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Central Ky. delegation to lobby Washington for depot jobs; Costco plans to open Lexington store

Preserving jobs at the Blue Grass Army Depot will be an agenda priority next week when a delegation of central Kentucky business and government leaders travel to Washington, D.C., the Richmond Register reports.

On Monday, the depot informed its employees and advised the media that the winding down of U.S. military operations in the Middle East was reducing demand for depot materials and could lead to layoffs at the facility.

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Costco has filed an application with the city Planning Commission noting that the members-only warehouse company, the second largest retailer in the country, plans to open a location near Hamburg, reports the Lexington Herald Leader.

The company has built a loyal shopper base with its low-price assortment of products, in store and online, that range from staples such as food, office supplies and toilet paper to the high-end jewelry, pianos and saunas. It also sells services like business payroll processing and such unexpected items as coffins, the paper says.

Costco declined to discuss its plans to open a Lexington store.

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JPMorgan Chase said Friday that a bad trade had cost the bank $5.8 billion this year, almost triple its original estimate, and raised the prospect that traders had improperly tried to conceal the blunder, the Associated Press reports.

The bank said managers tied to the bad trade had been dismissed without severance pay and that it planned to revoke two years’ worth of pay from each of those executives.

JPMorgan said it had lost $4.4 billion because of the trade from April through June, and its chief financial officer said the bank had lost an additional $1.4 billion in the first three months of the year, the AP says.

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The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits plunged last week. But a big reason is that automakers have skipped some of their usual summer shutdowns to keep up with demand, causing fewer temporary auto layoffs, the Associated Press reports.

Economists expect the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid to go back up in coming weeks.

The auto industry’s recovery has helped support the struggling U.S. economy. U.S. auto sales in the first half of the year jumped 15 percent over the same period a year ago. Sales of new vehicles surged in June.

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One of the state’s largest health insurers has told customers it will no longer pay for health care at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville beginning next month, pending negotiations that now stand at an impasse, the Advocate Messenger reports.

Humana started sending out letters last week informing customers that McDowell will be cut from its network of providers Aug. 1. Humana insures state employees, which includes both working and many retired teachers.

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