JobsOhio challenge rejected
The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected another attempt to declare JobsOhio unconstitutional, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
In a 6-1 vote Wednesday, the court ruled that Victoria Ullmann, a Columbus lawyer, lacked standing to pursue her action seeking to declare Gov. John Kasich’s privatized economic development agency as illegal.
The court’s ruling upheld a decision last year by the Franklin County Court of Appeals dismissing Ullmann’s challenge.
Ullmann sued Kasich, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Auditor Dave Yost, asking that the court order the Republicans to take steps to dissolve JobsOhio.
JobsOhio reported earlier this year it attracted a record 23,602 new jobs and $6.7 billion in corporate investment in 2015. The agency reported revenue of slightly more than $1 billion last year, largely from the state’s liquor-sales operation, which racked up record sales last year to produce net income of $235.2 million.
Democrats have faulted JobsOhio for being placed beyond the reach of public-records laws and a public audit, and have criticized pay raises at the nonprofit.
McDonald’s president retiring
McDonald’s kicked its transformation into high gear Wednesday, announcing plans to replace the president of its U.S. business.
Mike Andres, a key architect of the fast-food giant’s attempt to reinvent itself through initiatives like all-day breakfast, is retiring at year-end. He will be replaced by Chris Kempczinski, a former Kraft executive who was brought on by McDonald’s as an executive vice president last year.
Andres, 58, is the second top executive to announce his departure this month. McDonald’s said Aug. 2 that Chief Administrative Officer Pete Bensen will retire after nearly 20 years with the company.
Tesla to upgrade Autopilot
Tesla Motors Inc. on Wednesday was set to unveil “major improvements” for its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said.
The improvements will come “primarily through advanced processing of radar signals,” Musk said in a series of tweets.
The system drew controversy after a Plain Township man was killed in May in Florida when his Tesla Model S sedan hit a big-rig truck.
American Girl branching out
For years, an American Girl standalone store has been the only place in the United States where people could show up and buy the dolls.
There’s also limited access to the stores: Fewer than 30 exist nationwide.
Now that American Girl has struck a deal with Toys R Us, that’s about to change.
The multiyear exclusive partnership, announced Wednesday, allows Toys R Us to sell a selection of American Girl dolls, accessories and other products in a store-within-a-store format.
In late October, Toys R Us will open 97 American Girl mini-shops, which will take up as much as 700 square feet at the toy stores. More are set to open next year.
Pending home sales increase
More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in July, a sign that demand for home ownership remains strong despite a shortage of listings on the market.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.3 percent in July to 111.3, the highest reading since April.
The index of upcoming sales increased 1.3 percent from a year ago.
The number of signed contracts improved in the Northeast, South and West.
Pending sales dipped, however, in the Midwest.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.