Company holds job fair, plans to fill 45 positions

A company that’s involved in a natural-gas distribution project in central Maine plans a job fair to fill 45 positions.

Summit Natural Gas of Maine will hold the job fair Wednesday at the Senator Inn in Augusta. The company’s looking to fill positions for permanent non-construction jobs at its Augusta office.

Open positions include residential and commercial sales representatives, administrative assistants, natural gas technicians, steel and distribution pipeline project managers and inspectors, and manager level positions.

The company plans a $350 million natural gas distribution system in the Kennebec Valley area. Many of the positions have multiple openings. Participants should bring current resumes.

Apple issues apology after attacks by Chinese media

Apple issued an apology to Chinese consumers Monday after government media attacked its repair policies for two weeks in a campaign that reeked of economic nationalism.

A statement Apple posted in Chinese on its website Monday said the complaints had prompted “deep reflection” and persuaded the company of the need to revamp its repair policies, boost communication with Chinese consumers and strengthen oversight of authorized resellers.

State broadcaster CCTV and the ruling party’s flagship newspaper, People’s Daily, had led the charge, accusing Apple of arrogance, greed and “throwing its weight around” and portraying it as just the latest Western company to exploit the Chinese consumer.

April Fools’ Day marked with mock innovations

Twitter did away with vowels, Google unveiled a button to add smells and the cast of the 1990s sitcom “Wings” launched a Kickstarter campaign.

The digital world celebrated April Fools’ Day with the rollout of mock innovations and parody makeovers. Many of the top online destinations spent Monday mocking themselves and, in Google’s case, playfully trying to lure users into pressing their noses against their computer screens.

Google, having already debuted its wearable Google Glass, on Monday showcased Google Nose to add scents to its search results. It urged visitors to lean in close and take a deep whiff for search results such as “unattended litter box.”

Construction spending rebounded in February

Spending on U.S. construction projects rebounded in February, helped by a surge in home construction, which rose to the highest level in more than four years.

Construction spending rose 1.2 percent overall in February compared to January, when construction had dropped 2.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Spending rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $885.1 billion, which was 7.9 percent higher than a year ago.

One-year delay proposed for part of health care law

The Obama administration is proposing a one-year delay in a feature of the new health care law intended to give workers at small companies health plan choices similar to what employees of large businesses enjoy.

Starting Jan. 1, small companies with up to 100 workers will be able to buy coverage through new health insurance marketplaces called exchanges. These exchanges are the small business version of new markets also opening up for individuals.

As originally envisioned, employees would have been the ones to pick their plans. But now, for the first year, the employer will choose for the entire company.

Officials say the transition period is needed to smooth the introduction of the program.

– From staff and news services