Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance features Port Manatee head

February 9, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance's March luncheon will feature Port Manatee and look at how new businesses around the Port could mean opportunities for many in the Bradenton area.

Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras will be on hand. He is responsible for overall operations at Florida's fourth-largest deepwater seaport. He became the port's fifth executive director just over a year ago after spending 22 years as director of business development at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale.

The luncheon is 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 13 at the Polo Grill and Bar, 10670 Boardwalk Loop. Members $25; non-members, $35. To make reservations, call 941-757-1664.

Room with a Hue moves its shop to Anna Maria

ANNA MARIA -- A Room with a Hue, located on Cortez Road for more than seven years, has recently moved to 314 Pine Ave. in Anna Maria.

The shop, featuring hand-painted furniture, custom art and coastal murals, also specializes in home accents and collectibles.

"I am eager to be a part of the excitement on Pine Avenue," owner Ann Marie Nicholas said in a press release. "I enjoyed Cortez and met a lot of wonderful people there, but it was time for a change."

A Room with a Hue contains "beachy" gifts, hand-painted furniture, artwork, clever signs and other collectibles. Nicholas also has painted many of the areas murals, including restaurants, real estate offices and, most recently, in the Anna Maria Moose lodge that features a moose strolling on the beach. Her husband, Circuit Judge Ed Nicholas, can often be found helping out on the weekends.

The shop is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. The official grand opening is planned from 5-8 p.m. Friday.

Manatee Young Professionals plan social

BRADENTON -- Here's an alternative plan for Valentine's Day: Join the Manatee Young Professionals' Networking Social from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday at AMF Bradenton Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road W.

Admission includes two hours of bowling (shoes included), appetizers, and unlimited soda. The cost is $10 for paid MYP members and their guests, $15 for all others. An RSVP is required by either registering at www.myponline.com, or call Lindsey at 941-748-4842, ext. 133.

EU leaders agree to $1.28 trillion 7-year budget

BRUSSELS -- European Union leaders agreed Friday to a significantly reduced 7-year budget worth (euro) 960 billion ($1.28 trillion) -- the first cut in spending in the 27-coun

The final total was about 40 billion less than the European Commission had originally proposed.

-- Herald staff and wire reports

U.S. wholesale stockpiles dip 0.1 percent in December

WASHINGTON -- U.S. wholesalers cut their stockpiles slightly in December while their sales were unchanged, suggesting businesses were cautious at the end of a weak quarter.

The Commerce Department said Friday that wholesale business stockpiles dipped 0.1 percent in December from November to $497.7 billion. That followed a 0.4 percent rise the previous month.

Inventories of furniture and automotive goods fell by the most in more than three years. Farm product stockpiles also dropped sharply, likely reflecting the impact of this summer's drought in the Midwest.

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Boeing warns that 787 deliveries could slip

Boeing acknowledged on Friday that it may not be able to deliver its 787 as fast as hoped.

The company said it has told customers expecting the next 787 deliveries that those planes have either been delayed, or at risk for a delay.

Boeing is still building the long-range, fuel-efficient planes, and it said on Friday that it has no plans to slow production.

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McDonald's sales fall again amid weakness in Asia

NEW YORK (AP) -- McDonald's says a key sales figure dropped again in January as the world's biggest hamburger chain faced ongoing weakness in Japan and sales in China were hurt by a food scare and the timing of a holiday.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said global sales at restaurants open at least 13 months dropped 1.9 percent for the month. The figure is a key metric because it strips out the volatility of newly opened and closed locations.

After years of outperforming rivals, McDonald's has been struggling amid intensifying competition and challenging economic conditions around the world. Late last year, the company ousted the head of its U.S. business after the sales figure dropped for the first time in nearly a decade. CEO Don Thompson, who took the top spot this summer, has vowed to add business by emphasizing value while planning a series of new limited-time offers to attract customers.

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Watson's medical expertise offered commercially

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- Dr. Watson is accepting new patients.

The Watson supercomputer is graduating from its medical residency and is being offered commercially to doctors and health insurance companies, IBM said Friday.

IBM Corp., the health insurer WellPoint Inc. and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center announced two Watson-based applications -- one to help diagnose and treat lung cancer and one to help manage health insurance decisions and claims.

Both applications take advantage of the speed, huge database and language skill the computer demonstrated in defeating the best human "Jeopardy!" players on television two years ago.

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