More Patti LaBelle pies coming to Walmart

— Patti LaBelle is making an encore.

Her sweet potato pie was a smash-hit last year for Walmart, her exclusive retailer. Now she’s expanding her line to include five new pies: berry cobbler, apple cobbler, peach cobbler, apple pecan cake and sweet potato loaf.

LaBelle’s sweet potato pie hit stores last August, but it wasn’t a huge success until Youtube star James Wright Chanel sang its praises in a expletive-laced video that went viral.

“I want to taste Patti live,” said Wright, breaking into song as soon as he dug in. “You turn into Patti after eating this! Go to Walmart and buy the Patti LaBelle pie.”

After that video came out in November, LaBelle’s sweet potato pie sold like hot cakes.

“We were selling one per second for a while after his video went live,” said Walmart spokesman John Forrest Ales. “He posted that video and we sold out and had to quickly make more, a million pounds.”

And it wasn’t just a Thanksgiving thing. Even after the holidays the pies were still selling, so Walmart has been churning them out year round even though they were originally meant to be a seasonal item.

“It’s pretty insane that it’s August and people are still buying the sweet potato pie,” said Ales.

LaBelle fans may want to brace themselves for a bit of sticker shock, though. While the sweet potato pie costs $3.98, the cobblers are $6.98, the apple pecan cake costs $9.98.

LaBelle was not immediately available for comment.


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Amazon promises 100,000 deals for Prime Day

— Amazon is at it again. It has scheduled its second annual Prime Day sale for July 12.

Last year’s Prime Day went bonkers. U.S. sales surged 93% on July 15, according to online retail tracker ChannelAdvisor. European sales jumped 53%.

Prime Day is Amazon’s attempt to create its very own Black Friday in July.

But there were a lot of consumer complaints about Prime Day last year. Abobe reported that people were disappointed to find too many deals for socks and Adam Sandler movies. West Coast consumers were miffed that buyers back East grabbed the good stuff first.

Amazon did not immediately return a message from CNNMoney to explain whether it addressed consumer concerns from last year.

The company is promising 100,000 deals, with an emphasis on TVs. Amazon said the U.S. deals will offer twice as many TVs “compared to Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.”

“From TVs to headphones and slow cookers to vitamins — Prime Day will include deals on things you want, things you need, and everything in between,” said Amazon.

For U.S. shoppers, Amazon Prime Day will begin at midnight PT on July 12, with new deal popping up every five minutes. The deals are only for Prime members, but Amazon is offering free membership trials ahead of Prime Day.

Prime Day is also happening in seven European countries as well as Canada and Japan.

Lando Calrissian wants you to drink Colt 45

Pabst is bringing back smooth-talking Billy Dee Williams of “Star Wars” fame to reprise his 80s role as the pitchman for Colt 45 Malt Liquor.

“The world moves fast, but change isn’t always a good thing, when you got it right the first time around,” says Williams, in a commercial that juxtaposes clips from his 80s ads with him pouring a beer.

“Sometimes a true original doesn’t need to change a thing,” says Williams, wearing a suit with an ascot. “It works every time.”

“It works every time” was the catch phrase from his 80s ads — where he was often accompanied by an attractive woman.

The new ad is currently on Youtube.

Williams’ break-out film was in 1971, when he co-starred with James Caan in the tear-jerker sports drama “Brian’s Song.” But he is best known for playing “Star Wars’ “Lando Calrissian, the intergalactic gambler who won Cloud City but lost the Millennium Falcon to Han Solo. He appeared in “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980 and “Return of the Jedi” in 1983.

Pabst has owned Colt 45 since 1999, when it acquired Stroh’s. The brewery, established in 1844 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is best known for PBR, or Pabst Blue Ribbon, an inexpensive beer that’s become popular with hipsters and millenials.

But the company has many other brands, including Schlitz, Tsingtao, Old Milwaukee, Colt 45 and Blast, a fruitier and more potent version of Colt 45. Snoop Dogg is the pitchman for Blast, a rival to Four Loko.

Calorie miscount? Nike to pay refunds on its FuelBands

— Get ready to cash in your sweaty old Nike “FuelBand” because you might not have been burning as many calories as you thought.

Nike, Inc. and Apple Inc. have reached a settlement that allows fitness band owners to receive partial refunds, according Gilardi & Co., an administrator of settlements, stemming from a pending lawsuit in Superior Court in Los Angeles.

The suit had claimed that “misleading statements were made regarding the Nike+ FuelBand’s ability to accurately track calories, steps and NikeFuel,” according to Gilardi.

While Nike and Apple deny the claims, owners of the FuelBand are eligible for a $15 payment or a $25 Nike gift card, under the terms of the settlement.

FuelBands are still for sale and cost anywhere from $90 to nearly $290.

The FuelBand tracks the owner’s activity through a “sport-tested accelerometer,” and “translates every move into NikeFuel,” according to Nike. The owner can set daily goals for NikeFuel as a way to stay in shape or lose weight.

Nike and Apple did not immediately return messages from CNNMoney.


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16 things that are wrong in Detroit

— If you’re a Detroiter who needs a police officer, it will take 58 minutes to get help — more than five times what it takes elsewhere in the United States.

And if you’re walking around the city, it might make sense to bring a flashlight — about 40% of the 88,000 street lights don’t work.

Those are two of the problems highlighted by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as he approved a bankruptcy filing for the state’s biggest city.

The problems have fed on themselves, resulting in 78.000 buildings either abandoned or ruined.

“Does anybody think it’s OK to have 40-year-old trees growing through the roofs of dilapidated houses?” asked emergency manager Kevyn Orr, in a news conference on Friday.

Orr said the city had filed for bankruptcy because it would take more than 50 years to pay off the city’s $11.5 billion in unsecured debt while not conducting even the most basic maintenance, such as filling potholes and plowing snow.

Here are some of the other problems outlined in the bankruptcy filing:

— Response times for Emergency Medical Services and the Detroit Fire Department average 15 minutes, which is more than double the 7-minute averages seen in other cities.

— A 40% reduction in police staffing over the last decade, “causing constant strain on the organization” that receives 700,000 calls a year.

— The police department closes only 8.7% of its criminal cases, which the filing blames on the department’s “lack of a case management system, lack of accountability for detectives, unfavorable work rules imposed by collective bargaining agreements and a high attrition rate in the investigative operations unit.”

— The city’s violent crime rate is five times the national average, and the highest of any city with a population exceeding 200,000.

— 70 Superfund hazardous waste sites

— Two-thirds of parks closed since 2008, with only 107 remaining open

— Fire stations are “old and not adequately maintained”

— A fleet of city vehicles that is “aging” and “poorly maintained”

— A power grid that is “deteriorating”

— A city-owned power plant that has been idle for two years at least

— Some 31 sub-stations that need to be decommissioned

— Information technology systems in multiple departments that “urgently” need to be upgraded or replaced.

Orr said he was “shocked” by the “tolerance towards this type of decline” that had continued for decades.

“How long had this been going on and people were kicking the can down the road and not doing something?” said Snyder, who stood beside Orr at the press conference. “Now’s our opportunity to stop 60 years of decline.”

The governor added, “There are extremely good things going on in Detroit, outside of city government.”


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