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The pain was widespread. Big car companies General Motors, Ford and Toyota saw sales slip. Smaller automakers like Subaru suffered, too, as did companies that appeal to the budget-minded, such as Kia and Hyundai.

Buyers are nervous about the economy’s health and stayed away from showrooms, a worrisome sign since August is typically a strong month. Total industry sales could fall below 1 million new vehicles once automakers finish reporting sales on Wednesday, making it the worst August in 27 years.

GM’s August sales fell 7 percent from July, and an even sharper 25 percent from August of 2009, when they were boosted by the government’s Cash for Clunkers rebates. All four of GM’s remaining brands saw sales drop from July. Cadillac and Buick lead the way, falling 15 percent. Chevrolet and GMC sales also fell.

Ford saw sales slip 5 percent from July, while Toyota’s fell 12 percent. Subaru sales slipped 7.2 percent. Kia Motors Corp. sales fell 8 percent and Hyundai Motor Co.’s were essentially flat.


Ellis Island immigrants’ oral histories go online

NEW YORK — History buffs are getting a chance to hear all about Ellis Island’s immigration story from the people who lived through it.

A collection of oral histories from about 1,700 people who passed through Ellis Island starting in the late 1890s is going online.

The histories had been available to visitors at the immigration museum on Ellis Island in New York, but this is the first time they’ll be available to a wider audience. They can be found in the immigration section of the website.


Settlement on bad peanuts OK’d

LYNCHBURG — A federal judge has approved a $12 million settlement for those sickened or killed in last year’s salmonella outbreak tied to a Virginia-based peanut processor.

U.S. District Judge Norman Moon issued his ruling Wednesday to pay more than 120 personal injury claims related to the outbreak.

The outbreak was traced to Lynchburg-based Peanut Corp. of America’s plants in Georgia and Texas. It was linked to at least nine deaths and 700 illnesses.

Peanut Corp. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to dissolve amid fallout from the outbreak.

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