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Walmart to expand new meal kit service

Last fall, Walmart started offering meal kits from third-party brands. Now it’s ready to take the trend into its own hands.

The major retailer announced Monday that it will be selling its own affordable preportioned meal kits with recipes developed by its Culinary and Innovation Center.

The meal kits, which will be available in more than 2,000 of its stores over the course of this year, work the same way as the pricier Blue Apron, HelloFresh and other meal subscription services.

>> Read more trending news 

Walmart’s kits, which include meals such as steak dijon, basil garlic chicken, sweet chili chicken stir fry and pork Florentine, are designed to serve two and only cost $8-$15, according to the company.

Also up for grabs at Walmart stores: An assorted selection of meals, including chicken Alfredo, curry chicken and other entrees, ready to be heated up and on the table in less than 15 minutes. 

“Customers are busier than ever and we know getting a delicious dinner on the table can be a chore. We’re here to help,” Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Walmart’s deli services, said in the news release. “These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight, or later this week.”

According to the release, also offers an assortment of meal delivery kits and other specialty food items, such as snack boxes and farm-fresh crates.

Oreo is giving away a million bars for National Oreo Day

Fans of Oreos can snag a free treat Tuesday, which is National Oreo Day.

>> Read more trending news 

Oreo is giving away a million free Oreo chocolate candy bars. The first million to register on Oreo's website will receive a coupon for a free candy bar. The giveaway ends Monday, or after a million participants have been registered.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is celebrating his birthday by promoting the Oreo giveaway.

The famous cookie was created by the National Biscuit Co. in 1912.

Lacoste temporarily replaces crocodile logo with endangered species

Fashion brand Lacoste’s iconic crocodile was replaced with rare reptiles, birds and mammals for a limited run of shirts to raise awareness of endangered species.

>> Read more trending news

During Paris Fashion Week, the French clothier teamed up with the International Union for Conservation of Nature for the “Save Our Species” collection. The line of 1,775 shirts was made up of Lacoste’s signature polos, each with one of 10 endangered animals taking the place of the brand’s crocodile.

The shirts have since sold out, CNN reported.

The polos featured the Gulf of California porpoise, the Burmese roofed turtle, the northern sportive lemur, the Javan rhino, the Cao-vit Gibbon, the kakapo, the California condor, the Saola, the Sumatran Tiger and the Anegada ground iguana in place of Lacoste’s crocodile.

The number of polos made with each endangered species on it corresponds to the number of animals still living in the wild, according to Lacoste. The Gulf of California porpoise, considered the most endangered marine mammal species still on Earth, was on 30 of the shirts. The Anegada ground iguana got the most polos, with a run of 450 shirts.

Best Buy to close all 257 mobile stores

In 2006, Best Buy began opening small “Best Buy Mobile” stores across the country, typically in shopping malls. A year later, the iPhone made its debut.

These stores specialized in the sale and service of cell phones and other small devices. At one time, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Best Buy operated more than 400 of these stores.

But now the Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer is closing all 257 of its remaining mobile stores. A memo was sent to employees Feb. 28, and the company notified the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

>> Read more trending news

The company will close all of the mobile stores by May 31.

The company’s CEO Hubert Joly said on an earnings call that the stores were closing due to “changing economics in the mobile industry,” Dayton Daily News reported.

“Back then the mobile phone business was in a period of rapid growth and margins were high,” Joly said, according to the Dayton Daily News. “Fast forward to 2018 and the mobile phone business has matured, margins have compressed and the cost of operations in our stand-alone stores is higher than our big-box stores.”

All of the company’s “Best Buy Mobile” stores are in shopping malls and measure about 1,400 square feet. A regular Best Buy store covers about 40,000 square feet.

According to the Star Tribune, employees who work at the mobile stores will be offered severance. Joly also said the company will work to transfer as many employees as possible to nearby stores or to other roles.

Amazon considers offering checking account

Officials with e-commerce giant Amazon are in talks with big banks to build a checking account-like product, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

>> Read more trending news

The newspaper reported Monday that the Seattle-based company is working on a product that would appeal to younger customers and those without bank accounts. Among the companies Amazon officials are speaking with is JP Morgan Chase & Co., according to the newspaper.

People familiar with the matter, who were not identified, told The Wall Street Journal that the effort is still in its early stages and may not come to fruition.

Whatever its final form, the initiative wouldn't involve Amazon becoming a bank, the people added.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Company working on bulletproof doors in wake of school shootings

A South Carolina company is trying a new way to protect against deadly school shootings.

>> Watch the news report here

R2P Innovations has been working on bulletproof doors for the past four years.

>> Walmart raising age to buy guns to 21 after Florida high school shooting

The doors are capable of withstanding assault rifles and high-power, military-grade weapons.

Tony Deering, the company's CEO, said the door would be a lasting contribution to school security.

>> Read more trending news 

“Some instances, the shooter was actually outside of the classroom shooting into the classrooms through the door,” Deering said about the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. "That would have never occurred in an instance where a particular door solution was employed."

Each door costs roughly $4,000 and weighs 285 pounds.

Equifax identifies 2.4 million who were hacked 

Equifax has identified about 2.4 million Americans whose driver’s license numbers were stolen during last year’s massive data breach and will be sending them letters to alert them.

>> Read more trending news

The Atlanta-based company said the hackers did not get access to those consumers’ names, addresses and Social Security numbers or even dates of issuance and expiration, only “partial” information. However, investigators hired by Equifax have been able to put names on the numbers.

Go to for more on the story

L.L. Bean raises age to buy rifles to 21

L.L. Bean is the latest retailer to change its policy regarding the sale of rifles, the company said in a tweet late Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

On its Twitter feed, L.L. Bean posted that in the wake of the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14, “we have reviewed our policy on firearm sales, and we will no longer be selling guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21.” 

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

L.L. Bean’s move follows those by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, which changed their gun-selling policies after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 left 17 people dead, including 14 students.

Company spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said L.L. Bean only sells firearms at its flagship store in Freeport, Maine, and only those used for hunting and target shooting, according to The Associated Press. 

>> Walmart raising age to buy guns to 21 

L.L. Bean’s announcement follows moves by other major corporations that have cut ties with the National Rifle Association since the shooting in Parkland, including Delta Air Lines, Hertz and MetLife.

Kroger raises gun buying age to 21 at its Fred Meyer stores, report says

Officials with the supermarket chain Kroger announced Thursday that the company’s Fred Meyer locations will stop selling guns to people under the age of 21, according to The Wall Street Journal.

>> Read more trending news

The retailer is third to announce the decision to tighten its gun purchase policies in the wake of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that claimed the lives of 14 students and three staff members.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kroger sells firearms at 43 Fred Meyer stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The company previously sold assault-style rifles in three states – Oregon, Washington and Idaho – but stopped several years ago, the newspaper reported.

A spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that the company decided Wednesday “to no longer sell those style of guns or special orders for them in Alaska.”

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

Officials with Dick's Sporting Goods, one of the nation's largest sports retailers, announced Wednesday that the company would no longer sell assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines at any of its stores. The company also raised its minimum gun purchase age to 21.

>> Related: Walmart raising age to buy guns to 21 after Florida high school shooting

Officials with retail giant Walmart, one of the nation's largest sellers of guns and ammunition, also announced Wednesday that the company is raising the age to buy firearms in its stores to 21. The retailer had stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015, according to officials.

>> Related: FedEx responds to criticism of continued association with NRA

The policy changes come amid a renewed national gun debate in light of the deadly shooting at Stoneman Douglas High. Officials said suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, legally bought the AR-15 rifle he used to gun down students and staff members at his former alma mater. He faces 17 counts of premeditated murder in the attack.

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.

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