U.S. Bancorp acquires deposits from BB&T

U.S. Bancorp late Tuesday announced it acquired $800 million deposits in Nevada from BB&T Corp., subject to regulatory approval.

BB&T acquired the Nevada operations as part of the assets and deposits from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. when Colonial Bank failed.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Jennifer Wendt, spokeswoman for U.S. Bancorp, holding company for U.S. Bank, said the bank had not decided which of the former BB&T branches it will retain and how many former employees of BB&T and Colonial it may keep.

Golden Nugget’s new tower to open Nov. 20

The Golden Nugget’s new 500-room Rush Tower will open to the public Nov. 20 with a grand opening on Nov. 23, the property said Wednesday.

The $150 million expansion, which includes a new restaurant, three retail shops and a casino floor expansion, will bring the property’s total room count to 2,417, the largest downtown.

Room rates for the first weekend are $142 per night, according to its Web site.

The Golden Nugget is also spending $1 million to build a new entrance at First Street and Carson Avenue.

Moody’s upgrades rating for Wynn Resorts

Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday upgraded its view of Wynn Resorts Ltd., the second time this week the casino operator’s debt was given a positive view by a ratings service.

Moody’s upgraded Wynn to “stable” from “negative.” On Monday, Fitch Ratings upgraded Wynn to “positive” from “stable.”

The company operates hotel-casinos on the Strip and in Macau.

The moves came after Wynn’s initial public offering last week on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which raised more than $1.87 billion.

Top executive leaving Las Vegas Hilton

Rodolfo Prieto is leaving the Las Vegas Hilton after 51/2 years as the property’s top executive.

Prieto’s pending departure was hinted at with the Sept. 14 announcement that David Monahan had been hired as chief operating officer with expectations that he would take over Prieto’s positions as general manager and chief executive officer.

Prieto joined the property in February 2004 while it was being sold to Los Angeles-based real estate firm Colony Capital.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Langer left the property’s board Oct. 6. Langer helped guide Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds’ 40 percent acquisition of the property in late 2006.


Pfizer’s buy of Wyeth expected to close today

Pfizer Inc.’s $68 billion purchase of Wyeth will close today after antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Canada cleared the deal, which will make Pfizer the world’s largest drugmaker by revenue.

The Federal Trade Commission approved the deal Wednesday, and the Canadian Competition Bureau also gave its blessing. Pfizer will have to sell about half of Wyeth’s animal health business and change a Canadian distribution agreement for Estring, a hormone used to treat menopause symptoms. Pfizer said it will also sell its horse vaccine business.


Fed conflicted over fate of mortgage plan

Amid uncertainties about the strength of the budding recovery, Federal Reserve policymakers last month were conflicted over whether to expand or cut back a program intended to drive down mortgage rates and prop up the housing market, according to a document released Wednesday.

In the end, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues agreed to slow down the pace of a $1.25 trillion program to buy mortgage securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Instead of wrapping up the purchases by the end of this year, the Fed said it would do so by the end of March.

But minutes of the Fed’s closed-door deliberations on Sept. 22-23 revealed some members thought “an increase” in the mortgage securities buying program could help the economy recover more quickly.


Tax dodgers apply for IRS amnesty program

Some 7,500 international tax dodgers have applied for an amnesty program that promises no jail time and reduced penalties for tax cheats who come forward, the Internal Revenue Service announced Wednesday.

The tax dodgers were hiding money in more than 70 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. Accounts ranged from just over $10,000 to more than $100 million.

Response to the program has been unprecedented, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said.

The IRS long has had a policy that certain tax evaders who come forward before they are contacted by the agency usually can avoid jail time as long as they agree to pay back taxes, interest and hefty penalties.

Drug dealers and money launderers need not apply. But if the money was earned legally, tax evaders can usually avoid criminal prosecution.


Metal prices offset GM loss for mining company

A Montana mining company that warned of possible layoffs after General Motors Co. canceled a major contract says higher platinum and palladium prices have made up for the lost business.

Stillwater Mining Co. said Wednesday that precious metal prices have climbed considerably since hitting bottom last year. The company says that “almost entirely offset” the loss of the GM contract.

Columbus-based Stillwater’s two mines in the Beartooth Mountains are the only sources of platinum and palladium in the nation.

The metals are used in vehicle catalytic converters to screen out pollution. GM dropped Stillwater as a supplier when the automaker emerged from bankruptcy protection in July.

Thirty-year home loan rate edges back up

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate home loan edged back above 5 percent last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, assuming a 20 percent down payment, increased to 5.02 percent from 4.89 percent. But upfront points paid to lenders, including the origination fee, averaged 1.11 percent of the loan balance, down from 1.13 percent, the group said.

The average 15-year rate rose from a record low of 4.32 percent to 4.44 percent with average points paid unchanged at 1.04 percent of the loan amount.

Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Varram lats you play with your pet remotely
Varram’s pet robot is designed to let you remotely interact with your real pet. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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