ON THE MOVE

Summit County office

announces promotions

The Development Finance Authority of Summit County on Tuesday announced changes as part of a staff reorganization, promoting Rachel Bridenstine to managing director of the Development Fund of the Western Reserve, Lori Sallaz to director of administration, Laurie Ann Stoddard to fiscal officer, Alyson Moritz to manager of economic development programs and Alexandra DeBarr to executive assistant.

OPENINGS

Portage County introduces

public-private gas facility

The Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority will host a grand opening for the first public-private compressed natural gas (CNG) facility in Portage County at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The event, held at the PARTA administrative offices, 2000 Summit Road, will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, CNG fueling demonstration and tour of the CNG station.

The station sells CNG at $1.99/GGE. It is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

RETAIL

Holiday shopping season

starts strong, group says

The holiday shopping season has gotten off to a "very strong" start, according to the largest U.S. retail trade group.

The National Retail Federation said Tuesday that consumer spending has been strong, fueled by a better economy and stores' investments in online services including features that allow shoppers to buy online and pick up the items at the store.

The trade group's assessment comes even after a survey of more than 3,000 shoppers Thanksgiving and Friday forecast that fewer people would turn out for the five-day weekend that ended Monday, compared to a year ago.

ENERGY

Dominion seeks to convert

pig manure to natural gas

The world's largest pork company is teaming up with Dominion Energy to turn pig manure into renewable natural gas.

Smithfield Foods and Dominion announced a joint venture partnership Tuesday to trap methane from hog waste and convert it into power for heating homes and generating electricity.

Smithfield previously announced that its company-owned and contract farms over the next decade will cover waste-treatment pits to capture the gas and keep out rainwater. The gas will be channeled to processing centers and converted into natural gas.

The joint venture with Dominion will operate initially in North Carolina, Virginia and Utah. The first projects are scheduled to be operating by late 2019.

REAL ESTATE

Slower rise for home prices

as pace of sales weakens

U.S. home prices increased more slowly in September from a year ago as higher mortgage rates weighed on sales.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, rose 5.1 percent from a year earlier. That's down from a 5.5 percent yearly gain in the previous month. It was the sixth straight month that home price increases have slowed.

Sales of existing homes rose modestly in October, snapping a six-month streak of declines.