Business news digest



REGION
Company negotiates saleof parts of Weirton Steel
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- They haven't produced raw steel since 2005, and now the 1,250 workers at the former Weirton Steel mill are likely wondering if they ever will.
Their company has been sold twice since 2003, the second time to a global giant that idled the blast furnace and cut 800 jobs. Now, workers could be facing a third change in control. Mittal Steel Co. said Thursday it is in negotiations to sell parts of its Weirton operations to Illinois-based Esmark Inc., the rapidly growing steel supplier that seized control of nearby Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp. last fall.
Mittal spokesman Dave Allen would not say what assets in Weirton, across the Ohio River from Steubenville, are being discussed, but he said a nonbinding memorandum of understanding had been signed.
Freedom Center funding
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- AK Steel has pledged 750,000 to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati as part of the center's 10 million fundraising campaign, officials said.
"The Freedom Center is an important national symbol of human freedom, justice and tolerance and a vital educational asset for the southwestern Ohio region," said AK's chief executive, James Wainscott.
The Freedom Center contains exhibits from the pre-Civil War slavery era in the United States and conducts programs that focus on discrimination and violence worldwide.
Verizon to add new jobs
WARRENDALE, Pa. -- Verizon Wireless will add 338 new jobs over the next three years and retain 1,248 jobs as part of a 5.25 million expansion, the company and state officials said Friday.
Verizon Wireless will relocate 250 customer service employees from Cranberry to the Thorn Hill Industrial Park in Marshall.
About 50 employees will move from a facility next to the new location, and jobs will be created at the Cranberry facility, Verizon said.
The state provided a 1.2 million package consisting of a grant, job training and tax credit.
NATION
Trucks, SUVs recalled
WASHINGTON -- Toyota Motor Corp. said it is recalling 533,000 Tundra pickup trucks and Sequoia sport utility vehicles because of potential steering problems. Toyota said the recall involved 2004-2006 Tundra trucks and 2004-2007 Sequoia full-size SUVs. The automaker has received reports of 11 accidents and six injuries connected to the recall, said Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong.
Toyota recalled about 775,000 pickups and SUVs in May 2005 -- one of its largest recalls ever -- because of similar problems with the front suspension. The recall included 2002-2004 model years of the Tundra and Sequoia.
From Vindicator wire services

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