- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 27, 2011


Airline: Most flights on time

Alaska Airlines and its Horizon Air affiliate say they have resolved a computer outage that led to the cancellation of 150 flights on Saturday, disrupting travel plans for more than 12,000 passengers of the regional airline.

The company says most flights are now operating on time, though about a dozen have been delayed due to crew scheduling issues. The company recommends passengers check their flight’s status online.

Passengers are boarding the next available flights at no charge, and in some cases are flying with other airlines, the company says.

Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the outage occurred when a transformer blew and knocked out the company’s computer system for booking flights. Technicians had been trying to install a back-up power supply for the system.


Uneven job growth seen across states

U.S. companies have added jobs for 12 straight months, but the gains across the country have been uneven and a little surprising.

California and Michigan, which each suffered some of the worst job losses during the recession, are adding jobs again. California last month had its single best month for job creation in more than two decades. Still, six states lost jobs from February 2010 through last month, including Kansas and New Jersey, states that weren’t considered troubled spots.

Overall, 44 states added jobs in that stretch, one of the best year-over-year showings since the recession ended. And the unemployment rate has fallen in 41 states, the Labor Department said Friday. Last month, the unemployment rate dropped in 27 states, compared to the previous month. It rose in seven states and stayed the same in 16. That’s the most states to report a drop since June, when many states were still benefiting from census hiring.

Nationwide, employers have added 1.3 million jobs from February 2010 through last month.

California, which was still losing jobs as recently as September, has added nearly 200,000 jobs in that time. That’s second only to Texas, which added 254,200 net jobs.

Nearly half of that increase in California occurred in February, when the state gained 96,500 jobs. That’s the most on record dating back to 1990.


Super Glue inventor dies

KINGSPORT | Harry Wesley Coover Jr., known as the inventor of Super Glue, has died at his home in Kingsport, Tenn. He was 94.

Mr. Coover was working for Tennessee Eastman Co. when an accident resulted in Super Glue, according to his grandson, Adam Paul of South Carolina. An assistant was distressed that some brand new refractometer prisms were ruined when they were glued together, marking the invention of the popular cyanoacrylate adhesive.

President Obama honored Mr. Coover in 2010 with the National Medal of Science.

Mr. Coover was born in Newark, Del. He received a degree in chemistry from Hobart College in New York before getting a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Cornell.

Mr. Paul says a family memorial is planned for May.


First melanoma drug cleared to extend life

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a breakthrough cancer medication from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. that researchers have heralded as the first drug to prolong the lives of patients with melanoma.

The federal health agency approved the injectable drug, called Yervoy, for late-stage or metastatic melanoma. The agency has only approved two other drugs for advanced melanoma, the last of which was cleared more than 13 years ago. Neither drug has been shown to significantly extend patient lives.

Known chemically as ipilimumab, the biotech drug only worked in a small segment of patients studied, and on average they lived just four months longer than patients given older medications. But experts say the drug is an important milestone in treating the deadliest form of skin cancer, which is often unresponsive to therapy.


Crude drops near $105 on concern about Portugal

NEW YORK | Oil prices wavered Friday as the U.S. said its economy grew faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter of last year while a financial crisis in Portugal raised concerns that another European country will need a bailout.

Against the backdrop of disruptions to oil supplies from Libya, uncertainty in Japan and a new economic worry for Europe, traders have been looking for indications of how strong the U.S. economy is. Reports out this week were a mixed bag.

The U.S. said home construction has nearly come to a halt and that companies trimmed orders for long-lasting manufactured goods. Yet gasoline demand keeps rising despite higher prices - a gallon of gas costs about 49 cents more than it did at the start of the year.


GM to restart

output at two plants

DETROIT | General Motors Co will resume production at its pickup truck plant in Louisiana this week as well as its engine plant in upstate New York, saying only it had the parts it needed to support output.

A GM spokeswoman said the automaker had “the parts we need,” but declined to say where the parts were coming from or if its parts shortages from Japan had been resolved.

Earlier this month, GM said it would temporarily idle its Shreveport Assembly plant, where it builds the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, due to a shortage of parts from Japan.

GM said last week it suspended production at its Tonawanda engine plant in Buffalo, N.Y., that supported its Shreveport plant.

The plant in Shreveport operates four days a week for 10 hours a day.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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