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A 47-year-old man who spent nearly 20 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, and who went on to establish a profitable ATM business, died in Hawaii early this morning, according to reports.

The Los Angeles Times states that DeWayne McKinney, convicted of a 1980 robbery-murder in Orange, Calif., then released two decades later because prosecutors realized he probably didn't do it, died when his scooter hit a light pole in Honolulu about 12:30 a.m.

This month's Vanity Fair magazine profiles the ultimate entrepreneur gone-wild (allegedly), Broadcom co-founder Henry Nicholas, who was charged in June with securities fraud and drug trafficking. The story paints a lurid picture of a man who made more than $1 billion after helping to launch Broadcom, a successful microchip maker that supplies iPhones and other products with its technologies.

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The Le family of San Jose, Calif., parlayed a catering business into one of the most successful Asian food franchises in the Southwest. There are 35 Lee's locations, mostly in California, with a few scattered in Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma.

The staple of Lee's sandwiches is "banh mi" -- Vietnamese sandwiches with French flair. The first thing you'll notice at a full-service Lee's is the smell of racks upon racks of freshly baked baguettes. The franchise's signature sandwiches are simple stacks of meat -- often pork or pate -- onions, cilantro and jalapeno served between chewy slices of near foot-long baguettes. The flavor is solid if not a little exotic for burger eaters, but the hook is price: $2.45. The establishments also serve more Western-style sandwiches on baguettes and croissants that feature mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Egg rolls and spring rolls are optional, as are Asian-style sweets, including a new item, Korean cream puffs called delimanjoo.


During last night's vice presidential debate, nominees Joseph Biden and Sarah Palin discussed small business in America, with each mentioning the term twice. Republican hopeful Palin drew first blood on the matter when she accused Biden's presidential running mate, Barack Obama, of proposing to increase taxes on "millions of small businesses ... thus resulting in fewer jobs being created and less productivity."


Citing a run on dogs after the 1996 movie 101 Dalmations became a hit, officials in Orange County, Calif., are warning consumers to wait a few weeks before buying a Chihuahua after they see the comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which opened in theaters nationwide today. Police in Santa Ana, Calif., and an official from the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter in Southern California told The Orange County Register that they fear families will buy the small dogs only to neglect and abandon them after excitement from the movie, about a pampered pet who gets lost in Mexico, wears off.


*UPDATE: Congress on Friday, Oct. 3, passed a revised rescue plan that indeed included the language that the American Small Business League opposed.

The American Small Business League, a nonprofit organization that represents small businesses across the nation (100,000 by its own count), today expressed fears that the revised $700 billion financial rescue package being considered in Congress this week could allow the federal government "to completely ignore the federal government's small business contracting goals," according to a statement from the group.

Think your business has had a bad day? Think twice before you complain to anyone, especially the employees of a Wells Fargo bank branch in La Mesa, Calif., just outside San Diego. That particular branch was robbed Sept. 30. Three hours later, it was robbed again--by a different bandit--according to The Associated Press.

As an admittedly small consolation, both men who robbed the bank already had established criminal monikers: The Hard Hat Bandit and The Chatty Bandit. Who knew word-of-mouth referrals worked so quickly among the criminal element?


When Paul Newman died over the weekend, he left behind not only a canon of postwar films unparalleled in Hollywood--Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidyand the Sundance Kid, The Color of Money--but he also bequeathed the legacy of one of the most successful marriages of star power and consumer-product branding ever to hit supermarket shelves.

The ace actor and expert race car driver cofounded the Newman's Own brand of salad dressing in 1982 with friend and author A.E. Hotchner. The idea was to use Newman's name and image to sell food products that would benefit charity. The brand's lineup--each product uses an artist's sketch of the late thespian--has since expanded to include spaghetti sauce, lemonade, wine and other products. The company claims to have donated all profits, nearly $250 million since its inception, to nonprofit organizations. One of the beneficiaries has been the Hole in the Wall Camps--summer getaways for children with serious illnesses.

OK, so the nearly $1 trillion Wall Street rescue is all but assured, but the benefits to small business remain to be seen. In the long run, more credit should become available for entrepreneurs who need funding to start a business or expand an existing one, but for now it's the big players who will lap up the taxpayer-sponsored river of capital.

Even if the plan works perfectly and the federal coffers become flush with cash over the next several years--decades?--how can this be seen as anything other than a catastrophic failure of a system that is supposed to self-regulate as a way to avoid such collapses?


Upwards of $1 trillion. That's what kind of commitment the Treasury Department is making with its plan to buy up the bad mortgage loans that are throttling the U.S. economy. The bailout plan as written calls for $700 billion, but no one really knows how much the questionable loans add up to, so it could reach $1 trillion. A trillion. That's a one with 12 zeros after it.

Numbers like that don't even make sense to the average American consumer. How can someone earning $100,000 put that into perspective? Well, if you saved $100,000 per year without benefit of earning interest, you'd have to save for 10 million years to be a trillionaire.