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In Brief


August 20. 2013 11:11PM
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FNCB to sell


some branches


First National Community Bank customers in Marshalls Creek and Stroudsburg will see a new letterhead on their statements soon — ESSA.

Dunmore-based FNCB agreed to sell its Marshalls Creek and Stroudsburg branch deposit and loan accounts to ESSA Bancorp, The Pocono Record reported. The deal is expected to become official by the end of the year.

ESSA is also purchasing FNCB’s Marshalls Creek building at 5120 Milford Road. ESSA will consolidate the accounts at its own branches in Marshalls Creek and Bushkill at its newly acquired FNCB building.

FNCB has 17 branches in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties and two in Wayne County. The Marshalls Creek and Stroudsburg branches are its only ones in Monroe County.


Health coverage


outpaces wages


Workers saw a modest rise in the average cost of employer-sponsored health insurance this year, but they’re probably not overwhelmed with relief.


Coverage costs still are climbing faster than wages. That means, in many cases, that a bigger portion of the average paycheck is sliced off for insurance instead of being deposited into employee bank accounts.


Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family coverage climbed nearly 4 percent this year to top $16,000 for the first time, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation released Tuesday.


The cost of single coverage rose almost 5 percent. Those are smaller increases than the spikes of 9 percent for family coverage and 8 percent for single recorded in 2011. But this year’s increases lap the average 1.8 percent rise in worker wages.


Penney poised


for better days?


The worse might be over at J.C. Penney Co.


The beleaguered department store chain on Tuesday reported its sixth consecutive quarter of big losses and steep revenue drops as it continued to face challenges related to a botched turnaround plan spearheaded by its ousted CEO Ron Johnson.


But investors sent Penney shares up six percent to nearly $14 — after having pushed the stock down nearly 70 percent in the last 18 months — in an expression of confidence that returning CEO Mike Ullman has started to stabilize the business.


The latest report offered some encouraging signs that the move is beginning to pay off: Revenue improved from month-to-month during the quarter, and the decline in Penney’s online business slowed significantly in part due to the company’s move to veer from Johnson’s strategy and go back to operating its online businesses with its physical stores. The chain also said it is seeing encouraging start to the back-to-school season, the second largest selling period behind the winter holidays.




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