Business at a glance
Eastwood Mall’s Residence Inn now open
NILES – The 103-suite Residence Inn by Marriott, under construction for two years, has opened for business, the hotel announced.
The $14 million investment developed, owned and managed by TMI Hospitality of North Dakota will operate as “The Residence Inn Youngstown Warren / Niles,” a Marriott franchise. The all-suite hotel is connected to Eastwood Mall. It is designed for stays of five nights or more. Each suite has a fully-equipped kitchen.
“This hotel is unique to our portfolio due to its physical connection to the Eastwood Mall,” said Rick Larson, president of TMI Hospitality. “Our intent was to create a space that offers guest convenience and comfort during their stay.”
TMI operates about 200 hotels in 26 states, including 23 in Ohio.
A banquet facility also attached to the hotel is not scheduled to open until summer 2015.
Motorola to close Texas smartphone factory
FORT WORTH, Texas – Google’s Motorola Mobility handset unit announced Friday it will shutter its North Texas factory by the end of this year, barely a year after it opened with much fanfare as the first smartphone assembly plant in the U.S.
At the time, Google had explained its surprising decision by saying the location would enable it to fulfill customized, built-to-order devices and deliver them anywhere in the U.S. within five days.
But sales of its flagship phone, the Moto X, have been too weak and the costs of running the plant too high to keep operations going, Motorola Mobility spokesman Will Moss said. Singapore-based international contract electronics manufacturer Flextronics Ltd. operates the plant.
New Mexico city working on who gets Atari games
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – Officials in southeastern New Mexico began work on a plan this week to divide a cache of Atari video games dug up from an old landfill last month.
Joe Lewandowski, a consultant for the film companies that documented the dig, issued a draft of a distribution plan to Alamogordo city officials on Tuesday.
Lewandowski said that some of the games should be given to the filmmakers, museums and the public.
“They’re considered to have value because they’re part of the legend,” Lewandowski told The Associated Press on Friday. “It’s a piece of history.”
Panel: Baker must make cakes for gay weddings
DENVER – Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state’s anti-discrimination statutes.
The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission upheld an administrative law judge’s finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. The couple sued.
“I can believe anything I want, but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people,” Commissioner Raju Jaram said.
No prices change in local financial stocks
First Niles Financial held steady in trading Friday to close at $8.30 a share. Cortland Bancorp also was unchanged at $12.05 a share.
Staff and wire reports
Business at a glance
GM recalls 500 pickups, SUVs for air bag controls
DETROIT – General Motors is recalling about 500 pickup trucks and SUVs to fix faulty air bag controls, its 30th recall so far this year.
The company is in the midst of a companywide safety review after it mishandled the recall of more than 2.6 million older small cars with faulty ignition switches. GM has acknowledged knowing about the switch problem for more than a decade before it began recalling the cars in February.
GM says Friday’s recall covers full-size pickups and SUVs from the 2014 and 2015 model years. All 500 are still at dealerships and won’t be sold until repairs are made.
Suzuki recalls GM-made small cars for fire problem
DETROIT – Suzuki is recalling more than 184,000 small cars in the U.S. because the steering columns can catch fire.
The recall covers Forenza models from 2004 through 2008 and Reno models from 2005 through 2008. Both vehicles were made for Suzuki by General Motors.
The Japanese automaker says the headlamp switch or daytime running light modules can overheat, melt and catch fire on the left side of the steering column.
Recalled beef may have been sent to 10 states
DETROIT – Federal food safety officials say ground beef recalled by a Detroit business may have been sent to stores in 10 states.
According to an announcement Thursday, the U.S. agriculture department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says it has reason to believe recalled beef was sent to retail outlets in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Wolverine Packing Co. announced Monday it was recalling 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli.
FSIS said Friday that 11 people have been sickened.
Consumers can see a list of recalled products and potentially affected stores on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.
U.S. gains trade victory in auto dispute with China
GENEVA – The United States has scored a victory before the World Trade Organization in a case that challenged China’s imposition of penalty tariffs on the sale of $5 billion in U.S.-made vehicles in China.
A WTO panel ruled Friday that China’s tariffs violated international trade rules. The ruling came during a week when the U.S. Justice Department charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into U.S. companies’ computer systems to steal trade secrets.
The two developments pointed to intensifying trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.
The dispute panel for the Geneva-based WTO sided with the United States in its ruling. It said China had acted “inconsistently” in imposing the anti-dumping requirements in violation of its WTO commitments.
Local bank stocks reported
First Niles Financial held steady in trading Friday to close at $8.30 a share. Cortland Bancorp held steady at $12.35 a share.
Staff, wire reports
Business at a glance
Timken Co. names new president and chairman
The board of directors for Canton-based Timken Company, which operates a plant in Niles, this week named Richard G. Kyle as president and CEO of the company, and elected John M. Timken Jr. as chairman of the board.
Kyle replaces James W. Griffith, president since 1999 and CEO since 2002, who is retiring. Ward J. “Tim” Timken, who had been executive chairman since 2005, will serve as chairman, chief executive officer and president of the new TimkenSteel Corporation, a spin-off company announced in September, and will remain a director on the Timken board.
The Niles plant, which services industrial customers providing wear-resistant parts for mechanical power trains, is one of 25 service and repair facilities operating under the new TimkenSteel Corp.
Avalon Holdings reports loss during first quarter
WARREN – Avalon Holdings Corp., based in Howland, announced a net loss in its first quarter 2014 financial results.
Net operating revenues decreased to $10 million in the first quarter of 2014 compared with $14.7 million in the first quarter of 2013. The company incurred a net loss of $.7 million or $.18 per share in the first quarter of 2014 compared with a net loss of $.1 million or $.04 per share for the first quarter of 2013, the company announced Friday.
Avalon Holdings Corp. provides waste management services to industrial, commercial, municipal and governmental customers in selected northeastern and midwestern U.S. markets. Avalon Holdings Corp. also owns the Avalon Golf and Country Club.
Business at a glance
Campaign to turn away gay couples moves ahead
PORTLAND, Ore. – A ballot measure is moving forward aimed at business owners who want to turn away same-sex couples whose weddings they object to for religious reasons.
The measure, titled the Protect Religious Freedom Initiative, seeks an exemption to Oregon’s anti-discrimination law, and comes one year after a suburban Portland bakery refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding because of its owners’ religious beliefs.
The initiative joins legislation in at least 10 other states, most of which withered and died under a national outcry that they would legalize discrimination.
Court sides with U.S. in cell-tracking records case
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department does not have to turn over information on cases involving warrantless cellphone tracking if the cases ended without a defendant’s conviction, a divided federal appeals court ruled Friday in upholding privacy protections for people acquitted of crimes.
The ruling came in a public records lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had requested information on federal cases in which law enforcement had obtained cellphone tracking data without a warrant to track a user’s whereabouts.
Report: Apple on verge of buying Beats for $3.2B
SAN FRANCISCO – Apple is orchestrating a $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming distributor founded by hip-hop star Dr. Dre and music industry impresario Jimmy Iovine, according to a published report.
Citing people familiar with the negotiations, The Financial Times says Apple could announce the deal as early as next week. In its report posted online late Thursday, the newspaper warned the talks could still collapse if the two sides cannot agree on some final details.
Both Apple Inc. and Beats Electronics declined to comment to The Associated Press. The potential acquisition would add Beats Electronics’ popular line of headphones and music streaming service to an Apple line-up that already includes digital music players and the iTunes store, the world’s top music retailer.
Geithner memoir: He made repeated offers to resign
WASHINGTON – Timothy Geithner says in a new memoir that he repeatedly offered to resign as Treasury secretary in the aftermath of the financial crisis and at one point suggested that Hillary Rodham Clinton be among those considered to replace him.
President Barack Obama rebuffed Geithner’s suggestion, and he remained at Treasury until 2013.
Geithner’s memoir will be published next week.
On Thursday, The Associated Press bought an early copy.
Geithner recalls his offers of resignation in “Stress Test,” which explores his turbulent four years at Treasury. During his tenure, the Obama administration confronted the worst recession and most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Local bank stocks reported
First Niles Financial held steady in trading Friday, closing at $7.50 per share. Cortland Bancorp also remained unchanged, closing at $11.75 a share.
Staff, wire reports