Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dozens Of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, & Carrabba’s Restaurants Closing

Following in the not so distant footsteps of chains like Bob Evan’s, Old Country Buffet, Ruby Tuesday, and Logan’s Roadhouse, Bloomin’ Brands — parent company to the Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Steakhouse chains — announced it would close dozens of locations. Bloomin’ Brands announced the closure plans in an investor presentation that revealed the company’s earnings dropped $4.3 million in the fourth quarter. Overall profit for 2016, the company notes, also dropped to $41.7 million from $127.3 million in 2015. As a result, Bloomin’ Brands said it would close 43 underperforming restaurants, without specifying how many and which locations would be shuttered. Prior to the closures the company operated approximately 1,500 restaurants in the U.S. and 20 other countries. (Bloomin’ Brands)


Trump administration put out a new rule book for how the US will deal with undocumented immigrants

There are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. Under former President Obama, officials focused on deporting the ones who had committed serious or violent crimes. Last month, President Trump signed executive orders directing the US government to be more aggressive about enforcing immigration laws. So now, the Department of Homeland Security has instructed officials to deport pretty much anyone who is in the country illegally. The top priority is undocumented immigrants who’ve been charged or convicted of a crime – or are suspected of a crime. That includes minor things like traffic violations. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is keeping an Obama-era program that lets people who were brought to the US illegally as kids live and work temporarily in the US. These new guidelines don’t change US immigration laws – they just take a much harder line on how to enforce them.  (New York Times)


Trump admin to scale back on rule expanding Title IX protection to transgender students

The Trump administration reportedly plans to scale back on a controversial administrative rule enacted by the Obama administration that permitted transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity, rather than their biological sex. President Donald Trump has approved a plan with the Justice Department and Education Department to send a letter to schools rescinding the guidance enacted by the previous administration. Trump promised nearly a year ago on the campaign trail that he would rescind the Obama administration’s transgender directive but promised to still “protect all people.” (Washington Blade)


Owl wanders into Massachusetts home through chimney

A Massachusetts family was met with an unexpected visitor when an owl flew into their living room through the chimney. Animal Rescue League shared photos of the barred owl that became trapped inside the family’s home over the weekend. “This Barred owl flew down the chimney of a Methuen residence and got stuck in the living room,” the group said. “We went up and helped him find the way out.” Animal Rescue League spokesman Michael DeFina said the animal was not injured and was set free. As for the owl’s unusual entrance, DeFina said wildlife can simply be unpredictable. “Animals do strange things sometimes,” he said. (Animal Rescue League)


Waitress drags large reptile out of Australian restaurant

A French waitress earned the nickname “Goanna Girl” after dragging a large reptile out of an Australian restaurant. Mimosa Wines, a winery in New South Wales, shared video of 25-year-old waitress Samia Lila as she grabbed the goanna by the tail and dragged it out of the restaurant. Lila’s boss Glenn Butson said she had only seen a goanna for the first time four days earlier and she believed dragging them away by the tail wasn’t an unusual occurrence in Australia. Lila said she thought the animal was a dog when a customer first pointed it out to her, but was undeterred after realizing it was actually a goanna. The goanna desperately tried to avoid capture by weaving underneath tables and chairs and digging its claws into the wooden floor. Despite the struggle Lila managed to drag the reptile back into the wild as patrons cheered her for her bravery. (Mamosa Wines Facebook)


Parents in Florida, are relieved that a teacher finally lost her job

The teacher had been in trouble with the law and was suspended from school for 15 days, but she was allowed back in the classroom after she was arrested for driving under the influence and battery. The Florida Education Commission suspended her teaching license for one year, after an investigation uncovered that she deliberately tipped over the chairs of students so they fall to the ground. She was a third grade teacher at the Neptune Beach Elementary School, when the incident occurred. Some of her students were transferred to another class. She worked as a teacher since 2006, and her latest job was with the Duval County Public Schools. She has now been terminated from her job. (World Wide World News)


Police issue ticket for wearing a ferret while driving

A ferret netted its owner a driving ticket after the driver was pulled over during a 24-hour traffic stop in Canada. The ticket was one of 2,442 citations handed out by Edmonton police during its “big ticket event,” when police cited the driver for distracted driving for wearing the ferret around his or her neck. Officers also issued 1,886 speeding tickets, 10 Criminal Code offenses and 456 fines for seatbelt infractions, red light violations and other Traffic Safety Act violations. During the event, police also caught vehicles that appeared to be participating in a street race and made a stop that resulted in the arrest of a woman with 30 outstanding warrants. (Toronto Sun)


It’s another Thirsty Thursday, which also brings:

*Curling is Cool Day
*Digital Learning Day
*Diesel Engine Day
*Discover Girl Day
*The Great American Spit Out (Thursday of “Through With The Chew Week”)
*Iwo Jima Day (flag raised)
*National Dog Biscuit Day
*National Chili Day  (Last Thursday)
*Single Tasking Day

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