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  • EL DORADO, Ark.-- Murphy Oil is splitting in two in order to better focus on the separate tasks of exploration and production, and the sale of gasoline and other goods through its retail locations. Murphy will become an independent oil exploration and production company focused on the U.S., Canada and Malaysia.

  • DALLAS-- Traffic and average prices both weakened in September, but analysts believe Southwest Airlines still made money in the third quarter. Southwest, which carries the most passengers within the U.S. of any airline, is scheduled to report financial results on Thursday.

  • NEW YORK-- Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP said Monday that a subsidiary has purchased the remaining 65 percent equity interest in PL Midstream LLC from Boardwalk Pipelines Holding Corp. for $269 million. The holding corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Loews Corp. and the parent of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners' general partner.

  • COSTA MESA, Calif.-- Pacific Premier Bancorp. Inc. said Monday that it agreed to buy First Associations Bank in a deal valued at $53.7 million. First Associations had $356.2 million in assets and $305.5 million in deposits as of Sept. 30.

  • HOUSTON-- A former attorney in Houston who portrayed himself as a real estate investment tycoon has pleaded guilty in a $7.8 million Ponzi scheme. Federal prosecutors in Houston say 67- year-old Billy Frank Davis pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud. Investigators say more than 20 investigators were scammed.

  • AUSTIN, Texas-- University of Texas regents approved a plan Monday to offer courses to students around the world through an advanced online platform alongside Harvard, MIT and the University of California-Berkeley.

  • GALVESTON, Texas-- Galveston had a record $8.4 million in peak-season tourism revenue this year in a continuing turnaround since Hurricane Ike battered the Southeast Texas island. The Galveston County Daily-News reported Monday that officials believe a $100,000 marketing campaign called "It's Island Time" contributed to the increase.

  • BROWNSVILLE, Texas-- When the federal government began seizing private land along the U.S.- Mexico border to build a towering fence, Teofilo Flores was offered $1,650 for a slice of his backyard. And another nearby farmer pocketed $1 million in exchange for his cooperation.

  • Gibbs Sports Amphibians says its new Quadski, which can drive on land as well as in the water, will go on sale before the end of this year. _ PRICE: The company says it will cost around $40,000. Dealerships will be concentrated in New York, Boston, the Great Lakes, Florida and Texas.

  • DETROIT-- Amphibious vehicles could soon be zooming out of James Bond's garage _ or pond _ and into yours. Michigan- based Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc. hopes to sell the vehicle worldwide by 2014.. It's sort of magic, "the founder of Gibbs Sports Amphibians, Alan Gibbs, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee called on the Massachusetts pharmacy board to tell congressional staff what it knew about the New England Compounding Center before the recall of more than 17,000 vials of injectable steroid treatments for back and joint pain from health facilities in 23 states.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 12- The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday widened its investigation into the deadly meningitis outbreak to include the role health regulators played in monitoring the pharmacy that produced steroid treatments suspected of causing the crisis.

  • HOUSTON, Oct 12- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said its latest analysis of seismic faults near PG&E Corp's Diablo Canyon nuclear station in California showed the coastal plant could withstand an earthquake generated by an offshore fault identified in 2008, according to a statement on Friday.

  • DALLAS-- Southwest Airlines is making a 180- degree turn and raising fares on many routes by up to $10 per round trip. But on Friday, Southwest raised fares $2 each way for trips under 501 miles, $3 each way for 501 to 1,000 miles, and $5 each way for longer trips.

  • DALLAS-- American Airlines says it will modify seats on 49 more planes to prevent rows of seats from coming loose during flight. Crews will add a "secondary locking device" to seats in most of American's Boeing 767 s, spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said Friday. The seats involved are made by Weber Aircraft LLC, which did not immediately return calls for comment.

  • AKRON, Ohio, Oct 12- A man lured to Ohio by a phony Craigslist job ad testified on Friday that a teenager charged with trying to kill him waited in a car while an accomplice walked into a heavily wooded area with the victim and shot him last November.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 12- The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday widened its investigation into the deadly meningitis outbreak to include the role health regulators played in monitoring the pharmacy that produced steroid treatments suspected of causing the crisis.

  • DALLAS-- The CEO of American Eagle says he expects that the regional affiliate of American Airlines will still be sold or spun off as a separate company after American emerges from bankruptcy protection.

  • HOUSTON, Oct 12- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said its latest analysis of seismic faults near PG&E Corp's Diablo Canyon nuclear station in California showed the coastal plant could withstand an earthquake generated by an offshore fault identified in 2008, according to a statement on Friday.

  • DALLAS-- American Airlines says it will do repairs on 49 more planes to prevent the seats from coming loose during flight. Airline spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said Friday that crews will add a backup locking device to seats in most of its Boeing 767 s. Huguely says the work started Thursday and will be done by Oct. 21.