• S-C teacher Michael Wright resigns for position at SFCC

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    The Sedalia School District 200 accepted the resignation of one of its outstanding educators in closed session Monday night. Although the Sedalia district is losing Michael Wright, an instructional technology teacher at Smith-Cotton High School, he plans to continue working with the educational system in Pettis County. Wright is slated to become the Executive Director of the State Fair Career and Technology Center, pending approval from the State Fair Community College Board of Trustees at the Feb. 23 meeting. “There are so many things that have meant so much to me in my time at Sedalia 200,” Wright said. “I think more than anything I will miss building the relationships and connections I have with both the students and

  • Illinois coal mine owner seeks expansion as fire lingers

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    HILLSBORO, Ill. (AP) — The owner of a central Illinois coal mine where an underground fire has smoldered for nearly a year is asking state regulators to approve an expansion that some local residents fear could jeopardize public health and cause environmental damage. Foresight Energy ceased production at its Deer Run Mine in early January near Hillsboro after what it calls a "combustion event" that's elevated carbon monoxide levels below ground. The St. Louis-based company responded by cutting 100 jobs. The mine owner wants the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to approve a 7,731-acre expansion into areas unaffected by the fire. A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

  • Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.65 percent

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for the sixth straight week as markets around the globe continued the whipsaw trading that has marked this year so far. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.65 percent this week, down from 3.72 percent last week and close to its low point last year of 3.59 percent. The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage eased to 2.95 percent from 3.01 percent last week. Mortgage rates have continued to fall despite the Federal Reserve's decision in December to raise the short-term rate it controls for the first time since 2006. Global economic worries and the turmoil in world stock

  • Gas prices down nickel in Texas to average $1.53 per gallon

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    COPPELL, Texas (AP) — Texas retail gasoline prices continue to slide by dropping a nickel this week. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump statewide was $1.53 per gallon. Nationwide gasoline prices fell 7 cents this week to reach $1.70 per gallon. Amarillo has the cheapest gasoline this week across Texas at an average $1.34 per gallon. Drivers in El Paso have the most expensive gasoline statewide at an average $1.56 per gallon. Domestic crude oil inventories remain at high levels. Association experts say gasoline demand typically begins to increase starting in February, reaching its peak in August. February also marks the beginning of the spring refinery maintenance season.

  • Harvard faculty member named Wellesley's 1st black president

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WELLESLEY, Mass. (AP) — Wellesley College has named a Harvard Medical School faculty member as its next president. Dr. Paula Johnson will also be Wellesley's first black president. The Massachusetts women's college of 2,400 students announced the decision Thursday after an eight-month search to replace President H. Kim Bottomly, who is stepping down in the summer. Johnson is on Harvard's faculty and serves as chief of the Division of Women's Health at the medical school and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. The chair of Wellesley's board of trustees said in a statement that Johnson has spent her career improving the health and lives of women. Johnson says in the statement that she sees the role as a capston

  • IMF nominates managing director Lagarde for second term

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund has nominated managing director Christine Lagarde for a second five-year term. The IMF executive board said Thursday that Lagarde was the only candidate nominated. In 2011, Lagarde was named the IMF's 11th managing director. She is the first woman to hold the position. Lagarde, 60, has led the multinational lending agency through the European debt crisis and a period of global economic stagnation which she's labeled as the "New Mediocre." Before joining the IMF, she was an international lawyer. She also has served as France's minister of trade, agriculture and finance. During the financial crisis of 2008, she led a council of European Union finance and economic m

  • Young adults swipe right on Tinder, but is it just a game?

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Online dating services are now hip with young adults, but not always for dating. Credit mobile dating apps such as Tinder, which incorporate fun elements and are dead simple to use. Swipe right on a profile picture to approve and swipe left to reject. No awkward messages to each other unless both say yes. But instead of just looking for long-term love, some people are turning to these services for one-night stands and even advice from locals when traveling. Others just want to look at sexy — and not-so-sexy — pics when they're bored. "It's turned into a game," said Tim Smith, a 21-year-old student from Hampstead, Maryland.

  • Reynolds American 4Q profit jumps, but misses forecasts

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Cigarette maker Reynolds American's fourth-quarter profit shot up 89 percent compared to the final quarter of 2014, when earnings fell due to some one-time costs. The parent of Camel and Pall Mall cigarette maker R.J. Reynolds said Thursday that it earned $279 million in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That's up from $148 million a year ago when it booked pension charges and other costs ahead of last year's closing of its $25-billion takeover of Newport seller Lorillard Inc. Results adjusted for one-time items totaled 48 cents per share in the most recent quarter, and revenue jumped 43 percent to $3.05 billion, spurred in part by the Lorillard deal. FactSet says analysts expected, on average, earn

  • US markets dive amid global selloff

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    U.S. stocks opened sharply lower following steep market declines all around the world as concerns about global economic weakness intensified. Bank stocks were hit hard Thursday as investors worried that interest rates in the U.S. and elsewhere would remain low. Citigroup and Bank of America both dropped 5 percent. Oil prices fell below $27 for the second time this year and dragged down shares of energy companies. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 245 points, or 1.5 percent, to 15,669 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 26 points, or 1.44 percent, to 1,825. The Nasdaq composite fell 56 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,226. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell

  • Ex-executive due for sentencing in West Virginia spill

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former Freedom Industries executive is due in federal court for sentencing on a pollution charge in a chemical spill that fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians. Dennis Farrell pleaded guilty in August to a deal that includes up to two years in prison and a $200,000 fine. His sentencing is set for Thursday in Charleston. Four other ex-Freedom officials have been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay fines. Ex-company President Gary Southern is scheduled to be sentenced next week. In January 2014, the leak of coal-cleaning chemicals into the water supply spurred a tap-water ban across nine counties for days.

  • Applications for US jobless aid fell sharply last week

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week in a sign of a stable job market despite the slowing global economy hitting stocks and commodities. THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for jobless aid fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 269,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined slightly to 281,250. The number of people receiving benefits has declined 4.6 percent to 2.2 million from a year ago. THE TAKEAWAY: U.S. employers still appear to expecting the economy to grow — and a need for more workers. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The relatively low number suggests that companies are holding onto workers and possibly looking to hire

  • Weekly applications for US unemployment benefits fall to 269,000, a positive sign for hiring

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Weekly applications for US unemployment benefits fall to 269,000, a positive sign for hiring.

  • Survey: Solar workforce grows in New Mexico

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State energy officials say the solar industry's workforce is growing in New Mexico. The state Energy Conservation and Management Division teamed up with the nonprofit Solar Foundation to develop the solar jobs census for 2015. They found 299 jobs were added to the solar workforce last year. As of November, a total of 1,899 workers were employed by the industry and solar companies said they expected to hire another 234 workers this year. State Energy Secretary Dave Martin said job growth in the solar workforce is a signal that the state is diversifying its economy and its energy supply.

  • Coca-Cola Enterprises beats 4Q profit forecasts

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE) on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net income of $156 million. The Atlanta-based company said it had profit of 67 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 53 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 51 cents per share. The seller of Coca-Cola drinks in Europe posted revenue of $1.63 billion in the period, falling short of Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.65 billion. For the year, the company reported profit of $596 million, or $2.54 per share. Revenue was reported as $7.01 billion.

  • Molson Coors misses 4Q profit forecasts

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP) on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $32.8 million. The Denver-based company said it had net income of 18 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 49 cents per share. The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 52 cents per share. The beer maker posted revenue of $844.4 million in the period. For the year, the company reported profit of $359.5 million, or $1.93 per share. Revenue was reported as $3.57 billion. Molson Coors shares have declined 10 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 inde

  • Oil price drop pushes Total profit down 26 percent

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Total says its fourth quarter earnings skidded 26 percent as the collapse in oil prices hit another global energy giant. The French company said Thursday that profit adjusted for changes in the value of inventories and one-time items dropped to $2.1 billion from $2.8 billion in the same period a year earlier. Oil prices have been falling for over a year. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil, hit a 12-year low of $27.10 a barrel in January. Total has been cutting costs and investment in response. In 2016, Total will cut capital investment by $4 billion to about $19 billion, and will cuts costs by $2.4 billion after $1.5 billion savings in 2015. Total's production rose 9 percent to 2.35 mi

  • Powerful California coastal panel ousts top executive

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The powerful agency that manages development on California's coastline fired its executive after a lengthy and, at times, emotionally charged meeting that veered from accusations about the influence of developers and lobbyists to discussions on the mundane inner workings of government. The California Coastal Commission voted 7-5 Wednesday to dismiss Executive Director Charles Lester, who has held the post since 2011. The vote was taken behind closed doors. The shake-up raises questions about the direction of an agency often caught in the clash between property rights and conservation. The panel has broad sway over construction and environmental issues in coastal areas that include some of the most coveted

  • Oklahoma governor warns against putting tax breaks on hold

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    Oklahoma lost out on two significant business projects because the Legislature is considering trimming tax breaks, Gov. Mary Fallin said in urging lawmakers to tread lightly as they consider altering economic development incentives. Also, backers of millions of dollars in historic preservation efforts, including the First National Center in Oklahoma City, are warning their financing could fall through if favorable tax treatment is lost. The governor issued a statement Tuesday evening saying lawmakers need to be careful “not to harm economic development prospects by hampering the state's ability to diversify its economy and create jobs.

  • Flood Committee aims to control flooding

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    The North Alamogordo Flood Control Committee (NAFCC) has recently been in talks with County and City officials as well as the Army Corps of Engineers to finally get started on a project to control flooding on the north side of Alamogordo. Studies of the area have been on the shelf for years since the 1960s and the NAFCC says it’s time to do something about it. Recently, a proposed project by the Corps of Engineers, was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1962. Under the Energy and Water Appropriation Act of 2004, Congress modified the authorization to construct a flood detention basin, along with detention ponds, instead of a channel to protect the north side of Alamogordo.

  • As industry shifts, Las Vegas cabs do some soul-searching

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The arrival of Uber and Lyft in Nevada last fall and a state audit accusing regulators of allowing cabs to charge $47 million in excessive fees each year have the powerful Las Vegas taxi industry and its overseers in the hot seat, facing down a recommendation that the agency be disbanded and its duties passed to another entity. Nevada lawmakers met this week to discuss the fate of the Nevada Taxicab Authority, which regulates cabs in the Las Vegas area, and get its board members' side of the story. Legislators are postponing any decisions about whether to abolish the agency until a second, taxi company-funded audit is complete, but the meeting laid bare how cabs are struggling to keep pace with new technology and




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