National Business Briefs

Georgia peach farm to offer new fruit in spring

MUSELLA, Ga. (AP) — Dickey Farms, which has been growing peaches in Middle Georgia for more than 120 years, will have a new fruit available next spring.

The Telegraph reports Robert “Lee” Dickey IV says more than 22,000 strawberry plants have been planted on about 1½ acres at the farm in Musella.

Robert Dickey, the younger Dickey’s father, says the addition of strawberries will help expand their market and agritourism part of the business.

Unlike peach trees, strawberries have to be planted every year. Dickey says they’ve had to learn a lot about the process but he thinks it fits in well with the rest of the business.

He says strawberries should begin ripening in late March, early April depending on the weather.

The farm also sells pecans, jelly, jams, pickles, relish and cookbooks.

Report: Visa fires high-profile manager for violating policy

(AP) – The technology publication Recode is reporting that Visa fired a high-profile executive for behavior that “violated” the credit card company’s policy.

Recode reported that Jim McCarthy’s departure was announced in an internal memo Friday.

As executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships, McCarthy handled Visa’s deals with technology giants such as Apple and Google.

The memo by Visa president Ryan McInerney said that they determined McCarthy had violated the company’s policy based on information that recently came to its attention.

The memo said Visa “cannot ignore behavior…that runs counter to our leadership principles and culture.” Recode reported the memo did not describe the allegations.

A Visa spokesman declined to comment to Recode. Visa did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Fate of Hartford arena uncertain as possible sale explored

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The future of Hartford’s downtown arena still remains uncertain, despite last week’s approval of $40 million in state bonding to help fix up the aging XL Center.

Besides those funds, Connecticut’s new, two-year state budget includes one stipulation. There must be a “request for proposals” issued to determine whether any entity is interested in purchasing the coliseum complex, sidelining — at least for now — Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s original proposal to spend $250 million to totally upgrade the facility and keep it in government hands.

The legislation requires the request be issued no later than June 30, 2019. But it will likely be released this spring, said Michael Freimuth, executive director of the Capital Regional Development Authority. The authority is a quasi-public agency created by the General Assembly to manage various Hartford development projects, including the XL Center, which is owned by the city.

At this point, the number of potential buyers for the arena is questionable.

“I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think it’s going to be a dramatic bidding process,” said Freimuth, noting the roughly 40-year-old structure is “dated and it’s tired” and still requires a major investment beyond the $40 million.

If there’s no buyer, state and city officials will have to decide what to do next with the complex, including its’ possible closure.

Suit: Hidden camera filmed Forever 21 employee in bathroom

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A former Forever 21 employee at a Providence, Rhode Island, store is suing the retailer after she says someone installed a hidden camera in the employee restroom and secretly filmed her.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York said video that shows the plaintiff partially undressed was disseminated to “thousands of online viewers” on pornographic websites.

The woman worked at the store in 2011. Her lawyer says she didn’t become aware of the video until December 2016, after someone informed her of its existence.

The suit accuses Forever 21 of negligence, saying it did not equip the employee locker room with any security features.

It seeks $2 million in damages.

Forever 21 has not responded to a request seeking comment. A message was left Saturday for the company’s attorney.

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