COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina ports officials expect a seamless transition from federal studies of deepening the Charleston Harbor shipping channel to dredging on the project which could begin next year. The president's new budget includes almost $700,000 for studies of the project. A final report is expected next year on how deep to dredge the channel. Maritime interests want it deepened to at least 50 feet to handle new, larger container ships. South Carolina officials say they're confident a federal Water Resources law will be passed by next year allowing Charleston to use state money already set aside for the deepening project. In nearby Savannah, Ga., there was no construction money in the president's budget for a $650 million channel deepening there. That prompted the state's congressional delegation protest to the president.
Fueling the old adage “what goes around comes around,” the old Bell South building at 400 Broad St. has been acquired by a modern-day communications company, Parker FiberNet. Parker also has offices and a data center at 704 Broad St.
More than 1,100 Floyd County residents filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits in January, down slightly from December and also down from January 2013.
Recognizing that death is inevitable, Dr. Peter Lee and George West, owners of Mount Berry Hospice, are devoting much of their energy to making the end of life as comfortable as possible.
CALHOUN — Marine Cpl. Todd Love joined the military just a few months after graduating from high school. His first deployment was to the Helmund Province of Afghanistan where, he said, it took some time for him to make peace with the idea he might never return to his Marietta home.
NEW YORK (AP) — There will soon be about 1,100 fewer places to buy batteries. Calls to the Radio Shack location in Rome were directed to their corporate office. Calls to the corporate office were not returned.
Al Robles, owner of Al Robles, Barber/Stylist, answers the questions for today’s Small Business Snapshot.
The Foot, Ankle and Leg Center, formerly at 126 Three Rivers Drive, is open today in a new location, 101 John Maddox Drive, Suite A, behind the Redmond Regional Medical Center.
Brooke Nolan’s Snazzy Rags women’s boutique will be moving at the end of March.
More information and better plans from a business on Martha Berry Highway are expected to be presented at this month’s meeting of the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are falling and bond prices are rising as tensions build over Russia's military presence in the Ukraine.
The price of crude oil rose as traders feared that Russian oil exports might be disrupted if Western governments impose sanctions on Moscow.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 153 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 16,168 Monday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 14 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,845. The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday.
The Nasdaq composite fell 30 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,277.
Russia's benchmark stock index plunged 12 percent. Stocks also fell sharply in Europe. Germany's DAX fell the most, 3.4 percent.
The price of gold rose to a four-month high as traders sought safety.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is driving ahead with a dramatic reduction in sulfur in gasoline and tailpipe emissions, declaring that cleaner air will save thousands of lives per year at little cost to consumers.
Public health groups and automakers cheered the new rules, finalized Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency, with some insisting they could prove to be President Barack Obama's signature environmental accomplishment in his second term. The oil and gas industry, meanwhile, panned the move, calling it gratuitous and accusing the government of grossly underestimating the increased cost at the pump.
"The benefits far outweigh the costs," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, calling it a win for both consumers and automakers. "These standards will reduce pollution, they'll clean the air we breathe and protect the health of American families."
In the works for years, the rules require refineries to cut sulfur levels in the gasoline by about two-thirds by 2017. Less sulfur in gasoline makes it easier for a car's pollution controls to effectively filter out emissions, resulting in cleaner air, the EPA says. For car manufacturers, stricter limits on tailpipe emissions will require engineering changes so that cars weed out more pollution.
More than 2,000 premature deaths and about 50,000 cases of kids with respiratory problems will be avoided by 2030 if the rules go into effect, the EPA said.
The cost to consumers: Less than a penny per gallon of gas, McCarthy said. The EPA also projects the rules will raise the average cost of buying a vehicle by $72 in 2025.
But not everyone agrees.
The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the oil and gas industry, pointed to studies it has commissioned estimating that the limits would add 6 cents to 9 cents a gallon to refiners' manufacturing costs while requiring $10 billion in capital costs. American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group, called it "the most recent example of the agency's propensity for illogical and counterproductive rulemaking."
"This rule is all pain and no gain," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. "This winter's cold snap underscores just how vulnerable American families and businesses are to any increases in energy costs, and yet the administration is moving forward to raise prices at the pump."
Pushing back on those charges, McCarthy said that API's study constituted an "outdated estimate" that didn't account for changes the EPA made to the rules after receiving public comment — such as a phasing-in that gives some refineries more flexibility to come into compliance.
"We stand behind our estimate," said Bob Greco, API's downstream group director.
The political wrangling over the latest round of regulations to hit the energy industry offered a familiar reprise of a long-running debate over Obama's attempts to use his regulatory power to clean up the nation's sources of fuel.
With just a few years left in his term and no appetite in Congress for major environmental legislation, Obama has vowed to take action unilaterally to tackle climate change and other pollution. Energy advocates have staunchly opposed Obama's proposed emissions limits on new and existing power plants, and accuse him of dallying on approval for the Keystone XL pipeline. The issue promises to play a prominent role in the 2014 midterm elections, as Democrats from energy-dependent states find themselves squeezed between economic and environmental concerns.
Tellingly, there was little pushback from the auto industry, with major automakers like Ford, Toyota and Honda praising the EPA for setting one standard for emissions that will apply nation-wide. California already uses the new sulfur standard, and while the U.S. has tightened sulfur limits twice before, it still lags behind many other countries.
"The EPA has effectively harmonized the federal and state emissions requirements, and that's a big deal for us," said Mike Robinson, a vice president at General Motors Co. "It allows us to engineer, build and calibrate vehicles on a national basis."
Breathing the pollutants that come out of a car's tailpipe leads to coughing and shortness of breath for healthy adults, but for those with underlying conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, the implications can be grave: asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes and ultimately death, said Paul Billings, the American Lung Association's vice president.
The Obama administration already has moved to clean up motor vehicles by adopting rules that will increase fuel efficiency and putting in place standards to reduce the pollution from cars and trucks blamed for global warming.
Vanessa Heath has been honored as Polk Medical Center’s first DAISY award winner. The DAISY Award celebrates nurses who demonstrate exceptional clinical skill and provide compassionate bedside care.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Investor Warren Buffett says the economy continues the steady improvement that began in fall of 2009 and he remains optimistic despite Russia's advance into Ukraine.
Buffett appeared on the business cable channel CNBC Monday morning after releasing an upbeat annual letter to his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders over the weekend. Buffett is chairman and CEO of the Omaha, Neb., conglomerate.
Buffett said the reports he gets from Berkshire's 80-odd subsidiaries in a variety of industries show that the economy is growing at a moderate rate, despite swings in investors' mood.
"The American economy for five years has been moving at a fairly steady rate upwards —not as fast as people would like — but I think that absolutely continues now," he said.
But Buffett said he doesn't make investment decisions based on the economy or world events, and Berkshire continued buying an unnamed stock in the United Kingdom Monday. He said he focuses on the prospects of the business in which he's investing, and the price.
The Russian military advance into part of Ukraine over the weekend shouldn't prompt investors to sell stocks in good businesses in the United States, Buffett said.
"People react too much to short-term things in the stock market whereas they behave quite rationally when they get into other investments," he said.
Buffett addressed a variety of topics in the three-hour long television interview.
Buffett said it's clear that railroad tank cars carrying crude oil need to be updated because oil from certain regions is more dangerous than originally thought.
Berkshire Hathaway owns the BNSF railroad and a manufacturer of tank cars.
"There will be changes made and there should be changes made," Buffett said. "We have found in the last year that it's more dangerous to move certain types of crude certainly than was thought previously."
Buffett said the crude oil from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota and Montana and the Eagle Ford oil field in south Texas has proven more volatile than anticipated.
That volatility may have contributed to several fiery derailments in the past year, including one in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last summer that killed 47 people.
Buffett reiterated Monday that he thinks it's a good idea to build the proposed Keystone XL pipeline TransCanada wants to construct to carry Canadian oil south across the Great Plains to connect to Gulf Coast refineries.
He said he doesn't expect that pipeline to reduce the amount of oil railroads are hauling significantly.
Berkshire's insurance and reinsurance companies often have to pay significant claims when natural disasters strike. But Buffett said the rate of disasters that Berkshire's insurance and reinsurance companies see hasn't changed because of extreme weather or climate change.
"I calculate the probabilities of catastrophes no different than a few years ago," he said.
Strong insurance results helped Berkshire earn $19.48 billion last year on $182.15 billion revenue. That's up from earnings of $14.82 billion on $162.46 billion revenue in 2012.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns roughly 80 subsidiaries, including railroad, clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. Its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company's net income. The company also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co., IBM and Wells Fargo & Co.
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Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: www.berkshirehathaway.com
Coosa Valley Credit Union’s 60th Annual meeting was held Saturday March 1 at the Forum and special guest Congressman Tom Graves was in attendance.
Tourists spent more than $125 million in Floyd County during 2012, according to the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau’s annual report released Monday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Airlines canceled nearly 2,300 flights Monday as the latest winter storm hit the U.S. East Coast.
The hardest hit cities were Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore. All flights into and out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport have been halted.
On Sunday, airlines scrapped nearly 2,000 flights in Dallas, Chicago and Houston, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com. There are more than 30,000 flights in the United States on a typical day.
It's been a daunting winter for air travelers. Airlines have canceled more than 87,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, a record number.
Carriers are now much more likely to cancel flights at the first sign of bad weather. For instance, more than 550 flights to and from New York were canceled Monday, even though the city only got a light dusting of snow. Original forecasts had called for much higher snow totals.
Passengers on New York-based JetBlue were among the hardest hit, with the airline scrapping 23 percent of its flights, according to FlightAware. The overwhelming majority of JetBlue flights leave from Boston, New York or Washington D.C. making the airline especially prone to cancellations when a storm hits the Northeast. US Airways and the regional airlines it contracts with along the East Coast also had a high percent of cancellations.
New affordable housing could be coming to different sections of South Rome if an application to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs is accepted.
In an age where technology is changing more rapidly than ever before, the importance of developing a workforce capable of meeting the needs of business and industry is also greater than ever.
Players, a T-shirt and sports memorabilia store, 317 Broad St., will officially close Sunday.
Downtown merchants got a briefing Friday on the 11th annual Rome International Festival, scheduled for March 29 at Bridgepoint Plaza.