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ECIDA moves meeting to a larger location

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency's board has moved the location of its Monday meeting.

The board will meet at 9 a.m. in the auditorium of the Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, instead of its own offices.

The ECIDA says the 324-seat auditorium will provide more space for public attendance. The auditorium entrance is accessible from the Clinton Street side of the building.

Members of Occupy Buffalo have attended recent ECIDA meetings, and at the board's March meeting, ECIDA chairman John LaFalce rebuked protesters for disrupting the proceedings. Erie County sheriff's deputies will be at Monday's meeting to keep order.


Obama tours Tampa port

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- President Obama, determined to connect his upcoming Latin American travels to voters back home, told port workers in Florida that he was headed to Colombia to find more customers for U.S. companies to help fuel the broader economic recovery at home.

Obama toured the Tampa Bay port Friday on the first leg of a weekend trip to Cartagena, Colombia, for the Summit of the Americas, a gathering that the president said would allow him to connect the needs of U.S. workers with trade opportunities in a growing region.

The president's stop in Tampa on Friday was driven not just by Florida's trade connections to the region south of its borders.

Obama, in an election year, also wanted to stop in a politically important state to drive home the point that his work at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia would have ramifications in the U.S.


Housing boosts earnings

NEW YORK (AP) -- Earnings reports from two major banks Friday painted a picture of a healing housing market, with more Americans taking out mortgages, paying them on time and taking advantage of low interest rates to refinance.

At JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in the United States, income from new home loans set a record from January through March. The bank issued 6 percent more mortgages than a year ago and got 33 percent more applications.

Wells Fargo, which issues the most home loans, booked the most mortgage fees since 2009. It issued 54 percent more mortgages than a year ago and took 84 percent more applications.


Growth slows in China

BEIJING (AP) -- China's declining economic growth fell to its lowest level in nearly three years in the first quarter, but analysts said it should rebound in coming months.

The world's second-biggest economy grew by a still-robust 8.1 percent in the three months ending in March, down from the previous quarter's 8.9 percent, data showed Friday. It was the weakest expansion since the second quarter of 2009 but above the government's 7.5 percent target for the year.

China's rapid growth has fallen steadily since 2010 as a slump in global demand battered its exporters and Beijing tightened lending and investment curbs to cool an overheated economy and surging inflation.


$16.1 million for CEO

NEW YORK (AP) -- Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein received total compensation of $16.1 million in 2011, a 14 percent increase from the year before.

In a regulatory filing posted Friday morning, the New York investment bank detailed Blankfein's compensation for last year. Goldman paid its chairman and CEO a salary of $2 million, a bonus of $3 million and stock awards worth $10.7 million.

Blankfein's total pay included $9,800 in matching payments to his retirement plan, $51,467 for a car and driver and $258,701 for security services. The amount Goldman paid for his security more than doubled from the year before.