Business news briefs: 10/26/13

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Mediterra given loan

Robinson-based artisan bread company Mediterra Bakehouse has been chosen as a participant in Whole Foods Market's local producer loan program. Loans range from $1,000 to $100,000 and have fixed, low interest rates. Mediterra is expected to use its loan to help buy freezers and other equipment.

Pa. Insurance reaches deal

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department reached a multistate settlement with New York Life Insurance Co. that requires the company to use the Social Security Administration's Death Master File to locate deceased policyholders. With the New York Life agreement, life insurers representing roughly 50 percent of the national market have conformed or agreed to overhaul their practices, the department said.


• Allegheny Valley Bank reported net income for the third quarter of $594,000, or 61 cents per share, up from $562,000, or 58 cents, in the same period last year.

•  Commercial National Financial Corp. in Latrobe, parent company of Commercial Bank & Trust of PA, said third-quarter profits rose 27 percent to $1.36 million from $1.07 million in the year-ago quarter. Per-share earnings rose 24 percent to 47 cents vs. 38 cents.

Bogus debt collections

A U.S. district court has halted an operation based in Cleveland and Atlanta that, according to the Federal Trade Commission, used deception and threats to collect bogus debts on payday loans. The operation used various names, such as Pinnacle Payment Services, Velocity Payment Solutions and Credit Source Plus.

Fines for stranded travelers

United Airlines will pay more than $1 million in fines for stranding passengers on 13 planes for more than three hours on the tarmac last year in Chicago. The Transportation Department says it's the biggest fine against an airline since 2010, following new rules barring airlines from stranding passengers on the tarmac for longer than three hours without giving them the opportunity to leave the plane.

Durable goods orders rise

The Commerce Department said Friday that orders for durable goods rose 3.7 percent in September, but a 57.5 percent jump in aircraft orders accounted for nearly all the gain. Orders for core capital goods, which include industrial machinery and electrical equipment, fell 1.1 percent.

Notable gain in inventories

Wholesale inventories rose 0.5 percent in August, the biggest gain since January, the Commerce Department said Friday. Sales also rose, climbing 0.6 percent. Rising inventories point to stronger growth because it means factories have produced more goods.

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