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Top News & Analysis United States

  • NORFOLK, Va.-- Virginia Port Authority officials are holding a public hearing on proposals to privatize some of the Port of Virginia's operations. The Port of Virginia is the third-largest port on the East Coast. But state officials have been frustrated that it hasn't rebounded from the recession as quickly as its competitors in New York and Savannah, Ga., have.

  • HOUSTON-- Mattress retailer Mattress Firm says a secondary public offering of about 4.7 million shares has priced at $29.85 apiece. Mattress Firm Holding Corp. said Thursday that it is not selling any shares in the offering. Shares of the Houston- based company, which went public in November 2011, gained $1.56, or 5.2 percent, to $31.74 in morning trading.

  • NEW YORK-- A new report is highly critical of the Long Island Rail Road's work crew productivity. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Inspector General Barry Kluger reviewed several recent construction projects and found that LIRR crews reported to work late, knocked off early and that a lack of oversight was widespread.

  • WASHINGTON-- Orders to U.S. factories fell in August from July, mostly because of a sharp drop in volatile aircraft orders. The decline offset an increase in orders that reflect corporate investment plans. The Commerce Department said Thursday that factory orders dropped 5.2 percent in August, the biggest decline in more than three years.

  • HARRISBURG, Pa.-- Officials at Exelon Corp.' s Three Mile Island nuclear facility in central Pennsylvania are beginning to test a new emergency siren system. Exelon says the sirens have improved sound and better battery backup to ensure they'll work during an electrical outage.

  • CARSON CITY, Nev.-- State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto says Nevada residents who lost their homes to foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 have until Dec. 31 to submit an application for possible compensation under the federal Independent Foreclosure Review program.

  • NEW BRITAIN, Conn.-- A New Britain Superior Court judge has backed Connecticut's first proposed wind farm. Judge Henry Cohn rejected opponents' claims that the six turbines proposed for Colebrook would unduly hurt the environment or harm neighbors.

  • PHOENIX-- Public and private economists weigh in on the state of Arizona's economy on Thursday as legislative budget analysts evaluate Arizona's fiscal health. The economists serve on the Finance Advisory Committee. That group provides input to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee staff.

  • AUGUSTA, Maine-- Kaplan University has opened a new campus in Augusta. It's Kaplan's third campus in Maine, joining other ones in South Portland and Lewiston. Kaplan University is based in Chicago and serves nearly 50,000 online and campus-based students.

  • DOVER, Del.-- Bank of America Corp. is asking the state for up to $10 million in taxpayer money for infrastructure needs related to a processing center project in New Castle County, Del..

  • The USS Michael Murphy, a 510- foot destroyer, is being commissioned this weekend in New York City for a Long Island native and Navy lieutenant who became the first American awarded the Medal of Honor during the Afghanistan War when he was killed along with two fellow SEALs during an ambush in 2005. He was 29..

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- New York is being recognized for being an energy-efficient state. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy rated New York No. 3 behind Massachusetts and California in its state-by-state scorecard for energy efficiency released Wednesday.

  • DULUTH, Ga.-- Life insurance company Primerica agreed to buy back approximately 2.1 million shares of its common stock from private equity firm Warburg Pincus for just over $60 million. Primerica Inc. said Thursday that it agreed to pay $28.74 per share for the stock, which was where it closed on Wednesday.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 4- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose only slightly last week after a big drop the week before, keeping in place a trend that suggested a mild improvement in the labor market.

  • will start selling Nokia's Lumia smartphones in November, making it the first carrier to announce a partnership with the Finnish company on selling Lumia in the United States. Nokia announced earlier it would start selling the smartphones in Europe in November with specific price points.

  • STATE COLLEGE, Pa.-- Penn State won't increase football season ticket prices or current donation levels in 2013, and announced tweaks to guidelines including a lower, $200 level of giving for booster-club members.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- U.S. "Some accounts believe the payrolls data will be better than the consensus forecast," said Tom di Galoma, managing director at Navigate Advisors LLC. Though yields on Spanish debt have recently risen, Spain found buyers for its debt at auction, which also damped demand for safe-haven assets like U.S. government debt.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling might have to sell or give up the famed blood-stained sock he wore on the team's way to the 2004 World Series championship to cover millions of dollars in loans he guaranteed to his failed video game company.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- Light Louisiana Sweet, the U.S. Gulf Coast cash crude benchmark, rose $1.20 a barrel on Thursday to trade at $19.95 over the futures benchmark West Texas Intermediate after a fire at Exxon's Baytown, Texas refinery, trade sources said.

  • SANTA FE, N.M.-- New Mexico's Court of Appeals has ruled against a group of current and former Hobbs residents who sued an oil company because of illnesses and other damages. The court on Tuesday upheld a Lea County District Court decision not to grant a new trial in the case against Shell Oil Co. and Shell Western Exploration and Production Inc..