Business news briefs: Allegheny Technologies settles hazardous waste case

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Allegheny Technologies settles hazardous waste case

Two Oregon units of Pittsburgh specialty metals producer Allegheny Technologies have agreed to pay $825,000 in civil penalties to settle charges they improperly stored, shipped and disposed of about 160 million pounds of hazardous waste. The waste was sent to Oregon landfills not equipped or permitted to dispose of it. The proposed settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

First Niagara names new president and CEO

First Niagara Financial Group has named Gary M. Crosby, 60, as president and CEO of the Buffalo, N.Y., bank. He has been in those roles on an interim basis since March.

Eureka Financial board sees boost in quarterly dividend

Eureka Financial Corp.'s board raised the quarterly dividend by 2 cents, to 10 cents per share, payable Jan. 31 to stockholders of record Jan. 15. The company has branches in Oakland and Shaler.

Mortgage manager in $2B deal over loan abuses

Ocwen Financial Corp. will reduce struggling borrowers' loan balances by $2 billion in an agreement with federal regulators and 49 states over foreclosure abuses. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state attorneys general announced the deal with the Atlanta-based company, one of the largest U.S. mortgage servicers. The regulators said Ocwen pushed borrowers into foreclosure through illegal actions, such as failing to promptly and accurately credit mortgage payments. The company also miscalculated interest rates and charged borrowers improper fees. The agreement must be approved by a federal court. The CFPB, 49 states and the District of Columbia signed the agreement. Oklahoma is the only state that isn't participating.

Darden looking to spin off or sell Red Lobster

Darden Restaurants wants to set Red Lobster adrift. The company said Thursday that it is looking to either spin off or sell Red Lobster as part of its plan to boost value for its shareholders. Those plans also include suspending the opening of new Olive Garden locations and limiting the launch of new LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants. Darden Restaurants Inc. also won't make any acquisitions of additional brands "for the foreseeable future" and will review senior management's compensation and incentive programs to put greater emphasis on same-store restaurant sales growth and free cash flow.

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Rite Aid Corp. and GNC agree to extend a partnership that allows Rite Aid to establish 300 more GNC LiveWell store-within-a-store locations in the drug store chain through 2019.

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