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Briefs

Cinda b’s president steps down

Art Mandelbaum is stepping down from his position as president of cinda b, the company announced Tuesday. He has accepted the presidency of Natural Life, a clothing, accessories and gifts company based in Jacksonville, Fla.

Mandelbaum will remain on cinda b’s board of directors.

Also Tuesday, cinda b announced a new strategic focus on partnerships with independent gift stores. More than 1,000 specialty stores carry cinda b products. The new initiative will pay for increased marketing, sales and merchandizing training, expanded in-store events and other support.

An increased investment by Equity Investment Group is underwriting the initiative. The private equity firm headed by George Huber is already an investor in cinda b.

Indiana ranks 11th in lightning claims

Indiana ranked 11th in the nation last year in the number of lightning-related insurance claims State Farm paid, the company reported Tuesday. This has been designated Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

State Farm paid more than $6.6 million to pay about 1,200 claims in Indiana last year. The company’s total lightning-related payouts totaled more than $200 million in 2012.

Lightning strike claims paid by all U.S. insurance companies were almost $1 billion last year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Paid claims averaged $6,400, up 25 percent from 2011, according to the institute.

Lightning can’t be prevented, but its damage can be minimized. State Farm officials recommend investing in a whole-house surge protector and additional surge protectors for expensive electronic equipment. People also should avoid contact with the telephone, TV, radio and other small electric appliances during a storm.

Ohio counties report slight jobless increase

Nearby counties in Ohio fared better than some in northeast Indiana when it came to unemployment in May.

While metro Fort Wayne continued to flirt with an 8 percent jobless rate last month, each of the four Ohio counties bordering northeast Indiana – Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert and Williams – the rate remained below 7 percent in May, according to figures released Tuesday.

Paulding County had the lowest jobless rate in May at 6.5 percent, compared with 6.4 percent in April. Van Wert and Williams counties mirrored each other at 6.7 percent, compared with 6.5 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively, in April. Defiance County remained unchanged at 6.9 percent.

Sprint shareholders OK SoftBank acquisition

Sprint Nextel Corp.’s shareholders on Tuesday approved SoftBank Corp.’s acquisition of the bulk of the wireless carrier company.

Softbank had been competing with Dish Network Corp. since April to acquire Sprint. Sprint opted for SoftBank’s $21.6 billion offer for 78 percent of the company, versus Dish’s $25.5 billion bid for all of Sprint.

CEO Dan Hesse said it was a historic day for the company and said the deal is expected to enhance Sprint’s long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility.

The companies expect to complete the deal by early July.

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