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Tickers: July 10


The costs of imports and exports rose in June, with a 3.2 percent rise in import prices led by petroleum products and a 1.1 percent rise in export prices led by agricultural items, particularly corn, soybeans and wheat, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said today.

The Central Iowa chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals has announced the selection of its 2009 Philanthropy Day award winners. The recipients are James Hubbell III for outstanding philanthropist, Steve Zumbach for outstanding volunteer fundraiser, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino for outstanding corporate/foundation, Lorisha Martin for outstanding youth in philanthropy and Suku Radia, winner of the Spirit of Philanthropy Award. The group will be recognized at the 24th annual Philanthropy Day Luncheon on Nov. 20 at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown.

The Des Moines Register yesterday laid off 36 employees in Des Moines and six employees at its Central Iowa and Marengo weekly operations as part of 1,400 cuts at 80 daily newspapers that are under Gannett Co. Inc.’s U.S. community publishing division. The layoffs were in advertising, production, circulation, marketing, information technology, finance and news. Register Publisher Laura Hollingsworth estimated last week that the Register had approximately 650 employees. Gannett will announce its second-quarter earnings on July 15.

Sprint Nextel Corp. has reached a deal with L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. in which Ericsson will take on 6,000 Sprint employees starting in the third quarter and provide day-to-day management of Sprint’s network for as much as $5 billion, the Kansas City Business Journal reported. The seven-year initial term will give Sprint full ownership and control of its network and allow it to continue to choose technology and vendors as well as work with customers. Ericsson will cover everyday services, provisioning and maintenance for Sprint’s CDMA, iDEN and wireline networks, as well as oversee its multivendor asset inventory and offer processes and tools to manage its network platforms and operational support systems. An analyst estimated in February that Sprint could save about $200 million with the deal.

Frontier Communications Corp. announced today that it has ratified a contract with Local 7171 of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union covering 50 employees in western Iowa. The contract is similar to one signed by 280 employees of CWA Local 7270 in Minnesota, which included modest compensation increases, performance-based incentives and changes to the benefits packages to include improved wellness benefits and some operational terms. The unions also agreed to defer wage increases employees would have received in 2009 until January 2010 and other cost-saving measures. The Iowa local ratified the three-year agreement on July 6.

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