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Briefs

Coal use blamed for smog jump

Energy-related carbon dioxide pollution grew by 2 percent last year after declining several years in a row, a government report said Monday.

The increase was largely because of a small boost in coal consumption by the electric power industry, according to the study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

U.S. cars and factories spewed 5.38 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, up from 5.27 billion in 2012, the report said. Carbon dioxide is the chief man-made global warming gas.

Coal, long the dominant source for U.S. electricity, has regained market share in recent months as natural gas prices have increased after historic lows in 2012. Coal generated about 39 percent of the nation’s electricity in October, compared with 28 percent for natural gas, the EIA said. Coal supplied about 37 percent of U.S. electricity in 2012, with natural gas at 30 percent.

Whitley job fair reset for Jan. 31

A modular building manufacturer hoping to fill 20 skilled labor positions has rescheduled a job fair originally set for last week.

Whitley Manufacturing Co., of South Whitley, is adding a production line. The company is offering $12 to $15 an hour for electricians, plumbers, welders, carpenters and steel fabricators with two to five years’ experience. Higher wages will be considered for those with more experience.

The job fair will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 31 at WorkOne Northeast, 480 W. Plaza Drive, Columbia City. Applicants should bring a résumé and prepare to be interviewed by wearing appropriate clothing.

Whitley Manufacturing makes custom commercial modular buildings and temporary portable buildings for various markets including education, health care and commercial.

PayPal testing easier checkout for shoppers

eBay’s payments service PayPal has redesigned its online checkout process to let shoppers complete their payment on merchants’ websites, rather than go to a separate PayPal site.

Simplifying the checkout process – and having shoppers stay on an e-commerce site rather than click over to a separate PayPal page – means they are more likely to complete the transaction. That could also mean more people will use PayPal.

PayPal said Monday that it is testing out the new checkout process with a few merchants and will make it available to large businesses in the first half of this year. Medium- and small-size businesses will also be able to use it down the line.

Workers’ bid eyed for 2 Philadelphia papers

After another tumultuous year on the job, frustrated workers at Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers vowed Monday to bid against feuding owners if the company again goes on the auction block.

The local Newspaper Guild would join with an unnamed partner to bid on The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, according to court papers.

They would likely compete against two wealthy owners who want to force each other out.

The rival owners – George Norcross, an insurance executive and Democratic political force, and Lewis Katz, the former owner of the New Jersey Nets – are expected to mount competing bids if a judge agrees to dissolve their union.

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