BBB leader tapped to run city agency

The local president of the Better Business Bureau will lead the City of Spokane’s business and economic development efforts, the mayor’s office announced Monday.

Jan Quintrall, president and CEO of the BBB serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana, was named by Mayor David Condon to serve as division director for Business and Developer Services, previously known as the Economic Development Division.

The division will include the city’s building, planning and engineering services; capital programs; business and development services; and work force development departments.

The appointment will go to the City Council for confirmation. The position pays $118,500 annually.

“Jan comes to us as a problem solver with an outstanding ability to listen to and serve businesses,” Condon said in a news release. “She knows the Spokane community and our businesses. We want our community to grow and prosper, and Jan is the right person to help with that job.”

Staff report

Airfare price hike effort stalls

DALLAS – The latest attempt by airlines to raise prices appears to be stalling.

Airlines have imposed two broad fare increases so far this year. But low-fare airlines are hesitating to match last week’s increase of up to $10 per round trip, led by United and Continental.

Fare trackers said Monday that United and others that raised prices were scaling back their increases, at least on routes where they compete with discount airlines such as Southwest.

But with jet fuel prices rising, they figure it’s only a matter of time before airlines try again to raise fares.

Associated Press

German lawmakers OK Greek bailout

BERLIN – The German parliament approved a second, $173 billion loan package for Greece on Monday after Chancellor Angela Merkel warned lawmakers that it would be irresponsible to abandon the country to bankruptcy.

Although the motion was always expected to be easily approved – the final tally Monday was 496-90 with five abstentions – the idea of bailing out Greece has remained very unpopular in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, among the public and many politicians.

“The road that lies in front of Greece is long and truly not without risk,” Merkel told lawmakers before the vote. “That also goes for the success of the new program – no one can give a 100 percent guarantee of success.”

Associated Press

Elpida Memory files for bankruptcy

TOKYO – Computer chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc. filed for Japan’s largest manufacturing bankruptcy Monday after amassing debts from nose-diving prices, competition from Samsung and flooding in Thailand last year that stifled demand.

Elpida, the only manufacturer in Japan to specialize in DRAM chips used in mobile phones and computers, reported debt of $5.5 billion in filing for bankruptcy at Tokyo District Court on Monday.

That was the largest ever for a bankruptcy in Japan in the manufacturing field, according to Teikoku Databank, which compiles such information.

Associated Press

Cuba cigar sales rise 9 percent

HAVANA – Sales of Cuba’s famed cigars are hot, despite continued recession fears in Europe, and a U.S. embargo that bars American aficionados from legally lighting up.

Cuba’s national cigar maker Habanos SA, a joint venture between the communist-run government and the British-owned, Madrid-based tobacco giant Altadis, announced Monday that sales totaled $401 million in 2011, a 9 percent rise over the previous year.

Ana Lopez, the head of marketing at the company, said the jump was in line with that experienced by other global luxury products. Sales fell in 2008 and 2009, and were nearly flat the following year amid lingering global economic weakness.

Associated Press


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