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    For Microsoft, Windows is no longer a core business so much as a complement to the company's other offerings. The company still makes money from Windows, the computer operating system that helped catapult the Microsoft brand to success more than three decades ago. But Windows' share of the business has shrunk. The company on Thursday reported third-quarter revenue of $26.8 billion, an increase of 16 percent over the previous year. By contrast, Windows licensing revenue grew by just 4 percent. The slow growth of Windows sales is not too much of a worry for Microsoft, as the Redmond, Washington, company is using Windows to get individuals and businesses to spend on other products. That means giving out free updates to Windows 10 on a regular basis, rather than holding out for customers to pay for new versions every few years. 'By making Windows less restrictive, they're creating a more beneficial environment for the adoption of other products,' Morningstar analyst Rodney Nelson said. Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has been boosting its efforts on internet-based services in an acknowledgment that people are buying personal computers with Windows less often and are instead spending their time on phones and other devices. These services, mostly designed for business customers, include the cloud computing service Azure and subscriptions for the Office 365 suite of workplace software such as email and spreadsheets. For individuals, Microsoft has also been using Windows to steer people to ad-support services such as Bing searches or as a portal for its Xbox gaming system. The shift was a bold move for a company that depended so much on Windows licenses for revenue. Windows still made up 29 percent of Microsoft's total revenue in 2010, three years after Apple's release of the first iPhone began shaking up the PC market. By last year, Windows was pulling in about $15 billion in annual revenue — about the same amount as a decade earlier, but now only about 16 percent of the company's total business. Microsoft's earnings for the January-March quarter beat Wall Street forecasts in both revenue and profit, powered largely by the performance of the cloud and Office businesses. It reported profit of $7.42 billion, or 95 cents per share. The company doesn't release its total Windows revenue in its quarterly reports. The revenue comes from license fees paid by manufacturers that install Windows on PCs and servers. Nelson said Microsoft will still get a short-term benefit from consumers and businesses that are still cycling off Windows 7 or Windows 8 and moving onto new computers equipped with Windows 10. But Nelson said the long-range view under Nadella, who became CEO in 2014, is to expect less revenue from Windows over time. 'Pretty much from Day 1 Satya has been de-emphasizing Windows,' Nelson said. 'Windows probably isn't going to matter nearly as much in 10 years as it did 10 years ago.' Nadella last month split the Windows division in a reorganization that appeared to outside observers to further de-emphasize its importance. Terry Myerson, a longtime executive in charge of Windows, stepped down. Nadella, however, added in an emailed note to employees that the 'future of Windows is bright' as it becomes more deeply connected to Microsoft's other offerings.
  • After nearly bottoming out about a decade ago, home prices are again on the upswing around the United States. Attesting to the heat of the real estate market, structures that were affordable just five years ago in many places are out of reach for a lot of people today. The trend could cause some to assume that buying a home with an affordable mortgage is just a dream, but that’s not the case. There are still many locales around the nation with low housing costs. 10 cities where you can find a home for less than $800 a month To be fair, it bears pointing out that many of the cities where you can find cheaper houses have sluggish economic growth and low wages, according to GoBankingRates.com. The finance site recently looked at 20 cities where you could buy for $1,000 a month, including relatively thriving cities like Jacksonville, Florida, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. But there are multiple cities where you could shave $200 a month off that figure and still get into a decent home. The numbers were arrived at by calculating Zillow data on the average mortgage rate (all about 4.3%) and monthly mortgage payments with the assumption of a 20% down payment. Here are 10 cities around the United States where you can get a mortgage for $800 or less along with the forecast increase in average value over the course of the next year, according to GoBankingRates.com: 10. Wichita, Kansas Monthly mortgage payment: $746 1-year forecast: 3.7% 9. Tulsa, Oklahoma Monthly mortgage payment : $789 1-year forecast: 3.2% 8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin Monthly mortgage payment : $595 1-year forecast: 4.1% 7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Monthly mortgage payment: $887 1-year forecast : 2.3% 6. El Paso, Texas Monthly mortgage payment: $806 1-year forecast: 2.1% 5. Buffalo, New York Monthly mortgage payment: $428 1-year forecast : 4.3% 4. Cleveland, Ohio Monthly mortgage payment: $380 1-year forecast: 4.1% 3. Baltimore, Maryland Monthly mortgage payment : $695 1-year forecast : 2.2% 2. Memphis, Tennessee Monthly mortgage payment: $403 1-year forecast: 3.4% 1. Toledo, Ohio Monthly mortgage payment: $382 1-year forecast : 2.3% What makes a person want to buy a particular home? Research tells us many factors, like schools, proximity to the workplace and the like are involved. But in many cases, especially when it comes to young adults, it could even be Instagram. RELATED: Selling your home yourself? Here’s why an ‘Agents Protected’ sign is huge Related Articles from clark.com: New report: This pharmacy's prices are cheaper than Costco Read More Travel alert: Clark Howard warns about American, Delta and United’s cheap fares Read More Aldi vs. Kroger vs. Walmart: Which grocery store has the lowest prices? Read More
  • CSX's first-quarter profit nearly doubled thanks to further cost cuts at the railroad and a restructuring that weighed on its earnings a year ago. The Jacksonville, Florida-based company on Tuesday posted net income of $695 million, or 78 cents per share. That's up from last year's $362 million, or 39 cents per share. CSX Corp. is continuing the overhaul of its operations that began last year before CEO Hunter Harrison's death in December. His successor, Jim Foote, said CSX is drastically changing the way it operates by reducing the number of locomotives it uses and running trains on a tighter schedule. 'We are making progress, but there is clearly more opportunity ahead,' Foote said. He said he is done apologizing for the railroad's service problems last summer that emerged after the initial operating changes, saying its performance has improved significantly. Federal regulators have stopped requiring weekly calls with CSX on its service. CSX said it generated $2.88 billion revenue in the first quarter even though the railroad hauled 4 percent fewer carloads of goods. The results topped Wall Street's expectations. The analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings of 66 cents per share in the latest quarter and $2.83 billion revenue. Edward Jones analyst Dan Sherman said the railroad delivered significantly better cost controls than expected. For instance, the railroad said it had 3,000 fewer employees and had stored more than 800 locomotives compared to a year ago. CSX's stock chugged ahead 4 percent to $59. Through the close of regular-session trading Tuesday, the shares had climbed almost 3 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has stayed nearly flat. _____ Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CSX at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CSX
  • DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Costa Rica HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $390 San Jose, Costa Rica, or $178 south, $212 north Valid most days southbound starting on or after August 1 through October 31 Valid most days northbound starting on after September 11 Finish trips on or before February 11, 2019 Valid on American via Miami Booking tip: Purchase as one-way tickets (round-trip prices higher) Compare to Delta’s regularly published rates of $717 TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS Safe Travel Staying safe while you travel abroad isn’t so different from avoiding crime in your very own neighborhood. Don’t carry too much cash. Don’t leave your things unattended. Leave the jewelry at home. Be aware of the surrounding, who’s around you, and what they’re doing. Here are some often used scams, and some new ones to be aware of: The Turkey Drop: The named was coined by the U.S. Department of State. It’s a common scam where you end up as the turkey. It all starts when you notice a dropped wallet on the ground. Then a stranger appears, pick up the wallet and ask if it’s yours. They might even toss it to you; the goal is to get you to touch or hold the money. That’s when the scammer’s accomplice yells, “That’s my wallet!” and accuse you of trying to steal it. At that point, the scammers join forces against you. There are several variations of this endgame. In the first, the strangers threaten to hand you over to the police if you don’t bribe them handsomely. In the second, they demand that you show your money to prove you didn’t steal theirs. The second your wallet is out in the open, they grab it and run. In another variation, another “tourist” gets involved and suggests sharing the found money. Then the fraudsters appear claiming the full amount. Storage Locker Scam: Never accept the offer of what appears to be an act of kindness at bus or train stations and at airports. Scammers will offer to save you money by passing on the key to a storage locker they just checked out of. If you accept, the scammer will unlock your storage area after you depart the area with a copy key. The Wallet Drop:  You’re sitting in an airport, train station or in a public spot with all your bags and spot a wallet dropped on the ground. You pick it up and run to give it back. The stranger thanks you, and you run back to your seat minus your possessions. An accomplice has made off with all of your stuff. Don’t Display Wealth: Even a broke student backpacker from the U.S. looks fabulously wealthy in southeast Asia. Walk with confidence and feigning indifference to your surroundings. That may mean leaving your expensive camera in the bag and practice a little restraint when taking a selfie. Keep daily walking around money separate from the rest of your travel money. Consider carrying a decoy wallet when in areas known for pickpockets. Get a cheap old wallet and fill it with expired credit cards and a small amount of cash. If someone tries to mug you, hand them the fake wallet, while your real nest egg remains hidden beneath your shirt. Learn more about travel scams at the State Department’s Travel pages . Before a journey, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or STEP . Through this free service, U.S. citizens can share their travel plans with the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. STEP will alert travelers via mobile text in extreme situations such as natural disasters, civil unrest, or family emergency. Mobile Passport You know about Global Entry, but what about Mobile Passport ? The free app gets you quickly through U.S. Customs when entering the U.S. at one cruise port and 24 airports. This app effectively replaces the traditional blue-and-white paper declaration form handed out just before landing in the states and on the sea before embarkation. Simply answer the same questions as the paper declaration form (Are you bringing back fruits and vegetables? and Are you carrying more than $10,000?), and then get a digital receipt that allows you to use the express lane to enter the United States. When using the Mobile Passport app to re-enter the states, you will not have to wait in the long, snaking lines and will breeze through customs and immigration faster than those at Global Entry kiosks. Download the Mobile Passport app for either Android or iOS stores the passport number, expiration date, and a photo. On arrival to the states from overseas, switch off airplane mode,  and open the app. Submit answers while taxiing to the terminal, and the app will provide a QR code “receipt” that you can use at customs and immigration in lieu of the traditional paper form. Inside the arrivals hall, look for the designated Mobile Passport lane. An agent will check your passport, scan your receipt, and send you onward to customs, where you can once again take the special Mobile Passport lane to skip any lines. SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY!  can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price! One-way from Atlanta, each way: $49 Nashville $59 Greenville $63 Daytona Beach, Orlando (Delta exclusive, nonstop) $67 Ft. Lauderdale (Delta exclusive, nonstop) $77 Orlando $80 St. Louis $82 Boston $83 Houston, Kansas City, W. Palm Beach $84 Detroit $87 Washington DC-Reagan or Dulles $92 Columbus, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tampa $96 Milwaukee, Pittsburgh $97 Austin, San Antonio $98 NYC-LaGuardia $101 New Orleans $113 Dallas $114 Chicago $119 Raleigh, Richmond $120 Minneapolis $122 Baltimore $127 Denver $128 Philadelphia, Phoenix $144 Las Vegas $153 Oakland $194 San Diego A 21-day advance purchase required Fly Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday through June 13, or August 21 through October 31 Travel to Florida and Nevada Sundays-Wednesdays; from Florida and Nevada Tuesdays-Fridays Blackout dates: May 24, 25, 28; August 31; September 3 Purchase at Southwest Airlines by March 29 One-way from Atlanta, each way: $168 Cancun A 21-day advance purchase required Depart through May 17, or August 21 through October 31 Travel to Cancun Sundays-Wednesdays; from Cancun Tuesdays-Fridays Purchase by March 29 at Southwest Airlines One-way from Atlanta, each way: $235 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Depart through May 17, or August 21 through October 31 Valid Monday-Thursday in each direction Purchase by March 29 at Southwest Airlines HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $262 Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos Valid Saturdays only in April Also valid on September 8-December 8 departures (up to 3x week) Complete travel on or before December 19 Valid on United via Houston HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $416 Barbados Depart April 16-June 27 or September 3-November 19 Finish trips on or before December 18 Valid on American via Miami HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $458-$480 Aruba Depart April 20-February 2, 2019 Finish trips on or before February 11, 2019 Valid on American via Miami or Charlotte How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide. NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines. HOTELS, RESORTS & MORE Beach, Baby! Divi Resorts offers promotional deals on Aruba, Bonaire, Barbados and St. Maarten for travel throughout 2018. But bookings must be made by April 30 . The deals save as much as 50% for all military personnel, firefighters and police, including those who are on active service, reserve and retired, as well as their spouses and children. Divi Resorts provides a wide variety of on-site amenities, including elegant restaurants, lively bars, freshwater pools, sports courts, spas and more. All-suite accommodations are perfect for romantic getaways and families needing extra space to stretch out. Plus, with Divi’s Kids Stay and Eat Free Program and Treasures of the Caribbean Kids Club, even young guests will have plenty to do, for a fraction of the cost. Deals on room only and all-inclusive stays: Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort Aruba: From $175, or $227 per person, per night all-inclusive Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort Aruba: From $169, or $200 per person, per night all-inclusive Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort Aruba: From $249 Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino Bonaire: From $149, or $178 per person, per night all-inclusive Divi Southwinds Beach Resort Barbados: From $159 Divi Little Bay Beach Resort St. Maarten: From $189, or $195 per person, per night all-inclusive Luxe NYC Rates from $199, including a $50 food and beverage credit are offered on Thursday-Sunday stays at the chic Kimpton Ink48 Hotel, named as one of NYC’s Top 50 hotels by Conde Nast Traveler. This special rate is valid on April, July and August stays – and over the Memorial Day weekend (May 24-28). Rates range from $219-$239 most Mondays-Wednesdays in April, July-August. Or, travel to see the spectacular July 4th fireworks and stay from $169 from July 1-8. Many nights in May and June are also discounted. The hotel offers beautiful views of the Hudson River and the city skyline, yet is tucked away from the city’s noisiest streets. This sophisticated hotel is also within walking distance of Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square, several major subway lines and a variety of dining options. Newly renovated guest rooms have oversized windows. Onsite venues include a farm-to-table restaurant and one of the city’s best rooftop bars. Guest amenities include a daily hosted wine reception, complimentary morning coffee and tea service, free bike rentals and a yoga mat in every room. The hotel’s convenient and quiet location on the edge of Hell’s Kitchen put it within a few blocks of Times Square, several major subway lines and a variety of dining options. Book soon and start the reservation process at Travelzoo . Also, check out the deals at Travelzoo on NYC theater tickets . Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on  Twitter . Looking for more deals? View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page. Get the first word on limited seat sales. Follow us on Social:  Like Clark Smart Travel on Facebook  Follow @Clark_Travel on Twitter Related Articles from clark.com: Warning: Do NOT buy these dietary supplements Read More 3 money-saving Amazon Prime perks you need to know about right now Read More The best wireless network in America is... Read More
  • DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Cancun Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $336 Cancan, or $168 each way Valid April 3-May 17 or August 21-October 31 Travel to Cancun Sundays-Wednesdays; from Cancun Tuesdays-Fridays Purchase by March 15 Valid on Southwest Airlines , nonstop (and up to 2 free checked bags) TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS Unique Disney Tours Disney World Orlando guests now have the chance to play conservationist for a limited time with a unique behind-the-scenes tour of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In honor of the park’s 20th-anniversary celebration, Disney is rolling out “A Path Less Traveled,” a self-described “special collection of unique experiences that give guests a fun behind-the-scenes look at the magic of nature.” The activities, which will only be available April 1-May 5, include a trio of behind-the-scenes animal care programs, as well as VIP waterfront seating at the Rivers of Light nighttime show. Adventurers looking for a more intimate exploration of the park will enjoy: A Visit to Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Take a peek at one of Disney’s state-of-the-art veterinary hospitals while learning about the theme park’s animal care program for more than 1,500 animal residents. Birds Nest Exploration: Disney is a migratory playground for the purple martin, North America’s largest swallow. The birds travel more than 3,000 miles from their winter home in the Brazilian Amazon to their Orlando perch, where Disney has set up nearly two dozen purple martin house “resorts.” Unforgettable Elephant Encounters: This program includes a one-hour Caring for Giants tour, observing elephants from a distance of approximately 80 to 100 feet, Programs are scheduled throughout the day. Reserve the tour by calling (407) 939-7529. The fee for the entire program is $59, including a snack and drink option. Miami Food Halls The La Centrale Miami Italian Food Hall has opened at Brickell City Centre in downtown Miami. The 40,000-square-foot dining and marketplace concept brings together 14 food stations, five bars and a wine shop stocked with more than 4,000 bottles – food and drink unique to 20 Italian regions. The first floor features six grab-and-go counters overflowing with espresso, salads, cheeses, meats and breads, along with an all-day breakfast and lunch café, and a rustic pizza and pasta family style restaurant. The second floor features three traditional sit-down restaurants including Carne, La Centrale’s steakhouse that prepares 48-day dry-aged steaks over a wood-fire grill. Pesce, the hall’s seafood restaurant inspired by the Italian Riviera, flies in fresh branzino from Italy every morning. There’s also a lively cocktail bar with a large performance stage, and a chocolate shop filled with two chocolate fountains, 16 rotating gelato flavors and 80 types of imported chocolates. The top floor is all about wine with Enoteca , a robust wine bar, complete with wine flights, a small bites menu and free weekly tastings. La Centrale joins the 18,000-square-foot Casa Tua Cucina , which offers a similar lineup of Italian cuisine, located inside Saks Fifth Avenue at Brickell City Centre. The 300-seat Casa Tua Cucina includes ten dining stations, each with a different chef and all sharing a kitchen. It’s also family-friendly, with a more casual atmosphere and affordable prices. SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY!  can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price! 3-Day Flash Sale! One-way from Atlanta, each way: $49 Greenville, Nashville $74 Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit $80 St. Louis $82 Boston $83 Houston, Kansas City, W. Palm Beach $84 Philadelphia $86 New Orleans $87 Washington DC-Reagan or Dulles $92 Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tampa $94 Austin, San Antonio $96 Milwaukee, Pittsburgh $104 Denver, Minneapolis $119 Richmond or Raleigh $194 San Diego A 21-day advance purchase required Valid Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays Travel to Florida valid Sundays-Wednesdays; from Florida Tuesdays-Fridays Travel April 3-June 13 or August 21-October 31 Blackout dates: May 24, 25, 28; August 31; September 3 Purchase by March 15 at Southwest Airlines NOTE: This is not a systemwide sale and not all cities served from ATL are included How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide. NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines. HOTELS, RESORTS & MORE Germany’s FlixBus & Eurail Promo Germany’s rail sector remains dominated by Deutsche Bahn, which still accounts for 99% of all long-distance rail journeys. But since last summer there is some competition! Flixbus, known for its expansive bus network across Europe, will offer Flixtrain service between Hamburg and Cologne (via Duesseldorf, Essen and Osnabrueck) from March 24 onwards. Travelers will now be able to reach Hamburg with non-stop connections from Duesseldorf, Essen or Cologne just as quickly as with the ICE Deutsche Bahn. Prices will start from €9.99 each way, lower than those of rival Deutsche Bahn. Onboard features include complimentary Wi-Fi, extra legroom, low-cost snacks and drinks, numerous plug sockets and a lot of room for baggage. Currently, travelers can ride with Flixbus to over 1,400 travel destinations in 27 countries. If you have the time, Flixbus offers a Discover 5 European cities for €99, valid for up to 90 days. The low-cost giant has now set its sights on the United States, where it plans to take on the iconic Greyhound Lines by launching a series of long-distance bus services in California later this year. ______ Explore more of Europe for less money with Eurail’s Extra Days Promotion . For those purchasing passes through March 31, five extra travel days can be added. Additional benefits include discounts of up to 20% on City Cards in cities such as Barcelona, Brussels, Ljubljana and Salzburg. Those purchasing the Eurail Global Pass can earn one extra day with both the five-day and seven-day passes. The purchase of Global Passes for 10 or 15 days of travel within two months, earns two extra days. For those traveling 15 days on a continuous pass, two extra days are offered. Visitors traveling on a continuous pass for 22 days can get three extra days and those traveling for one month, continuously receive five free days. Extra days are also offered on the Eurail Select Pass and the One Country Pass. Passes are available for purchase up to 11 months in advance. San Francisco Getaways Book a stay at the stylish Harbor Court Hotel which features stunning views of the Bay Bridge and Embarcadero. Onsite is a swimming pool and a fitness center and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is just across the street for breakfast to dinner dining options. Other amenities include a sleek, on-site Japanese restaurant and sake lounge, loaner bikes and access to an adjacent YMCA (both for a fee). Plush, colorful rooms feature Bay Bridge, city or courtyard views and have free Wi-Fi, iHome docks, minibars and flat-screen TVs. Rooms also have yoga mats, designer toiletries, Italian linens and goose-down duvets. An evening wine hour and morning coffee and tea are complimentary for guests. Here’s a look at sample per night rates in a Queen room with the 50% Off Weekend Promotion (3-night stay): Friday from $150 Saturday from $210 Sunday from $90 This waterfront hotel is a 6-minute walk from the BART Embarcadero rail station. Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on  Twitter . Looking for more deals? View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page. Get the first word on limited seat sales. Follow us on Social:  Like Clark Smart Travel on Facebook  Follow @Clark_Travel on Twitter Related Articles from clark.com: Here's your 2018 estimated tax refund schedule Read More Warning: Do NOT buy these dietary supplements Read More 3 money-saving Amazon Prime perks you need to know about right now Read More
  • DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Switzerland HURRY! Round-trip from New York: $423-$500 New York-JFK to Zurich, Switzerland Depart April 8-June 8 Finish trips on or before June 22 Or depart August 20-October 10 Finish travel on or before October 25 Valid on Swiss, nonstop Note: Rates are slightly higher in July Purchase by March 22 Atlanta travelers:  See below how to travel for $551 to Zurich! TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS Flying Support/Service Animals Customers have attempted to fly with all manner of animals in recent years, according to Delta, including comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, and spiders. The policy changes come on the heels of an 84% increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals since 2016. The airline said that passengers ignoring the true intent of existing rules regarding service and support animals is a disservice to customers who have real, documented needs. This week, Delta began enforcing new regulations for passengers traveling with emotional support and service animals and now requires in some cases a Veterinary Health Form and immunization record be provided or other proof that the animal’s vaccinations are up to date. For emotional support animals, the new Delta regulations are stricter and include a range of mandatory requirements, among them submission of a Veterinary Health Form and immunization records as well as an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form that includes a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional. Learn more about the new Delta policy changes and requirements . United Airlines also now requires additional documentation from those wishing to travel with emotional support or psychiatric service animals. Visit United for updated policy information and new requirements. Wheel Deals Visiting Florida soon? Buy an inexpensive one-way flight south and drive out a deal from a number of rental car companies from just $9.99 (pre-tax) per day — for up to 14 days. Act fast on these offers! Once the rental car company projects enough cars will be relocated, the promotional deals end and the era of high daily rates and one-way fees returns for the season. Published rates shown on various websites are only the Base Rate charge (Time and Mileage) and exclude applicable taxes, fees, surcharges, refueling, drop-off, and charges for optional products or services such as Damage Waiver (at $30 or less per day), which are the responsibility of the renter. Minimum age may vary by location and an additional daily surcharge may apply for renters under 25 years old. This savings offer is valid with Alamo for reservations picked up between March 26 and May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples and Punta Gorda. Also valid for reservations picked up between April 1 and May 31 at the following participating Florida locations: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton. From $9.99 Economy through Full Size vehicles As low as $19.99 Intermediate and Standard SUVs As low as $24.99 base rate per day applies to Minivans For certain locations, base rates of less than $9.99 per day may be available. To see if a lower rate is available, visit http://www.alamo.com or contact the pick up location. Book your one-way ride at Alamo . ______ Rentals from Enterprise are valid for reservations picked up between March 26-May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples, Punta Gorda, Orlando, Disney Hotels, Daytona Beach, Melbourne and Sanford. Also valid for reservations picked up between April 1-May 31 from: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton. $9.99 per day on Economy through Full Size From $19.99 daily on Intermediate and Standard SUVs From $24.99 for Minivans Book these wheel deals at Enterprise . ______ Avis also participates with slightly varied rates and dates: Availability is April 1 through May 31. Use AWD code R003500 at checkout and let your journey begin! Here are the per day rates: Economy, Compact, Midsize, Standard, Full Size $14.95/day (groups A-E) Intermediate SUV $19.95/day (group F) Standard SUV $19.95/day (group W) Standard Elite SUV $19.95/day Convertible $19.95/day (group K) Minivan $24.95/day (group V) Passenger Van $41.95/day (group P) This offer excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville. Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, Southern California, Las Vegas. Start your reservation at Avis . ______ Springtime drive-out rates from Budget are eligible on pick ups from April 1 through May 31. Use BCD code S374100 for these rates: $14.49 Economy through Full Size $19.49 Intermediate SUV, Standard Elite SUV, Minivan and Convertible $24.49/day Passenger Van $41.49/day Standard SUV Excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville. Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, and Southern California. ______ Hertz has yet to publish spring drive-out Florida rates but will likely match these offers. Watch for new offers on the special deals page. SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY!  can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price! HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $58 Orlando, or $29 each way Valid Tuesday or Wednesday from on March 20-29 travel Rates range from $29-$40 daily through May 23 and $50 through November 1 Valid on Frontier, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $94 Miami, or $47 each way No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week Valid Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday through August 21 Blackout dates: June 28, 29 Valid on American, nonstop Tip: Most availability is on Tuesdays HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $98 Austin, or $49 each way Valid Tuesdays only starting on or after April 11; final travel May 16 $174 Phoenix, or $87 each way Valid Tuesdays only starting on or after April 10; final travel May 22 Valid on Frontier, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $128 Orlando, or $64 each way Valid daily starting on or after April 2 Finish trips on or before October 1 (from $74 thereafter) Valid on Delta, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $128 New Orleans, or $64 each way A 14-day advance purchase required Valid daily through May 23 on nonstop Delta flights HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $128 New York-JFK, or $64 each way Valid Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May 2; $99 thereafter Add this ticket with the nonstop Swiss offer above for a total of $551 Compare to Delta’s round-trip ATL-ZRH rate of $1,200 HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $148 Ft. Lauderdale, or $74 each way A 21-day advance purchase required Valid daily through November 3 (from $83 thereafter) Valid on Delta, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $158 Tampa, or $79 each way Valid daily starting on or after April 10 (time of day specific) Finish trips on or before June 14 Valid on Delta, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $266-$280 Cabo San Lucas-Los Cabos Depart daily starting on or after September 1 through December 11 Finish trips on or before January 11 Valid on United via Houston HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $359 Barbados, or $150 south; $209 north Valid Monday-Friday Depart September 4 through November 5 south; from April 12 through January 11 north Valid on American via Miami Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $460 Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska, or $230 each way Valid Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday starting on or after April 10 Finish trips on or before May 23 Valid on Delta via Seattle Purchase by March 21 Round-trip from Atlanta: $672 Paris Valid midweek on April 6 through May 4 departures Finish trips on or before May 17 Valid on American via Charlotte or Philadelphia Purchase by March 14 (we suggest asap!) HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $990 Buenos Aires, Argentina Valid daily Depart April 9 through June 3 Finish trips on or before June 18 A 3-night minimum stay required Valid on American via Dallas Compare to Delta’s round-trip rate of $1,759 How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide. NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines. HOTELS, RESORTS & MORE NOLA Rates start from just $109 a night at the recently renovated SpringHill Suites New Orleans Downtown/Convention Center . Guest rooms received new furniture, paint, carpet and bathrooms, while the breakfast area also received a major makeover. The all-suite hotel additionally expanded its fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights. Modern suites have free WiFi, premium cable channels, plus desks and living areas with pull-out sofas. Kitchenettes provide coffeemakers, minifridges, microwaves and wet bars. The morning breakfast buffet with fresh-baked croissants, fresh fruits, golden-brown waffles and eggs made to order is complimentary for diners staying at the hotel. Onsite is a convenience store, an outdoor pool, a hot tub and a coin laundry. This SpringHill Suites property is 9-minute walk to the Port of New Orleans, Harrah’s New Orleans, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and National WWII Museum (5-minute walk). SC Getaway Enjoy a Low Country Getaway at Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms through March 30. The 1,600 acre resort in South Carolina spans the northern tip of the Isle of Palms, a lush barrier island off the coast of Charleston. Sitting on 1,600 acres, the oceanfront resort offers a variety of accommodations, including oceanfront suites and homes overlooking the fairways. Explore the island on bikes, play golf or tennis, or drive 15 miles into historic downtown Charleston. Save 20% on a two-night stay or 25% on three or more nights in the AAA Four Diamond Boardwalk Inn, the Village at Wild Dunes (choose from guestrooms, studio suites, one- to three-bedroom suites and penthouses), or select home and condo rentals (three- to seven-bedroom homes and one- to three-bedroom condos). Nightly rates before the discount start from $149. Mention Washingtonian to receive a complimentary Wild Dunes Resort bucket gift filled with local snacks and beers (a $25 value). Refer to code WILDDC when booking. The Countdown to Summer promotion offers 20% savings for May 28-August 30 stays in the Village and on vacation home and condo rentals. A minimum two-night stay required. Average rates from $159 in a Village Resort View guest room situated 200 yards to the beach. Onsite are numerous dining options, a spa, and the newly renovated Links Course and Harbor Course – both open to the public. Tennis Magazine ranked Wild Dunes a U.S. Top 10 Tennis Resort for nine years in a row. The resort offers 17 Har-Tru courts – including a stadium court – and light five of them for night play. Guests enjoy daily complimentary court time and programs for all levels of play to clinics and drills. Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on  Twitter . Looking for more deals? View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page. Get the first word on limited seat sales. Follow us on Social:  Like Clark Smart Travel on Facebook  Follow @Clark_Travel on Twitter Related Articles from clark.com: Here's your 2018 estimated tax refund schedule Read More Warning: Do NOT buy these dietary supplements Read More 3 money-saving Amazon Prime perks you need to know about right now Read More
  • Want to get a one-way rental car for dirt cheap? The calendar can be your friend twice a year! RELATED: Here’s how your passport could be useless, even if it’s not expired Do you know this secret of the car rental industry? Have you ever heard of a re-positioning cruise in the cruise ship industry? That’s where you get a super-cheap price on a cruise simply because the cruise line has to move the ship back from where it already is to a hot vacation market ahead of a peak travel time. Not a lot of people know this, but it’s possible to get the equivalent of this in the car rental industry. Twice a year, car rental companies have to move cars around to meet demand. They will give you a great deal on a one-way rental if you can help them! Right now, we’re about to enter one of those periods. What you need to know about re-positioning rental car deals As peak season comes to an end in Florida, car rental companies need to get their vehicles out of the state and move them up North along the East Coast. This is the time of year you’ll find rentals for around $15 per day — if you can move their vehicles out of the Sunshine State. Generally, you can rent up to two weeks on one of these deals. If you want to be really frugal, you can buy the cheapest one-way airfare into Florida from wherever you live. Then you pick your rental up at the airport, and you keep it for up to 14 days. Use it during your vacation and then drive it back up North! Even at $15/day, these offers save the car rental companies a fortune because they get out of having to hire a transfer driver or dedicating an employee to re-position the vehicle. So you get a great deal and you save the rental company money at the same time! In the fall, it works in reverse in the fall. You can get a deal in the North and drive it down to Florida. You’ll get to use it while you’re down there and then you can get a cheap one-way airline ticket back home. This is the smart way to have a cheaper Florida vacation. Avis deals Avis availability is April 1 through May 31. Use AWD code R003500 at checkout to score these deals. Here are the per day rates: Economy, Compact, Midsize, Standard, Full Size $14.95/day (groups A-E) Intermediate SUV $19.95/day (group F) Standard SUV $19.95/day (group W) Standard Elite SUV $19.95/day Convertible $19.95/day (group K) Minivan $24.95/day (group V) Passenger Van $41.95/day (group P) This offer excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville. Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, Southern California, Las Vegas. Rates are valid for a max of 14-consecutive-days. Taxes, concession recovery fees, vehicle license recovery fee, customer facility charges may apply and are extra. Optional products such as LDW ($29.99/day or less) — which Clark says you should never get because you may already have coverage through a credit card or auto insurance policy —  and refueling are extra. Book here. Alamo deals Offer valid for reservations picked up between March 26 and May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples and Punta Gorda. Offer valid for reservations picked up between April 1 and May 31 at the following participating Florida locations: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton. Here are the per day rates: $14.95 applies to Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard and Full-Size vehicles $19.95 on Intermediate and Standard SUVs $24.95 for Minivans Book here. Clark’s recent cheap car rental experience Competing car rental agencies will likely roll out rates similar to those you saw above in the weeks ahead. We’ll keep this list updated, so check back often! But if you want to be ahead of the curve, money expert Clark Howard advises calling around to a few agencies that are located at airports several weeks before a peak travel time to ask if they’re participating in these kinds of deals and where they need their cars moved. Because of the cheap price, there will be a lot of restrictions on these deals — plus additional taxes and fees. But if you can make it work, this is a real steal. Last year, Clark snagged one of these deals and would up paying $26.01 for a two-day rental of a Toyota RAV 4 with unlimited mileage. He was originally quoted $7.99 a day for the vehicle. But then when you add in the junk fees, it soon becomes $26.01. And get this…he could have had that rate for two weeks if he needed it! Clark says RentalCars.com is a good website you can use to get an initial sense about whether or not this method of landing a cheap ride could work for you. Clark Howard pays $7.14 a day for a rental car ' data-medium-file='https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=281' data-large-file='https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=616&h=657' class='size-large wp-image-52401' src='https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=616&h=657' alt='Clark Howard pays $7.14 a day for a rental car' width='616' height='657' srcset='https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=616&h=657 616w, https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=141&h=150 141w, https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=281&h=300 281w, https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg 698w' sizes='(max-width: 616px) 100vw, 616px' style='max-width: 100%'> RELATED: Just how safe is your hotel room safe? You might be surprised… Related Articles from clark.com: Here's your 2018 estimated tax refund schedule Read More Warning: Do NOT buy these dietary supplements Read More 3 money-saving Amazon Prime perks you need to know about right now Read More
  • The rise in popularity of homesharing services like Airbnb is allowing people around the world to make some extra cash by renting out all or parts of properties they own. But as it turns out, exactly how much money you can earn by participating in the homesharing economy is largely related to that old real estate maxim: “Location, location, location.” Homes in these cities get the big bucks on Airbnb Airbnb has been tech’s most popular broker of short-stay rentals for more than a decade now. Since its 2007 inception, the $31-billion company has facilitated the hosting of more than 40 million guests in nearly 200 countries. But new data has revealed that some cities are far more lucrative for property owners than others. RELATED: Take these important steps when renting an Airbnb We all know that mansions in California and New York likely fetch the top prices night after night, but homeowners can make the most on average in much more humble abodes in cities of various sizes across the United States, according to data released this week from Homes.com. By subtracting the average daily mortgage cost from the average Airbnb rate, the Homes.com survey came up with which cities were the most profitable for homeowners. Topping the list is Virginia Beach, Virginia, where homeowners made an average of $183 a day. Here are the top 10 most profitable cities for Airbnb homes Virginia Beach, Virginia — $183.33 Bridgeport, Connecticut — $175.56 Charleston, South Carolina — $161.50 Albany, New York — $151.68 Cape Coral, Florida — $149.59 Akron, Ohio — $149.29 Jacksonville, Florida — $147.07 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — $142.98 Indianapolis, Indiana — $138.47 Cleveland, Ohio — $138.30 The findings show that on average it is especially tough in California to make a big profit on Airbnb. San Jose homes yielded just a $19 profit over the average stay compared to other cities around the United States. An Akron, Ohio homeowner would have to rent out their home just four days to cover their mortgage. On the flip side of the equation, it would take a homeowner in Santa Clara, California, about 27 days to cover their mortgage. “By taking the median monthly mortgage payment in all of the cities included in our study and dividing it by the average nightly price of Airbnb rentals in those cities, we were able to find the cities where it would take the fewest and most nights of renting to cover your mortgage,” the analysis says. Top 10 Airbnb cities ranked by how long it takes to pay your mortgage Akron, Ohio — 4.21 days Cleveland, Ohio — 4.54 days Virginia Beach, Virginia — 5.13 days Indianapolis, Indiana — 5.24 days Cincinnati, Ohio — 5.39 days Columbia, South Carolina — 5.49 days Greensboro, North Carolina — 5.59 days Knoxville, Tennessee — 5.60 days Louisville, Indiana — 5.74 days Albany, New York — 5.82 days A summation of the research indicates that many renters who use Airbnb want to be near big cities, although not necessarily in them. If you plan to use your home on Airbnb, these figures should give you an idea of what to expect profit-wise. RELATED: Tech startup Divvy aims to revolutionize the rent-to-own home Related Articles from clark.com: Here's your 2018 estimated tax refund schedule Read More 7 things I learned while using my Instant Pot for 14 days straight Read More Buying this type of oil is better for your car Read More
  • DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Anywhere in Europe! HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $432-$530 to just about any city in Europe (including cities never on sale) A 28-day advance purchase required Valid daily on departures through March and select dates from May through early August A 7-night minimum stay required Valid on United/Lufthansa/Air Canada via Newark, Toronto or Frankfurt Visit Adioso to see all of the international cities on sale (sample from ATL) TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS Disney Cruises Family vacation giant Disney is expanding its move into river cruising with its first river trips in France. The Adventures by Disney division will offer 21 river cruises in 2019. The voyages will include new nine-night trips on France’s Seine River as well as seven-night Danube and Rhine sailings (Danube and Rhine sailings also during 2018). The river line AmaWaterways will operate river cruises for Disney. The trips take place on new AmaWaterways vessels that have been custom built for the family market with cabin configurations that can hold three or four people – a rarity in river cruising. Shore tours and on-board activities also have been custom-designed with families in mind. The new Seine River trips will combine a two-night stay in Paris with seven nights aboard an AmaWaterways vessel on the Seine. Along the way, passengers will visit small French towns such as Conflans and Vernon. They’ll also travel to the D-Day beaches in Normandy. Disney plans four departures of the Seine itinerary in 2019. Two will be scheduled for the summer and aimed at families. The other two will take place in the fall and be exclusively for adults. The latter will offer curated food- and wine-themed experiences both on and off the ship. Disney said it would offer ten sailings on the Rhine in 2019, two of which will be for adults only. The company will offer seven departures on the Danube that also include one adult-only trip. ______ Check out a new CDC report that sheds light on the state of cleanliness in the seafaring hospitality industry showing that more cruise ships failed health inspections in 2017 than at any other time in the past decade. The Miami Herald recently reported that four Carnival ships failed sanitation inspections in the span of two months. Play All Year SeaWorld Orlando offers the 2018 Fun Card that lets guests enjoy unlimited admission with no blackout dates through December 31. Each Fun Card includes admission to SeaWorld Orlando’s line-up of events and costs $99.99 for ages 3 and up. Upgrade a pass with optional add-ons such as All Day Dining – available only when purchased online. Prices $34.99 for ages 10 and up; $19.99 ages 3-9. This dining deal allows you to eat around SeaWorld at participating restaurant locations as often as once every hour until the published closing time at select restaurants. SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY!  can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price! One-way from Atlanta: $59 Columbus, Jacksonville $61 Boston $71 Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando $75 Greenville $80 St. Louis $83 Houston, Kansas City, W. Palm Beach $84 Cleveland $87 Baltimore, Washington DC-Dulles or Reagan $92 Ft. Myers, Indianapolis, Tampa $94 Raleigh $96 Milwaukee, Pittsburgh $97 Austin, San Antonio $98 New York-LaGuardia $101 New Orleans $113 Dallas $114 Chicago $118 Denver $119 Richmond $120 Minneapolis $128 Philadelphia, Phoenix $135 Las Vegas $194 San Diego A 21-day advance purchase required Valid on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday travel from February 27 through June 11 Travel to Florida and Nevada Sundays-Wednesdays; from Florida and Nevada Tuesdays-Fridays. Blackout dates: May 24, 25, 28 Purchase by February 12 at Southwest Airlines HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $146 Baltimore, or $73 each way A 21-day advance purchase required Valid daily through June 6 Valid on Delta, nonstop TODAY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $178 Los Angeles, or $89 each way A 7-day advance purchase required Valid Tuesday or Thursday through March 7 Service is nonstop on Frontier Purchase by February 6 TODAY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $178 Los Angeles, or $89 each way Valid Tuesday only Start travel on or after March 13 Finish trips on or before May 22 Blackout dates: March 28; April 3,4 Service is nonstop on Frontier Purchase by February 6 HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $235 Bangor, Maine A 21-day advance purchase required Valid daily through January 3, 2019 No blackout dates Valid on American, Delta or United; one flight connection required How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide. NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines. SPECIAL HOTEL & RESORT OFFERS Ritz Club Package The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington offers a perk-packed package valid on stays through 2018. Guests are offered a glass of Champagne during check-in and early check-in and late check-out. Also included are Club Room-level accommodations, a Virginia cheese and charcuterie selection plus sparkling wine in-room and free parking. Being on the Club Level, guests have access to food throughout the day (a full breakfast and lunch presentation and heavy hors d’oeuvres in the evening), complimentary wine, free WiFi, and a concierge to assist with any needs. The deal is for weekends only and requires a two-night stay. Mention Washingtonian when calling to book to get this deal along with two free signature cocktails ($30 value). Package rates start from $359 a night. Onsite is an indoor pool, sauna and steam facilities and a fitness center. There is indoor access to the Metro for heading into the District (White House is 3.4 miles). The hotel is connected to the Fashion Center at Pentagon City for shopping and the Metro is steps away for heading into the District. For bookings, call 703-415-5000. Utah Ski Incentive Book a minimum 3-night stay at one of over a dozen participating Park City lodging resorts and hotels and receive a $300 Delta Air Lines e-gift card . This offer is valid on stays through April 8 (blackout dates: February 16-25). This is a Park City Area Lodging Association promotion — not Delta Air Lines. Per night rates start from $95, however, the 3-night stay must be a minimum of $300 and and booked direct with the participating property. Check out what’s happening on Utah’s  Park City Mountain and mountain conditions for skiing. Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on  Twitter . Looking for more deals? View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page. Get the first word on limited seat sales. Follow us on Social:  Like Clark Smart Travel on Facebook  Follow @Clark_Travel on Twitter Related Articles from clark.com: Here's your 2018 estimated tax refund schedule Read More Retail alert: Sam's Club is abruptly closing locations nationwide Read More Warning: Costco members targeted in online scam Read More
  • It’s a story that has worried millions: What exactly is the Equifax data breach? How am I impacted? What can I do now? Since we first began reporting on the enormous breach of 143 million Americans' personal information, we’ve received a lot of feedback from you, our listeners. We know you’re worried about your privacy, your money and your identity. That’s why Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is here for you.  Listen below as Clark takes your questions and arms you with the info you need to know! BACKGROUND Equifax has been under intense public pressure since it disclosed last week that hackers accessed or stole millions of Social Security numbers, birthdates and other information.  On Friday -- the same day two key executives retired immediately -- it gave its most detailed timeline of the breach yet, saying it noticed suspicious network traffic associated with its U.S. online dispute portal web application on July 29.  Equifax said it believes the access occurred from May 13 through July 30.   Equifax had said earlier that it identified a weakness in an open-source software package called Apache Struts as the technological crack that allowed hackers to heist the data from the massive database maintained primarily for lenders.  That disclosure late Wednesday cast the company's damaging security lapse in an even harsher light. The software problem was detected in March and a recommended software patch was released shortly afterward. Equifax said its security officials were 'aware of this vulnerability at that time, and took efforts to identify and to patch any vulnerable systems in the company's IT infrastructure.' The company has hired Mandiant, a business often brought in to deal with major security problems at big companies, to conduct a forensic review. Equifax also said Friday it would continue to allow people to place credit freezes on their reports without a fee through Nov. 21. Originally, the company offered fee-free credit freezes for 30 days after the incident. For much more Equifax content, CLICK HERE to visit Consumer Adviser Clark Howard's official website, Clark.com.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels is kicking off an initiative to rid the county of graffiti. The effort will include assistance from Home Depot, the Department of Transportation and members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office Community Affairs Unit. The campaign will kick off Friday morning, April 26, at 10 am near the overpass located next to Oakleaf Athletic Association, 3979 Plantation Oaks Blvd. “When graffiti appears, the sooner you can remove it, the less likely any more graffiti in that area is going to take place,” says Sgt. Keith Smith, spokesman for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Smith says only about ten percent of graffiti comes from gangs or gang-related activity. Most of the rest comes from what are known as taggers, who just want to leave their mark. He says if graffiti is not cleaned up, marked areas can become breeding grounds for criminal activity. Home Depot is providing paint for some projects. The Department of Transportation is providing access to overpasses, often tagged with graffiti. Residents will be offered help getting resources to rid graffiti from their property. Smith says anyone who wants to help rid Clay County of graffiti, or needs help ridding their property of it, can call Lt. Gary Cross of the Community Affairs Unit at (904) 264-6512.   
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars think that investing hundreds of millions of dollars overseas will help strengthen the team’s stability on the First Coast.  Jaguars owner Shad Khan is working to purchase London’s Wembley Stadium, offering more than $800 million for the deal. Jags President Mark Lamping says the proposal would allow The Football Association- which currently owns the Stadium- to also retain future revenue from club seats, valued at more than $400 million over time. Lamping says they’re now working on due diligence over the condition of the venue, and expect the deal could close in a matter of around eight weeks.  The deal was presented to the FA Thursday, but Lamping says it’s the culmination of more than a year of strategic conversations. He says, with FA ownership, they always ran the risk that the Stadium would be sold to another party that either had no interest in partnering with the NFL, or could not be as flexible in the scheduling.  “In every respect, the Jaguars’ standing in London would be improved and dramatically enhanced if we are fortunate to be approved as the new owner and steward of Wembley Stadium, and that’s good news for the Jaguars and all of Jacksonville,” says a statement from Khan.  Speaking to the media at the Jags’ Draft Party late Thursday, Khan said he sees the challenges that Jacksonville has as an NFL market, and looks for ways to work around that. “We want to be proactive, do something about it, and be at the cutting edge of a franchise that can win games and have a great experience,” he says. This falls in line with a business update delivered by Lamping during the team’s “State of the Franchise” last week. Lamping says Jacksonville is small, compared to other NFL markets, so they’re always looking for more revenue opportunities to supplement what they bring in locally. The team has long said it intends to continue to strengthen its foothold in the London series, because of the potential that market has to bring in revenue.  TEN THINGS TO KNOW: Jacksonville Jaguars “State of the Franchise” “This is very consistent with the strategy that we’ve been successfully implementing over the course of the past several years, trying to find those opportunities that can result in new revenue streams that flow back to Jacksonville,” Lamping said Thursday.  “For the Jaguars, it would deliver another – and very significant – asset and local revenue source that would further strengthen our investment in London, which as everyone knows is crucial to the Jaguars’ continued sustainability in Jacksonville,” says a statement from Khan.  Lamping says the purchase of Wembley would give them access to additional revenue in the venue- like concessions- while also stopping the “sizable” annual payment the team makes to play there. Additionally, Lamping says Khan would stand to make money off other non-NFL games hosted in the Stadium each year, including English National League matches.  “Those games are the most valuable content at Wembley each and every year,” he says.  Khan sought to make it clear to the London fan base of the Jaguars and Fulham FC, which he also owns, that he will continue investing in them, as he also seeks to honor Wembley Stadium.  “As important, Wembley Stadium would return to private ownership and The Football Association would be able to focus on its core mission of developing players with the best player developers and facilities anywhere in the game, thanks in part to the vast financial benefit that would result from the transaction. I trust many if not most of you are also supporters of the England national teams, so I hope you welcome the potential of this becoming a reality. Always know Wembley would be home to the England national teams, and that we would strive every day of the year to be the best possible steward for a venue that is iconic and beloved here and throughout the world,” says a statement Khan made to Fulham FC supporters.  Following the announcement, critics immediately started questioning whether this is a step toward the team moving to London outright- something that national media outlets often speculate, but that the Jags ownership has continually denied. Khan says he doesn’t understand the speculation, adding that he has business deals around the country. He says the international ties for the Jags gives them international exposure, recognition, and sponsors, adding that the Jags even have full time staff in London to help handle those matters, and this deal would add more security to that operation. Lamping says he understands that fans could be concerned, because they have long had to deal with these types of rumors.  “We view our London game as supplemental to what we do here in Jacksonville. You know, Jacksonville drives the Jaguars, not London,” he says.  He says Khan plans to continue investing in London and Jacksonville alike, and none of that changes with this new deal.  “We would ask that fans continue to judge us on our actions, not based on what their worst fears might be,” he says.  During the “State of the Franchise”, the Jags unveiled a new $2.5 billion redevelopment proposal for the Sports Complex, which includes upgrading the marina, new high-end hotels, office and residential space, and more.  The first phase of that is envisioned as the redevelopment of the “Lot J” parking lot, adding new multi-use buildings, a live arena, and a nearby parking garage to offset the loss of spaces. This is while the team continues to negotiate with the City over the redevelopment of the Jacksonville Shipyards. While it’s unclear right now how much the team will ask the City for as part of that proposal, Lamping made it clear it’s envisioned as a public/private partnership. He says- no matter how much wealth an investor has- they’re always looking at making the right business decision, and if a plan makes financial sense to the City, it’s natural they should be a partner.  “That public investment is limited only to the level necessary to make the project possible, and that’s the approach we’re taking,” Lamping says.  Another important element for Khan is that the team historically plays well at Wembley Stadium. “We have the energy, we have the fans there, we have a full stadium there,” he says. Khan says they saw some of that at the tail end of last year’s successful season, but they want to make sure they can secure that overseas as well. The Jags have a deal to play a game in London each of the next few seasons, and Khan hopes the League sees the impact that has on the team and continues the agreement moving forward. The NFL UK says this proposed deal is a sign of Khan’s continued commitment to the UK market and his vision to grow the League. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry says the team made him aware of their interest, and he sees this as a good move for the City, including building Jacksonville’s brand internationally. Let us know on Facebook what you think about the deal:
  • A jury in Pennsylvania on Thursday found comedian Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. >> Read more trending news
  • After Jacksonville’s Mayor says he will not put forward any plan to privatize JEA, the utility is looking at moving forward with what they’re calling “bold” plans. “We need to be bold, we need to be innovative, and we need to become the utility of the future for Jacksonville,” says JEA’s Interim CEO Aaron Zahn.  WOKV first told you earlier Thursday that Mayor Lenny Curry took a position “unequivocally” against moving forward with privatization plan. He believes his office would have to initiate such a plan, and said he would not be doing that. While Curry says he has previously supported studying the idea, he believes he has the information needed to inform a decision, and the process has become too political.  This all comes just a short time after Zahn took over as interim CEO, and he immediately said that he would seek to halt the privatization talks. He says there have been a lot of questions that surfaced through the last few months on this topic.  “It’s demonstrated that JEA really needs to evaluate our path forward, and we need to step up,” he says.  Zahn went before the City’s Council Special Committee on the future of JEA Thursday to outline the vision. That committee was previously the Special Committee on the potential sale of JEA, but changed its name and charge following the Mayor’s declaration.  First, Zahn says JEA is refocusing on its core business. He’s then listening to stakeholders, while developing a “partnership framework” for JEA, the Board, leadership, employees, and more. From there, Zahn says they can update JEA’s strategic plan and move forward.  'We're gunna start coming up with bold ideas, and were gunna have bold safety, bold service, bold commitment to growth, and start bringing you these ideas in a way where we can generate economic development, new jobs, continue to drive a fiscally responsible asset, and ultimately have the integrity to demonstrate the corporate governance that we've spoken so much about. And to present- with clarity- the strategy and expectations that I think you, as shareholders, expect from us,” he says.  He says they have the resources, talent, and ideas, so now it’s about putting everything together.  While Zahn looks at the broader vision, JEA has created a new position that focuses on the short-term goals as well. Zahn floated the idea of creating something like a Chief Operating Officer, when he was being considered for the interim CEO position. The other candidate for the interim job- JEA’s Chief Financial Officer Melissa Dykes- has now stepped in as President/COO, and another person is serving as interim CFO.  Dykes says she has two short-term goals- preserving and improving JEA’s safety record, and ensuring the organization is prepared for storm season. She says they have already kicked off their storm preparedness exercise, and they will brief the JEA Board over their next two meetings to ensure everyone is aware of the lessons learned from the prior two storm seasons.  Council members urged JEA to consider septic tank replacement as a high priority in their strategic vision, with some also wanting serious consideration for undergrounding electric lines.  Zahn says JEA is in the process of searching for a permanent CEO. Zahn has previously said he would be interested in that position, if his skills and vision matched what the utility is looking for.  The Council’s Special Committee, meanwhile, shows no sign of stopping their probe, with members previously saying the process has started and they now want to get all of their questions answered.
  • In a turbulent Thursday, President Donald Trump raised new questions about how he might deal with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, admitted that Michael Cohen was his lawyer in legal dealings with porn star Stormy Daniels, watched as his Cabinet saw a day of success, verbal scrapes, and setbacks, and then saw a Senate panel approve a bill designed to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller. A day after his personal lawyer notified a federal court that he would exercise his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought by Daniels, the President did an interview by telephone on his favorite morning television program, “Fox and Friends” – but that only created more news. Instead of just being a Fox News bullhorn for his views on a number of different subjects – Mr. Trump in the interview instead stirred new interest in how he will treat the Russia probe, and the legal questions surrounding a $130,000 pre-election payment in 2016 to an adult film star. Even for reporters – it was a busy day. Let’s run down some of the headlines. 1. Trump raises personal intervention in Russia probe. In an interview on his favorite morning television program, “Fox and Friends,” the President vented more of his frustration about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and seemed to raise the possibility that he might take some action in the future. “You look at the corruption at the top of the FBI, it’s a disgrace,” the President said. “And our Justice Department – which I try and stay away from – but at some point, I won’t,” Mr. Trump said, making a statement which was interpreted by some as a threat to intervene in the case. In a heated rant on 'Fox & Friends,' Trump complained about the Justice Department's Russia investigation, calling it a 'disgrace' and suggested that he may do something about it at some point https://t.co/5003tNuOcj pic.twitter.com/xb79p9hMF1 — BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 26, 2018 2. From Fox News to court documents in two hours. Not only were fans of the President watching as he joined “Fox and Friends” by telephone from the White House, but federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York were listening, too. And two hours later, comments by the President were already in a footnote of a new submission to a federal judge who is dealing with evidence seized in an FBI raid on the President’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen. While Cohen had said that many of the documents and computer records seized by the feds were involved in legal work that he did for the President, radio host Sean Hannity, and one other person, Mr. Trump had a different view, saying Cohen does a “tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal work. 3. Trump interview opens new questions on Cohen, Stormy Daniels. As the story has slowly played out over a $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels – what she said was hush money from President Trump before the 2016 elections – Mr. Trump has said little about it, telling reporters aboard Air Force One in recent weeks that he knew nothing about the payment made to Daniels by Michael Cohen. But on “Fox and Friends,” the answer was different, as Mr. Trump clearly acknowledged that he was a party to the legal settlement. “He represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me,” the President said. “From what I see, he did nothing wrong.” That prompted a Fox News host to ask, “Then why is he taking the Fifth?” Trump on Michael Cohen: “He represents me with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me.” Trump has previously said he was unaware of Cohen’s efforts in Oct. 2016 to pay Stormy Daniels to remain silent about their alleged sexual encounter. — Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) April 26, 2018 4. White House doctor, Trump’s VA nominee, withdraws. Even before getting on the phone with “Fox and Friends,” there was already big news for the White House, as the day began with what many on Capitol Hill had been expecting, with White House physician Ronny Jackson announcing that he would drop his bid to be Veterans Secretary, amid growing reports of embarrassing personal stories. “He’s a great man, and he got treated very, very unfairly,” President Donald Trump told reporters, as he met with children of White House reporters just outside the Oval Office. For the President, the episode seemed to be an unforced political error, as he’s made veterans issues one of his main causes since entering office. President Trump on Dr. Ronny Jackson: 'He's a great man and he got treated very, very unfairly. He got treated really unfairly and he's a hell of a man.' #TakeYourChildToWorkDay pic.twitter.com/A93nWUpoDV — CSPAN (@cspan) April 26, 2018 5. Senators demand better vetting on next VA nominee. As the VA search resumed, members of both parties made clear they want the White House to look for someone with more experience, worried that the President’s first pick was done on a whim. “The best possible person that we can get,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, when asked who the President should select. “I want to find the best person available that we can get,” Isakson told reporters. “The President put a guy out there who was not qualified,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “This was so bungled.” “I feel like they put the President in a bit of a difficult situation,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA).  “Maybe the vetting could have been done better.”  For now, the VA will keep its acting director, as the President must find a new nominee.  He fired the last VA Secretary, David Shulkin, in late March. MORE: Sen. Tester: 'My sleeves are rolled up and ready to work with Chairman Isakson to vet and confirm a Secretary who is fit to run the VA.” Tester also urges Congress 'to continue its investigation into the White House Medical Unit.' https://t.co/PY9QkvdZkG pic.twitter.com/iTg8SnXLtP — Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) April 26, 2018 6. Pompeo wins Senate approval as Secretary of State. As the White House tried to pick up the pieces surrounding the President’s failed VA pick, officials were able to celebrate a 57-42 vote in the Senate to confirm CIA chief Mike Pompeo as the next Secretary of State, giving the President a top diplomat who clearly seems more in line with Mr. Trump’s world view. Six Democrats – Donnelly (Indiana), Heitkamp (North Dakota), Jones (Alabama), Manchin (West Virginia), McCaskill (Missouri), and Nelson (Florida), joined with all Republicans, and one independent (King of Maine) in voting for Pompeo as the 70th Secretary of State. “He has the qualifications and experience necessary to successfully fulfill his role,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).   In the midst of all of the other controversy involving the President and the White House on this Thursday, the Pompeo vote was a big win, as was later Senate approval of the President’s choice for Ambassador to Germany,  Richard Grenell. Pompeo starts with a bang: moments after he's sworn in, State Department announces he's going to Belgium (for NATO summit), Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan. Belgium was known, Middle East stops are new. — Nicholas Wadhams (@nwadhams) April 26, 2018 7. Pruitt dukes it out with lawmakers in contentious hearing. After weeks of stories about ethics issues involving his stewardship at the EPA, Administrator Scott Pruitt spent much of Thursday in the proverbial ‘hot seat’ in Congress, defending his work at the EPA, and warding off the verbal barbs of Democrats. “You are unfit to hold public office,” one said. “You seem unable to take responsibility for your actions,” added another. “In any other administration, Republican or Democrat, you would be long gone by now,” said one more Democrat.  While Pruitt sternly defended his decisions, he seemed to change his story on the exact reasons that he needed a $43,000 secure phone booth for his office, and altered his explanation of raises which were engineered for some of his top aides, as he left Democrats looking for deeper explanations on a variety of fronts. While Pruitt seemed to survive the theater of Thursday’s hearings, it wasn’t clear if he had inadvertently opened other lines of questions about some of his actions. “I was not aware of the amount,” EPA chief Scott Pruitt says when asked whether he knew about the pay raises for agency aides https://t.co/T3o3gVZHwM https://t.co/ABUclh2o2X — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 26, 2018 8. The first real push back on Russia from Congress. There has been talk for months from Republicans about how they could dissuade President Trump from threats to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller – but on Thursday – there was finally legislative action, as the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bipartisan bill which would allow the Judicial Branch to review the firing of someone like Mueller. The plan was supported by four Republicans, all the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “While I do not believe President Trump intends to remove Special Counsel Mueller, I believe this legislation has enduring value for future special counsel investigations,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not schedule this bill for a vote – but it still represented the first real warning shot by the GOP Congress to the President on the Russia probe – and Mueller.   Look for Democrats to start making a lot of public calls for a vote on this bill, as they try to convince the President to leave Mueller alone. Four Republicans who voted for the special counsel bill: Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona. — Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 26, 2018 9. Diamond and Silk make their case to Congress. Almost any other day, the appearance on Capitol Hill of Diamond and Silk, a pair of black women who have become darlings of conservative politicians, would have made for big news – but instead it was merely a footnote in a day of fast-paced political events. At a House hearing that looked at political bias on the internet, the two social media personalities made the case that Facebook and YouTube had – on purpose – reduced their ability to make money by ‘monetizing’ videos on those social media platforms, simply because of their political views and support for President Trump. Any other day, this would have been playing live on the cable channels, and would have dominated social media. But on this Thursday, there was too much to digest. So, to paraphrase John Stewart’s line from the Daily Show, here’s your five minutes of Zen. Watching this video is also a good test, as one might expect that people on both sides will find reasons to like what they see and hear, no matter your personal political bias. 10. My kids don’t know how big their Thursday was. All of my kids have come to work with me over the years at the Capitol; this time I brought my two younger boys. They were tuckered out by mid-afternoon as I dragged them up and down the stairs, chasing lawmakers, doing interviews, checking the traps, and seeing old friends all around Capitol Hill. In the midst of all of the news, all the partisan bickering, all of the political drama, it’s important to remind people that those who work on Capitol Hill are good souls. My parents started work in the halls of Congress in the late 1950’s, and I’m still here almost 60 years later. We had just walked into the Capitol on Thursday when we ran into Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). It was just steps from where I remember – as a 12 year old – meeting Sen. Sam Ervin (D-NC). Maybe they’ll stick around Capitol Hill, maybe not. But it’s great to have them here. I just wish there had been a little less news. Take Your Kids to Work day starts fast for the Dupree boys with Sen Roy Blunt R-MO pic.twitter.com/MXak70XSpT — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) April 26, 2018  

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