NV Energy boosts rebates for consumers using wind power

Local power utility NV Energy has boosted rebates it will offer to consumers who install wind-powered electric generators at homes and businesses.

Through NV Energy’s WindGenerations program, residential power users who deploy wind electricity can now earn rebates on up to 60 kilowatts of capacity, up from 30 kilowatts before. Schools and public buildings can now claim rebates on up to 250 kilowatts and 500 kilowatts respectively, up from 50 kilowatts. Small businesses can get incentives on 250 kilowatts of wind power, while agricultural operations can qualify for money back on as much as 500 kilowatts of installed wind generation.

The incentive rate for residential, small-business and agricultural customers is $2.50 on the first 10 kilowatts and $1.50 on the rest. For schools and public buildings, incentives are $3 on the first 10 kilowatts and $2 per kilowatt thereafter.

NV Energy launched WindGenerations, which is part of the company’s RenewableGenerations green-power program, in August 2008. Since then, customers have installed 25 projects generating 72.2 kilowatts. Applications are pending on another 67 installations. NV Energy has paid $235,800 in incentives to participants.


Factory production rise helps boost Fed’s economic outlook

The economic recovery picked up in late fall as shoppers spent a bit more and factories bumped up production. That assessment Wednesday by the Federal Reserve marked its most upbeat view since the economy fell into recession two years ago.

The Fed’s new snapshot of business barometers nationwide found that conditions have generally improved since the last report in late October.

Eight of the Fed’s 12 regions surveyed reported some pickup in activity or improved conditions, the Fed said. Those regions were: Boston, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco.

The four other regions — Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond and Atlanta — described conditions as little changed or mixed.

The new report adds to evidence that the economy is rebounding after the worst recession since the 1930s.


Bank of America will repay $45 billion in bailout money

Bank of America Corp. said Wednesday it plans to repay its $45 billion in government bailout funds in the next few days, a move that will help the troubled bank recruit a new CEO.

The bank said in a statement it would use available cash and raise $18.8 billion in capital to repay the money, which it received during the height of the credit crisis last year and after its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. earlier this year.

Bank of America has been searching for a successor to CEO Ken Lewis since the bank announced in late September that he planned to retire on Dec. 31. But the bank, burdened with government restrictions and close oversight after accepting the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, has so far been unable to sign a new chief executive.

The bank has said it was considering candidates from inside and outside the company. Spokesman Bob Stickler said a decision is expected “in the near future.”


Deal giving Comcast control of NBC Universal expected today

The deal to give Comcast Corp. control of NBC Universal is expected to be announced this morning.

Two people familiar with the talks told The Associated Press of the plans on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been made public.

Comcast’s purchase of a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal would transform the nation’s largest cable TV provider into one of the biggest owners of TV and movie programming.

Comcast is expected to pay GE $5 billion to $7 billion in cash and contribute $6 billion to $7 billion worth of cable channels. GE would transfer $8 billion to $10 billion in debt to the venture and own 49 percent at the outset.

Geithner sees ‘good chance’ for financial overhaul passage

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he sees a “good chance” that Congress will pass a financial regulatory overhaul bill and urged lawmakers to act quickly.

Geithner said government efforts to shore up the banking system have “brought stability back” at a lower cost to taxpayers than expected in February. The Obama administration expects to return “very substantial” amounts of money from the financial-rescue effort, he said.

Winding down the rescue programs must not jeopardize the progress that’s been made as challenges remain for the economy, he said. Housing markets are still “very damaged,” community banks are under pressure and many small businesses have trouble getting credit, Geithner said.


Wal-Mart game deals send GameStop shares plunging

GameStop Corp.’s shares plunged Wednesday after an announcement from Wal-Mart that the big retailer is offering deals on popular video games and the Nintendo Wii leading up to the holidays.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it is lowering the prices of 25 of the most popular video games — such as “Halo 3:ODST” and “Left 4 Dead 2” — until Christmas Eve by 15 percent to 20 percent.

It’s also running a promotion from Saturday through Dec. 12 giving shoppers who buy the $199 Wii game console a $50 gift card.

Investors sent GameStop shares sharply lower Wednesday amid worries that the Wal-Mart deals could undercut holiday sales at GameStop’s more than 6,000 video game retail stores nationwide. GameStop shares fell $1.97, or 8.26 percent, Wednesday to close at $21.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.

“This news is clearly a negative for (GameStop) which generates the bulk of its sales during the holiday season and may be forced to reduce prices to stay competitive,” said Janney Capital Markets analyst Tony Wible in a note to investors.


Material to be shared as Yahoo, Facebook expand partnership

Yahoo Inc. will lean more heavily on Facebook’s popularity as it tries to give people more reasons to stay on its Web site.

The expanded partnership announced Wednesday will enable Yahoo users with Facebook accounts to blend material from the two Web sites without having to leave one destination for the other.

For example, Yahoo users will be able to read the latest updates from their Facebook friends while they’re still perusing Yahoo’s site. On the flip side, personal material from Yahoo’s site — such as e-mail, movie reviews and photos — can be more easily shared on Facebook.

These tools are scheduled to be activated early next year.

Yahoo’s home page already includes an application that provides a glimpse at Facebook updates. The upcoming changes will make it possible to plant Facebook content all over Yahoo.

Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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