PHARMACIES

Cope closes in New Franklin

Cope Pharmacy, a fixture in New Franklin for 62 years, has closed its business at West Nimisila and Manchester roads.

The Suburbanite newspaper reported the closing of the family-owned store. Owner Gretchen Birch, whose late father, Don Cope, opened the pharmacy in 1956, told the newspaper that the continued erosion of the store’s prescription base led to the Feb. 27 closure.

Customers increasingly switched prescriptions to mail-order firms and to other businesses that offer discount services, she told the paper.

Cope Pharmacy had the last old-style soda fountain in Summit County, according to the Suburbanite.

PLASTICS

Myers to pay dividend

Akron-based Myers Industries Inc. will pay a quarterly cash dividend of 13.5 cents per share on April 3 to shareholders of record as of March 20.

EMPLOYmENT

Hiring surges in January

U.S. employers went on a hiring binge in February, adding 313,000 jobs, amid rising business confidence lifted by the Trump administration’s tax cuts and a resilient global economy.

The surprisingly robust hiring, reported by the Labor Department on Friday, was the strongest in 1½ years.

It was accompanied by the biggest surge in 15 years in the number of people either working or looking for work. That kept the nation’s unemployment rate unchanged for a fifth straight month at 4.1 percent.

At the same time, average wage growth slowed to 2.6 percent in February from a year earlier. That was down from January’s revised pace of 2.8 percent.

TELEVISION

Netflix, Obamas discuss deal

Netflix shares surged to an all-time high following the news that Barack Obama and Netflix reportedly are negotiating a deal for the former president and his wife, Michelle, to produce shows exclusively for the streaming service.

The proposed deal was reported Friday by the New York Times, which cited people familiar with the discussions who were not identified.

The report sent shares to an all-time high of $326.74 earlier. The Los Gatos, Calif., company’s stock reached $326.07 in afternoon trading, marking a gain of nearly 3 percent.

Netflix did not respond to a request for comment. Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill declined to comment on the report.

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

Google to test self-driving rigs

Just days after ride-hailing service Uber announced it was testing tractor-trailers that drive themselves, Google’s autonomous vehicle operation announced similar testing in Georgia.

Waymo says that starting next week it will run self-driving rigs in the Atlanta area with human backup drivers. They’ll travel freeways and local roads to deliver server racks and other cargo destined for Google’s data centers.

The Alphabet Inc. unit says the trucks will have the same technology and sensors as autonomous minivans that are being tested in the Phoenix area. Waymo wouldn’t say how many trucks are being tested, but it released pictures showing two blue semis.

RAILROADS

Calif. bullet train hits snags

The projected cost of California’s bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles has jumped to $77 billion and the opening date has been pushed back four years to 2033, according to a business plan released Friday.

The plan by the California High-Speed Rail Authority presents the latest setbacks for a project that’s been beleaguered by delays and cost overruns since voters first gave it the greenlight in 2008.

Among the challenges in the latest plan: A lack of money and the difficulty of weaving through mountain passes between Silicon Valley and the inland Central Valley, which rail executives hope to complete by 2029.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.