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Want more time off work to hang out at the beach? Need a little cash and have vacation days to spare?

By Associated_Press Jun 10, 2013 3:32PM

By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some companies allow their employees to buy and sell vacation time, a perk that gives workers more flexibility in managing their time off.

The novel approach might help employees buy some extra days off to take the trip of a lifetime or spend more time with a newborn. Co-workers could sell off unused days to get some extra money.

Photo: Nora Kouba, an employee at USG Corporation sits at her work station in Chicago earlier this month. Over the years, Kouba has made use of a benefit offered by USG that allows their workers to buy and sell vacation time, a perk that gives workers more flexibility in managing their time off. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Photo: Nora Kouba, an employee at USG Corp., has made use of a benefit offered by USG that allows their workers to buy and sell vacation time, a perk that gives workers more flexibility in managing their time off. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

"When times are a little tight, this benefit really doesn't cost a lot of extra money to employers to provide," said Julie Stich, research director for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


Padihershef was a 40-year-old stonecutter in the necropolis in Thebes, an ancient city on the west bank of the Nile, in what is today's Luxor.

By Associated_Press Jun 7, 2013 2:58PM

By RODRIQUE NGOWI, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — A 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy is coming out of its coffin to undergo cleaning and restoration at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The mummy known as Padihershef has been on display at the third oldest general hospital in the United States since it received him as a gift from the city of Boston in 1823 as a medical oddity.

Photo: Egyptologist Mimi Leveque begins to remove salt deposits from the face of a 2,500 year-old mummy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, in this Jan. 6, 2003 file photo. An expert trained in restoring ancient artifacts will remove the mummy from his coffin Friday June 7, 2013 and use cotton swabs to clear salt deposits from his face. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)On Friday, a conservator trained in restoring ancient artifacts will remove him from his coffin and use cotton swabs to wipe away salt deposits from his face. The salt has been slowly seeping out of his tissue, a result of the mummification process. Experts are also expected to do minor repair and stabilization work on his coffin.


Survey provides an optimistic view from black America.

By Rich_Maloof Jun 5, 2013 7:01PM

A new poll surveying attitudes among African-Americans finds that optimism around financial, social and community issues is widespread.

Photo: African American family / Hero Images/Getty Images The poll, conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health and released by NPR, posed a range of questions to nearly 1,100 African-Americans. Respondents were sampled in a geographic breakdown aimed at providing an accurate snapshot of attitudes among black Americans all across the country.


As baby boomers age, many of the traditional ways to make friends disappear.

By Associated_Press Jun 5, 2013 5:41PM


When Ron Riedel's kids graduated from high school, he and his wife, Lorita, found they were socializing less. They weren't meeting up with friends at soccer games, school plays and other kid-related events.

So Riedel formed a "baby boomer" group through his church that hosts regular game nights and weekly dinners.

"When our kids were around, we had reasons to get together," said Riedel, 55, a furniture maker in Auburn, Calif. Now, "we had less excuses to get together, so we invented this."

Photo: Judy Palladino handles mahjong pieces during a game night gathering in Mayfield Village, Ohio last month. For the baby boomer generation, getting together to play games is a way to stay active and social. It also can help people stay mentally sharp. (AP Photo/Bonnie Gruttadauria)


With a wave of new restrictions, the smoke is starting to clear.

By Rich_Maloof Jun 4, 2013 5:50PM

All across the country, smoking bans have been picking up some serious momentum.

Smoking will be smothered in the sand this summer as bans go into effect on public beaches, including seaside spots in Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. On June 1, Starbucks instituted a ban within 25 feet of some 7,000 locations, imposing a trial separation on the long-term relationship between coffee and cigarettes.

Photo: A no smoking sign is posted in the pedestrian plaza located in Times Square May 23, 2011 in New York City last month. A new smoking law took effect in New York City Monday, prohibiting smokers from lighting up in certain public places including parks and beaches. (Photo by Daniel Barry/Getty Images)New bans and restrictions stretching from California, across the Plains and clear across to New York, are being voted into law.


To get out early, work harder and smarter.

By Rich_Maloof Jun 3, 2013 3:43PM

Is anybody out there reading this, or did you all go home already?

Today is National Leave The Office Earlier Day. If you’re wondering whether that’s an official holiday, ask your boss.

Photo: It's leave work early day / Ocean/Corbis/Getty Images In a straw poll taken for this blog, 99 percent of workers enthusiastically supported the concept of National Leave The Office Earlier Day. Their employers did not. One boss asked if we’d ever heard of “National Unemployment Day.”


An unexpected turn in a local news story brings a happy ending.

By Rich_Maloof May 30, 2013 5:35PM

Talk about a scoop.

On Tuesday morning, the news crew from WMTW News 8 in Maine was covering a sensitive local story. Limington resident Robert McDonough, age 73, had been missing for more than 14 hours.

Photo: Still of Robert McDonough with WMTW News 8 anchor/reporter Norm Karkos (WMTW News 8, http://aka.ms/missingman)


A 4-inch pencil was lodged in a 24-year-old's skull.

By Associated_Press May 29, 2013 7:15PM

BERLIN (AP) — German doctors say a man spent 15 years with a pencil in his head following a childhood accident.

Aachen University Hospital says the 24-year-old man from Afghanistan sought help in 2011 after suffering for years from headaches, constant colds and worsening vision in one eye. A scan showed that a 4-inch pencil was lodged from his sinus to his pharynx and had injured his right eye socket.

Photo: Andrew Unangst/Getty Images

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