Business

Boat Show continues at State Fairgrounds

Tired of the snow yet? Don't worry. Summer is coming, and the 47th annual boat show continues through Sunday at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia.

The show features 16 dealers displaying more than 300 boats. Admission is $6 for adults and $2 for children under 12. Details: boatshowfairgrounds.com.

COST CUTTING LED TO HIGHER PROFITS, DUKE SAYS

Utility Duke Energy says its fourth-quarter profit edged higher as cost cuts offset continued weak demand for electricity. Duke said it made $346 million, or 26 cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with profit of $331 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year ago-quarter. Revenue was flat at $3.1 billion. Duke, based in Charlotte, said demand for electricity from industrial customers declined by less than 5 percent - another sign that the economy is beginning to stabilize. The utility serves hundreds of thousands of residents in South Carolina's Upstate.

SPAN AMERICA DECLARES DIVIDEND

GREENVILLE - Greenville-based Span-America Medical Systems said Friday that its board has declared a regular quarterly dividend of 10 cents a share. The dividend is payable March 5 to shareholders of record on Feb. 25. Span-America makes and sells pressure management products for the medical market.

NATION & WORLD

DELTA CANCELS 1,000 FLIGHTS BECAUSE OF SNOW

ATLANTA - Airlines canceled hundreds of flights Friday as snow pounded parts of the South and threatened to dump several inches of the white stuff on Atlanta, home to the world's busiest airport. Delta Air Lines and its feeder partners canceled 1,100 flights in anticipation of up to 4 inches of snow in the metro Atlanta area.

Also in Atlanta, AirTran Airways canceled 62 flights in anticipation of the impending snow.

AIRLINES WERE ON TIME WITH 80% OF '09 FLIGHTS

A new government report says airlines were on-time for 80 percent of their flights last year. That's their best record since 2003. The Transportation Department report says Hawaiian Airlines had the best record last year, followed by Southwest and Alaska Airlines. United had the best record of the big international carriers. The month of December was tough, though, with just 72 percent of flights arriving on-time. Major snowstorms made airline operations difficult. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines placed 12th of the 19 airlines ranked, with 78.6 percent of its flights arriving on time, below the 79.5 percent average.

CONSUMERS FACE FAR HIGHER INSURANCE RATES

Consumers in at least three states who buy their own health insurance are getting hit with premium increases of 15 percent or more. Anthem Blue Cross plans in California and Maine are planning rate increases of up to 39 percent and 24 percent, respectively. The increases affect some customers who buy individual health insurance, rather than getting it through their employer. In Oregon, multiple insurers were granted rate hikes of 15 percent or more this year after increases of about 25 percent last year.

WHAT IS ORGANIC ANYWAY? FEDS ISSUE RULES SAYING

The Agriculture Department is sharpening the standards for organic milk and meat. New rules announced Friday say organic milk and meat must come from livestock that graze in pastures at least four months of the year. The old rules required only that animals have access to pasture. The new organic rules also say 30 percent of animals' feed must come from grazing and that ranchers must have a plan to protect soil and water quality.

- The Associated Press contributed.

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