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Business in brief: Foreclosures up for area in March

Foreclosure activity in Spokane and Kootenai counties remained volatile last month, climbing after dips in February but staying below the levels for January and December.

According to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure report, 107 homes were foreclosed in Spokane last month, or one in every 1,844 homes. Only 59 homes were foreclosed in February, or one in every 3,344.

In Kootenai County, there were 216 foreclosures, up from 177 in February. The rate of one-per-279 homes was a 22 percent increase from the one-per-390 in February.

But first-quarter rates improved on those for the last quarter of 2009, even as they reflected increases of 72 percent from the first quarter of 2009 for Spokane, and 34 percent for Kootenai County.

Bert Caldwell

UPS topping expectations

Atlanta – In a good sign for the U.S. economy, shipping giant UPS said Wednesday it is firing on all cylinders and posted a 33 percent increase in first-quarter earnings per share.

It cited strong growth in the amount of packages it ships overseas, the logistics services it provides and even improved volumes at home.

The company, based in Atlanta, also raised its guidance, saying it expects full-year 2010 earnings per share to climb 32 percent to 43 percent.

The results were announced nearly two weeks ahead of the company’s scheduled earnings release date.

UPS now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share to range from $3.05 to $3.30, up from the $2.70 to $3.05 it projected in February. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had been expecting adjusted full-year earnings of $2.95 a share.

Associated Press

Union president leaving midterm

Washington – Andy Stern, the dynamic and divisive union leader who wielded enormous political power, confirmed Wednesday that he will step down as president of the Service Employees International Union.

Stern spent 14 years heading the 2.2-million member union that he helped build into one of the nation’s largest and most politically active. He said he realized a dream with the passage of health care overhaul legislation and that his departure would pave the way for new leadership at SEIU.

But his decision to leave the post two years before his term ends stunned many in the labor and political worlds. Stern had an especially high profile with Democratic control of the White House and Congress.

Stern did not say exactly when he would leave, but indicated it would be soon. Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger will replace Stern for 30 days until the board elects a new president.

Associated Press


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