Some statistics from the Society of American Florists worth noting for Valentine’s Day: The estimated number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day in 2007 is 214 million. Valentine’s Day floral purchases by gender: 63 percent are made by men; 37 percent by women. Of rose-only purchases: 74 percent are made by men; 26 percent by women. Of fresh flower purchases only, Valentine’s Day ranks No. 1, capturing 36 percent of holiday transactions and 40 percent of dollar volume. Valentine’s Day is also the No. 1 holiday for florists.
A federal appeals court panel has upheld a lower court’s decision ordering the United States Forest Service and a snowmobiler to pay nearly $10.2 million to a Michigan man who suffered severe brain injuries when he was struck by a snowmobile near West Yellowstone in 1996. The panel’s 20-page opinion stems from a February 2004 decision by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula, Mont. Molloy ruled that the Forest Service must pay 40 percent of the award for the crash, which left Brian Musselman of Hope, Mich., with permanent disabilities. Court records showed that 16 days before Musselman was injured, two snowmobiles and a snow grooming machine were involved in a crash at the same location. Molloy determined the Forest Service failed to fix dangerous conditions along the groomed trail, or to warn snowmobilers of the hazard.
Farmers Group Inc. says it plans to recruit and train 400 new agents in the Milwaukee and Madison areas in an expansion that the insurer says could ultimately create 1,000 new jobs in Wisconsin. The company will invest about $20 million into the state economy with its expansion, and the 1,000 new jobs will be reached when the newly trained agents open local offices and hire staff members, said Eric Petersen, executive director of the Los Angeles-based insurance company’s Wisconsin business.
Flooding in Indiana earlier in January destroyed at least 184 homes and damaged as many as 700 others, the American Red Cross said. The relief agency said more than 100 other homes were still inaccessible because of high water. Three people, including two children, died in the flooding when unseasonable temperatures fueled severe weather in the Midwest.
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