Business news briefs: WPAHS chief, turnaround specialists to stay onboard

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WPAHS chief, turnaround specialists to stay onboard

Turnaround specialists Alvarez & Marsal and interim West Penn Allegheny Health System president and CEO Keith Ghezzi will remain with the health system for now. The New York-based consulting firm was hired to help stabilize West Penn Allegheny's finances while the health system's proposed affiliation with insurer Highmark Inc. awaited final approval by the state. Last month, WPAHS physician leaders signed a letter voicing their displeasure with the board and the Alvarez management team, leading to speculation the firm's role might change, or even end, when the contract expired Nov. 7. On Thursday, the West Penn Allegheny board voted to extend the contract for an undetermined length of time.

J.C. Penney reports hefty third-quarter loss

The bad news just keeps piling on at J.C. Penney Co. The chain on Friday reported a third-quarter loss that's much wider than Wall Street expected on revenue that plunged 26 percent in the latest sign that customers aren't happy that the department-store chain ditched hundreds of coupons and big sales it offered each year in favor of everyday low pricing. It's the third consecutive quarter of losses and steep sales declines. The results underscore the challenges Penney CEO Ron Johnson faces as he attempts to change the way people shop.

Four more retailers join late-night promotion drive

Macy's will join nine other retailers in staying open until 8 p.m. Thursday in a bid to encourage more people to remain Downtown to shop and eat after work. The department store, which usually stays open until 7 p.m., and three other retailers -- Boutique 208, Shaw Galleries and Awesome Books -- will join several other stores that took part in the first late-night promotion in October. Each retailer will donate part of Thursday's sales to the United Way of Allegheny County. Shoppers who make a purchase at a participating store will receive a coupon for one of 12 Downtown restaurants.

Oakland's Little Asia receives 'Consumer Alert'

Little Asia restaurant on South Craig Street in Oakland was hit with a "Consumer Alert" Thursday by the Allegheny County Health Department for repeated health code violations including storing food at unsafe temperatures and not protecting food from cross contamination. Inspection reports for restaurants in the county are available at

Four luxury townhouses planned for West End

Ohio-based Sierra Development LLC announced plans Friday to build four luxury townhouses on Marlow Street at the West End Overlook. The four-level townhouses, which will be priced at $890,000 each, will feature a sky deck, an elevator, a fireplace and more than 3,800 square feet of living space. The main attraction will be the picturesque views of Downtown skyline and the North Shore. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The developer has begun marketing the properties through Keller-Williams Realty.

Priceline to buy company in move for expansion

The Priceline Negotiator lives after all. The company has struck a deal to buy Kayak Software Corp. for $1.8 billion in a move to expand its online travel business.



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