Business Briefs: 5/24/14

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Former Jeannette hospital demolition set for summer

Demolition of the former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital is scheduled to begin June 1, starting with removal of hazardous materials. Removal of the structure is expected to begin by mid-July and be completed by year’s end. The Excela Health Board of Trustees unanimously approved the $2.7 million cost of clearing the land for future development.

PG prepares notifications of plans to lay off 136

In accordance with federal law, the Post-Gazette is in the process of notifying state, county, city government and union officials that it plans to lay off about 136 employees in its production and distribution divisions around July 28. The personnel moves are part of both the PG’s move to new production facilities and ongoing contract negotiations between the company and its unions and have been discussed for months.

Sales of new homes up 6.4 percent in April

The Commerce Department said Friday that sales of new homes rose 6.4 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000. That compares with an upwardly revised annual pace of 407,000 in March, when purchases fell 6.9 percent. New-home sales have declined 4.2 percent over the past 12 months. The median sales price fell a slight 2.1 percent during the past month to $275,800. Buying has been slow across much of the country after climbing in the first half of 2013. Last year's gains and a limited supply of homes pushed up prices to levels that strained household budgets for potential buyers.

NHTSA probes older Ram pickup trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether some Ram pickup trucks with manual transmissions can be started without the clutch being depressed. The probe covers about 110,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups made by Chrysler from the 2004 through 2006 model years.

Suzuki recalls GM-made small cars for fire problem

Suzuki is recalling more than 184,000 small cars in the U.S. because the steering columns can catch fire. The recall covers Forenza models from 2004 through 2008 and Reno models from 2005 through 2008. Both vehicles were made for Suzuki by General Motors.

Reynolds expanding e-cigarette production

Reynolds American Inc. is expanding its Tobaccoville, North Carolina, manufacturing complex as it plans national distribution of its Vuse brand electronic cigarette this summer, the company said Friday. The move is expected to create more than 200 jobs over the next four years.

From staff and wire reports

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