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Pizza Hut replaces Papa John’s as ‘pizza of the NFL’

Pizza Hut is replacing Papa John’s as a sponsor of the National Football League. CNBC reported that the Yum! Brands subsidiary was announced as the official pizza sponsor of the NFL Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news 

The news comes a day after Papa John’s and the NFL mutually decided to end their relationship. Papa John’s was the official pizza of the league since 2010. 

“The NFL and Papa John's have made a mutual decision to shift from their official league sponsorship to a focus on partnerships with 22 local NFL teams, presence in broadcast and digital media, and key personalities in the sport,” the league and company said in a joint statement Tuesday, according to ESPN.

In 2017, the brand drew controversy when its former CEO, founder John Schnatter, blamed slow pizza sales on protests from NFL players during an earnings call in November. 

Related: Papa John’s CEO apologizes for comments on NFL anthem protest controversy

“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter said, according to reports. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”

Schnatter and Papa John’s apologized for the comments weeks later, but damage was already done.

Related: John Schnatter stepping down as Papa John’s CEO

Pizza Hut now has a multiyear agreement with the league, starting with the 2018 season.

“We know many of our fans enjoy pizza while watching NFL games and we are thrilled to have Pizza Hut, an industry leader and one of America's favorite brands, as an official league sponsor,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement Wednesday. “With a focus on family, friends and fun, Pizza Hut has the creativity we are looking for in a partner and we look forward to working together with them to make the at-home NFL experience more exciting than ever for our fans.”

“The opportunity to align in an official capacity with the NFL is a tremendous opening for a brand and product that is so neatly aligned with the football-watching occasion like pizza and Pizza Hut,” Andy Rosen, Pizza Hut franchise owner and Franchise Board of Directors Chairman said in a news release. “Our system is aligned behind and thrilled about this partnership. No one better understands the essence of Pizza Hut, including our consumers, than our group of owners and team members.”

Pizza Hut will make its partnership debut during the 2018 NFL Draft in Dallas, Texas.

Dick’s Sporting Goods to stop selling assault-style rifles 

Dick’s Sporting Goods says it is ending sales of assault-style rifles.

>> Read more trending news 

Nursing mom says she was kicked out of Walmart after taking stand on breastfeeding

A mother is fighting back after she said she was kicked out of a Walmart for taking a stand on breastfeeding her baby in public.

>> Watch the news report here

Sarah Olson, 22, said she was breastfeeding her 5-month-old daughter inside a Subway restaurant in the Monroe, Washington, Walmart store last Friday.

That’s when she said a Subway manager, someone she knows, asked her to cover up or breastfeed at the back of the store.

“He said if it’s my legal right then he could whip out his penis anywhere,” Olson said.

Shocked by what he allegedly said, Olson took her concerns to a Walmart store manager who later asked her to leave the store.

She recorded part of that conversation on her sister’s cellphone and shared it with KIRO.

“Where I am welcome, breastfeeding is welcome, that is state law,” Olson was heard saying on the recording.

To read the state law about breastfeeding, click here.

>> Read more trending news 

Then we heard the manager saying: “Understood, but if you are going to be a distraction or nuisance to people that work here, that’s going to be an issue.” 

Then Olson went on to say, “That’s not my problem; they can turn their heads like this.” Then the manager was heard saying, “Or we can ask you to leave.”

“I was very frustrated,” Olson said. “I wasn’t trying to make a scene, but he thought I was.”

We went to Walmart to get their side of the story. The manager there said she could not comment on the incident and referred us to their corporate office.

This was the statement sent to KIRO:

“We welcome nursing mothers to breastfeed their child in our stores. We apologize to the customer for her experience and appreciate her bringing this matter to our attention.”

KIRO also talked to the owner of the Subway restaurant inside the Walmart. He said he called Olson to apologize and that he gave the Subway manager a warning and educated him on the state’s breastfeeding policy: Women can’t be discriminated against for breastfeeding in public, and the act is not considered “indecent exposure.”

Olson said she has since gone back to Walmart and Subway.

“Yeah, the next day, actually, because I know my rights. I know what I am allowed to do legally,” Olson said.

Weinstein Co. to file for bankruptcy after deal talks fail, report says

The Weinstein Co. is expected to declare bankruptcy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

>> Read more trending news 

Dunkin' Donuts introducing Girl Scout Cookie-flavored coffees

If you like flavored coffee and Girl Scout Cookies, you might be in luck.

Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that by Monday, Feb. 26, it will be selling three new flavored coffees inspired by Girl Scout Cookies.

>> Read more trending news 

Those flavors include Thin Mints, Coconut Caramel and Peanut Butter Cookie. These flavors will not just be limited to standard coffees.

Dunkin’ Donuts said in a Friday press release that iced and hot coffee, lattes, macchiatos, frozen coffee and frozen chocolate can all have Girl Scout Cookie flavors.

People on social media seem pretty excited about the news.

You’ll have to see for yourself if a Dunkin’ Donuts near you will be participating. If so, the coffees will be around through May.

BB&T recovering after 'technical issue' left customers without access to accounts, cash

Millions of BB&T customers were locked out of their accounts Thursday night and Friday morning due to an outage that bank officials said was caused by a "technical issue."

The interruption of services was first reported Thursday night and appeared to last until just before noon Friday.

>> Read more trending news

“At this time, many of our services are unavailable, including digital banking, Phone24, and ATM. Thank you for your patience as we work diligently to restore your services. We will continue to provide updates here and on,” officials with the Winston-Salem-based bank wrote Thursday night on Twitter.

WSOCTV tried Friday morning to access a BB&T ATM in uptown Charlotte, but the message “Sorry, this ATM is temporarily offline," was displayed on the screen.

The company's website said many of its other banking services were down as well, including digital banking and Phone24, meaning customers couldn’t pay bills or check their accounts.

The issue appeared to be resolved before noon Friday.

“As our systems being to recover, our ATMs and automated Phone24 service are now available,” BB&T officials said in a statement around 11 a.m. Friday.

During the outage, bank customers were still able to use debit, credit and prepaid cards at places like the grocery store or gas station.

A bank spokesperson told WSOCTV, "We understand this is causing a major inconvenience for clients and our teams are continuing to work diligently to restore those services. We will work with clients who have incurred fees or experienced other challenges and continue to provide updates through our website and social media. At this time, we have no reason to believe this issue is related to cybersecurity."

JUST IN: Could a new Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers be coming to The Greene?

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers may be re-thinking its plans to build a restaurant near the Mall at Fairfield Commons and instead locate its second Dayton-area location in the shadow of The Greene Town Center.

According to documents filed with the city of Beavercreek’s planning commission, a new Raising Cane’s is in the works adjacent to the Waffle House on Indian Ripple Road, directly across from The Greene’s main entrance.

>> Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers confirms it’s coming to Dayton

A public hearing will be held on March 7 on an application to modify a 1.17-acre tract of land on the north side of Indian Ripple Road and west of the existing Waffle House restaurant “to allow for the construction of a restaurant known as Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers,” according to Beavercreek city records.

>> ALSO NEW TODAY: Ollie’s Place to host first-ever wine dinner, & the menu may surprise you

While it’s a necessary first step, the application is no guarantee that all other aspects of the project will fall into place and a restaurant will be built on time and on schedule — as Raising Cane’s Dayton-area franchisee, RCO Limited, knows all too well. RCO Limited had wanted to build its first Dayton-area Raising Cane’s restaurant on a vacant tract on Kemp Road just east of North Fairfield Road in north Beavercreek, and submitted plans for the restaurant to the city of Beavercreek in late 2016.

>> CHICKEN WARS: Dayton-area competition intensifies with new-restaurant openings

Those preliminary plans were approved by Beavercreek City Council, but stalled after encountering complications over the sale of the property necessary to make the project work. There has been no indication whether the project will move ahead, and if so, when. RCO Limited went on to open its first Dayton-area location in late June 2017 on Ohio 725 in Washington Twp.

>> RELATED: Opening day for the Dayton area’s 1st Raising Cane’s restaurant

A message left Thursday night seeking comment from Andria Morgan, spokeswoman for Raising Cane’s local franchisee RCO Limited, on the Indian Ripple Road project had not been returned by this morning, Friday Feb. 23.

>> RELATED: YOU can taste the fried chicken Thrillist just named ‘Best in U.S.’ right here in Dayton

Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers operates multiple restaurants in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas, and opened a restaurant in Fairfield in October 2016.

Morgan has said RCO Limited has found a very loyal customer base as it has opened stores in Ohio. In 2004, the franchisee opened the first Raising Cane’s outside of Louisiana when it launched its first Ohio location in Columbus.

>> Raising Cane’s opens new location in Fairfield

The chain prides itself on a limited menu and a simple concept, focused on chicken fingers, made “fresh, never frozen,” marinated for 24 hours, then hand-battered and cooked to order. Also featured on the menu are crinkle-cut fries, cole slaw, Texas Toast and sauces that are made in-house every day.

>> 8 places to grab some amazing fried chicken in Dayton

The chicken-restaurant market is becoming intensely competitive in the Dayton area, which has added more than a dozen new restaurants from national chains, regional start-ups and local, independent operators in the last three years.

Company warns of Instant Pot overheating, melting

Instant Pot is warning customers of a potential hazard in one of its cooker models.

WTSP reported Thursday that the company made a post on Facebook Sunday saying it has received “a small number of reports” that its Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker overheats, causing melting.

>> Read more trending news 

“We believe the problem only affects batchcodes 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734, and 1746. To verify the 4-digit batchcode, locate the silver label on the underside of the product,” the company said in the post. “The batchcode is the 4-digit number located at the bottom right of the label. We want you to know that we take any problem with our products extremely seriously as safety and quality are our primary concern, and we are working cooperatively with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).”

The company asked customers with the Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker from batchcodes 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734, and 1746 to stop using the product immediately.

Customers with this model who have questions can call the Instant Pot customer care team at 1-800-828-7280.

#NationalChiliDay: These are the top 10 chili cities in the U.S.

Where should you celebrate National Chili Day? Cincinnati, of course.

A study by one of the world’s largest chili purveyors shows that residents of cities across the country love this classic comfort food as much or more than their Long Star State counterparts.

The internal analysis, conducted by Wienerschnitzel in honor of National Chili Day on Feb. 22, named the Top 10 Chili Cities in the United States. Residents in these markets eat more chili per person than residents of other cities, have access to more restaurants known for their chili and are more likely to enter or attend a chili cook-off.

» TRENDING BUSINESS COVERAGE: Toys “R” Us reportedly plans to close another 200 stores

The survey ranked Los Angeles atop the list, followed by Dallas; Phoenix; Houston; San Francisco/Oakland; Chicago; Baton Rouge, La.; Springfield, Mo.; Cincinnati; and San Antonio who is credited with first popularizing chili in the 1890s, rounded out the top 10.

“Despite being the official dish of Texas, chili has grown to become America’s dish,” said Doug Koegeboehn, chief marketing officer for Wienerschnitzel. “At Wienerschnitzel, we’ve known that for years. In fact, we’d like to think that there are really only two types of people in the world: chili lovers and those who still haven’t tasted really great chili yet.”


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Gibson pushes back against bankruptcy talk, hires new CFO

Gibson is pushing back against reports of an impending bankruptcy and has hired a new chief financial officer, who starts with the company Monday.

Officials with Gibson Brands, Inc., maker of the famed Les Paul and ES-335 electric guitars, released a statement saying the company has met all “current obligations to the bondholders, is in the process of arranging a new credit facility to replace the bonds, and fully expects the bonds to be refinanced in the ordinary course of business.”

>> Read more trending news

In the statement, Gibson Chairman and Chief Executive Henry Juszkiewicz said: “These bonds expire as all fixed income instruments do at the end of their term.”

He said also that the company has been working with Jefferies investment bank to manage the refinancing process.

“While the musical instrument and pro audio segments have been profitable and growing, they are still below the level of success we saw several years ago,” Juszkiewicz said.

Also, officials with the Nashville-based company said that Benson Woo will return to Gibson as the company’s chief financial officer today.

>> Related: Gibson guitar company, maker of the Les Paul, facing bankruptcy after 116 years in business

Said Juszkiewicz: “We are excited and pleased that Benson with be coming back to the Gibson Brands family. He has a great knowledge of the industry, our current businesses and is liked and respected by everyone at Gibson and with whom he dealt. We are confident he will contribute to moving the company forward.”

Woo had previously served with Gibson in 2016. He replaces Bill Lawrence. 

The CEO said the company is “streamlining” and will focus its Philips brand consumer audio business on those products that have “greater growth potential,” as well as eliminating product segments that fall below expectations.

While Gibson has been struggling to re-pay debt, an officer with Moody’s Investors Service has told the Nashville Post that the company’s core guitar business remains sound.

“The core business is a very stable business, and a sustainable one,” Kevin Cassidy, of Moody’s, told the newspaper. “But you have a balance sheet problem and an operational problem.”

Gibson was founded in 1894 and makes musical instruments, as well as consumer and professional audio. Juszkiewicz acquired Gibson in 1986 with fellow investors. The company has a portfolio of over 100 well-recognized brand names.

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