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Roundup: BAE effort passes Senate; Newton Consulting new HQ; more

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Senate backs bid to stop production break at BAE

An effort to stop a production break for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle passed the Senate on Tuesday. Last week, U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, and Bob Casey, D-Scranton, filed the bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requesting a study to assess the cost of the shutdown versus the cost of continued production of Bradleys. President Obama's fiscal year 2013 calls for a production break for the armored vehicle, manufactured at BAE Systems in Fayette County and West Manchester Township, starting in 2014 and possibly extending through 2017. Toomey's office estimates this could result in a loss of more than 500 jobs in York County alone.

Honda's U.S. factories build1 millionth vehicle for export

Honda said its U.S. factories have churned out their 1 millionth vehicle built for export. The milestone was achieved when a silver Accord rolled off the assembly line at a factory in Marysville, Ohio, near Columbus. The Japanese automaker said that in two years, it expects to export more cars built in North America than it imports from Japan. Now 85 percent of the vehicles it sells in the United States are made at seven Honda factories in North America, including four in this country. It plans to export nearly 100,000 Honda and Acura vehicles from the United States this year.

US Airways fills more seatsin November than year ago

US Airways reported it filled 85.1 percent of its passenger seats in November, which represents a record high load factor for any November, the airline said on Wednesday. A year earlier, the carrier posted an 83.8 percent load factor, which is a measure of airline profitability. The higher percentage of filled seats last month came while US Airways added 2.5 percent to its capacity. The airline also reported it served nearly 4.9 million passengers last month, or 2.9 percent more than the fewer than 4.4 million served in November 2011.

Newton Consulting opensnew headquarters in Claysville

Newton Consulting LLC opened a new headquarters building in Claysville, Washington County. The provider of business strategy, information technology, and human resource management consulting services said it has grown to 73 employees, up from 33 in 2009. And its revenue has more than doubled in that time, to an estimated $20.2 million this year, up from $8.5 million in 2009. Newton purchased a two-story building on Route 40, Claysville's main street, and is occupying the upper floor. The first floor is being renovated for possible lease.

Pittsburgh Glass Center buys housing for students, artists

The Pittsburgh Glass Center has secured property to house students and artist-in-residence, plus share the house for visiting artists and guests of other arts and community organizations. The center purchased the house at 5447 Penn Ave., Garfield, a former Kim's Coffee Shop, and will begin renovations once funding is secured. “This is going to be an amazing place for creative exchange between local and visiting artists and master artists and beginners,” said executive director Heather McElwee. “It's going to bring more nationally recognized artists to Pittsburgh in addition to providing much needed housing for our students,” she said.

UPMC pays $5M for Monroeville office building it leased for years

UPMC paid $5 million for an office building in Monroeville that it has been leasing for several years. The building, at 400 Oxford Drive, is adjacent to the Monroeville Mall and a UPMC imaging center, and houses a cancer center, a sleep center and physician practices. UPMC bought the building from L&M Associates, a partnership owned by Mark Mason, vice chairman of Downtown-based Oxford Development Co., and a trust established by the late Edward J. Lewis, who died in 2006 and was a founder of Oxford Development. The deal closed on Dec. 3. UPMC, the largest hospital system in Western Pennsylvania, has leased the space since 2008, when the sleep center moved in, spokeswoman Susan Manko said. The cancer center opened there in 2010, and UPMC added the doctor offices this year, she said. “With the growing demand for UPMC services in this community, it made more sense for us to purchase this building rather than continue renting,” Manko said.

Other business news

• Calgon Carbon Corp., Robinson, won a $12.4 million contract by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to supply disinfection systems for the city's reservoir and aqueduct filtration plant. L.A.'s department is the second-largest provider of public water in the United States, based on the 3.9 million residents it serves.

• Trib Total Media columnist John Browne is scheduled to be a featured guest on Fox Business Network's “Markets Now” program on Thursday. Browne is expected to appear at the beginning of the program, which airs from noon to 1 p.m.

• Shop ‘n Save started a mobile version of its website, the grocery store collective said. The mobile version allows users of smartphones and tablets to view online coupons and sale circulars and locate Shop ‘n Save stores more easily. There are more than 90 independently owned and operated Shop ‘n Save stores in Western Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.

• Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. Chief Financial Officer Tim Kullman will retire in 2013. The company has started a search for a replacement, but Kullman will stay on until a successor is hired, the Findlay-based retailer said. “Tim has been an invaluable member of our management team over the past five years,” CEO Edward W. Stack said.

• Julie Hendry, public relations specialist for Direct Energy, is one of the “15-to-Watch” for 2012, according to PR News. Hendry, 27, received the recognition at the PR People Awards Luncheon in Washington.

— Staff and wire reports

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