More than a quarter of major U.S. TV stations intend to shut down their analog broadcasts on Feb. 17, including most in the Seattle area, sticking to the original date despite the wish of the Obama administration that they delay until June. Congress last week gave TV stations until June 12 to shut down analog broadcasts, hoping to give viewers more time to prepare. Money has run out for the federal fund that subsidizes converter boxes, and there’s a wait list for the coupons. The delay sent TV stations scrambling to figure out when to shut down analog. Most had planned for years to do it on Feb. 17, and many had scheduled engineering work.
@Headline briefly item 16 light:First-class stamps to go up 2 cents
The post office will get an extra 2 cents-worth when you mail a letter starting in May. The U.S. Postal Service announced Tuesday that the price of a first-class stamp will rise to 44 cents on May 11. That gives plenty of time to stock up on Forever Stamps, which will continue to sell at the current 42-cent rate until the increase occurs. They will remain valid in the future regardless of rate hikes. “The Postal Service is not immune to rising costs, which are affecting homes and businesses across America today,” said Postmaster General John Potter. “Even with the increases, the Postal Service continues to offer some of the lowest postage prices in the world.”
@Headline briefly item 16 light:Boeing warns of 668 layoffs in state
The Boeing Co. warned the state on Feb. 5 of 668 layoff notices recently given to workers. The company previously announced it would cut 10,000 jobs worldwide this year, with 4,500 jobs being cut at its commercial airplanes division in the Puget Sound region. About 460 notices went out on Jan. 29 to workers in the company’s engineering, operations and technology division, said Tim Healy, Boeing spokesman. Those workers could be laid off on April 3. Boeing also had sent 208 notices to Shared Services Group workers, including 190 members of the Machinists’ union. Those employees face possible layoff on March 20. Boeing will hand out the 4,500 notices Feb. 20 to its commercial airplanes workers.
@Headline briefly item 16 light:Southwest tests wireless Internet
Southwest Airlines Co. has started testing wireless Internet access aboard one of its jets with plans to expand the test by early next month. Southwest said Tuesday that the test will last a few months and eventually include four aircraft. During the test, passengers will be able to log on free using their own laptop or smart phone — cellular technology won’t work. Spokesman Paul Flaningan said Southwest hasn’t decided how much to charge after the test ends. Southwest is waiting for approval from the Federal Communications Commission to offer its service.
From Herald news services