Archive for February, 2017

Former UT Football Star Arrested for Driving Under the Influence

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Cedric Benson, a former UT star football player, was charged with drunk driving on Saturday morning.

 

The affidavit states Benson was driving 12 mph above the 30-mph speed limit in the 800 block West Sixth street. The Austin police officer pulled him over at around 2:47 a.m. after Benson’s BMW hit the officers radar. The officer also noted Benson made an improper turn and changed lanes without signaling on North Lamar Boulevard.

 

Police pulled Benson over into a 7-eleven parking lot. While in the Parking lot, Benson disregarded the police and motioned his intention into walking inside the convenience store. The police noted Benson’s eyes were glossed over and his speech was slurring. He also noted that Benson smelled like alcohol. The report also recounts an uncooperative, talkative and cocky behavior from Benson.

 

At first Benson refused to comply with the officer administrating the sobriety tests. When asked to recite the alphabet, Benson Said, “stated he couldn’t do that because he played 8 years in the NFL” he also claimed he couldn’t count above the number three. When asked to perform a balance test, Benson refused.

 

Benson was taken to the Travis County Jail and was booked where his bail was $5,000. According to the Travis County Jail he is no longer in custody.

 

Benson, the former running back for UT, has a record of legal altercations in Austin.

 

In July there was a case in which a woman sued Benson, claiming his two Rottweilers attacked her as she was walking her dog in Northwest Austin.

 

Benson seems to have a history of intoxication on North Lamar Boulevard. According to court records, on the 900 block of North Lamar Boulevard in December 2014 Benson was charged with public intoxication after a verbal altercation between a man and a woman who were passengers in a cab.

 

Benson was arrested in 2010 for hitting a bar employee in downtown Austin.  He was sentenced to 20 days in jail after pleading no contest in a plea bargain with the prosecution.

 

Before Benson played for the NFL in Chicago, Cincinnati and Green Bay, he had the second most rushing yards in Texas history. He accumulated 5,540 yards from 2001 to 2004. Due to two alcohol-related incidents in Austin, Benson was released by the Chicago Bears in June of 2008.

Stocks Rise After Sears Bankruptcy Rumors

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Sears most recent quarter was dreadful. Sales during the holidays plummeted, and money continued to be lost. However, delaying bankruptcy might be the only hope for this iconic company.

Sears, who also owns Kmart, showed an increase in shares over 30% on Friday after announcing proposed plans to reduce annual operating costs by $1 billion and reducing $1.5 billion in debt and pensions.

In an attempt to close more stores and invest in online retail, Sears has revised an existing deal allowing Sears to borrow $140 billion more from creditors.

The deal came a few days after investors were growing anxious, the debt was growing and the sales continued to decline as Sears shares were reaching rock bottom.

Sears CEO, Eddie Lampert, plans to cut operating costs by combining operations between Sears and Kmart, and improving merchandising and supply chain management.

“We believe the actions outlined today will reduce our overall cash funding requirements and ensure that Sears Holdings becomes a more agile and competitive retailer with a clear path toward profitability,” Lampert said.

With these changes, Sears is attempting to change the appreance of the declining business.

Sears plans to close 150 Sears and Kmart stores which according to Lampert these store closures will be a cost savings of $1 billion dollars.

In order to avoid vendors and lenders cutting off supplies, Lampert has been advised to deny bankruptcy rumors.

Lampert has done what he can over the past years to try and increase cash flow and ward off bankruptcy.

Sears has been looking to sell its Kenmore appliances line and auto parts. Recently, they sold the Craftsman brand to Stanley Black and Decker.

Sears Hometown, Outlet stores, Lands’ End and Sears Canada have also been spun off.

Seritage Growth Properties is a separate public company created for real estate assets. Warren Buffet, a stock market genius, has invested in the company, although, Wall Street is still skeptical.

Sears may still be left standing despite the more than 15% decrease in shares this year.

Before the news of the new deal on Friday, Sears shares were almost at $5, an amount that usually results in investors selling the stock because they don’t want to own what will eventually become a penny stock.

On Friday Sears shares were trading at about $7.25 in the morning.

Sears is not the only retailer suffering in today’s market. Another big retailer, Macy’s, has announced it will be closing stores and has been approached by Saks and Lord & Taylor about acquisition.

Other retailers are also struggling such as Kohl’s and JC Penny. Competition is high from Amazon, Target, and Walmart.