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Northwest Bancshares reported a 17.6 percent drop in net income in its second quarter, dragged down by some atypical factors.The Warren, Pa.-based parent company of Northwest Savings Bank reported net income of $13.5 million for the quarter ending June 30, compared with $16.4 million a year ago. It recorded diluted earnings per share of 15 cents, missing analysts’ estima…

The modest growth spurt at Western New York factories extended into its fourth month during June as manufacturers stepped up their hiring for the first time in nearly a year.A new survey of local purchasing managers found that growth at the region’s factories picked up a little steam last month, although the overall pace of the expansion remains moderate.“It looks like…

NIAGARA FALLS – A Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen – which would be the second in Western New York – has been proposed for the corner of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Military Road.A proposal for the project will come before the city Planning Board on Wednesday night.The building, to be located in the Mil-Pine Plaza, which is anchored by an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, would be …

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Consumer Reports

Mon, Jul 22, 2013

Virgin America soared to the top of the latest Consumer Reports Ratings of airlines in its debut appearance on the list, receiving some of the highest satisfaction scores it has seen in years.Consumer Reports’ airline Ratings are based on a survey of 16,663 subscribers conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Survey respondents flew a combined 31,732 d…

As a parent, your job is to help your children develop the skills they need to become good citizens, including being financially responsible.Consider these questions from parents concerned about their adult children’s financial lives.Q: My daughter is having a baby in October and she and her boyfriend only have one car. Right now she is partly living at home and uses my …

By Susan TomporDetroit Free PressRetirees shouldn’t be surprised to hear that a pension check is so valuable that regulators are warning about the risks of schemes that promise a lump sum, if you sell off that income stream.Ever hear of something called a “mirrored pension” that touts robust returns? If you’re not careful, you could be looking at a “smoke and mir…

Banks have finally woken up to their customers’ needs for convenient hours – and today customer-focused service is making itself felt in some of America’s medical offices, according to Consumer Reports. In these reorganized practices, evening and weekend hours are only part of the difference. If you’ve had a blood test or a CT scan, you won’t have to call the off…

My sister is so afraid of salmonella poisoning, she practically dons a Hazmat suit when preparing raw chicken.Yet, I’ve caught her feeding my daughter chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-flavored toaster pastries and chocolate milk for breakfast.As consumers, we obsess on the rare, media-hyped dangers-du-jour while ignoring the less sexy but far more dangerous hazards of a poor …

By Gregory Karp / Chicago Tribune

Sun, Jul 21, 2013

A close relative dies just before you leave for a Caribbean vacation, and you have to cancel your nonrefundable trip to attend the funeral. Or, you’re hiking in the Alps, have an accident and need to be airlifted off a mountain.These are the types of nightmare scenarios that make even confident travelers nervous. And they’re why travel insurance can be an attractive id…

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As the temperatures climb in Buffalo, and you’re praying to Mother Nature for snow, you may instead find yourself wishing for a refreshing dip in a pool. Or maybe you just want your own place to sunbathe while the kids splash and dive in.It’s the perfect summer daydream, right?But if you’re considering adding your own tropical oasis to your backyard, you need to eval…

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As prestige goes, the number of cities with a comprehensive cancer center is not much greater than the number with a National Football League team.The federal government has designated only 41 such centers in the nation – including Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute.But the price of keeping a comprehensive cancer center can seem NFL-like, given the pressures to recr…

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In the 21 years Bob Gugino has owned Bison Automotive, he’s gotten used to seeing certain faces and cars pass through his Buffalo repair shop. But lately, he says, there’s been a lull in business.The reason: auto leases.“Certain customers who were coming don’t come in to see me anymore,” he said.With set monthly payments, little money up front, low maintenance an…

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John Ecklund, who made the jump from law enforcement to managing the Buffalo Niagara region’s biggest shopping mall, has spent the last five years guiding the steady expansion of the Walden Galleria.The Jamestown native and father of three, who became general manager of Galleria in 2008, came to the mall in 2001 as director of security after a short stint as security man…

The sign outside the big box in Richfield, Minn., says Best Buy, but the inside of the building looks more like a mall than a single store.The usual Blue Shirts and Geek Squad agents scurry across the sales floor, but Samsung, Microsoft, Pacific Kitchen and Magnolia occupy their own domains within Best Buy. They have large product displays, dedicated checkout areas, and em…

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A $35 million investment can do wonders to quell local anxieties.HSBC Bank USA’s announced spending on its Buffalo-area offices put big dollars behind its executives’ pledges that they remained committed to Buffalo, despite other steps that created uncertainty locally.Local residents had watched HSBC sell off its upstate branch network, severing a sidewalk-level connec…