Local & State
Carolina Technology Conference is today at convention center
The Carolina Technology Conference is being held today at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in the Vista. The conference will include expert speakers, such as Jim Stickley, an ethical hacker who provides cyber security to companies worried about protecting sensitive information. And it will offer on-site training and career guidance for IT professionals. For more information: carolinatechnologyconference.com.
Nation & World
S.C. has lowest gas prices, California highest
SAN FRANCISCO California’s governor ordered the early release of a winter blend of gasoline Monday as the state’s average price for a gallon of regular hit $4.67 Monday – the highest price in the nation, according to AAA. It could take several days before prices fall, depending on how quickly refineries can get the winter-blend fuel to market, officials said. The state usually switches to the dirtier blend on Oct. 31. On the other side of the spectrum – and country – South Carolina drivers are enjoying the nation’s lowest prices, averaging $3.49 a gallon. That means the average motorist who drives 300 miles per week and gets 20 miles per gallon spends nearly $18 more in California than in South Carolina. That adds up to $936 a year. Taking it a step further, though, the pocketbook punch is far greater when comparing the most expensive station in California – Big Sur at $5.89 a gallon – with the cheapest in South Carolina – an Aiken station charging $3.21 a gallon. In that scenario, the California driver is paying $40 more per week – or nearly $2,100 more per year than the Aiken driver.
Target hiring as many as 90,000 seasonal workers
Target Corp. said Monday that it plans to hire 80,000 to 90,000 seasonal workers across the country for the holiday season, down from the 92,000 it hired last year. The decline is in keeping with the retailer’s cautious view of the upcoming holiday season. Hiring for Target’s distribution centers – including one in Lugoff – started in July, and hiring for store workers started in October. The hiring will continue through December. Start dates vary. The Minneapolis-based retailer said it’s looking for workers to fill a variety of hourly positions in stores, such as sales floor workers, cashiers and backroom staff. People interested in applying should go target.com/careers. The National Retail Federation said last week that it expects its strongest holiday season since the recession.
Wal-Mart, American Express prepaid card helps customers manage, control finances
NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and American Express are rolling out a prepaid card that they say offers unique services designed to help customers manage and control their everyday finances. The two companies said Monday that Bluebird, which began during a pilot program late last year, will have no minimum balance and no monthly, annual or overdraft fees. They say that the only fees that will be associated with the card will be transparent and within the user’s control, such as out of network ATM withdrawals by consumers who don’t use direct deposit. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and American Express Co. say the card is an alternative to debit and checking accounts and will include such features as the ability to deposit a check to one’s Bluebird account by simply taking a picture with a smart phone. It will also offer the same fraud protections in an event the card is stolen or lost as other standard cards.
The Associated Press contributed.