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Top News & Analysis Ohio

  • ATTENTION SHOPPERS: Kroger Co. is forecasting stronger growth in the years ahead, as company executives outlined plans to expand into new and existing markets, as well as grow the core business. CASHING IN: The Cincinnati- based company now expects earnings per share to grow 8 to 11 percent, up from the previous forecast of 6 to 8 percent.

  • Johnson& Johnson's third-quarter profit fell 7 percent as litigation and acquisition costs and factory upgrade expenses related to its consumer product recalls offset higher medicine and medical device sales.

  • PITTSBURGH-- Pennsylvania's Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a natural gas case that could create chaos for major energy companies and thousands of leaseholders. The Powers estate claims that the reference to "minerals" in the old deed gives them part ownership of the natural gas locked in the Marcellus Shale under the property.

  • BOSTON-- Investors, concerned about PNC Financial Services Group Inc.' s ability to grow profit amid record-low interest rates and increasing expenses, drove down the bank's shares Tuesday after its third-quarter results.

  • CLEVELAND-- Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp. said Tuesday that three major independent proxy advisory firms have recommended that Eaton shareholders vote in favor of the company's pending acquisition of Cooper Industries plc.

  • NEW ORLEANS-- A federal magistrate judge has ordered NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to provide the court with documents related to the league's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said league officials have already discussed the order with Knowles and have agreed to comply.

  • New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III said Tuesday that Holmgren was out as team president, although the Super Bowl-winning coach will remain with the franchise to help in the transition. Haslam was introduced as the Browns' new boss after the 32 NFL owners unanimously approved his $1 billion purchase of the team from Randy Lerner.

  • HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.-- Republican White House challenger Mitt Romney conferred with his debate practice partner while President Barack Obama exercised before his final study review for Tuesday's debate, both hoping it would help them pull ahead in the razor-tight race.

  • CINCINNATI-- Cintas announced a 10- cent increase to its annual dividend. The new dividend will be paid on Dec. 12 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 9, Cintas said. Shares of Cintas Corp. rose 15 cents to $42.15 in afternoon trading.

  • NEW YORK-- Kroger is forecasting stronger growth in the years ahead, as the nation's biggest traditional supermarket operator continues to transform the format of its stores to fend off competitors and keep up with changing shopping habits.

  • NEW YORK-- A Republican-leaning independent group supporting Mitt Romney's presidential bid is spending $11.1 million on new television ads aimed at women. The group planned to air the new ad on national and local cable stations, and in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

  • TARRYTOWN, N.Y.-- A federal hearing that could decide the future of an Entergy Corp. nuclear plant in the New York City suburbs began Monday on a less-than-dramatic note. The hearing was dominated by a highly technical discussion about how to predict where corrosion might occur in the miles of piping at the Indian Point nuclear plant.

  • NEW YORK-- A renewed focus on investment returns and continuing market share gains should lead to higher earnings for The Kroger Co., an analyst said Tuesday, as he lifted his rating on the stock to "Buy."

  • "It's just way too much," says Scot French, a history professor at the University of Central Florida. He lives along the swing-voting Interstate 4 corridor that will play an important role in deciding whether President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins the state, and perhaps the White House.

  • MONTPELIER, Vt.-- Don't let the bright eyes and bushy tails fool you. In southern Vermont, Clarence Boston said he hasn't seen such an infestation of pests in the 33 years he has been an orchardist on 60 farms in five states. This year's squirrel boom in parts of Vermont followed two seasons of bountiful acorn and beechnut crops and last year's mild winter.

  • JACKSON CENTER, Ohio-- Thor Industries Inc. said Monday that a search is under way for a new chief financial officer to replace Christian G. Farman, who has resigned to pursue other interests. Shares of Thor rose 84 cents, or 2.3 percent, to end at $36.88. Since trading at a low of $22.25 last December the stock has steadily risen to recently peak at $37.85.

  • WITH HONORS: College savings plans offered through four states earned top marks from Morningstar in the company's annual update to ratings of so-called 529 plans. PRETTY GOOD: Four other plans earned silver-medal honors from Morningstar. Those 529 plans are sponsored by Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.

  • WILLIAMSBURG, Va.-- With the economy showing some signs of improvement three weeks before Election Day, President Barack Obama on Monday laid down a full embrace of the economic record many Republicans say is his biggest weakness.

  • General Electric and Military Families at Syracuse University are developing a reference guide that employers can use to help them more effectively recruit and mentor veterans.

  • COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Ohio motorists are seeing lower gas prices compared with last week. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the state was $3.62 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. The national average Monday was $3.79, down 3 cents from a week ago.