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  • In Maine, New Jersey and North Carolina, officials have refused to allow new cyber-schools to open this year, citing concerns about poor academic performance, high rates of student turnover and funding models that appear to put private-sector profits ahead of student achievement.

  • *GM, Ford see soft truck sales; Toyota up 41.5 pct. DETROIT, Oct 2- U.S. auto sales last month posted their best showing in 4-1/ 2 years, helped by cheap financing, rising consumer confidence and a major rebound by Toyota Motor Corp.

  • DETROIT-- Americans found plenty of reasons to buy new cars in September, making auto sales a bright spot in the economy for yet another month. Sales rose for most carmakers, led by big gains at Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen. Gas prices have jumped 14 percent since July 1, and hit $3.79 per gallon at the end of September, a record for that time of year.

  • WASHINGTON-- The U.S. economy is looking more resilient, thanks in part to encouraging signs for the two most expensive purchases most Americans make: cars and homes. Cheap loans and a bounty of fuel-efficient models enticed people to buy new vehicles at a brisk pace last month.

  • *Toyota, Honda see large sales gains. DETROIT, Oct 2- U.S. auto sales for September looked set to jump about 13 percent from a year ago, beating analyst estimates because of cheap financing, stronger consumer sentiment and rebounding sales from foreign automakers including Toyota Motor Corp.

  • DETROIT-- General Motors Co. said Tuesday that its September U.S. sales rose 1.5 percent as a big jump in car sales was offset by falling truck sales. BY THE NUMBERS: Detroit- based GM sold a total of 210,245 vehicles last month, up from 207,145 in the same month last year.

  • DEARBORN, Mich.-- Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that its U.S. sales were flat in September as increases in sales of cars and SUVs were weighed down by lower truck sales. BY THE NUMBERS: Ford sold a total of 174,976 vehicles last month, relatively flat compared with 175,199 in the same month last year.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • LANSING, Mich.-- The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has divided $1.3 million in federal money among a dozen groups for projects designed to boost competitiveness of the state's specialty crops. Michigan State University received $300,000 for six projects. The other grants were smaller, ranging from $22,000 to $75,000.

  • DETROIT, Oct 2- Ford Motor Co said Tuesday it expects U.S. September auto sales to show a gain of 12 percent from a year ago. Ford said it expects an annualized seasonally adjusted sales rate of 15 million vehicles, including medium and heavy trucks, which would suggest a light vehicle annualized rate of about 14.7 million vehicles.

  • DETROIT, Oct 2- Volkswagen AG:.

  • DETROIT-- General Motors says its U.S. sales rose 1.5 percent last month as a big jump in car sales was offset by falling truck sales. The company says new models boosted car sales by 29 percent. But sales of the Chevrolet Silverado, GM's top-selling vehicle, fell almost 17 percent from a year ago.

  • By Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall. Oct 2- General Motors Co, the largest U.S. automaker, reported a 1.5 percent increase in September auto sales on the strength of its passenger car sales, while Ford Motor Co posted sales that were on par with its results from a year earlier.

  • NOVI, Mich.-- Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. on Tuesday named Jeffrey Edwards as the next president and chief executive of the company and its main operating subsidiary. The Novi, Mich.- based auto parts company said that Edwards will succeed James McElya, its current president and CEO, when McElya retires on Oct. 15..

  • DETROIT, Oct 2- Toyota Motor Corp:.

  • DETROIT-- Ford Motor Co. says its U.S. sales were flat in September as increases in sales of cars and SUVs were weighed down by lower truck sales. Ford's truck sales fell 7.6 percent, largely because of the discontinuation of the Ranger small pickup. The Ranger was a strong seller last September.

  • AUBURN HILLS, Mich.-- Chrysler Group LLC said Tuesday that its September U.S. sales rose 12 percent, crediting strong demand for new models, low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy. BY THE NUMBERS: The Auburn Hills, Mich.- based automaker said it sold 142,041 vehicles last month, up from 127,336 in the same month a year earlier.