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  • RICHMOND, Va.-- Comcast Corp. is kicking off the second year of a program aimed at making sure low-income families in Virginia have Internet access. To date, more than 1,800 families in Virginia have been connected to the Internet through the program.

  • WINONA, Minn.-- Fastenal Co. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income rose 13 percent, boosted by double-digit sales increases in all three months of the period and the addition of new stores.

  • DOVER, Del.-- The Obama administration's secretary of housing and urban development is visiting Delaware to take part in a conference on affordable housing. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will give the keynote speech Thursday at the 2012 Governor's Conference on Housing.

  • NEW YORK-- Safeway Inc. says its net income rose 21 percent in the third quarter as it benefited from the sale of its Genuardi's stores. The Pleasanton, Calif.- based company, which also operates Vons, Dominick's and other grocery chains, says it earned $157 million, or 66 cents per share, in the period. That compares with $130.2 million, or 38 cents per share, a year ago.

  • SAN DIEGO-- City officials say a San Diego judge ordered Rite Aid Corp. and its California subsidiary Thrifty PayLess Inc. to pay $800,000 to settle a complaint alleging false advertising.

  • ATLANTA-- Zep Inc., which makes cleaners, pest and weed control products and disinfectants, said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income jumped 79 percent despite a drop in revenue. For the quarter ended Aug. 31, the Atlanta- based company earned $7.3 million, or 33 cents per share, up from $4.1 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

  • Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has raised about $70.4 million in its initial public offering of 4.4 million shares. The Calabasas, Calif., company, which is developing an injectable treatment for double chins, priced its IPO at $16 per share, or the top end of its estimated range.

  • FOREST CITY, Iowa-- Winnebago Industries Inc. said Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter net income soared, boosted by a hefty tax benefit and higher demand for its recreational vehicles. For the quarter ended Aug. 25, the Forrest City, Iowa- based company earned $40.9 million, or $1.41 per share, up from $3.5 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates-- An indebted property division of Dubai World behind plans to dig a massive canal through the Dubai desert says it has completed a deal to rework the terms on $1.2 billion of loans.

  • Sam Brownback hasn't ruled out having Kansas balance its budget by keeping its sales tax at the same rate rather than letting it drop next year as planned. Brownback acknowledged Wednesday that he's anticipating state revenues will dip temporarily because of massive income tax cuts he signed into law earlier this year.

  • BILLINGS, Mont.-- A long-stalled coal railroad in southeastern Montana could get an easement through the state's Miles City fish hatchery in exchange for a $2 million payment into a conservation fund and a $25 million insurance policy, under the terms of a tentative deal disclosed Wednesday.

  • OWEGO, N.Y.-- A Texas company has begun drilling a vertical well to explore the potential of the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation, joining about a dozen others probing the potentially lucrative rock beneath New York's southern tier. Carizzo Oil& Gas of Houston recently started digging its first well north of the Tioga County village of Owego.

  • NEW TOWN, N.D.-- North Dakota's Three Affiliated Tribes will be getting control of land for construction of a proposed new oil refinery, U.S. Salazar's decision, announced during a news conference at the tribe's headquarters in New Town, means the tribe may begin construction of the $400 million refinery next spring, tribal Chairman Tex Hall said.

  • BISMARCK, N.D.-- A tax break for oil that's processed in North Dakota would help make new refineries profitable and would pay for itself though increased economic growth, a developer told state lawmakers Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK-- Williams-Sonoma's potential for international expansion could position the company for solid sales growth in the near and long term, William Blair as it raised its rating on the upscale home goods company.

  • ST. CHARLES, Mo.-- An aerospace manufacturer plans a $4.3 million expansion of its suburban St. Louis facilities that could add about 100 new jobs. Jay Nixon's administration said Wednesday that LMI Aerospace is adding nearly 49,000 square feet to its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in St. Charles. LMI Aerospace fabricates metal products for aircraft.

  • WASHINGTON-- 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.

  • DALLAS-- A federal judge in Texas has sentenced a man to 23 years in prison and ordered him to pay $13 million in restitution over an investment scam he ran out of his home in California. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that 37- year-old Bradley Stark, formerly of Riverside, Calif., was sentenced on seven counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud.

  • TOPEKA, Kan.-- Some state lawmakers are criticizing the new Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission for not disbursing funds to local arts groups. Lawmakers authorized $700,000 for the commission, to replace arts funding that had been vetoed earlier by Gov.

  • PHOENIX-- A lawyer for housing advocates say they'll probably appeal a judge's rejection of a challenge to Arizona's use $50 million from a multistate foreclosure settlement to help balance the state budget.