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SAT. 01/31/09

Taking aim
By JOE MEYER of the Tribune’s staff
Target Masters takes pride in supporting the Second Amendment. The business, which has been open for almost 18 years, sells everything from tactical-style rifles to handguns and offers firearms training and courses for people seeking conceal-and-carry permits.

FUNNY BUSINESS 

STREET TALK
Mediacom to drop KETC, KSDK and add WGN HD

By JUSTIN WILLETT Tribune business editor
On Feb. 17, Mediacom is dropping two St. Louis stations from its broadcast basic lineup - NBC affiliate KSDK (Channel 4) and PBS affiliate KETC (Channel 19). 

THE ENTREPRENEUR NEXT DOOR
Ventures gain traction despite many obstacles

By MARY PAULSELL
On Tuesday night, Central Missouri felt its first really serious winter storm. Roads were slick, and visibility was poor. Only those willing to take the risk were out on the streets that evening. Only those with a sincere need to travel and a strong desire to reach their destination were huddled up against the harsh elements. 

GRAND OPENING: NEW BUSINESS IN COLUMBIA
NEW CHAPTER COACHING

TOP DRAWER

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

WEEK IN REVIEW

PUBLIC RECORD

The race to refinance begins as rates drop
McClatchy Newspapers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - When California state employee Tim McManus peers into the future, he sees 4.5 percent interest. "I’m hoping it will go down more. One more drop," says the Sacramento homeowner with a first mortgage at 6 percent and a second at 7.75 percent.

FRI. 01/30/09

Report: Bad peanuts found last year
WASHINGTON (AP) - Weeks before the earliest signs of a national salmonella outbreak that now has been traced to peanuts from a Georgia processing plant, peanuts exported by the same company were found to be contaminated and were returned to the United States, The Associated Press has learned.

Retailers expand recalls
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two Iowa companies yesterday announced recalls of their products after an expanded recall by the Peanut Corporation of America.

Katy Trail merchants focus of conference
By the Tribune’s staff
The 2009 Katy Trail Merchant Conference is scheduled for Tuesday at the Katy Depot in Sedalia.

Grant funds Job Point construction training
By the Tribune’s staff
Job Point recently was awarded a grant for more than $167,000 from the Federal Highway Administration for a one-year heavy- and highway-construction training program.

Unemployment news sends stocks down
NEW YORK (AP) - Two glaring signs that the economy remains in a deep slump sent stocks reeling yesterday.

Exxon posts a record profit of $45.2 billion
HOUSTON (AP) - Exxon Mobil Corp. today reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company, even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33 percent from a year ago.

TEST DRIVE
CADILLAC ESCALADE HYBRID

By SCOTT BURGESS The Detroit News
Whenever I leave Detroit, I take special note of the vehicles people drive. It’s my informal survey of the current automotive market. I’ve sat outside of LAX and observed all the vehicles dropping off loved ones — not a GM, Ford or Chrysler in the bunch. Foreign cars rule.

UNDER THE HOOD
Frustrated driver can’t feel the heat

By BRAD BERGHOLDT McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Q: I’ve noticed my heater is no longer providing the amount of warmth it once did. Even after driving the car for a considerable distance, the air coming out is warm at best, rather than hot. Do I need a new heater?

thu. 01/29/09

Economic signs point to ‘quite a slog’ in ’09
By JUSTIN WILLETT Tribune business editor
A year ago, Commerce Bank financial analyst Scott Colbert predicted that slowing job growth and a continuing decline in the housing sector pointed to an impending recession. He pegged the likelihood of a recession at 60 percent while noting that it would be "grossly optimistic" to think the country could avoid it.

Record number of Americans receiving jobless benefits
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people receiving unemployment benefits has reached an all-time record, the government said today, and more layoffs are spreading throughout the economy.

House derails delay of DTV switch
WASHINGTON (AP) - Bucking the Obama administration, House Republicans yesterday defeated a bill to postpone the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting to June 12 - leaving an estimated 6.5 million U.S. households unprepared for the currently scheduled Feb. 17 switchover.

Hulshof joins public policy team at firm
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Former Rep. Kenny Hulshof has stepped out of politics and into a legal position where he will specialize in public policy issues.

Postal Service considers need to pare delivery
WASHINGTON (AP) - Massive deficits could force the post office to cut out one day of mail delivery, the postmaster general told Congress yesterday, in asking lawmakers to lift the requirement that the agency deliver mail six days a week.

3M profit falls as global slowdown hurts sales
WASHINGTON (AP) - 3M Co.’s fourth-quarter profit dropped 37 percent as the global economic slowdown lowered sales in most of its wide-ranging businesses, prompting the company to cut its outlook for 2009.

Big Muddy digs in
KANSAS CITY (AP) - The Missouri River is sinking.

WED. 01/28/09

Wither the fashionista?
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - Throwing your money around is so pre-recession.

Anxiety eases with good earnings news
NEW YORK (AP) - Some of Wall Street’s earnings anxiety is easing - at least for the time being.

Ameren rate bump gets PSC approval
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri utility regulators yesterday approved a roughly $163 million rate increase for customers of AmerenUE, the state’s largest electricity provider.

YOUR OFFICE COACH
Co-worker’s recordings are cause for alarm

By MARIE G. MCINTYRE McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Q: A co-worker told me that he brings a voice recorder to work to catch people talking behind his back. He will tape it under a desk or hide it behind a picture.

Flash developers in high demand
McClatchy Newspapers
MIAMI - Steve Cucinotta’s job lets him work with state-of-the-art software, create the latest Facebook applications and collaborate with equally cutting-edge co-workers.

Here’s looking at you
By LINDA FLOREA The Orlando Sentinel
ORLANDO, Fla. - A new private-investigation agency here is less like Sam Spade and more like the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Sandy Love and Kelly Hite are sleuthing around Central Florida, challenging the perception of PIs.

Sales tips keep cash flowing in recession
The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA. Calif. - Yup, we’re in a recession.

tue. 01/27/09

Home prices, sales slide in ’08
By JUSTIN WILLETT Tribune business editor
The number of new and existing homes sold in Boone County tumbled 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the same period a year ago, and the median home price fell 7 percent, according to the Columbia Board of Realtors.

Digital delay advances
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate yesterday voted unanimously to postpone the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting by four months to June 12 - setting the stage for Congress to pass the proposal as early as today.

Recession racks up casualties
WASHINGTON (AP) - The recession is killing jobs at an alarming pace, with tens of thousands of new layoffs announced yesterday by some of the biggest names in American business - Pfizer, Caterpillar and Home Depot.

State offers new help for first-time buyers
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri housing commission, trying to help spur the state’s real estate market, is offering some first-time homebuyers an advance payment on a $7,500 federal tax break to help cover down payments and closing costs.

DirecTV to offer KOMU in HD
By the Tribune’s staff
KOMU-TV has reached an agreement with DirecTV that will allow the satellite provider to deliver the Columbia NBC affiliate’s high-definition signal to its subscribers. The announcement comes less than a week before the Super Bowl, which this year is on NBC.

BUSINESS CALENDAR

PC INFO
Free program cleans up PCs

By SCOTT A. MAY
Even in a tight economy, you can always find bargains for your PC. Case in point for this week is CCleaner from Piriform Ltd. It is a freeware PC optimization tool that’s as good or better than products costing $50 or more. Why pay for something you can get for free?

MON. 01/26/09

Obama pushes for strong fuel-efficiency standard
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama ordered the government today to re-examine whether California and other states should be allowed to have tougher auto emission standards to combat a build up of greenhouse gases, a clean break from Bush administration policy.

Sprint plans to cut 8,000 jobs
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Sprint Nextel Corp. is eliminating about 8,000 positions in the first quarter as it seeks to cut annual costs by $1.2 billion.

GM to halt production, lay off 2,000 workers
DETROIT (AP) - General Motors Corp. says it will cut 2,000 jobs at plants in Michigan and Ohio, and it will halt production for several weeks at nine plants over the next six months due to slow sales.

Caterpillar earnings down by 32 percent
The Associated Press
Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment, said today its fourth-quarter profit plunged 32 percent and that it expects sharply lower results this year as the world economy continues to contract.

GAS PRICES TODAY

DEBT ADVISER
Both people share debt in marriage

I just read your response about credit rating in marriage.I would like to take this one step further.

Borrowed time
McClatchy Newspapers
CHICAGO - Losing his job in June as head of a health-care not-for-profit was a blow for Christopher Laxton, but the Oak Park, Ill., resident and his wife had a cushion: some savings and a home equity line with Chase that had $40,000 to $50,000 in borrowing capacity left.

Tough economic times offer fertile ground for con artists
McClatchy Newspapers
CHICAGO - The economy is tough, and there are crooks out there looking to make things a whole lot tougher. The number of financial scams circulating is on the rise, some experts said, as criminals seize every opportunity to take advantage of the desperation many are feeling due to the economic downturn.

Taking aim

Target Masters takes pride in supporting the Second Amendment. The business, which has been open for almost 18 years, sells everything from tactical-style rifles to handguns and offers firearms training and courses for people seeking conceal-and-carry permits.
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