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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Teck Cominco to cut 1,400 jobs

Teck Cominco Limited will cut its global work force by about 1,400 positions, or 13 percent, to reduce costs in the face of persistently weak commodity prices, officials said Thursday.

The cuts will save about $85 million annually. Teck also said it plans to reduce coal production this year due to declining global steel demand. The Canadian firm had already announced plans to close the Pend Oreille Mine in Northeast Washington in mid-February as a result of lower zinc prices.

About 1,000 employee and 400 contractor positions will be eliminated by the end of 2009, with most of the cuts occurring in the first quarter. Teck expects to take a charge of approximately $35 million in the first quarter for severance and other related costs associated with the reduction.


Stanley is chairman of Sterling Savings

Heidi Stanley has been promoted to chairman of Sterling Savings Bank’s board of directors. Stanley also is the bank’s chief executive officer.

She succeeds Sterling Financial Corp. co-founder William Zuppe as chairman. Spokane-based Sterling Financial is the parent company of Sterling Savings Bank.

Zuppe is retiring from Sterling Savings’ board of directors, although he’ll continue to serve as a director of Sterling Financial.


Mortgage rates fall to record low again

Rates on 30-year mortgages fell to a record level for a fourth straight week, dropping to the lowest mark since Freddie Mac started tracking the data nearly 28 years ago.

Freddie Mac reported Thursday that average rates on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped to 5.01 percent this week, down from the previous record of 5.1 percent set last week. It was the 10th straight weekly drop, and nearly a full point below the rate of 5.87 percent at the same time last year.

From staff and wire reports
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