Maine hospitals recognized for efforts to be tobacco-free

The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network, in collaboration with the Partnership For a Tobacco-Free Maine, announced the 2010 award recipients in this year’s Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network’s Gold Star Standards of Excellence Recognition Program. The awards recognize hospitals that have worked hard to make their campuses tobacco-free.

Gold Star recipients are the Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, Mercy Hospital in Portland, Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick, and Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook. Silver Star recipients include Calais Regional Hospital in Calais, Central Maine Healthcare in Lewiston, Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln, St. Andrews Hospital in Boothbay Harbor and Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan received Bronze Star recognition.

JetBlue, American join forcesto simplify flight connections

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways said Wednesday that they have formed a partnership to offer passengers connections to flights in and out of New York and Boston.

JetBlue customers will be able to connect on flights to 12 of American’s international destinations from JFK and Boston. American customers can book nonstop JetBlue flights from JFK and Boston to 18 domestic spots that American doesn’t serve from those cities.

The deal will feed new passengers into both carriers’ networks by allowing them to book both legs of their flight at the same time. For example, it will provide streamlined service for customers who fly from Nantucket, Mass., to JFK on JetBlue and from there to London on American.

Despite sales drop, Borders earns fourth-quarter profit

Book seller Borders Group Inc.’ fourth-quarter profit rose as it cut costs and enjoyed a tax benefit, even though its sales plunged.

Shares of the nation’s second-largest traditional book seller soared in after-hours trading Wednesday after it posted the earnings and announced it has repaid a $42.5 million loan from Pershing Square, the company’s largest investor.

The deadline to repay the loan was today. An analyst had expressed concern over the company’s future.

Borders’ shares rose 53 cents, or 30.8 percent, to $2.25 after hours. They had closed at $1.72.

Rite Aid Corp. predicts bigger loss in fiscal 2011

Drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp. said it may post larger losses in its current fiscal year as many shoppers remain out of work and it ramps up spending on new programs.

Rite Aid is preparing to roll out a new customer loyalty program called Wellness Plus. The Camp Hill, Pa., company plans to have pharmacists who can administer flu shots at many stores in time for the next flu season. It is also planning to close 80 stores this year while larger rivals CVS and Walgreen continue to expand.

Rite Aid forecast a loss of $355 million to $570 million, or 41 cents to 65 cents per share, in fiscal 2011. Revenue was estimated at $25.2 billion to $25.6 billion, down slightly from the past year.

Securities fraud conspirator sent to prison for four years

A former securities broker who admitted helping a New York City lawyer dupe hedge funds into making tens of millions of dollars in bogus investments has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

Trumbull, Conn., resident Kosta Kovachev was sentenced Wednesdayin Manhattan for conspiring to commit securities fraud. Kovachev, 58, had admitted aiding lawyer Marc Dreier in a conspiracy to sell more than $100 million in fictitious securities to hedge funds in 2006 and 2007.

Dreier is serving a 20-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal charges. Prosecutors called him “the Houdini of impersonation and false documents.”

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