Fatal New Mexico Uber shooting stemmed from vomit in car

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The fatal shooting of a New Mexico man who authorities have said was killed by a ride-share driver early this year stemmed from “a large amount of vomit” in an Uber vehicle, according to court documents.Court documents submitted by the Bernalillo County District Attorney last week said the shooting was prompted by the vomit and an argument over a “clean-up fee,” the Albuquerque Journal reported .Police have said driver Clayton Benedict shot and killed passenger James Porter, 27, after stopping along Interstate 25 in Albuquerque on March 17. Benedict has not been charged and has declined to comment.District Attorney’s Office spokesman Michael Patrick said a charging decision may come in the next few weeks.“Prosecutors are currently going over hundreds of documents and videos,” Patrick said.According to a search warrant affidavit filed seeking information from Uber about Benedict’s trips for the day and other information, Benedict picked up Porter and his friend from the Salt Yard bar on the evening of Saint Patrick’s Day.The friend, Jonathan Reyes, later told police the two had been at the bar since 2 p.m. and although he typically doesn’t drink, that day he had six or seven drinks.Benedict — who had been driving for Uber for the past year and a half — told detectives they were travelling south on I-25 when Reyes vomited in the back seat.“At this point the other passenger and Clayton start to go back and forth about a potential ‘clean-up fee,’” the detective wrote in the affidavit. “James is the male arguing/pleading with Clayton not to charge him for a ‘clean-up fee.’”That’s when Benedict said he pulled over and asked the men to get out of the car. He said he ended the ride and gave Porter a review of “one star.”He said Porter slammed the door.Benedict said he fired “an unknown amount of rounds” toward Porter after Porter threatened to run him over with his own car.Last month, the family of Porter filed a lawsuit against Uber and Benedict over the shooting.The San Francisco-based Uber told the Journal in a statement that Benedict no longer has access to the Uber app as a driver.Last year, an Uber driver in Denver was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a passenger on a Colorado highway. Police have said driver Michael Hancock, 29, shot and killed Hyun Kim, 45, following an altercation in the car. Hancock’s family has said he only shot in self-defence.The Associated Press read more


BRP CEO says US tariffs remain a drag on its growing boat

BRP Inc. says it has closed a deal to acquire a majority stake in Australia’s largest aluminum boat maker, Telwater Pty. Ltd., furthering the company’s push into the multi-billion fishing and pleasure boating market despite the pain of ongoing metal tariffs.The maker of Ski-Doo snowmobiles and Sea-Doo watercraft wrapped its agreement Thursday to buy 80 per cent of Telwater’s outstanding shares. Its owner and managing director, Paul Phelan, will stay on with the company and retain 20 per cent ownership.Telwater marks BRP’s third foray into watercraft in the past year after the Quebec-based firm acquired Alumacraft Boat Co. and Manitou Pontoon Boats last summer. The additions drove a one-third rise in marine product revenues to $146.3 million in the latest quarter.Chief executive Jose Boisjoli is declining to specify the purchase price, but says Telwater notches about $100 million in annual sales.The CEO is intent on casting a line to the world’s 700 million anglers via fishing and pontoon boats, though he says the spate of acquisitions means pausing any future purchase plans around watercraft.Boisjoli says the nearly year-long trade war between the United States and Canada has dented BRP’s margins, with the U.S. imposing a 10 per cent tariff — lifted in May — on aluminum for 50 weeks. Ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China remain a drag on BRP business.Boisjoli calls the tariffs “short-term pain,” pointing to BRP’s manufacturing flexibility and product diversity, which includes ATVs, three-wheeled motorcycles and Evinrude outboard motors. Companies in this story: (TSX:BRP)The Canadian Press read more


Woe for stores as shoppers look elsewhere for inspiration

In this Monday, March 20, 2017, photo, customer J.P. Grant, right, confers with Reynaldo Sanchez, a guide at Bonobos, as Grant shops for clothing at the brand’s Guideshop, in New York’s Financial District. “This was the first place I thought of,” said Grant. “Convenience…definitely. I order the product in-store and they send to your residence or wherever you are.” (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Woe for stores as shoppers look elsewhere for inspiration by Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press Posted Mar 23, 2017 2:56 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Erica Dao used to shop at malls once a month, looking in stores and seeing what the mannequins displayed. Now, she mainly looks for inspiration on social media.“I discover brands through Instagram,” said Dao, 33, of St. Paul, Minnesota.Elizabeth Troy says she was the “queen of sales,” going through discounted items at J. Crew and Banana Republic stores at malls near where she lives in Richmond, Virginia. But her go-to source has become the online subscription service Stitch Fix, which lets her try on clothes at home and decide what to keep.“I almost never go out to buy now,” says Troy, 50.Those kind of shifts illustrate the way people are changing how they buy clothing. Shoppers aren’t just showrooming at stores and then buying the same items online if they can find better prices — it’s a more significant separation from the mall.That is spelling big problems for mall chains like The Limited, which has shut all 250 of its stores, and Wet Seal, which filed for bankruptcy. Department stores like Macy’s and J.C. Penney — anchors for the malls — are also closing stores. Sears Holdings Corp. has said there’s “substantial doubt” about its future, but believes its plan to turn around its business should reduce that risk. The number of “distressed” retailers — those with cash problems and poor credit profiles that are facing strong competition — is at the highest rate since 2009, says Moody’s Investor Service.“Retail is increasingly becoming boring,” said James Reinhart, CEO of the used-clothing marketplace thredUP. He says much of the merchandise at stores is homogenous, while online “each day there’s a whole new assortment.”Department stores make regular announcements about the next way they’re going to win customers back, like offering more athletic-inspired clothes or adding tech areas. But they’re fighting a market in which people are already buying fewer clothes, spending online or at discounters when they do, and demanding more personal and convenient ways to buy.Brands like Stitch Fix and Bonobos offer curated selections based on people’s preferences, while companies like thredUP capitalize on shoppers’ increasing willingness to buy secondhand items from mall brands like J. Crew, Anthropologie and Athleta at big discounts. Deloitte estimates that the nation’s top 25 retailers have lost $200 billion to the smaller entrants to the market over the last five years.“These internet-rooted businesses are connecting so well with consumers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at market research firm NPD Group Inc. “They’re offering personalization. They offer great value, quality service and a unique look. This is something that the apparel industry has been ignoring, but consumers are gravitating toward them. And they’re becoming a big threat.”While U.S. clothing sales increased 3 per cent overall to $218.7 billion last year, department stores and national mall-based chains saw a drop of 4 per cent, says NPD. Discounters enjoyed a 1 per cent increase, and off-price stores like T.J. Maxx and Ross saw sales rise 5 per cent.Clothes are also a smaller part of people’s personal spending. In January 1990, Americans spent 5.2 per cent of their overall expenditures on clothes and shoes. That compares with 3 per cent in January 2017, according to an analysis by Michael P. Niemira, principal at The Retail Economist research firm. If demand held steady, Niemira says, there’d be an extra $255 billion spent.Even so, retail space rose to 7.76 billion square feet in 2016 in 54 U.S. metropolitan areas — about six times per capita that of countries like Britain, the International Council of Shopping Centers said. Richard Hayne, CEO of Urban Outfitters, likens the retail industry to a housing bubble.“We are seeing the results: doors shuttering and rents retreating,” Hayne said after the company reported disappointing fourth-quarter results. He expects the trend to continue, and says online shopping is only partially offsetting lower store sales.“Digital communities and social media are replacing storefronts and traditional advertising as a preferred means by which brands and customers are connecting,” Hayne said, noting Urban Outfitters’ 7 million Instagram followers.The online startups have their own ways of reaching shoppers.Jason Hairston started his hunting clothing and gear brand KUIU by blogging, and says he generated $500,000 on the first day in business based on interest through the blog. He says by skipping the store step, his Dixon, California-based company can offer higher-quality products at the same price.It was on social media that Dao discovered the online brand Everlane and liked its simple but modern looks. It’s also how she found shoes by Freda Salvador that she spent $300 on — three times what she usually pays.“I am trying to find someone that appeals to me,” she said. “It’s not, ‘Oh, everybody is doing this.’ It reflects my values. It reflects my personal style.”That connection is something shoppers may feel is missing from the brands they’re turning away from. Bill Taubman, chief operating officer at mall operator Taubman Centers, expects more store closures. But as much as shoppers gravitate toward online brands, he has doubts about their sustainability.“Customers forget about them very quickly,” he said. “That’s why the internet guys are thinking of opening stores.”Indeed, online brands like Bonobos, jeweler Blue Nile and eyewear seller Warby Parker have been setting up showrooms. Even KUIU plans a 30-city tour with an 18-foot trailer that expands to a showroom as a test for traditional store locations.The hybrid model is gaining ground, but online retailers are also figuring out whether to go with traditional stores or showrooms where shoppers try on clothes and then have their purchased delivered. “We quickly discovered in the testing days of the Guideshop concept that guys don’t need that instant gratification of walking out of the store with something right away,” said Antonio Nieves, chief financial officer at Bonobos. read more