Puget Sound Energy has filed for a rate increase that could push up the typical natural gas bill from $96.54 to $101.96 a month. The utility is asking the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission for a 5.3 percent increase in its permanent rates and a $2 hike in the company’s basic monthly charge for residential gas service. Cascade Natural Gas, which serves Island and northern Snohomish counties, also has filed for a 4.5 percent increase in its permanent natural gas rates.
Washington Mutual to cut 2,500 jobs
Washington Mutual Inc., the nation’s largest savings and loan, on Wednesday said it is closing 10 loan-processing offices and cutting 2,500 jobs as it scales back to better match current mortgage market demand. The move will reduce to 16 the number of nationwide offices providing administrative support to its home loan businesses. Work from the shuttered locations will be consolidated at the remaining offices, where increased hiring will partially offset the layoffs, Washington Mutual said.
Microsoft suite will boost collaboration
Microsoft Corp. is pushing a host of additional products along with the next version of its business software suite, Office 2007, including specialized tools to help employees work together even if they are thousands of miles apart. The various versions of the Office 2007 suite, due out late this year, will cost about the same as the previous edition, Office 2003, which retails for $149 to $499.
RadioShack board to investigate CEO
The board of RadioShack Corp. said Wednesday that it plans to hire outside lawyers to investigate errors in chief executive David Edmondson’s resume, including claims that he earned two college degrees for which the school he claimed to have attended has no records. Edmondson said he took responsibility for the errors, and added that he believes he earned one of the degrees, but cannot document it.
The new Fed chief can speak plainly
New Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday the economy is on track for sustained growth this year, sticking closely to predecessor Alan Greenspan’s script with one big difference: His comments were much easier to understand. In his debut congressional testimony as Fed chairman, Bernanke signaled that the central bank, which has raised interest rates 14 times since June 2004, stood ready to boost rates more if needed to combat inflation.
From Herald staff
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