The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


September 28, 2012

In brief: FirstEnergy names Penelec president

— FirstEnergy names Penelec president

Scott Wyman has been promoted to regional president of Pennsylvania Electric Co., the parent company FirstEnergy announced.

Wyman was director of operations services for Penelec. He succeeds John Skory, who was named regional president of CEI, also part of the FirstEnergy Utilities Group.

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company that includes 10 electric distribution companies serving customers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.

Natural gas prices to jump 14 percent

Peoples Natural Gas rates will jump by 14 percent Monday, but remain below last year’s winter levels.

A boost in the cost recovery rate adjustment and an overall rate increase combine to account for the jump, said Joe Gregorini, a Peoples vice president in Pittsburgh.

The average customer’s base cost will go up from $62.40 to $72.51,

Gregorini said. The average cost was $82.60 during the last quarter of 2011, he added.

Bank of America will pay $2.43B in settlement

WASHINGTON – Bank of America said it has agreed to pay $2.43 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit related to its acquisition of Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis.

In the lawsuit, shareholders alleged that Bank of America and some of its officers made false or misleading statements about both companies’ financial health.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of investors who bought or held Bank of America stock when the company announced its plans to buy Merrill Lynch in a $20 billion deal as the banking industry and federal regulators struggled to contain fallout from the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

Bank of America’s deal to buy Merrill Lynch was forged on the same

September 2008 weekend that Lehman Brothers collapsed.

The transaction came into question later after Bank of America disclosed that Merrill would post $27.6 billion in losses that year. That added significantly to Bank of America’s financial woes, and the company subsequently asked for a $20 billion bailout from the government to help offset those losses, on top of the $25 billion it had already received. It has since repaid all $45 billion.

In announcing the settlement proposal on Friday, Bank of America denied the shareholders’ allegations and said that it agreed to the settlement to get rid of the uncertainties, burden and costs related to the lawsuit.

The investors who filed the suit said the amount of the settlement is the largest ever resolving such a claim.

The settlement still needs court approval and will be reviewed by Judge Kevin Castel of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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