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Report: Someone is playing Santa at Kmart stores

BY Staff Writer

Omaha, Neb. — There is a heartwarming story playing out at Kmart stores throughout the Midwest: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts, especially toys and children’s clothing, that the families might otherwise have a hard time paying, the Associated Press reported.

The benefactors generally ask to help families who have laid away items for young children, according to the report. They often pay a portion of the balance, usually all but a few dollars or cents so the layaway order stays in the store’s system.

The report cites an incident at the Kmart in Plainfield Township, Mich., which called Roberta Carter last week to let her know a man had paid all but 40 cents of her $60 layaway.

Carter, a mother of eight, said she cried upon hearing the news. She and her family have been struggling as she seeks a full-time job.
"My kids will have clothes for Christmas," she said.

Click here to read the full story.

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Morton’s steakhouse chain acquired by restaurant veteran

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — A Friday report by Reuters said that restaurant veteran Tilman Fertitta has added to his restaurant holdings by reaching a $117 million deal for Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc., which operates high-end steakhouses nationwide.

Fertitta, who expanded his stake from in Morton’s from the 5% he already held, has outlined plans to modernize the struggling chain.

This latest deal marks Fertitta’s second acquisition in two months, as in November he acquired seafood chain McCormick & Schmick’s.

The acquisitions add to Fertitta’s existing restaurant properties such as Bubba Gump Shrimp and Vic & Anthony’s. Fertitta holds these properties through Landry’s Inc, which also runs the Atlantic City casino Golden Nugget.

Chicago-based Morton’s, which generated about $300 million in sales last year, had previously announced it was considering strategic alternatives. The deal with Fertitta is expected to close in early February, according to the report.

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Callison acquires Barteluce Architects

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Global architecture and design firm Callison announced Friday the acquisition of New York City-based Barteluce Architects & Associates.

This acquisition will grow Callison’s New York team to over 75 architects. Since Jan. 1, 2011, Callison has added more than 200 professionals to its global offices and the company said it plans to make more strategic acquisitions and investments in the future.

Key Barteluce clients include Burberry, Chanel, Cartier, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Wynn and other high-end luxury retail companies.

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