The week that was: 02/02/14

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Sausage company sold

Uncle Charley's Sausage was bought by F.N.B. Capital Partners in Marshall, along with a group of local investors, who say they plan to keep the Vandergrift-based company right where it is -- and even add jobs -- while looking for ways to increase its $12 million in sales. The company's 80-year-old founder, Charles S. Armitage, announced in 2012 he would sell the company after his son, Charles S. Armitage Jr., was killed in a plane crash at age 52 and other family members were not interested in taking over the company.

Downtown building sold

The owner of Jimmy John's sub shop has bought the four-story Downtown building on Liberty Street where his business is located. Brett Weinheimer purchased the uniquely shaped triangular building at 505-510 Liberty Ave. for $1.4 million with intentions of doing a full restoration. Its current tenants are Jimmy John's and Wendy's. The upper floors, with the exception of second-floor seating for both restaurants, are vacant.

Book for Christmas in June

If you're planning to travel during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, you need to book your airline tickets by June for the absolute lowest fare, according to California-based airfare comparison site The company analyzed 365 million airfares over a seven-month period for the most recent travel season and concluded June 2 was the sweet spot for the lowest ticket prices.

Bond owner beware

Financial advisers are warning bond investors that this could be a bumpy year for fixed-income assets if interest rates start moving higher. Their concern is that as the economy improves, the Federal Reserve will continue to taper its stimulus program and it may cause bonds -- especially long-term bonds -- to lose value. Rising rates cause bond prices to fall, as prices move inversely with interest rates.

Record college savings

More families are taking advantage of the tax breaks offered by 529 College Savings Plans. The College Savings Foundation reports the total assets of all 529 plans operated by individual states and institutions has hit a record $213.5 billion as the 529 system reaches its 15-year anniversary. The earnings on 529 accounts are not taxed by the federal government and usually not taxed by state government as long as the money is used for educational expenses.

Tim Grant: or 412-263-1591.

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