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In brief: Workshop for Coldwater Creek workers planned

The Idaho Department of Labor will host a workshop Thursday afternoon for workers being laid off by bankrupted Sandpoint-based Coldwater Creek Inc.

Coldwater announced it will close all operations this year.

It will lay off 339 Sandpoint workers and 104 workers in Coeur d’Alene.

Thursday’s session will cover options available to workers through retraining, job search seminars and possible relocation funds, made available through the federal Workforce Investment Act.

It will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Labor Dept. office, 613 Ridley Village Road in Sandpoint.

The department has held three previous meetings for Coldwater Creek workers in Sandpoint and one in Post Falls. More sessions may be scheduled as needed, said Bridgette Bradshaw-Fleer, who works at the state agency.

Some workers have already been laid off, while others will continue working at Coldwater as it winds down over the next 60 to 90 days, company officials said.

The closure and Chapter 11 bankruptcy will close 350 stores and eliminate more than 5,000 workers across the country.

For information or to reserve a spot, email sandpointmail@

BofA suspending dividend hike, buyback

NEW YORK – Bank of America is suspending a long-awaited dividend increase and stock buyback program after the bank discovered an error in a financial report it gave to the Federal Reserve.

The bank said in a statement Monday that the error was related to how it valued securities obtained in its acquisition of Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis in 2009.

The error didn’t affect BofA’s earnings, according to the bank’s statement.

BofA planned to buy $4 billion of its own stock and raise its dividend from a penny per share to 5 cents per share.

Bank of America said it will submit a new application to the Federal Reserve to increase its dividend and buy back its own stock. The bank warned plans for returning capital to shareholders will likely be smaller than planned.

Frontier adding fees but lowering fares

NEW YORK – Passengers beware: More airline fees are on the way.

Another airline is promising to change the way we fly by offering cheap base fares but then adding on a bevy of additional fees. Passengers flying Frontier Airlines will now have to pay extra to place carry-on bags in the overhead bin or for advance seat assignments.

The move comes as the Denver-based airline tries to transform itself into a fee-dependent airline. Frontier already charges $1.99 for soda and bottled water on its flights, a fee it added on July 1.

Frontier says that in exchange for these new fees, it is lowering its base fare by an average of 12 percent. The new charges apply to tickets purchased on or after Monday.

Personal items fitting under the seat remain free.

Pending home sales index rose in March

WASHINGTON – More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, the first increase since June and a sign that the housing market might pick up after a sluggish start to the year.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 3.4 percent to 97.4 last month. The index remains 7.9 percent below its level a year ago.

The gain partly reflects a recovery from the harsh winter.


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