Business news briefs: Heinz hopes to 'simplify' with changed fiscal year end

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Heinz hopes to 'simplify' with changed fiscal year end

The H.J. Heinz Co., which was sold earlier this year to private equity investors, is changing its fiscal year end from the Sunday nearest April 30 to the Sunday nearest Dec. 31. In a regulatory filing, the Pittsburgh food company said the change, which will be effective at the end of this year, will "simplify business processes."

Gas price decline slows but persists, GasBuddy says

Gas prices continue to fall, though not as quickly as they have in recent weeks. Pittsburgh-area gas prices fell 1.4 cents per gallon since last week, according to Since Sept. 10, prices have dropped 23 cents to $3.44 per gallon. The national average was $3.36 per gallon, or 0.8 cents lower than the previous week.

Brake failure worries spur recall of Genesis vehicles

Hyundai says it will recall 27,500 Genesis luxury cars from the 2009 through 2012 model years to fix problems that could cause the brakes to fail. Dealers will pick up the cars and give customers loaner vehicles.

E.K. Ekcessories reaches deal to settle FTC charges

A marketer of outdoor accessories agreed to drop its Made-in-the-USA claims to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission. E.K. Ekcessories Inc. based in Logan, Utah, sells merchandise including iPhone accessories, bottle holders, dog collars and other products on its website and through online sellers. Federal regulations require that products advertised or labeled as being made in the United States have no or negligible foreign content or processing.

Furniture retailers announce Pittsburgh-area store closings

Furniture World Carpet One is closing its two stores in Kittanning and in Indiana, Pa., due to economic pressures caused by the recent recession. The company was started by Sandy Cooperman as Mr. Tile in 1960. Meanwhile, Colonial Modern Furniture is closing its outlet store on Route 51 in the Baldwin-Whitehall area, although its McMurray flagship store will stay open.

Health department orders Cousin Vinny's closed

Cousin Vinny's restaurant on Preble Avenue in Chateau was ordered closed Friday by the Allegheny County Health Department for a history of food safety violations. The closure follows a Consumer Alert that was posted there Oct. 8. Inspection reports for county restaurants are available at

Trade association says existing home sales fall

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes fell 1.9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million. That's down from a pace of 5.39 million in August. Sales of existing homes have risen at a healthy 10.7 percent in the past 12 months. Still, that's the slowest year-over-year increase in five months.

Companies still positive on economy, survey shows

Despite uncertainty in Washington and rising oil prices and interest rates, companies are upbeat on the prospects for economic growth in the next year, according to a quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics released Monday. Only 27 percent reported rising employment at their firms from July through September, down from 29 percent in the second quarter. And 37 percent expected their companies to expand payrolls in the next six months, down from 39 percent in the second quarter.

Target announces top toys for holidays

Sesame Street's Big Hugs Elmo, Barbie's Dream House, and a new striped Furby all made Target Corp.'s list of top toys for the holiday season. The list includes several Target exclusives, including a Mattel Monster High doll called Power Ghouls. For a full list of Target's 33 top toy picks, go to

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Kennametal president and CEO Carlos Cardoso has been elected to Fairfield University's board of trustees.

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