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Business news briefs — Nov. 8


Natural gas price unchanged

The monthly natural gas price for residential customers who have chosen Dominion’s Standard Choice Offer (SCO), or those who don’t choose their own supplier, will essentially stay the same for November. Effective Monday, the identical Standard Choice Offer and Standard Service Offer (SSO) rate is rounded to $4.10 per thousand cubic feet (mcf).

The November price is $4.097 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) or actually 0.1 cent lower than the October rate of $4.098/mcf, but rounded, it will be $4.10/mcf.

The price is 3 cents or higher than the rate a year ago of $4.07/mcf.

The average SCO/SSO residential customer’s bill for the month of November would be $68.70 or down $7.60 or 10 percent from $76.30 a year ago. The monthly price is going down, even though the rate is slightly higher because usage-based charges for delivery are lower this year.

Residential customers pay the same usage-based charges to deliver gas to a residence and $22.01 monthly service fee whether they choose a supplier or stay with Dominion.

Payment in Fair Finance case

The former wife and adopted son of imprisoned Fair Finance Co. scammer Timothy Durham have agreed to repay $110,000 to the bankrupt Akron company’s estate.

A proposed settlement with Fair Finance Trustee Brian Bash was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron. Bash in 2012 sued Durham’s ex-wife, Joan SerVaas, for $226,000 and adopted son Bernard Durham for $59,107, saying they received money from the Fair Finance Ponzi scheme. Both are Indiana residents.

SerVaas settled for $100,000 and Durham settled for $10,000, according to the proposal. The settlement requires court approval. Bash said evidence shows neither SerVaas nor Durham were aware of any fraud involving Fair Finance. More than 5,000 Ohio residents were defrauded out of more than $200 million by buying uninsured investment certificates from Fair Finance, bought in 2002 by Indiana businessman Timothy Durham.

Fair Finance was forced into bankruptcy in February 2010 after FBI raids the previous November closed its doors.

Saint-Gobain merges units

French building materials company Saint-Gobain announced consolidation of its two Performance Plastics Isofluor manufacturing operations into one new facility in Neuss, Germany. No financial terms of the move were disclosed.

The company said the move would bring two types of extrusion expansion and administration under one roof. Saint-Gobain has several operations in Northeast Ohio.

Free advice for nonprofits

For the fifth year, the Akron Area Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) will offer 12 nonprofit organizations counseling during its annual Nonprofit Pro Bono Day on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Akron-Summit County Public Library. Several 60-minute time slots are still available.

“A wide range of organizations take advantage of this annual service, from newly formed to those with long histories of serving our community. They provide vital services to our community,” said Gretchen Fri, event chair. Over the last four years, Akron PRSA has assisted more than 60 nonprofit organizations in areas such as media relations, strategic planning and social media.

Each nonprofit organization will receive 60 minutes of free advice from 14 public relations professionals who have volunteered. To register, contact Fri by Nov. 18 at or by calling 330-670-5079.

YRC seeks labor extension

YRC Worldwide Inc. Chief Executive Officer James Welch asked union leaders to extend a labor accord into 2019 to help the trucker refinance debt. Welch said the refinancing process must start by Nov. 15, according to a slide presentation shown at a Nov. 5 meeting with Teamsters leaders.

YRC asked the union to reduce absenteeism and provide predictable future wage and benefit increases. Ken Paff, national organizer for Teamsters for a Democratic Union, confirmed the posting. YRC delayed its earnings release this week amid the talks.


Netflix tries documentaries

Can The Square put Netflix in Oscar circles? That’s one of several questions raised by the company’s decision to move into original documentaries with filmmaker Jehane Noujaim’s nonfiction feature about the Egyptian revolution. Netflix announced it had acquired rights to the political film, which centers on real-life protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

The movie is considered a front-runner in the upcoming Academy Award race for best documentary. Financially, the acquisition of a single documentary may bring more prestige than cash to the bottom line.

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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