LOCAL BUSINESS

Oil and gas series continues

The Canton Small Business Development Center and Kent State University Stark will present the third event in the four-part Oil and Gas Education Series from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 14. Attorneys from Roetzel & Andress will present information about the basic contracts in oil and gas management. The session will be at KSU Stark’s Main Hall auditorium, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, Jackson Township. Register online for $10 per person or $15 per couple at www.cantonsbdc.org. For details, call 330-244-3290.

Dollar General plans new store

Another new Dollar General store will be built in Akron. The Akron City Council approved plans this week for a new store at 994 Brown St. at Lovers Lane. Akron (Brown) LLC of Birmingham, Ala., is heading up the project. No one spoke against the proposal during recent public hearings council held. This is the latest of several Dollar General stores that have been built in Akron and surrounding areas.

Ruling pleases FirstEnergy

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Wednesday denied a request for reconsideration on an approval last July of FirstEnergy Corp.’s plan to determine electricity prices through 2016.

As part of the plan, FirstEnergy will continue to use a series of competitive auctions to determine the price customers pay.

Consumer advocates, including the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and the Sierra Club, had appealed the decision.

In a prepared statement, the Sierra Club criticized the ruling.

“The Commission, headed by Chairman Todd Snitchler, has allowed FirstEnergy to flush energy efficiency and capacity savings down the drain. Ohio’s energy efficiency standards have lowered electricity bills across the state, but the PUCO’s ruling means FirstEnergy’s customers will not see the full benefit of their investments,” said the Sierra Club’s Dan Sawmiller.

The PUCO missed an opportunity to help lower customers’ rates based on aggregate energy savings, said the OCC. “This issue is about how the utility should use energy efficiency to lower the overall price of electricity for all customers,” said spokeswoman Amy Kurt.

FirstEnergy spokesman Doug Colafella said the utility was pleased with the decision. “We believe our rate plan is good for customers,” he said.

WALL STREET

Dow Jones drops 44 points

Stocks closed lower Wednesday after a report that showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, putting the brakes on a January rally that has pushed stocks toward record levels. The Federal Reserve also said growth “paused” in recent months and reaffirmed its commitment to boost the sluggish U.S. economy by keeping borrowing costs low for the foreseeable future.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44 points to 13,910, its biggest decline in three weeks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 6 points to 1,501. The Nasdaq composite fell 11 points to 3,142.

Chesapeake Energy Corp., an oil and gas investor in Ohio, was up $1.14 at $20.11. Aubrey McClendon, the energy company’s CEO, is leaving Chesapeake amid philosophical differences with its new board of directors.

Robert Half International Inc. was up $2.21 at $35.74. The staffing company said fourth-quarter profit jumped almost 38 percent as demand grew for temporary and full-time workers.

Amazon.com Inc. was up $12.41 at $272.76. The world’s biggest online retailer impressed investors with strengthening profit margins in its fourth-quarter earnings report.

OUTDOORS

Cabela’s to grow in Michigan

Cabela’s Inc. is planning to open two more stores in Michigan over the next two months. The Nebraska outdoor outfitter announced it will open its new Grandville, Mich., store on March 21. The company will open a Cabela’s Outpost in Saginaw, Mich., on Feb. 14. Its first Michigan site in Dundee opened in 2000.

CABLE TV

Rates increase in Los Angeles

Time Warner Cable Inc. is raising rates on its Los Angeles subscribers by more than twice the company’s average national increase to help pay for a new regional sports network focusing on broadcasts of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games.

Customers will pay 7.2 percent more this year for basic cable. The national average increase for video customers is 3.5 percent, Alex Dudley, a spokesman for New York-based Time Warner Cable, said. LA basic cable subscribers can’t opt out of receiving the Major League Baseball team’s network, which will start airing games in 2014. Time Warner Cable’s unit in Akron is the company’s third-largest division.

Compiled from staff and wire reports