Fire destroys businesses
A massive fire destroyed a 70-year-old beef cattle auction business in Lexington on Saturday, churning up a plume of thick, black smoke that darkened the skies for miles as the wind-whipped flames consumed several nearby businesses. No one was injured in the fire that destroyed seven acres of the stockyards operated by the Blue Grass Livestock Marketing Group. At least 120 firefighters battled the blaze for several hours Saturday afternoon in a wooden structure that Interim Fire Chief Harold Hoskins compared to “a standing lumber yard.” Hoskins said several businesses were destroyed over one city block.
Female chauffeurs win case
A federal judge awarded damages to three Minnesota women who sued after they were dismissed from their chauffeur jobs because a Saudi prince wanted only male drivers. U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen on Thursday awarded $130,000 each to Gretchen Cooper, Barbara Herold and Lisa Boutelle. In November, Ericksen ruled in favor of the three women, who filed a gender discrimination lawsuit in 2012 in Minneapolis. The women received $100,000 each for mental anguish and suffering under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Erickson doubled the $15,000 that each woman sought for wage loss to $30,000.
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS
MIT wins design competition
MIT student engineers won a competition to transform SpaceX and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk’s idea into a design for a Hyperloop to move pods of people at high speed. The Boston-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named the winner on Saturday after a competition among more than 1,000 college students at Texas A&M university in College Station. The top teams will build their pods and test them at the world’s first Hyperloop Test Track, being built adjacent to SpaceX’s Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters.
Petraeus won’t be demoted
The Pentagon says it will not demote retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information while CIA director, an incident stemming from an affair with his biographer. “The Army completed its review of his case and recommended no additional action,” Stephen C. Hedger, assistant defense secretary for legislative affairs, wrote the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday. Hedger said Defense Secretary Ash Carter “considers this matter closed.”
Compiled from wire reports