Business news briefs: Plant closing woes addressed

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Plant closing woes addressed

Hatfield's Ferry and Mitchell power plants can shut down Oct. 9 without affecting grid reliability, an analysis by PJM Interconnection has concluded. The grid operator, which manages electricity for 13 states including Pennsylvania, said it won't ask Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. to keep the coal plants online. FirstEnergy said it's shutting down the plants because they're losing money. The move will displace 380 workers in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Health dispute questions

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has posted a frequently asked question and answer page on its website regarding the ongoing Highmark-UPMC contract dispute, addressing questions such as what happens if the contract expires after 2014. The page can be viewed at www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/industry_activity/9276/highmark___upmc_consumer_questions/1604935.

Mobile commerce firm ripens

South Side-based mobile commerce platform company Branding Brand plans to use $9.5 million in new funding to scale up sales, marketing and operations. Its clients include numerous retailers, such as American Eagle Outfitters and Costco.

Target seasonal hiring down

Target plans to hire about 70,000 seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season, down about 20 percent from a year ago. The chain said its permanent employees wanted to get first dibs on working extra hours for the holiday season. Last year, one third of temporary holiday hires became permanent workers.

BMW recalls over rear lights

BMW is recalling more than 134,000 5-Series cars because the rear lights can fail. The recall, posted Friday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, affects 528i, 535i, 550i and M5 cars from the 2008 through 2010 model years. BMW doesn't believe the problem is an unreasonable safety risk, but the company decided to do the recall due to a precedent set by a 2011 recall for a similar problem, BMW said in the documents. Owners can call BMW at 1-800-525-7417.

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