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Business

Analysis: Friday finds big turnouts but small sales gains

The actual amount spent per person on Black Friday decreased though nearly 195 million people visited stores and Web sites.

Robotic hamsters are holidays' unlikely new craze

Parents are struggling to find Zhu Zhu Pets robotic hamsters, which retail for about $10. This season's must-have toy is made by a tiny St. Louis company.

Holiday Web shopping looks brighter than last year

Internet analysts expect online retail revenue to rise as shoppers hope to avoid long lines while finding big deals.

Salvation Army kettles now accept credit, debit

The addition of a card reader on the iconic red kettles does take some getting used to, but volunteers and shoppers seem to like the idea.

Toyota replacing about 4 million gas pedals that could jam

The recall applies to three Lexus models, the Avalon and Camry, the top selling car in the U.S. The pedal is linked to a fiery crash that killed four in San Diego.

Stores look to basics to attract holiday shoppers on Black Friday

Retailers are responding to tough economic times by luring people to their stores with practical items.

What you need to know about Black Friday shopping

The holiday shopping season kicks off with sales and discounts on Black Friday, the day that's best known for sending stores into profitablility, or "the black."

MoDOT ordered to pay family of car accident victim

The Transportation Department was ordered to pay $1.3 million to the woman's family because it didn't do enough to warn of traffic conditions.

Consumer Product Safety Commission moved too slowly on crib safety

Consumer advocates have complained for years about drop-side cribs, which are now being recalled.

Grocers don't share worries about canned pumpkin shortage

A spokeswoman for Nestle said that Libby's had a poor harvest this year despite planting 20 percent more acres of pumpkins.

Proposed downtown reorganizing could double budget through sales tax

A petition has been approved by members of the existing Special Business District and Central Columbia Association that would create a community improvement district, if enough downtown property owners sign it. The petition drive will start in January.

Columbia Farmers' Market to extend season into December

The market will be open from 10 a.m. to noon for the first three Saturdays of the month.

MO-X shuttle service celebrates 10 years of business

MO-X shuttle service has come a long way since its first trip in October 1999. It now has 78 employees and makes daily trips to St. Louis and Kansas City.

Top AIG executive to visit MU, talk about the economy

David Herzog, executive vice president and chief financial officer of AIG, is coming to speak on the current economic situation Thursday at MU's Cornell Hall. The MU alum's speech will be open to the public.

City, county aim to close stormwater loophole

Officials fear that a potential loophole in the proposed county stormwater ordinance, which would exempt agricultural land, could entice owners of such property to clear it before filing plans for development.

Newspapers collaborate with e-reader manufacturers to adapt content

Newspapers, software companies and technology manufacturers met in Columbia on Monday and Tuesday to discuss developments in e-reader devices and challenges facing newspapers in adapting their content.

Downtown recruits advisory board

The move is a step toward officially forming the CID, which could charge a half-percent sales tax within the district to pay for marketing, events and promotions.

New police building will bear Bob LeMone's name

The new police training building, approved by voters in November 2005, cost about $1.5 million and should be dedicated in October.

City to seek vendors to manage bus ads

The City Council voted Monday to proceed with a request for proposals to manage advertising on city buses.

Propane often overlooked as an alternative fuel

Although ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen get more buzz, propane is the most commonly used alternative fuel in the U.S. — and its reach is expanding.

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