Quick Takes

SELECTED: Katrina D’Aquin, interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Bethany College, is one of 32 mid-level administrators in higher education nationwide selected by the Council of Independent Colleges to participate in a year-long senior leadership academy.

D’Aquin will participate in two seminars, one in Portland, Ore., this fall and one in Washington, D.C., next summer. She also will undertake a mentoring program, work with experts, participate in webinars and engage in a series of readings and case studies during the 2014-15 academic year.

D’Aquin joined the Bethany College faculty in 2006, became director of first year studies in 2007 and assistant vice president for academic affairs in 2012.

She received a bachelor of arts degree from Siena College and master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

ZIPPO ‘Blu’s: Zippo and the nation’s third-biggest tobacco company are battling over the Blu brand name being used for both Zippo lighters and a hugely popular electronic cigarette.

Zippo, based in Bradford, Pa., says it owns the Blu trademark for a line of blue-flame butane lighters and is asking the court to prevent Lorillard from using it. Zippo first filed for the Blu trademark in 2005 and began selling the product in 2007.

Lorillard, based in Greensboro, N.C., acquired the Blu brand in 2012 and Blu now accounts for almost half of all e-cigarettes sold. It is asking the court to order the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to dismiss Zippo’s challenge.

Zippo Manufacturing Co. and a subsidiary of Lorillard Inc. have both filed complaints in U.S. District Court in California.

algerian shale: Algeria’s Cabinet has announced it will move forward with the exploitation of the country’s large shale gas reserves.

The statement carried by the state news agency gave the green light to finding foreign partners to exploit the reserves.

According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Algeria is third globally after China and Argentina in technically recoverable shale gas reserves with 707 trillion cubic feet of reserves.

It has yet to be determined if the reserves are commercially viable. The state said 11 wells will be drilled over the next seven to 13 years.

Algeria’s once rich oil and natural gas reserves have been declining in recent years.

NO TO VIMEO: Video sharing site Vimeo has written to the Indonesian government asking that it reconsider the block it has put on its platform.

Indonesia began blocking the site last week, saying it was acting on complaints that it contained nudity, which officials in the world’s most populous Muslim country consider to be pornographic material.

The letter sent to the government and shared by Vimeo with journalists on Thursday says it prohibits pornography and tries to remove it when it does appear.

The spread of the Internet has limited the control that countries used to have over access to media, causing unease among some religious and political leaders, including in Indonesia.

In 2008 Indonesia temporarily blocked YouTube because of videos considered objectionable to Islam.

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Quick Takes

HONORED: Morgan Morelli of Wintersville has been honored by the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh.

A senior at Washington and Jefferson College majoring in chemistry, she received the college chemistry award presented by the society at its annual awards dinner held May 7 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

The award included a monetary prize and framed certificate of accomplishment.

Morelli, daughter of Geno and Renee Morelli of Wintersville, will be recognized through a monetary award presented to the Washington and Jefferson College Library in her honor, along with an engraved nameplate, which will be added to the plaque in the chemistry department listing prior SACP winners.

She is a 2010 graduate of Catholic Central High School.

Thirty students and their colleges in the Tri-State Area where recognized by the SACP. The award demonstrates excellence in performance and high achievements in the chemistry field, according to officials.

Morelli is president of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliate at college and is a teaching/lab assistant for the chemistry department. She was named to the college’s dean’s list and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the Newman Club, Omicron Delta Epsilon and Pi Gamma Mu.

Restructuring: Quiznos, which filed for bankruptcy protection in March, says that the court has confirmed its plan of reorganization.

The Denver-based sandwich chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reduce its debt after losing ground to competitors.

The company’s restructuring plan, which includes cutting its debt by more than $400 million and increasing its financial flexibility, had already been approved by its creditors when it filed for bankruptcy.

Quiznos said that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware confirmed the company’s plan. The company said it is nearing the completion of its financial restructuring process.

The company only owns and operates seven of the nearly 2,100 Quiznos restaurants nationwide. The rest are operated by franchisees and aren’t part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

MORE GATES: With help from Washington, Virgin America is getting two airport gates at Dallas Love Field.

The airline beat out Southwest Airlines Co. and Delta Air Lines Inc., which also coveted the gates.

Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez announced the decision Monday. He suggested that he had no choice after the U.S. Justice Department required American Airlines to sublease the gates at the city-owned airport near downtown to Virgin America.

“Contrary to reports, this was not a competition,” Gonzalez said.

Eventually, Southwest will control 16 gates at the airport while Virgin and United Airlines will get two each.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to bring new competition to Love Field,” Virgin America CEO David Cush said in a statement.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said his team was very disappointed but remained excited about new flights from Love Field beginning later this year. Dallas-based Southwest had argued that the two extra gates would help it compete with American’s stronghold at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Virgin America will be new to Love Field but not to the Dallas area. Since 2010, it has been flying from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth. The airline plans to shift those flights to Love Field. After federal limits on long flights from Love Field are lifted in October, Virgin will add flights to New York and Washington this year and Chicago next year.

From staff and local reports


MEMBERSHIP: Nikolas A. Kamarados, a certified financial planner with the Prudential Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Agency has achieved membership in the Million Dollar Round Table for the 10th consecutive year, making him a qualifying and life member.

“Nik exemplifies everything that MDRT stands for the highest standards of professionalism, competence, integrity and putting the needs of our customers first,” said Caroline Feeney, president of agency distribution at Prudential. “We are very proud of Nik and congratulate him on an outstanding year.”

MDRT was founded in 1927, and is an international, independent association of more than 35,000, or less than 1 percent, of the world’s best life insurance and financial services professionals, officials said. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.

Eagle Ford sale: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is selling its Eagle Ford Shale assets in Texas for $3.1 billion as it looks to lower its debt.

The buyer is a subsidiary of Encana Corp., a Canadian oil and natural gas company.

Freeport has been working on selling about $4 billion of its energy assets to help reduce debt and allow it to concentrate more on growth areas like the Gulf of Mexico. It anticipates getting net proceeds of about $2.5 billion from the latest deal.

The Phoenix-based copper and gold mining company said Wednesday that it expects to use approximately half the proceeds to repay outstanding debt. It foresees using the remainder of the proceeds to invest in assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Freeport’s consolidated debt totaled $20.9 billion as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing.

Encana has recently cut jobs, slashed its dividend and closed an office in a bid to become more efficient. It also plans to spin off a portion of its Alberta assets into a new public company.

The Eagle Ford Shale assets include all of Freeport-McMoRan’s interests on approximately 45,500 net acres with estimated net proved reserves totaling 59 million barrels of oil equivalents and estimated net proved and probable reserves of 69 million BOE at the end of 2013. Production from the field averaged 53,000 BOE per day in 2014’s first quarter.

The deal is targeted to close by the second quarter’s end.

Amazon sundays: Amazon is expanding its Sunday package delivery service to 15 more cities across the country, including Philadelphia, New Orleans and Dallas.

Amazon first rolled out the service as part of a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service in November to New York and Los Angeles, just ahead of the holiday rush. At the time, it said it planned to extend it to other cities this year.

The service is one of many efforts Amazon has been making to attract new customers and encourage existing customers to spend more, even though it increased its Prime two-day shipping membership program’s annual fee to $99 from $79 in March.

On Monday, it started a service that lets Twitter users add Amazon.com products to their carts without leaving the social media site. In April, it launched Prime Pantry, a grocery delivery service for Prime members. The same month, it introduced Amazon Fire, its first set-top video streaming box.

The Seattle-based online retailer does not disclose the percentage of its packages that are delivered on weekends, but said since the service launched it has delivered millions of packages on Sunday to its customers.

“So far, the most common items delivered on Sunday include baby supplies such as newborn apparel, books and toys – Sunday delivery is clearly crossing errands off the weekend to-do list,” said Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations.

Quick Takes

NEW OFFICE: Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell Ltd., a law firm with offices in Youngstown, Warren and Salem, announced plans to open a new office next week in St. Clairsville. HHM’s work in the new office will focus on oil and gas law matters, primarily with local landowners.

The office is located at 118 W. Main St.

“Belmont County and the surrounding areas have enjoyed a tremendous surge in mineral rights leasing activity in recent years with the rise of the Utica and Marcellus shale plays,” said Alan D. Wenger, chair of the Oil and Gas Law Practice Group at HHM.

“We look forward to providing Belmont County landowners with legal counsel and service on leases and lease amendments, unitization, pipeline and infrastructure agreements, title matters, collective group representation, litigation and more.”

Since 2010, HHM’s Oil and Gas Law Practice Group has supported negotiations for new and amended leases covering thousands of acres in Northeastern Ohio, all on behalf of landowners and landowner groups.

Information about HHM is available at the new St. Clairsville office, (740) 298-7550, or at the firm’s website,www.hhmlaw.com.

WINNERS: Blaine Cline of Toronto and Caitlyn McCaulley of Magnolia were awarded scholarships at the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives Children of Members scholarship competition held April 9.

Cline was awarded a $1,400 scholarship in the boys division, and McCaulley was awarded a $1,600 scholarship in the girls division.

Cline, son of Charles and Amie Cline of Toronto, and McCaulley were sponsored by Carroll Electric Cooperative. Cline is a senior at Edison High School.

Forty-seven students representing 24 electric cooperatives in Ohio competed for $31,800 in scholarship awards.

INDUCTED: Lisa Costello, daughter of Bruce and Cheryl Costello of Weirton, has been inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society at West Virginia University.

AOA is a professional medical organization which recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine, according to officials.

The top 25 percent of a medical school class is eligible for nomination to the society, with up to 16 percent elected based on leadership, character, community service and professionalism. Members also may be elected by chapters after demonstrating scholarly achievement and professional contributions and values during their careers in medicine. Distinguished professionals may also be elected to honorary membership.

She is finishing her third year of a double residency in internal medicine and pediatrics.

AWARDED: Two portraits created by Gretchen Carter of Newbrough Photo won top awards at the 81st Professional Photographers of West Virginia Annual Convention.

The Professional Photographers of West Virginia is the state affiliate of the national organization, Professional Photographers of America.

“Forgotten” won the Water E. Johnson Trophy for Best Black and White Portrait. Carter’s folio titled “Follow Me” won Best Folio, and the Nelson Paden Progessive Photographer Trophy. In addition to the awards, Carter was named to the Top Ten Photographers of West Virginia, a title she has held for the last four years.

A panel of five master photographers from across the U.S. judged 195 entries submitted in the event. Each was scored according to the guidelines set by the PPA.

Carter has been with Newbrough Photo for almost 10 years, photographing high school seniors, families, weddings, sports and other events. She currently oversees the portrait department and spends most of her time creating unique portraits for area high school seniors.