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Texas reaches deal on weaker voter ID rules for November

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas agreed Wednesday to weaken its voter ID law as courts across the U.S., with only months before the November election, are blocking Republican-controlled states from imposing polling place restrictions that critics say target minorities and the poor. The changes must still be approved by a federal judge. But the looser rules have the important blessing ...

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Pittsburgh’s Kennametal cutting 1,000 in drilling slowdown

Oil below $40 forces Texas driller into bankruptcy

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh-based Kennametal Inc. says it’s cutting 1,000 jobs over the next 15 months, citing weak demand for the coal-mining and gas-drilling cutting tools it makes. The company announced the cuts to its 12,000-strong workforce on Monday, but didn’t say what facilities will be affected. Kennametal had more than 14,000 employees, including 5,000 in the United States, just ...

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Natural gas conversion company wants to dissolve

gas leak

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine natural gas company that faced a $250,000 fine this year following a potentially “catastrophic” gas leak is asking the state to dissolve an affiliate. On Friday, Summit Natural Gas of Maine asked the state Public Utilities Commission to dissolve Natural Gas Conversion Company, which launched in 2014 to help Mainers convert home heating systems ...

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Cannon Mountain to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent

Cannon skiing new hampshire

FRANCONIA, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s Cannon Mountain is undertaking several energy efficiency initiatives expected to reduce energy consumption at the ski area by about 30 percent. The conservation measures include replacement of Cannon’s main-trunk power line and upgrading the transformer; construction of a mid-mountain snowmaking booster pump house; installation of 388 snowmaking tower guns; and lighting and weatherization upgrades. ...

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Things to know about North Dakota’s special budget session

North Dakota, legislative report

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Legislature is returning to Bismarck on Tuesday morning for a three-day special session, summoned there by Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple to address shortfalls in the state treasury. Dalrymple made the announcement last month after an updated forecast predicted tax collections will continue to drop due to depressed oil and farm commodity prices. The ...

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US regulators: Still heavy risk in big bank loans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators say risk remains heavy in large loans made by banks and other financial institutions, though lending standards have improved. The Federal Reserve and other agencies cite increasing risks in loans to oil and gas producers as oil prices have fallen. The steep decline in oil prices has hurt many energy companies. The amount of large ...

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Exxon reports smallest profit since 1999

Exxon's 2Q profit plunges 63 percent on lower oil prices

DALLAS (AP) — Lower oil prices continue to punish Exxon Mobil Corp., which reported its weakest quarterly profit in nearly 17 years. Exxon still earned $1.7 billion in the second quarter. It was, however, down 59 percent from a year ago, and per share income missed Wall Street expectations. The energy giant cited lower prices for oil and gas and ...

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