Locke names Mulally to business council

OLYMPIA – Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group president Alan Mulally has been appointed to a statewide panel that will recommend ways to improve Washington’s business climate. Gov. Gary Locke named Mulally to the Washington Competitive Council on Tuesday. The group is expected to meet five times this fall before delivering its recommendations to the governor. Boeing officials have said significant improvements in the state’s transportation, education and regulatory systems are needed if the company is to have a future building airplanes in the Puget Sound area. In that respect, “Boeing is representative of a lot of issues that face business in Washington,” said Sharon Ellsworth, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Trade and Economic Development. Other council members will be Washington Mutual president Kerry Killinger and former Seattle mayor Norm Rice.

SEATTLE – Nordstrom Inc. will close its discount Nordstrom Rack store in Silver Spring, Md., as the struggling retailer tries to weather the current economic downturn. Sue Tabor, executive vice president for the Seattle-based clothing retailer, said the store was not meeting sales expectations. The 37,000-square-foot store in Silver Spring’s City Place will close in January, the company said.

NORWALK, Conn. – Name-your-own price Internet company Priceline.com Inc. recorded its first-ever quarterly profit, posting second-quarter earnings of $2.8 million. Defying the recent collapse of Internet company earnings and profits, Priceline.com reported 1 cent a share, compared with a net loss in the same quarter last year of $11.7 million, or 7 cents a share. Revenues rose 4 percent to $364.8 million, compared with revenues of $352.1 million in the same period last year. Jeffrey Boyd, president and chief operating officer, cited rapid growth of the company’s hotel and rental car products.

WASHINGTON – Burger King is recalling about 2.6 million “Hourglass Space Sprout” and “Look for Me Bumblebee” toddler toys because they can break open, releasing small beads that children can choke on. The toys were distributed in Burger King Kids Meals for children younger than 3, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday. Miami-based Burger King has received 18 reports of the toys breaking and six reports of children placing the beads in their mouths. There were no injuries involved.

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