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New Money Design for the Blind

September 9, 2008

Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council of the Blind, holds U.S. currency he can’t tell apart. U.S. District Judge James Robertson said yesterday that he would not allow the Treasury Department to go at its own pace as it complies with a May ruling that U.S. paper money discriminates against the blind. Treasury officials have hired a contractor to investigate ways to help the blind differentiate between bills, perhaps by printing different sizes or including raised numbers. Robertson ordered attorneys for the government to meet with the American Council of the Blind, which brought the lawsuit, and come up with a schedule that requires changes in the next generation of bills. (photo culine) VIRGINIA

Regulators get input about electrical rates

Virginia regulators say they’ve received about 2,000 comments on Appalachian Power’s request to raise electrical rates in western Virginia.

State Corporation Commission spokesman Ken Schrad says most, if not all, of the comments are against the proposed increase.

Officials are gathering comments to three proposals that would, overall, increase electric bills more than 30 percent. If approved the typical electrical bill could rise from about $70 to $100 a month.

Appalachian Power says it needs the increases to cover higher overhead and improve the company’s financial performance. The company says it is paying substantially more for coal used to make electricity and has installed anti-pollution equipment to protect the environment.

Louisville picked over Richmond for award

Louisville, Ky., beat out Richmond to win a national award recognizing public-private partnerships from the Institute for a Competitive Workforce.

Spokane, Wash., also was a contender for the Community Competitiveness award from the institute, which is affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Richmond Chamber applied for the award on behalf of the city and cited business retention programs and education initiatives as examples of public-private partnerships.

Dividend increased

Verizon Communications Inc., a major employer in the Richmond area, raised its quarterly dividend from 43 cents a share to 46. The higher dividend will be paid Nov. 3 to shareholders as of Oct. 10.

THE NATION

Comcast appeals ruling on Web traffic blocking

WASHINGTON – Comcast Corp. is appealing an FCC ruling that the company is improperly blocking customers’ Web traffic, triggering a legal battle that could determine the extent of the government’s authority to regulate the Internet.

In a precedent-setting move, a divided Federal Communications Commission last month determined that the company is violating a federal policy that guarantees unfettered access to the Internet.

Comcast challenged the FCC decision yesterday in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington.

Elsewhere

InBev NV, the Belgian brewer buying U.S. beer maker Anheuser- Busch Cos. for $52 billion, said investors will vote Sept. 29 on a proposed $9.8 billion stock sale to existing shareholders to pay off debt incurred in the takeover. The final amount may be raised by $200 million to account for dollar-euro valuation changes.

ILLUSTRATION: PHOTO

MEMO: Excerpted from BUSINESS BRIEFS

Originally published by staff and wire reports.

(c) 2008 Richmond Times – Dispatch. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.




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