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Massachusetts approves $11 hourly minimum wage

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – The Massachusetts House of Representatives has approved a bill that would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from its current hourly rate of $8 to $11 by 2017, which would make it the highest state minimum wage in the country.

The state Senate has already approved the bill, which is expected to be approved by Gov. Deval Patrick (D) after a procedural Senate vote. Under the legislation, the minimum wage would rise to $9 per hour on Jan. 1, 2015; to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016; and finally to $11 on Jan. 1, 2017.

The bill also gradually raises the state minimum wage for tipped workers from the current $2.63 per hour to $3.75 per hour.

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Toys ‘R’ Us names AutoNation exec as CFO

BY Marianne Wilson

Wayne, N.J. – Toys “R” Us, Inc. announced that it has named Michael J. Short executive CFO, effective June 23.

Short, 53, a seasoned finance executive with broad retail and corporate development experience, was most recently executive VP and CFO of AutoNation for seven years.

Prior to his most recent role at AutoNation, Short was executive VP and CFO of Universal Orlando. Earlier in his career, he served in a variety of finance roles at Universal Orlando, Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. and IBM Corporation.

Short succeeds Clay Creasey, who has left the organization after eight years.

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GameStop expands Expo appeal with Twitch deal

BY CSA STAFF

Gamers who can’t make it to Anaheim, California, this fall for GameStop’s third annual Expo will still be able to participate in the retailer’s event thanks to a new relationship with Twitch, the world’s leading online gaming community.

GameStop and Twitch, a video platform with a massive audience, reached an agreement in which Twitch will broadcast live from GameStop’s annual video gaming show known as Expo. The event will be held September 10 and occupies 300,000 sq. ft. at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“With its ability to reach more than 45 million unique viewers in its gamer-focused community, Twitch is the premier live video platform and we are happy to partner with them to bring the excitement of our Expo to gamers that can’t attend the show,” said Bob Puzon, SVP of merchandising at GameStop.

Console manufacturers and game developers who participate in the event include Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Take-Two Interactive and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Twitch will stream live from the primary stage, featuring news as it happens from the show floor, games from marquee publishers, tournament play and interviews with industry leaders, developers and special guests. Gamers will be able to access the stream at www.Twitch.tv/GameStop and through their Xbox One and PlayStation4 consoles and via the Twitch app on their mobile devices.

“GameStop is producing a lot of compelling content at this year’s Expo which our community will definitely appreciate,” said Ernest Le, director, publisher and developer of partnerships at Twitch. “So shining a global spotlight on this historically private event for the first time ever is a big deal.”

GameStop operates more than 6,600 stores across 15 countries.

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