Business news briefs: Lawrence County to get gas-powered power plant
Share with others:
A New Jersey firm has announced plans to build a natural gas-powered power plant in Lawrence County. LS Power of East Brunswick said the $750 million, 900 megawatt facility will open in 2016 or 2017 and will be fueled by natural gas that comes from a pipeline out of Tennessee that also will transport gas from nearby Marcellus Shale wells. The plant is expected to create about 500 jobs in the construction phase and then 25 full-time positions. The plant will sit about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh on a former explosives manufacturing site in North Beaver.
Last week's Day of Giving generated $8.54 million in donations for 665 nonprofits in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. That compares with $6.4 million in contributions in 2011, said The Pittsburgh Foundation, which organized the 24-hour, online fundraising event. Included in the total were matching funds of 10.5 cents for every dollar for nonprofits in Allegheny County, and 14 cents on the dollar for those in Westmoreland County. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra received the most donations in Allegheny County with $229,955 plus $24,145 in matching funds. In Westmoreland County, Ligonier Camp and Conference Center was the top recipient with $44,180 plus matching funds of $6,185.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it is restoring around-the-clock operations at Allegheny River locks at Highland Park, New Kensington and Natrona, but reducing service at locks farther up the river. The new schedules, which will be implemented by the end of the year, are part of a plan to reduce costs in response to ongoing budget cuts.
The city's Urban Redevelopment Authority board voted Thursday to enter into exclusive negotiations with two developers with plans to turn the site of the former Saks department store Downtown into a mixed used development featuring parking, apartments and retail. Millcraft Investments and McKnight Realty Partners are teaming with the city parking authority to propose a parking garage of 400 to 500 spaces, 101 apartment units, and 20,000 square feet of retail space at the site on Smithfield Street and two URA-owned parcels on Fifth Avenue. URA board member William Rudolph is a principal in McKnight and has recused himself from discussions involving the project.
Wendy's pigtails are getting a tweak. For the first time since 1983, the Dublin, Ohio-based fast food company is updating its logo. Instead of the boxy, old-fashioned lettering against a red-and-yellow backdrop, the pared-down new look features the chain's name in a casual red font against a clean white backdrop. An image of the smiling, cartoon girl in red pigtails floats above -- though this girl looks more vivid. It's only the fifth logo update since founder Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy's in 1969.
Highmark Inc. announced on Thursday that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission had renewed its contract with the Pittsburgh insurer, agreeing to a three-year health benefits contract effective January. Highmark said the contract covers more than 7,000 Turnpike employees, retirees and their dependent members.
U.S. foreclosure filings dropped to a five-year low in September as fewer homes were on track to be seized by lenders, according to a report Thursday by foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. On a national level, overall foreclosure filings last month -- including home repossessions -- fell 7 percent from August and 16 percent from September 2011. There were 180,427 foreclosure filings reported for September, the fewest since July 2007 in the midst the housing market bust. On a year-over-year basis, foreclosures in Pennsylvania increased 35 percent, according to RealtyTrac.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted last week to seasonally adjusted 339,000, the lowest level in more than four years. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell by 30,000 to the fewest since February 2008. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped by 11,500 to 364,000, a six-month low.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday slightly lowered its projection for the nation's corn crop for a fourth straight month, reflecting the impact of this year's drought. The average yield is about 122 bushels per acre, which is down from last month's estimate of 122.8 bushels, and the lowest average yield since 1995. Nationally, farmers planted more corn this year than in any other since 1937, so despite the drought, the U.S. is expected to produce its eighth largest corn crop on record.
Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up from record lows last week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.39 percent from 3.36 percent. The previous week's rate was the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage edged up to 2.70 percent, from last week's record low of 2.69 percent.
RTI International Metals said its new $135 million titanium processing plant in Martinsville, Va. has become a certified supplier of Airbus, the French aerospace company. ... Alaska Airlines is buying 50 of Boeing Co.'s new 737s in a deal worth $5 billion at sticker prices. ... Clobbered with a $1 billion jury verdict in August, Samsung got some relief in its legal feud with Apple on Thursday when a federal appeals court overturned an order that blocked the South Korean tech giant from selling the Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the United States.
First Published October 12, 2012 12:19 am