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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Here is a summary of where things stand:

2016 pay, benefits preview apparent in budget plans
Now that the four congressional committees charged with overseeing military spending have publicly offered their plans for fiscal 2016, troops and military retirees have a clearer picture of the potential impacts on their pay and benefits next year.

They include a pay raise of at least 1.3 percent next year, fewer changes at the commissary than Pentagon officials wanted and continued relief in health care costs.

There's still a long legislative road ahead before any of the plans become law. The annual defense authorization bill has been stalled in the Senate for most of June, and Democrats in the chamber have threatened to sideline the annual defense appropriations bill over concerns about veto threats issued by the White House.

But once those political fights settle, here's what the measures will mean for troops' wallets:


Pay raise
The White House and Pentagon both have repeatedly backed a 1.3 percent raise for troops in 2016, which would fail to keep pace with anticipated private-sector wage growth for a third consecutive year.

Both the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees have backed that same figure, despite lobbying from outside advocates who argue it amounts to a pay cut when inflation is taken into account.

They want a 2.3 percent raise, which both the House Armed Services and Appropriations committees have endorsed. The competing plans set up a major point of contention between the two chambers when the bills are reconciled by a conference committee.

When the two chambers were similarly split over the pay raise last year, the White House won its bid for a lower figure. Pentagon officials have argued that adding even a few tenths of a percentage point equates to hundreds of millions of dollars in compounding costs for years to come.

For an E-4 with three years of service, the difference between a 1.3 percent and 2.3 percent pay bump in 2016 will total about $268 a year. For an O-4 with 12 years, it's about $838.




Housing stipends

Both Senate committees have publicly endorsed Pentagon plans to trim growth in troops' housing stipends, allowing the Basic Allowance for Housing to drop from 99 percent of actual costs this year to 95 percent in coming years, with troops covering the other few points out of pocket.

Military leaders have called that an unfortunate but necessary and bearable sacrifice for military families. Outside advocates have called it additional punishment for troops already struggling to get by.

House lawmakers have opposed the idea in their budget bills, agreeing with those financial burden arguments.

Similar to the pay raise debate, the two chambers were divided over the issue entering conference negotiations in 2014, with the Pentagon's preferred cuts to the housing stipend moving ahead in the final budget deal.


Commissary funding

Pentagon leaders had hoped to shift about $300 million from commissary support to other budget needs next year, but lawmakers appear unwilling to let that happen.

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee added $322 million in commissary funding back into their fiscal 2016 budget plan, calling the cut potentially harmful to troops and their families who rely on the stores and their lower prices.

The decision puts both House and Senate appropriators on record backing $1.4 billion in funding for commissary operations next year, a total that would avoid forced store closings, reduced operating hours and potential layoffs of staff.

Senators went along with the planned commissary cuts in their initial draft of the annual defense authorization bill, but are considering amendments to restore that money before final passage. A number have also expressed concerns over the Senate Armed Services Committee's proposed legislation to privatize base commissaries, setting up more fights on the issue this year.


New health care fees

Out-of-pocket health care costs for Tricare beneficiaries are likely to remain steady next year, despite Pentagon pleas to raise them.

Defense officials have said they need to raise revenue to offset the $48 billion military health budget, and proposed restructuring Tricare along with adding new fees for retirees. But Congress has resisted making any changes to the program as it studies a number of reform proposals.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on June 11 passed budget plans that would dump those new fees and realignments, matching similar moves in the House.

The Senate Armed Services Committee did include some pharmacy co-payment hikes in its draft of the annual defense authorization bill, leaving the door open for negotiations on the issue through the summer.


Proposed Privatization test upended:

Senate removes commissary Privatization Program from Defense Bill
Read the Full Story
Association of Defense Communities
The Senate stripped from the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill language directing the Defense Department to privatize up to five commissaries through a two-year pilot program.


Inhofe, Mikulski praise passage of amendment protecting commissary benefits
Read the Full Story
Inhofe.Senate.gov
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., praised the passage of the Inhofe-Mikulski amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016. The amendment requires an assessment to be conducted on the benefits and costs of privatizing commissaries prior to any pilot program on our military bases.



Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association




WASHINGTON UPDATE


DoD secretary repeats support for defense bill veto
Military Times
Under angry questioning from Republican lawmakers, Defense Secretary Ash Carter again supported the idea of vetoing the annual defense authorization bill over concerns that the funding mechanisms involved would hurt other federal programs and security efforts.
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Defense policy bill clears final Senate hurdle
The Hill
An annual defense policy bill overcame its last procedural test, paving the way for final passage. The Senate voted, 84-14, to end debate on a House-passed shell bill being used as a vehicle for the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act. It also agreed by a voice vote comprised of only a handful of senators to attach the defense policy bill to the shell.
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Gary Sinise encourages civilians to support vets
Bergmann & Moore
As Veterans Affairs continues to be embroiled in controversy and many veterans struggle to get the care they need, actor Gary Sinise said there's more the community must do to support service members and veterans.
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Defense budget breakthrough in the cards
Military Times
In between threats of a possible government shutdown this fall, lawmakers still hope to pass the annual defense authorization bill as a sign of common ground.
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On base, the comforts of home, minus civilians
Los Angeles Times
Communities that cluster around the largest bases — Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, Ft. Campbell in Kentucky, Ft. Hood in Texas, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state and Ft. Benning in Georgia — are dominated by military personnel, reservists and retirees, many of them from multigenerational military families. At the same time, some experts worry that the growing self-sufficiency of the megabases adds to the sense of a divided society.
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2015 Board Elections

The ALA Board of Directors has approved the following slate of candidates to run for the Board of Directors: Directors — John Hird, MDV Spartan Nash; Dennis Chambers, Dunham & Smith Agencies; and Don Paddock, Dixon Marketing Inc. Executive Committee — Rick Page (Chairman), Coastal Pacific Food Distributors; Leah Gardner (Vice-Chair), Kraft Foods Group Inc.; Marc Knowles (Secretary), Procter & Gamble; and Keith Eubank (Treasurer), Tyson Foods. A brief bio of each candidate is available HERE.

Ballots will be mailed to all ALA voting members in early August. Any ALA member who wishes to be considered for inclusion on the ballot may do so by petition. Write-in candidates appear on the ballot when no fewer than 25 voting members of the Association subscribe to the candidacy. This petition for candidacy must be provided to the Secretary and Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Ed Brunot, no later than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting of Members. The Annual Meeting of Members will be held at the 68th Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., on October 28, 2015.

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Specific information on upcoming ALA events is posted regularly on the ALA website. To learn more about each event, please click the following links:

Date Event
June 26 Europe Chapter Charity Golf
Oct. 26-28 68th Annual Convention


COALITION UPDATE


Inhofe, Mikulski praise passage of amendment protecting commissary benefits
Inhofe.Senate.gov
"Today Congress stood in strong bipartisan support of protecting commissary benefits for our nation's service members, their families and our veterans," Inhofe said. "The support of more than 40 outside organizations made the passage of this amendment possible as they provided a face to the millions who depend on this benefit," added Inhofe. "We took a step forward to protect America's military families today," Mikulski said. "I'm all for eliminating pentagon waste, but no money is wasted at a commissary. In fact, just the opposite happens. Commissaries feed our troops. They help military families stretch their budgets, and they provide jobs to military spouses, children old enough to work and military retirees. And commissaries are the military's most popular earned benefit."
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Coalition sends letter to Senate Military Family Caucus Members urging support for critical amendments
Save Our Benefit
As a member of the Senate Military Family Caucus, we are counting on your leadership to help roll back multiple attacks on the commissary benefit proposed by the Pentagon and passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee in the Committee's version of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act. We strongly urge your support of: the Inhofe-Mikulski amendment (#1728), requiring a report assessing the viability of privatizing the commissary system before implementing any changes; the Mikulski amendment (#2009), restoring the $322 million in cuts from the commissary program; and the Mikulski amendment (#1886), striking language allowing the Secretary of Defense to raise commissary prices at his discretion.
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TMC sends letter to every member of the Senate, urging rejection of several harmful provisions in the Defense Bill
The Military Coalition
The Military Coalition (TMC), a consortium of uniform services and veterans associations representing more than 5.5 million current and former service members and their families and survivors, appreciates the hard work that went into S. 1376, the Senate Armed Services Committee mark-up of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. However, we respectfully request that you reject several harmful provisions in the proposed legislation that we find troubling. Some proposals in the mark continue to erode the pay and benefits needed to sustain the all-volunteer force (AVF) and their families: specifically, the annual pay raise, basic allowance for housing, TRICARE pharmacy fees, and the commissary subsidy cut ... Your colleagues in the House have already rejected these proposals and we ask you to do the same.
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NAUS, National Military and Veterans Alliance support commissaries
NAUS Weekly Update
NAUS along with members of the National Military and Veterans Alliance, a nonpartisan policy and advocacy organization composed of military and veteran service organizations, wrote a letter of support for an amendment to the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1376) offered by Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., that would restore substantial budget cuts to the commissary program. We also support a related amendment on commissaries offered by Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Mikulski to the Authorization bill. As the full Senate considers its version of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, NAUS urges readers to send a message to support the commissary program. The proposed cuts would dismantle the commissary benefit, relied upon by millions of military service members and their families and will most directly hit those who need it most–junior enlisted families, fixed income retirees and surviving families. Let your Senators know your support for this vital earned benefit.
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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, June 11, 2015 and 10 AM, June 18, 2015:

PROMOTIONS:
- DP #16, Far East Promotion & Shipper/Pallet/OTB Quantities.
- DP 17, WW Promotion Package, Customer Appreciation Sale, National Hispanic Month, Labor Day Week End Sales Event.
- Summer Club Pack CONUS August Quantities.
- 2015 Candy Seasonal Program.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
None Received.

MISCELLANEOUS:
- Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 15-24 and 15-25.
- CRV Values as of June 14, 2015.




FEDERAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES


Shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area, and custodial services Edwards AFB
FedBizOpps.gov
Furnish all supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to perform shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area and custodial operations for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), Edwards AFB Commissary, located at Edwards AFB, California, in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement (PWS).
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Shelf stocking, custodial, RSHA and residual grocery operations at Fort Carson Commissary
FedBizOpps.gov
Furnish all supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to perform shelf-stocking, receiving/storage/holding area, custodial and Residual Grocery operations for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), Fort Carson Commissary, located at Fort Carson, Colorado, in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement (PWS).
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Remove and install new ovens at different DeCA locations
FedBizOpps.gov
The solicitation will involve the replacement of commercial-grade bakery ovens (removal, disposal, installation and connection) at 15 different Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) commissaries throughout the United States (14 located in CONUS; one located OCONUS (HI)).
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Looking for more federal business opportunities? Search here.


COMMISSARY NEWS


A look at the supermarket of the future
CNBC
Today's consumers can get a glimpse of the supermarket of the future at the world's fair in Italy running until the end of October. At the so-called Expo Milano — Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, attendees stepped into the Future Food District, which uses tech to teach shoppers about the foods they'd buy. In the supermarket of the future, consumers would be able read detailed descriptions of the origins and health aspects of the foods they're buying, according to Carlo Ratti Associati, the firm that designed the supermarket.
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Is it time for an antibiotic-free label on our food?
The Guardian
A post-antibiotic age, which common infections and minor injuries can kill, is too frightening to contemplate. Yet it is a very real possibility for this century, says the World Health Organization.
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A secretive trade group is regulating what's in your food
The Huffington Post
Ingredients created by food companies flavor what Americans eat each day — everything from juice drinks and potato chips to ice cream and canned soups. They give Cheetos their addictive cheesy taste and help distinguish Jolly Ranchers from other fruit-flavored candies.
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To tackle food waste, big grocery chain will sell produce rejects
NPR
It's easy to blame someone else for food waste. If this is really a $2.6 trillion issue, as the United Nations estimates, then who's in charge of fixing it? Turns out, we, the eaters, play a big role. When we shop with our eyeballs in the produce aisle, our expectations for perfection contribute to the problem. We've come to expect a dazzling array of eye candy with beautiful displays of cosmetically perfect fruits and vegetables. But, of course, nature serves up much more variation.
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Bird flu leads to cheaper chicken in US
The Associated Press via CNBC
A bird flu outbreak in the Midwest that's boosted prices for eggs and roasting turkeys has actually resulted in cheaper chicken in the U.S., as many countries restrict imports of poultry products, the Department of Agriculture said in a report released recently.
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Feeding low-income families? This grocery store has an option
Small Business Trends
Each day, tons of good food is thrown into dumpsters at grocery stores and restaurants throughout the country. But at the same time, there are people going hungry. That just didn't add up to Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe's. So, he came up with a unique solution. Daily Table is a new grocery store in the Boston. The store stocks its shelves with surplus food from wholesalers or markets. Most of it is food that other stores would have thrown away due to it getting close to its sell-by date. But it's all still technically good.
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Could automated grocery stores be in our future?
Consumerist
Do future trips to the supermarket involve no lines, no human interaction and no endlessly searching the aisles to check items off your list? They might, and residents of Iowa could be the first to test out what is essentially an ATM-like grocery store. KCCI News reports that the city of Des Moines could be home to a first-of-its-kind automated store where residents can pick up fresh food items.
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Exclusive: Asda planning fitness studio concept
Health Club Management
Asda is bidding to help customers shed pounds from their waistline as well as their shopping bill through a new functional fitness concept.
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EXCHANGE ANNOUNCEMENTS


NEXCOM names new CMMO
Rich Honiball has been named as Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM).

Honiball brings more than 25 years of industry experience to the table at NEXCOM, which has the mission of offering quality goods and services to military members at a savings and supporting Navy quality of life programs.

Coming most recently from PDB Advisory Group, where he worked with companies in apparel, health care and technology, Honiball has experience in creative marketing, consumer loyalty and engagement, product and brand leadership and much more.

"We are looking forward to having Mr. Honiball join our team," said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi (Ret), NEXCOM's Chief Executive Officer. "His overall background in merchandising and specifically his e-commerce experience will be a huge benefit to our mission of taking care of our Sailors."

"I am thrilled to have been invited to join the team at NEXCOM," said Honiball. "From the beginning, my goal was to be part of an organization with a strong reputation, vision and purpose, and this is truly an amazing opportunity. I look forward to continuing to provide the best experience possible for those that are serving and have served our country."

Prior to PDB Advisory Group, Honiball served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Licensing and e-commerce for Haggar Clothing Company in Dallas. Honiball also served as Vice President of Private Brands at JC Penney and has held previous senior roles at Brooks Brothers and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers during his career. He is the content chair for The CMO Club, a community of senior marketing executives helping each other overcome challenges within their business.

"NEXCOM serves some of the world's most important customers," said Honiball. "This is an exciting time for the organization as it looks to the future and how to best meet the changing needs of its customers. I'm eager to bring my retail expertise to help drive that evolution and ensure NEXCOM delivers the level of service, messaging and product quality and value expected by our global customers."

Honiball holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. He will be relocating with his family from the Dallas area to the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area.

Gary King, the acting CMMO, will return to San Diego to his role as Senior Vice President for NEXCOM Store Operations-CONUS. King had been named the acting CMMO when Tess Paquette retired from NEXCOM in March of this year after 10 years as CMMO and 30 years with NEXCOM.

Honiball will assume his new role on June 29.

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AAFES promotional video
AAFES via YouTube
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service's Mike Immler, Mark Matthews and Denise Hunter discuss the reward of working for a retail organization that provides support and opportunity to soldiers across the globe, and has more than 3,500 military veterans on staff.
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No store left behind: Turning around your high-shrink locations
NRF
It's a problem we've encountered before — the store that throws off all the numbers, performs below average and can't seem to stay out of the red. Loss prevention leaders know to look at all the variables — location, staff, operations, supply chain — anything that could provide answers. Hear stories from two LP leaders about their identification, analysis and investment in turning around high shortage stores.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


Telling the story of Texas retail
NRF
In the great state of Texas, they are fortunate to have a robust and diverse retail industry — an industry that has created more than 3.5 million jobs for Texans in more than 300,000 retail stores statewide. In fact, eight out of the top 100 retail companies in the United States are headquartered in Texas. Acknowledging this value is extremely important in understanding the impact the retail industry has on their local communities and the economy.
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American Apparel seeks to move past drama
USA Today
American Apparel is gunning for a comeback. The company, which had $340 million in net losses over the last five years, has a host of challenges, including those coming at it from its controversial founder and former CEO, Dov Charney.
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FDA orders trans fats out of foods within 3 years
Mother Nature Network
Two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration started taking steps to determine if trans fats should be eliminated from food. Today, the FDA announced it has made a decision. The food industry has three years to get rid of artificial trans fats, reports The New York Times.
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Lululemon files for founder Chip Wilson to sell his shares
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Lululemon Athletica Inc. filed for Dennis "Chip" Wilson to sell his family's stake in the yoga-wear maker, a step that could pave the way for Wilson to end his increasingly fraught relationship with the company he founded.
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Men's Wearhouse wants to suit up millennials
USA Today
Men's Wearhouse wants to compete with the likes of Suitsupply, Indochino and J.Crew for the attention of fashion-forward millennials.
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Wal-Mart, lagging in online sales, is strengthening e-commerce
The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
In the world of brick and mortar, Wal-Mart is a titan, ringing up more than $1 billion of sales a day. But in the online world, the retailer's business, while growing, remains far behind Amazon. With less than one-sixth the online sales of Amazon, Wal-Mart has been repeatedly outgunned and outsmarted by Amazon's price-matching, robot-utilizing, competition-crushing machine.
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Is RFID a solution to inventory dilemmas? Target thinks so
By Danielle Wegert
When Target recently released a limited-time retail selection from designer Lilly Pulitzer, problems started immediately. Target's website became overwhelmed, denying access to many shoppers. And stores were no better option — lines formed early in the morning, and shelves emptied quickly. Many missed their chance at the exclusive line. So, was this a technical issue that caused the problem? Or was it an inventory problem? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two.
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Mall-ennials
The Philadelphia Inquirer
There's that word again: millennials. They're influencing politics, entertainment and retail in a huge way. As a group that still favors going to the mall versus online shopping, millennials not only determine the retail roster, but also are encouraging a wave of foreign retailers to enter the U.S. market.
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Wal-Mart adjusts the thermostat to warm worker relations
The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
When the weather gets sultry at the company headquarters, Wal-Mart workers everywhere brace for an icy blast. Because temperatures at Wal-Mart stores across the United States are controlled remotely by the retailer's centralized systems, employees stock shelves and tend to customers under conditions that, by many accounts, tend to be on the chilly side from one city to another.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Mccain responds to White House veto threat of National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016 (Before It's News)
Healthy Base Initiative set to end soon (Fort Meade SoundOff)
One of the Exchange's most important missions: Military, family, careers (AAFES Public Affairs)
A secretive trade group is regulating what's in your food (The Huffington Post)
How we're planning the biggest personnel overhaul in 45 years (Defense One)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


C-STORE NEWS


As Speedway rises, Hess sets
CSP
Marathon Petroleum Corp. has converted more than one-third of the 1,250 Hess and Wilco-Hess gas stations and convenience stores it acquired last October to its Speedway brand.
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Reynolds American completes Lorillard acquisition
CSP
Reynolds American Inc. has completed its $25.9 billion acquisition, first announced in July, of Lorillard Inc., as well as related divestiture transactions. As a result of the acquisition, Lorillard is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds American, and former Lorillard shareholders will own approximately 15 percent of Reynolds American's common stock.
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Alabama goes after cold-beer displays
CSP
As retailers fight for looser beer-sales laws in Indiana, Oklahoma, Minnesota and elsewhere, Alabama appears to be on its way to tightening its regulations.
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Infographic: Alternative snacks 2015
CSP

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What the Lorillard deal means for EDLP
CSP
Now that the deal between Reynolds American Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Lorillard Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina, is official, the Newport cigarette brand has joined the Reynolds portfolio. But that's not the only change retailers might face in wake of the landmark merger.
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Exxon, Safeway end gas rewards partnership
CSP
Safeway Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. have ended their gasoline loyalty partnership program in the Mid-Atlantic about two-and-a-half years after launching it, according to a report by The Washington Business Journal.
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MWR NEWS


Army could cut 3,400 contractor jobs at 3 bases
Military.com
About 3,400 Army contract workers would lose their jobs in food services, supply and shipment of household goods at stateside bases if Congress fails to ease the budget shortfall in current negotiations on the defense bill.
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Better life on post
Killeen Daily Herald
As Cpl. Jamaar Crump patiently eyed the colorful Dunkin' Donuts menu on a nearby wall one Wednesday morning, about dozen other people stood in line in front of him. Crump didn't mind the wait. After all, this was Dunkin' Donuts — hugely popular in his hometown of New York City — and before the donut shop opened up on post, the nearest Dunkin' Donuts was nearly 50 miles away in Round Rock, Texas.
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Georgia: Army's 2nd Jack Daniel's-branded bar opens at Benning
Army Times
Regardless of how good your golf game is, there are worse ways for it to end than with traditional bar fare and cocktails served on a table made from a whiskey barrel. As of recent, golfers at Fort Benning, Georgia, can polish off their round at Jack's 19th Hole, a Jack Daniel's-branded bar and lounge connected to the golf course's pro shop.
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We can never thank our veterans enough
The Washington Post
The stadium that bears the name of the University of Phoenix routinely holds sporting events where tribute is paid to men and women in uniform. We sponsor morale, welfare and recreation events on bases and at military posts. We also hold regular ceremonies rife with symbolism that express humble gratitude — however meager — for the sacrifices of service members, veterans and those their families have lost. All efforts fall short.
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