BANGOR

Citing drop in military flights, airport lays off 15 workers

Bangor International Airport has let go 15 part-time employees and more job cuts are on the way.

Airport Director Tony Caruso said he met with the affected employees Thursday and about half were given the chance to stay with the airport on an on-call basis.

Caruso told WABI-TV that the primary reason for the job cuts is the steep decline in military charter flights that use the airport for refueling.

Caruso said staff continues to evaluate the airport’s financial situation and more layoffs are expected. He said they will include full-time, part-time, union and non-union employees.

Bangor is the closest U.S. Port of Entry from Europe.

DETROIT

Auto sales falter in December, but 2013 still best in six years

December U.S. auto sales slowed a bit from the brisk pace earlier this year, but automakers still were on target to finish 2013 with the best numbers in six years.

Nissan posted an 11 percent gain for December and Chrysler managed a 6 percent increase. But General Motors, Toyota, Ford and Volkswagen each posted disappointing numbers. Still, most major automakers reported at least a 7 percent increase for 2013, and analysts expect full-year sales to be up around 8 percent to 15.6 million when all the numbers are in. That would be the highest sales figure since 16.1 million in 2007.

But automakers may need to do more to lure shoppers into showrooms. Analysts say discounts rose in December, and there were signs that automakers were beginning to lower prices to match competitors. That could foreshadow better deals in the new year, especially on pickup trucks and midsize cars.

SAN FRANCISCO

BlackBerry sues startup co-founded by Ryan Seacrest

Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd. is accusing a company backed by “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest of illegally copying its technology.

The allegations emerged in a patent infringement lawsuit filed Friday in a San Francisco federal court by BlackBerry. The suit targets an iPhone keyboard made by Typo Products LLC, a Los Angeles startup co-founded by Seacrest and entrepreneur Laurence Hallier.

The complaint contends that Typo Products’ keyboard for recent iPhone models illegally copies technology and designs that BlackBerry pioneered years ago for its line of smartphones. BlackBerry is seeking unspecified damages and a court order that would prevent Typo Products from selling the keyboard without a licensing agreement.

Typo Products didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

– From news service reports