LOCAL BUSINESS

Fair Finance sentencing date

A federal judge has set a November sentencing date for an Indiana financier and two business associates convicted of swindling thousands of investors out of $200 million.

Indianapolis television station WISH-TV reported that a federal judge will sentence Tim Durham on Nov. 30 along with James F. Cochran and Rick Snow.

Prosecutors say the trio looted Akron-based Fair Finance Co., which Durham and Cochran purchased in 2002. The men used the money to buy mansions, classic cars and other luxury items and to prop up Durham’s failing businesses, prosecutors allege. All three men face possible life sentences.

Durham and Cochran were convicted in June on federal fraud charges. Durham was convicted on 12 counts; Cochran was found guilty on eight counts. Snow was convicted of five different charges.

Aldi to reopen in Medina

A newly remodeled Aldi grocery store will open Monday in Medina. The store at 3444 Medina Road has been closed for renovations.

“We are pleased to showcase the new look of Aldi with this updated store in Medina and continue to help customers stretch their dollars,” said Corey Stucker, Hinckley division vice president for Aldi.

The store will feature higher ceilings, improved natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials.

A ribbon-cutting will take place at 9 a.m. with free samples and a tour and contests.

The Medina store hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

CFBank makes repayment

Central Federal Corp., the Fairlawn-based parent company of CFBank, said it repaid its TARP obligations. The company used part of the proceeds from its recently completed stock offering to repay an $8 million federal government obligation from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for $3 million. That resulted in an increase in common stockholders’ equity of $5 million, the company said.

“This completes a very successful recapitalizaion of CFBank,” said Bob Hoeweler, board chairman.

Said Tim O’Dell, chief executive officer: “CFBank is moving forward in a position of strength to better serve businesses and consumers in the Ohio communities of Fairlawn [Akron], Columbus, Wellsville and Calcutta.”

Profits up at Morgan’s Foods

Morgan’s Foods Inc. of Cleveland, operator of 58 KFC, five Taco Bell, nine KFC/Taco Bell and three Taco Bell/Pizza Hut Express restaurants, reported net income of $206,000, or 7 cents a share, for its second quarter ended Aug. 12.

That was up from a loss of $257,000 for the same period a year earlier.

Revenues for the chain totaled $20.6 million, up from $19.5 million.

OHIO PENSIONS

Kasich signs pension bill

Gov. John Kasich signed a package of bills Wednesday aimed at shoring up Ohio’s five public pension funds and praised the rare bipartisanship that secured their passage.

The legislation makes changes to funds covering some 1.8 million retirees, future retirees and their families. They include increases to some premiums, reduced payouts and tighter retirement eligibility requirements for funds covering teachers, police, troopers and other public workers.

The bills cleared the Republican-controlled legislature two weeks ago with unanimous votes on all but one measure.

The package of bills is aimed at keeping the funds solvent. The affected funds are: Ohio Public Employee Retirement System, State Teachers Retirement System, School Employees Retirement System, Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System and the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund.

The measures will take effect Jan. 7.

ENERGY

Wyoming water tested

New groundwater testing in Wyoming shows much lower levels of the carcinogen benzene than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported when it linked contaminants in two water wells to hydraulic fracturing. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said the state still needs to review the data from the U.S. Geological Survey, but he praised the new tests as an improvement over last year’s EPA reports. Pavillion, Wyo., homeowners complain that their well water turned foul with chemicals when gas drilling picked up in their neighborhood about seven years ago.

The USGS, Wyoming, the EPA and two Indian tribes collaborated on the new testing after state officials criticized the EPA for not involving them in the earlier study. The study drew a link between certain contaminants and fracking processes.

Compiled from staff and wire reports