They rescue frightened cats from tall trees and stop traffic so ducklings can cross busy streets, but - at least in southern Italy - police almost drew the line at helping an elderly retiree with TV reception problems. In the city of Pescara earlier this month, the cops raced to the apartment of an agitated Sofia Torino, who had phoned to report an "emergency." The problem: She'd miss the end of her favorite soap opera unless her set was fixed in time. "You have to help," she pleaded. Hey, lady, the cops replied - well, OK, not in so many words - you called us for this? They left after fiddling with the TV until the picture returned, but told her not to call them again for household repairs.
Automotive-related and Florida-based businesses are strongly represented in the latest ranking of the 500 largest Hispanic-owned businesses in the US. These companies, which had a combined $30 billion in revenues last year, are ranked by Hispanic Business magazine, which has produced a directory of leading enterprises for 21 years. The top 10 Hispanic-owned companies and the type of business, and location of each, from the magazine:
1. The Related Group of Florida, Miami (real estate development)
2. Burt Automotive Network, Centennial, Colo.
3. Brightstar Corp., Miami (wireless services, sales)
4. Molina Healthcare Inc., Long Beach, Calif.
5. MasTec Inc., Coral Gables, Fla. (telecommunications)
6. Elder Automotive Group, Troy, Mich. (auto sales and service)
7. Supreme International Inc., Miami (men's apparel)
8. Ancira Enterprises Inc., San Antonio (auto sales and service)
9. Century HomeBuilders, Miami
10. International Bancshares Corp., Laredo, Texas