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Small business

Robotic fruit pickers may help orchards with worker shortage

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Harvesting Washington state’s vast fruit orchards each year requires thousands of farmworkers, and many of them work illegally in the United States. That system eventually could change dramatically as at least two companies are rushing to get robotic fruit-picking machines to market. The robotic pickers don’t …

Hawaii ferry dreams face cost, public opinion hurdles

HONOLULU (AP) — When a 30-foot-tall ferry loomed outside a Kauai harbor in 2007, surfers and kayakers — looking like tiny ducks in comparison — blocked its path, preventing it from unloading hundreds of passengers and sending the giant catamaran back to Oahu. The emotional standoff where surfers bobbed in …

Day Care Apps: A Much Closer Look at Nap Time – Bloomberg

America’s day care industry goes gaga for digital oversight. Unless your toddler is a big talker, his days at preschool or day care can be largely mysterious. Many states require teachers to record attendance, scraped knees, and uneaten meals, but it’s easy for communication to break down, especially with kids …

Governments struggle to enforce “living wage” laws

SEATTLE (AP) — States and cities whose lawmakers proudly passed “living wage” laws are finding it difficult to make sure employers actually pay their workers accordingly. Seattle and San Francisco, and the states of Oregon, California and New York are phasing in wage increases that will grow to $15 an …

Banks now giving customers access to credit scores for free

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — It might be the most important piece of financial information about you — and it’s finally easier for you to actually get a look at it. Big banks and credit card companies are increasingly offering customers free access to their FICO score. This score, named after …