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From plumbers to bird-seed sellers, who gains when sub-zero temps hit?
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From plumbers to bird-seed sellers, who gains when sub-zero temps hit?

It’ll take something pretty amazing to compete for headlines with the extreme weather outbreak ongoing this week across much of the United States.  When people are trying to make it through the daily commute and  other activities despite zero-degree temperatures, another half-foot of snow and other manifestations of Mother Nature, they won’t be in the [...]

Package up a feature on trends in the delivery service industry
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Package up a feature on trends in the delivery service industry

As parcels filled with holiday goods and gifts begin winging their way ’round the globe, the package delivery industry gets its moment in the spotlight. Even as Americans forego first-class mail in favor of electronic greeting cards and missives, the allure of e-commerce keeps delivery vans hopping.  There was that intriguing news the other day – [...]

Truckers and sleep apnea: Pending law should be easy to localize
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Truckers and sleep apnea: Pending law should be easy to localize

When you think about it, pretty much everything in our homes or offices was on a truck at some point, so it always surprises me that a trucking beat isn’t a greater part of transportation coverage by most business desks.  About 1.6 million Americans make a livings as a heavy- or tractor-trailer truck operator, according [...]

How to cover a plane crash: What you need to know in a hurry
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How to cover a plane crash: What you need to know in a hurry

The word comes over a police scanner, or in a flash on Twitter, or in a cable news headline: an aircraft has gone down. It is every traveler’s worst night mare, and it can be one for reporters, as well. Today, the word came that an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 had crashed at San Francisco’s [...]

Sensational news shines a light on hotel, travel safety
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Sensational news shines a light on hotel, travel safety

A rash of headlines about hotel-related accidents and deaths makes one wonder if “staycations” will be gaining in popularity, and a look at safety concerns in lodgings and other vacation-related venues might be an interesting and informative twist on your summer tourism coverage. Recent reports of carbon-monoxide related deaths in the same room of a [...]

Road construction: Spotting local stories in orange-barrel season
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Road construction: Spotting local stories in orange-barrel season

Orange-barrel season is in full swing (though actually, the season seems to last year-round lately), and why not put the time you spend in bumper-to-bumper construction traffic to good use?  Creeping along in traffic lately, gazing through the windshield, I’ve spotted a number of potential story angles that would resonate with readers, highlight interesting aspects [...]

How the government convention business ripples through the economy
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How the government convention business ripples through the economy

With yet another conference scandal stinging a government agency — this time it’s the Internal Revenue Service in the hot seat for spending millions on a jamboree for some of its workers — the contrarian in me has been wondering what would happen if all federal, state and local agencies curbed conference and travel activity. [...]

Spring fever? Find stories in your local economy’s RV and boat sales
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Spring fever? Find stories in your local economy’s RV and boat sales

June is designated by some entity or another (I couldn’t determine which) as National Camping Month, and if you’ve got a touch of spring fever yourself, an outdoorsy angle might be just what you need for a fresh-air look at some of your region’s leisure-economy drivers.   It’s hard to beat camping and boating stories for [...]

Memorial Day angles, from gas prices to bacon hot dogs
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Memorial Day angles, from gas prices to bacon hot dogs

It’s hard to believe we’re only a week away from the start of Memorial Day weekend.  As summer activities kick into gear, so do the businesses that serve them, so no matter your beat you’ve got a bonanza of holiday-related story ideas from which to choose. Traditionally, it’s a time for business writers to look [...]

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