Philly's Soda Tax - a Job Killer?

It was only two months ago the city of Philadelphia started their sweetened beverage tax - basically a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sweetened and diet beverages - and now supermarkets and distributors are reporting a 30 - 50 percent drop in beverage sales and are planning for layoffs. One of the city's largest distributors says it will cut 20 percent of its workforce in March, and an owner of six ShopRite stores in Philadelphia says he expects to shed 300 workers this spring. Alex Baloga, vice president of external relations at the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, said, "People are seeing sales decline larger than anything they've seen up to this point in the city." Meanwhile, the city questioned the legitimacy of the early figures and predicted that customers responding to the initial sticker shock by shopping outside the city would return. Mayor Kenney harshly rebuked reports of coming layoffs saying, "I didn't think it was possible for the soda industry to be any greedier. They are so committed to stopping this tax from spreading to other cities, that they are not only passing the tax they should be paying onto their customer, they are actually willing to threaten working men and women's jobs rather than marginally reduce their seven-figure bonuses." (

On Fleek!

If you've ever used the term "on fleek," Kayla Lewis wants you to pay her for it. She's better known by her Vine moniker Peaches Monroe and claims to be the first person to use the term "on fleek" back in 2014 to describe, loosely, something done to perfection. As in, "My new hairstyle is On Fleek!" Now Lewis has set up a GoFundMe page to capitalize on her vocabulary win and crowdfund her way to launching a cosmetics and hair-care line. She says, "Everyone has used the phrase/word but I haven't received any money behind it or recognition." As of yesterday (Wednesday) she's raised more than $8,400 toward her $100,000. Now a nursing student in college, Lewis is accurate in how she describes the commandeering of her coinage, with major players such as Kim Kardashian and IHOP (yes, the pancake house) adopting the phrase into their own social media vernacular. Lewis says she wants to sure she's "getting the recognition and money I deserve." (Newsweek)

Homework Emergency

When you're 10 years old, a tough math question can definitely feel like a life-or-death emergency. So when Ohio fifth-grader Lena Draper couldn't figure out the answer to (8 + 29) x 15, she went straight to the police. More specifically, she wrote on the Marion Police Department's Facebook page: "I'm having trouble with my homework!" Despite being "more of a history, civics, and social studies kind of guy," Lt. BJ Gruber got back to her, correctly telling her to "do the numbers in the parenthesis first." Even though Gruber flubbed the answer to Lena's second, tougher question, Lena's mom says she loves that he was there to help. Gruber admits the department has never received a request for homework help before. (ABC)

Arms - Very Overrated!

Adriana Irene Macías Hernández from Guadalajara, Mexico, may have been born without any arms, but she hasn't let that keep her from having a successful life nor out of the Guinness World Records Book! Last week on an Italian TV show she broke the record for lighting 11 candles in 60 seconds with her feet! The 39-year-old is an attorney and has written several books. She also works to promote inclusiveness for the disabled in her home country. When Hernández isn't lighting candles with her feet, she uses them to write, cook, hold the cell phone and retouch her hair and makeup. (Huffington Post)

Laughing Out Loud!

Connor Cox apparently forgot to take out the trash - one of his regular chores - and his mom wasn't going to let him forget it even if he was away at college. A freshman at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Cox Tweeted a photo showing a box full of trash his mother actually sent to him at school. He wrote: "Thought my mom was sending me a care package... but instead she sent me a box of trash I was supposed to take out!" He later called his mom to see if maybe she sent the wrong box. Nope - it was the right box alright because as he said, " I had to be held responsible for what I didn't do." Cox said he was supposed to throw the trash away when he was home for winter break, but he neglected to finish the chore.(KDKA News)

Video game to Death?

It started as just another day at the office for 35-year-old Brian "Poshybrid" Vigneault, a professional gamer who spends multiple days in a given week live-streaming himself playing the game "World of Tanks" for 20-plus hours straight. This time, however, the Virginia Beach father of three got up to smoke a cigarette 22 hours into his stream at 4:30 am on Feb. 19 and never returned. People figured he fell asleep, but when a friend sent a message the next day, the response came from a police detective - who was investigating his death! The exhausted-looking father had been streaming on the gaming platform Twitch to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and PC Games reports that he'd been doing similar marathon gaming streams over the past few weeks. While the cause of death has not been determined, much of the speculation going on centers on sleep deprivation and related heart complications. The site notes that big-name streamers have complained about the pressure they feel to go for longer and longer stretches, and Vigneault was known for chain-smoking and drinking during his own sessions. The moderators of his Twitch stream turning his channel into a memorial. (Newser)

What the What?

After receiving a report about a reckless driver, police officers in Albuquerque say they found 23-year-old Bryelle Marshall asleep in the driver's seat of her car, parked partially on a road. They had reason to believe she had been drinking and wanted her to complete a field sobriety test. Officers say she instead began performing cartwheels and, during one rotation, hit an officer in the back. She was subsequently arrested and charged with battery, aggravated DWI, and driving with an expired license plate. (Albuquerque Journal)


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