[ {"id":"6aab0f40-b81d-11e6-a05b-178fd0bf290b","type":"link","starttime":"1481411700","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T16:15:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481412242","priority":42,"sections":[{"tucson":"business/tucson"},{"dining":"entertainment/dining"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Five restaurants failed Pima County health inspections in November","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/five-restaurants-failed-pima-county-health-inspections-in-november/collection_4f95df0e-b805-11e6-9547-b7614ba02f8b.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/five-restaurants-failed-pima-county-health-inspections-in-november/collection_4f95df0e-b805-11e6-9547-b7614ba02f8b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"One location failed another inspection less than three months ago.\u00a0Plus inspections for the last 3 months.\u00a0Three have passed follow-up inspections and two are awaiting re-inspection.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#topstory","#bestof"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"af3d3eee-b81d-11e6-a669-5fabd7f0bb5d","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"320","height":"180","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/f3/af3d3eee-b81d-11e6-a669-5fabd7f0bb5d/5840b2006b23d.image.jpg?resize=320%2C180"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/f3/af3d3eee-b81d-11e6-a669-5fabd7f0bb5d/5840b2006b23d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/f3/af3d3eee-b81d-11e6-a669-5fabd7f0bb5d/5840b2006b23d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/f3/af3d3eee-b81d-11e6-a669-5fabd7f0bb5d/5840b2006b23d.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":10,"url":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/five-restaurants-failed-pima-county-health-inspections-in-november/collection_4f95df0e-b805-11e6-9547-b7614ba02f8b.html"}, {"id":"a44c8317-febc-5484-9042-9ce4bcbe755b","type":"article","starttime":"1481410806","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T16:00:06-07:00","lastupdated":"1481412680","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"travel":"travel"},{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Southwest to resume Los Angeles flights to 3 Mexico resorts","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_a44c8317-febc-5484-9042-9ce4bcbe755b.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/southwest-to-resume-los-angeles-flights-to-mexico-resorts/article_a44c8317-febc-5484-9042-9ce4bcbe755b.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/southwest-to-resume-los-angeles-flights-to-mexico-resorts/article_defc3aae-8f96-5e91-930a-17b5d3377ead.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"SAN FRANCISCO (AP) \u2014 Southwest Airlines is hoping to resume recently suspended flights between Los Angeles and three resort cities in Mexico beginning Sunday.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","travel","lifestyle","air travel disruptions","transportation","air travel","budget travel","transportation and shipping","industrial products and services"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"a44c8317-febc-5484-9042-9ce4bcbe755b","body":"

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) \u2014 Southwest Airlines is hoping to resume recently suspended flights between Los Angeles and three resort cities in Mexico beginning Sunday.

The airline had cancelled all its flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun since Wednesday because all the necessary paperwork hadn't been completed.

Southwest says Mexican authorities issued the permits Friday night to clear the way for the airline to resume its Los Angeles service to and from the cities affected by the shutdown.

A total of 40 flights were canceled during the four-day suspension of service. Southwest says it is trying to rebook the passengers on the canceled flights.

Separately, American Airlines says it also has received the paperwork it needed to begin service between Miami and the Mexico city of Merida.

"}, {"id":"a0eacf1f-5f13-5e08-b662-7329fe452052","type":"article","starttime":"1481404336","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T14:12:16-07:00","lastupdated":"1481406345","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Greece passes austerity 2017 budget, eyes 2.7 percent growth","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_a0eacf1f-5f13-5e08-b662-7329fe452052.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/greece-passes-austerity-budget-eyes-percent-growth/article_a0eacf1f-5f13-5e08-b662-7329fe452052.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/greece-passes-austerity-budget-eyes-percent-growth/article_aea6b586-1dec-5eb0-9c2a-c5a7a25e9897.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":4,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"ATHENS, Greece (AP) \u2014 Greece's Parliament has passed a budget of continued austerity as mandated by the country's creditors, but which forecasts robust growth for 2017.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","financial crisis","government and politics","legislature","government finance","government business and finance","national governments","economy","financial markets"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"0e274ae6-7c02-594c-880a-ef5243c7636f","description":"Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, front, addresses lawmakers during a parliamentary session in Athens, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. 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ATHENS, Greece (AP) \u2014 Greece's Parliament has passed a budget of continued austerity as mandated by the country's creditors, but which forecasts robust growth for 2017.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says it will mark Greece's \"final exit\" from its nearly decade-long financial crisis.

The budget adds more than 1 billion euros in new taxes, mostly indirect taxes on items from phone calls to alcohol. It also cuts spending by over 1 billion euros.

The budget was backed by the left-dominated ruling coalition and opposed by all other parties. It passed by a vote of 152-146 on Saturday.

Despite the continued austerity, Tsipras predicted that 2017 will be a \"landmark year\" with 2.7 percent economic growth. He said his government has achieved a higher-than-forecast 2016 primary surplus.

"}, {"id":"6a2ceed0-d6bf-5f1c-9a1f-88ff62b0ea1b","type":"article","starttime":"1481400181","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T13:03:01-07:00","lastupdated":"1481405421","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"},{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Workers at endangered Indiana plant feel forgotten by Trump","url":"http://tucson.com/news/national/article_6a2ceed0-d6bf-5f1c-9a1f-88ff62b0ea1b.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/national/workers-at-endangered-indiana-plant-feel-forgotten-by-trump/article_6a2ceed0-d6bf-5f1c-9a1f-88ff62b0ea1b.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/news/national/workers-at-endangered-indiana-plant-feel-forgotten-by-trump/article_1a7810df-bc59-53a3-91fd-dd080d767691.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":5,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By TOM DAVIES\nAssociated Press","prologue":"HUNTINGTON, Ind. 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Davis works at the United Technologies Electronic Controls factory in Huntington where workers are working mostly seven days a week since late October, making control panels for the furnace, air conditioning and refrigeration industries. Leaders of their union believe the company is doing so ahead of the factory's layoffs expected to start in April and continue into 2018. 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HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) \u2014 A full parking lot and 50-hour workweeks belie the anxiety at the United Technologies-owned factory outside a small northeastern Indiana city, where Mike Harmon and co-workers wonder whether they aren't just stockpiling parts for when the company sends their 700 jobs to Mexico.

Their situation has gained scant attention compared to the sister Carrier Corp. factory two hours away in Indianapolis, which became a rallying cause against plant closures during the presidential campaign and where President-elect Donald Trump intervened to stem some \u2014 not all \u2014 job losses.

\"I don't think they look at us, being from a small town ...\" said Harmon, a 44-year-old Huntington native who's worked at the factory for seven years. \"The whole time during the campaign he talked Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indianapolis, never heard one word about Huntington.\"

It's a perceived slight that stings in a county where 72 percent voted for Trump and manufacturing makes up about one-fifth of all jobs.

On Dec. 1, Trump and Vice President-elect/Indiana Gov. Mike Pence touted Trump's role in Carrier deciding to reverse about 800 planned job cuts at the Indianapolis plant \u2014 a move that also provides United Technologies $7 million in state incentives. Neither they nor company CEO Greg Hayes mentioned the Huntington plant or discussed the some 500 Carrier jobs still being lost.

Employees at the United Technologies Electronic Controls factory in Huntington say they've been working mostly seven days a week since late October, making control panels for the furnace, air conditioning and refrigeration industries. Leaders of their union believe the company is doing so ahead of the factory's layoffs expected to start in April and continue into 2018.

But Connecticut-based United Technologies said in a statement that its plans haven't changed. It declined a request to interview a company executive. Hayes has cited a belief that the Trump administration will cut corporate taxes and stem business regulations.

Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department has issued over 1,600 approvals for layoffs or plant closings since 2015 as a result of shifting production overseas or competition from imports, according to the American Alliance of Manufacturing. Indiana has one of the nation's most manufacturing-dependent economies even though it has lost 144,000 such jobs, or 22 percent, since 2000.

Trump has warned he'll impose a 35 percent tariff on goods imported by companies that outsource production, and a week ago on Twitter ripped plans by Milwaukee-based Rexnord to close a 300-worker Indianapolis bearings factory in another production shift to Mexico.

But isn't clear whether Trump intends to keep personally intervening in corporate decisions. Three days after the Carrier factory trip, Pence told ABC's \"This Week\" that Trump will \"make those decisions on a day-by-day basis in the course of the transition, in the course of the administration.\"

Government leaders have long been involved in cutting deals with corporations, according to Scott Paul, president of the American Alliance for Manufacturing.

\"It is a fact of life in the real world. Governors engage in economic development on a regular basis, usually they are trying to attract jobs,\" he said. \"Countries do the same thing every day.\"

Some Huntington workers are upset over the tax incentives for a company that also owns Pratt & Whitney \u2014 a big supplier of fighter jet engines that relies in part on U.S. military contracts.

Bob Breedlove, a 60-year-old who's worked at the plant for a decade, voted for Trump and still thinks he's the right person, even though he's \"not crazy about this deal.\"

\"My tax dollars are going to save them, but they aren't going to help save my job,\" Breedlove said. \"I know how much money this company makes, they don't need our help to stay in business and make a profit.\"

Manufacturing jobs are a valuable part of Huntington County's economy, with average annual pay topping $57,000 in 2015, according to the Indiana Business Research Center. That's nearly 50 percent more than the county's overall average earnings.

The United Technologies factory, which draws employees from several nearby communities, is seen as stable employment. Tucked along a bypass of the 17,000-person city and surrounded by miles of farmland, it recently seemed to be the busiest of the 10 or so businesses in an industrial park.

Rouie Hawkins met her husband, Ford, at the factory. They're both still there but have a Plan B: He's making plans to start a used-car business and she's weighing whether to take advantage of the union's severance agreement for reimbursement toward up to four years of college.

\"I'll be 50 soon and I worry about even if I go back to school, then I'll be in my mid 50s when I finish a degree and who's going to want to hire me,\" Hawkins said.

Harmon, whose wife also works at the factory, said it's his third factory closing. He's worried he won't find anything close to the $17 an hour United Technologies provides. The couple has two children in college and two in high school and is doing what he called \"major couponing\" and cutting back on non-necessities.

\"I've told my family that 'You've got DirectTV right now. Next year at this time, you may have antenna TV,'\" Harmon said. \"Our main thing right now is banking money so that we can try to survive when we are let go.\"

At a downtown diner, Lori Guy explained that her vote for Trump already is paying off, even if it didn't help her town. \"I'm sure if there was a way, he would have saved more jobs,\" said Guy, who works at an apartment complex where many United Technologies staffers live.

Blake Hancock, his mother and his aunt all work at the plant. While he's grateful for the jobs that are staying in Indiana, the 25-year-old believes Trump was trying to buff up his image, not protect workers.

\"There are still 1,300 people who are losing their jobs,\" Hancock said. \"I feel like it was a numbers game ... to buy the favor of the American public.\"

___

This story has been corrected to show that Bob Breedlove is 60, not 66.

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CLEVELAND (AP) \u2014 Northeast Ohio residents who have tried to get a natural gas pipeline moved away from their communities are vowing to engage in delay tactics after a federal agency dismissed their suggested alternate routes.

Opponents say they will not allow surveys or sell easements for the $2 billion NEXUS Gas Transmission project unless ordered to do so by a court.

\"I will stand my ground, as everyone else is standing, until all of our resources and options are exhausted,\" said Medina County resident Jon Strong, who has helped lead the effort to reroute the pipeline the last 2 \u00bd years.

The 255-mile-long line would carry gas from Appalachia across northern Ohio and into Michigan and Canada. Most of the high-pressured line would be in Ohio. Construction is slated to begin by March.

Federal law gives companies wide latitude to build interstate pipelines, and NEXUS Gas officials say the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's environmental impact study was a milestone move forward on the plans. Company spokesman Adam Parker said the alternate routes would take the pipeline away from its market areas and \"does not accomplish the project's purpose and need.\"

The company's last regulatory hurdle is winning a certificate of public convenience and necessity, which the company expects to get in early 2017. It also must complete surveys for the proposed route and pay land owners to bury the line on their properties.

The most fervent opposition has been centered in Medina and Summit counties, where opponents say the pipeline will come too close to homes and businesses. Officials in Green in southern Summit County provided three alternative routes to the commission to move the pipeline away from their city.

Green spokeswoman Valerie Wolford said the proposed route would be near schools and would cross backyards and a city park with sports fields. She added that residents are worried about the possibility of an explosion.

\"It's something we have to think about,\" Wolford said. \"You have to prepare for the worst.\"

Green hasn't allowed surveyors onto city property and won't sell easements until forced to do so, Wolford said.

Parker said the company has completed 95 percent of its needed surveys and has been negotiating with property owners to acquire easements.

\"We're continuing to work with land owners along the route,\" he said.

Mike Stafford lives less than a mile from Strong in Guilford Township. He said he allowed a survey of his land but won't make it easy for NEXUS going forward. The property that's been staked for the pipeline that will leave a \"50-foot hole that I can never fix,\" Stafford said.

\"It's not about the money, but if you're going to run a pipeline through my land without me wanting it here, I want all of the money I can get,\" Stafford said.

Strong stood in the back of his 11 acres recently admiring the scrubby tract of trees and bushes that he let grow wild from the meadow that existed when he built his house 22 years ago. Strong has set up remote cameras that, to his delight, frequently capture images of wildlife traipsing by. The pipeline would cut a 450-foot-long swath along the edge of his land.

\"I've spent hundreds of hours out here communicating with God,\" Strong said. \"It's where I pray. Over the years, you get to know every flower, every plant, every tree.\"

Strong and others have argued that it makes sense for the pipeline to be rerouted to farmland where field crops can be grown after construction and fewer people would be affected. No trees can be planted or structures built over the pipeline once it's completed. And they wonder how they can be forced to provide land in the U.S. for a pipeline that will benefit Canadian companies and residents.

The pipeline is a partnership between Houston-based Spectra Energy and Detroit's DTE Energy. The NEXUS pipeline was designed to carry gas to customers in Ohio and Michigan and to the Dawn Hub, a massive underground storage and gas trading facility Spectra owns in Ontario, Canada. A $28 billion merger between Spectra and Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Energy is expected to be completed early next year with the combined companies headquartered in Calgary.

Parker disputed the contention by opponents of the route that NEXUS has no customers for the pipeline. NEXUS has commitments for about 60 percent of the pipeline's capacity, he said.

Strong said he'll not allow surveyors onto his property and won't sell NEXUS an easement without a fight.

\"I'm just going to make my stand in principle and bring to light the issues that are so unjust,\" Strong said. \"At the end of the day, when I'm out of options, I'll have to make a deal like everyone else. Sooner or later, the man will crush me.\"

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OPEC member states are meeting with Russia and other non-OPEC countries in Vienna for talks about a reduction in oil production. Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said the discussions began Saturday in a \"positive atmosphere\" at the headquarters of the oil producers' cartel. 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VIENNA (AP) \u2014 OPEC has persuaded 11 non-members to cut oil production, a move aimed at draining a worldwide oil glut and boosting low prices that have squeezed government finances in Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Officials said Saturday that non-members agreed to cut 558,000 barrels per day for six months starting Jan. 1, and that the deal was renewable for another six months after that. The figure was less than the 600,000 barrels a day that OPEC had hoped for.

Those non-member cuts come on top of an OPEC decision Nov. 30 to reduce member output by 1.2 million barrels a day.

Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih called Saturday's deal \"historic\" and said it would stabilize the market through next year and encourage industry investment. The announcement came after OPEC member states met with Russia and other non-OPEC countries in Vienna for talks.

Al-Falih said the deal \"is meant to accelerate the natural process of rebalancing\" the oil market.

The 11 non-OPEC countries taking part in the agreement are: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan and South Sudan.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said much of the production cuts were expected to come from Russia, which co-chaired Saturday's meeting.

Major oil producers such as non-member Russia and cartel leader Saudi Arabia have seen a worldwide oversupply send prices lower and reduce revenues to government budgets.

It remains to be seen whether the cutbacks will do much to raise prices, given OPEC members' track record of exceeding agreed-upon production quotas, and due to weak uptake from a sluggish global economy.

Some non-OPEC countries such as Mexico were already seeing production wane due to weak demand. Al-Falih said \"the intent by all those who participated is to contribute to drawing down oil inventories that are excessive.\"

\"And whether the reduction in that over-supply comes from deliberate intervention \u2014 like it is the case in Saudi Arabia \u2014 or by simply managing the decline in a way that makes them meet this agreement is left to the countries themselves,\" he said.

Oil fell from over $90 per barrel in early 2014 to as low as $40 earlier this year, briefly sending the average price of regular gasoline at the pump to under $2 for motorists in the United States. Oil closed at $51.58 on Friday, up 6 percent since the OPEC production cut was announced.

___

David McHugh in Frankfurt contributed.

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A historic Arizona ranch now has new dudes.

Horses and cattle will soon be headed to Rancho de la Osa, near Sasabe, after it was bought at auction last month by self-described \u201cpassionate dude ranch owners.\u201d

The buyers, Robert Bucksbaum, who owns the Majestic Dude Ranch outside of Durango, Colo., Tucsonan Russell True, who grew up at and is now co-owner of the White Stallion Ranch, along with investors Jaye H. Wells and Paul Bear plan to welcome guests Feb. 1.

Wells is an architect and True\u2019s partner on his southwest dude ranches and Bear started the Rialto Theater and KXCI in Tucson.

The 240-acre property, with 10 buildings was auctioned on Oct. 22 and the sale closed Nov. 23.

Records from the Pima County Recorder\u2019s Office list a sale price of $710,600.

The buyers spared the ranch from fates such as becoming a ghost ranch, a housing site for the Border Patrol or a lavish, personal residence.

Rancho de la Osa was owned and operated by Veronica and Richard Schultz who fully restored and upgraded the ranch that abuts the 117,000-acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, along the Arizona-Mexico border.

The couple bought the guest ranch in 1996 and in 2014 put it up for sale, ready to retire and travel the world.

After two years, with no offers, the couple put the ranch up for auction.

True and Bucksbaum were introduced by Veronica Shultz.

True said the Schultz\u2019 care-taking of the ranch was \u201ca gift for us\u201d and called La Osa, \u201cArizona\u2019s most historic ranch.\u201d

Authentic experience with a twist

About a 90-minute drive from Tucson, the ranch has 19 guess rooms, a cantina, two dining rooms and 33 wood-burning fireplaces.

The property dates back to the 1700s.

The first building was erected by Jesuit priests as a trading post to exchange goods with local tribes and as a place for traveling missionaries who were carrying on the work of Eusebio Francisco Kino. It is believed to be the oldest continually used building in Arizona.

The ranch was included in the Gadsen Purchase and bought by Col. William Spencer Sturgis in 1889, who established it as La Osa Ranch.

When he first visited the property, Bucksbaum said, \u201cI was floored and I immediately knew it would be part of my life.

\u201cIt\u2019s magical when you first walk in,\u201d he said. \u201cKnowing that John Wayne and two presidents had been there and the 300-year-old building that is so well preserved \u2026 in Colorado, nothing is that old.\u201d

Along with traditional trail rides on horseback and cattle drives, the new owners plan to introduce other activities.

Guests will have access to fat-tire and electric mountain bikes, ATVs, hunting excursions, rock climbing and outdoor movies.

At his Colorado ranch, Bucksbaum has had success in brining in corporate retreats with unique activities, such as human foosball, which he plans to introduce at La Osa.

\u201cWe are stewards of this one-of-a-kind property,\u201d True said. \u201cWe will keep the authenticity, yet expand the options. We\u2019re going to introduce Colorado\u2019s adventure-style dude ranching to Arizona.\u201d

Down the road, the owners want to offer designation venues, such as mission tours in Sonora as part of a guest\u2019s stay, True said.

The oldest building, which now houses a cantina, will be transformed to an event room.

And, unlike some urban dude ranches that have been hurt by rooftops visible from the trail, \u201cWe\u2019re not fearful of a bunch of neighbors moving in,\u201d True said.

Attracting guests, new and old

Wells was one of the last guests at La Osa and helped haul away the horses.

\u201cIt was so sad and I was wracking my brain on how to save it,\u201d he said.

The chance to partner with the other investors was a thrill.

\u201cFirst order of business,\u201d Wells said, \u201cwill be to welcome back guests that loved the place and then go after the younger people who will enjoy the added activities.

\u201cThe wild west is really cool.\u201d

The European visitor will be a large target, especially during the summer months.

\u201cTo them, the heat is exotic,\u201d Wells said.

Recent job announcements in the Tucson area make incoming residents a natural guest to invite as the transplants explore their new home, he said.

The owners plan to stock up on a variety to tequilas and have tastings at the ranch and a Sunday brunch for locals to make a day trip.

Being right on the border with Mexico doesn\u2019t concern the owners.

\u201cIn Arizona it\u2019s a nonissue,\u201d True said. \u201cBut to people in Chicago and New York, it might be, yet I believe some are going to want to come to see the fence \u2026 we\u2019ll ride right along the fence.\u201d

True is a cofounder and president of the Arizona Dude Ranch Association and co-owns with partners the 270-acre Tombstone Monument Ranch near Tombstone.

He and Bucksbaum plan to share resources by co-managing the dude ranches \u2013 La Osa, White Stallion, Tombstone and the Majestic.

\u201cWe see the potential for administering and marketing these historic ranch properties through a centralized modern boutique management system,\u201d he said, \u201csuch as a single reservation system and shared marketing with linked websites.\u201d

Visitors who enjoy the dude ranch experience can rotate among the different options.

\u201cTravelers today seek out unique experiences in unique destinations and they have a great appreciation for history,\u201d True said. \u201cPeople care.\u201d

"}, {"id":"0dce2872-4927-5355-899e-c8dc86bc18d2","type":"article","starttime":"1481395981","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T11:53:01-07:00","lastupdated":"1481398280","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Utah deal on taxes to give Amazon standard vendor discount","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_0dce2872-4927-5355-899e-c8dc86bc18d2.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/utah-deal-on-taxes-to-give-amazon-standard-vendor-discount/article_0dce2872-4927-5355-899e-c8dc86bc18d2.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/utah-deal-on-taxes-to-give-amazon-standard-vendor-discount/article_15b821cc-89d1-5943-aa55-db0fad49ac5a.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 A negotiated deal will allow Amazon.com to keep 1.31 percent of the Utah sales taxes it will begin collecting from its Utah customers in January.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","technology","government finance","government business and finance","government and politics","state governments"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"0dce2872-4927-5355-899e-c8dc86bc18d2","body":"

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 A negotiated deal will allow Amazon.com to keep 1.31 percent of the Utah sales taxes it will begin collecting from its Utah customers in January.

The Deseret News (https://goo.gl/lbSZ14 ) reports that the deal does not include an incentive permitted under state law under which Amazon could have kept 18 percent of the revenue.

State Tax Commission Chairman John Valentine says Utah was able to reach an agreement with Amazon to receive the standard 1.31 percent discount that compensates vendors for costs of collecting taxes.

Utah officials say the state loses about $200 million a year from online retailers who don't collect sales tax from customers and forward them to the state.

Tax Commission spokesman Charlie Roberts says Amazon is the first online company to sign a voluntary compliance agreement.

"}, {"id":"951b887f-6fca-5eac-80ed-5be794640253","type":"article","starttime":"1481394270","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T11:24:30-07:00","lastupdated":"1481398282","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Venezuela seizes nearly 4M toys, will give them to poor kids","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_951b887f-6fca-5eac-80ed-5be794640253.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/venezuela-seizes-nearly-m-toys-will-give-them-to-poor/article_951b887f-6fca-5eac-80ed-5be794640253.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/venezuela-seizes-nearly-m-toys-will-give-them-to-poor/article_4993f4f6-4d26-56ab-82f0-0265d81445e8.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) \u2014 Venezuela's socialist government has seized nearly 4 million toys from a private company and says it will hand them out as Christmas gifts to poor children this holiday season.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","toys","holidays","recreation and leisure","lifestyle","occasions"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":4,"commentID":"951b887f-6fca-5eac-80ed-5be794640253","body":"

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) \u2014 Venezuela's socialist government has seized nearly 4 million toys from a private company and says it will hand them out as Christmas gifts to poor children this holiday season.

The country's fair pricing authority seized the toys Friday from three warehouses run by Kreisel, Venezuela's largest toy distributor. Two company executives were detained on suspicion of promoting price speculation.

Agency director William Contreras alleged that Kreisel underreported its inventory in order to sell some toys at higher prices. Kreisel has not commented officially beyond responding to Twitter messages of support.

Authorities said local supply committees will be in charge of distributing the toys \"fairly\" to children.

Venezuela has been wracked by a deep economic crisis accompanied by shortages of goods ranging from food staples to medicine.

"}, {"id":"7b6b9fe6-af90-524d-8131-4f85944f3689","type":"article","starttime":"1481392620","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T10:57:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481401926","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Report: Illinois Lottery didn't pay major scratch-off wins","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_7b6b9fe6-af90-524d-8131-4f85944f3689.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/report-illinois-lottery-didn-t-pay-major-scratch-off-wins/article_7b6b9fe6-af90-524d-8131-4f85944f3689.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/report-illinois-lottery-didn-t-pay-major-scratch-off-wins/article_d1f871e1-b570-59fa-8b01-2ae511910ac9.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"CHICAGO (AP) \u2014 The Illinois Lottery collected hundreds of millions of dollars in instant ticket sales during a roughly five-year period, but didn't hand out many of the cash grand prizes, according to a newspaper report.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","lotteries","gambling","consumer services","consumer products and services","recreation and leisure","lifestyle"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"7b6b9fe6-af90-524d-8131-4f85944f3689","body":"

CHICAGO (AP) \u2014 The Illinois Lottery collected hundreds of millions of dollars in instant ticket sales during a roughly five-year period, but didn't hand out many of the cash grand prizes, according to a newspaper report.

Lottery officials didn't hand out 23 grand prizes for the largest scratch-off games starting from 2011 \u2014 more than 40 percent of what was designed into the games, The Chicago Tribune reported (http://trib.in/2h6d1sa) in its weekend editions. One of those games, called The Good Life, offered $46 million in installments to two winners. Tickets were $30 apiece and millions were sold, but the game ended before the top prize was awarded.

Longtime player Jim Jurewicz, a suburban Chicago retiree, was frustrated by the findings.

\"A person's playing that game hoping to win a big one,\" he told the newspaper, \"And maybe they played it for six months or longer. And then all of a sudden the game's gone with all these winners supposedly unclaimed.\"

Illinois lagged behind other states that have high instant-game ticket sales when it came to paying out grand prizes, both in the number of prizes and the percentage of revenue, according to the Tribune.

In its investigation, the newspaper cited public documents obtained through open record requests and interviews as it reviewed 138 instant games over five fiscal years. The newspaper zeroed in on 17 games with the largest payouts from 2011, when private lottery manager Northstar Lottery Group took over, until June 2015. Winners have a year to claim prizes.

Northstar boosted the number of printed tickets, allowing them to offer bigger prizes. Suppliers and the state received more profit. But as sales of big-payout tickets dipped, Northstar pushed to remove tickets from stores, often before grand prizes were awarded.

Lottery officials didn't dispute the newspaper's findings, but they said they were misleading or insignificant.

\"Northstar consistently and unwaveringly made decisions for the benefit of the players and the Illinois Lottery and not its suppliers,\" said a statement from International Game Technology, one of two companies that formed Northstar.

Northstar has been under scrutiny for other areas, including not meeting profit projections. Illinois officials have been looking for a replacement manager.

One top elected leader says the findings are concerning. Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, said if players aren't treated fairly, they may stop playing. That could mean less revenue for the cash-strapped state.

___

Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com

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VIENNA (AP) \u2014 OPEC has persuaded 11 non-member countries to cut their oil production in an attempt to raise low prices that have put pressure on government finances in resource-dependent countries.

Qatari Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said Saturday that non-members agreed to cut 558,000 barrels per day, less than the 600,000 OPEC had hoped for.

Those non-member cuts would come on top of an OPEC decision Nov. 30 to reduce member output by 1.2 million barrels a day.

Major oil producers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia have seen an oil glut send prices lower and cramp their state budgets. It remains to be seen whether an OPEC-led cutback will do much to raise prices, given members' track record of exceeding agreed production amounts.

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VIENNA (AP) \u2014 Qatar energy minister: Non-OPEC countries agree to cut oil production by 558,000 barrels per day.

"}, {"id":"cc7c6c93-2ad8-57e9-9bad-e9a262b477bb","type":"article","starttime":"1481390957","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T10:29:17-07:00","lastupdated":"1481393729","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Manufacturer says it will bring 450 jobs to Greenville","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_cc7c6c93-2ad8-57e9-9bad-e9a262b477bb.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/manufacturer-says-it-will-bring-jobs-to-greenville/article_cc7c6c93-2ad8-57e9-9bad-e9a262b477bb.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/manufacturer-says-it-will-bring-jobs-to-greenville/article_ec021daf-e6ae-5126-9ab7-6a28e9a7ef5b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) \u2014 A New York-based manufacturer of consumer healthcare products says it plans to expand into Greenville and create 450 jobs.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","hiring and recruitment","consumer product manufacturing","containers and packaging manufacturing","pharmaceutical manufacturing","personnel","consumer products and services","materials industry","health care industry"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"cc7c6c93-2ad8-57e9-9bad-e9a262b477bb","body":"

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) \u2014 A New York-based manufacturer of consumer healthcare products says it plans to expand into Greenville and create 450 jobs.

The Greenville News reports (http://grnol.co/2gptwQY) PL Development, which manufactures, packages and distributes pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare products, will open a logistics center in an existing building on Old Griffin Road.

Company president Evan Singer said PL Development, based in Westbury, New York, will use the more than 200,000-square-foot building to deliver some of its key commodities to its site in Clinton.

Singer said the jobs will come in phases, with the first being the transportation hub and the second being for the company's manufacturing and packaging operations. But he also said 2018 will be the earliest that any real hiring will take place at the site.

___

Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com

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General Motors plans to recall nearly 50,000 sport utility vehicles made for police departments and other government agencies because of a hazard in the cooling system.

The problem affects the 2010 through 2014 models of the Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit SUV.

A GM notice sent to government regulators warned that the affected vehicles' cooling fan could trigger an electrical short circuit due to corrosion from fluids leaking into the system. The notice says the short circuit could cause a fire, but it didn't disclose if that happened to any of the 49,927 SUVs covered by the recall.

GM will notify owners of the affected vehicles and fix the problem for free.

More information from Chevrolet customer service at 800-222-1020. GM's referral number for the recall is 16145.

"}, {"id":"7c9d5669-ec70-5229-95dd-2caa4b281ef5","type":"article","starttime":"1481387121","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T09:25:21-07:00","lastupdated":"1481389207","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"world":"news/world"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"France gives boost to electric vehicles amid pollution peaks","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_7c9d5669-ec70-5229-95dd-2caa4b281ef5.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/france-gives-boost-to-electric-vehicles-amid-pollution-peaks/article_7c9d5669-ec70-5229-95dd-2caa4b281ef5.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/france-gives-boost-to-electric-vehicles-amid-pollution-peaks/article_5d91a9da-45d3-57bd-bf47-81f4937b9544.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"PARIS (AP) \u2014 The French government has announced an anti-pollution plan, including a financial boost to buy electric vehicles, as Paris and other cities in the country are emerging from a particularly severe episode of air pollution.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","automotive technology","environmental concerns","air quality","environment","environment and nature","industrial technology","technology","green vehicle technology","green technology","government and politics"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"7c9d5669-ec70-5229-95dd-2caa4b281ef5","body":"

PARIS (AP) \u2014 The French government has announced an anti-pollution plan, including a financial boost to buy electric vehicles, as Paris and other cities in the country are emerging from a particularly severe episode of air pollution.

Environment Minister Segolene Royal said Saturday professionals will get a bonus of up to 10,000 euros ($10,600) if they scrap their old diesel light commercial vehicles or taxis for electric ones, starting next month. The measure has been in effect for private buyers since last year.

Royal also said she will ask to exempt electric vehicles from highway tolls. A 1,000-euro bonus will be given when buying electric scooters.

Paris faced its worse winter pollution in a decade over the past week.

"}, {"id":"aa0091cf-8995-500e-9b64-72f276cbc0ef","type":"article","starttime":"1481385122","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T08:52:02-07:00","lastupdated":"1481387473","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Some building halted as counties react to water rights case","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_aa0091cf-8995-500e-9b64-72f276cbc0ef.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/some-building-halted-as-counties-react-to-water-rights-case/article_aa0091cf-8995-500e-9b64-72f276cbc0ef.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/some-building-halted-as-counties-react-to-water-rights-case/article_4685c8de-27f6-552c-a72b-22254001eec3.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By PHUONG LE\nAssociated Press","prologue":"SEATTLE (AP) \u2014 As counties across Washington respond to a far-reaching state Supreme Court decision involving water rights, angry and frustrated property owners are finding they cannot depend on groundwater wells to build new homes as they have in the past.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","government and politics","environmental conservation and preservation","state legislature","fish","environment","environment and nature","water environment","natural resource management","legislature","state governments","legal proceedings","law and order","human rights and civil liberties","social issues","social affairs","animals"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"97429230-d66a-53b3-80ca-9895f12bda0d","description":"In this Dec. 6, 2016 photo, Bud Breakey and his wife Deborah pose for a photo with their daughter Kaylin, 15 mos., by the well they paid to drill on property they own near Bellingham, Wash. 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SEATTLE (AP) \u2014 As counties across Washington respond to a far-reaching state Supreme Court decision involving water rights, angry and frustrated property owners are finding they cannot depend on groundwater wells to build new homes as they have in the past.

In October, the court sided with four residents and the group Futurewise who argued that Whatcom County failed to protect water resources by allowing new wells to reduce flow in streams for fish and other uses. The court said counties must independently ensure water is legally available before granting new building permits.

The decision is likely to affect thousands across the state and represents the latest struggle to balance competing needs of people and wildlife for limited water.

\"We have counties all across the state trying to figure out what's the answer going to be at the permit counter when someone comes to build their home,\" Laura Berg with the Washington State Association of Counties told lawmakers this month. \"They are also interpreting it differently.\"

On Tuesday, Whatcom County extended for three months an emergency moratorium on certain development that relies on permit-exempt wells. County officials estimate about 7,000 to 8,000 dwelling units would have relied on such wells.

Spokane and Okanogan counties have also adopted interim rules in response to the court decision, and Pierce County now requires a hydrogeologic study showing a well doesn't affect stream flows or senior water rights before a building permit can be issued.

The changes have upset many, who say it would be too expensive and nearly impossible to meet the new conditions. Many say they've spent thousands of dollars to prepare their lots to build only to discover they now can't get a permit because they can't necessarily rely on those wells.

\"I can't do anything with this property. I'm still making payments on it,\" said Bud Breakey, who spent $13,000 to dig a well on a 10-acre lot outside Bellingham. \"I've got all my money and the world wrapped up in this. This is my whole future.\"

He wants the emergency moratorium to be lifted until new regulations are in place. He and others are looking to the Legislature for a fix. Several state lawmakers say they plan to address the ruling in the upcoming session.

Jean Melious, an attorney who represented the four residents in the case, said the Supreme Court has consistently protected instream flows \u2014 water kept in rivers for fish, water quality and other uses.

\"You can plan so that new development goes in areas where water is available,\" said Melious, environmental studies professor at Western Washington University. \"The task for local government is to say where do we have water available?\"

Futurewise's Tim Trohimovich called the decision a common sense interpretation of state law.

\"Requiring new lots and new buildings to have legally and physically available water is just basic consumer protection,\" he said. \"Many counties plan and zone for way more lots than there's water to support.\"

Across the state, about 300,000 permit-exempt wells serve 1 million people. Between 2,000 and 8,000 new wells are added each year though drilling a new well does not guarantee legal access to water, according to the Department of Ecology.

Water pulled from these wells represents only about 1 percent of the water consumed in the state, since water is returned to the ground through septic systems.

While that amount is small, it's not zero, U.S. Geological Survey's Matt Bachmann told House lawmakers this month.

\"If you pull water out of the ground, there will be an impact somewhere,\" he said. \"That impact is commonly too small to measure for an individual domestic well, but it's not too small to measure cumulatively if you look at all the domestic wells in a basin.\"

Because of the connection between groundwater and surface water, property owners will find it hard to disprove that a domestic well wouldn't impact streams at all, said Ecology's Dave Christensen.

Some have suggested water banking \u2014 where those with water rights sell to those who need it \u2014 cisterns or water conservation measures as possible solutions to meet new water needs. But others say not all of those aren't practical or possible.

In the meantime, property owners say their lives have been turned upside down.

Olga and Gennadiy Skachkov say they worked hard over the years and bought a 15-acre lot near Ferndale in 2004 as part of their retirement plan. The Russian immigrants put in a new road and made other improvements but now can't sell it because of the moratorium.

\"There's an existing well. But people can't use the well so no one can build on it. All the money we put into it is lost,\" said Olga Skachkov. \"We feel betrayed. We hope our voice will be heard.\"

Jenny and Darren Proben had hoped to break ground on their dream home outside of Bellingham in February.

\"It's our lifelong dream to have a tiny bit of land and build a home for our family,\" she said. \"We didn't think it would be a problem. No one saw this coming. It has huge ramifications financially for our family.\"

"}, {"id":"b94662b1-4e85-5fa0-9efe-09aaa1129274","type":"article","starttime":"1481384680","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T08:44:40-07:00","lastupdated":"1481387474","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Howard Buffett leaving Coke board to focus on philanthropy","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_b94662b1-4e85-5fa0-9efe-09aaa1129274.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/howard-buffett-leaving-coke-board-to-focus-on-philanthropy/article_b94662b1-4e85-5fa0-9efe-09aaa1129274.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/howard-buffett-leaving-coke-board-to-focus-on-philanthropy/article_2370f85a-4016-579d-9083-2c9011a357f5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"OMAHA, Neb. (AP) \u2014 Howard Buffett is planning to step down from the Coca-Cola Co.'s board, so he can spend more time running his foundation that focuses on improving agriculture in the developing world.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"b94662b1-4e85-5fa0-9efe-09aaa1129274","body":"

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) \u2014 Howard Buffett is planning to step down from the Coca-Cola Co.'s board, so he can spend more time running his foundation that focuses on improving agriculture in the developing world.

Howard Buffett, who is billionaire investor Warren Buffett's oldest son, has served on Coke's board since 2010. The company said Thursday that Howard Buffett won't stand for re-election.

Howard Buffett continues to oversee a farming operation in Nebraska and Illinois, but he has stepped down from his other corporate boards except for Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway.

Howard Buffett has served on the board of his father's Berkshire conglomerate since 1993. Warren Buffett has said he hopes Howard will one day be chosen as chairman of the Berkshire board to protect the company culture after Warren Buffett is gone.

"}, {"id":"913fe186-35ea-5d5e-8642-38a55c43f0b0","type":"article","starttime":"1481383593","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T08:26:33-07:00","lastupdated":"1481385752","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Huntsville-based HudsonAlpha Institute expanding","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_913fe186-35ea-5d5e-8642-38a55c43f0b0.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/huntsville-based-hudsonalpha-institute-expanding/article_913fe186-35ea-5d5e-8642-38a55c43f0b0.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/huntsville-based-hudsonalpha-institute-expanding/article_c30f86e6-68a7-5adf-9f00-41336797f0ee.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) \u2014 A biotechnology company is expanding in Huntsville.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"913fe186-35ea-5d5e-8642-38a55c43f0b0","body":"

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) \u2014 A biotechnology company is expanding in Huntsville.

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology says it's starting work on a new, 100,000-square-foot building that will provide extra work space. A ground-breaking event is planned for Tuesday.

The HudsonAlpha campus already has three buildings where more than 700 people are employed.

A company associated with HudsonAlpha, Conversant Bio, will be one of the first occupants of the new building. It provides human tissue and viable cell samples to researchers.

HudsonAlpha is involved in biotech and genomics work that it says has led to discoveries affecting the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

"}, {"id":"f205131c-08f7-5caa-ab65-8b5dc934e310","type":"article","starttime":"1481381282","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T07:48:02-07:00","lastupdated":"1481388314","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Illinois company to seek regulatory OK in FairPoint merger","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_f205131c-08f7-5caa-ab65-8b5dc934e310.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/illinois-company-to-seek-regulatory-ok-in-fairpoint-merger/article_f205131c-08f7-5caa-ab65-8b5dc934e310.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/illinois-company-to-seek-regulatory-ok-in-fairpoint-merger/article_ad0ca279-c427-5123-b711-356019e5370b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"PORTLAND, Maine (AP) \u2014 FairPoint Communications has struggled with the loss of traditional telephone customers, labor unrest and customer service problems in northern New England. But Consolidated Communications sees an opportunity.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","government regulations","ownership changes","corporate news","government and politics","industry regulation","government business and finance","telecommunications services","telecommunications"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":4,"commentID":"f205131c-08f7-5caa-ab65-8b5dc934e310","body":"

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) \u2014 FairPoint Communications has struggled with the loss of traditional telephone customers, labor unrest and customer service problems in northern New England. But Consolidated Communications sees an opportunity.

Consolidated Communications will begin laying out its plans for the merged company during meetings with federal and state entities that oversee and regulate its activities in coming weeks and months.

The company plans to submit documents with federal officials next week, and will file with regulators in 13 states including Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont by month's end. The filings will include some details based on initial discussions with regulators, said Jennifer Spaude, company spokeswoman.

In northern New England, regulators stung by FairPoint's performance when it took over Verizon's landlines will give close scrutiny to details.

FairPoint bought Verizon's landline holdings in northern New England for $2.3 billion in 2007 and filed for bankruptcy 18 months later after losing customers because of operational and integration problems. It has continued to struggle since emerging from bankruptcy in 2011. Federal entities regulating it sought to make FairPoint stick to its promises to expand broadband and to meet customer service expectations.

The merger calls for Consolidated to buy North Carolina-based FairPoint in a deal worth $1.5 billion. The companies hope to complete the transaction this summer.

So far, details on Consolidated Communications' long-term plans for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have been scant. But analysts see positives in the deal for both companies, especially FairPoint, which is experiencing revenue declines of 4 to 5 percent per year.

Part of Illinois-based Consolidated's success has been placing a greater focus on business customers \u2014 with residential voice customers accounting for only 10 percent of business, compared to 32 percent for FairPoint, said Jonathan Charbonneau, an analyst at Cowen and Company.

Mergers have been common in recent years as telecommunication companies seek to increase their service footprint and expand their customer base in an era in which many traditional telephone customers are switching to cable companies or abandoning land lines in favor of cellphones.

FairPoint's shareholders have been beating the drums for the company to be sold since the end of a strike by 1,700 workers in February 2015.

In that regard, workers and shareholders were united. There was no love lost between FairPoint management and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Some customers, like John Bouchard, also welcomed the change in ownership.

Bouchard dumped FairPoint's broadband, which he said was unreliable, retaining FairPoint only basic telephone service at his home in Robbinston, 12 miles from the Canadian border.

\"It certainly can't hurt at this point. They might need some fresh blood in there to stir things around,\" he said.

"}, {"id":"6d6de91e-d102-5172-9edd-996bef090a00","type":"article","starttime":"1481378474","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T07:01:14-07:00","lastupdated":"1481387474","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"ConAgra to finalize plea deal in tainted peanut butter case","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_6d6de91e-d102-5172-9edd-996bef090a00.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/conagra-to-finalize-plea-deal-in-tainted-peanut-butter-case/article_6d6de91e-d102-5172-9edd-996bef090a00.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/conagra-to-finalize-plea-deal-in-tainted-peanut-butter-case/article_72c7eb10-35f8-5993-854e-2849ccd88338.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By RUSS BYNUM\nAssociated Press","prologue":"SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) \u2014 ConAgra is heading to court to finalize an $11.2 million plea deal in a federal criminal case stemming from a salmonella outbreak that sickened hundreds who ate tainted Peter Pan peanut butter.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","disease outbreaks","public health","health","infectious diseases","diseases and conditions","products and services","corporate news"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":4,"commentID":"6d6de91e-d102-5172-9edd-996bef090a00","body":"

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) \u2014 ConAgra is heading to court to finalize an $11.2 million plea deal in a federal criminal case stemming from a salmonella outbreak that sickened hundreds who ate tainted Peter Pan peanut butter.

A federal judge in Albany, Georgia, is scheduled to decide Thursday whether to approve the settlement reached with Justice Department prosecutors in May 2015.

The case has taken a long time to reach a resolution. It's been a decade since salmonella blamed for sickening at least 625 people in 47 states was traced to a Georgia plant that produced peanut butter for ConAgra. Peter Pan vanished from store shelves for months during a 2007 recall.

The settlement includes an $8 million fine that prosecutors say is the largest criminal fine ever in a U.S. food safety case.

"}, {"id":"1c708883-2710-5580-b1da-31e45b17ad1a","type":"article","starttime":"1481361063","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T02:11:03-07:00","lastupdated":"1481410839","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Focus is on energy rewrite in last days of legislative term","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_1c708883-2710-5580-b1da-31e45b17ad1a.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/focus-is-on-energy-rewrite-in-last-days-of-legislative/article_1c708883-2710-5580-b1da-31e45b17ad1a.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/focus-is-on-energy-rewrite-in-last-days-of-legislative/article_415b9f81-eafd-5fac-961b-b6de5d8f151f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By DAVID EGGERT\nAssociated Press","prologue":"LANSING, Mich. (AP) \u2014 With just days left in the two-year term, the Michigan Legislature may be inching toward votes on what is billed as a comprehensive rewrite of state energy laws \u2014 legislation that Gov. Rick Snyder has made clear is his highest priority.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","government and politics","state legislature","state governments","legislation","legislature","industry regulation","government business and finance","government regulations","environmental laws and regulations","alternative energy industry","electric utilities","utilities","energy policy","environment","environment and nature","energy industry","energy and the environment","government policy"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"a3b50dc7-bed5-53fd-b87b-093c51f30dac","description":"In this Sept. 11, 2015 photo, a wind turbine generating power for electricity is shown near Caseville, Mich. With just days left in the two-year term, the Michigan Legislature may be inching toward votes on what is billed as a comprehensive rewrite of state energy laws _ legislation that Gov. Rick Snyder has made clear is his highest priority. The bills, which have divided majority House Republicans, would update 2008 policies that govern the regulation of utility giants and their competitors, require minimum amounts of renewable sources of electricity and set efficiency benchmarks. It is a complex issue but one that affects customer bills, jobs and the environment. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)","byline":"Paul Sancya","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/3b/a3b50dc7-bed5-53fd-b87b-093c51f30dac/584bcedee827d.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/3b/a3b50dc7-bed5-53fd-b87b-093c51f30dac/584bcedee827d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/3b/a3b50dc7-bed5-53fd-b87b-093c51f30dac/584bcedee827d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/3b/a3b50dc7-bed5-53fd-b87b-093c51f30dac/584bcedee827d.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"1c708883-2710-5580-b1da-31e45b17ad1a","body":"

LANSING, Mich. (AP) \u2014 With just days left in the two-year term, the Michigan Legislature may be inching toward votes on what is billed as a comprehensive rewrite of state energy laws \u2014 legislation that Gov. Rick Snyder has made clear is his highest priority.

The bills, which have divided majority House Republicans, would update 2008 policies that govern the regulation of utility giants and their competitors, require minimum amounts of renewable sources of electricity and set efficiency benchmarks. It is a complex issue but one that affects customer bills, jobs and the environment.

The state's two dominant, regulated utilities \u2014 DTE Energy and Consumers Energy \u2014 and major business interests are lobbying legislators to act now to ensure there is reliable power as old coal-fired plants close across the Midwest.

\"Doing nothing is not an option and simply places Michigan's reliability at risk,\" said Steve Transeth, a former state Public Service Commission member and an adviser to Citizens for Michigan's Energy Future. The utility-backed advocacy group spent nearly $7.5 million in 2015, primarily on TV and radio advertising that made similar arguments to the public.

Opponents, namely alternative suppliers that sell electricity at unregulated rates, say the legislation passed by the GOP-led Senate would effectively kill the law giving them up to 10 percent of the market. That would hurt companies and many schools districts that have saved money through the \"choice\" program.

Pete Lund, the Michigan director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, which opposes the bills, said the utilities \"put way too much money in this campaign to just walk away a week before the end of lame duck\" \u2014 a reference to the postelection session before more than a third of the 110-member House turns over in January. \"They're going to fight to the end.\"

Snyder, too, is pressing for the House to pass the plan.

Key components would:

\u2014 Require electric providers to produce 15 percent of their power from wind or other renewable sources by the end of 2021, up from 10 percent now. The legislation would set a non-binding goal of meeting 35 percent of Michigan's power needs by 2025 through a combination of renewable energy and energy conservation.

Some Republicans oppose boosting the mandate by 5 percentage points, but the provision appears safe because it is backed by Democrats who are needed to advance the bills out of the chamber. James Clift, the policy director for the Michigan Environmental Council, is asking lawmakers to remove \"loopholes\" that he said could in reality set the renewable requirement below 15 percent.

\u2014 Preserve the 10 percent cap on competition, though critics say excessive new charges imposed on competitors would put them at a disadvantage. The utilities say their customers \u2014 the large majority of people and entities in the state \u2014 are unfairly subsidizing choice participants under the current system.

\u2014 Keep intact, at least through 2020, a requirement that utilities save a minimum amount of power each year with efficiency programs. There is a dispute, though, over whether the incentives that utilities are paid for exceeding efficiency standards should be sweetened. \"The Senate version increased the bonuses even if they're doing the same thing they're doing today,\" Clift said.

\u2014 Apply a \"grid\" charge to any new customer participating in a net metering program. These are residents and businesses with their own wind turbines, solar panel or other types of renewable sources that reduce their electric bills. Rep. Sam Singh, D- East Lansing, said the Senate bills would make it too expensive for farmers and others to install solar panels on their property. If the issue is resolved in coming days, \"I think you'll see a good number of Democrats being able to support an energy package,\" he said.

The legislation also would eliminate utilities' ability to self-implement rate hikes, lower the threshold for when utilities would have to file for a certificate of necessity before building plants or buying capacity and provide money to hire more state employees to implement the new laws.

House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, told reporters Tuesday he could not predict if the energy overhaul would \"get done or not. We have a very real issue with our ability to generate our capacity. I think it needs to be addressed, but there's broad disagreement as to what the solution looks like.\"

___

Senate Bills 437-38: http://bit.ly/2heDqSt

___

Follow David Eggert on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/david-eggert

"}, {"id":"600cb02f-92a3-5657-bd53-1dd17309934a","type":"article","starttime":"1481356616","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T00:56:56-07:00","lastupdated":"1481358653","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Post-election, Trump closed companies tied to Saudi Arabia","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_600cb02f-92a3-5657-bd53-1dd17309934a.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/post-election-trump-closed-companies-tied-to-saudi-arabia/article_600cb02f-92a3-5657-bd53-1dd17309934a.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/post-election-trump-closed-companies-tied-to-saudi-arabia/article_b35bfea6-251f-59b1-a753-1fdbda3d6fd7.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By EILEEN SULLIVAN, CHAD DAY and RANDALL CHASE\nAssociated Press","prologue":"WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 President-elect Donald Trump shut down some of his companies in the days after the election, including four that appeared connected to a possible Saudi Arabia business venture, according to corporate registrations in Delaware.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","government and politics","corporate management","state elections","corporate news","personnel","elections"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b","description":"President-elect Donald Trump arrives for a rally in a DOW Chemical Hanger at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)","byline":"Andrew Harnik","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b/584b42bc4dbe1.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b/584b42bc4dbe1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b/584b42bc4dbe1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b/584b42bc4dbe1.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"600cb02f-92a3-5657-bd53-1dd17309934a","body":"

WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 President-elect Donald Trump shut down some of his companies in the days after the election, including four that appeared connected to a possible Saudi Arabia business venture, according to corporate registrations in Delaware.

News of the move comes days before Trump is expected to describe changes he is making to his businesses to avoid potential conflicts of interest as the U.S. president.

The Trump Organization's general counsel, Alan Garten, described shutting down the four companies as routine \"housecleaning,\" and said there is no existing Trump business venture in Saudi Arabia. The four Saudi-related companies were among at least nine companies that Trump filed paperwork to dissolve or cancel since the election.

The recent dissolutions represent a fraction of Trump's global network of companies \u2014 the breadth of which has raised conflict-of-interest concerns about whether Trump can balance being an international businessman while conducting the nation's business abroad as president.

Trump's holdings include more than 500 private companies, some of which he creates for prospective deals. The complex and changing structure makes it difficult for Americans to track his financial interests and partners. Trump has disclosed the names and some details about companies in public filings. But a complete picture of Trump's finances is unclear, given that he has broken with decades of presidential precedent by not releasing his tax returns.

Next week, Trump said, he plans to announce how he will separate himself from his business interests as president.

Trump operates branded hotels and resorts in a handful of countries around the world, though he and his executives have talked about expanding more globally. Last year, Ivanka Trump singled out the Middle East and Saudi Arabia as potential locations.

During the campaign, he created eight companies that included Jeddah, a major Saudi city, in their formal names. Four of those companies were shut down months after they were created. The other four were dissolved about one week after the election.

For years, Trump has routinely named corporate entities after the projects to which they were connected. Companies set up as part of licensing or management deals in Indonesia and India bear the names of the cities where those projects are located. The same is true for some of his companies connected to properties and business ventures in the United States.

Garten said Friday that the dissolution of the companies, which occurred last month, was part of a periodic process to shed corporate entities that were no longer needed or were set up for ventures that did not materialize. Garten said he did not know why the companies were set up last year or whether they involved business ventures in Saudi Arabia that didn't happen.

\"I'm not aware of any deal in Saudi Arabia,\" Garten told The Associated Press. \"I'll go further: There is no deal in Saudi Arabia.\"

Garten declined to say whether the closures were related to Trump's election or his expected announcement next week about how he will be handling his businesses as president.

There is nothing preventing Trump from establishing new businesses or using his existing companies to expand in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. There also is nothing to prevent his children from re-establishing the same companies he shut down under different names.

Business deals in a country like Saudi Arabia \u2014 a strategic U.S. partner \u2014 raise potential conflicts of interest because there is not much distinction between the Saudi royal family and major Saudi businesses.

It's important that the U.S. president have a close relationship with the Saudi king and crown prince, said Lori Plotkin Boghardt, a fellow at the Washington Institute and expert in U.S.-Gulf relations. \"But we also want to have a president who can talk frankly to the Saudis about any complications in the relationship and uphold American interests,\" she said.

Saudi Arabia has long been a key American ally in the Middle East, prized for its vast oil reserves and depended on by a succession of American presidents for its potential as a Persian Gulf peacemaker.

But President Barack Obama and some U.S. counterterror officials have grown increasingly frustrated with Saudi Arabia's unofficial role in exporting ultraconservative religious dogma and funding terror groups and the militant Taliban movement.

Trump also shut down several shell companies that he had created over the past seven years which had no listed income or value. For instance, Trump Marks Magazine Corp., founded in 2007, had no listed value and was dissolved the day after the election, according to Delaware corporation documents.

Some of the now-dissolved Trump entities are U.S.-based limited liability companies, legal structures that provide owners with legal and tax protections. The entities, commonly abbreviated as LLCs, often offer owners \"pass-throughs,\" ensuring that they are taxed only for the income they receive.

___

Chase reported from Dover, Delaware. Associated Press writers Stephen Braun and Jeff Horwitz in Washington contributed to this report.

"}, {"id":"2aeba3ed-d5ed-5860-b7ef-23bec3dfe483","type":"article","starttime":"1481355599","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T00:39:59-07:00","lastupdated":"1481357722","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Trump deepens Goldman ties as he builds out economic team","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_2aeba3ed-d5ed-5860-b7ef-23bec3dfe483.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/trump-deepens-goldman-ties-as-he-builds-out-economic-team/article_2aeba3ed-d5ed-5860-b7ef-23bec3dfe483.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/trump-deepens-goldman-ties-as-he-builds-out-economic-team/article_152c23f6-c7a4-5432-adbc-b9943c242405.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By JULIE PACE\nAP White House Correspondent","prologue":"WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 In the heat of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump accused primary rival Ted Cruz of being controlled by Goldman Sachs because his wife, Heidi, previously worked for the Wall Street giant. He slammed Hillary Clinton for receiving speaking fees from the bank.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","government and politics","economy","financial services","2016 united states presidential election","campaigns","united states presidential election","banking and credit","national elections","elections","events"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"cacb7da4-689c-567f-8c80-a615678545e0","description":"In this Nov. 29, 2016 photo, Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn talks on his phone as he waits for the start of a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York. Trump is expected to pick Cohn to lead the White House National Economic Council, according to two people informed of the decision. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)","byline":"Evan Vucci","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"354","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/ac/cacb7da4-689c-567f-8c80-a615678545e0/584b1efb841ab.image.jpg?resize=512%2C354"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"69","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/ac/cacb7da4-689c-567f-8c80-a615678545e0/584b1efb841ab.image.jpg?resize=100%2C69"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"207","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/ac/cacb7da4-689c-567f-8c80-a615678545e0/584b1efb841ab.image.jpg?resize=300%2C207"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"708","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/ac/cacb7da4-689c-567f-8c80-a615678545e0/584b1efb841ab.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"2aeba3ed-d5ed-5860-b7ef-23bec3dfe483","body":"

WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 In the heat of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump accused primary rival Ted Cruz of being controlled by Goldman Sachs because his wife, Heidi, previously worked for the Wall Street giant. He slammed Hillary Clinton for receiving speaking fees from the bank.

\"I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him,\" Trump said of Cruz. \"Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.\"

Now, Trump is putting Goldman executives at the helm of his administration's economic team. He's expected to name bank president Gary Cohn to an influential White House policy post, according to two people informed of the decision, and has already nominated former Goldman executive Steve Mnuchin to lead the Treasury Department. Steve Bannon, Trump's incoming White House senior adviser, also worked at Goldman before becoming a conservative media executive.

Wall Street executives have long wielded influence in Washington, filling top jobs in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Goldman Sachs itself has produced several Treasury secretaries, White House chiefs of staff and top economic advisers.

But the financial industry's high-level presence in Trump's burgeoning administration runs counter to some core campaign messages that energized his supporters.

And Goldman Sachs stocks are up 33 percent since Trump's election.

Trump repeatedly warned that Clinton's Wall Street ties \u2014 the Democrat gave paid speeches to Goldman and other banks \u2014 meant she would never reform the financial industry. He promised that he would \"drain the swamp\" in Washington, a city he painted as beholden to financial and political special interests. And he cast himself as a champion for working-class people who watched the big banks grow wealthier after a government bailout, but haven't seen the effects of an improving economy in their own lives.

\"I'm not going to let Wall Street get away with murder,\" Trump told voters in Iowa. \"Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us.\"

To Democrats, the fact that Trump is now plucking advisers from Wall Street smacks of hypocrisy.

\"Everyone who voted for Trump, who thought he'd defend working people, pay attention to the reality of what he's doing, not just his rhetoric,\" said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who railed against Wall Street's influence in Washington when he ran against Clinton in the Democratic primary.

The concentration of power among so many players who once worked at Goldman is sure to feed suspicions of a government at the service of Wall Street. Goldman was involved in the securities market for subprime mortgages, the same financial instruments that helped fuel the housing bubble and ultimately led millions of Americans to lose their homes to foreclosure. Wall Street executives also opposed the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation signed by President Barack Obama, legislation Trump has vowed to overhaul.

Trump's advisers dismiss charges that the president-elect is going back on his promises to put the interests of working-class Americans ahead of financial institutions. They say Trump is tapping people who bring real-world experience and business acumen to Washington.

\"You're not going to find better people than those who have been at the top of finance, the top of our markets, understand the way our markets work,\" Kellyanne Conway, Trump's senior adviser, said on MSNBC.

Democrats are sure to make an issue of Mnuchin's Wall Street ties in his confirmation hearing. Cohn doesn't need to be confirmed to serve as director of the National Economic Council, the White House post Trump is expected to name him to.

The NEC helps coordinate domestic and global issues, providing economic policy advice to the president and monitoring how the White House's agenda is implemented across the government. If Cohn accepts the job, he also will be the third Goldman executive to run the NEC. Robert Rubin was the NEC director under Bill Clinton, and Stephen Friedman had the job during George W. Bush's administration.

_

AP writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.

_

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

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WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 One by one, key health care industry groups are telling the incoming Republican administration and Congress that it's not a good idea to repeal the 2010 health care law without clear plans to address the consequences.

Hospitals, insurers and actuaries \u2014 bean-counters who make long-range economic estimates \u2014 have weighed in, and more interest groups are expected to make their views known soon. Representing patients, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network reminded lawmakers that lives are at stake.

The concerns go beyond the obvious potential hardship for the 20 million people covered by subsidized private insurance and expanded Medicaid under President Barack Obama's signature law.

Hospitals say a stand-alone repeal would cost them billions, compromising their ability to serve local communities. Insurers say Congress must be careful not to create even more uncertainty and instability. Actuaries worry the mere promise of an eventual replacement won't be enough to sustain the individual health insurance market.

And the anti-cancer network is concerned that protection for people with pre-existing health conditions might be undermined or lost. Before the Affordable Care Act, it was common for insurers to deny coverage to people with a cancer diagnosis, even if successfully treated, or to charge them more. Also, uninsured people with cancer are more likely to be diagnosed late, when there's less chance of a cure.

\"Replacement health care legislation that accompanies repeal needs to provide recognized patient protections that currently exist,\" Chris Hansen, the group's president, said in a statement.

Republicans say they remain resolute in their determination to repeal \"Obamacare,\" but some also seem mindful of the potential political risks.

The basic plan under GOP consideration involves repealing the health law next year, but delaying the effective date to allow Congress time to pass a replacement. That replacement presumably would do many of the things the Affordable Care Act does, such as subsidize coverage and protect people in poor health, but with less regulation and without the unpopular \"individual mandate\" that forces most Americans to have coverage or risk fines.

However, replacement legislation that covers a comparable number of people would still require billions in government financing and extensive regulations, a stumbling block for the most conservative Republicans.

The path forward is complicated by the dynamics of the 2016 political campaign, which centered on personalities rather than policy. President-elect Donald Trump promised to repeal \"Obamacare,\" but his ideas for a replacement plan were more talking points than an actual plan.

\"Public opinion seems to be shifting,\" said John Rother, president of the National Coalition on Health Care, an umbrella organization that includes doctors, businesses, unions, and religious groups. \"It's not clear when people say they want to 'repeal,' what they mean by that. It may mean they just want to get rid of the individual mandate.\"

Rother believes the outcome ultimately hinges on a handful of GOP senators.

\"Moderate Republicans are worried about the consequences,\" he said. His coalition has written Congress to express its concerns.

Industry groups are giving lawmakers plenty to consider:

\u2014 The two main hospital lobbies \u2014 the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals \u2014 released studies indicating more than $200 billion in potential losses for their members if the health law is repealed without restoring the funding cuts that were used to finance coverage expansion. \"Losses of this magnitude cannot be sustained and will ... decimate hospitals' and health systems' ability to provide services, weaken local economies ... and result in massive job losses,\" the groups said in a letter to Trump.

\u2014 America's Health Insurance Plans, the biggest insurer lobby, said its members need time, as well as an assurance that federal dollars will continue to flow, in order to successfully transition to a new system under different rules. It took the better part of three years once Obama's health law was passed to launch its major coverage expansion, and that was anything but smooth. Insurers said the new administration and Congress need to \"send strong signals\" that they're willing to maintain the current market through at least Jan. 1, 2019.

\u2014 Perhaps the most sobering assessment comes from a little-known group, the American Academy of Actuaries, representing professionals who assess the financial stability of pension and health insurance programs. Unlike hospitals and insurers, actuaries don't have a direct financial stake in the future of the health law. The group said delaying the effective date of a repeal while a replacement is worked out could create such uncertainty that it triggers a crisis for the individual health insurance market.

That's where people who don't have job-based coverage can buy policies, including more than 10 million in HealthCare.gov and other government markets, and 9 million who purchase their plans independently.

\"Significant market disruption could result, leading to millions of Americans losing their health insurance,\" the actuaries' group wrote Congress.

"}, {"id":"3d55b664-2774-5139-9fdd-39d63b4dae15","type":"article","starttime":"1481341228","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T20:40:28-07:00","lastupdated":"1481343451","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Judge rejects pimping charges against escort services site","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_3d55b664-2774-5139-9fdd-39d63b4dae15.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/judge-rejects-pimping-charges-against-escort-services-site/article_3d55b664-2774-5139-9fdd-39d63b4dae15.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/judge-rejects-pimping-charges-against-escort-services-site/article_d88b5396-8bb0-52b1-b3ca-630729e235a5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By JULIET WILLIAMS\nAssociated Press","prologue":"SACRAMENTO, Calif. 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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) \u2014 A California judge rejected pimping charges Friday against the operators of a major international website advertising escort services that the state attorney general has called the \"world's top online brothel,\" citing federal free speech laws.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris had charged Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer and former owners Michael Lacey and James Larkin, but Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman sided with attorneys for the men and the website in ruling that the speech was allowed under the federal Communications Decency Act.

The section of the act that applies to the case protects websites from content posted by third parties, such as restaurant or shopping reviews from being held accountable for scathing reviews left by customers or online news sites from vicious reader comments.

\"This Court finds it difficult to see any illegal behavior outside of the reliance upon the content of speech created by others,\" Bowman wrote in Friday's ruling. \"The whiff of illegality is detected only when considering the alleged content of the statements contained in the ads.\"

Bowman's action Friday makes final a previous tentative ruling.

Ferrer, 55, was charged with pimping a minor, pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping. Lacey, 68, and Larkin, 67, both from Arizona, were charged with conspiracy to commit pimping.

Ferrer was arrested Oct. 6 at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, having arrived from Amsterdam after his Dallas headquarters was raided.

Lacey and Larkin are the former owners of the Village Voice alternative newspaper in New York City.

\"I think this is a victory for the rule of law more than it is for Backpage,\" said Robert Corn-Revere, who represents Backpage. \"Judge Bowman's ruling made clear that the protections of the First Amendment exist for a reason. I suppose that reason is to prevent this kind of abuse of power.\"

Harris, a Democrat who was elected to the U.S. Senate last month, alleged that more than 90 percent of Backpage revenue \u2014 millions of dollars each month \u2014 comes from adult escort ads that use coded language and nearly nude photos to offer sex for money.

She said in a statement that she disagreed with the court's ruling and will pursue every avenue under the law to hold the operators accountable.

\"The Communications Decency Act was not meant to be a shield from criminal prosecution for perpetrators of online brothels,\" Harris said in the statement. \"We will not turn a blind eye to the defendants' exploitative behavior simply because they conducted their criminal enterprise online rather than on a street corner.\"

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) \u2014 Plans for managing the nation's largest national forest call for changes in timber harvests that one critic says will be \"the demise of the timber industry as we know it right now.\"

The Tongass National Forest released a management plan update Friday that it says will emphasize young-growth timber sales in the forest, which covers much of southeast Alaska, and allow for a logging rate that it says will meet projected timber demand.

This stems from a 2013 memo from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, directing Tongass managers to speed the transition from old-growth harvests toward a wood-products industry that mainly uses young-growth timber. The move was to be done in a way that preserves a viable timber industry. The transition goal was 10 years to 15 years, compared to the prior target of 32 years.

The decision released Friday calls for a full transition in 16 years and expects most timber sold by the Tongass to be young growth in 10-15 years.

Much of the wildlife found in the forest is linked to or at least partially reliant on old-growth forest, including a major brown bear population, high densities of breeding bald eagles, the Alexander Archipelago wolf and species important for subsistence, according to a Tongass decision document.

The supervisor of the Tongass, M. Earl Stewart, told reporters Friday that the Forest Service is working with the state on a young-growth inventory. He said the agency also is evaluating a potential study to determine the type, volume and quality of products that can be made with young-growth Sitka spruce and western hemlock growing in southeast Alaska.

Harvests will be monitored to see if any changes will need to be made, he said.

Stewart's decision is based on recommendations from an advisory group that included representatives from conservation groups, the timber industry, Alaska Native groups and federal, state and local governments, he said.

The update is to take effect in 30 days. Asked if this could be changed by the incoming Donald Trump administration, Stewart read a statement from the Washington, D.C. office. It said in part that the Forest Service is working to ensure a smooth transition and that its employees will remain focused on their missions.

Alaska's congressional delegation sees the plan update as a blow to the timber industry and communities. The delegation will explore options to overturn the planned changes, a release from Republican U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young said.

Shelly Wright, executive director of the Southeast Conference, a regional economic development group, also expressed concerns.

\"I think that it will be the demise of the timber industry as we know it right now,\" she said.

One mid-sized mill remains in southeast Alaska, but it's built for larger logs and would have to invest millions of dollars if it wants to move to smaller logs, she said. There are smaller mills that do specialty work but only need a couple trees a year, she said.

\"The opinion of people that believe in resource development is that trees grow. Trees grow back,\" she said. \"There will always be mature timber because trees grow, and if you let them grow to a mature size, then we'll have mature timber.\"

In a release, Mark Kaelke, southeast Alaska project director for Trout Unlimited, noted protections for an area that his group says includes the forest's most important and productive wild salmon areas.

Kristen Miller, conservation director with the Alaska Wilderness League, offered praise while noting her group wants a speedier transition to young-growth harvest.

The region's economy \"is built on sustainable fisheries and wild places that draw visitors from around the world,\" she said in a release, adding that it's time for Forest Service management \"to look beyond logging.\"

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) \u2014 President Barack Obama responded to appeals from Alaska Native villages and gave them more of a say in the federal management of marine resources of the Bering Sea.

Obama signed an executive order Friday to create a Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area that will focus \"locally tailored\" protections on marine resources.

The newly created resilience area covers 112,300 square miles and stretches from north of the Bering Strait to north of Bristol Bay.

The order requires more focused federal consultation with Alaska tribes and 39 communities that line the west coast of Alaska, along with state officials.

The area supports what may be the world's largest annual marine mammal migration of bowhead and beluga whales, Pacific walrus, ice seals and migratory birds.

The order also withdraws from federal petroleum leasing 40,300 square miles of Norton Basin and the offshore area around St. Matthew Island, two places already recognized as important marine mammal hunting areas.

Kawerak Inc., a regional non-profit corporation that provides social services to Alaska Native Villages along Alaska's west coast, and the Bering Sea Elders Group in June urged Obama to give villages more of a voice to promote self-determination in management of natural resources and habitat.

Residents of coastal villages have seen dramatic changes brought on by climate change, mostly in the form of sea ice that forms later in the winter and disappears sooner in spring. Changes in ice have modified migration patterns of marine mammals, in some cases making hunting uncertain and more dangerous.

Loss of sea ice also has opened opportunities for expanded cargo traffic, offshore petroleum drilling, tourism and other commercial activities, changes that that villages may not welcome and that could affect the security of their traditional food from the sea.

The executive order establishes a task force with village representation that will consult on federal management activities in the area and work to protect cultural and subsistence activities.

Obama's order elevates Alaska Native comment on projects such as a port access route study nearing completion by the Coast Guard. With increased shipping, the agency is working on vessel traffic control measures through the Bering Strait, the choke point between North America and Asia.

The decision would require village comment on expansion of large-scale commercial fishing that could affect subsistence life, such as trawling.

Agencies were directed to consider Alaska Native traditional knowledge in their Bering Sea management decisions.

Fred Philip, executive director of the Native Village of Kwigillingok, said in a statement that Obama recognizes his people's need for self-determination and is the first president to require that traditional knowledge and expertise be applied to federal management.

\"This is real progress,\" he said.

Harry Lincoln, a Yupik elder from Tununak, and the chairman of the Bering Sea Elders Group, thanked Obama.

\"It is the Native elders' vision that the northern Bering Sea and the resources that our people rely on be protected because they are the foundation of our culture and way of life,\" he said.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott in a joint statement said while they support Bering Strait tribal leaders who worked to provide economic opportunities while protecting resources, they have other concerns.

\"The State of Alaska is concerned about any further erosion of our ability to support much needed resource development at a time when the state is grappling with declining oil prices and production,\" they said.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she wonders what the term \"climate resilience area\" is supposed to mean and how it will be used.

\"To me, this sure sounds like a euphemism for a marine monument, because it locks up over 112,000 square miles of Alaska waters and seems destined to impact a wide range of communities, tribes, and industries in our state,\" she said in a statement. \"While I strongly support meaningful consultation with tribes, this opens the door to a whole host of unknowns, and could easily be misapplied to block even the most responsible Arctic subsistence, activities, and development.\"

Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan and U.S. Rep. Don Young on Thursday sent a letter to Obama warning of their strong objections to withdrawing any more acreage in the Arctic Ocean north of the Bering Strait, which is projected to hold 23.6 billion barrels of oil.

\"President Obama has canceled lease sales, made permits all but impossible to acquire, and excluded Arctic basins from the next offshore leasing plan,\" Murkowski said. \"That's more than enough damage for one administration.\"

"}, {"id":"b7e980b1-5192-52b3-8662-c8c8ed3d29cb","type":"article","starttime":"1481335200","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T19:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481347804","priority":33,"sections":[{"tucson":"business/tucson"}],"application":"editorial","title":"UA economists see accelerating Tucson economy","url":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/article_b7e980b1-5192-52b3-8662-c8c8ed3d29cb.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/ua-economists-see-accelerating-tucson-economy/article_b7e980b1-5192-52b3-8662-c8c8ed3d29cb.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/ua-economists-see-accelerating-tucson-economy/article_b7e980b1-5192-52b3-8662-c8c8ed3d29cb.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By David Wichner Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Job growth in Tucson expected to rise to an annual 2 percent.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona economic forecast","arizona economy","arizona jobs"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#top5biz"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"70384f1f-b92d-5f4e-aa25-873a55ed7e06","description":"Anthony Chan, Chase chief economist, delivers his global economic outlook.","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":1700,"hiresheight":1219,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/03/70384f1f-b92d-5f4e-aa25-873a55ed7e06/584b2da0280d4.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"445","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/03/70384f1f-b92d-5f4e-aa25-873a55ed7e06/584b2b0bd3ffd.image.jpg?resize=620%2C445"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"72","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/03/70384f1f-b92d-5f4e-aa25-873a55ed7e06/584b2b0bd3ffd.image.jpg?resize=100%2C72"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"215","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/03/70384f1f-b92d-5f4e-aa25-873a55ed7e06/584b2b0bd3ffd.image.jpg?resize=300%2C215"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"734","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/03/70384f1f-b92d-5f4e-aa25-873a55ed7e06/584b2b0bd3ffd.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C734"}}},{"id":"5c2ccf2b-2ff3-5d44-ba43-ee38e0789e8c","description":"George W. Hammond, director and research professor at Eller College of Management\u2019s Economic and Business Research Center, offers his local economic outlook during the Eller College\u2019s annual economic outlook luncheon at the Westin La Paloma Resort, 3800 E. Sunrise Drive, on Dec. 9, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. The forecast calls for Tucson\u2019s job growth to rise from 0.6 percent in 2015, to 1.4 percent this year, then to the 2.0 percent range in 2017 and 2018.","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":1291,"hiresheight":1604,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c2/5c2ccf2b-2ff3-5d44-ba43-ee38e0789e8c/584b2da0e1ff8.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"499","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c2/5c2ccf2b-2ff3-5d44-ba43-ee38e0789e8c/584b2b0c587d5.image.jpg?resize=499%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"124","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c2/5c2ccf2b-2ff3-5d44-ba43-ee38e0789e8c/584b2b0c587d5.image.jpg?resize=100%2C124"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"373","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c2/5c2ccf2b-2ff3-5d44-ba43-ee38e0789e8c/584b2b0c587d5.image.jpg?resize=300%2C373"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1272","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c2/5c2ccf2b-2ff3-5d44-ba43-ee38e0789e8c/584b2b0c587d5.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1272"}}},{"id":"68a4d109-d66f-5c1e-8344-473b851c46f5","description":"More than 500 attended the University of Arizona Eller College of Management\u2019s annual economic outlook luncheon Friday at the Westin La Paloma Resort.","byline":"photos by Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":1800,"hiresheight":1152,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/8a/68a4d109-d66f-5c1e-8344-473b851c46f5/584b2dd95d395.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"397","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/8a/68a4d109-d66f-5c1e-8344-473b851c46f5/584b2b0cc12f1.image.jpg?resize=620%2C397"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/8a/68a4d109-d66f-5c1e-8344-473b851c46f5/584b2b0cc12f1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"192","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/8a/68a4d109-d66f-5c1e-8344-473b851c46f5/584b2b0cc12f1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C192"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"655","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/8a/68a4d109-d66f-5c1e-8344-473b851c46f5/584b2b0cc12f1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C655"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"b7e980b1-5192-52b3-8662-c8c8ed3d29cb","body":"

Tucson\u2019s economy is gaining steam, with faster growth predicted for the next two years, University of Arizona economists said Friday.

And the chief economist for banking giant Chase predicted the U.S. economy will grow at a faster rate in 2017, citing tax cuts, new infrastructure spending and a reduction in regulation promised by President-elect Donald Trump.

The Tucson metro area\u2019s job growth is expected to be in the 2 percent range in 2017 and 2018, after posting an anemic 0.6 percent growth in 2015 and an expected 1.4 percent increase this year, said George Hammond, director of the UA\u2019s Economic and Business Research Center.

\u201cIt\u2019s basically a positive outlook,\u201d Hammond told about 500 attendees at the Eller College of Management\u2019s annual economic forecast luncheon at Westin La Paloma Resort. \u201cI think we\u2019re going to see Tucson\u2019s economy pick up a little steam.\u201d

Tucson job growth slowed unexpectedly in the third quarter but shows signs of a year-end rebound, he said.

Manufacturing jobs are expected to increase, reflecting the announcement of 2,000 new jobs coming at Raytheon Missile Systems over five years, and additions by companies including rocket-launch startup Vector Space Systems.

Most new jobs here during the next three years are expected to be in education and health services; leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; and trade, transportation, and utilities.

The UA forecast calls for modest job losses in natural resources and mining, reflecting low copper prices.

The projected growth rates are up from last year\u2019s forecast and translate into 5,300 net new jobs this year, 7,100 in 2017, and 7,600 in 2018.

The UA economists upped their outlook for 2016 job growth earlier this year, from to 1.4 percent from 1 percent at last year\u2019s forecast.

Hammond noted that Tucson\u2019s over-the-year job growth through the first 10 months of the year accelerated to 0.9 percent in 2016, from just 0.5 percent in 2015.

Sectors adding the most jobs in the third quarter were education and health services; manufacturing; government; and trade, transportation and utilities.

A major concern both nationally and in Tucson is slow income growth, which constrains overall economic growth, Hammond said.

\u201cWe\u2019re still really waiting for real wage growth to catch fire,\u201d he said.

Hammond said the effect the successful state minimum-wage ballot proposition will have on hiring or wages remains unclear. The initiative will raise the minimum wage from $8.05 now to $10 next year and then gradually increase it to $12 by 2020

\u201cIt will tend to raise average wages per worker,\u201d he said.

\u201cBut the bigger question is, what impact will it have on overall income growth,\u201d he said, noting that if employers hire fewer workers that may offset higher wages.

Tucson suffered from federal budget-cutting after the recession because of its heavy concentration of government jobs, but the area should do better with that \u201cfiscal drag\u201d diminishing and promised new government spending in the works, Hammond said.

One area of recent concern, Hammond said, is the strength of the U.S. dollar, particularly against the Mexican peso.

From June through October of this year, the dollar was up about 45 percent versus the peso, then spiked again after the election.

Mexico is by far Arizona\u2019s biggest international trading partner, accounting for about 40 percent of merchandise exports.

\u201cThat tends to put downward pressure on our merchandise exports, and we are starting to see that happen,\u201d Hammond said, adding state exports of goods to Mexico and Canada are down about 10 percent this year while exports overall are down about 5 percent.

Chase economist Anthony Chan was generally upbeat about the U.S. and global economies, predicting that the U.S. economic and equity market outlook will remain bullish for 2017.

He predicts U.S. real gross domestic product growth of 2 percent in 2017 compared with growth of about 1.6 percent in 2016.

He said growth will be fueled by lower U.S. personal and corporate tax rates, increased infrastructure spending and a business-friendly 70 percent reduction in federal government regulations promised by President-elect Trump.

Chan noted that with inflation increasing, albeit slightly, the Federal Reserve is preparing to gradually raise short-term rates starting at its mid-December policy meeting next week.

\u201cThis should dampen price pressure further without unduly raising the risk of killing the current economic expansion,\u201d Chan said.

"}, {"id":"7b357076-c28e-5da7-89cc-39ec13eb9053","type":"article","starttime":"1481333059","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T18:24:19-07:00","lastupdated":"1481337039","priority":0,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/national/govt-and-politics"},{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Post-election, Trump closes companies tied to Saudi Arabia","url":"http://tucson.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/article_7b357076-c28e-5da7-89cc-39ec13eb9053.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/post-election-trump-closes-companies-tied-to-saudi-arabia/article_7b357076-c28e-5da7-89cc-39ec13eb9053.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/news/national/govt-and-politics/post-election-trump-closes-companies-tied-to-saudi-arabia/article_fb6db235-86e0-5301-9abb-3b4ab3c27ccc.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By EILEEN SULLIVAN, CHAD DAY and RANDALL CHASE\nAssociated Press","prologue":"WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 President-elect Donald Trump shut down some of his companies in the days after the election, including four that appeared connected to a possible Saudi Arabia business venture, according to corporate registrations in Delaware.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","politics","business","government and politics","united states presidential election","events","corporate management","state elections","corporate news","personnel","elections","presidential elections","national elections"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b","description":"President-elect Donald Trump arrives for a rally in a DOW Chemical Hanger at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)","byline":"Andrew Harnik","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b/584b42bc4dbe1.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b/584b42bc4dbe1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b/584b42bc4dbe1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b84a3341-31fe-56a9-b467-c0be9652723b/584b42bc4dbe1.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":12,"commentID":"7b357076-c28e-5da7-89cc-39ec13eb9053","body":"

WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 President-elect Donald Trump shut down some of his companies in the days after the election, including four that appeared connected to a possible Saudi Arabia business venture, according to corporate registrations in Delaware.

News of the move comes days before Trump was expected to describe changes he is making to his businesses to avoid potential conflicts of interest as the U.S. president.

The Trump Organization's general counsel, Alan Garten, described shutting down the four companies as routine \"housecleaning,\" and said there was no existing Trump business venture in Saudi Arabia. The four Saudi-related companies were among at least nine companies that Trump filed paperwork to dissolve or cancel since the election.

The recent dissolutions represent a fraction of Trump's global network of companies \u2014 the breadth of which has raised conflict-of-interest concerns about whether Trump can balance being an international businessman while conducting the nation's business abroad as president.

Trump's holdings include more than 500 private companies, some of which he creates for prospective deals. The complex and changing structure makes it difficult for Americans to track his financial interests and partners. Trump has disclosed the names and some details about companies in public filings. But a complete picture of Trump's finances is unclear, given that he broke with decades of presidential precedent by not releasing his tax returns during the campaign.

Next week Trump said he plans to announce how he will separate himself from his business interests once he's president.

Trump operates branded hotels and resorts in a handful of countries around the world, though he and his executives have talked about expanding more globally. Last year, Ivanka Trump singled out the Middle East and Saudi Arabia as potential locations.

During the campaign, he created eight companies that included Jeddah, a major Saudi city, in their formal names. Four of those companies were shut down shut months after they were created. The other four were dissolved about one week after the election.

Trump for years has routinely named corporate entities after the projects to which they were connected. Companies set up as part of licensing or management deals in Indonesia and India bear the names of the cities where those projects are located. The same is true for some of his companies connected to properties and business ventures in the United States.

Garten said Friday that the dissolution of the companies, which occurred last month, was part of a periodic process to shed corporate entities that were no longer needed or were set up for ventures that did not materialize. Garten said he did not know why the companies were set up last year or whether they involved a business ventures in Saudi Arabia that didn't happen.

\"I'm not aware of any deal in Saudi Arabia,\" Garten told The Associated Press. \"I'll go further, there is no deal in Saudi Arabia.\"

Garten declined to say whether the closures were related to Trump's election or his expected announcement next week about how he will be handling his businesses as president.

There is nothing preventing Trump from establishing new businesses or using his existing companies to expand in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. There also is nothing to prevent his children from re-establishing the same companies he shut down, but in a different name.

Business deals in a country like Saudi Arabia \u2014 a strategic U.S. partner \u2014 raise potential conflicts of interest because there is not much distinction between the Saudi royal family and major Saudi businesses.

It's important that the U.S. president have a close relationship with the Saudi king and crown prince, said Lori Plotkin Boghardt, a fellow at the Washington Institute and expert in U.S.-Gulf relations. \"But we also want to have a president who can talk frankly to the Saudis about any complications in the relationship and uphold American interests,\" she said.

Saudi Arabia has long been a key American ally in the Middle East, prized for years for its vast oil reserves and depended on by a succession of American presidents for its potential as a Persian Gulf peacemaker. But President Barack Obama and some U.S. counterterror officials have grown increasingly frustrated with Saudi Arabia's unofficial role in exporting ultraconservative religious dogma and funding terror groups and the militant Taliban movement.

Trump also shut down several shell companies that he had created over the past seven years which had no listed income or value. For instance, Trump Marks Magazine Corp., founded in 2007, had no listed value and was dissolved the day after the election, according to Delaware corporation documents.

Some of the now-dissolved Trump entities are U.S.-based limited liability companies, legal structures that provide owners with limited legal and tax protections. The entities, commonly abbreviated as LLCs, often offer owners \"pass-throughs,\" ensuring that they are taxed only for the income they receive.

___

Chase reported from Dover, Delaware. Associated Press writers Stephen Braun and Jeff Horwitz in Washington contributed to this report.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) \u2014 Federal regulators on Friday refused to reconsider a 230-mile liquefied natural gas pipeline that would have terminated in the southern Oregon coastal town of Coos Bay, handing a serious setback to a multi-billion project to deliver the gas to markets in Asia.

In a 15-page opinion, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied requests from the Jordan Cove Energy Project, the Pacific Gas Connector Pipeline, the state of Wyoming and the Wyoming Pipeline Authority to reopen the case and reaffirmed the agency's decision from earlier this year.

In that March 11 ruling, the agency found there was little evidence to support the need for a pipeline and not enough public benefit from the project, which has been tied up in a legal fight for several years.

Supporters of the pipeline, however, challenged the decision in an appeal and also moved to swing public opinion to their side.

Wyoming, which was among those challenging that ruling, argued that FERC should have considered the economic benefit from the pipeline to its residents from increased natural gas production, royalties and taxes.

Colorado sent representatives to Oregon to lobby for the pipeline this fall and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper asked federal regulators to take another look at the $7 billion project, which would allow it to ship natural gas to markets in Japan.

TV advertisements touting the pipeline's potential economic benefits aired in Oregon during last summer's Olympic Games.

Veresen Inc., the Calgary, Alberta-based company, said in a statement Friday that it would consider another appeal or might submit a new application to FERC.

\"Veresen remains committed to this important energy infrastructure project,\" said Don Althoff, Verensen's president and CEO. \"We are very disappointed by FERC's decision, especially in light of the significant progress that has been made in demonstrating market support for the project and the strong showing of public support for the project.\"

The pipeline route would have stretched from the farming town of Malin east of the Cascade Mountains, just north of the California border, to Coos Bay on the southern Oregon coast. The route, which was opposed by private landowners and environmentalists, would have crossed rivers, mountain ranges and a mix of private and public lands.

Regulators said in the ruling that the pipeline would affect nearly 160 miles of privately owned lands and about 630 landowners.

Environmental groups applauded the decision, saying the pipeline would have hurt Oregon to benefit out-of-state corporate interests.

\"Our state should be focused on creating good-paying jobs in improving energy efficiency and the expanding clean energy industry, such as solar power, not on new fossil fuel projects that hurt us all,\" said Hannah Sohl, director of Rogue Climate, one of the organizations that opposed the liquefied natural gas project.

____

Follow Gillian Flaccus on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/gflaccus

"}, {"id":"9d6fc7a3-41f7-5c77-99f3-b3e1718dba92","type":"article","starttime":"1481332500","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T18:15:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1481338744","priority":30,"sections":[{"tucson":"business/tucson"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Gas prices flatten amid oil-price spike","url":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/article_9d6fc7a3-41f7-5c77-99f3-b3e1718dba92.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/gas-prices-flatten-amid-oil-price-spike/article_9d6fc7a3-41f7-5c77-99f3-b3e1718dba92.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/business/tucson/gas-prices-flatten-amid-oil-price-spike/article_9d6fc7a3-41f7-5c77-99f3-b3e1718dba92.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"The long slide in gas prices leveled off this week after oil rose in response to moves to curtail production, according to AAA. Arizona\u2019s statewide average gas price was essentially flat over the week at $2.11 per gallon of regular on Friday, while nationwide prices jumped more than 3 cents to $2.20, AAA data show.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["gas prices","economy","aaa arizona"],"internalKeywords":["#top5biz"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b7aa9565-e9b5-5d99-8e82-e90d62ab4544","description":"","byline":"The Associated Press","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"402","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/7a/b7aa9565-e9b5-5d99-8e82-e90d62ab4544/573659a85ee8e.image.jpg?resize=620%2C402"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/7a/b7aa9565-e9b5-5d99-8e82-e90d62ab4544/549f92b2e2478.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"194","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/7a/b7aa9565-e9b5-5d99-8e82-e90d62ab4544/549f92b2e354a.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/7a/b7aa9565-e9b5-5d99-8e82-e90d62ab4544/573659a85ee8e.image.jpg?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C0"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"9d6fc7a3-41f7-5c77-99f3-b3e1718dba92","body":"

The long slide in gas prices leveled off this week after oil rose in response to moves to curtail production, according to AAA.

Arizona\u2019s statewide average gas price was essentially flat over the week at $2.11 per gallon of regular on Friday, while nationwide prices jumped more than 3 cents to $2.20, AAA data show.

Gas in Tucson edged up a penny to $1.97 per gallon, but the Old Pueblo still has the state\u2019s cheapest fuel. Flagstaff has the state\u2019s highest average price at $2.30 per gallon on Friday.

AAA said gas prices tend to fall this time of year due seasonal factors, but news last week that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would curtail production pushed up oil prices and in turn prices at the pump.

"}, {"id":"6f7884a0-4750-5883-b30b-135577ecfd9c","type":"article","starttime":"1481331752","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T18:02:32-07:00","lastupdated":"1481334431","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"govt-and-politics":"news/national/govt-and-politics"},{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Story of Trump letting homeless woman live in hotel is false","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_6f7884a0-4750-5883-b30b-135577ecfd9c.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/story-of-trump-letting-homeless-woman-live-in-hotel-is/article_6f7884a0-4750-5883-b30b-135577ecfd9c.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/story-of-trump-letting-homeless-woman-live-in-hotel-is/article_77a85956-0c87-5fc6-b82a-56b5048f3975.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 The Infowars website acknowledges its story about a homeless woman claiming Republican President-elect Donald Trump has allowed her to stay at his New York hotel free of charge for nine years is \"unconfirmed.\"","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","politics","business","general news","government and politics","united states presidential election","events","accommodations","travel","lifestyle","presidential elections","national elections","elections"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":8,"commentID":"6f7884a0-4750-5883-b30b-135577ecfd9c","body":"

NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 The Infowars website acknowledges its story about a homeless woman claiming Republican President-elect Donald Trump has allowed her to stay at his New York hotel free of charge for nine years is \"unconfirmed.\"

Infowars used a video of the woman as the basis for a story that's been heavily shared on Facebook since it was posted this week. But the Trump Organization says there's \"no validity\" to the video being circulated online.

The woman in the video talks to a camera by a window overlooking Central Park. She describes herself as a squatter who went to the hotel and started living in an empty room. She says Trump has allowed her to live there since.

Trump Hotels spokeswoman Jennifer Rodstrom says the woman depicted in the video is not a guest.

"}, {"id":"7e52856d-04e2-501d-9a33-a8b1ced8984f","type":"article","starttime":"1481327584","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T16:53:04-07:00","lastupdated":"1481329897","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Ex-trader at Cantor Fitzgerald indicted on securities fraud","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_7e52856d-04e2-501d-9a33-a8b1ced8984f.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/ex-trader-at-cantor-fitzgerald-indicted-on-securities-fraud/article_7e52856d-04e2-501d-9a33-a8b1ced8984f.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/ex-trader-at-cantor-fitzgerald-indicted-on-securities-fraud/article_2a5f18d8-b544-5a83-89ef-696c7097aa47.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) \u2014 A former trader for Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. has been indicted on securities fraud charges.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","indictments","fraud and false statements","law and order","crime","corporate crime","corporate news","debt and bond markets","financial markets"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":6,"commentID":"7e52856d-04e2-501d-9a33-a8b1ced8984f","body":"

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) \u2014 A former trader for Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. has been indicted on securities fraud charges.

Federal prosecutors in Connecticut say 35-year-old David Demos, of Westport, cheated customers by fraudulently manipulating prices for residential mortgage-backed securities. As a result, investigators say, Demos and the firm profited illegally and victims sustained millions of dollars in losses.

Demos worked as a trader and managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald from November 2011 until his employment was terminated in February 2013. He was indicted Wednesday on six counts of securities fraud.

Attorneys for Demos say he denies the charges and intends to \"vigorously defend himself.\"

The investigation is part of a federal and state effort focused on fraud and abuse in the mortgage securities market and the federal government bailout following the 2008 financial crisis.

"}, {"id":"dd6985fb-76cb-55a8-ac4b-e8260727e8d0","type":"article","starttime":"1481325906","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T16:25:06-07:00","lastupdated":"1481328551","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Ford CEO says Trump threats won't change small car plans","url":"http://tucson.com/business/article_dd6985fb-76cb-55a8-ac4b-e8260727e8d0.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/business/ford-ceo-says-trump-threats-won-t-change-small-car/article_dd6985fb-76cb-55a8-ac4b-e8260727e8d0.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/ford-ceo-says-trump-threats-won-t-change-small-car/article_96d36b3d-4910-52af-bffb-636cb3c1c2fa.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By DEE-ANN DURBIN and TOM KRISHER\nAP Auto Writers","prologue":"DETROIT (AP) \u2014 Ford Motor Co. is going ahead with plans to move small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico despite President-elect Donald Trump's recent threats to impose tariffs on companies that move work abroad.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","consumer product manufacturing","consumer products and services","production facilities","corporate news","prices","economy","industry regulation","government business and finance","government and politics","government regulations","environmental laws and regulations","environment","environment and nature","energy and the environment"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":4,"commentID":"dd6985fb-76cb-55a8-ac4b-e8260727e8d0","body":"

DETROIT (AP) \u2014 Ford Motor Co. is going ahead with plans to move small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico despite President-elect Donald Trump's recent threats to impose tariffs on companies that move work abroad.

CEO Mark Fields said Ford's plan to move production of the Ford Focus from Michigan to Mexico will proceed, in part because U.S. consumers demand low prices for small cars. The Focus starts at $16,775, which is less than half the average price that U.S. consumers pay for new vehicles.

\"It always has to start with the customer. The customer demands a certain level of price and value in that segment, and it's important for us as a company to have financial success with that product,\" Fields told The Associated Press in an interview Friday.

But Fields stressed that no U.S. jobs will be lost, since the Michigan plant that makes the Focus will be getting two new products.

\"If you're a worker in that plant, you now have even more job security because we have two products coming in instead of one,\" he said.

In a series of tweets last weekend, Trump reiterated a threaten to impose a 35-percent tariff on companies that build new plants abroad and sell products back to the U.S.

\"The U.S. is going to substantially reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. without retribution or consequence, is WRONG!\" Trump tweeted. \"There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35 percent for these companies.\"

Although Ford wasn't mentioned specifically, Trump did target the company a number of times during the campaign on the issue of trade and U.S. jobs. Trump also praised Ford last month when the company said it won't go ahead with a plan to move production of its Lincoln MKC SUV from Kentucky to Mexico.

Fields said tariffs can't be imposed on individual companies, only entire sectors, so they would wind up hurting the whole auto industry. Nissan Motor Co., General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler and Toyota Motor Co. are among the other companies that export Mexican-made vehicles to the U.S.

Asked if he was worried about Trump's threats, Fields said, \"Of course. We're always looking at what are the risks and opportunities are out there.\"

But Fields also said he's optimistic that Trump supports pro-growth policies like tax reform and regulatory reform that could help the auto industry.

\"We strongly believe that the right policies are going to prevail, because I think we all share the same objective: We want a healthy and vibrant U.S. economy and we're going to continue to do our part to contribute to that,\" he said.

One area Ford and Trump could see eye to eye on is fuel economy standards. The company criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week for its recommendation to keep regulations in place that would more than double automakers' fleet-wide fuel efficiency standards by 2025. The EPA was scheduled to make a final decision in 2018, but rushed its plans into place before Trump takes office in January.

Fields said Ford will make its vehicles as fuel-efficient as possible, and he noted that the company needs to meet even stricter emissions targets in China. But he said automakers want to make sure the standards reflect market realities, like lower-than-expected U.S. gas prices and rising SUV sales. Fields said Ford plans to take up the issue with the Trump administration.

\"We're absolutely dedicated to improving the fuel economy of our customers, but doing it in a way that preserves customer choice, that preserves vehicle affordability and preserves American jobs,\" Fields said.

"} ]