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US factory output extended solid gains in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output rose further last month, extending strong growth from February after harsh weather had caused production to tumble in January. Manufacturers produced more furniture, clothing, chemicals and aerospace products.

  • icon Posted: April 16

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Friday 04/11/2014
Surya named Curtin vice president of sales for national accounts
Updated: April 11, 2014 - 3:41 pm

Surya recently announced the appointment of Jim Curtin as vice president of sales, national accounts. In his new role, Curtin will oversee the development and growth of the rug and home accessories brand’s national accounts strategy across its multiple product lines, as well as lead the expansion of Surya’s sales initiatives within the floor covering segment.

Wednesday 04/09/2014
Twitter tweaks website to attract new users
Posted: April 09, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — As Twitter looks to broaden its appeal beyond its 241 million users, the company is introducing a redesign of profile pages that includes bigger photos, more user controls and a distinct resemblance to Facebook.

"Moment by moment, your Twitter profile shows the world who you are," the company wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "Starting today, it will be even easier (and, we think, more fun) to express yourself through a new and improved Web profile."

As part of changes coming in the next few weeks, users who access Twitter via the Web will notice larger photos on their profile pages. Besides profile photos on the left corner of the page, the redesign includes a large banner photo that resembles the big rectangular cover photos on Facebook pages. Users will be able to "pin" one of their tweets to the top of the page to give others an idea of the topics they like to tweet about. In addition, tweets that receive the most interest from other users will appear slightly larger.

The more visual look is an attempt to attract people who may be intimidated by Twitter's onslaught of text filled with quirky acronyms, at-symbols and hashtags. The changes come at a time when Facebook is adding features to its site that are Twitter-like, highlighting the way the two companies are jockeying for people's time and advertisers' dollars.

Is Twitter saying a picture is worth 140 characters? Perhaps not. The new profiles don't apply to Twitter's mobile app, which is a more popular way to access the service than the website. Mobile is also where Twitter earns most of its money. EMarketer expects about 77 percent of Twitter's estimated $1.1 billion in advertising revenue to come from mobile this year.

Even so, Twitter has acknowledged that it needs to reach a bigger audience. CEO Dick Costolo described the effort in broad terms during the company's February earnings call with analysts.

"By bringing the content of Twitter forward and pushing the scaffolding of the language of Twitter to the background," Costolo said, "we can increase high quality interactions and make it more likely that new or casual users will find the service as indispensable as our existing core users do."

Costolo also promised more visually engaging content, of which the profile page redesign is just one example. Last fall, the company decided to make users' feeds more visual by including previews from Twitter photos and Vine videos.

Twitter's first-quarter tally of users signaled that growth is slowing on the service. The company added just 9 million new monthly users in the fourth quarter, only 1 million of which came from the U.S. It added an average of 16 million new accounts in each of the first three quarters of 2013.

Twitter said in February that it had 241 million users at the end of 2013. By comparison, Facebook boasts some 1.23 billion users, while WhatsApp, the messaging service Facebook is buying for $19 billion, said it had 400 million active monthly users last December.

Twitter has not yet reported its first-quarter financial results, so it's hard to tell if the slowdown is a sign of trouble or just a blip. EMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in a recent report that Twitter's user base "may be growing more slowly than expected, but the social service has steadily increased its ad revenue and shown that its ads can drive engagement and interaction."

Noah Elkin, executive editor at eMarketer, said advertisers "love the engagement they get on Twitter." That said, he added that the company is still under pressure to grow.

The redesigned profile page, Elkin said, will likely have a "relatively minimal impact" on Twitter's advertising revenue, "unless and until" the company brings the new look to its mobile app.

Study finds sicklier enrollees in earliest stage of health law
Posted: April 09, 2014

People who signed up early for insurance through the new marketplaces were more likely to be prescribed drugs to treat pain, depression and H.I.V. and were less likely to need contraceptives, according to a new study that provides a much-anticipated look at the population that signed up for coverage under the new health care law.

Nurse Practitioner Kristie Burt relocates to Centre, Ala.
Updated: April 09, 2014 - 11:33 am

Kristie Burt, MSN, FNP-BC, is now seeing patients at Floyd Primary Care located at 391 Northwood Drive, Centre, Ala. Burt previously saw patients in the office of Dr. Louis Spencer in Armuchee.

Gas prices for summer projected to hold steady, reflecting sufficient supply
Posted: April 09, 2014

HOUSTON — Just a few years ago, American families faced uncertainties when planning their summer vacations, fearing that rising gasoline prices would blow their budgets. Then came the 2008-9 economic downturn, sending fuel prices lower.

Beef prices hit all-time high in U.S.
Posted: April 09, 2014

Come grilling season, expect your sirloin steak to come with a hearty side of sticker shock.

Tuesday 04/08/2014
GNTC to offer workplace safety and OSHA compliance training
Posted: April 08, 2014

Georgia Northwestern Technical College will offer two Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance training opportunities with a lunchtime discussion on Friday, April 25, and a seminar on Thursday, May 1, at the Gordon County Campus.

Monday 04/07/2014
$2 million in damages against attorney awarded to convicted murderer Barbara Ann Roberts
Updated: April 07, 2014 - 3:43 pm

A jury awarded $2 million in punitive damages and $60,000 in plaintiff’s damages to Barbara Ann Roberts, who was convicted of capital murder in Cherokee County Circuit Court last week.

Wednesday 04/02/2014
Lake Winnie opens its gates for family fun on April 12
Updated: April 02, 2014 - 1:27 pm

After what seemed like a never-ending winter, it’s time to get ready for family fun all summer long at the South’s favorite family amusement park! Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park will open for its 89th season on April 12, 2014. Popular with guests of all ages, Lake Winnie has something to delight thrill-seekers and ride lovers of all ages.

Tuesday 04/01/2014
Chevrolet Cobalts were seen as lemons from start, state data shows
Posted: April 01, 2014

In more than 120 instances, General Motors was forced under state lemon laws to buy back faulty Cobalts, pay settlements to owners or let them trade in the cars, an analysis by The New York Times of state databases and court records shows. The buybacks came as dozens of claims were filed separately at G.M. from 2005 to 2009 that fit a specific pattern — moving cars, sometimes traveling at high speeds, would suddenly stop working.

Report: Tenn. offered contingent incentives to VW
Updated: April 01, 2014 - 3:12 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's incentive offer to Volkswagen was made contingent on the labor situation at the German automaker's plant in Chattanooga developing to the "satisfaction" of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's administration, according to documents obtained by WTVF-TV in Nashville.

Monday 03/31/2014
Commission to assist robotics team with travel to California
Posted: March 31, 2014

The Cherokee County Commission has voted to give $4,000 in discretionary funds to assist the Centre Middle School Robotics Team with travel expenses to world championship competition in Anaheim, Calif.

Monday 03/24/2014
Centre Lions Club reports successful Pancake Day 2014
Updated: March 26, 2014 - 2:54 pm

With spring just a few days away, the warmer weather and the aroma of pancakes, eggs, sausage and fresh coffee combined to give the Centre Lions Club another successful 2014 Pancake Day recently.

Tuesday 03/18/2014
FORTUNE ranks International Paper No. 1 in Forest and Paper Products Sector
Updated: March 19, 2014 - 1:06 am

International Paper has been recognized by Fortune magazine as the most admired company in the Forest and Paper Products sector. This marks the 11th time in the last 12 years the company has earned the honor.

Monday 03/17/2014
Armed Forces Day Parade to be held in Centre, May 17
Posted: March 17, 2014

The Centre City Council has agreed to host a parade to salute all military veterans on Armed Forces Day Saturday, May 17.

Monday 03/10/2014
Community forms plan to attract Alabama Bass Trail Tournament to Leesburg
Posted: March 10, 2014

Cherokee County could be on track for an Alabama Bass Trail Tournament in 2015 if all the necessary preparations are made.

Monday 03/03/2014
Visitors to Little River Canyon spent over $10M in 2012
Updated: March 03, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Fort Payne, AL – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 201,000 visitors to Little River Canyon National Preserve in Fort Payne, Alabama in 2012 spent $10,822,000 in communities near the park. That spending supported 160 jobs in the local area.

City of Centre sponsoring 5-K, 10-K run in honor of late Police Chief Val Courtney
Posted: March 03, 2014

The Centre City Council has agreed to sponsor a 5-K, 10-K run in mid April which will pay tribute to the late Centre Police Chief Val Courtney.

Thursday 02/27/2014
Airline perks that offer the luxury of privacy
Posted: February 27, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Airlines are once again upping the ante in their international first-class service. But this time, it has little to do with fancy meals or comfy chairs. The carriers are focused on letting wealthy fliers pass through airports without having to mingle with the masses.

Among the recent additions:

— American Airlines now offers its top customers and anyone flying international first class a private check-in area at its terminals in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Travelers exit through hidden doors leading to the front of security lines.

— United Airlines has a similar setup in Chicago and Newark, N.J.

— Delta Air Lines will drive its top passengers who have a tight connection in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York or Minneapolis from one plane to another in a Porsche. They never have to enter the terminal.

— United does the same in Mercedes-Benz GL-Class vehicles at Chicago, Houston and Newark.

— Emirates Airline has separate floors in its Dubai A380 concourse for premium passengers and coach fliers. The two groups board jets through separate gates, never interacting.

— London's Heathrow Airport has opened private suites, originally designed for the royal family, to passengers flying business or first class, for an extra $2,500. Fliers using them receive their own immigration and security screening.

— Lufthansa offers first-class passengers a separate terminal in Frankfurt. There's a restaurant, cigar lounge and dedicated immigration officers. When it's time to board, passengers are driven across the tarmac to their plane in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Porsche Cayenne.

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Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at http://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott .

Monday 02/24/2014
Leadership Forum 2014
Posted: February 24, 2014

“You know where you are from and who we have raised you to be. You’ve got a big brain and a mouth to match so get out there and do something with it!”

Online poll

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