Business Briefs – May 22, 2016

Gas Prices Jump by 5 Cents Over Past 2 Weeks, Averages $2.32

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) – The average price of gasoline has jumped by a nickel over the past two weeks to $2.32 a gallon for regular grade.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that the hike is mostly due to a continuing increase in crude oil prices. The price at the pump has risen 55 cents since late February.

In the Lower 48, the highest average price of regular gasoline was $2.85 per gallon in San Francisco. The lowest was $1.98 in Tucson, Arizona.

The U.S. average diesel price is $2.32 per gallon, up 4 cents from two weeks ago.

Frozen Food Recall Covers Hundreds Of Items From Many Stores

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – It’s one of the largest food recalls in recent memory, with well over 400 products from CRF Frozen Foods sold under more than 40 different brand names at major retailers across North America.

And authorities who want to stem the listeria-linked illnesses and deaths worry it’ll be difficult to get consumers to dig through their freezers and check for any of the millions of packages of food sold as far back as 2014.

So far, eight people have been sickened by listeria that’s genetically similar to that found in CRF vegetables, and two have died, though listeria was not the primary cause of death.

Relief and Anger in Puerto Rico As Congress Acts on Debt

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – After months of pleading from Puerto Rico’s government, the U.S. Congress has agreed to help the territory restructure its massive public debt. But it comes at a steep cost: a degree of lost sovereignty with the imposition of a fiscal control board as well as a potential lower minimum wage for young workers on the island.

The deal met mixed reviews in Puerto Rico, where some resent the uneven relationship with the U.S. mainland and others felt it could help rebuild the economy, while providing sorely needed control over their government.

Sports Authority Is Shuttering All Stores Amid Bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) – Sports Authority, which filed for bankruptcy protection three months ago, is shuttering all 460 of its stores after it was unable to adapt to consumers’ move online.

The sports retailer had originally only planned to close about 140 stores, but in a court document this week it outlined plans to shutter all of them. The Englewood, Colorado-based company said it will start discounting sneakers, clothing and other goods next week until the end of August.

Mirrors Spark Fire at World’s Largest Solar-Thermal Plan

PRIMM, Nev. (AP) – A small fire shut down a generating tower at the world’s largest solar-thermal power plant, leaving the sprawling facility on the California-Nevada border operating at only a third of its capacity.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California uses mirrors to focus sunlight on boilers at the top of three 459-foot towers, creating steam that drive turbines to produce electricity. But fire officials said that some misaligned mirrors instead focused sunbeams on a different level of one unit, causing electrical cables to catch fire.