UTILITIES

SCO price rises

slightly in June

Dominion Energy Ohio’s monthly natural gas price for residential customers who are on the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) is going up by a few cents for June.

The SCO price, effective June 14, is $2.85 per thousand cubic feet (mcf).

The June rate is 6 cents, or 2.2 percent, higher than the May rate of $2.79. It is 10 cents, or 3.4 percent, lower than the price a year ago of $2.95/mcf.

The utility estimates the average residential customer’s bill for the month of June would be $39.10, up $1.46, or 3.9 percent, from $37.64 in June 2018.

All customers pay a basic monthly charge, which is $29.57 as of May 15, as well as a usage-based charge to transport the gas to the home, and gross-receipts tax, regardless of whether they choose their own provider, choose the SCO, other Dominion rate or participate in a government aggregation. The usage-based charge is 40 cents per mcf.

Consumer columnist Betty Lin-Fisher continues to recommend the SCO. To read a step-by-step guide on how to get the SCO, go to www.tinyurl.com/updateSCO.

 

STOCKS

S&P 500 has

good week

The S&P 500 index had its best week since November this week on speculation the Fed will move to shore up the economy as a report showed employers added the fewest workers in three months and wage gains cooled.

Technology shares led the advance in equities, while banks fell. The 10-year bond yield extended its weekly slide. The peso rose after President Donald Trump said there's a "good chance" the U.S. will reach a deal to avert imposing trade tariffs on Mexico.

Traders have aggressively increased bets the Fed will cut rates after a string of weak reports on retail sales, factory orders and home purchases indicated the world's largest economy is slowing.

 

DNA DATABASES

Users complain

about police access

A popular online genetics database used to find unknown relatives has tightened its policies for police access over privacy concerns.

Florida-based GEDmatch announced recently that police can now only view DNA profiles of users who have specifically given permission. GEDmatch's previous policy said police could use its database without users' consent to solve homicides and rapes. But the site's owners were criticized when they allowed a police department to search for a nonlethal, nonsexual assailant.

More than 1 million people have uploaded their DNA profile on GEDmatch. Computers compare profiles, often identifying long-lost relatives.

Police upload DNA in hopes of finding an unknown perpetrator's relatives. They then examine the relatives' family tree to identify suspects. The technique has helped solve many cases nationwide.