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Bain Capital tied to bankruptcy, closing of KC steel plant

By Dave Helling, McClatchy Newspapers – KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bain Capital, a company once operated by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was involved in the 2001 bankruptcy and closing of…

3M turns the tables on Met Council in Mississippi River pollution lawsuit

Bob Shaw, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. – The 3M Co. has a new tactic to defend itself against a lawsuit filed by the state of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council:…

Nov. consumer credit jump biggest in decade

By Greg Robb, MarketWatch – WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers increased their debt in November by the most in a decade, with auto, student and credit-card borrowing all advancing. Consumer credit rose…

Acura will build its luxury ‘supercar’ in Ohio

Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio – DETROIT — Honda will build a new central Ohio factory to make the Acura NSX “supercar” that it will offer for sale worldwide. Honda,…

After a rough 2011, Honda says it’s back

Heather Rutz, The Lima News, Ohio – DETROIT — Honda unveiled an Accord coupe concept Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show and introduced a host of new technologies for…

Major U of I Flood Recovery Projects Move Forward with Additional Funding

(DES MOINES) – Today, Governor Terry E. Branstad received notification that FEMA has awarded an additional $106.7 million for two major University of Iowa 2008 flood recovery projects. The total…

Detroit auto show signals a turnaround for the industry

Detroit auto show signals a turnaround for the industry

By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times – DETROIT — Signs that the auto industry recovery is likely to continue this year are everywhere at the North American International Auto Show —…

Big banks are ‘still looking for talent’

By Andrew Dunn, McClatchy Newspapers – CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Headlines about layoffs at major banks have become routine as companies like Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. work…

Control what you can and buffer yourself from the rest

By Liz Reyer, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) – Question: I work in an educational setting, where some instructors operate under the “old school” system of “I do what is best for me…

The mistake that can ruin your work life balance

By Cindy Krischer Goodman, McClatchy Newspapers – Today, my friend asked for advice. He caught an employee in a lie. When he asked the employee to work on Saturday, he said…

The key to a job isn’t on a computer

By Diane Stafford, McClatchy Newspapers – A business research organization that tallies online job postings said last week that job vacancies nationally grew by 93,000 in December from November. That dovetails…

President Obama Hosts “Insourcing American Jobs” Forum at the White House

On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, President Obama and Vice President Biden will host an “Insourcing American Jobs” forum at the White House focused on the increasing trend of companies choosing…

Banner future for digital advertising

Banner future for digital advertising

By Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune – CHICAGO — When Sprint Nextel recently moved its $1.1 billion account from San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to Digitas Chicago and Leo Burnett, it…

Q&A: What are the laws on working OT?

By Rex Huppke, Chicago Tribune – Question: Would you please describe the legal definition of salaried versus hourly employees? I am retired, but a friend is working for a small non-profit…

Your Office Coach: Employee’s life choices, work habits are not co-worker’s problem

By Marie G. McIntyre, McClatchy-Tribune News Service – Question:  The owner of our company has hired several of my friends, based on my recommendation.  He trusts my judgment because I have…

Department stores past their prime as retail anchors

Janet Moore, Star Tribune, Minneapolis – In the old days, mall economics were so simple: Plunk down two big department stores as anchors and sandwich smaller shops in between. Open doors.…

The Week Ahead: Gadget show underscores digital appetite

By Tom Hudson, McClatchy Newspapers – Surely you have been caught in traffic already today.  Maybe you ran into congestion on your way to read this.  You didn’t even have to…

Video conferencing viewed as critical link

George C. Ford, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa – When ESP International holds its annual meeting later this month, employees from China, India and Taiwan will participate along with their counterparts…

Gold stays precious

Rex L. Troute, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa – KEOKUK – Since the glittery metal was first discovered, gold was the measure of wealth of kings, queens and civilizations. In 3000…

Iowa farmers finding more land for crop production

Rex L. Troute, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa – With corn and soybean prices continuing to be good, Iowa farmers are finding more land to put into production for additional revenue.…

Many factors could influence 2012 crops

Rex L. Troute, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa – Corn and soybean prices look good, well into the future, according to Chad Hart, Iowa State University assistant professor of economics. Hart…

Lions Gate Entertainment to acquire Summit Entertainment in a reported $700-million deal

By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times – LOS ANGELES — Lions Gate Entertainment is putting the finishing touches on a deal to acquire rival independent studio Summit Entertainment in a deal…

Sony quits organic-screen TV business

The Yomiuri Shimbun – TOKYO — Sony Corp. has discontinued production of TV sets with organic electroluminescence (EL) display panels, widely seen as the mainstream panel to be used in…

Unemployment rate falls to 8.5 percent, lowest in nearly 3 years

By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau – WASHINGTON — The long-struggling economy is picking up a head of steam, with government data showing the unemployment rate dropping to a nearly three-year…

More men taking grocery cart for a spin

More men taking grocery cart for a spin

By Emily Bryson York, Chicago Tribune – CHICAGO — Danny Meyer, 35, began doing most of the household grocery shopping when his fiancee started graduate school. Meyer goes to Whole Foods…

Consumer bureau chief begins supervision of payday lenders

By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times – WASHINGTON — The new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wasted little time getting to work Thursday, using the agency’s new powers to…

MidAmerican Energy Company Announces New Iowa Wind Projects

DES MOINES, Iowa – (Jan. 6, 2012) – Today, MidAmerican Energy Company announced the development of new wind projects in Iowa, totaling 407.1 megawatts. The projects further solidify MidAmerican Energy’s…

Luxury brands make their mark in China

By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times – BEIJING — Barely a decade ago, Beijing bicyclists pedaled down alleys here lined with courtyard houses that had no indoor toilets. Now, the alleys…

Data give hope for strong employment report

Data give hope for strong employment report

By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers WASHINGTON _ When the government reports December jobs numbers Friday, there’s a good chance that the news may be better than expected. A bevy…

Ecuador court upholds historic environmental case against Chevron

By Jim Wyss, McClatchy Newspapers – BOGOTA, Colombia — Humberto Piaguaje, a school teacher in Ecuador’s Amazon, says he has lost eight family members to cancer. He blames the rash of…

MOA plans life after Bloomingdale’s

Thomas Lee and Janet Moore, Star Tribune, Minneapolis – The Mall of America said Wednesday it is negotiating leases with at least five retailers to replace the iconic Bloomingdale’s store, which…

Q&A: Free email means security is our job

By Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) – QUESTION: My Gmail address was hacked and the hacker changed my password. As a result, I can’t access my account’s e-mail or some personal…

Stump The Geeks: Give your old tech a new purpose

By Tyler Dukes, McClatchy Newspapers – Nothing is more effective at making your most beloved gadgets obsolete than the holidays. Unwrap the gift of a thinner flat screen, a sleeker cellphone…

New Year won’t be a happy one for some tech companies

By Troy Wolverton, San Jose Mercury News – This year we’ll see new video game machines, a new version of Windows and maybe even an Apple-branded television. But don’t get your…

New York’s great tourism leap

By Geraldine Baum, Los Angeles Times – NEW YORK — OK, quickly name America’s top tourist destination. Orlando? Las Vegas? The Grand Canyon? Try New York. By New Year’s Eve, New…

Ask The Experts: How is family business passed on?

By Claudia Buck, McClatchy Newspapers – A daughter’s rights to a family business and a mother’s concerns over family loans. This week, those topics are addressed by Robin Bevier, a Gold…

Experts see air fares gaining altitude in 2012

By Arlene Satchell, Sun Sentinel – FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Airlines were walloped by rising oil prices in 2011 and fliers were forced to fork out more for airfares. Experts say…

High price for higher education: Tools to pay for tuition

By Jondi Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The numbers are mind-boggling. The price tag for a year at San Francisco State University is rising to $25,000. At…

Safety nets to help students with rising tuition don’t catch everyone

By Tovin Lapan, Santa Cruz Sentinel SANTA CRUZ, Calif. _ In 2009, Ashley Sorci graduated from her suburban Sacramento high school with a 4.25 grade-point average and was about to…

Verizon Wireless drops $2 bill payment fee

By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times – LOS ANGELES — Verizon Wireless, under fire from consumers and federal regulators, scrapped plans to charge a $2 “convenience fee” for those who pay…