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  • MONTPELIER, Vt.-- The Vermont state airports in Morrisville and Newport are going to receive more than $900,000 in federal grants to buy equipment, design a project and conduct an environmental assessment.

  • FRANKFORT, Ky.-- Kentucky has recommended that the Anthem Preferred Provider Organization serve as the benchmark plan for insurers in Kentucky under federal health care reforms. Kentucky also is recommending that the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program be the benchmark plan for pediatric vision and dental services.

  • Sales rose for most automakers, led by gains of more than 30 percent for Toyota and Volkswagen. Toyota sales rose 42 percent from a year earlier, while Volkswagen jumped 34 percent from September 2011. Nissan, which has been hurt as Toyota and Honda recover from last year's earthquake in Japan, saw sales fall 1.1 percent.

  • MONACA, Pa.-- Shell Oil Co. is offering to make payments to replace lost local taxes if a multi-billion dollar petrochemical plant is built in western Pennsylvania.

  • DENVER-- The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is considering statewide rules on groundwater sampling and monitoring at new well pads. The commission on Monday began discussing the state's so-called "setback" rules on how far wells must be from buildings.

  • CHEYENNE, Wyo.-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved plans to build a natural gas-fired power plant in Cheyenne. Black Hills Corp. said Monday that it would move ahead with plans to begin construction on the $237 million, 132- megawatt plant now that it's gotten a greenhouse gas air permit from the EPA.

  • JUNEAU, Alaska-- The health care and social assistance industry is expected to see the largest rate of job growth in Alaska this decade. It estimates that Alaska will add nearly 40,000 jobs during that period, an increase of 12 percent, with nearly all sectors gaining.

  • U.S.-traded shares of Toyota Motor Corp. were slipped 22 cents to $76.85 although Japan's largest automaker said sales rose 42 percent. Honda Motor Co. sales rose 31 percent but its shares dropped a penny to $30.58. Nissan Motor Co. shares rose 11 cents to $16.84 although September sales declined by 1 percent.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- Little Big Town is having a moment. Karen Fairchild, one of the two women in the group, likes to think that a particular handbag purchase pushed "Pontoon" over the top.

  • BERLIN, N.H.-- Mitt Romney is a part-time resident of this tiny state, and his fiscally conservative, socially moderate tenure as governor of neighboring Massachusetts once seemed a good match for New Hampshire's independent and libertarian-leaning electorate.

  • "Expect Rafa to be one of many great stories in January, including a formidable title defense from our brilliant reigning men's champion, Novak Djokovic, and some major challenges from the great Roger Federer, U.S.

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- The president of an organization leading the fight against cramped cages for pregnant pigs said Tuesday he's seeking a spot on Tyson Food Inc.' s board of directors to put more pressure on the nation's second-largest pork processor to abandon the crates.

  • DENVER-- A report from Attorney General John Suthers says a law cracking down on the payday lending industry saved Coloradans nearly $100 million last year. A new law limits the term of payday loans from about two weeks to a minimum of six months.

  • The Idaho Department of Labor announced Monday that High Desert Milk in Burley is getting up to $144,000 to train 20 workers for operations, laboratory work, safety and maintenance. Amalgamated Sugar is getting up to $406,000 to train 78 new maintenance mechanics for its Paul and Twin Falls plants.

  • CHICAGO-- The University of Illinois-Chicago says it has been awarded a $4.4 million grant to study environmental factors and governmental policies that affect children's nutrition, physical activity and obesity. The university says the money is from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and will be used by the school's ImpacTeen project.

  • FARGO, N.D.-- Wheat production this year is up in North Dakota but down in South Dakota. The federal Agriculture Department's annual small grains summary shows spring wheat production up 53 percent in North Dakota, durum wheat up 133 percent and winter wheat up 189 percent.

  • TEHRAN, Iran-- Iran's president on Tuesday blamed the steep drop in Iran's currency on "psychological pressures" linked to Western sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program and Iran's increasing bitter political battles.

  • ANN ARBOR, Mich.-- Billionaire developer Sam Zell is scheduled to speak this week at a gathering of more than 200 private equity, investment banking and business leaders at the University of Michigan. Zell is one of the keynote speakers Friday at the Michigan Private Equity Conference in Ann Arbor.

  • HOLDREGE, Neb.-- The managers of Nebraska's biggest reservoir will reduce water supplies to irrigators next year. The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District's board of directors on Monday voted to limit farmers to 10 inches of water an acre.

  • SANTA FE, N.M.-- A state board has awarded about $13 million for capital improvement projects for 16 Indian tribes and pueblos in New Mexico. About $1.2 million was approved for infrastructure for Santa Ana Pueblo's Adobe Acres subdivision and $1.3 million for an enterprise zone for Zia Pueblo.