• NC governor proposes new coal ash plan after spill

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's governor says he will propose new legislation aimed at strengthening government oversight of coal ash dumps following the massive spill at a Duke Energy plant that coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge. Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday that his plan would result in the "conversion or closure" of the dumps and close legal loopholes that allowed the nation's largest electricity company to avoid cleaning up groundwater contamination leaching from unlined ash pits at 14 coal-fired power plants across the state. But environmental groups quickly criticized the governor's plan, which would not require Duke to move its leaky coal ash dumps away from rivers and lakes.

  • Lawmakers outline concerns for gas negotiations

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — House Resources Committee members have signed onto a letter, outlining issues they want Gov. Sean Parnell's administration to keep in mind in negotiating gas project contracts. This assumes passage of SB138, which would set state participation in a liquefied natural gas project. House Finance is now considering that bill. The issues detailed in the non-binding letter were raised as Resources debated the bill but not considered ripe for inclusion as amendments. The Resources members, among other things, expressed a desire to ensure oil tax changes or terms are not negotiated or included in project-enabling contracts. They also want to ensure the state can bring in additional partners, if that's in

  • Consumer groups win appeal to reveal Company Doe

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — We soon could know the identity of the manufacturer — only known now as "Company Doe" — in a product safety case that has been linked to a child's death. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., sided with consumer groups Wednesday in their fight to reveal the identity of the manufacturer. The court reversed part of a lower court ruling and sent the case back to the district court in Maryland with instructions to "unseal the case in its entirety." "We hold that the district court's sealing order violates the public's right of access under the First Amendment," Circuit Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote.

  • Sinclair Refinery faces $201,000 fine by OSHA

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — State safety regulators are proposing a $201,000 fine against Sinclair Oil Corp. for violations stemming from a fire last September at the company's refinery in south-central Wyoming. No one was hurt in the fire, but the Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Wednesday that it found seven violations as a result of its investigation into the fire. The agency says in two of the violations it determined the company either purposefully disregarded safety regulations or acted with indifference to employee safety. The refinery has had problems with fires and safety issues in recent years. In 2012, there were three fires at the plant. Last year, OSHA announced more than $700,000

  • La-Z-Boy cutting 100 jobs in North Carolina

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    MONROE, Mich. (AP) — La-Z-Boy Inc. is closing two facilities and eliminating 100 jobs in North Carolina as part of a larger restructuring of its business. The furniture maker said Wednesday that it will idle two North Wilkesboro facilities and put them up for sale. It will move warehouse and repair functions from those sites to another North Carolina plant, in Hudson. La-Z-Boy is ending production of some of its bedroom furniture at the Hudson facility in the quarter that ends in October in 2014, as it shifts to importing all of its wood furniture. The company said that its North Carolina facility was too big given the level of demand in the U.S. It also plans to exit a division that sells furniture to hotels and will

  • Yahoo nominates co-founder, 2 others to join board

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — Yahoo co-founder David Filo is vying to rejoin the Internet company's board after an 18-year absence. The 47-year-old Filo is among three board candidates hoping to be elected at Yahoo's annual meeting scheduled for June 25. Yahoo Inc. disclosed the candidates to fill recently vacated positions in a regulatory filing Wednesday. The other nominees to the board are Charles Schwab, the founder of a stock brokerage that still bears his name, and H. Lee Scott Jr., the former CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer is on Wal-Mart's board. Filo started Yahoo with Jerry Yang in a trailer while they were Stanford University graduate students in 1994.

  • Official: 6 subpoenas in NY stock trade probe

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An official familiar with the investigation said the New York Attorney General's Office has issued subpoenas to six firms and sent a letter to another for details about split-second stock trading and any unfair advantages. The official told The Associated Press Wednesday that the subpoenas went last week to trading firms including Chicago-based Jump Trading LLC and Chopper Trading LLC and Tower Research Capital in New York. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the subpoenas. He said he did not know the names of the other companies. Jump Trading, Chopper Trading and Tower Research did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

  • Google's 1Q earnings disappoint as ad prices slip

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's first-quarter earnings growth faltered as the Internet's most influential company grappled with a persistent downturn in advertising prices while spending more money to hire employees and invest in daring ideas. The results announced Wednesday fell below analyst projections. Google's Class A stock shed $17.10, or 3 percent, to $546.80 in extended trading. Although it remains among the world's most profitable companies, Google Inc. is struggling to adjust to a shift away from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets. The upheaval is lowering Google's ad rates because so far marketers haven't been willing to pay as much to pitch consumers who are squinting at the smaller screens on

  • Zoosk files for IPO valued at up to $100 million

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Online dating service Zoosk is filing for an initial public offering worth as much as $100 million. The company says its Behavioral Matchmaking engine gathers data about users as they send messages and accept connections. That allows it to offer better connections. Zoosk says its app was the highest-grossing dating app on the iPhone in the U.S. in 2013. Zoosk did not say how many shares it might sell. The San Francisco company wants to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "ZSK." Zoosk lost $20.7 million in 2012 and pared its deficit to $2.6 million in 2013, while its revenue grew 63 percent to $178.2 million. Subscriptions grew 35 percent to 650,000 last year, and memberships

  • AmEx posts higher 1Q profit as spending picks up

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — American Express said Wednesday its net income climbed in the first quarter, helped by higher spending by its cardholders even as cold winter weather gripped much of the country. The New York-based company said its cardholders spent 6 percent more in the first three months of the year, driving up revenue for both its U.S. and international card businesses. "While consumers remain cautious about taking on additional debt, we continued to see a modest increase in card member loan balances," AmEx CEO Kenneth Chenault said. After the stock market closed Wednesday, AmEx said its net income rose 12 percent to $1.43 billion, or $1.33 per share, in the three months ending March 31. That compares with net incom

  • Environmental groups slam Pa. smog proposal as lax

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    Environmental groups say Pennsylvania's federally mandated plan to reduce smog would allow coal-fired power plants to emit more pollution than they do now. The state has been working on a proposal to curb ground-level ozone in 17 counties where the federal government says smog levels remain too high and pose a health risk to the young, the elderly, people with asthma and others. The proposed regulations will be published Saturday. The Sierra Club, the American Lung Association and other groups say that proposed emissions limits for coal-fired power plants are too lax. The biggest plants would be allowed to release more than 130,000 tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxides annually — 40 percent more than they do now, according t

  • Shell holds meeting on Pennsylvania plant proposal

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) — A plan to build a huge new petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania is making progress, Shell Oil Co. officials said Wednesday — but there's still no guarantee the multi-billion dollar project will actually be constructed. That message of optimism and caution was stressed by company officials to about 200 people who showed up for the first of two public meetings regarding a proposed plant site about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Shell has an option to purchase a 300-acre industrial site on the Ohio River and demolition of a zinc factory that was there has already begun. But Shell general manager Dan Carlson said that doesn't necessarily mean the so-called ethane cracker plant will be built.

  • 2 House Dems pressing inquiry into Tenn. VW vote

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The fight over whether workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee can unionize is moving to Washington. Two House Democrats said Wednesday they will investigate whether Republicans in that state may have violated "or otherwise run afoul" of any federal laws ahead of a February vote in which workers narrowly opted against joining the United Auto Workers. Congressmen George Miller of California and John Tierney of Massachusetts say they want to know if any Tennessee Republicans attached any inappropriate strings to the state's $300 million incentive package to get VW to expand the Chattanooga plant. The union claims the election was tainted by Republicans including U.S. Sen. Bob Corker. Corker an

  • Figures on government spending and debt

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Figures on government spending and debt (last six digits are eliminated). The government's fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

  • Hot models at this year's New York Auto Show

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry. Here are some of the vehicles debuting this year. The show opens to the public Friday. ACURA TLX: Honda's luxury Acura brand calls the new TLX midsize sedan a "red carpet athlete" for its blend of elegance and sportiness. The TLX — which replaces the TL and the TSX for the 2015 model year — has two new engine options: A 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 206 horsepower mated to a new 8-speed transmission and a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower that's paired with a 9-speed. Acura estimates the four-cylinder will get up to 35 mpg on the highway, which is 4 mpg better than the T

  • Reynolds brings back Susan Cameron as CEO

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Reynolds American has elected board member and former leader Susan Cameron as president and CEO of the tobacco company. Cameron previously served as president and chief executive officer of the company from 2004 to 2011 before she retired. She rejoined the company's board in December. Cameron will take on the CEO job again starting May 1. She replaces Daniel Delen, who is retiring and resigning from the board. He will stay on as a consultant for two years to help with the transition. Reynolds American Inc. is the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and several other tobacco companies. Its brands include Camel, Pall Mall and Winston.

  • How the Dow Jones industrial average fared

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    Stocks closed higher for the third day in a row on Wednesday as investors welcomed a crop of solid company earnings and encouraging economic news from China and the U.S. The major stock indexes hit their highest level since April 9. Yahoo and Delta Air Lines posted some of the biggest gains. For every stock that declined, nearly four rose. On Wednesday: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 162.29 points, or 1 percent, to 16,424.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 19.33 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,862.31. The Nasdaq composite added 52.06 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,086.23. For the week: The Dow is up 398.10 points, or 2.5 percent. The S&P 500 has risen 46.62 points, or 2.6 percent.

  • Capital One Financial's profit edges up

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    MCLEAN, Va. (AP) — Capital One Financial Corp. says its first-quarter profit edged up, even as income it receives from lending slipped. After the market closed Wednesday, McLean, Va.-based Capital One reported net income of $1.14 billion, or $1.96 per share, for the three months ending March 31. That compares with net income of $1.04 billion, or $1.77 per share, in the same period of 2013. Revenue dipped 3 percent to $5.37 billion from $5.55 billion. On average, analysts expected earnings of $1.69 per share on $5.45 billion in revenue, according to the data provider FactSet. The lender says loans fell in its U.S. credit card division and home loans dropped, too.

  • US stocks close higher for third day in a row

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    Investors drove stock prices to their highest level in a week Wednesday, encouraged by a crop of corporate earnings and reassuring U.S. and Chinese economic data. Major U.S. stock indexes notched their third day of gains in a row. Yahoo and Delta Air Lines were among the companies posting big gains. The gains were broad; for every stock that declined, nearly four rose. The market is coming back from a steep drop at the end of last week led by Internet and biotechnology stocks. That move away from some of the riskier, high-priced stocks that drove down the market is nearly, if not completely done now, said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

  • Gap outlines growth plans for China

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Gap Inc. announced Wednesday it plans to more than triple sales in China in three years as it seeks to grab a bigger piece of the overall $1.4 trillion global clothing market. The San Francisco-based clothing chain, which operates stores under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta brands, generated $300 million in sales in China in the latest fiscal year ended Feb. 1. It says China will be its biggest growth initiative. The company had 81 Gap stores in China at the end of last year and unveiled its first Old Navy store in the country earlier this year. It plans to open about 30 additional Gap stores in China in the current fiscal year.