Chicago's Sears Tower to get new name
CHICAGO - The tallest building in America is getting a new name.
Chicago's Sears Tower will be renamed Willis Tower after London-based Willis Group Holdings. The insurance broker announced the name change and other details of its agreement with the building's owners Thursday.
Willis is moving five local offices and nearly 500 employees into the 110-story building. The move is expected to be completed by late summer.
Willis will occupy more than 140,000 square feet at $14.50 a square foot. The company says it's not paying anything extra for the naming rights.
The 1,451-foot skyscraper is owned by a real estate investment group formed in 2004 to buy the tower.
GM says it doesn't need $2B in March
DETROIT - General Motors Corp. says its restructuring plan is starting to take hold, improving the automaker's fortunes at least to the point that it won't need a $2 billion government loan installment that it had requested for March.
Chief Financial Officer Ray Young said Thursday that GM formally told the Obama administration's autos task force on Wednesday that it wouldn't need the money this month. But in an interview with The Associated Press, Young would not say when the struggling automaker would need more government money or whether it will reduce the size of its loan request.
'It seems like our companywide cost reduction efforts are moving well, as well as we've been able to defer spending that we previously anticipated in January and February,' Young said. 'I think that's a positive development.'
GM, which is living on $13.4 billion in government loans, has requested another $16.6 billion as it tries to weather the worst auto sales slump in 27 years.
Space station has close call with space junk
WASHINGTON - The crew of the international space station had a close call with space junk Thursday.
The three astronauts briefly took refuge inside a Russian escape capsule before returning inside the space station. Officials were worried that the orbiting outpost might get hit with a small piece of passing space debris. Tiny pieces of debris could cause a fatal loss of air pressure in the station.
The debris, part of a mechanism to put a satellite in proper orbit, measured about 5 inches, a size that 'will wreck your whole day,' said Mark Matney, an orbit debris scientist for NASA.
Founder of Cape Cod Potato Chips dies
BARNSTABLE, Mass. - Stephen Bernard, who founded the Cape Cod Potato Chips company, has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Bernard's daughter, Nicole Dawes, said her father died Saturday at Cape Cod Hospital. He was 61.
Bernard and his wife, Lynn, founded Cape Cod Potato Chips in 1980 with almost no knowledge of the snack food industry. After a shaky start, the kettle-cooked chips took off and eventually got national distribution.
He sold the company to Anheuser-Busch in 1985, but reacquired it when the brewer sold its Eagle Snacks division. Lance Inc. bought the company in 1999.
Mother, 3 children found dead in NC
CONOVER, N.C. - North Carolina authorities are looking for a man after a mother and three children were killed in their home.
WSOC-TV reports the four bodies were found Thursday morning after a neighbor called 911 to say the woman was being attacked on her front porch near Conover, about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte.
The victims all had been either shot or stabbed to death.
Minn. teen gives away thousands in cash he found
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - A 16-year-old Minnesota boy has given away thousands of dollars to fellow students and a school aide. The bag full of money he found was apparently tossed by a drug dealer.
When asked how he got the $100 bills, the student first said it was his allowance. He later said he found it in a ditch - and led police to a spot by a highway where they also found marijuana and scales.
The boy, described as learning disabled, gave away about $11,000 of the nearly $18,000 in the bag. Law officers collected the money from students and from the school bus aide, who had reported that someone slipped $1,200 into her bag.