Business News Briefs: Texas firms agrees to stop using bottle in Heinz tiff

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Texas firms agrees to stop using bottle in Heinz tiff

An Irving, Texas-based company has agreed not to package its ketchup in a bottle that looks a lot like the distinctive glass bottle that the H.J. Heinz Co. has a trademark on. Figueroa Brothers Inc. denied the allegation by Pittsburgh-based Heinz that it had infringed on the registered design, but agreed to stop using it, according to a settlement filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas.   

Coldwater Creek stores on the chopping block

Women's clothing chain Coldwater Creek's bankruptcy filing and plans to liquidate will close its hundreds of stores, including locations in Ross, Monroeville, Mt. Lebanon, Cranberry, Grove City and Erie. The Idaho-based retailer plans to start liquidation sales in early May, subject to approval by the bankruptcy court. It has worked out a deal with Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources, to manage the liquidation.

First Commonwealth names successor to Rout

First Commonwealth Financial Corp. hired James R. Reske as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Mr. Reske. 50, had been CFO at United Community Financial Corp. in Youngstown, Ohio. He succeeds Robert Rout, who announced his retirement from First Commonwealth in November.

Airport Authority losing air service development head

The Allegheny County Airport Authority is losing the person tasked with attracting new flights to Pittsburgh International Airport. Lucinda Harshman, director of air service development, will be retiring in May after more than 15 years with the authority. Her decision comes a month after the board removed former executive director Bradley D. Penrod. The board Friday approved a separation agreement with Mr. Penrod, but board member Dennis Davin said no details can be released until Tuesday, when a required seven-day waiting period ends. Mr. Penrod declined comment. JoAnn Jenny, authority spokeswoman, said Ms. Harshman wasn’t forced out and that she had been considering retirement for some time.

State AG warns of home improvement scams

As the weather warms up, the state attorney general’s office is warning consumers about spring home improvement scams by traveling or transient home improvement contractors who perform shoddy or incomplete work. Typically, these contractors claim to be in the area with excess materials, such as paving or sealing material for repairing driveways. Home improvement contractors are required to register with the state. Homeowners seeking repairs should verify that a contractor is registered (1-888-520-6680), check references, obtain multiple estimates and contact the local Better Business Bureau for reviews.

Producer prices increase in March

The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.5 percent in March led by gains for food, clothing, jewelry and chemicals, the Labor Department said Friday. Producer prices increased 1.4 percent during the past 12 months.

Subway removing 'yoga mat chemical'

Subway says an ingredient dubbed the “yoga mat chemical” will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week. Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient azodicarbonamide, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. 

Sony warns of battery issue in some Vaio laptops

Sony is advising consumers to quit using some VAIO laptop computers because the battery pack could overheat. The company says it’s in the process of creating a program to repair or replace the computers, or will refund their purchase price. The recall affects computers with the product name “SVF11N1XXXX.” It’s unclear how many laptops are affected.

NHTSA closes probe into Ford pickup trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided against seeking a recall of Ford F-150 pickup trucks after investigating complaints about reduced power in EcoBoost engines. The agency determined that a Ford Motor Co. service bulletin to dealers took care of the problem.

BMW widens recall for engine-bolt defect

BMW is recalling 489,000 vehicles worldwide due to a possible engine-bolt defect, widening a repair program that was initiated in China. In affected cars, a light may come on advising the driver to have the engine checked.

From staff and wire reports

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