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Business news briefs — Dec. 27

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HEALTH care

Hospital deals win approval

University Hospitals is acquiring Parma Community Hospitals and EMH Healthcare on New Year’s Day.

The previously announced deals for the hospitals to join the Cleveland-based health system were approved by state and federal regulators this week.

After the deals are complete, the hospitals will be known as University Hospitals Parma Medical Center (UH Parma) and University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center (UH Elyria).

INDUSTRY

AK Steel holding steady

AK Steel has seen “monumental shifts” in its business during the past decade, enjoying the highs of record earnings and weathering the lows following a deep economic downturn, James Wainscott, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, recently told the Hamilton Journal-News.

Wainscott marked his 10th year as CEO of the Butler County steelmaker in 2013. Founded as the American Rolling Mill Co. in Middletown more than 100 years ago, today’s AK Steel Holding Corp. continues to be a major employer in Butler County and business driver for a network of local suppliers.

Between the Fortune 500 company’s headquarters in West Chester Township and the Middletown Works steel plant, AK Steel employs about 2,400 full-time workers. AK Steel’s operations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Minnesota employ more than 6,000 altogether.

ENTERTAINMENT

Game collector sets record

Maybe it was getting his first video game, Cosmic Avenger, for Christmas at the age of 12, and then having to wait an entire year for the hard-to-land ColecoVision console to play it on that made Michael Thomasson so determined to get his hands on every video game and system he could find.

Now, 31 years and roughly 11,000 games later, Thomasson is the newly crowned world record holder for having the largest collection of video games. He is featured in a two-page spread in the just-released Guinness World Records 2014 Gamer’s Edition.

“I have games on cartridge, laser disc. I have VHS-based games, cassette-based games,” Thomasson said, standing among the collection that fills the basement of his suburban Buffalo home.

Along with the games, he has the devices to play them on, not only the Xboxes and PlayStations but obscure ones like the Casio Loopy, the only game system specifically geared toward girls, which came out in Japan in 1995, and the Pippin, a dud Apple released that year.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Honda’s safety scores high

Honda has topped the insurance industry’s annual list of the safest new vehicles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave 39 vehicles top safety ratings for 2014. That is dramatically fewer than the 130 on the list last year because vehicles now must meet tougher standards.

For the first time, the vehicles need top crash test scores and a good front crash prevention system — such as warning systems or automatic braking — to get its highest designation.

Honda, which also owns the Acura brand, had the most winners of any automaker with eight vehicles making the list.

AEROSPACE

Sales decline in forecast

The U.S. aerospace industry’s sales will decline about 1 percent to $220.1 billion this year as companies grapple with “some of its greatest challenges in decades,” a trade organization predicted.

While the Aerospace Industries Association at this time last year projected that demand on the commercial side would help boost 2013 revenue by 2.8 percent, that growth wasn’t enough to compensate for drops in the military and space markets, according to a report by the group.

The association’s forecast reflects U.S. defense budget cuts, including the across-the-board budget reductions known as sequestration that would be partially repealed under a $1 trillion federal spending plan agreed to by congressional negotiators.

Civilian aviation sales were projected to rise 7.7 percent to $67 billion this year from 2012, according to the report. Those gains will be offset by a 6.2 percent drop in military aircraft revenue and declines in missile, space and other related areas in 2013, the report said.

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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