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Mine inspector named W.Va. safety chief

Jan. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

CHARLESTON -- A longtime mine inspector and safety official will now head such in West Virginia.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Eugene White on Monday as director for the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training.

White most recently has been the agency's acting deputy director. He's been with the agency since 2001. He's also served on the state's mine emergency team.

White replaces C.A. Phillips, who announced plans earlier this month to retire Monday.

Phillips was acting director and then director for just over two years.

White is the third person to head Miners' Health, Safety and Training since the April 2010 disaster at Upper Big Branch. Twenty-nine men were killed in the Raleigh County explosion, the worst loss of life at a U.S. coal mine in decades.

LodgeNet filing for bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK -- LodgeNet Investment Corp. said Monday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will be acquired by investment firm Colony Capital.

LodgeNet provides video, Internet and advertising services to the lodging and health care sectors. The company said that it will continue to operate during the expedited bankruptcy process. When that is complete, Colony will own LodgeNet.

LodgeNet says a Colony Capital affiliate will provide it with $60 million in new capital, and that funding will be used to support a recapitalization of the company. It also received commitments for up to $15 million in debt financing from creditors. LodgeNet, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., said its lenders will extend their credit agreements. The company said it has a secured credit facility worth about $346 million.

LodgeNet also said it will form a strategic partnership with DirecTV LLC in the hospitality and health care markets.

Gas prices in Ohio are set to increase

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio motorists are seeing rising gas prices again.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was $3.32 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. That's 9 cents higher than a week ago, and the second consecutive week the price has risen by that amount. It's still 9 cents lower than the same time last month.

Prices have gone up after some areas of Ohio saw pump numbers fall below the $3-per-gallon mark briefly the week before Christmas, thanks to lower demand and higher inventories.

The national average Monday was $3.29, 4 cents higher than last week.

Lowest average price in Ohio Monday was $3.29 in the Youngstown area.

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