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New Jersey company buys Grand Tours bus firm

The Lockport-based operator of Grand Tours coaches and buses in several local school districts has been sold to a leading national school bus company in New Jersey.

Grand Tours and Ridge Road Express Buses will become wholly owned subsidiaries of Student Transportation Inc., the third-largest operator of school buses in the U.S. Grand Tours president and former owner Tom Weeks will continue to run the three companies as president.

No service disruptions are expected.

Ridge Road Express services districts including Starpoint, Lockport, Barker, Newfane and Royalton-Hartland. It also provides some services in Albion.

Weeks said he made the decision to sell after rising costs from emissions requirements, pension problems and other issues. The agreement to sell the business was signed Friday.


Help for Allcare patients

The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and the 8th District Dental Society, a professional membership organization of dentists, are offering to help Allcare Dental patients find new dental care.

To reach a call center set up by UB, call 479-9740 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. To reach the dental society, call 995-6300 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All dental patients, including those displaced by Clarence-based Allcare's recent sudden shutdown, can call the society for a referral to a dentist in their geographical area and specialty need.

Allcare has not posted a new update on its website,, since Monday. The national chain had operated a location in Cheektowaga.


Cobham closing nine plants

Cobham Inc. is closing several manufacturing plants, but its Orchard Park site will not be affected.

Cobham will shut nine sites this year, including three in the United States, as part of a plan to increase operating efficiency.

Its Carleton Technologies business unit in Orchard Park, which employs 275 people and makes aerospace, defense and life support equipment, will not be impacted, said Greg Caires, a Cobham spokesman.

The plant will be one of the company's 10 principal U.S. locations, but there are no immediate plans to add jobs there resulting from Cobham's consolidation, Caires said.

"Being a principal location, though, does signify the fact that Cobham is continuing to have a long-term commitment and investment to the site, and we do hope that as our business grows, the Orchard Park site will grow along with it," Caires said.


Target to open in Canada

MINNEAPOLIS -- In its first step across U.S. borders, Target Corp. is making a logical foray north.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said Thursday that it plans to open 100 to 150 stores in Canada in a two-year period starting in 2013.

The fast-paced expansion comes courtesy of a $1.85 billion deal for Target to acquire leasing interests in up to 220 stores in Canada from retailer Zellers Inc., a subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company. Zellers will lease the stores back and keep its name on the stores for a period of time.

The deal marks the first time Target has made any substantial growth plans since the start of the recession.

-- Star Tribune


Citigroup bailout affirmed

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A watchdog says the government's $45 billion bailout of Citigroup in the financial crisis met the goal of restoring the market's confidence in the bank and limited the risk of taxpayer loss.

But the government's decision to aid Citigroup in the fall of 2008 wasn't made coherently and seemed to be based on "gut instinct," says a report issued Thursday by the office of Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the bailout.

Also, the report says that by bailing out Citigroup, the government encouraged high-risk behavior.

Citigroup repaid the bailout, which was one of the largest of the rescue program. The government says taxpayers made $12 billion on it.