 storm’s roaring winds, and authorities feared the death toll would rise.
Airlines rein in rules on support animals
Spirit Airlines is joining other carriers in tightening its policies on emotional support animals. The discount airline’s new rules, which go into effect Monday, require passengers to provide at least 48 hours notice if they are bringing an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal on a flight and requires more documentation. Airlines have been tightening rules on emotional support animals this year due to a surge in the number of animals being brought on planes and the lack of federal regulation. Last week, a woman was escorted off a Frontier Airlines flight after bringing her emotional support squirrel on board.
Frontier Airlines says a passenger wanted to take a squirrel on board with her because it was her emotional support animal. The airline does not allow “rodents” on board, including squirrels.
Medicare premiums, deductibles set to rise
Annual Medicare open enrollment begins Monday and runs through Dec. 7 this year. If you are covered by Medicare, take note: Your premiums will increase slightly next year. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will be $135.50 in 2019, up from $134 in 2018. That increase is in line with previous estimates. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday unveiled the new rates for 2019.
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