Business news briefs: New regional Fed directors

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New regional Fed directors

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland named RTI International Metals CEO Dawne Hickton, Dollar Bank CEO Robert Oeler and African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania CEO Doris Carson Williams directors of the bank's Pittsburgh branch.

Firm declares bankruptcy

Pittsburgh-based Plextronics Inc., maker of electronic inks and polymers, has filed for bankruptcy protection and put itself up for auction. Its investor, Belgian chemical company Solvay, has set a floor bid of $32.6 million for the company but is seeking better offers through the end of February.

Tax filing services launches

The Free File Alliance and the IRS kicked off their federal income tax filing service known as Free File for the 2013 tax filing season. As of Friday, taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $58,000 or less may visit www.irs.gov/freefile to receive help preparing and electronically filing their federal tax returns at no cost.

Dollar General ordered closed

The Dollar General store on 2nd Street in Elizabeth was ordered to close by the Allegheny County Health Department on Jan. 8 because of a raw sewage backup in the food storage and public restroom areas. The inspection was triggered by a complaint to the health department. Repairs and cleanup were to be completed this week and the store could reopen for the weekend, a health department spokesman said Friday.

Job openings up 1.8 percent

The Labor Department said Friday that job openings rose 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted 4 million, the most in 5 ½ years. There were 2.7 unemployed workers for each available job in November, down from 6.7 just after the recession ended in July 2009. In a healthy economy the ratio is roughly 2 to 1.

Factory production increases

The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory production rose 0.4 percent in December. Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, increased 0.3 percent in December. Total production increased 3.7 percent over the last 12 months and is now 22 percent above its recession low hit in June 2009, the month the downturn ended.


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