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  • Peoples Bancorp yearly earnings up 30%
    Peoples Bancorp today reported fiscal 2014 earnings of $3.4 million, or $1.47 per diluted common share, a 30 percent increase from the $2.6 million, or $1.11 a share, posted for the previous 12 months.
  • Ossian auto-parts supplier to add 70 jobs
    A Wells County auto parts supplier is expanding its workforce by about 50 percent, officials announced today.
  • TI Automotive expanding, adding jobs
    TI Automotive in Ossian, Ind. announced today they will invest $10 million into their Wells County manufacturing facility in the form of new process equipment.

Linder Oil to expand operation

Linder Oil Co. on Monday announced a $350,000 expansion that will have the company poised for future growth, Wells County officials said.

The company will design and install new rail equipment that connects to the Norfolk Southern line, which serves the Ossian Industrial Park, where Linder Oil will import, mix and export bulk shipments of blended oils.

The Wells County commissioners and the town of Ossian will partner with Linder Oil on the project, which was made possible by a Wells County Economic Development plan. Construction likely will begin later this summer.

Linder develops customized oil blends for a wide variety of commercial applications.

Comcast expands WiFi by creating hotspots

Comcast Corp. has expanded WiFi service for existing customers – and their neighbors.

The company Monday announced Fort Wayne is the first of several Indiana cities to have the service, which gives customers the ability to access wireless Internet outside their normal coverage area. For example, a user visiting their next-door neighbor could still use the Internet away from home.

Customers also could allow visitors at their home to access the web through a public access network, said Rob Ponto, a Comcast spokesman. About 80,000 hotspots will be created from the service, which will come at no extra charge to existing customers.

Thanks Again program begins at airport

Business travelers will be rewarded with the Thanks Again loyalty program at Fort Wayne International Airport.

Passengers will be able to accumulate lodging, dining and other shopping points by enrolling in Thanks Again, which allows frequent fliers to earn up to 5 miles per every dollar spent at participating businesses. There are more than 170 U.S. airports and 20,000 companies enrolled in Thanks Again.

Book features local business leaders

Two northeast Indiana executives are among numerous business leaders featured in a new book, “Big Picture Economics” by Joel L. Naroff and Ron Scherer.

John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and Rob Marr, vice president of C&A Tool, were interviewed for the chapter titled: “The Panama Canal Widens and the Middle Class Grows in China – How Does That Affect Indiana?”

Sampson is quoted talking about how receiving Chinese shipments from the East Coast will “change the whole dynamic” of managing shipments to northeast Indiana because the containers won’t have to go through the congested Chicago transfer station, which Sampson said can lead to delays.

GM hires new chief spokesman

General Motors is hiring Volkswagen’s top U.S. spokesman as its new public relations chief.

The company announced Monday that Tony Cervone would become senior vice president of communications effective immediately.

The 51-year-old Cervone was a communications executive at GM before leaving in 2009. Before Volkswagen, Cervone headed communications at United Airlines.