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Day care at church will close doors

Early Childhood Alliance expects to close one of its locations by the end of May.

Executive Director Madeleine Baker said officials at the day care decided to shutter its 1505 Bethany Lane site inside Gethsemane Lutheran Church. She said the age of the building and configuration does not lend itself to expansion.

“We don’t own the building, so it wouldn’t make sense to spend that kind of money,” Baker said.

So far, about half of the parents have moved their children to other Early Childhood locations at 516 E. Wayne and 2125 Beacon streets. Most of the other families have found new facilities. The change affected 55 children.

Early Childhood Alliance primarily cares for about 300 children as young as 6 weeks old to 5 years old.

Consumer prices drop, industrial output up

U.S. consumer prices declined last month as the cost of gas fell sharply and food prices were unchanged. The tame reading is the latest evidence that the sluggish economy is keeping inflation in check.

The consumer price index declined a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in March, after jumping 0.7 percent in February, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Gas prices fell 4.4 percent, reversing part of February’s 9.1 percent gain.

A separate report Tuesday showed U.S. industrial output rose in March as Americans had to use more heat during cold weather, keeping utilities busy generating heat, and a surge in auto production helped offset broader weakness in manufacturing.

Production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4 percent in March from February, the Federal Reserve said.

Peoples Bancorp earnings decline

Peoples Bancorp on Tuesday reported second fiscal quarter earnings of $565,042, or 24 cents a share, an 18 percent decline from the $687,335, or 28 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2012.

The Auburn-based parent of Peoples Bancorp uses a fiscal calendar that ends Sept. 30. Its second quarter ended March 31.

President Maurice Winkler said in a written statement that the company recorded fewer gains on the sale of investment securities and mortgage loans compared with last year’s second quarter. Also, payroll and real estate-owned expenses were lower this year than last.

The company ended the quarter with almost $471 million in assets.

Area home sales up almost 3.1 percent

Northeast Indiana existing home sales rose nearly 3.1 percent in March, a report Tuesday from the Upstate Alliance of Realtors reveals.

Upstate, which tracks data from Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells and Whitley counties, said 564 homes sold last month, up from 547 in March 2012. The average March sale was $117,434, a 1.2 percent drop from $118,830 in the same month last year.

System glitch delays American flights

American Airlines says it fixed an outage in its main reservations system that disrupted travel for thousands of passengers whose flights were delayed or canceled.

American Airlines spokeswoman Stacey Frantz said Tuesday that the system was fixed by 4:30 p.m. EDT.