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Business Today

Accountants in demand in bay area

By wire services
Published September 9, 2005

Chief financial officers in the Tampa Bay area plan to hire accounting and financial professionals this quarter at more than twice the national average, a survey by Robert Half International shows.

According to the survey of 200 area CFOs, about 9 percent plan to add staff in the fourth quarter and none anticipate reductions. Nationally, about 4 percent of the 200 CFOs surveyed said they are adding workers.

Marriott to stop undisclosed charges

Marriott International Inc. has agreed to stop adding undisclosed charges to hotel bills at 12 properties in Florida, becoming the second lodging chain to settle with the state over the practice. Marriott, the largest U.S. hotel company, imposed energy surcharges or mandatory resort fees at some of its Florida hotels without disclosing them to guests, Attorney General Charlie Crist said. The Marriott Tampa Westshore, Tampa Airport Marriott and Marriott Tampa Downtown were among the 12.

St. Joe Co. sells Advantis subsidiary

St. Joe Co., a Florida real estate company, on Thursday said it sold subsidiary Advantis Real Estate Services Co. to Advantis managers for an undisclosed sum. The sale is expected to result in a $6-million loss, subject to final adjustments, the company said. Advantis manages and sells industrial and other commercial real estate in the Southeast from Florida to Washington, D.C. About 500 employees will move to the new company, called GVA Advantis.

Employee pricing at GM ends Sept. 30

General Motors Corp. said Thursday it will end its employee-discount incentive on Sept. 30. Ford and Chrysler have extended their discounts to Oct. 3.

Government sues Realtors over listings

The Justice Department sued the National Association of Realtors on Thursday, claiming it unfairly limits competition by allowing real estate agents to withhold home listings from Internet-based brokers. The antitrust lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, follows lengthy negotiations in which the government pressed the Realtors to drop restrictions designed to protect traditional brokers.

Delta completes sale

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday it has completed its $425-million sale of feeder carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines Inc. to SkyWest Inc. ASA will continue to operate as a Delta Connection carrier under a 15-year contract with Delta.

Get an airbag for your motorcycle

Honda Motor Co. has developed airbags for motorcycles that the Japanese automaker says is the world's first for production motorcycles.

The airbag, which inflates after sensors detect an oncoming crash, will be available on the new Gold Wing motorcycle that will go on sale in spring 2006 in the United States, Honda said Thursday.

The airbag opens in front of the riders and reduces the speed at which they get thrown off the motorcycle, lessening injuries when they hit the road or another vehicle, it said.

Stylists volunteer to help evacuees

In the dark tunnels underneath Houston's Astrodome, volunteer barbers and stylists have set up a shop where Katrina's evacuees can get a shave or have their hair done for free before they set out to rebuild their lives.

After seeing the evacuees' misery, stylist Terry Walter and his sister, Tiffany, offered their services and recruited a few more stylists and barbers, all of whom are donating their services and equipment.

Walter and his sister often stay until 4 a.m. each day, cutting, conditioning, coloring, shaving and curling evacuees' hair.

"I was at home in tears, and I don't have too much stuff affect me like that, but when you see so many people broken up, you know sometimes a good haircut will put a smile on somebody's face," Terry Walter said. "It just makes me feel good."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

[Last modified September 9, 2005, 01:18:20]

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