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  • Michigan's population creeping up as autos recover Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 5:28 PM ET

    DETROIT— After years of declining population, industrial Michigan finally seems to be on track toward growth again, the state's demographer says. Despite the rise, Michigan dropped to the 10th most-populous state this year as North Carolina jumped to No. 9.. And the number of people moving to Michigan continues to trail the number migrating elsewhere, with...

  • Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 10:51 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. Happy Apple Co. of Washington, Missouri, said in a statement Wednesday that one of the apple suppliers to its California facility reported that there may be a connection between the listeria outbreak and the...

  • More 'Help Wanted' signs up at small businesses Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 11:18 AM ET

    NEW YORK— If you're looking for signs that the U.S. economy is growing and that the job market is improving, just talk to small business owners. Revenue is up 40 percent this year at the New York- based company with more customers paying $60 to $85— three or four times what a supermarket cake costs— for confections made of paper-thin pastry dough and flavored with...

  • Piedmont Natural Gas reports 4Q loss Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 4:36 PM ET

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Piedmont Natural Gas Co. on Tuesday reported a loss of $9 million in its fiscal fourth quarter. Piedmont Natural Gas expects full-year earnings to be $1.82 to $1.92 per share. Piedmont Natural Gas shares have risen 17 percent since the beginning of the year.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 23- The U.S. economy grew at a 5.0 percent clip in the third quarter, its quickest pace in 11 years and the strongest sign yet that growth has decisively shifted into higher gear. "Our economy is firing on most cylinders, whereas the global economy is essentially in dire need of a spark," said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West...

  • Family Dollar delays vote on Dollar Tree deal Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 10:59 AM ET

    MATTHEWS, N.C.— Family Dollar says it has delayed a shareholder vote on its proposed acquisition by Dollar Tree until Jan. 22. Family Dollar Stores Inc. has been courting multiple buyout offers. The judge determined that Family Dollar's board acted reasonably in not negotiating with Dollar General, because of antitrust risks and uncertainty that regulators...

  • New Hampshire delays vote on $13M FairPoint bid Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 4:31 AM ET

    "I have big concerns that the poor service levels we've been seeing from FairPoint right now wouldn't live up to the terms in the contract," Democratic Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern said. Under the contract, FairPoint would provide all services through 2020. The contract is likely to come before the council again in January, said Linda Hodgdon,...

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Six years ago, there was a massive spill of coal ash sludge in Tennessee. The EPA ruled that the ash can be treated like regular garbage, meaning regulating the stuff will be left up to states and watchful citizens. "We had to go to court to force EPA to issue this first-ever coal ash rule, and unfortunately, we will be back in court to force coal plants to...

  • Judge: Family Dollar can vote on Dollar Tree buyout Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 6:49 PM ET

    DOVER, Del.— A Delaware judge says stockholders of Family Dollar Stores Inc. can vote on proposed $8.5 billion acquisition by Chesapeake, Virginia- based Dollar Tree Inc.. But some Family Dollar shareholders want the vote postponed until the board reviews a deal with Dollar General Corp., which has also bid for Matthews, North Carolina- based Family Dollar.

  • A look at large coal ash spills in the US Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 3:46 PM ET

    The Obama announcement ended a six-year effort that began after a massive spill of the ash that contains toxins at a Tennessee power plant in 2008. Since then, the EPA has documented coal ash waste sites tainting hundreds of waterways and underground aquifers in numerous states with heavy metals and other toxic contaminants. The Tennessee Valley Authority...

  • Environmental groups say the practice of storing coal ash in holding ponds supported by permeable, earthen dikes leads both to contamination of surrounding groundwater and the risk of catastrophe when those dikes fail, as happened in Tennessee and at a site in North Carolina earlier this year. The EPA has said contaminants such as arsenic, mercury and cadmium...

  • Striking FairPoint workers rally in New Hampshire Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 4:01 AM ET

    CONCORD, N.H.— Two hundred FairPoint Communications workers promised on Friday to remain on strike until company officials return to the bargaining table, even as the 10- week-old strike begins to take a personal and financial toll on the workers and their families. FairPoint's 1,700 workers across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont began striking in October...

  • Lawsuit shows resistance to legalization of pot Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 3:14 AM ET

    The lawsuit seeks to overturn Colorado's experiment in legalized recreational pot, alleging that the two conservative states are being overrun with Colorado marijuana that is making it harder for them to enforce their own drug laws. Nebraska Attorney General Jim Bruning framed it as a public-safety issue, though the complaint provides little data to...

  • EPA sets first national standard for coal waste Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 3:08 AM ET

    "The regulatory uncertainty that has impeded the beneficial use of coal ash for half a decade has finally come to an end," said Thomas H. Adams, the executive director of the American Coal Ash Association. "EPA's final decision to regulate coal ash as a' non-hazardous' material puts science ahead of politics and clears the way for beneficial use of ash to begin growing...

  • Red Hat tops Street 3Q forecasts, shares jump Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 4:15 PM ET

    RALEIGH, N.C.— Shares of Red Hat Inc. jumped in aftermarket trading Thursday after the open-source software company reported third-quarter results that topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for adjusted earnings of 40 cents per share. Red Hat's shares rose $5.72, or 9.3 percent, to $67.22...

  • Dec 18- Hedge fund Paulson& Co has taken a stake in specialty pharmaceuticals company Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd as the company recovers from inventory issues and the departure of its chief financial officer, according to people familiar with the matter. The fund has recently taken a number of large positions in healthcare companies, including Shire PLC, where...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- There are plenty of lists proclaiming "The Best Places to Retire." Designed by real estate information company Zillow.com for Reuters, it incorporates reams of data on more than 15,000 locales across the United States. For instance, if you find all of the screening categories to be very important, and you are looking for a reasonably-priced home,...

  • Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:47 AM ET

    DETROIT— Ford Motor Co. has agreed to government demands to expand a driver's side air bag inflator recall to the entire U.S. Ford's action puts pressure on BMW and Chrysler, the only two automakers that haven't agreed to national recalls. Honda and Mazda already took their recalls national.

  • NC Rules panel approves new fracking standards Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:36 AM ET

    The state Rules Review Commission on Wednesday approved the regulations with the understanding that technical corrections for 13 of them would be worked out between now and January, said Vikram Rao, chairman of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission. Rao said he expects the Legislature to receive the set of rules in January. Prior to Wednesday's...

  • YOUR MONEY-The best place to retire? You get to pick Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 2:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 18- There are plenty of lists proclaiming "The Best Places to Retire." Designed by real estate information company Zillow.com for Reuters, it incorporates reams of data on more than 15,000 locales across the United States. For instance, if you find all of the screening categories to be very important, and you are looking for a reasonably-priced home,...