Quick takes

ARBITRATOR: Attorney Meeta A. Bass has been selected as a panel arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, a national organization that makes veteran labor arbitrators available to the labor-management community.

Bass maintains a private practice in alternative dispute resolution.

She is included on labor arbitration rosters maintained by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the National Mediation Board, the financial industry and the Arbitration and Mediation Service. In addition to having served as a labor arbitrator for the state of Ohio and the Ohio Civil Services Employees Association for 15 years, she is a fact-finder for the State Employees Relations Board.

Bass graduated from Catholic Central High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science, her master’s degree in business administration from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and obtained her law degree from Capital University. She served as a Jefferson County Common Pleas Court magistrate for 17 years.

GRADUATES: Samantha Pollock of Richmond has graduated from the Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute.

The institute’s eight-month leadership program provides professional training for women aspiring to become leaders in public and community service.

Studies are offered in local, state and federal governments, as well as public policy, public speaking, politics and the organization of political parties. This year, the final week of training took place in Washington, D.C., where national and congressional leaders addressed the institute.

“These outstanding women leaders are dedicated to applying their experience and skills to community and public service,” said Betty D. Montgomery, chairman of the board for the institute. “It is inspiring to watch their growth and commitment to a better future for our state and our communities.”

Since its first class in 2001, 312 Ohio women from 60 counties have completed the leadership course. In the fall, the institute will begin its 17th class. Applications for the class are available online by going to www.jadleadershipinstitute.com. The application deadline is June 15.

APPOINTED: Acuity Ohio Valley has appointed Dr. Melvin P. Saludes as hospital medical director.

Acuity Specialty Hospital Ohio Valley, a 72-bed, employee-owned, Joint Commission accredited and Medicare certified long-term acute care hospital, has provided services in the Ohio Valley for more than 10 years.

Acuity, which operates at three hospital campuses on the grounds of Wheeling Hospital, Belmont Hospital in Bellaire and Weirton Medical Center, has 250 employees and a medical staff of more than 200 physicians and allied health professionals.

Acuity offers specialized services focusing on high acuity, medically complex patients with serious medical conditions that require intensive hospital care for an extended period of time, typically 20 to 30 days. Acuity patients typically transfer directly from intensive and critical care units of short-term acute care hospitals throughout the three-state region.

Saludes, a board certified pulmonologist, has practiced in the Wheeling and East Ohio Valley area for more than 20 years. He has served on the Acuity medical staff for more than 10 years.

He serves as the program director for pulmonary/critical care services at the Belmont Acuity.

“Dr. Saludes is a true professional and a highly respected physician. We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Saludes, who is so highly regarded by his peers, provide medical leadership to our hospital,” said Judy Weaver, CEO of Acuity Specialty Hospital.

Quick takes

HONORED: A residence hall at Newman University in Wichita, Kan., has been named after a Steubenville native, college President Noreen Carrocci.

Carrocci, a 1971 graduate of Steubenville Catholic Central High School, became president of the Catholic college in 2007, the first lay woman to hold the post.

The late Bill Allen and his wife, Pucci, made a significant contribution to the university last year and requested the residence hall, formerly known as New Hall, be named Carrocci Hall.

Carrocci, daughter of the late Helen and Domenick Carrocci, came to Newman from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., where she was provost and vice president of academic affairs. She earned her undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Kansas.

The Allens chose to honor Carrocci for commitment to Newman and the accomplishments she has made since 2007.

Since coming to Wichita, Carrocci has been an advocate for private, Catholic higher education, and an active member of several civic and professional organizations and boards. She serves or has served on the board of directors for Via Christi Health, Wichita Rotary Charitable Fund, the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, Wichita Grand Opera, the Wichita Community Foundation and the 4-Wichita KU School of Medicine. She is a member of the Kansas Independent Colleges Association and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities Board of Directors, and is active on numerous community committees.

Newman is involved in a major capital campaign to renovate health and science facilities on the campus, build a new science building and enhance the university’s endowment.

“I am humbled – and somewhat overwhelmed – by this very special honor,” Carrocci said. “The request from the Allens came as a total surprise to me, but I am pleased to honor their wishes, and so very grateful to the Allens for their support of Newman University, as well as of me personally.”

NEW WAYS TO PAY: Google’s mobile payment service, Android Pay, arrived in the U.K. on Wednesday, marking its first expansion outside the U.S.

It joins Apple Pay, which launched there nearly a year ago.

Google also unveiled new tools aimed at getting retailers to embrace Android Pay. Consumers in the U.S. and U.K. will be able to add stores’ loyalty programs to Android Pay to earn rewards. In addition, consumers will be able to use Android Pay when shopping on mobile Web browsers.

Previously, Android Pay for e-commerce required installing a separate app for each merchant.

Separately on Wednesday, a competing payments service from Samsung added loyalty programs. Apple Pay already allows it.

With all three services, users merely tap a phone next to a store’s payment reader to charge a credit or debit card. But Apple and Android Pay work only with stores that have newer wireless readers called NFC. Samsung Pay has backup technology for non-NFC readers, but it’s not universal.


General Motors is expanding its Maven car-sharing service to Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The app-based service started in Ann Arbor, Mich., in February and quickly moved to New York City.

The company says its answer to ZipCar already has started operating in Chicago, renting 30 vehicles at more than 15 sites, for $8 per hour including gas and insurance.

In Washington the service will start at a luxury apartment complex next month and go citywide by the end of June. The service also is scheduled to begin operations in Boston this summer.

The expansion comes as GM, Ford and other automakers try to transform themselves from their traditional role as manufacturers and into mobility companies.

Also this year GM announced a $500 million investment in ride-hailing company Lyft.

Quick takes

NO local worries: The Bob Evans Restaurants on Sunset Boulevard in Steubenville and Three Springs Drive in Weirton are not among the locations the company is closing, according to Angela M. Payne, corporate communications manager for Bob Evans Farms.

The company announced last week that it is closing 27 underperforming locations and laying off 1,100 workers in attempt to boost profits.

Of the 27 announced closings, 21 restaurants were company-owned and closed last weekend. The remaining six are leased and expected to close in fiscal 2017. The restaurant on Steubenville Pike in Robinson Township is among the locations that have been closed.

The company says it expects to get $20 million for the owned properties, translating to a $1 million gain in annual operating income. The New Albany-based company estimates expenses near $8 million related to the closures, most of which it expects to be non-cash charges. It expects to offer laid-off workers jobs in nearby restaurants when possible.

The company said it will update the estimated expenses related to the sale when it reports fourth-quarter results in June.

Bob Evans Farms Inc. operates more than 500 Bob Evans restaurants in 18 states across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast U.S. regions.

FINANCIAL SEMINAR: The Laurels of Steubenville, 500 Stanton Blvd., will host a free senior financial planning seminar from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Presenters will include attorney Howard “Trey” Peterson, David Mosti of Mosti Funeral Home and John Cucarese of New York Life Insurance Co.

Refreshments will be served, and door prizes will be awarded.

The seminar is open to the public. Questions can be directed to (740) 264-5042.

comcast buy: Comcast is buying DreamWorks Animation, the film company behind the Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda franchises, for approximately $3.55 billion.

DreamWorks stockholders will receive $41 for each share they own. That’s a 24 percent premium to the company’s Wednesday closing price of $32.20. The companies put the deal’s value at about $3.8 billion.

DreamWorks will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures.

Once the deal closes, DreamWorks co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media. He’ll also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal, a unit of Comcast Corp.

Both companies’ boards have approved the transaction, which is targeted to close by year’s end.

Ford earnings: Ford Motor Co. on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings of $2.45 billion.

On a per-share basis, the Dearborn, Mich.-based company said it had profit of 61 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 68 cents per share.

The automaker posted revenue of $37.7 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts.

Slow down: The U.S. economy inched forward at the weakest pace in two years from January through March, as consumer spending slowed, business investment plunged and exports declined further.

The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, grew by a tiny 0.5 percent in the first quarter.

That is down from 1.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter. The January-March performance was the poorest showing since GDP contracted by 0.9 percent in the first three months of 2014.

Since this recovery began almost seven years ago, GDP has been weak in the first quarter each year only to rebound in the spring. Economists are looking for a similar pattern this year, forecasting second quarter growth of around 2 percent.

(Send business news items for inclusion in Quick Takes to newsroom@heraldstaronline.com Questions? Call the newsroom at (740) 283-4711. Items also may be sent by conventional mail to Herald-Star, 401 Herald Square, Steubenville, OH 43952.)