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WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Local News

Area Gas Prices Basically Stable

Average retail gasoline prices in Chattanooga have fallen 0.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.21/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga. This compares with the national average that has fallen 0.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.57/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.


Including the change in gas prices in Chattanooga during the past week, prices yesterday were 27.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 14.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 9.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 16.6 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.


"As driving season works closes out, the national average has been remarkably quiet, so far, but that may change as gasoline inventories declined a sizable about last week," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "The Energy Information Administration in its weekly report issued last Wednesday highlighted one of the largest drops in gasoline inventories this year. That was likely a culprit for a late-week rally in gasoline futures and spot prices, which in turn may mean that as this week wears on, gasoline prices could start showing some upward movement. Any increases may be limited, however, by the impending end of summer driving season," DeHaan said.

Area Gas Prices Basically Stable

Monday, August 26 2013, 10:12 AM EDT

More Business News

Last Update on September 03, 2015 17:40 GMT

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but applications remain at historically near low levels in a positive sign for the U.S. economy amid a broader global slowdown.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 3,250 to 275,500. That average has fallen 9.2 percent over the past 12 months.

The relatively meager number of layoffs generally corresponds with strong hiring levels in the monthly jobs report being released Friday.

Economists expect that employers added 207,500 jobs in August as the unemployment rate dips to 5.2 percent from 5.3 percent. Hiring at that pace suggests the U.S. economy has been insulated from uncertainty about China's financial health that sparked a recent stock sell-off.

ECONOMY-SERVICES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. services companies expanded at a healthy pace in August, lifted by robust consumer spending resulting from steady job gains.

The Institute for Supply Management says that its services index slipped to 59 from 60.3 in the previous month. July's reading was the highest in a decade, and any reading over 50 indicates expansion.

The index remains at a high level despite the decline and suggests that Americans have been spending freely at retail stores, hotels, restaurants and other firms that make up the index. The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Its services survey covers businesses that employ 90 percent of workers.

A measure of sales and production fell one point but remained at a solid level of 63.9. A gauge of new orders also fell slightly.

MORTGAGE RATES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week after a sharp drop the previous week, as global markets continued to whipsaw amid economic disruption in China and uncertainty over Federal Reserve interest-rate policy.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.89 percent from 3.84 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages advanced to 3.09 percent from 3.06 percent.

The rates remain well below their levels of a year ago, when the 30-year loan rate was 4.10 percent and the 15-year rate was 3.24 percent.

Mortgage rates have been tracking the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond, as investors have fled turbulent stock markets in recent weeks for the safety of U.S. government bonds, and then markets have sharply recovered.

TRADE GAP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit fell in July to the lowest level in five months as exports posted a small gain while imports declined, reflecting a big drop in shipments of consumer goods such as cell phones.

The Commerce Department says the deficit narrowed to $41.9 billion in July, a 7.4 percent decline from a June imbalance of $45.2 billion. Exports were up a small 0.4 percent to $188.5 billion, helped by stronger sales of U.S.-made autos and machinery, while imports declined 1.1 percent to $230.4 billion.

So far this year, the deficit is running 3.6 percent above last year's level, reflecting weaker export sales. The concern is that U.S. growth will be hurt by further declines in exports, reflecting a stronger dollar and overseas weakness in nations such as China.

EUROPE-ECONOMY

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) --

The European Central Bank says it's ready to give the eurozone a bigger dose of stimulus should inflation across the 19-country bloc fail to pick up, President Mario Draghi said. Along with lower interest rates, the ECB is pumping 60 billion euros a month into the economy through purchases of government and corporate bonds. The program is slated to run at least through September 2016.

European markets jumped on the news. Germany's DAX added 2.3 percent, France's CAC-40 rose 2.1 percent and U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 1.6 percent.

The stimulus is intended to help get consumer price inflation back toward the ECB's target of just below 2 percent. In the year to August, it stood at 0.2 percent. Draghi said it could go negative in coming months following the recent drop in oil prices.

HEALTH DISCRIMINATION-TRANSGENDER

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration says it wants to end discrimination against transgender people throughout the health care system.

The new protections are part of a much broader proposed regulation released Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The long-delayed rule amounts to a manual for carrying out the anti-discrimination section of President Barack Obama's health care law.

That law prohibits bias in medical care on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Those underlying provisions are in effect.

The latest proposal clarifies that gender identity is covered under the law's ban against sex discrimination.

Hospitals that accept Medicare would have to comply with the rule, as well as most doctors.

The rule doesn't require insurers to cover gender transition surgery.

TECH JOBS-SETTLEMENT

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge has approved a $415 million settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging Apple, Google, Intel and two other Silicon Valley companies illegally conspired to prevent their workers from getting better job offers.

The settlement will pay more than 64,000 technology workers about $5,800 apiece.

The approval granted Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ends a lengthy legal saga that exposed internal emails that cast former Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an unflattering light. Koh had rejected an earlier $324.5 million settlement of the case reached last year as inadequate.

The lawsuit accused Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems of forming a secret cartel that agreed not to recruit each other's workers. Lawyers for the employees argued the pact illegally suppressed the wages of the affected technology workers.

INTERNET SEX TRAFFICKING

SEATTLE (AP) -- The Washington Supreme Court has ruled in favor of three young girls who sued Backpage.com after they were sold as prostitutes on the site.

Thursday's ruling says the Communications Decency Act does not protect Backpage from state lawsuits because of allegations that the company didn't just host the ads, but helped develop the content.

The lawsuit claimed Backpage.com markets itself as a place to sell "escort services" but actually provides pimps with instructions on how to write an ad that works.

Backpage had filed a motion to dismiss the suit. A lower court denied that request and the company appealed, saying it was immune from liability.

But the Supreme Court says the case should proceed because the girls have alleged facts that, if proved, would show that Backpage helped produce illegal content.

GULF OIL SPILL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- BP is going back to a federal appeals court in a case involving businesses' damage claims from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil giant wants restitution of some of the money it paid in claims to businesses as part of a 2012 settlement. BP eventually won a revision in the way losses were calculated after arguing the settlement claims administrator wasn't correctly matching business's revenues and expenses.

Now, BP is seeking restitution and interest on some of the money paid out prior to October 2013 -- before the revision was approved. In court documents, the company says hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Thursday. A ruling isn't expected immediately.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER-OIL SPILL

Part of Mississippi River closes; 2 boats collide, spill oil

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) -- The U.S. Coast Guard says part of the Mississippi River has been closed as crews investigate and clean up an oil spill caused by the collision of two tow boats.

The Coast Guard says the collision Wednesday evening near Paducah, Kentucky, damaged at least one barge carrying clarified slurry oil. The cargo tank was ruptured, causing an unknown amount of oil to spill into the river.

Officials say the river is closed from mile markers 938 to 922.

The Coast Guard said Thursday that the maximum amount of oil that could have spilled is 250,000 gallons. The agency says it's working with the barge owner and an oil spill response organization to determine the exact amount of oil that poured into the water.

The cause of the collision is being investigated.

GREEN ENERGY-PONZI SCHEME

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Prosecutors have charged three people with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme they say was built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel that they never developed.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia unsealed an indictment Thursday against 34-year-old Troy Wragg, of Georgia, 32-year-old Amanda Knorr, of Pennsylvania, and 52-year-old Wayde McKelvy, of Colorado. They were charged with wire and securities fraud and conspiracy.

It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys who could comment on their behalf.

Prosecutors say they lied to investors that their "biochar" technology and "carbon-negative" housing in Tennessee made millions, but they had almost no earnings and used the money to repay earlier investors and for themselves.

Wragg and Knorr were ordered to pay $37 million each after losing a Securities and Exchange Commission civil suit in 2012.

OVATION GUITAR FACTORY

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut factory that produced Ovation guitars for nearly a half century before closing last year will be making the renowned instruments once again, thanks to factory employees' efforts.

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. closed the New Hartford facility in June 2014, citing market conditions, while continuing to make them in Asia. More than 40 workers lost their jobs.

Darren Wallace was among a few workers who were retained by Ovation. He kept up part of the plant on his own time with the hope it would reopen someday. Fender sold Ovation in December to Drum Workshop of Oxnard, California.

The new owners have decided to resume production at the plant with Wallace and five other workers, who will be turning out new instruments in a few weeks.

STUDENT LOAN DEBT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Almost 12,000 students are asking the federal government to forgive their college loan debt, asserting their school either closed or lied to them about job prospects.

The figure represents an unprecedented spike in what's called a "borrower's defense" claim following the collapse Corinthian Colleges for-profit college chain, which had become a symbol of fraud in higher education. Under higher education law, students who believe they are victims of fraud can apply to have their loans discharged.

Officials say they know of five or so such cases in the past 20 years; some 4,140 have been filed since the Education Department's June announcement that it would make the debt-relief process easier.

Officials say an additional 7,815 Corinthian students have filed claims for debt-relief because their school closed.

GENERAL MILLS-GREEN GIANT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- General Mills is selling its Green Giant and Le Sueur vegetable businesses to B&G Foods Inc. for about $765 million in cash.

The transaction includes the Green Giant and Le Sueur businesses in the U.S., Canada and some other markets.

General Mills will still run Green Giant's European business and certain other export markets under license from B&G Foods.

The food company said Thursday that it plans to use net proceeds from the deal to lower debt and buy back stock.

General Mills Inc. anticipates the transaction adding about 5 cents to 7 cents per share to fiscal 2016 earnings, excluding transaction costs and a one-time gain on the sale.

The deal is targeted to close by year's end.

BANGLADESH-FACTORY FIRE CHARGES

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) -- A court in Bangladesh's capital indicted the two owners of a garment factory and 11 others on homicide charges Thursday for a 2012 fire that killed 112 workers.

It is the first time that factory owners have been prosecuted in Bangladesh's lucrative garment industry, the world's second largest after China.

Delwar Hossain and his wife Mahmuda Akter, the owners of Tazreen Fashions Ltd., pleaded not guilty to the charges. The factory produced clothing for large international retailers including Wal-Mart.

Prosecutor Mizanur Rahman said the judge also indicted 11 factory managers and security guards. Eight of the accused were present in court while five remain at large and will be tried in absentia. The trial will begin Oct. 1, Rahman said.

Prosecutors argued that the owners and the others were responsible for the deaths of the workers because the factory outside Dhaka had no emergency exits and the main exit was locked when the fire broke out in November 2012. The defendants' lawyer argued that the fire was an accident and that they should not be indicted.

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    Education News

    Here is the latest news on issues affecting NewsChannel 9 area school systems.
  • WTVC :: News - Top Health Stories

    Top Health Stories

    News to keep you and your family alive and well.
  • WTVC :: News - Entertainment News

    Entertainment News

    Looking for something to do? Check here for fun stuff happening in the NewsChannel 9 area.
  • WTVC :: News - No Text Zone

    No Text Zone

    Keep our roads safe! Take the No Text Zone Pledge and have a chance to win a prize!
  • WTVC :: News - Georgia Lottery

    Georgia Lottery

    Get the winning numbers and all the details on how to play in the Peach State.
  • WTVC :: News - Tennessee Lottery

    Tennessee Lottery

    Get the winning numbers and all the details on how to play in the Volunteer State.
  • WTVC :: News - Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments or any groups are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
  • WTVC :: News - Your Voice. Your Future.

    Your Voice. Your Future.

    As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
  • WTVC :: News - Border Crisis

    Border Crisis

    Get the latest developments on the border control issue!
  • WTVC :: News - Political Pulse

    Political Pulse

    Armstrong Williams is called "one of the most recognizable conservative voices in America" by The Washington Post...
  • WTVC :: News - Behind The Headlines

    Behind The Headlines

    Behind The Headlines with Mark Hyman - Political Commentary and Opinions
  • WTVC :: News - Health Care Reform

    Health Care Reform

    The Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.
  • WTVC :: News - Washington Times

    Washington Times

    Politics, Breaking News, US and World News.

more »

 

Tonight on WTVC NewsChannel 9

6:00 NewChannel 9 

6:30 ABC World News Tonight

7:00 Wheel of Fortune

7:30 Jeopardy 

8:00 The Astronaut Wives Club

9:00 Mistresses

10:00 Rookie Blue

11:00 NewsChannel 9 

11:35 Jimmy Kimmel Live

Complete Schedule »


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